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Hearing planned on proposed CenterPoint transmission line

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Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 12:00 am

If CenterPoint Energy’s plans come to fruition a new 345 kV transmission line could soon cut through Austin County, providing electric transmission service to Harris County.

The double-circuit transmission line would provide electric transmission service from LCRA’s Fayetteville Substation in Fayette County through Austin, Colorado and Waller counties to Harris County.

Two of the four preliminary segments runs through Cat Spring, and Precinct 3 Commissioner Randy Reichardt, whose precinct covers that area, said he’s already heard quite a bit of opposition against the idea.

“Since (CenterPoint Energy) power was out when (Hurricane Ike) hit, the (Texas Public Utility Commission) is looking to add on to the grid, at least that’s my understanding,” Reichardt said of the push behind the new transmission line. “It’s because of all the power outages that the hurricane caused and then the brown and black outs CenterPoint had about a month or so ago.”

He was quick to point out Austin County and its leaders have no control over what happens.

Three public meetings are slated for this month on the issue, with the first planned for tonight from 5 to 8 p.m. at St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church, 205 East Bell Street in Fayetteville.

The second meeting will be held Monday, May 9 at Royal Junior High School, 2520 Durkin Road between Pattison and Brookshire off of FM 359.

A third meeting is slated for Tuesday, May 10 at Bellville United Methodist Church, 234 South Masonic Street in Bellville. 

According to CenterPoint, the purpose of the meetings is to gather input from the public on the routing of the new transmission line. The company said the new line is needed to provide service to its Zenith Substation in Harris County.

A map on page 12 of this week’s paper shows a map of the proposed route.

The company plans to share information with the public at the come and go meetings, and residents will have a chance to make comments, ask questions and express any concerns they have about the routes under consideration.

Representatives from CenterPoint Energy and the consulting firm Atkins North America will be present.

“I will be at the Bellville meeting to see what’s going on,” Reichardt said. “There seems to be three proposed routes so I guess they’re going to talk about that at the meeting.”

Already, a local movement against the idea has taken form in Cat Spring.

SaveCatSpring.com is a grass roots organization recently formed to preserve the “historic significance and natural beauty” of the area.

CenterPoint Energy mailed letters to residents who own property within 500 feet of one of the preliminary transmission line segments last month, in accordance with state law.

Questions regarding the public meetings should be directed to Wes Padgett at (713) 207-2189.

 

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4 comments:

  • dryrun posted at 11:15 am on Wed, May 11, 2011.

    dryrun Posts: 1

    Bravo to the 100 plus years families. 2016 will mark 150 years for our family with my children being the 7th generation. With "turn and burn" real estate being commonplace these days to make a quick buck I believe this really shows a passion for those who have held on to their land....and how it irks me to see it destroyed and cluttered with powerlines. I encourage everyone to fight this and protect the rich heritage of Fayette and Austin county.

     
  • Millheim Mom posted at 2:35 pm on Tue, May 10, 2011.

    Millheim Mom Posts: 1

    Our property has also been in the family over 100 years, and I share your sentiments! We are in the minority, as so few people nowadays have roots.

    The 46 million savings to CenterPoint is on the backs of the good people of Fayette and Austin Counties. I couldn't find what was budgeted of the 175 million to pay for the homes that will be condemned and the land they want to take away from us. From all appearances, CenterPoint is not prepared to compensate land owners according to market values and you can be certain they will not pay for the overall depreciation in property values because of their unsightly power lines.

    If is not necessary for Austin and Fayette County communities to be marred with ugly power lines for Katy and the Houston areas to have electrical power. Katy residence can have ample future electricity if companies such as Calpine and Hunton Energy are allowed to construct generating plants in their geographical area. These companies are high tech and forward thinking. Calpine has built generating stations in nearby locales and will have first rate, up-to-date engineering plans ready to go. Hunton is now building a 400 MW plant in Freeport. They specilize in coal gasification and CO2 sequestration technologies, which is environmentally friendly. There is room to build a generating plant nearby the current W.A. Parish Power Plant in Ft. Bend County, which comprises over 5,000 acres.

    ERCOT overlooked vital information before rubberstamping CenterPoints project:

    1. ERCOT was given a report by Calpine that stated the project is not necessary from a reliability standpoint. "It should be noted that the need to add additional import capacity into the Houston area was not considered to be necessary to meet reliability criteria at the time frame of this analysis (2014) since the load in the area could reliably be served by generation in the Houston area and in the existing import capacity." Houston Import Project V.1.0, Introduction pg. 3.

    2. ERCOT supported the power line project even though they had information showing that the studies did not include the TNP One-East Bell County project that was to have an in-service date in late 2010, and the recent mothballing of the SR Bertron and Greens Bayou plants.

    Everyone please contact Texas PUC Commissioners, and let them know this project is not necessary. This project is not necessary and needs to be cancelled in its entirety.

     
  • Deanna posted at 1:51 pm on Tue, May 10, 2011.

    Deanna Posts: 1

    I feel the same way Janice feels, the land they will take is the land that has been in family's for many generations.

    PLEASE COME TO THE MEETINGS!

    SAVE CAT SPRINGS TEXAS! DON'T LET BIG MONEY RUIN AND SEPARATE OUR LAND! WE NEED TO BE HEARD AND SEEN!


    Public Meeting 1

    Date: Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.

    Location:

    St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church

    205 East Bell Street
    Fayetteville, TX


    Public Meeting 2

    Date: Monday, May 9, 2011

    Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.

    Location:

    Royal Junior High School

    2520 Durkin Road


    Public Meeting 3

    Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.

    Location:

    Bellville United Methodist Church

    234 South Masonic Street

    Why is Center Point Energy moving so fast with very little notice? One simple answer; GREED! CLICK HERE to Read about new proposed legislation regarding condemnation.


    Our organization is shocked that CenterPoint Energy has been so insensitive during their planning process. Center Point Energy believed that giving two week’s notice for a public meeting was ample notice for a project that would destroy 177 years of history. Perhaps this is not insensitivity on CenterPoint Energy’s part. It is our belief that CenterPoint Energy assumed they could follow the minimum required process, thereby leaving the people of Cat Spring little time to mobilize.


    It is SaveCatSpring’s view that CenterPoint Energy failed to conduct proper due diligence related to the historical significance and environmental concerns specific to the Cat Spring area. We also believe that CenterPoint Energy has grossly underestimated the strength of our community and the public relations nightmare that they are about to embark on by trying to pull one over on the Cat Spring community.

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  • Janice posted at 2:11 pm on Mon, May 9, 2011.

    Janice Posts: 1

    I just want to say that family property, that has been in the family over 100 yrs is in jeopardy due to this transmission line! This is not to benefit anyone except CenterPoint. They will realize a profit of approximately 46 million a year. There already exists transmission lines facilitating the transportation of power from Fayette County Power Plant to Houston. There is also a group formed called VOLT, Voices Opposed to Large Transmission Lines! Austin County get involved they are trying to lead us blindly into giving up our land! Please attend the PUBLIC MEETINGS!