Sharyland, LP&L seek approval for 345/115-kV line in Hale, Lubbock counties in Texas

Sharyland Utilities, L.P., and the City of Lubbock (Texas), acting by and through Lubbock Power & Light (LP&L), on Feb. 19 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas a joint application for a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed Abernathy to North to North Loop 345/115-kV Transmission Line in Hale and Lubbock counties in Texas.

As noted in the application, the commission designated Sharyland and LP&L to provide the transmission facilities included in “Option 4ow,” the transmission plan authorized by the commission in a separate docket (Docket No. 47576) for the integration of a portion of LP&L’s load into the ERCOT system, including the transmission line proposed in the Feb. 19 joint application.

The commission in March 2018 approved LP&L’s proposal to transition a large portion of its system and load from the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) grid to the ERCOT grid under the transmission interconnection plan developed by ERCOT known as Option 4ow. The application added that the commission also designated Sharyland and LP&L to provide the transmission facilities needed to interconnect LP&L’s system to ERCOT.

LP&L and Sharyland are joint applicants for all of the CCN applications related to the overall integration of LP&L into ERCOT.

Under the final order in Docket No. 47576, the joint applicants are required to coordinate and reach agreement on which entity would build and operate the transmission facilities included in Option 4ow, the application added. Subsequently, the joint applicants reached an agreement apportioning, among other things, responsibility for construction and ownership of the Option 4ow facilities, including for the transmission line proposed in the Feb. 19 joint application. The application added that under that agreement, Sharyland would be responsible for the engineering, design, right of way (ROW) acquisition, material procurement, and construction of the Option 4ow facilities.

The joint applicants have agreed to allocate ownership of the Option 4ow facilities based on a 50/50 split of the cost to build the facilities and complete LP&L’s transition to ERCOT. The application also noted that as a result of that agreed allocation, Sharyland would own certain facilities, LP&L would own certain facilities, and the joint applicants would apportion between themselves ownership of other facilities.

For the LP&L-owned facilities, LP&L would pay Sharyland for the costs of building those facilities as Sharyland incurs those costs. After construction, Sharyland would be responsible for testing, commissioning, and energizing the 345-kV facilities in coordination with LP&L, and LP&L would be responsible for testing, commissioning, and energizing the 115-kV facilities, in coordination with Sharyland, the application added.

For the LP&L-owned facilities, Sharyland would transfer full possession to LP&L upon energization and satisfaction of certain other conditions, including LP&L’s payment to Sharyland of all amounts due. The application also said that LP&L and Sharyland have agreed that, until the transfer occurs, each entity has an ownership interest in the LP&L-owned facilities.

Under the joint applicants’ agreement, the transmission line proposed in the Feb. 19 joint application is included in the LP&L-owned facilities. Sharyland would engineer, design, acquire ROW for, procure material for, and build the line. The application added after construction, Sharyland would be responsible for testing, commissioning, and energizing the 345-kV facilities in coordination with LP&L, and LP&L would be responsible for testing, commissioning, and energizing the 115-kV facilities in coordination with Sharyland. Upon energization and satisfaction of certain other conditions, LP&L would solely own and operate the line.

Accordingly, the application added, the joint applicants request that the commission:

  • Grant Sharyland CCN rights to build the Abernathy to North to North Loop 345/115-kV transmission line and to the extent necessary, to perform or coordinate the testing, commissioning, and energization of the facilities, CCN rights to provide service and operate the facilities until possession of the facilities is completely transferred to LP&L
  • Grant LP&L CCN rights to indirectly build the portion of the line that is outside its municipal boundaries

The project would connect Sharyland’s Abernathy station, located north of the city of Abernathy in Hale County, with the northern portion of LP&L’s planned 115-kV transmission line loop – the north loop – at either LP&L’s X-FAB Station or LP&L’s Northwest station on the north side of the city of Lubbock in Lubbock County.

The application added that the project would be routed through one of three alternative locations for the proposed North station, located in Lubbock County.

The project would be about 22.4 to 32.4 miles long, depending on the route approved by the commission. The application also said that the 345-kV segments of the project would be built on a combination of monopole and lattice tower structures within a typical ROW about 175 feet wide, while the 115-kV segments would be built on monopole structures within a typical ROW about 60 feet wide.

According to the filing, depending on the route selected by the commission, the estimated cost for the project ranges from about $69.5m to $88.6m, including costs to build the North station and modify the Abernathy station, as well as either the X-FAB station or Northwest station to accommodate the project.

According to the application, the study area of the project encompasses about 289 square miles in Hale and Lubbock counties, and includes the cities of Abernathy, Lubbock, New Deal, and Shallowater. The application said that most of the study area is in a rural setting with the exception of the areas in and near the cities of Abernathy, Lubbock, New Deal, and Shallowater. Land use within the study area is predominantly cropland and most habitable structures in the study area are associated with rural ranch properties, which would be considered low intensity development.

The project would interconnect with the proposed North station, a new station, at a location either along the north loop – North Option 3 – or several miles north of the loop – North Option 1 or North Option 2. The application added that the North station, at any of the three locations, would convert the 345-kV source from the Abernathy station to the 115-kV feed needed to connect to the north loop – at the X-FAB station or Northwest station – as contemplated by Option 4ow.

According to the estimated schedule, ROW and land acquisition would begin in February 2020 and be completed in November 2020; engineering and design would begin in November and be completed in July 2020; material and equipment procurement would also begin in November and be completed in September 2020; and construction of the facilities would begin in July 2020 and be completed in June 2021, which is also when the facilities would be 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.