CREZ Enhances Reliability
Improving reliability while bringing wind energy to market in west Texas is the purpose of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) initiative in that state. CREZ is the largest transmission construction project in AEP’s history. Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT), a joint venture between subsidiaries of AEP and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., received the second-largest assignment of CREZ projects from the Public Utility Commission of Texas. In December 2013, ETT energized the last of seven 345-kV transmission line projects under the CREZ banner.
In total, CREZ involves nine different transmission service providers building 2,400 miles of transmission lines to transport 18,500 MW of west Texas wind generation to major population centers in that region.
All CREZ projects are now complete. In total, CREZ involves nine different transmission service providers building 2,400 miles of transmission lines to transport 18,500 MW of west Texas wind generation to major population centers in that region. ETT built approximately 460 miles of new lines and upgraded 16 switching stations, marking the conclusion of ETT’s approximately $1.5 billion investment in the Texas CREZ initiative.
ETT has other projects under way, including about 25 projects scheduled for completion by the end of the decade.
The two largest projects will improve transmission service in the rapidly growing Rio Grande Valley. These projects will add approximately 250 miles of 345-kV transmission lines between Laredo and Brownsville and an estimated $560 million to the company’s portfolio. ETT’s total investment opportunity is approximately $3 billion by 2023.