Texas regulatory staff recommends approval of 138-kV line in Bexar County

Staff noted that it submitted evidence supporting the choice of “Route P” as the route that best meets the statutory and regulatory criteria because that route is, for instance, the 14th least costly of the 39 alternative routes with a cost of about $43.4m

Public Utility Commission of Texas staff on May 28 filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, calling for the regulatory approval of CPS Energy’s proposed Scenic Loop 138-kV Transmission Line in Bexar County, Texas.

As noted in staff’s filing, CPS in July 2020 filed with the commission an application to amend its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) in order to build, own, and operate a new double-circuit 138-kV transmission line in Bexar County.

The new line would connect a new load-serving electric substation — the Scenic Loop substation — located in the vicinity of the intersection of Scenic Loop Road and Toutant Beauregard Road in northwestern Bexar County to the existing Ranchtown to Menger Creek 138-kV transmission line to the west.

Staff added that the project would be built on double-circuit, 138-kV, steel monopole structures for typical tangent, angle, and dead-end structures. CPS identified “Route Z” in its application as the route that best addresses certain requirements, staff said, adding that that route was functionally replace by “Route Z1” with the filing of an amended application.

Staff noted that it submitted evidence supporting the choice of “Route P” as the route that best meets the statutory and regulatory criteria because that route:

  • Is the 14th least costly of the 39 alternative routes with a cost of about $43.4m
  • Has 17 habitable structures within 300 feet of the centerline, which is tied for the fourth fewest of the 39 alternative routes
  • Is the ninth shortest route of the 39 alternative routes, at 4.89 miles
  • Is the 12th best proposed alternative route utilizing existing compatible right of way and property lines at 71% of its total length

Among other things, staff said that CPS must consult with pipeline owners or operators in the vicinity of the approved route regarding the pipeline owners’ or operators’ assessment of the need to install measures to mitigate the effects of alternating current interference on existing natural gas pipelines paralleled by the electric transmission facilities.

In addition, staff said that in the event that CPS encounters any archaeological artifacts or other cultural resources during construction, work must cease immediately in the vicinity of the artifact or resource.

Furthermore, staff said that before starting construction, CPS must undertake appropriate measures to identify whether a potential habitat for endangered or threatened species exists and must respond as required.

Photo Credit: ID 3959781 © Tomasz Jabłoński | Dreamstime.com
About Corina Rivera-Linares 3263 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 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 clinares@endeavorb2b.com.