Competitive Renewable Energy Zones
CREZ has become a familiar word to Texas Landowners. "CREZ" stands for Competitive Renewable Energy Zones and was created by the Texas Legislature in 2005. The idea was to encourage the development of wind energy in Texas by facilitating the construction of 345 kV transmission lines to carry wind generated electricity from wind farms in the Texas Panhandle and Central Texas, to larger population areas downstate.
CREZ Route Selection
Our law firm has been actively assisting Texas Panhandle and West Texas landowners during the route selection process, which occurs by law over a matter of only 181 days. Some CREZ routes have now been selected, others remain. We have worked with landowners and transmission service providers to negotiate mutually acceptable compromises in route selection.
Land Value & Easement Agreements
Once the Public Utility Commission of Texas has approved the routes for those transmission lines, Texas landowners need to be prepared for the next important step in the process, Transmission Easement negotiations. Should your property be selected during the routing process, the transmission service provider is required by law to contact you and attempt to negotiate a Transmission Easement Agreement. These agreements are often very complicated and can have far-reaching effects on you and your property. How you protect yourself and your land during the construction and maintenance of these transmission towers is established at this critical stage.
Establishing a value for the actual land taken and damage to the remainder is a crucial element in protecting yourself and your land. Our law firm has had extensive experience in complicated land transactions throughout the Texas Panhandle and have experience protecting landowners in transactions with oil companies, utilities and fellow landowners.
If you are unable to reach an agreement during negotiations, the transmission service provider will exercise the power of condemnation. The purpose of condemnation is to establish just compensation for your land that will be taken for the transmission line. The condemnation process essentially will follow these steps:
1. The transmission service provider will file a request with a County Court at Law or District Court in the county where the property is located.
2. The Judge will appoint three "disinterested landowners" as Special Commissioners to determine damages from the proposed taking.
3. The landowner will have the right to participate in the process and can appeal any decision by filing a law suit.
4. The value of your property is established by the Special Commissioners, or by trial if the Commissioners' award is appealed.
A condemnation is a disputed proceeding that takes place in court, where you will need the assistance of an attorney. The Amarillo attorneys at Lovell, Lovell, Newsom & Isern are experienced and capable at helping you through the condemnation process.