EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Leaders with the Public Utility Commission of Texas made a stop at a substation in Edinburg. In a tour, the commission along with AEP officials are continuing their work with ongoing transmission projects.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas along with members of AEP say there has been huge growth in the Rio Grande Valley, which means more power is needed and these transmission projects can step in and help.

“This project will bring more power to the valley to meet the tremendous growth in this part of Texas and in addition it will allow extra power when available to the valley get to the rest of ERCOT,” chairman Peter Lake said.

Leaders of the Public Utility Commission and AEP Texas say these new transmission projects will help with reliability during severe weather situations.

“If some of the powerlines in the eastern part of the valley are damaged by storms or other types of weather, we’ll have a redundant power line to make sure households keep their lights on in the Rio Grande Valley,” Lake said.

From hurricanes to even a historic freeze, AEP leaders say this $1.28 billion project can provide a crucial source of energy.

“What these projects will do is help build in some additional reliability and resiliency into the system by bringing in another source into the Rio Grande Valley so another transmission line in the Rio Grande Valley,” Judith Talavera, COO of AEP said.

AEP workers were able to show the Public Utility Commission which power lines need to go to and what circuits need to be upgraded.

“So while you might not see the actual construction taking place yet there’s a lot of engineering the analysis the routing of the lines and a lot of that behind the scenes work that is starting to be prepared,” Talavera said.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2026. There will also be three public open houses from October 24th through the 26th. Times and places for the open house meetings are pending.