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May 24, 2019

Texas PUC Chairman unwilling to modify transmission route for future development

by Kelso King, Grid Monitor
Source – Grid Monitor
Posted 05/23/2019

In their Proposal for Decision (PFD), the Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) recommended approval of Route 12 for various reasons, including it was the second least costly route ($35.7 million), sixth shortest (18.3 miles); utilized paralleling; better addressed reliability concerns ; impacts fewer habitable structures than LCRA’s recommended route; and avoids Atmos’ and Key Energy’s business, operational, and safety concerns.

Burleson County Judge Mike Sutherland noted that this is an important project for the area and supported the transmission line with certain routing requests. In addition to other justifications, he informed the PUCT that a developer recently announced plans to build 100 homes in this residential growth corridor, which would be negatively impacted by the recommended route.

Chairman Walker stated that this order was going to have to be rewritten anyway, to be more consistent with the style of the PUCT’s current orders, and was going to take more time. However, she noted that she was not open to changing precedent, that future development, as opposed to current development, is not going to be a basis for PUCT decisions, adding that, otherwise, they would always be chasing themselves on these things, that someone on the other side would likely come in and say they have a development too.

The commissioners decided to defer a decision in this case and asked the parties to try to reach a mutually agreeable solution in the meantime.

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