AUSTIN -- On Wednesday, the Board of Directors for the Lower Colorado River Authority approved a $949 million business plan for the 2019 fiscal year, in addition to approving $368 million for capital spending for energy, water and public service projects to support growth in Texas.
As the primary wholesale provider of electricity throughout Central Texas, the LCRA is one of the largest electric transmission services providers in the state. It manages the six Highland Lakes and lower Colorado River.
“We are dedicated to serving as the region’s premier public utility provider and fulfilling our mission of enhancing the lives of Texans,” said LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson. “The priorities outlined in these business and capital plans reflect that and keep us on the path of providing vital services safely and reliably.”
LCRA said its wholesale power financial measures remain strong in its business plan, expecting to fund all expenditures for wholesale power capital projects not through debt but through revenue.
It's Transmission Services Corporation plans for capital spending to reach about $296 million in the 2019 fiscal year, and over the next five years intends to invest about $1.2 billion to build and improve transmission facilities.
Over the next fiscal year, the LCRA TSC plans to take on a list of projects that will address electric transmission system reliability, respond to Electric Reliability Council of Texas system needs, meet projected area load growth, respond to existing customer needs and connect new generators to the system.
LCRA said it will also continue to make investments to increase water supplies throughout the region amid forecasts suggesting a growing water demand. Some of those projects include beginning operations at the Arbuckle Reservoir in early 2019 -- the first new water supply reservoir the lower Colorado River basin has seen in decades. The reservoir could add up to 90,000 acre-feet of firm water to the region's supply.
LCRA also plans to move forward with permitting and design of the Griffith League Ranch groundwater project.
Additionally, the group will plan about $126 million in capital spending for water projects over the next five years and will continue to focus on dam rehabilitation projects, including projects at Mansfield and Buchanan dams.
“With the fiscal year 2019 business and capital plans, we are crystallizing our vision of supporting this growing state and continue to work to provide excellent customer service when providing these diverse and important services,” said Timothy Timmerman, chair of the LCRA Board of Directors.