“Battle still brewing over Houston power line”
A battle over a proposed $590mn power line designed to move power from north Texas into power-hungry Houston shows no signs of cooling despite a regulatory approval last year.
CenterPoint Energy and LS Power have proposed building the 130-mile (209km), 345kV line, called the Houston Import Project. NRG Energy and Calpine, two of the state’s largest power producers with generation in Houston, oppose the project.
Texas regulators in November backed approval of the line by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) board, rejecting the generators’ complaint that the grid operator overestimated future Houston demand.
“Generators do not build in load pockets because the minute you build, the congestion and price advantages go away,” said Phillip Oldham, who represents large industrial customers. “Load pockets are persistent and must be addressed with transmission.”