Since its creation in 1999, Sharyland Utilities has steadily expanded its presence throughout Texas and has quickly developed a reputation as an agile and innovative electric utility.
Sharyland Utilities was originally created in 1999 as a “greenfield” electric utility to serve the residents and businesses of Sharyland Plantation, a newly-created 6,000 acre mixed use real estate development located along the Rio Grande border between the South Texas cities of Mission and McAllen.
We energized our first customer in February 2000 and began developing a distribution system singularly focused on reliability. We installed all of our distribution system underground to ensure higher levels of safety and reliability. This provides immunity from the adverse effects of weather-related outages. The distribution system at Sharyland Plantation is also looped, meaning redundant power is supplied from two directions to all buildings within the system.
Due to these innovations, over the past ten years we have consistently out-performed the state’s average reliability statistics and usually posted among the best reliability indices of those utilities who file Service Quality Reports with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).
Today, we serve as a “wires only” utility to the homes and businesses within Sharyland Plantation, meaning we simply own and operate the wires infrastructure that carries the electricity between the generators and the end users. Retail customers in Sharyland Plantation purchase their power directly from Retail Electric Providers (REPs) in the competitive market.
The Sharyland DC Tie and our participation in the Texas Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) process are two examples of the ingenuity and creativity that Sharyland Utilities brings to the industry.
Conceived in 2003 and commissioned in the fall of 2007, the Sharyland DC Tie is a 150 MW High Voltage Direct Current Interconnection linking the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid with the Mexican national grid, operated by the Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE). This open access cross-border tie is the first of its kind to support commercial business activity and to provide emergency power with Texas and Mexico.
In late 2006, Sharyland Utilities turned its attention to the growing electric infrastructure needs of the Texas Panhandle and South Plains by becoming an active and engaged participant in the CREZ process. Today, Sharyland Utilities has been designated by the PUCT to construct approximately 300 miles in new electric transmission facilities, including four collection stations and five 345 kilovolt (kV) transmission line segments as part of the CREZ buildout.
On July 13, 2010, Sharyland Utilities expanded its footprint as part of a merger agreement between Continental Energy Systems LLC and Hunt Transmission Services LLC (HTS).
Under the terms of the merger agreement, HTS and its affiliates acquired Cap Rock Energy and its subsidiary NewCorp Resources Electric Cooperative, including all of their electric transmission and distribution assets located in West Texas, Central Texas, and an area northeast of Dallas.
While HTS and its affiliates own these physical assets, they are operated and maintained by Sharyland Utilities. In addition, employees of Cap Rock Energy are now employees of Sharyland Utilities.
Cap Rock Energy originally began as an electric cooperative in 1939, and was the successor in interest to Cap Rock Electric Cooperative, Inc., which provided electric service to rural customers throughout West Texas.
Cap Rock Energy has three distinct service territories:
Stanton and Lone Wolf Divisions (now known as the Stanton and Colorado City Divisions) - original service territory located in the Midland-Odessa and Colorado City areas of West Texas; linked to Southwest Power Pool grid in 1995.
McCulloch Division (now known as the Brady Division) - acquired in 1999 through acquisition of McCulloch Electric Cooperative; located around Brady in the Texas Hill Country.
- Hunt/Collin Division (now known as the Celeste Division) - acquired in 1992 through acquisition of Hunt-Collin Electric Cooperative; located around Celeste in portions of Hunt and Collin counties northeast of Dallas.
As part of the settlement agreed to by all parties involved in the regulatory approval of the transaction, Sharyland Utilities agreed to conduct two studies:
- A study to analyze and to evaluate potential issues related to moving the Colorado City and Stanton service territories from the SPP grid to the ERCOT grid; and
- A study to analyze and to develop a plan outlining the steps that would be required to possibly transition all territories formerly served by Cap Rock Energy to retail electric competition.