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Wind lines headed for Hill Country

Kerr County may soon play a part in transmitting wind energy from West Texas and the Panhandle to other parts of the state. But what it will take to transport the "green" energy may have some Hill Country residents seeing red. Four companies have shown interest in building a large, double circuit 345-kilovolt transmission line for the Public Utility Commission of Texas project. ... According to Robert Weatherford, president of Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment Inc., another transmission line might be in the works.

Kerr County may soon play a part in transmitting wind energy from West Texas and the Panhandle to other parts of the state. But what it will take to transport the "green" energy may have some Hill Country residents seeing red.

Four companies have shown interest in building a large, double circuit 345-kilovolt transmission line for the Public Utility Commission of Texas project.

A PUC route known as Scenario 2, which was approved in July, has transmission lines running from McCamey in Schleicher County to a substation in Comfort. The lines will touch the northeastern corners of Kerr County and run between Tierra Linda and Kerrville near Interstate 10.

The route has the lines then going up through Gillespie, Llano and into Lampasas counties.

Lower Colorado River Authority, the primary supplier of electricity for Kerr County residents, is among the four transmission service providers that have filed a non-binding initial statement of interest with the PUC. Other companies include Lone Star Transmission LLC, CPS Energy in San Antonio and Trans-Elect.

The PUC schedule requires that the companies file binding proposals by Sept. 12. The selection of a transmission service provider that will build... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Kerr County may soon play a part in transmitting wind energy from West Texas and the Panhandle to other parts of the state. But what it will take to transport the "green" energy may have some Hill Country residents seeing red.

Four companies have shown interest in building a large, double circuit 345-kilovolt transmission line for the Public Utility Commission of Texas project.

A PUC route known as Scenario 2, which was approved in July, has transmission lines running from McCamey in Schleicher County to a substation in Comfort. The lines will touch the northeastern corners of Kerr County and run between Tierra Linda and Kerrville near Interstate 10.

The route has the lines then going up through Gillespie, Llano and into Lampasas counties.

Lower Colorado River Authority, the primary supplier of electricity for Kerr County residents, is among the four transmission service providers that have filed a non-binding initial statement of interest with the PUC. Other companies include Lone Star Transmission LLC, CPS Energy in San Antonio and Trans-Elect.

The PUC schedule requires that the companies file binding proposals by Sept. 12. The selection of a transmission service provider that will build each line segment then is expected to be complete by early 2009.

Once selection is complete, the company then will detail the line routing, obtain right-of-ways through either negotiation or eminent domain and then begin building the lines.

The lines are expected to be in operation in the next four to five years at a cost of about $4.9 billion. The transmission lines will transmit a total of 18,456 megawatts of wind power to metropolitan areas of the state.

The project began in 2005 when the Texas legislature passed a bill directing the PUC to select the most productive wind zones in the state and devise a transmission plan to move power generated from these zones to various populated areas in the state.

The Electrical Reliability Council of Texas, the agency which oversees the state's electric grid, then did a study and picked five "competitive renewable energy zones" in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Additional line

According to Robert Weatherford, president of Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment Inc., another transmission line might be in the works.

"There now is a company that is approaching landowners in Gillespie and Kerr counties about the possibility of a line that appears to be an additional line," Weatherford said. "There are a lot of landowners that are concerned about it."

Weatherford said the company is known as Hilliard Energy Inc. and is out of Midland. He said they appear to be working for FPO Energy and its project has nothing to do with the wind energy project.

For more on energy projects in the Hill Country visit www.soshillcountry.org.


Source: http://www.dailytimes.com/s...

AUG 25 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/16729-wind-lines-headed-for-hill-country
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