Entergy’s (NYSE:ETR) Entergy Texas, Inc., (ETI), on Aug. 11 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the Rocky Creek or Quarry to Lewis Creek 230-kV Transmission Line.
ETI said that it is proposing to connect the ETI-owned portion of the existing 345-kV Grimes-to-Crockett transmission line to ETI’s existing Lewis Creek substation, which is generally southeast of the 345-kV Grimes-to-Crockett line, to alleviate congestion on several transmission lines in the southeast Texas transmission system.
A new substation would be built at the interconnection point on the existing 345-kV line and, depending on its location, would be named either the Rocky Creek substation or the Quarry substation, the company said. The Lewis Creek substation would be expanded to add one new 230-kV breaker.
ETI also said that the proposed 345-kV/230-kV substation would be built with three 345-kV breakers, one new 345-kV/230-kV autotransformer bank, and one 230-kV breaker. The location of the proposed 345-kV/230-kV substation would depend on the final route selection, ETI said, adding that it is proposing four alternate location options for the new substation. In particular, ETI said that it proposes three Rocky Creek substation site options west of Huntsville, Texas, and one Quarry substation site option north of Huntsville, Texas.
The company noted that the project is one component of the broader Western Region Economic Project (WREP), which was identified by the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) in the 2015 MISO Transmission Expansion Planning (MTEP 15) Report as providing economic benefits to the MISO South Region.
The other component of the WREP involves upgrading the capacity of ETI’s existing 138-kV transmission line between the Newton Bulk and Leach substations, the company said. The Newton Bulk to Leach upgrade portion of the WREP qualifies for exemption from the CCN requirement; therefore, ETI said that it is not seeking approval for that portion of the WREP in its application.
Steel or concrete monopole structures were selected for the project due to their relatively small footprint compared to H-frame structures – two poles – or four leg steel lattice towers, ETI said.
The project is located within the Coastal Prairies and Interior Coastal Plains sub-provinces of the Gulf Coastal Plains Physiographic Region of Texas, ETI said, adding that the region is characterized by pine and hardwood forests and that elevations in the study area range from about 130 feet above mean sea level near the southern portion of the San Jacinto River to about 470 feet near the City of Huntsville. Most of the study area is in a rural setting with the exception of medium to high intensity developed urban areas associated with cities of Conroe, Huntsville, Montgomery, and Willis. ETI also said that most of the rural areas are predominantly federally managed forest lands, with pasture and rangelands interspersed, primarily throughout the northern and western rural portions of the study area in Grimes and Walker counties.
ETI said that after reviewing the results of a routing study of POWER Engineers, Inc. – which ETI retained to prepare the environmental assessment and alternative route analysis for the project – as well as a wide range of factors, that it concluded that “Route 3” is the route that best addresses certain requirements. ETI said that Route 3, for instance:
- Is the least costly of the 19 proposed primary alternative routes at about $120.5m
- Has the fourth fewest number of newly affected habitable structures – 27 – within 300 feet of the centerline
- Has the third greatest length utilizing existing transmission line right of way (ROW) at 33.93 miles
- Is tied with two other routes for having the highest percentage of utilizing or paralleling existing linear features – transmission line ROW, other existing compatible ROW, or apparent property lines or other natural or cultural features – for about 98% of its length
- Has the second shortest length across bottomland/riparian woodlands, at 1.02 miles
- Is tied with two other routes as having the second fewest number of stream or river crossings, at 57
Among other things, the company said that other factors supporting Route 3 include that the route crosses no known/occupied habitat of federally endangered or threatened species, and does not cross, nor is within 1,000 feet of, any sites listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to the estimated schedule, ROW and land acquisition would begin in September 2018, and be completed in July 2019; engineering and design would begin in August 2018, and be completed in January 2019; material and equipment procurement would begin in September 2018, and be completed in October 2019; construction of facilities would begin in November 2018, and be completed in May 2020; and the facilities would be energized in June 2020.