Priority Power Management, LLC, a Texas-based leading independent energy management and consulting services firm, announced today its support of the Far West Texas Project, a joint project of American Electric Power Service Corporation and Oncor Electric Delivery Co LLC, to construct a 345kV transmission circuit and install 345kV/138kV autotransformers in the far west Texas area of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
The FWTP consists of a 345kV line from Odessa to Moss to Permian Basin to Mason to Pecos to Barrilla to Fort Stockton to Rio Pecos to Bakersfield; with the initial installation of 345kV/138kV autotransformers at Riverton, Solstice and Lynx stations. The estimated total cost of the project is $423 million with an in-service date of 2022 or sooner. It also provides for longer term growth in the region by allowing for the future addition of a second 345kV circuit and additional autotransformer installations.
A significant amount of PPM’s client load is located in the ERCOT west zone and consists of upstream and midstream oil and gas operations. PPM assists its oil and gas clients with long term load forecasting, electrical infrastructure planning and interfacing with transmission and distribution utilities for submittals of added load. Thus, PPM has insight into current and future retail customer load additions, and TDU capacity limitations, in various geographies across west Texas.
“The reduction in crude oil and natural gas prices has definitely had an impact on the amount of load additions that we experienced at the height of the boom,” said John Bick, managing principal of PPM. “However, one west Texas area in particular has bucked the trend and continues to have a high level of activity – the Delaware Basin. This area includes Culberson, Reeves, Loving, Ward, Winkler and Pecos counties in particular.”
“The FWTP is needed to provide reliable electric service to current and future load. This area will continue to grow at a faster pace than other west Texas areas. It is critical that the transmission infrastructure in the Delaware Basin continue to be upgraded to support continuing oil and gas load growth,” added Bick. “We strongly encourage ERCOT to approve the FWTP, and commend Oncor and AEP for bringing the proposed project forward.”