Entergy Texas, Inc.’s (ETI) application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for a proposed 230-kV transmission line in Jefferson County, Texas, is approved, consistent with an unopposed stipulation and settlement agreement, according to a proposed order prepared by the Texas Docket Management Division.
According to an accompanying Dec. 19 filing submitted to the Public Utility Commission of Texas by Irene Montelongo, director of Docket Management, the proceeding was referred to the State Office of Administrative Hearings in May, and subsequently returned to the commission.
The commission will consider the docket (PUC Docket No. 47003) at an open meeting scheduled for Jan. 25, 2018, at the commission’s offices in Austin, Texas. The filing added that the parties are to file corrections or exceptions to the proposed order by Jan. 17, 2018.
According to the proposed order, ETI filed its application in April. The proposed line would connect a proposed new Garden substation, located southwest of Central Gardens, to a proposed new Legend substation, located southeast of Port Acres. The project is being proposed to alleviate power flow limitations and low voltages in the Port Arthur area, the proposed order noted, adding that the line would have a length of about 11 miles to 16 miles, depending on the final route selected.
The line is needed for purposes of maintaining reliability and is proposed to be in service before summer 2020, the proposed order said.
ETI in November filed the settlement agreement, and the parties to that agreement are ETI and commission staff, among others. As noted in the proposed order, the settlement agreement resolves all of the issues among the parties to the proceeding.
ETI filed 16 alternative routes and concluded that “Route 11” is the route that best addresses certain requirements. The proposed order added that the parties have agreed to Route 11, which is about 13.11 miles long, and would cost about $70.3m to build – including transmission and substation facilities costs.
The proposed facility supports the reliability and adequacy of the interconnected transmission system. The proposed order added that the Midcontinent ISO (MISO), as part of its transmission expansion planning (MTEP) process, reviewed the project with stakeholders and provided its approval. The project was classified as a baseline reliability project and included in MISO’s Appendix A of the MTEP 2016 study cycle.
The need for the proposed project was not in dispute in the docket, the proposed order added.
There are 60 habitable structures located within 300 feet of the proposed line along Route 11, the proposed order noted, adding that there are no parks or recreational areas within 1,000 feet of that route. Also, the route does not cross any listed or determined-eligible historical or archaeological sites. Furthermore, the proposed order noted that Route 11 is not parallel – within 100 feet – to any natural streams or rivers.
The main impact of the line on vegetation would result from clearing the right of way (ROW) of woody vegetation and mowing or clearing herbaceous vegetation. The proposed order added that no significant adverse impacts are anticipated to any aquatic habitats crossed or adjacent to the ROW for Route 11. Furthermore, the proposed line is not anticipated to result in any impacts to federally listed endangered or threatened species, the proposed order noted.
Among other things, the proposed order noted 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 the discovery is to be reported to the Texas Historical Commission.
In addition, ETI is to minimize the amount of flora and fauna disturbed during construction of the line, except to the extent necessary to establish appropriate ROW clearance for the line.
The proposed order further noted that ETI is to use best management practices to minimize the potential impact to migratory birds and threatened or endangered species.