A prehearing conference will be held on April 3 at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) in Austin, Texas, regarding AEP Texas’ proposed Bonilla to Ladekidde 345-kV transmission line, according to a March 21 order signed by a SOAH administrative law judge.
As noted in the order, American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) AEP Texas on Jan. 23 filed an application with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed double-circuit transmission line project. The line would begin at the new Bonilla substation to be built by AEP Texas in Cameron County, Texas, and generally extend to the northeast until it reaches the new Ladekidde substation to be built by Magic Valley Wind Farm II LLC in Willacy County, Texas.
The order also noted that AEP Texas plans to build the line on steel single-pole structures, which initially would have only one 345-kV circuit installed.
The total estimated cost for the project ranges from about $49.5m to $75.4m, depending on the route chosen. The order added that the proposed project is presented with 21 alternate routes and is estimated to be about 22 miles to 32 miles long.
The PUC is to approve or deny the application within a year of its filing, or Jan. 23, 2018, the order said.
After the prehearing conference, AEP Texas will have its engineers and staff available to answer questions about its application, the order said.
The PUC, in a March 16 order, referred the docket (PUC Docket No. 46716) to the SOAH. According to that order, ERCOT has not deemed the line as critical to the reliability of the ERCOT system.
The PUC also said that issues to be addressed include whether the proposed project is necessary for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public; whether there are altenrative routes or facilities configurations that would have a less negative impact on landowners; and whether there are conditions or limitations that should be included in the final order in the docket as a result of any recommendations or comments by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.