by Kelso King, Grid Monitor
On September 6, 2018, Sharyland and LP&L filed a joint application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for a CCN to build a new, single-circuit 345-kV transmission line on double-circuit capable structures. The transmission facilities are needed to integrate LP&L into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region under option 4ow, as authorized by the Commission in Docket No. 47576. The line would 56 to 66 miles in length, depending on the route selected. The estimated construction costs of the filed routes ranged from approximately $85.6 million to $99.4 million, excluding total station costs, estimated at $8.3 million.
On April 30, 2019, Sharyland and LP&L filed an unopposed settlement agreement resolving all issues, including approval of stipulated Route 4a (SR-4a). SR-4a is 58.2 miles in length. The transmission facilities along SR-4a are estimated to cost $88.9 million. Upgrades to the Abernathy station are estimated to cost $6.4 million, while upgrades to the Ogallala station are $1.9 million. SR-4a adds an additional $1.0 million to the cost of the transmission facilities along alternative Route 4, the route Sharyland and LP&L determined best addresses the legal requirements and the PUCT’s rules.
Prior to the August 29, 2019 Open Meeting, Chairman Walker filed a memo requesting that parties be present at the Open Meeting to provide clarification on several issues:
• ownership of the Ogallala and Abernathy substations under CCN number 30158.
• apparent inconsistency between certain Findings of Fact (FOF) regarding Oncor’s construction, ownership, operation, and maintenance of the transmission line facilities.
• additional changes to clarify the Finding of Facts because Sharyland no long holds each of the stated CCNs.
At its September 12, 2019 Open Meeting, after receiving additional evidence and supplemental testimony, the Texas PUC agreed to the settled transmission line, Route 4a. Total cost for the transmission facilities and related upgrades total close to $100 million. Commission Advising was directed to draft a revised order consistent with the Chairman’s memo and the Commission’s discussion.
The Commission approved the CCN without discussion at its September 26, 2019 Open Meeting.