Power transmission operators in Texas have formed a consortium to build $5 billion worth of new power lines to carry wind power from the western and panhandle regions of the state to urban centers in the East, according to a Reuters report.

Cosortium member include Oncor, Electric Transmission Texas (ETT), units of American Electric Power Co. (NYSE: AEP) and Sharyland Utilities LP.

The announcement came a week after the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a plan to build 2, 400 miles of power lines, capable of moving more than 18,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

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Oncor, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corp, said it would invest more than $2 billion to build about 1,000 miles new transmission lines in North Texas.

Austin-based ETT wants to build 710 miles of new lines at a cost of about $1.5 billion. AEP’s Texas Central and Texas North units would be responsible for 145 miles of upgraded transmission lines, under the joint proposal.

The companies in the joint venture said they are working together to accelerate the selection process for Texas regulators. However, numerous other companies not in the joint venture are also interested in investing in the new transmission project, such as FPL Group, Babcock and Brown and ITC Holdings.

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