ETTs routing options for the project range from approximately 138 miles to 188 miles in length, connecting an existing ETT substation near Laredo with an existing substation north of Edinburg. The estimated cost of the routing options range from approximately $265 million to $365 million.
Costs associated with expanding the existing substations and adding two new substations along the line are expected to total approximately $75 million.
The new transmission line from Laredo to the Edinburg area will cross portions of Webb, Zapata, Jim Hogg, Brooks, Starr and Hidalgo counties. ETT plans to construct the transmission line on steel single-pole structures, an approach overwhelmingly supported by landowners attending open houses held earlier this year.
In October 2011, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ERCOT board determined that the project is critical for the reliability of the ERCOT system and, specifically, the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
ETT is a joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, two of the largest utilities in the United States. The joint venture acquires, constructs, owns and operates transmission facilities within ERCOT, primarily in and around the AEP Texas Central Company and AEP Texas North Company service territories.