AEP Texas Inc., on Dec. 17 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas a joint proposed notice of approval that calls for the commission to amend the AEP Texas certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to build and operate the Tardis to Benjamin Tap 138-kV Transmission Line Project in Knox County, Texas.
Commission staff agreed to the joint proposed notice of approval, the company said in a motion to admit evidence.
As noted in the motion, AEP Texas in October filed its application for approval to amend its CCN for the proposed line. AEP Texas said that it and staff are the only parties in the docket and that no party requested a hearing on the merits. Based on AEP Texas’ application and staff’s Dec. 6 memorandum recommending approval of the application, AEP Texas and staff jointly propose that the notice of approval be approved, the company said.
As noted in the joint proposed notice of approval, AEP Texas proposed one route in the application that is 1.74 miles long; the two landowners directly affected by the line agreed to the proposed route.
The project estimated cost for the transmission line is about $3.3m and about $6.3m for the Tardis switching station, according to the joint proposed notice.
Discussing the need for the proposed project, the joint proposed notice said that the area north of the City of Aspermont is served by Brazos Electric Power Cooperative 69-kV transmission lines with AEP Texas 138-kV sources in the Aspermont and East Munday substations. In addition to the communities in that area, the load is primarily related to oil field pumping and is forecast to increase in the next several years.
The joint proposed notice added that studies have shown that adequate voltage cannot be maintained during an outage of a 138/69-kV autotransformer in either Aspermont or East Munday, or the respective Brazos Electric 69-kV transmission line when another system component in the area is out of service (N-1-1). The electrical system is intended to be operated N-1 secure, making maintenance in the area problematic. A maintenance outage of any of those system components will result in the need for load shedding so that N-1 security can be maintained, the joint proposed notice added.
ERCOT determined that transmission addition, including this project, were necessary to resolve the reliability issues, the joint proposed notice said.
Among other things, the joint proposed notice said that there are no parks or recreation areas owned by a government body or an organized group, club, or church that are crossed by or within 1,000 feet of the centerline of the proposed route. The line would have no adverse impact on parks and recreational areas.
Similarly, the joint proposed notice said that the line would have no adverse impact on historical or archaeological areas.
Discussing environmental integrity, the joint proposed notice said, for instance, that protected avian species such as the interior least tern, may occur in the study area as a rare non-breeding migrant. AEP Texas would adhere to Avian Power Line Interaction Commission standards to minimize the attractiveness of the line for perching and nesting, the filing noted, adding that no significant impacts to unique, sensitive, or protected wildlife habitats are anticipated.
The joint proposed notice also said that AEP Texas must use best management practices to minimize the potential impact to migratory birds and threatened or endangered species.