‘Bury the Lines’ deliberation in Frisco

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In West Frisco, the electric provider anticipated to file a request to construct a 12-story power lines.

Inhabitants first found out about the preposition to build transmission lines along either the west Frisco part Stone brook Parkway or Main Street in summer 2013.

Over a year later, after inspection of alternate routes and a few deliberations, the preposition being prepared for submission to the Public Utility Commission of Texas is similar with one exception- the suggested two routes include choices for both overhead and underground power lines.

CoServ Electric’s power supplier named Brazos Electric Cooperative which provides electricity to Frisco inhabitants and establishments is anticipated to submit the certificate of convenience and necessity between December and January. Once submitted, the inhabitants and officials have 45 days to present their comments to the PUCT. If the power lines will be built overhead or underground, the PUCT is given a year to decide. CoServ officials uttered that the final decision is out of their hands.

Bruce Boutilier, CoServ’s senior director of customer operations and government affairs uttered that ‘’ “The only control CoServ has had in this process is working with Brazos to see to it that there is an underground choice included in the CCN filing,” “The [PUCT] makes the decision’’.

 

Underground or Overhead

In July 2013, the proposal for transmission lines and a substation to give more power in Frisco Little Elm and The Colony was proposed.

After inhabitants and city officials objected, CoServ and Brazos have consumed the past year working to determine potential alternate routes; however all were in the end discounted. Main and Stonebrook, inhabitants worried about decreasing home values and aesthetics health and safety problems constitutes the West Frisco Homeowners’ Coalition.

The union joined forces with the Collin County Association of Realtors to organize a “Bury the Lines” campaign. The Frisco City officials and council members supported the organizations.

WFHOC President Kendall Meade uttered, “This is a one of a kind situation where the government, the inhabitants and the elected officials all want the same thing—to bury the [power] lines,” With its intention to develop Main and Stone brook, the city of Frisco is opposing overhead transmission lines. The Frisco city manager’s assistant said the existing traffic needs show a desire for additional lanes.

As funds permit, both roads are anticipated to be widened from four lanes to six lanes. The city built the roads so the lane extensions can take place inside the median. There is also a proposal for Water transmission line.

Brezina uttered, “Placing in overhead power lines would impact and prevent our capacity to add those two lanes [on Stonebrook and Main],” He said the city will “do whatever it needs to do” to collaborate with Brazos if the lines can be constructed underground. “We would speed up construction or even [build] water lines and infrastructure,” Boutilier mentioned that the Brazos CCN including underground and overhead choices for the west Frisco situation is “different and one of a kind”

CoServ Senior Vice President of Energy Services Curtis Trivitt uttered that a lack of other route options along with a relatively increasingly populated community led to the underground choice.He also added that usually underground projects are not considered mainly because they are more expensive than overhead lines.

Brezina uttered for the Frisco transmission line proposal it can cost$31.5 million to bury the lines and $3.5 million to construct overhead lines. She also added that maintaining the lines overhead in west Frisco, would impact more people than a standard power line project in a less populated community.There are about 240 homes within 300 feet of the suggested power lines along Main Street and currently 117 within 300 feet of the suggested lines on Stonebrook—it could be as high as 600 residences by build-out. Bury the lines is the only logical solution.

Project regulatory coordinator for Brazos Electric named Richard Chambers uttered that with all the 16 distribution union that composed the Brazos Electric system, CoServ’s area has seen the biggest amount of recent development. “ Mainly because of the high development in CoServ’s service area, mixed with the rebound that followed a downturn in the economy, the requirement for more capacity become intense’’. Chambers uttered ‘’ Unlike 5 years ago there is now a large increase in the workload.

Citing statistics from the Frisco Economic Development Corp named Trivitt said that Frisco from 2000 to 2013 developed by 296 percent. Little Elm found a 610 percent development and The Colony developed by 47.8 percent. Trivitt said historically CoServ’s power load has multiplied every six to seven years.

 

Maintaining pace with growth

“That’s tremendous development—this kind of development is what keeps us awake at night, thinking about it,” Trivitt said. “We are blessed by being in a district that is growing and powerful however it’s can also be a curse because it’s an intermittent challenge for us t o try to stay ahead of it.” CoServ, through two-year, five-year and long-term proposals, does an equal act between giving power when and where it is needed while justifying spending its customers’ dollars to the PUCT.

Trivitt said that “ We like to be ahead of the load development, however not too far ahead that we make businesses prematurely. One example of a balancing act is the Stonebrook/Main program. In 2009, CoServ originally determined the eventual necessity for more power in west Frisco, Little Elm and The Colony. He mentioned that “2008 is when we begun into the recession,”“When the load development decreased when we were in the economic downturn, we post-poned moving forward with that substation. As soon as we recovered from the recession, the growth returned with retribution. We put it on the front burner two years ago.” Trivitt added in a developing area like Frisco, power necessities can change remarkably– with a lot of recent declaration of development along the Dallas North Tollway, which has been coined by the EDC as the $5 billion mile.

Trivitt added “The $5 billion mile—that’s a game-changer from our proposing point of view. There will most probably have to be more distribution facilities constructed and perhaps substation upgrades to serve the numerous proposed projects.

 

 


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