An April 10 proposed order prepared by the Docket Management Section calls for the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas to approve Entergy Texas Inc.’s (ETI) application involving a 230-kV transmission line, consistent with a stipulation and settlement agreement.
The PUC will consider the docket (Docket No. 46248) at a May 4 open meeting that will be held at the commission’s offices in Austin, Texas, according to an April 10 filing from Irene Montelongo, director, Docket Management, to the commissioners.
The proceeding was referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) last October. The docket was subsequently returned to the PUC and the Docket Management Section prepared the proposed order, Montelongo added.
As noted in the proposed order, ETI last August filed its application for the line in Jefferson, Chambers, and Liberty counties. The line would connect the existing China substation, located just west of China in Jefferson County, to the existing Stowell substation, located in the unincorporated community of Stowell in Chambers County. The company would install new equipment at both substations to accommodate the proposed line, which would have a length of about 20.6 miles to 26.7 miles, depending on the final route selected.
The proposed order also noted that the project is designed to address thermal overloads, under-voltage, and compliance with NERC reliability standards, as well as ETI’s local planning criteria. In addition, the project would help meet the forecast transmission needs of ETI’s service territory along the Bolivar Peninsula and Grand Parkway.
The Midcontinent ISO (MISO) reviewed the project with stakeholders and provided approval, the proposed order added, noting that the project was classified as a baseline reliability project and is included in MISO’s Appendix A of the MISO Transmission Expansion Planning (MTEP) 2015 study cycle.
The proposed order noted that ETI demonstrated a reasonable need for the proposed project, and that the need for the project was not in dispute in the docket.
ETI on April 5, according to the proposed order, filed an agreed motion to admit evidence and motion to remand, which included the agreement resolving all issues in the docket. According to that agreement, the parties to the stipulation include ETI, PUC staff, Matthews Family LTD Partnership 1, and Schroeder’s Silver Spur Inc.
The proposed order noted that ETI filed 17 alternative routes comprised of 80 segments, and that the parties have agreed to the approximately 25.78-mile “Stipulated Route No. 7,” which is made up of segments B, H, Q, U2, BO, W2, AA1, AA2, BS, BT, BU, Z3, AB1, AC, BI, BK, and BM.
The proposed line would be built using concrete and steel single-pole structures, as well as concrete or steel double-circuit poles. The estimated cost to build Stipulated Route 7 is about $66.8m, including transmission and substation facilities costs, and that is the least expensive route proposed by ETI, the proposed order added.
There are two habitable structures located within 300 feet of the proposed line along Stipulated Route 7; there are no parks or recreational areas within 1,000 feet of that route; and that route does not cross any listed or determined-eligible historical or archaeological sites, according to the proposed order.
The proposed line’s limited area of direct impact on prime farmland would not have a significant effect on those soils. The proposed order also said that none of the alternative routes are parallel – within 100 feet – to any natural streams or rivers, and that ETI would span all surface water crossed by any of the alternative routes.
No significant adverse impacts are anticipated to any aquatic habitats crossed or adjacent to the ROW for Stipulated Route 7, or any of the other proposed routes; construction of any of the alternative routes is not anticipated to significantly adversely impact general wildlife and fisheries resources; and the proposed line is not anticipated to result in any impacts to federally listed endangered or threatened species, the proposed order said.
Among other things, the proposed order said that in the event that ETI or its contractors encounter any artifacts or other cultural resources during project construction, work is to cease immediately in the vicinity of the resource and that discovery is to be reported to the Texas Historical Commission.
Also, ETI is to take precautions to avoid disturbing occupied nests and will take steps to minimize the impact of construction on migratory birds, especially during nesting season. The proposed order also called for ETI to cooperate with directly affected landowners to implement minor deviations in the approved route to minimize the impact of the project.
ETI is a subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE:ETR).