Articles filed under Energy Policy from Texas
Despite the rosy data, the storm will have some effects on clean energy development in Texas. While projects are still moving forward there, developers and investors are rethinking their risk and some weaker projects may not get built in the wake of the storm, said Daniel Sinaiko, a lawyer who represents renewable energy clients for the law firm Allen & Overy. That could include projects that are higher risk, less certain to bring in a profit, or less likely to find a buyer after completion. “The tax investors and the lenders are lining their contracts with covenants and reserves, things that cause the sponsor to be on the front edge of wearing the risks,” he said.
The House version of the bill removes language from the original legislation that targeted renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, by requiring these producers to pick up the tab for ancillary services and replacement power, which are charges for reserve power supply. Currently, those costs are covered by consumers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On July 2, the Public Utility Commission of Texas denied a request by AEP affiliate Southwestern Electric Power Co. to use its Texas customers' rates to finance the acquisition of a giant wind farm complex in Oklahoma ...The three-member Texas commission said the project didn't lay out clear enough benefits to consumers to justify their up-front investment. While some big companies have championed renewable energy, the farm had been opposed by major Texas consumer groups.
HOUSTON — For a place that's synonymous with oil and gas, Texas has a lot riding on renewable energy.
The close call in Texas in mid-August should be a lesson for ERCOT to rethink how it is valuing dispatchable, baseload power. The addition of more intermittent capacity to the market will likely make the reliability challenges Texas is facing only more difficult to manage. Further, the 100% renewable goal that several states have instituted should be viewed as a farce as the City of Georgetown recently discovered.
On August 12, a heatwave drove electricity demand in Texas to an all-time high. Electricity prices across the Texas power grid surged 36,000 percent, to roughly $6,537 per megawatt-hour—far higher than the average Texas price of $20 to $30 per megawatt-hour. Not only did electricity demand climb enormously as Texans cranked their air conditioners in 100-degree weather, but electricity generation at Texas wind farms simultaneously fell 50 percent due to lack of wind in the hot, listless air.
Last fall, Keith Uhles, an engineer with the oil-and-gas firm CrownRock Minerals, invited other young West Texas professionals to join him at a popular Midland Mexican restaurant for a conversation about renewable energy subsidies.
The city lost $21.8 million on its wind and solar contracts from 2016 to 2018 due to the falling prices of oil and gas, according to figures provided by City Manager David Morgan. Georgetown is renegotiating its 20- to 25-year wind and solar contracts to try to get a better deal, Morgan has said.
Facing a shrinking reserve margin, Texas utility regulators have ordered the Electric Reliability Council of Texas to make a change to its “operating reserve demand curve,” or ORDC, which will increase real-time prices when power supplies are limited.
Calpine Corp. of Houston and NRG Energy of Houston and Princeton, N.J., asked the state to assign transmission losses based on the distance the power travels, a move that would benefit traditional power companies which tend to have plants closer to population centers and hurt wind and solar farms in the remote parts of the state
The indefinite mothballing of a 470-MW coal-fired plant has reduced ERCOT’s “pretty scary” reserve margin of 8.1% to 7.4%, prodding the Texas Public Utility Commission into ordering several market changes.
NRG and Calpine are asking Texas regulators to end the equal sharing of lost electricity costs and assign them to companies according to the distance the electricity moves along transmission lines, giving their coal and natural gas power plants, which are closer to Houston and other population centers, an advantage.