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Texas Transmission Siting Process (8-TX-a)

Transmission line siting is handled by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). Any new transmission line will require a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN). However, minor modifications and maintenance to an existing transmission system may not need a CCN.


Transmission Siting Process Process

8-TX-a.1 - Provide Notice to Affected Land Owners, Utilities, Localities

Notice should be given to all entities potentially affected by new transmission lines or changes to the service area.


8-TX-a.2 - Contact Locality, Obtain Consent/Permit if Necessary

If transmission lines will be sited through the jurisdiction of a local government, the developer will need to obtain any necessary permits or consent in order to complete an application for a CCN or to qualify as a "routine activity." E.g., Rule 25.101(c)(5)(A)(ii).


8-TX-a.3 - Is the Transmission Considered "Routine Activity?"

A Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, or certificate amendment, is not required for routine activities associated with transmission facilities that are conducted by transmission service providers. PUCT Substantive Rule 25.101.


8-TX-a.4 - Report to PUCT

Routine activities must be reported to the PUCT in accordance with PUCT Substantive 25.83. The commission may require additional facts or call a public hearing thereon to determine whether a certificate of convenience and necessity is required.

According to Rule 25.101(c)(5), the following are defined as "routine activities":

(A) The modification or extension of an existing transmission line solely to provide service to a substation or metering point provided that:
(i) an extension to a substation or metering point does not exceed one mile; and
(ii) all landowners whose property is crossed by the transmission facilities have given prior written consent.
(B) The rebuilding, replacement, or respacing of structures along an existing route of the transmission line; upgrading to a higher voltage not greater than 230 kV; bundling of conductors or reconductoring of an existing transmission facility, provided that:
(i) no additional right-of-way is required; or
(ii) if additional right-of-way is required, all landowners of property crossed by the electric facilities have given prior written consent.
(C) The installation, on an existing transmission line, of an additional circuit not previously certificated, provided that:
(i) the additional circuit is not greater than 230 kV; and
(ii) all landowners whose property is crossed by the transmission facilities have given prior written consent.
(D) The relocation of all or part of an existing transmission facility due to a request for relocation, provided that:
(i) the relocation is to be done at the expense of the requesting party; and
(ii) the relocation is solely on a right-of-way provided by the requesting party.
(E) The relocation or alteration of all or part of an existing transmission facility to avoid or eliminate existing or impending encroachments, provided that all landowners of property crossed by the electric facilities have given prior written consent.
(F) The relocation, alteration, or reconstruction of a transmission facility due to the requirements of any federal, state, county, or municipal governmental body or agency for purposes including, but not limited to, highway transportation, airport construction, public safety, or air and water quality, provided that:
(i) all landowners of property crossed by the electric facilities have given prior written consent; and
(ii) the relocation, alteration, or reconstruction is responsive to the governmental request.

8-TX-a.5 - Compile Alternate Route Options and Analyze Efficiency Options in Lieu of New Lines

Texas requires submittal of alternative route options as well as analysis of the usefulness of demand-side management and distributed generation in lieu of new lines.

According to Rule 25.101(b)(3)(B):

The following factors shall be considered in the selection of the utility’s alternative routes unless a route is agreed to by the utility, the landowners whose property is crossed by the proposed line, and owners of land that contains a habitable structure within 300 feet of the centerline of a transmission project of 230 kV or less, or within 500 feet of the centerline of a transmission project greater than 230 kV, and otherwise conforms to the criteria in PURA §37.056(c):
(i) whether the routes utilize existing compatible rights-of-way, including the use of vacant positions on existing multiple-circuit transmission lines;
(ii) whether the routes parallel existing compatible rights-of-way;
(iii) whether the routes parallel property lines or other natural or cultural features; and
(iv) whether the routes conform with the policy of prudent avoidance

8-TX-a.6 - Initiate CCN Process

A CCN, or certificate amendment, is required for new electric transmission lines. All new electric transmission lines must be reported to the PUCT in accordance with PUCT Substantive Rule §25.83.

The following must be met for a transmission line in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power region. The applicant must present an economic cost-benefit study that includes an analysis that shows that the levelized ERCOT-wide annual production cost savings attributable to the proposed project are equal to or greater than the first-year annual revenue requirement of the proposed project of which the transmission line is a part. Indirect costs and benefits to the transmission system may be included in the cost-benefit study. The PUCT will give great weight to such a study if it is conducted by ERCOT.

This requirement for an economic cost-benefit study does not apply to an application filed pursuant to 25.174 for a transmission line that is intended to serve a competitive renewable energy zone. This requirement also does not apply to an application for a transmission line that is necessary to meet state or federal reliability standards, including: a transmission line needed to interconnect a transmission service customer or end-use customer; or needed due to the requirements of any federal, state, county, or municipal government body or agency for purposes including, but not limited to, highway transportation, airport construction, public safety, or air or water quality. PUCT Substantive Rule 25.174.

Certificate of Convenience and Necessity:
7-TX-c

8-TX-a.7 - Negotiate with Land Owner/Managing Agency

Once siting is approved the developer will have to negotiate with the land owner/managing agency for any lease or right of way needs.




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