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​Proposed 345 kV Transmission Line:
Wharton, Brazoria, and Matagorda Counties

To meet growing electricity demand in the Freeport, TX area, CenterPoint Energy has proposed a transmission line project from its Bailey Substation in Wharton County to its Jones Creek Substation in Brazoria County.

Learn about the need for the project, the approval process, and how to participate in the Public Utility Commission of Texas proceeding.

What is the Bailey to Jones Creek Project?

The Bailey to Jones Creek Project is a 345-kV double circuit electric transmission line proposed to be built by CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint Energy or the Company) between the Bailey Substation in Wharton County and the Jones Creek Substation in Brazoria County. The need for and route of the project is subject to approval by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC).

Why is the Bailey to Jones Creek Project needed?

Transmission lines are an essential part of the facilities necessary to deliver electricity to residents, businesses, and governmental entities throughout Texas. Economic growth in the Freeport area has led to a trend of large industrial facility additions in the area. To meet the growing demand for electricity, CenterPoint Energy completed projects in 2016 and 2017 to increase the load-carrying capacity of the transmission system in the Freeport area. However, as large industrial facilities continue to site in the Freeport area, the potential for existing transmission system capacity upgrades becomes limited. CenterPoint Energy and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) determined that a new transmission line is needed to maintain transmission grid reliability, provide for future load growth and provide operational flexibility to perform routine maintenance in the Freeport area.

Where will the Bailey to Jones Creek Project be located?

ERCOT designated CenterPoint Energy’s Bailey Substation in Wharton County and Jones Creek Substation in Brazoria County as the end-points for the new transmission line. CenterPoint Energy hired POWER Engineers, Inc. to gather input from the community and other sources about the area and prepare a routing study and environmental assessment. Using that information, CenterPoint Energy and POWER developed 30 proposed alternative routes for the new transmission line. The proposed alternative routes pass through Brazoria, Matagorda and Wharton Counties and range in length from 53.9 to 84.3 miles.

What is the process for approval of the Bailey to Jones Creek Project by the PUC?

CenterPoint Energy filed its CCN application for the project with the PUC on September 12, 2018, and expects that the PUC will reach a decision regarding the need for and route of the project by September 2019.

Who is CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC?

CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint Energy or the Company) maintains the wires, towers, poles, and electric infrastructure serving more than two million end-use customers in a 5,000-square-mile electric service territory in the Houston metropolitan area. While the Company’s employees ensure the reliable delivery of electricity from power plants to homes and businesses, the Company neither generates nor sells it to customers. The Company is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution and energy services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. With nearly 8,000 employees, CenterPoint Energy, Inc. and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 150 years.

What is the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC)?

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) is the state agency created by the Texas Legislature to regulate the rates and services of electric, telecommunication and water utilities throughout the state.

What is the Electric Reliability Council of Texas?

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to 23 million Texas customers, representing 85 percent of the state's electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT oversees activities related to the reliable and safe transmission of electricity by scheduling power on an electric grid that connects 40,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 550 generation units. ERCOT is a membership-based nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the PUC and the Texas Legislature. ERCOT's members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities (transmission and distribution providers), and municipally-owned electric utilities.

What are transmission lines?

Transmission lines are a part of the interconnected power system that moves electricity from generators to substations, where the electricity is reduced in voltage and then delivered to end-use consumers over the distribution system that connects to businesses and homes. Transmission lines are larger, operate at higher voltages, and typically convey electricity over larger distances. Distribution lines are smaller, operate at lower voltages, and convey electricity over shorter distances within cities and neighborhoods.

What are the considerations involved in selecting a route for the transmission line?

The PUC considers many factors in deciding whether to approve a proposed transmission line as prescribed by state law and PUC rules, including community values, recreational and park areas, historic and aesthetic values, and environmental integrity. They also consider specific routing criteria for new lines, including whether the route utilizes or parallels compatible rights-of-way such as following existing transmission lines, roads, pipelines, property lines, natural features, and cultural features. CenterPoint Energy provided information about these factors for each of the proposed alternative routes in its CCN application.

What type of structures will be used on the new transmission line?

CenterPoint Energy has proposed that the typical structures for all proposed alternative route segments will be double-circuit lattice steel towers with a vertical phase configuration in a 100-foot wide ROW. Depending on the terrain and other considerations, such as the length of span between structures and clearance requirements needed to cross rivers, wetland areas, FAA determinations or utility and roadway crossings, CenterPoint Energy may require wider ROW widths, varying structure heights, and alternative structure types, either tubular steel poles or delta lattice steel towers. The PUC will determine the typical structure type during the CCN process.

What is the estimated schedule for the Bailey to Jones Creek Project?

