CenterPoint Energy, endowed with a fairly modest share in the U.S. power transmission lines & towers market, has recently completed constructing an electric transmission line in Houston. The Texas-based Fortune 500 company, through this project, aimed to fulfill Houston’s power requirement that supposedly outstripped the regional transmission capacity.
The 345 KW, 60-mile transmission line, tentatively titled Brazos Valley Connection, apparently runs through the Waller, Harris, and Grimes counties. The entire project, worth USD 285 million, has made quite a splash in the regional power transmission lines & towers industry, plausibly since it aims to eradicate power price spikes in Houston.
Incidentally, the Brazos Valley Connection project will be adding a further of 20 cents per month to the electric bills of consumers using over 1000 KWh of electricity on a monthly basis. Prior to CenterPoint setting up this transmission line, there had been reports of Houston being subject to wholesale electricity price spikes due to the lack of transmission lines in the area.
The reduced number of transmission lines does not seem to be the only focal reason why CenterPoint has decided to construct a new line altogether. Over 50% of Houston’s operational power is filtered from areas outside the city, leading to the city relying on a few transmission lines that soon get congested. As per studies conducted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, these handful of transmission lines may become so congested in the ensuing years, that Houston may experience blackouts at the time of peak demand.
As per reports, NRG Energy and Calpine Corporation had been opposing the project, since merchant power companies are known to accrue maximum profits when power prices are higher. The last three years witnessed both these regional power transmission lines & towers market players unsuccessfully striving to stop the project.
For the record, the Brazos Valley Connection is the southern part of CenterPoint Energy’s Houston Import Project – which incidentally, is a transmission line that stretches across 130 miles, right from the Limestone County to the city of Houston.