Discussing Energy Economics on the Internet

Texas Plans for Wind

Posted in Renewables,Texas by Cheryl Morgan on the July 21st, 2008

The Texas Public Utilities Commission has committed the state to a massive $4.93 bn project that will build transmission to carry up to 18,456 MW of wind (and possibly solar) power from remote areas of the state to the major population centers.

The PUC decision was not unanimous. Dissenting Commissioner Julie Parsley told the Houston Chronicle that she has concerns about the reliability wind generation. She also expressed fears that the new transmission line would connect the ERCOT system more deeply with grids in other states. While others may raise eyebrows at Texan isolationism, the New York Times points out that Texas was uniquely placed to make this sort of commitment because its isolated grid is not subject to FERC oversight.

The need for some sort of transmission upgrade seems fairly clear. As the NYT article points out, the existing transmission capacity is so constrained that wind warms in West Texas sometimes have to be shut down because they are overloading the system. Wind advocates are naturally delighted. Greg Wortham, executive director of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium, noted that the project would allow Texas to overtake Germany in terms of installed wind capacity. Other people in Texas are not so happy.

Then again, as the NYT article notes, the exact route of the transmission line has yet to be determined. And one of the biggest obstacles to transmission improvements is objections from the people through whose land the line will have to run.

Comments Off on Texas Plans for Wind

Comments are closed.

Discover more from MorganEnergy

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading