The use of existing infrastructure for two portions of wind transmission lines in the Hill Country was okayed by Public Utilities Commissioners at their public meeting last Wednesday in Austin.
But, for opponents of plans to transfer wind-generated energy in West Texas to metropolitan centers in the state, concerns still exist about the line planned to run from McCamey D (near Eldorado) to Kendall (near Comfort) and how that will affect Gillespie County landowners.
Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE) President Robert Weatherford addressed recent developments in the complex issue at a public meeting of approximately 150 people last night at the Farm Bureau Event Center.
State Representative Doug Miller (R-New Braunfels), among those attending the meeting, acknowledged that the process of fighting wind turbines and transmission lines has already been “a long process” but “thanks to your diligence you have worked together to get your voices heard, and I think it has had an effect.”
He reminded those in attendance that “the job is not over, but I wanted you to know how much I care and support you in the process.”
PUC commissioners should have orders to sign within the week, directing the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) and Oncor to make modifications in existing infrastructure rather than build new lines from Kendall to Gillespie K-G) and Gillespie to Newton (G-N) that will handle wind energy transmission.
Those modifications would be completed by the end of 2013 and would save at least $136 million over the initial costs estimated by LCRA for new lines, Weatherford said.
He emphasized that, while the PUC voted Nov. 10 to accept the recommendations on the K-G, G-N lines and is expected to sign off on the plan before the Thanksgiving holidays, it is not a “done deal” until the stipulations are signed.
Attention is then expected to turn to the McCamey D-to-Kendall segment (M-K) – specifically, what route the line will take and what will be the nature of the lines and towers on that route.
For more on this story, read this week’s print and online editions of the Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post.
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