AEP Texas seeks approval of approximately 9.44-mile transmission line

AEP Texas Inc., on Nov. 20 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed Rio Hondo to Majadas 345-kV Transmission Line in Cameron and Willacy counties in Texas.

As noted in the filing, the proposed project is designed to connect a new transmission service customer, Las Majadas Wind Farm, LLC, which has requested AEP Texas to interconnect at its to-be-built Majadas substation at 345 kV to provide interconnection service to its planned 272.8-MW capacity wind farm in Willacy County.

The proposed line would be built between the existing AEP Texas Rio Hondo switch station, located in Cameron County, southwest of the County Road (CR) 1599 and CR 611 (Searcy Ranch Road) intersection, to the proposed Majadas substation, located in Willacy County, southeast of the CR 5012 (Dos Reales) and CR 550 intersection, about 2.5 miles north of the Cameron-Willacy County Line (CR 800).

The Majadas substation would be owned by Las Majadas Wind Farm, LLC.

The company also said in its filing that the proposed line would be about 9.44 miles long from the location of the dead end structure just inside the proposed Majadas substation to the existing Rio Hondo switch station, and would require a 150-foot-wide right of way (ROW).

The project would be built using single-pole steel or concrete structures, the company said, adding that typical structures would range in height between 110 and 140 feet above grade.

While no percent of ROW has been acquired for the new line, written consent documents have been obtained from all impacted landowners for the route filed in the application, the company said. The area traversed by the line is located in the Tamaulipan Biotic Province, where thorny brush is the predominant vegetation type, the company noted. No incorporated cities or unincorporated communities are located within the study area, which is predominantly cropland and pastureland/rangeland, the company said, adding that the study area has experienced a moderate degree of alteration due to wind farm development, transportation corridors, and existing electric transmission lines.

The estimated total cost of the transmission facilities portion of the project is about $18.9m, while the substation facilities portion is about $3.2m, the company said.

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

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2930 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.