Electric Transmission Texas (ETT) on Oct. 12 filed with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas an application to amend its certificates of convenience and necessity for the proposed Bakersfield to Red Barn Double-Circuit and Red Barn to Waymark Single-Circuit 345-kV transmission line in Pecos County, Texas.
ETT said that it is proposing to design and build a new 345-kV transmission line in Pecos County to interconnect two proposed solar facilities. The proposed transmission line would be built as a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line, starting from the existing Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC) Bakersfield 345-kV substation, located about 0.60 mile west of Farm-to-Market (FM) Road 1901 in eastern Pecos County, and then heading eastward to the RE Maplewood LLC Red Barn substation, where one circuit of the double-circuit 345-kV transmission line would terminate and then continue as a single-circuit 345-kV transmission line to the east, and then north before terminating at the Midway Solar LLC Waymark substation, located about 0.80 mile south of Co-op Road in eastern Pecos County.
The proposed project is designed to connect two new transmission service customers, RE Maplewood LLC and Midway Solar LLC into the LCRA TSC Bakersfield substation. ETT added that Maplewood Solar has requested ETT to interconnect at its to-be-constructed Red Barn substation at 345 kV to provide interconnection service to its proposed 500-MW solar farm generation, while Midway Solar has requested ETT to interconnect at its to-be-constructed Waymark substation at 345 kV to provide interconnection service to its proposed 182-MW solar farm generation.
The proposed line would be certificated as a double-circuit 345-kV transmission line for the section between the LCRA TSC Bakersfield substation and the RE Maplewood LLC Red Barn substation, and then the section between the RE Maplewood LLC Red Barn substation and the Midway Solar LLC Waymark substation would be certificated as a single-circuit 345-kV transmission line.
ETT also said that the total miles of right of way (ROW) for the “Consensus Route” is 3.94 miles long.
ETT noted that the miles of circuit for the double-circuit portion of line from the LCRA TSC Bakersfield substation to the Red Barn substation is 3.92 miles. The miles of circuit for the single-circuit portion of line from the Red Barn substation to the Waymark substation is 1.98 miles, ETT said, adding that the total miles of circuit for the project is 5.90 miles.
ETT noted that it would also install new 345-kV breakers and associated termination equipment at the LCRA TSC Bakersfield station, as well as SCADA and other system monitoring equipment at the Red Barn and Waymark substations.
The project would generally be built using single-pole steel structures, ETT said, noting that the typical single-circuit structure would be between 107 feet to 122 feet in height, while the typical double-circuit structure would be between 130 feet and 195 feet in height.
The area traversed by the line is located in the Balconian Biotic Province, near its junction with the other two biotic provinces within the Southern High Plains region of Texas, ETT said. No incorporated cities or unincorporated communities are located within the remote and isolated study area, which is predominantly shrubland and has experienced a moderate degree of alteration due to large solar farm development, transportation corridors, and existing electric transmission lines, ETT said.
According to the estimated schedule, construction of the facilities would begin on Jan. 2, 2018, and be completed on March 31, 2019, with the facilities energized from April 30, 2018, to March 31, 2019.
Among other things, ETT noted in its application that the estimated cost of the total project is about $15.5m – that is, about $9.7m for “Consensus Route” transmission facilities costs; about $4.4m for LCRA TSC Bakersfield station terminations costs; about $672,000 for Waymark Collector substation termination costs; and about $748,000 for Red Barn Collector substation termination costs.