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USA: Utilities to spend nearly $8.7 billion on inmprovements: ERCOT

Published at: Jan 16, 2012
source: Platts
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The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Monday that utilities and independent transmission companies plan to spend nearly $8.7 billion on transmission improvements within the ERCOT region over the next five years.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said Monday that utilities and independent transmission companies plan to spend nearly $8.7 billion on transmission improvements within the ERCOT region over the next five years.

ERCOT said in a statement that the planned projects are expected to improve or add 6,693 circuit miles of transmission lines and 17,336 megavolt amperes of autotransformer capacity to the grid. The projects include the more than 2,300 miles of 345-kV and 138-kV "competitive renewable energy zone" transmission additions that are scheduled to be in service by the end of 2013; those projects alone are expected to cost a total of some $5 billion, ERCOT said.

Plans for new and improved lines are detailed in the "Electric System Constraints and Needs Report" that ERCOT filed at the Public Utility Commission on Friday, ERCOT said. The non-CREZ projects planned for the 2012-16 period include eight projects to build or improve 345-kV lines, as well as several projects on 138- and 69-kV lines.

ERCOT said during the 2010-11 period, transmission providers in ERCOT completed construction and improvements to 966 miles of transmission lines and added more than than 5,000 MVA of autotransformer capacity at an estimated capital cost of $870 million. The largest project completed in 2011, it said, was a 173-mile, 345-kV line in South Central Texas.

The reliability council said that since 1999 more than 8,500 miles of new transmission lines have been built in ERCOT at a cost of about $6.6 billion. The region now has 40,530 miles of high-voltage lines, including 9,249 miles of 345-kV lines and 19,565 miles of 138-kV lines.

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