Back in April, I blogged about a proposal to connect the wind farms in West Texas to the rest of the state. On Thursday, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold a hearing to examine that report by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and to make a recommendation for which scenario to adopt. A birpartisan group of eight legislators from the D/FW are is urging them to adopt the most aggressive plan. From their press release:
"This week, Texas has a historic opportunity to establish itself as a global leader in renewable energy," said State Representative Lon Burnam (D-Fort Worth). "We can say 'yes' to new technologies offering clean, cheap, and limitless power for decades to come, or we can continue to pay exorbitant prices and breathe dirty air from fuel sources of the past," Burnam added.
According to ERCOT, an annual investment of $1 billion to build and maintain transmission lines from West Texas will be more than offset by the $3 billion in savings from cheaper fuel sources. Replacing heavy polluting coal and natural gas-fired plants with clean wind and solar generation could yield up to a 13% reduction in NOx emissions and a 16% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions around the state.
"Texans want access to clean, affordable energy. In the face of rising energy costs and increasing concern over climate change, we need greater access to wind in the state," says State Representative Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas). "Now is the time for bold action. We can't afford to make short-sighted decisions on this issue any longer."
The letter calls on the PUC to adopt Scenario 3 when it meets on Thursday to continue its discussions regarding which scenario will offer the greatest benefits to Texans for moving electricity from the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) in West Texas and the Panhandle.