SPS proposes 115-kV line within Yoakum County in Texas

Southwestern Public Service (SPS), a subsidiary of Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) on Sept. 27 filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas an application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity for a proposed 115-kV transmission line within Yoakum County, Texas (Mustang to Shell CO2).

The company said that it is proposing to build and operate the single circuit line between the existing Mustang substation – which is owned by SPS – and the existing Shell CO2 substation – which is co-owned by SPS and Occidental Permian Ltd., (SPS owns the transmission facilities within the substation, while Occidental Permian owns the distribution facilities within the substation).

The line would originate at the Mustang substation, located about 0.68 mile northeast of the intersection of County Road (CR) 390 and CR 355, about five miles east of Denver City, Texas. The line would terminate at the existing Shell CO2 substation, located about 0.28 mile north-northeast of the intersection of FM 1939 and State Highway 214 and 2.5 miles north of Denver City in Yoakum County, the company added.

The Mustang substation would have a fifth 115-kV breaker and a half bay added to the south of the 115-kV bus for the new 115-kV line. The company also noted that the existing Shell CO2 substation would be reconfigured to a ring bus configuration with transformers tapped off of the main 115-kV bus.

The proposed project was identified as needed for reliability to address the overload issues of the Denver City-Mustang Substation 115-kV Circuit #1 transmission line, which could occur during an outage of the Denver City-Mustang Substation 115-kV Circuit #2 transmission line.

The Southwest Power Pool (SPP) has issued a notification to construct (NTC) for the project, which included specific endpoints of the existing Mustang substation and the existing Shell CO2 substation, the company said.

SPS noted that it is proposing one route for the proposed project, and that all directly affected landowners whose land would be crossed by the proposed line have provided written agreement to the proposed route. All but one of the directly affected landowners whose land is not crossed by the proposed route, but have habitable structures within 300 feet of the proposed route, have provided written agreement, the company said. One landowner with a habitable structure within 292.6 feet of the proposed line is unwilling to sign an affidavit agreeing to the route without payment, which is inappropriate in this instance, according to the company.

The miles of right of way (ROW) and miles of circuit would be the same for the project – about nine miles, the company said.

The study area is located within the Southern High Plains Physiographic Province, which is located west of the North-Central Plains Province and is bounded to the south by the Edwards Plateau and Basin and Range provinces, the company said. That region is described as flat with playa lakes and local dune fields, the company said, adding that the land use is predominantly rural, with numerous oil and gas fields, agricultural cropland with prominent pivot irrigation, extensive oil and gas developments, as well as some residential and commercial/industrial developments.

SPS noted that the proposed route, for instance:

  • Runs parallel to existing compatible corridors and apparent property boundaries – excluding pipelines – for 69.5% of its length
  • Has no length of ROW through bottomland/riparian woodlands
  • Has no length of ROW across mapped National Wetlands Inventory wetlands and playa lakes
  • Has no length of ROW across known habitat of federally listed endangered or threatened species
  • Crosses only one stream
  • Crosses no rivers
  • Crosses no parks/recreational areas
  • Crosses no archeological or historical sites

The proposed line would be built using primarily single-circuit, single-pole steel structures, which require a smaller surface area than H-frame structures and eliminate the need for guy wires for corner structures.

The company further noted that the proposed line would be built with double circuit capability for the first approximately 3,300 feet, west and south of the Mustang substation, in preparation for future development.

The proposed line would be built entirely on new ROW with a proposed easement width of 70 feet, the company said, adding that in some circumstances, a wider easement may be necessary, but those locations and easement widths cannot be determined until the route is approved by the PUC and surveyed.

The typical heights for the structures would be between 80 feet and 140 feet, the company said.

Among other things, the company said that the estimated total cost for the project is about $20.2m, consisting of about $9.3m for transmission facilities and about $11m for substation facilities.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3286 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares was TransmissionHub’s chief editor until August 2021, as well as part of the team that established TransmissionHub in 2011. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial from 2005 to 2011. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines.