AUSTIN, TEXAS (May 24, 2010) – McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore, L.L.P. successfully represented two landowners in Mills and McCulloch counties before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (Texas PUC or “PUCT”) as it considered routes for the Brown-Newton Transmission Line proposed by Oncor. The Brown-Newton line will bring wind-generated power from West Texas to Austin and San Antonio.
The parties represented by McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore were among nearly 20 intervenors, mainly landowners, who contested the route preferred by Oncor in its certificate of convenience and necessity (CCN) application . The proposed 345-KV transmission line crosses five counties (Brown, Mills, Lampasas, McCulloch and San Saba) and is part of the Texas PUC’s competitive renewable energy zone initiative (CREZ).
Arguments against the preferred route included environmental factors, such as crossing the Lower Colorado River and habitats for eagles, black-capped vireos and golden-cheeked warblers. Oncor’s preferred route used less existing right-of-way and cut new paths through the Colorado River community. The recommended route selected by the Texas PUC parallels more existing transmission lines and affects fewer homes and businesses than Oncor’s preferred route.
“The PUC’s decision reduces the impact of new transmission lines for many Texas landowners,” says Shawn St. Clair, partner, McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore.
Representing landowners were attorneys Shawn St. Clair, Melissa Salhab Sykes, and Carl R. Galant.