Texas Power Finance is seeking $15 billion for projects across the state, including a new $3.2 billion transmission line that would run under the Brazos River.
The company has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking a $15-billion federal loan to build the line and the Texas River Project.
The loan application is part of a larger loan package that the company announced Wednesday.
The $15bn would cover $2.6 billion in capital improvements, including new infrastructure for transmission and power.
The proposed $15,000-per-square-foot price tag is about 1.5 percent of the total cost of the project, said Mike Kostelnik, senior vice president of energy operations and acquisitions at Power Finance.
“We believe we have the resources and the financing to accomplish this project,” Kostellnik said.
The Texas River is the second largest waterway in the United States and provides the state with a steady flow of water for agriculture, fisheries and irrigation.
The project has been in the works for more than five years and has been approved by Texas regulators, according to the FERC.
“This project represents a critical investment in the future of Texas power,” said state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, who chairs the Senate’s Energy and Environment committee.
“As we approach the end of the year, it is essential that we make investments in Texas power to ensure that our communities are powered, our communities have jobs and the economic growth that will bring,” Garcia said in a statement.
The state also plans to create jobs by boosting the economy with more energy-related infrastructure projects.
The proposal includes an $8 billion transmission expansion along the Brazo River to help bring more energy from the plant to customers in the Houston-Galveston area, Kostennik said in an interview.
“That is the kind of energy we need to get through the winter,” he said.
“It’s going to help get our power more to our customers.”
The new transmission line would connect the power grid to the Corpus Christi area and other areas, including Houston and Dallas.
The FERC’s approval comes as Texas is working on a plan to get back to full production of electricity by the end, Kastelnik said, which would require the construction of a new pipeline from the Texas coast to the Gulf Coast.
The new pipeline is the largest in the nation, connecting a 1.2-mile-long natural gas pipeline to the Houston Ship Channel.
That project is expected to begin construction in 2020 and would connect to the newly expanded transmission line, Kustelnik noted.
“The cost of that new pipeline has gone up,” Kastellnik noted, “so the cost is going up.”
The $5 billion line, which is located between the Corpus Christie and Corpus Christia Railroad lines, would provide power to a large portion of the state and serve as the state’s primary transmission line.
Kostelmannik said the company would need to build new substations to handle the increased traffic.
The line would also need to provide power in the area surrounding it.
“If the line goes into the Corpus-Christi area, we have to have some new substation in that area,” Kustellnik told HealthDay.
“What happens is that we’re going to have to build a new substing in that corridor and that means the cost of this line goes up.”