Documents from Texas
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.
This report was sponsored by the Independent Producers Association of Mountain States. It examined the emissions benefits of renewable energy within an operating grid system and found that the often erratic and unpredictable wind resource resulted in the inefficient operation of coal and gas plants. As a result, the authors report that the temporary reduction in coal or gas to permit wind energy on the system actually raised the level of SO2, NOX and CO2 than would have occurred had less wind energy been generated and the fossil plants permitted to operate as designed.
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.
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 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.
This useful paper examines the impact of wind turbine development on species habitat use. In particular, this paper focuses on bird species residing in American grasslands. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from the links on this page.
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. Windaction.org wishes to thank Mr. Derry T. Gardner for kindly granting us permission to post his presentation to the www.windaction.org website. To access the document, click on the link at the bottom of this page.
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.
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.
Attorney Jim Blackburn of the Coastal Habitat Alliance presents a comprehensive summary of the development and impacts of the Kenedy County wind farms in Texas.
This paper was presented at the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics held February 13-16, 2008 in Texas.
Mr. Robert L. Cook, a wildlife biologist and former Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) provided this testimony before the Brown County Commissioners Court. Mr. Cook supports his recommendation that a wind farm tax abatement not be granted on wind projects in the county.
Executive summary of the Coastal Habitat Alliance's independent review on the potential environmental impact of the proposed Kenedy County wind projects. Click here to access the full document.
This resolution by the Gillespie County Commissioners Court to oppose industrial wind energy in the county is very similar to the resolutions adopted by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission and the City of Fredericksburg City Council.
This resolution was adopted by the City of Fredericksburg in Gillespie County Texas.
The Gillespie County (TX) economic development commission has adopted the below resolution regarding industrial wind energy development in the county and surrounding Texas Hill Country area.
Southwest Power Pool (SPP) control area includes all of Kansas and Oklahoma and portions of Texas, Louisiana and other states (see: http://www.spp.org/section.asp?pageID=28). SPP does not overlap ERCOT, the grid operator which covers most of Texas.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) control area includes most of the State of Texas (see: http://www.ercot.com/about/profile/index.html)