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New $61.6 million transmission project approved to help bring power to Williamson County

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) filed a notice with the Public Utility Commission about a Tier 3 transmission project.

AUSTIN, Texas — Oncor and Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services will build a new transmission line and substation in the East Hutto area of Williamson County.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) filed a notice with the Public Utility Commission.

ERCOT is the power grid manager for most of Texas.

Oncor’s and LCRA TSC’s filing shows the work is needed because of growth in Williamson, Bell and Milam Counties.

“This project supports load growth in Williamson County. Limmer Substation and Teal 345/138 kV Switch will be a new transmission source for the area and will help mitigate post-contingency thermal exceedances,” the State filing shows.

The KVUE Defenders reported on the need to build new transmission lines in the State and the hardship it can bring to landowners.

RELATED: 'These are our homes. This is our land.' | How Texas power regulators must balance landowner rights and public benefit

The current power grid experiences congestion when demand is high. Congestion is an overload of electric power which can cause wire breakage. 

It also increases the price for power.

The cost for the Oncor/LCRA TSC project is estimated at $61.6 million and will not require any new right-of-way, putting the project in the "Tier 3" category.

ERCOT has four tiers for transmission projects. 

Simplified, Tier 1 is a major project costing more than $100 million in construction cost and a large impact on the power grid, whereas Tier 4 would cost less than $25 million and is considered a "neutral project," such as repairs or certain upgrades on an existing system.

Everyone who received a power bill in Texas splits the cost of transmission projects in the state.

The East Hutto area project is set to be finished December 2023.


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