"We are extremely pleased that the ERCOT Board has endorsed this critical project," said Hunter Hunt, President of Sharyland Utilities.
"For too long, the transmission needs of the eastern portion of the Rio Grande Valley have not been addressed, and severe load interruptions during storms and extreme weather events are a direct result. Today, ERCOT's endorsement gives Sharyland and BPUB the opportunity to finally bring relief to the Brownsville region."
"For Brownsville, the Cross Valley project not only brings needed reliability to the region, but also an opportunity to ensure economic growth," said John S. Bruciak, General Manager and CEO of the BPUB. "With this project, we can finally provide the electric infrastructure necessary to serve normal demand growth and to attract new industrial customers to the Port of Brownsville."
As endorsed by ERCOT, the Cross Valley project will require the construction of a new double circuit 345 kilovolt kV line, which will travel approximately 106 miles beginning at an existing substation in north Edinburg, heading south toward south McAllen and Mission, and then heading east to the existing Loma Alta substation located in east Brownsville. The project will also require the construction of a new 138 kV line, which will run approximately 12 miles between the Palo Alto substation in Brownsville to the La Palma substation near Harlingen.
Sharyland and BPUB have been studying the project for over two years and jointly proposed the Cross Valley project back in May 2011. Sharyland and BPUB have been working diligently over the past nine months to shepherd this project through the ERCOT review process. Sharyland and BPUB look forward to working with all stakeholders over the coming months as they prepare an application to the Public Utility Commission of Texas PUCT to amend Sharyland's Certificate of Convenience and Necessity CCN to approve the project.
Sharyland and BPUB expect the project to be completed and in service by the beginning of 2016, assuming final approval by the PUCT.