In 1999, the state of Texas hosted 184 megawatts (MW) of installed wind energy representing 7.4 percent of the 2,473 MW of wind operating in the United States. At the time, California dominated the capacity race with 1,600 MW installed, followed by Minnesota with 274 MW, and Iowa a close third at 242 MW. By the end of 2006, wind capacity nationwide grew to over 11,000 MW and Texas assumed the lead with the most wind energy operating of any state (2,736 MW). Since that time, Texas experienced a sevenfold increase and now claims nearly 23,000 MW of wind representing 25 percent of the total installed in the U.S., with Oklahoma a distant second at 8 percent or 7,495 MW.
Numerous factors influenced why Texas was able to achieve its rate of growth compared to other states. This report examines the Texas wind story, the reasons for its growth, and what to expect in the next 10 years.
Federal subsidies, public- funded infrastructure expansion, and low barriers for wind power siting and construction, make Texas an attractive state for wind power development.
Tax equity including the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) and depreciation now accounts for over 50 percent of the capital needed to construct a typical wind facility.
After committing nearly $7 billion to resolve Texas’ transmission congestion and wind curtailment issues, the problem is returning as more wind is built.
Around 50 percent of Chapter 313 agreements involve wind energy facilities with a lifetime total cost of $1.56 billion as of 2016.