- The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has dismissed CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric's appeal of an earlier ruling that CenterPoint must share construction of the proposed $590 million Houston Import Project, a transmission initiative. The previous ruling was handed down by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
- CenterPoint argued at the PUCT that ERCOT violated its own protocol that says the entity owning the two endpoints of a project must be that project's default provider. ERCOT had awarded portions of the Houston Import Project construction to Cross Texas Transmission (CTT) and Garland Power & Light.
- ERCOT acknowledged that CenterPoint owns the Limestone and Zenith substations where the overall transmission line begins and ends. Even so, it decided CTT and Garland should participate because construction of the Houston Import Project involves six smaller, individual projects with endpoints owned or operated by the other participants.
The Houston Import Project (HIP), scheduled to be completed by 2018, is a 130-mile, 345-kilovolt double line from the Limestone substation in ERCOT's North zone to the Gibbons Creek substation in Grimes County, and then to the Zenith substation northwest of Houston. It includes upgrades to the Limestone, Gibbons Creek, and Zenith substations and improvements to the existing T.H. Wharton-Addicks 345-kilovolt line.
CenterPoint argued that HIP is one, not six, projects and said ERCOT lacks the authority to divide it. ERCOT said it does have that authority.
ERCOT argued the substations are owned separately and they therefore comprise separable and independently operable projects. CenterPoint replied many existing lines with substations owned by different entities have been built as single projects.
The word “project” when used by engineers in a technical sense can refer to the individual transmission improvements such as substations that are parts of a larger system, according to ERCOT.