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LCRA board OKs capital investment plans, including Black Rock upgrades

Black Rock Park on Lake Buchanan

The Lower Colorado River Authority included Black Rock Park on Lake Buchanan on its upcoming improvements list. Staff photo

Black Rock Park in Buchanan Dam will get an upgrade, the Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors decided at its regular meeting Wednesday, May 18. Park improvements will include more full-service cabins, elevated campsites, RV campsites, a retail area, a shade structure, and other enhancements. 

The board gave the thumbs-up to its fiscal year 2023 business and capital investments plan, which goes into effect July 1, 2022.

The vote authorized capital investments of about $669 million for energy, water, and public service projects, including improvements to the popular 25-acre Lake Buchanan park at 3400 Texas 261.

“Our fiscal year 2023 plans continue our strong commitment to the people of Texas,” stated LCRA Chair Timothy Timmerman in a media release. “The projects are investments in our state, for its people and economy — adding transmission lines, increasing our water supply, and continuing a safe and effective operation of our dams.”

LCRA's fiscal year 2023 plans
The Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors approved the authority’s business and capital investment plans for fiscal year 2023, which includes about $669 million for energy, water, and public service projects. LCRA graphic

The LCRA is the primary wholesale provider of electricity in Central Texas and manages the lower Colorado River and six Highland Lakes. Its Transmission Service Corporation is one of the largest electric transmission providers in Texas.

The TSC plans to invest about $2.2 billion over the next five years to build new transmission facilities and improve existing ones.

On the water supply front, the LCRA is committing about $65 million over the next five years in the development of new water supply projects and about $32 million in dam rehabilitation projects. 

“Power and water are critical for our growing state, and LCRA is delivering essential services for the people who depend on us,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson stated in the media release. “We are investing in our power and water infrastructure so we can keep providing essential services for Texans for years to come.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The board also approved a reduction in firm water that the LCRA allots itself for electric power generation. Currently, the authority can use up to 40,000 acre-feet of water per year to generate electricity.

After a staff review of current and future electric power generation needs, the amount will be reduced to 23,000 acre-feet of water per year, Wilson told the board. This will meet current and future needs for LCRA’s electric power generation operations, which includes, but is not limited to, the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant, Lost Pines Power Park, Fayette Power Project, and LCRA’s hydroelectric generation facilities.

This will free up 17,000 acre-feet of water for other needs, including firm water customers requests. 

daniel@thepicayune.com