The Public Utility Commission passed a scaled-back version of a controversial power line project through the Hill Country to bring West Texas wind energy to the urban centers on Thursday, January 20th. The commission was under a Monday deadline to act on the project.
The three-member panel spent much of that morning tweaking the routes of the lines and towers that will be built by the Lower Colorado River Authority for the project that covers portions of Schleicher, Sutton, Menard, Kimble, Gillespie, Kerr and Kendall counties.
The case had been ongoing for well over a year and was even sent back to the drawing board once due to protests from property owners concerned that the lines would mar scenic Hill Country vistas.
During PUC’s deliberations, Smitherman spoke at length on the need for affordable, reliable power – saying that the state cannot prosper without it. He also pointed out that even though the project is part of a $5 billion package called the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, the transmission lines would also be available to traditional fossil-fuel generating plant. And, there is also the potential for utility scale solar in parts of West Texas served by the new transmission lines.
- Hill Country power line seen as only option (mysanantonio.com)
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