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$600M transmission project splits Texas power industry

HOUSTON -- When it comes to the Houston Import Project, there are a lot of plotlines to keep straight. CenterPoint Energy Inc., a regulated utility, contends that it should oversee all of a new transmission line that would send electricity to the Houston area, not just some of it. Calpine Corp. and NRG Energy Inc., independent power producers, say the state's main grid operator acted improperly in endorsing the development in the first place. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the grid operator, defends its actions in backing the proposal and designating a division of construction work. Yet one theme is constant: Economic interests are never too far in the background as debate rages over the roughly $600 million project supported by ERCOT, the grid operator. The line is intended to be ready for the summer of 2018.

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