Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT) has energized the last of seven 345-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 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.