CenterPoint seeks approval in Texas of proposed 345-kV Bailey-Jones Creek Project

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC on Sept. 12 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend a certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed 345-kV Bailey-Jones Creek Project.

The company said that it proposes to build a new double-circuit transmission line extending from the existing 345-kV Bailey substation to the existing 345-kV Jones Creek substation, in addition to upgrades to both substations. CenterPoint noted that it would own, operate, and maintain all transmission line facilities, as well as the substation facilities.

Discussing the project’s need, CenterPoint said that it identified, and ERCOT confirmed, significant forecast load growth from industrial customers in the Freeport, Texas area served by CenterPoint. The proposed project is part of an interrelated set of improvements that are needed to maintain the reliability of the company’s service in the Freeport area, the company said. The proposed project, as part of the comprehensive set of improvements, resolves the identified loading and voltage concerns, CenterPoint noted.

The company is proposing 30 alternative routes for the line. CenterPoint also said that the typical structures for all route segments would be double-circuit, lattice steel towers with a vertical phase configuration in a 100-foot-wide right of way (ROW) for the proposed alternative route segments. Depending on the terrain and other considerations, such as the length of span between structures and clearance requirements needed to cross rivers, for instance, CenterPoint may require wider ROW widths and alternative structure types, either tubular steel poles or delta lattice steel towers.

Typical lattice steel tower height with a vertical phase configuration can range from 151 feet to 171 feet tall, depending on terrain and required National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) clearances, the company added. Typical lattice steel tower height with a delta configuration can range from 136 to 156 feet tall, depending on terrain and required NESC clearances. The company added that typical tubular steel pole height with a vertical phase configuration can range from 150 feet to 170 feet tall, depending on terrain and required NESC clearances.

The miles of ROW would be about 53.9 miles to 84.3 miles, while the miles of circuit would be about 107.6 miles to 168.6 miles, the company said.

The proposed project would travel through Brazoria, Matagorda, and Wharton counties, CenterPoint said, adding that the land uses in that area are diverse, ranging from agricultural and ranching to residential, commercial, and industrial. As the project extends east from Wharton County into Matagorda and Brazoria counties, the terrain varies from coastal plains to riparian forests, the company said.

Further discussing the project route, CenterPoint noted that POWER Engineers developed an initial base map to delineate the study area boundaries and initiate data collection activities. POWER identified “Proposed Alternative Route 5” as the route that best addresses certain requirements as that route:

  • Is the second shortest route at 55.2 miles
  • Crosses the least amount of residential land use areas with about five miles
  • Has a comparably lower number of habitable structures within 500 feet of the route centerline of all of the proposed alternative routes with 181
  • Has a high percentage parallel to existing features – 75% of its length
  • Does not have any known recorded historical or archaeological sites or National Register of Historic Places- (NRHP) listed or determined-eligible properties within the ROW

CenterPoint said that POWER also identified “Proposed Alternative Route 28” as the route that best meets certain requirements while not crossing state-owned property based on such criteria as that route:

  • Is one of the shorter routes at 57.8 miles
  • Has a moderate number of habitable structures – 275 – within 500 feet of its centerline
  • Avoids and minimizes potential impacts to community values while environmental integrity is maximized

CenterPoint said that it concurred with the selection of Proposed Alternative Route 5 as the route that best addresses certain requirements. However, the company said, if the commission prefers not to approve a route that crosses state-owned property, CenterPoint identified Proposed Alternative Route 28 as the route that best meets certain requirements of those routes that avoid state-owned property.

According to the filing, Proposed Alternative Route 5 has an estimated total cost of about $481.7m, and Proposed Alternative Route 28 has an estimated total cost of about $575.3m.

According to the estimated schedule as noted in the application, ROW and land acquisition would begin in September 2019 and be completed in December 2020; engineering and design would begin in September 2019 and be completed in September 2020; material and equipment procurement would begin in March 2020 and be completed in September 2021; and construction of the facilities would begin in January 2021 and be completed in April 2022, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3235 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.