La Palma - KingfisherTransmission Improvements Project


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AEP Texas and Sharyland Utilities representatives plan to improve the transmission network in the San Benito region. Following Texas' winter storms in February 2021, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) determined the need for transmission improvements. The proposed line strengthens the electric system by providing a second source of power, decreasing the likelihood and duration of wide, community-sustained outages.

The project:

  • Provides an additional transmission line and substation, adding resiliency against severe weather events
  • Establishes a second power line to ensure customers continue to receive power if the other area transmission line experiences an extended outage

Project Updates

AEP Texas and Sharyland Utilities officials hosted public open houses in March and April 2022 at the San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum. Landowners were invited to view detailed maps and talk with project team members about the proposed study segments.

Company representatives filed a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) following a review of public input on route link development and additional route analysis on June 29, 2022.

Regulatory Updates

AEP Texas Inc. (AEP Texas) and Sharyland Utilities, L.L.C. (Sharyland) (collectively, Applicants) are proposing to construct a new La Palma to Kingfisher 345-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Line Project (Project) in Cameron County, Texas. The Project is planned as a double-circuit capable 345-kV transmission line with one circuit installed initially. The Project will begin at the existing AEP Texas La Palma 345-kV Station, which is located in the City of San Benito approximately 0.80 mile south of United States Highway Business 77 and approximately 0.30 mile southeast of Farm-to-Market Road (FM) 1846. The new transmission line will extend southeast until it reaches the proposed new Sharyland Kingfisher 345-kV Station, to be located on the west side of County Road 315 (Casey Road) approximately 0.80 mile south of FM 510 and approximately 0.73 mile southeast of FM 510.

On June 29, 2022, the Applicants filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC or Commission) in Docket No. 53727 - Joint Application of AEP Texas Inc. and Sharyland Utilities, L.L.C. to Amend Their Certificates of Convenience and Necessity for the La Palma to Kingfisher Double-Circuit 345-kV Transmission Line in Cameron County (Application).

In September 2021, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) determined that additional transmission facilities were needed to be constructed pursuant to PURA §§ 35.005(b) and 39.203(e), to ensure safe and reliable electric service in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. On October 14, 2021, the PUC issued an order in Project No. 52682 that required AEP Texas and Sharyland to develop a CCN application for approval to construct transmission facilities to ‘close the loop from Palmito to North Edinburg’. The order required that the application be filed with the PUC no later than June 30, 2022. The present application described above that has been filed is the AEP Texas and Sharyland response to that order.

The Applicants have proposed 19 alternative transmission line routes in their Application for the PUC’s consideration. The routing options for this Project range from approximately 4.35 miles to 10.91 miles in length. The estimated cost of the routing options ranges from approximately $30.122 million to $56.238 million. Applicants plan to construct the transmission line on steel single-pole structures within a typical right-of-way approximately 150 feet wide.

All routes and route links that make up these routes filed in the CCN Application are available for selection and approval by the PUC.

Over 400 landowners were identified by Applicants that could potentially be impacted by a route or routes presented for the PUC to consider. These landowners were noticed on June 29, 2022. In this notice information was provided on the Project and material and documents provided as necessary for the directly impacted landowner to participate in the proceeding at the PUC. It is expected that the PUC will make the final decision on the final route to be constructed in January 2023.

The interactive map provided on this web-site provides the routing links that were included in the CCN Application. You can look at the routes with different backgrounds as you desire to view. Seven Landownership maps were also filed in the CCN Application and are provided on this website to assist users to look at routing information in additional detail if desired.

Routes were filed that consist of the link combinations as shown in the following table; however, the PUC has the ability to develop a different route using these link combinations.

Additional information on the proceeding can be found at https://interchange.puc.texas.gov by entering the docket number 53727 in the Control Number entry panel.

If you have any additional questions you can provide them using the contact form at the bottom of this page, or you can call an Applicant representative at (866) 506-2477.

Project Maps

Timeline

Project Timeline

Structures

Structure

AEP Texas and Sharyland Utilities plan to use steel monopoles.

  • Typical Height: 155 feet*
  • Typical Distance Between Structures: 700 - 800 feet*
  • Typical Right-of-Way Width: 150 feet*

*Exact structure type, heights, right-of-way widths and spacing may vary based on location

Resources

Virtual Open House Project Fact Sheet Access Roads Field Activities

AEP Texas serves more than 900,000 electric consumers in the deregulated Texas marketplace.

www.AEPTexas.com

Sharyland Utilities is a Texas-based electric transmission utility that owns and operates transmission assets in the Lower Rio Grande Valley region of Texas.

www.Sharyland.com

AEP Texas Project Team
1-866-506-2477

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