ERCOT Board Endorses Transmission Project in Freeport, Texas
The ERCOT Board of Directors has endorsed a transmission project to help address growing electricity needs in Freeport, Texas.
"We continue to see growing demand for electricity in the ERCOT region, especially in areas affected by industrial growth and oil and gas activity," said ERCOT Senior Manager of Transmission Planning Jeff Billo.
CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, which services the Freeport region, proposed the Freeport Master Plan Project, through ERCOT’s Regional Planning Group, to help keep up with large industrial growth occurring in the area. Freeport is a highly industrialized region with several large chemical facilities and a major seaport.
Peak customer demand in the Freeport area is expected to be 92 percent higher in 2019 than it was in 2016, when the project was studied, and is expected to continue to grow through 2022, based on existing and newly committed customer agreements.
An independent analysis performed by ERCOT confirmed the project’s necessity. ERCOT analyzed five options and proposed the most cost-effective option to support future electric needs in the area.
The Board approved a series of Bridge the Gap upgrades that will occur by 2020 to maintain system reliability in the area until the long-term upgrade can be completed.
The long-term improvements, which were also included in the Board endorsement, include a new 48-mile, 345-kV transmission line from the Bailey Substation to the Jones Creek Substation and an upgrade to the 345-kV Dow-Velasco to Jones Creek circuits 18 and 27, which spans approximately three miles.
Pending approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas, these improvements are expected to be completed by 2022. The estimated capital cost for these improvements is $246.7 million.