The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) on May 3 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas recommendations concerning a proposed 138-kV transmission line in Borden County.
As noted in the filing, Wind Energy Transmission Texas, LLC (WETT) is proposing to design and build the line, which would interconnect ENGIE Long Draw Solar, LLC’s new collector substation and generation facility to the electric grid.
The approximately 1.8-mile transmission line would be built between the existing Long Draw 345-kV switching station and the proposed Long Draw Solar collector substation using single-circuit steel monopole structures within a 100-foot right of way (ROW), the TPWD said.
The routing of the proposed line was agreed to by WETT and the sole other landowner, whose property is crossed by the line. The TPWD added that WETT also proposes to design and build 0.3 miles of new 345-kV transmission line on its own property to connect the existing Long Draw 345-kV switching station to the proposed Long Draw 138-kV expansion area.
As only route was presented in the EA, the TPWD is unable to recommend a preferred route.
The TPWD also said that it recommends that any commission certificate preclude vegetation clearing activities during the general bird nesting season, March 15 through Sept. 15, to avoid adverse impacts to birds.
The TPWD said that it also supports a biological monitor being present during construction to relocate Texas horned lizards, if found. Noting that a mixture of cover, food sources, and open ground is important to the Texas horned lizard and harvester ant, the TPWD said that disturbed areas within suitable habitat for the Texas horned lizard should be revegetated with site-specific native, patchy vegetation instead of sod-forming grasses.
As TransmissionHub reported, 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, 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.