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Sharyland Utilities LP has filed a proposal with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) to build an 800-mile, 345 kV electric transmission loop in the Texas Panhandle. According to the company, the project, called the Panhandle Loop, will connect up to 8,000 MW of wind, natural gas and coal-fired generation to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) electric market. The project is supported by Airtricity Inc., Babcock & Brown Renewable Holdings Inc., Celanese Ltd. and Occidental Energy Ventures Corp.

"Quite simply, this proposal will bring the ERCOT grid to the Panhandle," says Hunter Hunt, president of Sharyland. "That way, the entire state can enjoy the benefits of the tremendous wind resources located there as well as the substantial gas and coal resources."

The project is slated for completion in late 2010, given approval from the PUCT, Hunt adds.

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