Documents from Texas

ABC Responds to EDF Vista Mountain Wind proposal

Abc_letter_to_edf_and_elected_officials__231_send_july-31-17_thumb Attached to this page are two letters by the American Bird Conservancy sent to EDF Renewables in regard to EDF's proposed Vista Mountain wind project slated for Hamilton and Mills counties in Texas. The letters raise specific concerns with the impact of the turbines on the ecologically-sensitive Texas Hill Country/Cross Timbers Region on the Edwards Plateau. The letters are important in that they inform readers how significant and habitat-rich the Texas landscape is, a fact that repeatedly gets ignored when the wind industry only touts the number of megawatts installed in the State. The full text of the first letter is pasted below. Both letters can be downloaded from this page.
10 Nov 2017

LCRA disputes wind power contract

8-mtn-to-compel-arbitration_thumb Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) signed an 18-year contract for energy from the  Papalote Creek Wind Farm II located in southeast Texas. The contact price was fixed for the term of the agreement at $64.75 a megawatt-hour. With wind now selling at half that price, LCRA is seeking to reduce its liability. There is a dispute between LCRA and Papalote Creek as to the cost if LCRA tries to end the contract early. This motion, filed by LCRA in federal court is intended to compel the wind company into arbitration in order to settle the dispute. LCRA sells wholesale power to dozens of Central Texas communities. A portion of the filing is provided below. The full motion can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. 
28 Aug 2015

Court ruling involving Exelon Wind and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas

Exelov-v-puctetal-document_pm_03_thumb This important ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals involves wind power and whether utilities are mandated under Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) to purchase the energy. In the ruling, the Court found that states have the right to limit the ability of renewable energy facilities to sell power under PURPA through long-term contracts unless the facilities can provide “firm power.”  This “firm power” requirement is a problem for renewable energy developers, in particular wind and solar. The ruling also reinforces the role of the States in their interpretation and implementation of the law. In this case, Exelon, which owns a number of operating wind energy facilities in Texas, argued that the utilitty was required under PURPA to sign long-term contracts to acquire the energy at prices ranging from $35 to $90/megawatt hour. The Court disagreed. A brief portion of the court's ruling is provided below. The full ruling can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
8 Sep 2014

Texas PUC memo on wind-friendly transmission

Texas-puc-memo-42079_2_792250_thumb Texas PUC chairwoman, Donna Nelson, has initiated an investigation into "the costs of [transmission] system upgrades, the costs to maintain and operate the current system, and the allocation of those costs specifically related to renewable resources." In her memo below (and attached). Chairwoman Nelson warns of the costs, particularly of the wind PTC is extended by Congress.
29 May 2014

Measuring the environmental benefits of wind-generated energy

Measuringenvironmentalbenefitsofwind-aej-cullen_thumb In this paper, Joseph Cullen quantifies the emissions offset by wind power for a large electricity grid in Texas using the randomness inherent in wind power availability. When accounting for dynamics in the production process, the results indicate that only for high estimates of the social costs of pollution does the value of emissions offset by wind power exceed cost of renewable energy subsidies. An excerpt of Mr. Cullen's paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from this page.
27 Dec 2013

Economic impact evaluation of wind turbines in the vicinity of the Naval Air Station Kingsville

Bishop_cisd_ecr_developmnet_economic_impact_evaluation_and_recommendation_package_12-12-2011_thumb EC&R Development is proposing the construction of a wind power electric generation facility in Nueces County Texas. EC&R Development is an active franchise taxpayer, as required by Texas Tax Code Section 313.024(a) and is in good standing. After reviewing the application using the criteria listed in Section 313.026 and the information provided by EC&R Development, the Comptroller's recommendation is that EC&R Development's application under Tax Code Chapter 313 not be approved.
12 Dec 2011

Wind and Energy Markets: A case study of Texas

Wind_and_energy_markets_thumb Many jurisdictions worldwide are greatly increasing the amount of wind production, with the expectation that increasing renewables will cost-effectively reduce greenhouse emissions. This paper discusses the interaction of increasing wind, transmission constraints, renewable credits, wind and demand correlation, intermittency, carbon prices, and electricity market prices using the particular example of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) market. The complete paper can be accessed at the links provided below.
29 Aug 2010

How less became more: Wind, power and unintended consequences in the Colorado energy market

This new report from Colorado's natural gas industry says increased use of wind energy indirectly results in raised pollution levels produced by some coal-fired power plants along the Front Range. The report recommends curbing the use of wind energy during the next one or two years to levels that match power output at existing natural gas-fired power plants -- and building more natural gas plants in the long term. The introductory sections of the report are provided below. To access the full document click on the link at the bottom of this page.
16 Apr 2010

City of Garland v Public Utility Commission of Texas - judgement

Judge_yelenosky_letter_thumb 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.
21 Jan 2010

San Saba County resolution concerning transmission line siting

San_saba_resolution_thumb The County Commissioners of San Saba County, Texas approved Resolution #2009-07 concerning the appropriate transmission line route from Brown to Newton County. This action was taken at the behest of residents in the county who expressed concerned about the impacts of 345 KV line needed to deliver West Texas wind energy to points east. The Texas Public Utilities Commission has ordered the construction of transmission capacity to deliver generated power from the five designated Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ's) to electric customers residing in urban areas. San Saba County is one of many counties that will see massive towers and transmission lines crossing over portions of private land. The full resolution can be accessed by clicking on the link below.
28 Sep 2009

Impact of wind turbines on market value of Texas rural land

Landvaluepresentation_windfarm_2_13_09_thumb This report was prepared for a presentation given at the South Plains Agriculture Wind & Wildlife Conference in Lubbock, Texas on February 13, 2009. The findings and conclusions contained herein are the exclusive property of Gardner Appraisal Group, Inc., and cannot be re-produced without the express written permission of Gardner Appraisal Group, Inc. wishes to thank Mr. Derry T. Gardner for kindly granting us permission to post his presentation to the website. To access the document, click on the link at the bottom of this page.
13 Feb 2009

Texas wind energy: Past, Present, and Future

2008-09-rr10-windenergy-dt-new_thumb Policy analyst and attorney, Drew Thornley, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation examines the growth of wind energy in Texas over the last decade. While many policymakers and business leaders foresee wind as a major contributor to America’s electricity supply, his report identifies several practical obstacles that stand in the way of achieving that vision.
1 Oct 2008

Wind rights and wrongs

Windrightsandwrongs_thumb The Texas landscape is changing both physically and legally, especially in West Texas. Wind turbines appear on previously barren horizons, ushering in a new revenue source for landowners and new questions for attorneys. Wind leases differ from mineral leases in significant ways. For example, signing bonuses are less for wind leases, terms are of different length, royalty payments are not protected by statute and surface rights are not automatic. This paper highlights important aspects related to leasing land for wind energy development.
1 Apr 2008
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