Lyntegar Electric Cooperative seeks approval in Texas to build transmission line

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Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, in its Nov. 24 application filed with Texas state regulators, said it intends to secure a certificate of convenience and necessity and amendment to its existing certificate to build a new 138-kV transmission line in Dawson County, Texas.

The line will be designed and operated at 138 kV and will be a radial tap extending north from the recently built West Lamesa substation. The project, which originates at a dedicated bay in the West Lamesa substation, is to be built in the ERCOT service area, LEC added. The new line will begin on the existing termination tap structure outside the West Lamesa substation.

The proposed line will provide service to the proposed North Lamesa substation, which will be owned and operated by LEC.

LEC also said that it plans to build the line with steel or concrete single pole tangent structures and self-supporting concrete caisson mounted steel poles on all angle and dead-end structures.

The height of the typical structures is 85 feet, LEC said, adding that landowners expressed preference for single pole structures over H-Frame structures, for reasons such as land use and aesthetics. Most of the length of each route evaluated follows existing roads, fences and overhead distribution lines, LEC said.

“Route 1,” which has a total cost of about $6.6 million, entails 9.8 miles of right of way and circuit, while “Route 2,” which has a total cost of about $7.4 million, entails 11.7 miles of ROW and circuit.

LEC said that it believes that Route 1 best addresses certain requirements. As noted in the application, Route 1 originates at the West Lamesa substation, located on a two-acre tract on the southwest corner of the intersection of Highway 180 and FM 829 in Dawson County. From that substation termination pole point of origin, the route goes easterly a distance of 9,766 feet to the southwest corner of Highway 180 and County Road G, then northerly along the west side of County Road G for a distance of 5,321 feet.

LEC added that the route turns easterly a distance of 10,641 feet along the south side of County Road 17, then northerly a distance of 5,281 feet on the east side of County Road I, then easterly a distance of 5,212 feet on the south side of County Road 16, and after a slight angle crossing to the north side of County Road 16, it continues an additional 5,231 feet to the northwest corner of County Road 16 and Highway 137.

LEC also said that the route turns north a distance of 5,276 feet, crossing Highway 137 and continuing on the west side of County Road K, then easterly along County Road 15, for a distance of 5,298 feet. The route terminates at the North Lamesa substation.

LEC also said that the land in the study area typically consists of agricultural farm land and oil production.

Discussing project need, LEC said that it completed a long-range plan, which was prepared by SGS Engineering, of the system in December 2011, and that plan found that the project is needed for reliability and load growth. The area around the proposed substation is experiencing growth due to oil exploration in the area, irrigation loads, and residential and ranching growth around Lamesa, LEC said.

The proposed transmission line overcomes the insufficiencies of other options by more than doubling the available capacity in the area; improving reliability by shifting the load from a distribution metering point to a 138-kV transmission tap that is radially fed; and ensuring the cooperative a means to handle load growth in the area with additional substations, LEC said.

Among other things, LEC said that based upon the Texas Historical Commission’s reviews and clearances, no archaeological field surveys were performed for the project. LEC said its consultant JGB Consulting contacted professional archaeologist Paul Katz to conduct an online review of the project vicinity using the Texas Archeological Sites Atlas.

Katz found only one site within the immediate vicinity of the North Lamesa project area, a linear historic site that consists of a buried coaxial cable installed by AT&T in 1947-48 as part of the first transcontinental coaxial cable system, LEC said, adding that this site parallels the south side of U.S. Highway 180, as will Routes 1 and 2, both of which would be within 1, 000 feet of the cable.

However, two newer underground fiber optic lines closely parallel the historic coaxial cable, LEC said, and as Katz stated, "By avoiding the more recent fiber optic lines, the proposed project [North Lamesa] will also avoid the historic cable."

The next nearest site to the project area is a prehistoric open campsite that includes a small amount of historic trash, LEC said, noting that this site is about 0.76 mile west of the westernmost part of the project area. Of that site, LEC said that Katz stated, "This site is far enough from the project area to remain unaffected by the proposed construction activities."

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