Electric power is transported across Texas through transmission lines. Utility companies have to give you notice and a chance to participate in the powerline & transmission line routing process if they are planning to build a powerline near your property. If your land is targeted, you face a changed landscape and decreased property values. Your concerns can be heard at the Public Utility Commission in Austin, but only if you get involved and understand the powerline & transmission line routing process. Landowners who stay on the sidelines are often the most impacted. Our team has developed winning strategies to help landowners minimize or remove the impact to their land. Braun & Gresham knows the players, the procedures, and even the politics to protect you in the powerline & transmission line routing process.

The Braun & Gresham Difference

If your land is threatened by incoming transmission lines, you need to speak with the attorneys at Braun & Gresham, PLLC today. The earlier you start in your fight to protect your land, the better your chances are for success. There are multiple opportunities to influence the process, but to have the greatest impact you must start the process early and with an experienced team of professionals.

Transmission Line “hearings” are full scale trials held in Austin, which means you not only need complete legal and expert support, you need a team located in Austin – a team that knows the law and knows the local players.

Braun & Gresham, PLLC is an Austin, Texas law firm that has always worked for the rural landowner. We know the ins and outs of eminent domain and condemnation and our approach to transmission cases is dynamic and flexible. Having successfully represented clients for the past 2 years on Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) cases, we are one of the only law firms in Texas that has the expertise and background to help clients fight this new phase of powerline & transmission line routing and easements. Each route is different. Each community is different. Each client is different. We work with our clients to develop the most cost-effective strategy for their particular situation and budget.

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Learn about Transmission Line Phases

Routing Phase: Once a utility company’s application is approved, multiple possible routes are mapped, an intervention deadline is set (usually only 4-6 weeks after application is approved), and landowners have until this date to intervene to influence the final route that will be chosen.

Condemnation Phase: Once all intervening parties have settled, a final route is chosen. At this time, the utility company will contact the affected landowners to begin surveying their land and give an offer for damages. The terms can be negotiable, which is why it is imperative to be represented by a knowledgeable firm like Braun & Gresham, if you want to influence the final easement size and monetary compensation.

Navigating the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Process Requires a Team of Knowledgeable Experts

Our preference is to start early and help our clients provide the most relevant and persuasive information to the utility during its planning work. Convincing the utility to recommend a preferred route somewhere other than our clients’ land is the first step toward a successful effort. This advocacy is informal, but relies on the same evidence that will be developed for the formal PUC hearing. The goal is to develop as much evidence as possible of engineering, legal and environmental obstacles to the route that affects our client, so the utility chooses a different route.

The formal PUC process is like a trial with many of the same rules and timelines. The most important factor is providing highly credible expert witnesses who have developed independent analysis and evidence. The attorneys present this evidence in legal filings and at the PUC hearing. Distilling this technical evidence into compelling testimony is first done in writing and then with the experts on the witness stand. The attorneys and experts must also rebut the testimony of other landowner/interveners who will have developed their own evidence.

In our experience, a team of attorneys and experts working closely together with the clients is the most effective way to organize for this phase of the process. Braun & Gresham, PLLC has worked with many different experts and will continue to work with any experts chosen by our clients. For the transmission lines we can recommend a winning team that has worked successfully together on other lines. This experienced team of consultants can partner with Braun & Gresham, PLLC and rapidly respond to looming deadlines.

When budgets allow, Braun & Gresham, PLLC recommends also organizing a political response to the powerline & transmission line routing decision. While there is no official weight given to such organizing, it is undoubtedly true that large groups of landowners backed by their elected officials have influenced otherwise very technical proceedings. The political pressure, if it is large enough, helps drive settlement discussions with the utility and tip the balance in close cases. Remember, all of the proposed alternatives are feasible routes, so choosing the path of least resistance can be a smart move by a utility. This level of organizing has the added benefit of spreading costs over many landowners whose interests are aligned.

Should the PUC’s final powerline & transmission line route affect a client’s land, there are still options for minimizing the impact and ensuring just compensation. Braun & Gresham, PLLC has been very successful in negotiating the details of routes across a client’s land to avoid crucial buildings and operations and to mitigate the worst of the visual and financial harm. And finally, during the condemnation process, the goal is to ensure that the utility pays for the entire financial loss suffered by the client. Once again, teaming with the best experts is the key to developing compelling appraisal evidence of all damages to the value of the property and not just accepting payment for acreage taken.

Active Cases

American Electric Power Company (AEP)
Gyp to Benjamin (partnered with Brazos)
Solstice to Roserock
Bonilla to Ladekidde
Heartland to Yellowjacket
Tuleta to Coleto Creek

Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
Cogdell to Clairemont (partnered with Oncor)
Gyp to Benjamin (partnered with AEP)

CenterPoint Energy
Brazos Valley Connection Project

Cross Texas Transmission
Limestone to Gibbons Creek

Electric Transmission Texas (ETT)
*NEW* Stewart Road

El Paso Electric Company

Entergy Texas, Inc.(ETI)
Rocky Creek or Quarry to Lewis Creek
Port Arthur Reliability Project
Grimes to Lewis Creek
China to Stowell

