Texas regulatory staff recommend approval of 115-kV line

Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas staff on Nov. 29 recommended approval of Southwestern Public Service’s (SPS) application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to build the Mustang to Shell CO2 Project, which is an approximately nine-mile, single-circuit, 115-kV transmission line in Yoakum County, Texas.

The application is complete and meets all applicable statutory criteria and filing requirements, staff said, adding that it recommends that approving the application would serve the public interest and is necessary for the service, accommodation, convenience, and safety of the public.

Staff further recommended that SPS be ordered to build the project on the proposed route, subject to certain measures to mitigate construction impacts set forth by Tom Sweatman of the PUC’s Infrastructure and Reliability Division.

As noted in a Nov. 16 memorandum from Sweatman to Eleanor D’Ambrosio of the Legal Division, SPS filed the application in September.

The measures to mitigate construction impacts include that in the event that SPS 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 the discovery is to be reported to the Texas Historical Commission.

Also, SPS is to minimize the amount of flora and fauna disturbed during construction of the line, except to the extent necessary to establish appropriate right of (ROW) way clearance for the line.

Sweatman also said that, among other measures, SPS is to cooperate with directly affected landowners to implement minor deviations in the approved route to minimize the impact of the line.

Describing the project, he noted that the line would connect the Mustang and Shell CO2 substations, which are located in Yoakum County. The Mustang substation is located about 0.68 miles northeast of the intersection of County Road (CR) 390 and CR 355, about five miles east of Denver City, Texas. The Shell CO2 substation is located about 0.28 miles north-northeast of the intersection of FM 1939 and State Highway 214 and 2.5 miles north of Denver City, Sweatman added.

SPS is proposing one route for the project, and 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, Sweatman added. One landowner with a habitable structure within 292.6 feet of the proposed line was unwilling to sign an affidavit agreeing to the route without payment, Sweatman said.

SPS stated that that landowner was being sent notice of the application, along with all of the directly affected landowners, on the date of the filing of the application. Sweatman also noted that that landowner did not file an intervention by the intervention deadline.

The proposed construction would consist of about nine miles of 115-kV single-circuit line built on single-circuit, self-supporting steel single-pole structures with a height of 80 feet to 140 feet and a width of ROW of about 70 feet, wider in some circumstances, as well as modifications and upgrades to both substations, with the exception of the first 3,300 feet origination from the Mustang substation, which would consist of double-circuit capable towers.

The project is estimated to cost about $9.3m, Sweatman added.

Among other things, he noted that the proposed line was identified as a reliability project by the Southwest Power Pool’s Aggregate Facility Study Report dated December 2013.

Generating facilities owned by Golden Spread Electric Cooperative (GSEC), known as the Mustang plant, are connected to the Mustang substation. Sweatman also noted that planned additions to the GSEC Mustang plant require additional transmission capacity from the substation – the proposed line would provide that capacity.

In addition, Sweatman said that 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 the outage of the Denver City-Mustang Substation 115-kV line Circuit #2 transmission line.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3058 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.