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Electric Transmission Line Routing Cases

Thompson & Knight has a leading practice before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and years of experience dealing with utilities and representing landowners in transmission line routing cases. If you have received a notice from an electric utility seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct an electric transmission line on your property, our attorneys can help you protect your interests.

Overview

Thompson & Knight has a leading practice before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and years of experience dealing with utilities and representing landowners in transmission line routing cases. If you have received a notice from an electric utility seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) to construct an electric transmission line on your property, the attorneys at Thompson & Knight can help you protect your interests.

Thompson & Knight has a “strong record in contesting matters for a range of regional and international companies before entities such as the PUCT, the RRC, and ERCOT.” – Chambers USA 2019

What Is an Electric Transmission Line Routing Case Proceeding?

When a utility needs to build a new transmission line, Texas law requires the PUCT to approve the location for the line through a contested case, which includes an evidentiary hearing. The PUCT will ultimately grant a “CCN” to the utility and order that the transmission line be built in a specific place. The utility is required to file a reasonable number of distinct route options for the PUCT to consider. Landowners that would be impacted by any of the proposed route options are given written notice by the utility and have the opportunity to influence the route that is ultimately approved by participating in the case.

What Is Required to Participate in a CCN Case?

Landowners participating in a routing case are expected to submit written testimony, participate in a hearing, cross-examine witnesses, and submit briefs summarizing the evidence and supporting their position. There are many procedural requirements that must be followed, and having an attorney assist you with this process can give you a significant advantage.

Experience

Our attorneys have represented landowners in dozens of electric transmission line routing cases and are considered leading practitioners in this area. The following are a few recent representative examples:

  • Represented an oil, gas, and pipeline company in numerous routing cases; each case has been settled or decided favorably for the client’s interests
  • Represented the owner of a large, historic Texas ranch impacted by several proposed transmission line routes; our attorneys negotiated a settlement with other parties to construct the line along a route that did not impact the ranch
  • Represented two separate owners of large ranches in the Texas Hill Country in a case where several proposed routes would have impacted the ranches; the PUC approved a route that did not impact either landowner
  • Represented a quarry whose operations would have been significantly impacted by the proposed transmission line; the PUCT approved a route that did not impact the quarry
  • Represented landowners in inverse condemnation matter involving a regulated electric transmission service provider and the placement of its transmission lines in a manner that affects saltwater disposal operations
  • Represented landowners who are constructing a runway in West Texas in appealing a decision by the trial court that it did not have jurisdiction to review a PUCT decision authorizing the location of the high voltage transmission line across a proposed runway; Thompson & Knight challenged the eminent domain authority of the company building the high voltage line, and defended a county ordinance limiting the height of structures in the vicinity of the airport, which requires that the high voltage line be routed around the airport; matter was settled in favor of our clients, and the utility agreed to reroute its line