TNMP seeks regulatory approval in Texas for relocation project in Collin County

As noted in the filing, Alternative Route 2 has an estimated total cost of about $6.7m

Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP) on Oct. 14 filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas an application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) for the proposed TNMP SH 121 Transmission Line Relocation Project in Collin County, Texas (Docket No. 50075).
TNMP proposes to relocate a portion of single-circuit transmission line due to the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TX DoT) widening of State Highway (SH) 121 in the Westminster area located in Collin County. TNMP added that currently, the line is located near Westminster, Texas, and runs along SH 121, beginning at the TNMP Westminster Tap Station and extends eastward for about four miles to the Westminster substation. The project is to relocate only a portion of the total line, which could be five to 12 segments, depending on the route chosen. TNMP added that the Westminster substation is within the northwest corner of the intersection of SH 121 and Farm-to-Market 2862.
TNMP noted that according to TX DoT, TX DoT is widening a 9.5-mile section of SH 121 from a two-lane rural highway to a four-lane divided rural highway with grade separations. TX DoT’s need for the expansion of that section of SH 121 is that “there have been 11 fatalities between June 2017 and October 2018 that have been reported to the statewide crash record database,” as noted in the filing.
The original line was approved in Docket 41756, TNMP noted, adding that the current docket is solely for the purpose of seeking approval for the relocation of a portion of the line due to TX DoT’s requests. The need driving the initial project in Docket 41756 was based on voltage concerns and TNMP’s decision to build the line contemporaneous with the energization of the Westminster substation that TNMP built to address usage need concerns and the growing population in the Collin County area. At the time of the initial proposed line in Docket 41756, the Westminster area was served off of circuit 12574, which was a 15-mile distribution line from TNMP’s Whitewright substation. The voltage was dropping below the minimum allowable voltage level of 118V, TNMP said, adding that TNMP’s need to serve additional load, as well as to improve service and ensure reliability to its customers in the area, including service to the Westminster Water Corporation, was also demonstrated in Docket 41756.
The miles of right of way (ROW) for the project – and of circuit – would be about 3.5 to 5.9 miles, depending on the route chosen, TNMP said.
The land uses in the area are primarily agricultural, grazing (livestock use), farming, and residential, TNMP said.
TNMP also noted that while Oncor Electric Delivery is connected to facilities in the application, the actual interconnection facilities are not part of the application.
Discussing the routing study, TNMP said that it retained HDR, Inc., to prepare the environmental assessment and routing study (EA) to support the application for a CCN for the project. HDR selected Alternative Route 2 as the route that best addresses certain requirements, TNMP said, noting that that route, for instance:
* Uses the most of the existing transmission Lin ROW, at 6,237 feet
* Is the second shortest alternative route, at 3.6 miles
* Impacts the second fewest habitable structures – 5 – located within 300 feet of its centerline
Alternative Route 2 has been agreed upon by the directly affected landowners on that route, TNMP said, adding that it is its opinion that the route provides the best balance of routing characteristics and best addresses certain requirements.
As noted in the filing, Alternative Route 2 has an estimated total cost of about $6.7m.