Oncor seeks approval of 138-kV line in Loving County, Texas

Oncor Electric Delivery Company on March 28 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application for a certificate of convenience and necessity for the proposed Kyle Ranch Substation-Quarry Field Switch 138-kV Transmission Line Project.

The new single-circuit line would be built on double-circuit-capable structures between the proposed Kyle Ranch substation and the proposed Quarry Field switch station, both of which would be built in Loving County, Texas. The proposed Kyle Ranch substation is located west of County Road (CR) 300, about five miles southeast of the intersection of Farm-to-Market (FM) 652 and CR 300, Oncor added, noting that the proposed Quarry Field switch is located west of CR 300, about five miles north of the intersection of FM 652 and CR 22.

The proposed project also includes construction of the Quarry Field switch station and half of the Kyle Ranch substation. Oncor added that the other half of the Kyle Ranch substation construction is included with the proposed Riverton-Kyle Ranch 138-kV Line (Docket No. 49304).

Discussing the need for the proposed project, Oncor noted that ERCOT’s Regional Planning Group (RPG), Technical Advisory Committee, and Board of Directors have recommended approval of the Far West Texas Project 2 as a Tier 1 transmission project. ERCOT found voltage violations under NERC Standard TPL-001-4 reliability criteria, and in its independent review of the Far West Texas Project 2, ERCOT recommended construction of the Quarry Field switch station on the Wink-Riverton 138-kV line, as well as construction of a new Kyle Ranch-Riverton 138-kV line.

Oncor added that ERCOT also analyzed the proposed Kyle Ranch-Quarry Field 138-kV Line as a project already in-place in order to serve new loads, since it is considered a Tier 4 neutral project under ERCOT protocols. Thus, ERCOT’s recommended solution contemplated creation of a 138-kV loop between the Quarry Field switch, Kyle Ranch substation, and Riverton switch, Oncor said.

The company also said that it continues to experience load growth in West Texas due to oil and natural gas production, mid-stream processing, and associated economic expansion in the area referred to as the Delaware Basin. In order to meet that need, a new line in Loving County is being proposed to connect the Quarry Field switch station to the Kyle Ranch substation. The new line, Oncor added, in conjunction with the proposed Riverton-Kyle Ranch 138-kV line – currently pending in Docket No. 49304 – would create a new 138-kV transmission circuit between the Quarry Field switch station and the Riverton switch station, located in Reeves County, as envisioned in ERCOT’s approval of the Far West Texas Project 2.

The length of the line ranges between about 12.4 miles to 20.5 miles, depending on which route the commission selects.

Oncor also said that it retained Halff Associates, Inc., to prepare the environmental assessment and routing study. The company noted that it ultimately selected Route 11 as the route that best addresses certain requirements. As noted in the filing, Route 11 has an estimated total transmission line cost of about $16.8m, and an estimated total project cost of about $32.7m, which includes the estimated substation facilities cost of about $15.9m.

Oncor noted that the project area is situated in a relatively remote portion of Loving County, and that no incorporated cities, unincorporated towns, or communities are located within the project area. Nearly the entirety of the study area consists of rural, undeveloped land used primarily for livestock grazing or oil and gas production. Oncor added that residential and commercial development are scarce as CR 300 and CR 22 represent the few public roads within the study area.

Among other things, Oncor said that according to the estimated schedule, engineering and design would begin in June and be completed in January 2020; right of way (ROW) and land acquisition would begin in July and be completed in July 2020; material and equipment procurement would begin in October and be completed in August 2020; and construction of the facilities would begin in March 2020 and be completed in September 2020, which is also when the facilities would be energized.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 2807 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 13 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 corinar@pennwell.com.