Oncor seeks approval of Riverton Switch-Kyle Ranch Substation 138-kV line in 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 Riverton Switch-Kyle Ranch Substation 138-kV Transmission Line Project.

The single-circuit line would be built on double-circuit-capable structures between the existing Riverton switch in Reeves County, Texas, and the proposed Kyle Ranch substation in Loving County, Texas. The existing Riverton switch is located three miles southeast from the intersection of U.S. Highway 285 and Farm-to-Market (FM) 652, Oncor added. The proposed Kyle Ranch substation is located west of County Road 300, about five miles southeast of the intersection of FM 652 and CR 300 in Loving County. 

Oncor also said that the project includes modifications at the Riverton switch station and building half of the Kyle Ranch substation. Construction of the other half of the Kyle Ranch substation is included in the proposed Kyle Ranch-Quarry Field 138-kV Line (Docket No. 49302). Oncor added that that work may include dead-end structures, transformers, grading, and fences.

The length of the line ranges between about 15.2 miles and 16.9 miles, depending on which route the commission selects, Oncor said. The project area is situated in a relatively remote portion of Loving and Reeves counties, the company said, adding 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, the company said. Residential and commercial development are scarce as US 285 and FM 652 represent the few public roads within the study area, Oncor said.

Discussing the need for the project, Oncor noted that construction of the project was reviewed by stakeholders and endorsed by ERCOT through the ERCOT Regional Planning Group (RPG) Project Review Process as a component of the Far West Texas Project 2. ERCOT performed power flow studies as part of the ERCOT RPG process and found voltage violations under NERC Standard TPL-001-4 reliability criteria. As part of ERCOT’s approved solution, creating a new 138-kV connection from the Quarry Field to Kyle Ranch to Riverton stations was recommended to meet reliability needs, Oncor added.

The Far West Texas Project 2 was approved by the ERCOT RPG and has received approval by the ERCOT Technical Advisory Committee and the ERCOT Board of Directors. Oncor added 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 is being proposed to connect the Kyle Ranch substation to the Riverton switch station. Oncor added that that new line, in conjunction with the proposed Kyle Ranch-Quarry Field line – currently pending in Docket No. 49302 – will create a new 138-kV transmission circuit between the Quarry Field switch station, located in Loving County, and the Riverton switch station as envisioned in ERCOT’s approval of the Far West Texas Project 2.

The Quarry Field switch station is the future site for a dynamic reactive device (DRD) and the Riverton switch station is the future site for a future 345-kV injection, both of which are referenced in the ERCOT-approved Far West Texas Project 2, Oncor said. Creating a new electrical connection between those two points would result in a 138-kV system that would become more networked and allow bi-directional flow in the area, ultimately allowing the voltage support from the DRD and the 345-kV injection to address the reliability concerns during outage conditions, the company said.

Oncor noted that it retained Halff Associates, Inc., to prepare the environmental assessment and routing study. Oncor said that it selected Route 7 as the route that best addresses certain requirements.

According to the filing, Route 7 has an estimated total transmission line cost of about $19.2m, and an estimated total project cost of about $22.2m, which includes the estimated substation facilities cost of about $3m.

Among other things, the company 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 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.