Following severe energy shortages in Texas this winter, Texas Governor Abbott drafted this July 6th letter to the PUCT (Public Commission of Texas) calling for immediate action to improve the reliability of the state's electric system. Emphasis in Abbott's letter was on incentivizing new and existing generation for reliability purposes (natural gas, coal, and nuclear) and requiring intermittent resources including wind and solar to pay the price when they fail to deliver. The full three-member PUCT was recently appointed by the Governor. Details about the letter and the actual content of the letter can be accessed from this page.
Documents filed under Transmission from Texas
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.
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.