ERCOT plans $8.7 billion in transmission projects in next five years

Austin, Texas, January 17, 2012 — Nearly $8.7 billion in transmission improvements are planned in the next five years, according to the annual transmission report from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state grid operator and manager of the wholesale electric market.

The planned projects are expected to improve or add nearly 7,000 circuit miles of transmission lines and more than 17,000 megavolt amperes (MVA) of autotransformer capacity to the grid, including the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones transmission additions that are scheduled to be in service by 2013.

The 2011 Electric System Constraints and Needs Report, filed with the Public Utility Commission, identifies existing and potential constraints in the transmission systems that pose reliability concerns or may increase costs to the electric power market and Texas consumers. 

Since 2010, ERCOT transmission providers have completed construction and improvements to about 966 miles of transmission and more than 5,000 MVA of autotransformer capacity, at an estimated capital cost of $870 million. The largest project completed last year was a 173-circuit-mile 345 kV line in South Central Texas, the Zorn/Clear Springs – Gilleland Creek – Hutto Switch.

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