Wind Energy Transmission Texas, LLC (WETT) on Feb. 26 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend the company’s certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Long Draw Solar Station to Long Draw Switching Station 138-kV Transmission Line in Borden County, Texas.
As noted in the filing, the proposed project is a new, single-circuit, 138-kV, 1.8-mile transmission line to be built on monopoles between a proposed 138-kV expansion of WETT’s existing Long Draw 345-kV, high-voltage switching station – which is located adjacent to Farm-to-Market 1054/Vealmoore Road in Borden County – and the proposed Long Draw Solar collector substation – which is being developed by a generator, ENGIE Long Draw Solar, LLC, about 1.6 miles south of U.S. Highway 180 and 10 miles southwest of Gail, also in Borden County.
ENGIE requested interconnection at 138 kV, and monopoles are appropriate to the project’s voltage, length, and terrain, WETT said, adding that the project’s proposed route has the unanimous agreement of impacted landowners.
The project is needed to connect ENGIE’s new 225-MW solar generation facility to the grid, WETT said, noting that ENGIE is installing the new facility and plans to build, own, and operate its own collector substation less than two miles north of WETT’s existing Long Draw switching station. WETT said that it and ENGIE entered into a standard generation interconnection agreement in August 2018 for WETT to provide transmission service to ENGIE’s new collector substation.
Based upon ENGIE’s requested interconnection voltage and other factors, the planned interconnection facilities would include a new 138-kV expansion adjacent to WETT’s existing Long Draw switching station; a 0.3-mile, 345-kV line to connect the expansion area to the existing station; and the 1.8-mile, 138-kV line to connect to the expansion area to the Long Draw Solar collector substation.
WETT also said that the project would traverse about two miles between WETT’s Long Draw switching station and a solar array on adjoining property, all in Borden County in West Texas, about 20 miles east of Lamesa. That is in the North Central Plains region of Texas, WETT said, noting that the area traversed is typical Texas High Plains scrubland/rangeland with some ridges. The project would cross Tobacco Creek and an unnamed tributary, the company said.
Among other things, WETT said that there are no known habitable structures in the study area or within 300 feet of the project’s proposed route; there is only one directly affected property owner apart from WETT. In addition, a cultural resources review found no historical or archaeological sites within 1,000 feet of the proposed route centerline, WETT said.
The estimated total cost of the transmission facilities portion of the project is about $2.2m, and about $12.4m for the substation facilities portion, WETT said.
According to the estimated schedule, right of way (ROW) and land acquisition would begin in June and be completed in August; engineering and design would also begin in June and be completed in October; material and equipment procurement would begin in August and be completed in January 2020; and construction of the facilities would begin in October and be completed in May 2020, which is also when the facilities would be energized.