ETT energizes last of seven CREZ transmission lines in west Texas

AUSTIN, Texas, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT) has energized the last of seven 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line projects associated with the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) initiative in west Texas. 

The Edith Clarke to Cottonwood transmission line was energized to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid on Dec. 4. The transmission line is 88.4 miles long and runs from the Crowell area in Foard County to the Afton area in Dickens County.  This phase of the ETT CREZ program represents approximately $175.4 million of ETT's estimated total CREZ investment of approximately $1.5 billion.     

Energizing the Edith Clarke to Cottonwood transmission line completes the last of the seven greenfield 345-kV transmission projects assigned to ETT as part of the CREZ initiative. The overall CREZ initiative involves nine different transmission service providers, including ETT, constructing 2,400 miles of transmission lines to carry 18,500 megawatts of west Texas wind generation to major load centers in ERCOT.  All CREZ projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.  ETT received the second largest assignment of CREZ projects from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

ETT, a joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, received 20 percent of the Texas CREZ initiative.  ETT's share of the CREZ project includes building approximately 460 miles of new double-circuit 345-kV lines, upgrading three 138-kV existing lines totaling 178 miles and 16 switching stations, as well as acquiring rights-of-way across 578 tracts of land and upgrading existing stations and transmission lines. It is the largest transmission construction venture in AEP's history and one of its most demanding. 

The other six 345-kV transmission lines include:

Riley to Edith Clarke – a 41.5-mile line running from the Vernon area in Wilbarger County to the Crowell area in Foard County at a cost of approximately $91.8 million

Tesla to Riley – a 65.6-mile line from the Childress area in Childress County to the Vernon area in Wilbarger County at a cost of approximately $134.5 million

Tesla to Edith Clarke – a 55-mile line from the Vernon area in Wilbarger County to the Crowell area in Foard County at a cost of approximately $98.3 million

Edith Clarke to Clear Crossing – a 79.2-mile line from the Crowell area in Foard County to the Stamford area in Haskell County at a cost of approximately $157.7 million

Clear Crossing to Dermott – a 90.1-mile line from the Stamford area in Haskell County to the Snyder area in Scurry County at a cost of approximately $189.2 million

Clear Crossing to West Shackelford – a 33.7-mile line from the Stamford area in Haskell County to the Albany area in Shackelford County at a cost of approximately $76.5 million

"This truly is an example where the theme 'teamwork and technology' applies," said ETT President Calvin Crowder.  "There were hundreds of employees and contractors from various companies and departments within the AEP organization working together to ensure that we completed these projects in advance of the 2013 year-end deadline set by the Public Utility Commission of Texas." 

In addition to assigning ETT the second largest share of the transmission projects, the PUCT also assigned ETT the largest amount of advanced technology projects associated with the CREZ initiative," Crowder added.  "Given that the ETT CREZ transmission projects are located in the center or 'backbone' of the area designated for development, ETT was charged with incorporating new technology that supports system stability as the power produced by wind generators in remote west Texas areas is carried long distances to the eastern areas of ERCOT," he said.

About ETT
ETT 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. More information about ETT can be found at www.ettexas.com.

About American Electric Power
AEP, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. AEP (www.aep.com) has extensive experience building extra-high-voltage 765-kV transmission lines and owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 40,000-mile network that includes 2,100 miles of 765-kV transmission lines, more than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

About MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company (www.midamerican.com), based in Des Moines, Iowa, USA, is a global provider of energy services. Through its energy-related businesses, MidAmerican provides electric and natural gas service to more than 7 million customers worldwide. These businesses are Pacific Power, Rocky Mountain Power and PacifiCorp Energy, comprising PacifiCorp; MidAmerican Energy Company; Northern Powergrid Holdings Company; Northern Natural Gas Company; Kern River Gas Transmission Company; MidAmerican Renewables, LLC; MidAmerican Transmission, LLC; and CalEnergy Philippines. PacifiCorp and MidAmerican Energy Company own and operate more than 20,000 combined miles of electric transmission lines.

This report made by American Electric Power and its Registrant Subsidiaries contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Although AEP and each of its Registrant Subsidiaries believe that their expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, any such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. Among the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are: the economic climate and growth in, or contraction within, AEP's service territory and changes in market demand and demographic patterns; inflationary or deflationary interest rate trends; volatility in the financial markets, particularly developments affecting the availability of capital on reasonable terms and developments impairing AEP's ability to finance new capital projects and refinance existing debt at attractive rates; the availability and cost of funds to finance working capital and capital needs, particularly during periods when the time lag between incurring costs and recovery is long and the costs are material; electric load, customer growth and the impact of retail competition, particularly in Ohio due to the February 2012 Public Utilities Commission of Ohio rehearing order; weather conditions, including storms, and AEP's ability to recover significant storm restoration costs through applicable rate mechanisms; available sources and costs of, and transportation for, fuels and the creditworthiness and performance of fuel suppliers and transporters; availability of necessary generating capacity and the performance of AEP's generating plants; AEP's ability to resolve I&M's Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 restoration and outage-related issues through warranty, insurance and the regulatory process; AEP's ability to recover regulatory assets and stranded costs in connection with deregulation; AEP's ability to recover increases in fuel and other energy costs through regulated or competitive electric rates; AEP's ability to build or acquire generating capacity, and transmission lines and facilities (including the ability to obtain any necessary regulatory approvals and permits) when needed at acceptable prices and terms and to recover those costs (including the costs of projects that are cancelled) through applicable rate cases or competitive rates; new legislation, litigation and government regulation, including oversight of nuclear generation, energy commodity trading and new or heightened requirements for reduced emissions of sulfur, nitrogen, mercury, carbon, soot or particulate matter and other substances or additional regulation of fly ash and similar combustion products that could impact the continued operation and cost recovery of AEP's plants and related assets; a reduction in the federal statutory tax rate; timing and resolution of pending and future rate cases, negotiations and other regulatory decisions, including rate or other recovery of new investments in generation, distribution and transmission service and environmental compliance; resolution of litigation; AEP's ability to constrain operation and maintenance costs; AEP's ability to develop and execute a strategy based on a view regarding prices of electricity, natural gas and other energy-related commodities; changes in the creditworthiness of the counterparties with whom AEP has contractual arrangements, including participants in the energy trading market; actions of rating agencies, including changes in the ratings of AEP debt; volatility and changes in markets for electricity, natural gas, coal, nuclear fuel and other energy-related commodities; changes in utility regulation, including the implementation of Electric Security Plans and the expected legal separation and transition to market for generation in Ohio and the allocation of costs within regional transmission organizations, including PJM and SPP; accounting pronouncements periodically issued by accounting standard-setting bodies; the impact of volatility in the capital markets on the value of the investments held by AEP's pension, other postretirement benefit plans, captive insurance entity and nuclear decommissioning trust and the impact on future funding requirements; prices and demand for power that AEP generates and sells at wholesale; changes in technology, particularly with respect to new, developing or alternative sources of generation; AEP's ability to recover through rates or market prices any remaining unrecovered investment in generating units that may be retired before the end of their previously projected useful lives; AEP's ability to successfully manage negotiations with stakeholders and obtain regulatory approval to terminate or amend the Interconnection Agreement and break up or modify the AEP Power Pool; evolving public perception of the risks associated with fuels used before, during and after the generation of electricity, including nuclear fuel; and other risks and unforeseen events, including wars, the effects of terrorism (including increased security costs), embargoes, cyber security threats and other catastrophic events.

SOURCE American Electric Power



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