In 2005, the Texas Legislature adopted Senate Bill 20 which directed the Public Utility Commission of Texas ('PUCT') to select the most productive wind zones in the State and devise a transmission plan to deliver wind energy from these remote areas to the State's urban centers. Five Competitive Renewable Energy Zones ('CREZs') were identified in West Texas and the Panhandle for the construction of new wind energy generation. In 2008, the PUCT ordered the construction of new transmission to support up to 18,456 megawatts of wind energy capacity at an estimated cost of $4.93 billion, or approximately $4.00 per month per residential customer once construction was completed. The costs were to be reflected as rate increases. In its order from March 2009, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT), named thirteen companies to build the new electric transmission lines.
The City of Garland promptly sued the PUCT charging that the agency failed to consider the interests of electric customers and the advantages of municipal owned utilities when it awarding contract. Judge Stephen Yelenosky of the 354th District Court of Texas agreed with Garland and on January 15 ordered that the PUCT's decision reversed and remanded back to the PUCT. This action had the effect of stopping any transmission projects authorized under the CREZ process seeking a certificate of convenience and necessity from the State.
Click on the links below to download the final order of Judge Yelenosky and his letter detailing the reasons behind his judgment. Judge Yelenosky's letter supporting his final order makes direct reference to this document prepared by the PUCT.