(KWES) - More counties will be powered in West Texas.The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has approved a transmission project in West Texas. This will include two new 345-KV lines that will help address future reliability concerns.
"We've been looking at West Texas for a long time now," said Leslie Sopko. "There's all these opportunities out there. This will allow those opportunities to continue to grow because we'll have that extra accommodation out there from a generation developer's standpoint."
The project was first proposed by Oncor and the American Electric Power Service in April of last year.
Oncor, AEPSC and the Lower Colorado River authority Transmission Services Corporation will be building the new power lines.
The increase in energy demand in the area is due in part to an increase in oil and natural gas exploration in the Permian Basin. A growth of eight percent has been seen in this area between 2010 and 2016.
"We continue to see a tremendous amount of load growth in West Texas," ERCOT Senior Manager of Transmission Planning, Jeff Billo said. "Based on projected load growth in this area, these new lines will be needed to support system reliability in the coming years."
The project will include a new 345-KV transmission line that will connect the Odessa and Riverton substations.
According to a press release, it will span approximately 101 miles across Ector, Winkler, Loving and Reeves counties. The second new, 345-KW transmission line will be located further south in Pecos County, spanning about 68 miles and connecting the Bakersfield and Solstice substations.
The estimated cost for these improvement projects is $336 million.
ERCOT estimates the project will be completed in the next four to five years once they get approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas.