Following Texas' winter storms in February 2021, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) identified the need for additional transmission lines in the Rio Grande Valley.
As part of the larger RGV Transmission Improvements Project, AEP Texas, ETT and South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC) representatives are partnering to engineer and construct the Cruce – Del Sol Transmission Improvements Project to strengthen the electric grid and help withstand weather impacts.
The Cruce - Del Sol Transmission Improvements Project involves building AEP Texas' future Cruce Substation, located southeast of Hebbronville, and approximately 55 miles of double-circuit 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission line from ETT'S Del Sol Substation, located near Rio Grande City, to the future Cruce Substation.
The Cruce to Del Sol Transmission Improvements Project will improve regional reliability and resiliency by:
Company representatives will reference public input to make necessary adjustments to the potential route links. The PUC will review the preliminary route links and consider public feedback before identifying a final route for the Cruce - Del Sol Transmission Improvements Project. Representatives plan to accept comments on the proposed route links through January 6, 2023, with multiple opportunities for in-person open houses in December. Feedback can also be submitted by contacting the project team through the website feedback form, email, phone or mail.
Join us for an open house in your area.
Open houses are set up as a workshop so you can talk with project team members, review maps and provide us with your comments. Because there is no formal presentation, you are welcome to come and go as you like, depending on your schedule.
Project representatives plan to file a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity with the PUC in spring 2023. The PUC is expected to make a decision about the project and a final line route by late 2023.
The typical structure characteristics planned are:
*Representative structure, exact height and right-of-way requirements may vary based on geography and other factors.
The current route links run through Brooks, Duval, Jim Hogg and Starr counties in Texas. Multiple potential route links will be presented to determine the final proposed routes prior to CCN filing. The companies will not build all route links; rather, they will provide multiple route options for the PUC to identify the final route. This could include a combination of the proposed route links that connect from the Cruce Substation to the Del Sol Substation.
AEP Texas, ETT and STEC implement a comprehensive siting process that strikes a balance between building infrastructure and respecting land use and the environment. All companies incorporate and review public input along with the following factors:
Similar to other linear infrastructure projects, right-of-way representatives from AEP Texas, ETT and STEC work directly with landowners to obtain the necessary land rights for the project once the PUC determines the final route.
Right-of-way agents work with landowners on the details of easements to reduce impacts on farming practices and personal land use. There also can be compensation for crop loss or damages during construction, which will be handled during one-on-one discussions with involved landowners.
Landowners and the environment will be treated with respect in constructing the new line. Property owners will be treated fairly and made whole for property encumbered by the transmission line project.
AEP Texas serves over one million consumers in the deregulated Texas retail electric marketplace.