PUCT closer to OK of Round Rock-Leander transmission line route

The Public Utilities Commission of Texas could make a decision this month on the route for proposed transmission lines running from Round Rock to Cedar Park and Leander.

The Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corp. submitted 31 possible routes for a proposed 138-kilovolt line to the state utility commission in April 2016. Of the 31 routes, the LCRA identified one that runs mainly along FM 1431 and Sam Bass Road as the route that “best addresses” the PUCT’s criteria for placing the line.

PUC options The Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corp. submitted 31 routes to the Public Utilities Commission of Texas.[/caption]

The LCRA is looking to build the line to connect two existing power substations—one in Round Rock and one in Leander—to two proposed substations—one in Cedar Park and one in Leander. LCRA officials have stated the line is needed to address the growing demand for electricity in the area.

The cities of Cedar Park, Leander and Round Rock previously passed resolutions recommending the line be placed on a route along FM 1431, just as part of Route 31 is. Cedar Park and Leander also recommended an alternative route along Arterial H. The three cities, as well as Williamson County, filed as intervenors in the case last year.

According to documents from the city of Leander, approximately 95 people or entities filed as intervenors and turned in position statements, or prefiled direct testimony, in the case. The PUCT staff and intervening parties also identified seven alternative routes, raising the total number of routes to be considered to 38.

The LCRA referred the case to the State Office of Administrative Hearings last year, and an administrative law judge issued a proposal for decisions recommending a transmission line route March 22. The judge recommended route COL-1, which runs along CR 175.

The PUCT commissioners will consider approval of the route at their May 4 meeting. According to the city of Leander, the utility commission often deliberates over two meetings, and a second meeting is scheduled for May 18.

According to the LCRA’s application, right of way and land acquisition could start in May, and construction on the facilities could begin in January 2019.


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