Texas electric utility Oncor Electric Delivery Company has agreed to swap assets with Sharyland Utilities and Sharyland Distribution & Transmission (SDTS) in a transaction worth nearly $400m.

Upon completion of the transaction, Oncor will add the retail distribution network and retail delivery customers of Sharyland in the Stanton, Brady, Celeste (SBC) and McAllen service territories.

In return, SDTS will get about 258 miles of 345kV transmission lines located in West and Central Texas from Oncor. The lines will be operated by Sharyland on behalf of SDTS.

Through the asset swapping, Oncor will add 54,000 new customers from Sharyland and at the same time gets the opportunity to preserve equity for its stakeholders.

After the completion of the deal, Oncor will keep to itself about 122,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines, and over 3.4 million advanced meters.

Oncor CEO Bob Shapard said; "We're always looking for new opportunities to grow our business. This transaction allows us to acquire new customers and continue to expand our growing and vibrant service territory.

"Oncor will be welcoming thousands of new customers, many of which are located in areas that have seen significant load growth, like the Permian Basin."

For Sharyland, the proposed transaction would help its customers to benefit from among the lowest rates of any investor-owned utility in the state.

Sharyland Utilities and InfraREIT CEO David A. Campbell said: "This provides significant rate relief for our retail distribution customers.

“This transaction is the right thing to do for our customers and for the communities we serve.”

The asset swap is subject to approval from the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) among other conditions and is likely to close in the latter part of the year.

Image: Oncor has agreed to exchange certain assets with Sharyland and SDTS. Photo: courtesy of sirirakphotos/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.