The AEP San Patricio Project plans to upgrade the power grid in San Patricio County. AEP calls this project the Angstrom-Naismith Power Improvement Project. In this video, Attorney Philip Hundl talks about the AEP San Patricio County project and its impact on landowners through the condemnation process. You can schedule an appointment with Mr. Hundl by calling 800-266-4870, and you can request a no-obligation case evaluation by clicking this link.
Summary of the AEP San Patricio County Transmission Line Project
Hi, I’m Philip Hundl, and I am an attorney. I practice condemnation and eminent domain law, and I represent landowners.
I am trying something new today. Usually, I’ll have my video camera set up, and I’ll record these videos either onsite or in my office. Today I’m using Zoom meeting software to record this video. Behind me are some photos from a recent case I had related to a large 345 kilovolt (kV) CenterPoint power line.
I’ve got the high voltage transmission line picture in the background because I will talk about another transmission line project that might affect some of you. It’s an AEP project in San Patricio County, near Corpus Christi. AEP refers to the project as the Angstrom-Naismith Power Improvement Project.
The project is in between the towns of Gregory and Sinton. And in that area, AEP will build approximately 10 to 14 miles of a 345 kV line.
As you know, there’s a lot of demand for electricity in that area because there’s lots of industry. So AEP has submitted applications for some projects in the region through the Texas PUC.
How Landowners Are Impacted by Transmission Lines
So, I’d like to talk about that project and some of the things you should be concerned about as an affected landowner. The towers in the photo behind me are similar to those proposed in the AEP project. These towers are about 115 feet tall and are steel lattice towers.
The associated easement can range from anywhere from 100 to 150 feet wide. Sometimes the power company will use monopoles, and then the easement can be slightly narrower. In some situations, I’ve seen easements as wide as 200 feet.
Information that AEP has on its website is very helpful. As a landowner, there are some things you need to be aware of when these towers are on or near your property.
You and the Condemnation Process
You’ll be approached by a right-of-way acquisition agent, also known as a right-of-way agent or ROW agent. Companies like CenterPoint and AEP hire right-of-way acquisition companies to acquire easements from landowners. If the landowners and the right-of-way agent representing the power company can’t reach an agreement voluntarily, the power company will proceed with the condemnation process. Through that process, the company will take the easement. That condemnation process will establish the compensation paid for the easement and the easement terms.
As a landowner, you should be aware of the condemnation process. I’ve linked to the condemnation process steps here. Knowing where you are in the process is always essential.
Have you received an initial offer letter? Have you received the final offer letter? That final offer letter will have the power company’s easement appraisal. So, look at the list. I’ve got that attached to the blog, and that’ll help you know where you are in the process.
There’s been public notice of the project in the local newspapers. In the last year or so, there was a posting of the potential routes. There are many possible routes.
Often, a right-of-way agent will contact a landowner because the landowner is on one of those routes. Ultimately only one route is chosen out of the 14 or 15 or 20 routes. So some of the landowners contacted initially will not be affected. So it would be best if you tried to learn which routes are chosen.
Even if the possible route doesn’t run on your property, you will be notified and contacted if you’re within 500 feet of that power line. That’s important because that shows the negative impact of the line on land adjacent to the power line easement.
Landowners Should Check the AEP Website for Information
Now, I’d like to share a screen and show you some of the AEP website information. You can scroll through this information and see the project timeline. These timelines are often not exact.
Then as we scroll up, here’s the map we talked about. Here are the possible transmission line routes. AEP describes the existing transmission lines. Power companies often prefer to locate new power lines parallel with existing power lines, so that’s something that they always take into consideration. Then, we have these other alternate routes.
Here’s an image of these power line structures, just like the photos behind me. We talked about the steel lattice structures, approximately 130 feet tall. And then the monopoles, as we mentioned, are 115 feet.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call an attorney who focuses on land litigation, specifically representing landowners facing condemnation or eminent domain proceedings.
Get the Help You Need to Navigate Through the Condemnation Process
Please remember that the right-of-way agent works for and represents the interests of the power company — not you. You should get the help of an attorney who is experienced in representing landowners in condemnation proceedings. If we can help you, please call for an appointment at 800-266-4870 or click the button below to arrange for a no-obligation case evaluation. Appointments can be in-person, online or by phone.
We also have offices in Wharton, Bay City, Richmond and Fulshear. Call or text 800-266-4870 for appointments at any of our offices. We can also arrange for online and telephone appointments all over Texas.