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New electric lines coming to the Valley in 2026

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February's winter storm exposed critical errors in the operation of the state's power grid.

Experts say the major upgrade the Valley is receiving to connect it with the state’s power grid is urgently needed.

"The Valley is less well-connected to the rest of the state than some of the other major metropolitan areas," said Joshua Rhodes, a power grid expert at UT Austin.   

RELATED: ERCOT endorses 351-mile power line to the Rio Grande Valley

Last Friday, ERCOT approved the construction of an additional line that would connect the Valley with the rest of the state's grid. 

"The need has shown itself that there needs to be more ability to import power or export power,” Rhodes said.

But this recommendation was first given in 2011, when the Texas Senate and the federal government recommended improvements to power plants, so they could withstand severe weather conditions.

There was no law obligating power companies to implement these improvements.

The newly approved electric line to the Valley will cost $1.28 billion, all paid by power customers.

The state's Public Utility Commission reiterated that the infrastructure is ready to withstand another winter storm. 

Meanwhile, the new line coming to the Valley won't be ready until 2026. 

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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