Notice of approval highlights Texas regulators’ approval of Oncor’s 138-kV project

The Public Utility Commission of Texas approves Oncor Electric Delivery Company’s application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for a 138-kV transmission line within Winkler County, according to a July 30 notice of approval signed by Irene Montelongo, director, Docket Management.

Regulatory staff recommends approval of the application, the notice said.

According to the notice, Oncor proposes to build the new double-circuit transmission line on double-circuit-capable structures between the proposed Dune Switch station – located about three miles south of State Highway 302 and about nine miles west of Notrees – and Oncor’s existing Wink-Yukon 138-kV transmission line, located about two miles south of the proposed Dune Switch station.

The project also includes construction of that Dune Switch station, the notice said, adding that that work may include dead-end and other structures, transformers, grading, fences, and other equipment, as well as modifications at the loop connection point on the existing line.

Discussing the need for the project, the notice said that a new 138-kV, double-circuit transmission line on double-circuit structures is needed to interconnect a new solar generation facility built by Phoebe Energy Project, LLC, with a projected maximum peak output of 250 MW. Phoebe plans to be build, own, and operate its own substation just east of Oncor’s proposed Dune Switch station.

Oncor and Phoebe in February executed the ERCOT standard generation interconnection agreement to provide transmission service associated with Phoebe’s new substation, the notice added.

Oncor proposed one route, which is about two miles long and directly affects two landowners. The notice also said that AECOM Technical Services – which prepared the project’s environmental assessment – analyzed one proposed route in developing the assessment because Phoebe and Oncor have reached agreement with all affected landowners to acquire the necessary rights of way for the project. Commission staff recommends approval of the project along the proposed route.

The notice also said that the estimated cost of the project for transmission line facilities along the proposed route is about $2.9m. The Dune Switch station and tap point work is estimated to cost an additional approximate $4m.

No parks or recreational areas owned by a government body or an organized group, club, or church, were identified as being located within 1,000 feet of the centerline of the proposed route, the notice added. Also, there are no recorded cultural resource sites identified as being crossed by the proposed route, and no sites are located within 1,000 feet of the centerline of the proposed route. The notice also said that the project will have minimal impact on recreational and park areas, as well as minimal impact on historical values.

Among other things, the notice said that the commission limits the approval granted by the notice to a period of seven years from the date that the notice is signed unless, before then, the line is commercially energized.

Also, in the event that Oncor 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, the notice said that Oncor is to use best management practices to minimize the potential impact to migratory birds and threatened or endangered species.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3056 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.