- The CenterPoint Energy electric utility will apply for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) to build the Brazos Valley Connection, the southern half a 130-mile, 345-kV transmission line to serve the burgeoning electricity demand of the City of Houston.
- Pending approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), the 60 mile or 78 mile line would cost between $276 million and $383 million and add approximately $0.25 to the average 1,000 kwh per month Centerpoint Energy customer’s monthly bill.
- Scheduled to be complete by mid-2018, the line is categorized by the Texas grid operator as critical to maintaining electricity reliability for Houston, which is expanding rapidly and created the third most metro area jobs in the U.S. in 2014.
CenterPoint Energy submitted a study to the the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Regional Planning Group in July 2013 proposing the line to meet the critical need of the Houston Region. ERCOT endorsed the plan in April 2014.
Representatives from CenterPoint Energy and POWER Engineers, Inc. held four public meetings between October and December 2014 to describe the proposed line and gather information that was used to develop the Routing Study and Environmental Assessment filed with CenterPoint’s application for the CCN.
Because the project has been designated critical by ERCOT, the PUCT must decide on the application, PUC Docket No. 44547, within 180 days.
The construction process will begin with surveying, to determine the exact right-of-way. That will be followed by clearing of impeding vegetation. After the concrete foundations are installed, steel lattice towers or steel poles will be erected. That will be followed by stringing of conductors and static wires. Outages are not anticipated. Cleanup and restoration operations will complete construction.
Cross Texas Transmission will build the Houston Import Project’s northern portion.