Garland Power & Light (The City of Garland)
Dent Road to Shelby
Rusk to Panola

Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC)
Gillett to Nopal

Houston County Electric Cooperative
Mustang Prairie to Weldon

LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA TSC)
Leander to Round Rock
Zorn to Marion
Blumenthal Substation

Lea County Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Lyntegar Electric Cooperative, Inc.
*NEW* Welch project
North Lamesa

Oncor Electric Delivery Company (Oncor)
*NEW* Odessa EHV – Riverton
Cogdell to Clairemont (partnered with Brazos)
Tunstill Point of Delivery
Riverton to Sand Lake
New Bethel

Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC)
Highway 32 to Wimberley

Rayburn Country Electric Cooperative (RCEC)
*NEW* Lower Bois d’Arc Water Treatment Plant project
Lower Bois d’Arc Pump Station

Sam Houston Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Sharyland Utilities, L.P. (Sharyland)
Stiles to Coates
Tall City to Glass
Sale Ranch to Natural Dam

South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. (STEC)

Xcel Energy/Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS)
Tuco to Yoakum
NE Hereford to La Plata
Yoakum to State Line

Texas New Mexico Power

Tex-La Electric Cooperative of Texas
Martinsville to Chireno

Tres Amigas, LLC.

Examples of Transmission Cases We’ve Worked On

PUC Docket No. 37408 Riley to Bowman, Oncor (Oncor)
PUC Docket No. 37464 Brown Newton, Oncor (Oncor)
PUC Docket No. 38140 Riley to Krum, Oncor (Oncor)
PUC Docket No. 38562 Riley-Clark, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT)
PUC Docket No. 38650 Gray to White Deer, Cross Texas Transmission (CTT)
PUC Docket No. 38677 Ector County to N. Moss, Oncor (Oncor)
PUC Docket No. 38877 TUCO to Oklaunion, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS)
PUC Docket No. 39298 Odessa to North McCamey, South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC)
PUC Docket No. 39524 Oklaunion-Fisher, Oncor (Oncor)
PUC Docket No. 40049 Springwoods Project, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint)
PUC Docket No. 40319 Sandy Substation, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative (Brazos)
PUC Docket No. 40537 Gardendale to Grady, Sharyland Utilities L.P. (Sharyland)
PUC Docket No. 40550 Bowers to Howard, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS)
PUC Docket No. 40684 EC Mornhinweg to Parkway, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA)
PUC Docket No. 40728 Lobo to Rio Bravo to North Edinburg, Electric Transmission Texas, LLC (ETT)
PUC Docket No. 41718 Grimes to Ponderosa, Entergy Texas Inc. (ETI)
PUC Docket No. 41749 Oyster Creek, CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric, LLC (CenterPoint)
PUC Docket No. 41785 Tilden to Riveille, South Texas Electric Cooperative (STEC)
PUC Docket No. 42063 Antelope-Elk Energy Center to White River, Sharyland Utilities L.P. (Sharyland)
PUC Docket No. 42087 Hicks to Elizabeth Creek, Oncor
PUC Docket No. 42287 Gillett to Nopal, Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC)
PUC Docket No. 42583 Permian Basin to Culberson, Oncor
PUC Docket No. 42729 Wolfforth to Carlisle, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS)
PUC Docket No. 43599 Blumenthal, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation (LCRA)
PUC Docket No. 44672 New Bethel, Oncor
PUC Docket No. 44837 Tuleta to Coleto Creek, American Electric Power Company (AEP)
PUC Docket No. 43878 Parvin, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
PUC Docket No. 44060 Stonebrook, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
PUC Docket No. 45170 Oak Point, Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
PUC Docket No. 45247 Mustang Prairie to Weldon, Houston County Electric Cooperative
PUC Docket No. 45397 Sale Ranch to Natural Dam, Sharyland Electric
PUC Docket No. 45601 Zorn to Marion, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation
PUC Docket No. 45866 Leander to Round Rock, LCRA Transmission Services Corporation
PUC Docket No. 46042 Tuco to Yoakum, Southwestern Public Service Company (SPS)

Powerline Routing Success Stories

Winning with Consensus, Trust, and Integrity

BG_Success_TheAlliance_Page_1When cattleman and fifth-generation Texas rancher, Whit Jones learned his family’s and many of his neighbors’ properties were in the proposed path of one of the largest transmission-line projects in the state, he wasted no time contacting Braun & Gresham for help. In this new firm success story, learn how Patrick Reznik, working with friends, foes & exceptional experts, helped a large group of landowners preserve more than 200,000 acres of South Texas’ largest legacy ranches.

Fighting Power with Power

As one of only a handful of firms equipped to lead clients whose land is threatened by CREZ transmission projects through the entire legal process, Braun & Gresham, PLLC finds teamwork is key to ensuring energy transmission lines don’t destroy property values.

Wind Power is Renewable, but Texas Land Isn’t

In fighting power lines, landowners find success in numbers- just ask John Hawley and his wife who worked with Braun and Gresham, PLLC to form a coalition of neighboring landowners to keep CREZ transmission lines off of their Texas High Plains property. By working as a team, they were able to create a unified voice against the utility’s transmission project and ultimately redirect the line onto a different route.

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