Library from Texas
The fees are included in a bill that is the most wide-ranging response yet to pass the Texas Senate dealing with the power outages from the winter storms. Beside the fees on solar and wind producers, the legislation would create an alert system to warn Texans about impending power outages, and would require all electricity providers to weatherize their facilities and transmission lines — a major source of the midstorm power outages. It would also prohibit the wholesale electric index plans that resulted in astronomical bills for some consumers.
Experts warn the Chinese will be able to monitor and potentially interfere with air traffic at America’s largest pilot training facility at Laughlin. The project gives the Chinese communists a foothold in the Texas power grid. As now-retired Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast points out, if the power or water stops, Laughlin AFB stops working. “It triggered alarms the first time that we got evidence of Chinese money.”
For every 39 cents the oil-and-gas industry received in federal taxpayer subsidies from 2010 to 2019, the wind industry received $18.86, 48 times as much, and the solar industry received $82.46, 211 times as much. By 2029 Texans will have spent $2.5 billion subsidizing wind and solar farms through local property-tax abatements and $14 billion building the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone’s transmission lines through their electricity bills. While most businesses must pay to bring their product to market, wind and solar get a free ride from Texas taxpayers.
Dozens of wind farms in Texas have been left reeling from billions of dollars of losses incurred during last month’s state-wide electrical grid failure, even though the industry played a minor role in the power generation shortages that crippled much of the state. Those facilities either shut down, under-performed or were unable to fully export power during all or part of a week of historically cold winter weather because of blade icing, low wind resource, onsite electrical supply issues, and transmission congestion in the state’s main power grid, according to industry officials.
Given the situation, we see this as a one-off impact and RWE may try to recoup losses from insurance,” the analysts wrote in a note. RWE said part of its onshore wind fleet in Texas had been partly out of service from Feb. 9 because of icing and grid issues that have dealt a major blow to the second-largest U.S. state.
JACK COUNTY — Wind turbines are hard to miss, whether they are far away or close up, sometimes you just can’t avoid them.
Wind farms are not environmentally friendly to land or to nature. For example, the excavation of leased land to install and support wind farms permanently alters that property’s landscapes, rock outcroppings and micro-environments – all of which are irreplaceable. ...The turbines are a blight for miles around, and they also interfere with endangered species. Current projects in Montague and Jack counties will negatively affect the migration paths and lay-over locations of Whooping Cranes. Current population numbers are estimated to be about 500 Whopping Cranes left.
With the latest freeze fresh in regulators' minds, there could be mandatory weatherization of the grid and generation fleet in Texas ...these upgrades are unlikely to amortize and instead may simply be baked into the cost of doing business there. But beyond that, ...financing of projects will be looked at differently. "There will be much closer scrutiny of generating units being financed," Humphrey said. Funders, including tax equity financiers, will also have less appetite for merchant risk. "There will be more security around physical delivery requirements, capping merchant exposure so you don't have projects getting blown up," he said.
WASHINGTON — A former chair of Texas’ Public Utilities Commission testified Thursday that the misery suffered last month as blackouts left millions of Texans freezing in the dark for days could have been averted – if the state and its utilities had heeded a decade of advice to prepare for extreme weather.
If nothing is done to unwind the power prices, they wrote, at least 46 projects totaling nine gigawatts of capacity “would suffer severe financial losses.” There are 31.9 gigawatts of wind power on the main Texas grid, and half or more were financed with hedged contracts, according to market observers.
The first and most important point is this: We ignore the fragility of the electric grid at our peril. The Texas Blackouts are a stark reminder that the electric grid is our biggest, most important, and most complex network. Its strategic importance to our society cannot be overstated. The electric grid is the mother network, the network upon which all of our most-critical networks depend. We must pay more attention to its resilience and reliability.
RWE owns over 3 GW of mostly wind and some solar capacity in the state, and reduced availability of its generation fleet meant the company had to buy spot volumes to meet its supply obligations. Sky-high power prices in the area make this an expensive problem, which was further exacerbated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas directing grid operator Electric Reliability Council Of Texas Inc. to make price adjustments, RWE said.
Extreme weather is quite common and is likely to become more frequent in decades to come. We ought to recognize that 2021 isn’t a black swan event. We should use what we’ve learned about why — and when — power plants of all types fail to better prepare. It won’t prevent every weather-related blackout, but it sure will help.
Nearly half of Texas' installed wind power generation capacity has been offline because of frozen wind turbines in West Texas, according to Texas grid operators. Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend's freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt.
The spot price of wholesale electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000% on Monday amid a deep freeze across the state and rolling outages among power producers, according to data on the grid operator’s website.
Unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend's freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt. As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas' installed wind generation capacity.
In a month or two, the Brown County Commissioners will decide on a proposal that affects all county residents. Intersect Power, a California-based solar-power development company, requested an 85 percent tax abatement over 10 years to build a 3,000-acre solar farm in southwest Brown County. There are countless reasons why this is a bad deal for Brown County. The commissioners want to hear what residents have to say, so we urge you to write, call or email your commissioner and tell them to vote no on the abatement.
A proposed wind farm project in West Texas has become a potential national security issue due to its Chinese owner who has ties to the communist regime in Beijing and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), experts say. ...The first concern is that the wind farm will be generating electricity, hence, it involves critical infrastructure and poses a risk to the Texas electric grid. Potential cyberattacks on the electrical grid could disrupt power utility operations, resulting in large-scale power outages.
That latest argument gained fresh attention when plans to build the Blue Hills Wind Farm in Val Verde County were unveiled. Critics claimed this new development could pose a threat to national security because Chinese businessman Guangxin Sun owns the land. They alleged that he had ties to the Chinese Communist Party and his company could use the wind farm to monitor U.S. military operations or interfere with the U.S. electrical grid.
Columnist Chris Tomlinson’s recent attack on Rep. Dan Crewshaw (R-TX) for repeating “tired talking points” about the silliness of wind and solar was itself filled with unsubstantiated and misleading declarations beginning with Tomlinson’s claim that wind and solar employ 143,000 Texans.