Transmission Plan Proposed for Texan Renewable Energy Zones

Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT), a proposed joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power (AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, filed a transmission proposal with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) for the construction of approximately 1,000 miles of transmission lines to support development of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in Texas.

“There is a critical need to expand the Texas electric transmission grid,” said Calvin Crowder, ETT executive director. “Our proposal includes phased development of a high-voltage, high-capacity transmission backbone for ERCOT that will allow Texas to capture the long-term value of wind energy resources that are located in remote areas of the state — and quickly interconnect those renewable resources to the load centers in the south, central and north-central parts of the state. Our proposal takes the process to the next level by also outlining a 21st century vision for the growth of the Texas transmission grid.” The first two stages of the proposal focus on ensuring sufficient transmission capability to meet anticipated renewable energy needs. Stage One would reinforce the ERCOT transmission grid, providing access for up to eight gigawatts (GW) of existing and planned renewable energy projects in north and central West Texas. Stage Two would support an additional two GW of renewable energy projects. The combined cost of these two stages is estimated to be approximately $3 billion, with completion of Stage One anticipated by 2012 and Stage Two by 2015, based upon AEP’s experience with past transmission projects in Texas. “The third stage of the proposal, a visionary plan to establish an extra high-voltage bulk power delivery system, is much longer-term in scope and conceptual in nature. Planning must begin now, however, to ensure the future viability of the ERCOT grid,” Crowder emphasized.
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