CenterPoint Energy filed the CCN application for the project with the PUC on September 12, 2018, and the PUC has one year to make a decision on the project. If the project is approved by the PUC, the estimated schedule for the Project is as follows:

Estimated Dates of: Start  Completion 
Right-of-way and Land Acquisition 09/2019 12/2020
Engineering and Design 09/2019 09/2020
Material and Equipment Procurement 03/2020 09/2021
Construction of Facilities 01/2021 04/2022
Energize Facilities 04/2022 04/2022

These dates are estimates and subject to change based on the length of the PUC process, time needed to complete right-of-way acquisition and detailed engineering design, and construction conditions.

What is the estimated cost of the project?

The cost estimates for the 30 proposed alternative routes, including upgrades at the Bailey and Jones Creek Substations, range from approximately $482 million to $695 million. These estimates reflect costs for line routing to mitigate impacts to people, the environment, and other land uses. The costs also reflect structure design to address soil and coastal wind conditions. Furthermore, the cost estimates are based upon the best available information at the time the Company prepared its CCN application. Surveying and detailed engineering design cannot be performed until PUC approval occurs. These activities could reveal information that requires changes in design and construction that would likewise impact costs. Additionally, changes in market conditions could change the costs for materials and labor beyond what has been accounted for in the estimates and contingency amounts.

What happens if a new transmission line is not constructed?

New transmission lines improve electric system reliability and increase the load-carrying capacity of the transmission system by providing an additional path for power transmission. Failure to complete the project may limit the Freeport area’s ability to grow and prosper. Without the additional transmission capacity provided by the new transmission line, the system would be unable to reliably serve the growing needs in the Freeport area, including new and expanded industrial facilities.

Will the power that flows across the new transmission line come from the wind generation in the State of Texas or from other power plants?

The transmission line will transport power from the multitude of generation sources interconnected in the ERCOT transmission grid. The transmission line is not intended to interconnect a specific generator; rather it is intended to provide an additional power pathway into the Freeport area to maintain reliable electric service.

How will CenterPoint Energy compensate landowners if it is necessary for the transmission line to cross their property?

CenterPoint Energy will make a bona fide offer to the landowner when purchasing right-of-way following the requirements of Texas law and will provide landowners with a copy of the State of Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights. In cases where the parties do not agree on the value of the property, the land value will be determined in a condemnation proceeding where special commissioners, appointed by a judge, will determine the value of the property following a hearing where all interested parties are entitled to provide evidence of valuation.





Contact Us

Steven Fox
Bailey to Jones Creek CCN Project Manager
CenterPoint Energy

Transmission Operations, CNP-T 14th Floor
P.O. Box 1700
Houston, TX 77251-1700

Phone: (713) 207-6490
Email: baileyjonescreek@centerpointenergy.com

Last Updated: Sept. 12, 2018

Additional information related to the project will be added to this page as it becomes available. Please check back regularly for updates.


CCN Application Documents
(Docket #48629)

Bailey-Jones Creek CCN Application Filed with the PUC

Attachment 1: Bailey-Jones Creek Environmental Assessment and Routing Study

Attachment 2: ERCOT Independent Review of the CenterPoint Energy Freeport Master Plan Project

Attachment 3: Franchise Agreement between CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC and the City of Jones Creek

Attachment 4: Franchise Agreement between CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC and the City of Freeport

Attachment 5: CenterPoint Energy Freeport Area Master Plan Project

Attachment 6: Schematic of CenterPoint Energy's Existing Transmission System

Attachment 7: Cost Estimates for Proposed Alternative Routes

Attachment 8: Directly Affected Parcels Table

Attachment 9: Written Direct Notice to Landowers

Attachment 10: Written Direct Notice to Electric Utilities Located Within Five Miles

Attachment 11: Written Direct Notice to Pipeline Owners Paralleled or Crossed

Attachment 12: Written Direct Notice to County and Municipal Authorities and List of Officials Notified

Attachment 13: Written Direct Notice to the Office of Public Utility Counsel

Attachment 14: Newspaper Notice

Attachment 15: Transmittal Letter to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Attachment 16: Written Direct Notice to the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse

Attachment 17: Affidavit of Lesli B. Cummings

PUC Certification Process

Bailey-Jones Creek Timeline

Transmission Construction Displays

Proposed Alternative Route Descriptions

Proposed Alternative Transmission Line Routes & Constraints Map Index

PUC Documents

Landowner's Bill of Rights

Protester Form

Intervenor Form

Landowners and Transmission Line Cases

  

Electric & Magnetic Fields (EMF)

CenterPoint Energy EMF Information

PUC Study on EMF

Other Related Links

Public Utility Commission of Texas