SAN ANGELO, Texas – The route for a controversial set of electricity transmission lines through the Hill Country was approved Thursday by the Texas Public Utility Commission, according to a news release from the Lower Colorado River Authority.
“No route satisfies all interests, but this route can be successfully, safely and reliably constructed by LCRA TSC,” said LCRA General Manager Tom Mason according to the release, which was issued after the close of business Thursday evening. The river authority is the agency that will build the project.
The 140-mile line, expected to cost between $330 million and $350 million to build, will carry power generated by West Texas wind farms to high-demand areas in the I-35 corridor. It will follow a path starting in northern Schleicher County at McCamey going south to Junction, then southeast along I-10 to Kerrville.
The project was the subject of several public meetings and numerous interventions as Hill Country residents protested the possibility that their landscapes might be spoiled by a line of large lattice transmission towers.
“The process, while challenging for the parties, allowed the Hill Country’s values to be carefully weighed in this important decision,” Mason said according to the release. “As a result, the route selected by the PUC follows Interstate 10 for a great distance, uses monopoles near the cities of Junction and Kerrville and uses property of willing landowners where possible.”
Many of those who attended open houses and returned surveys called for the use of monopoles rather than lattice towers as being less intrusive.
The information was not available on the PUC website as of Thursday night.
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