Oncor seeks approval in Texas for 345-kV line

Oncor Electric Delivery Company on March 16 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application for a certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Odessa EHV-Riverton and Moss-Riverton 345-kV Transmission Line Project.

The proposed project is a new 345-kV double-circuit transmission line connecting Oncor’s Riverton switching station, which is currently under construction and located along County Road (CR) 440 just east of US Highway 285 in Reeves County, Texas, to:

  • Oncor’s existing Odessa EHV switching station, located near the intersection of Interstate Highway (IH) 20 and Pool Road in the City of Odessa in Ector County, Texas (referred to as the Odessa EHV-Riverton line when referenced separately from the overall proposed transmission line project)
  • Oncor’s existing Moss switching station, located northwest of the intersection of Moss Avenue and 3rd Street in Ector County, Texas (referred to as the Moss-Riverton line when referenced separately from the overall proposed transmission line project)

Oncor also noted that ERCOT last June recommended the Odessa EHV-Riverton line be built with one circuit in place. Since that time, Oncor has identified the need for a second circuit – the Moss-Riverton line – to be installed initially due to the substantial growth and load development in that area of west Texas.

Oncor noted that it has recently submitted that second circuit addition to ERCOT and will amend the March 16 application accordingly when ERCOT’s review is complete.

Further discussing the project’s need, Oncor said that the Odessa EHV-Riverton line and associated station work were reviewed by stakeholders and endorsed by ERCOT through the ERCOT Regional Planning Group process as part of The Far West Texas Project. ERCOT recommended the Odessa EHV-Riverton line as the most effective solution to meet reliability needs and provide infrastructure to accommodate future expansion. The Odessa EHV-Riverton line has also received approval by the ERCOT Technical Advisory Committee and the ERCOT Board of Directors, Oncor added.

Oncor noted that it continues to experience load growth in West Texas due to oil and natural gas production, mid-stream processing, and associated economic expansion in the area referred to as the Delaware Basin.

The proposed transmission line project includes modifications at the Riverton, Odessa EHV, and Moss switching stations. Oncor added that the Odessa EHV switching station can physically accommodate the addition of only one new circuit; therefore, modifications are necessary at the Moss switching station to accommodate the second circuit. The work at those stations may include station dead-end structures, other structures, bus work, transformers, grading, fences, and other equipment.

Oncor added that the length of the overall proposed transmission line project ranges between about 110.3 miles to 133.1 miles, depending on which route is selected by the commission. That length includes the additional 0.9 or 4.1 miles, depending on which route is selected by the commission, for the Moss-Riverton line. Oncor also said that the proposed transmission line project involves two circuits that both terminate at the Riverton switching station, and they have been consolidated in the application.

The miles of right of way (ROW) would be about 110.3 miles to 133.1 miles, while the miles of circuit would be about 220.6 miles to 266.2 miles. Oncor also said that the width of the ROW would be 160 feet, and that 11.9% to 14.6% of the ROW has been acquired.

The project area is located in parts of Crane, Ector, Loving, Reeves, Ward, and Winkler counties in Texas, Oncor said, adding that the project area includes the incorporated cities of Goldsmith, Kermit, Monahans, Pyote, Thortonville, Wickett, and Wink. The eastern limit of the project area also contains a portion of the City of Odessa. Oncor added that the project area also includes such unincorporated communities as Mentone and West Odessa.

The project area generally centers east of the Pecos River in west Texas, near the southeastern corner of the New Mexico state boundary. Most of the project area consists of rural, undeveloped land used primarily for oil and gas production, livestock grazing, and/or irrigated crop production, Oncor added.

Oncor noted that it retained Halff Associates to prepare the environmental assessment and alternative route analysis for the Odessa EHV-Riverton project; Halff also prepared the addendum to the environmental assessment related to the second circuit addition for the Moss-Riverton line.

Oncor said that it selected “Route 1180” as the route that best addresses certain requirements. According to the filing, Route 1180 has an estimated total project cost of about $223.6m – that is, about $199.7m in transmission line cost, and about $23.8m in substation facilities cost. The filing also noted that Oncor estimates the additional cost to install the second circuit during the construction of the Odessa EHV-Riverton 345-kV line to be $32m – included in the proposed project estimate.

No significant impacts to the use or enjoyment of the parks and recreation facilities located within the study area are anticipated from any route, Oncor said. Also, there are no sites within 1,000 feet of the centerline of the alternative routes that have been recorded in the National Register of Historical Places, Oncor said.

According to the estimated schedule, ROW and land acquisition would begin in September 2018, and be completed in September 2019; engineering and design would begin in December 2018, and be completed in December 2019; material and equipment procurement would begin in August 2019, and be completed in February 2020; and construction of the facilities would begin in January 2020, and be completed in December 2020, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

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.