Proposed order in Texas calls for approval of 138-kV line

The Public Utility Commission of Texas approves the application of Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative to amend Rayburn’s certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to include a new single-circuit, 138-kV transmission line within Fannin County, as modified by a unanimous agreement executed by the proceeding’s parties, according to an April 5 proposed order prepared by the commission’s Docket Management section.

As noted in an April 5 filing – included with the proposed order – to the commission from Irene Montelongo, director, Docket Management, the commission will consider the docket at an open meeting scheduled for April 27. Parties are to file corrections or exceptions to the proposed order by April 19, Montelongo said.

According to the proposed order, Rayburn last August filed the application to amend its CCN for the line between a planned substation to be built by Fannin County Electric Cooperative (Fannin) and a new tap point station located along Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s existing Valley-Paris switching station 138-kV transmission line.

The project would supply wholesale power to a delivery point at the new Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir (LBCR) pump station substation to be built by Fannin, which would be used to serve the North Texas Municipal Water District’s (NTMWD) raw-water pumping station and related facilities associated with NTMWD’s proposed LBCR.

The proposed order added that the LBCR is needed to ensure NTMWD has an additional reliable supply of water to meet its near-term needs through 2025, including during drought and other reduced-availability conditions and to provide for a portion of its projected long-term water needs through 2060.

Rayburn – which is the wholesale power provider for Fannin – would own, operate, and maintain all of the transmission line facilities, and would use single-pole structures as the preferred structure type for the project.

The proposed order also noted that the project’s agreed route, or “route D”:

  • Is the second least expensive route with an estimated cost of about $4.7m
  • Is the shortest route at 6.20 miles
  • Has the sixth fewest number of habitable structures within 300 feet of the right of way (ROW) centerline with four
  • Parallels NTMWD’s proposed water pipeline for the second greatest distance at 3.36 miles
  • Has a similar or lower environmental impact to any other route
  • Best achieves the expressed community values

The switching station needed to connect the agreed route to the Valley-Paris switching station 138-kV transmission line is estimated to cost $3.5m, the proposed order said.

There were no parks or recreational areas identified within 1,000 feet of the agreed route, the proposed order noted. Any negative impact on historical or aesthetic values of building the project on the agreed route is similar to that of building the proposed project on the other proposed alternative routes, the proposed order said.

The study area traversed by the agreed route is predominantly agricultural land, dominated by tracts of land devoted to crop cultivation, livestock grazing, and hay cultivation. The proposed order added that the study area contains limited urban development with a few isolated and rural residences scattered throughout.

There are no threatened or endangered plant species listed within Fannin County, the proposed order said, adding that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) lists the interior least tern as an endangered species in Fannin County and the piping plover and red knot as threatened species in Fannin County. However, the proposed order said, there are no known records of state or federally-listed endangered or threatened species within the study area for the proposed project according to a review of the Texas Natural Diversity Database. 

Overall, the agreed route would have similar or less impact on natural resources compared to the other routes, the proposed order said.

Among other things, the proposed order noted that the authority granted by the order is limited to a period of seven years from the date that the order is signed unless, before that time, the line is commercially 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.