Austin, Texas, September 26, 2011 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas board of directors endorsed and deemed "critical to reliability" a 345-kV transmission project proposed by Electric Transmission Texas from the Laredo area into the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
ETT's proposed transmission project includes construction of about 163 miles of 345-kV transmission lines that will connect ETT's Lobo Substation near Laredo with substations north of Edinburg. The cost of the project is estimated at about $300 million.
The ERCOT board recommendation also endorsed the need for AEP Texas to reconductor two existing 345-kv lines and upgrade substation facilities at an additional anticipated cost of $225 million.
The need for transmission improvements was reinforced during the February rolling outages throughout the state. On the morning of Feb. 2, ERCOT called for firm load to be shed across the grid. The AEP Texas share of the load shed was 380 MW.
After the resumption of normal activities, the Valley continued to face the possibility of outages due to severe weather. On the evening of Feb. 3, AEP Texas shed 300 MW of load in the Valley as a result of the loss of a generator and transmission import limitations.
Construction of the line also should further improve transmission reliability in the Laredo area.
ETT anticipates filing a CCN application from the PUCT in 2012 with completion of the project envisioned for 2016. ETT will develop potential routes and conduct environmental studies prior to scheduling open houses to discuss the project with landowners.
ETT acquires, constructs, owns and operates transmission facilities within the ERCOT, primarily in and around the AEP Texas Central Co. and AEP Texas North Co. service territories.