Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Governor Of Texas Announces Major Energy Diversification Plan

Dallas – Gov. Rick Perry has announced a major public-private initiative to further diversify the state’s energy supply by expanding wind-generated energy.

“This is a landmark day as the State of Texas partners with private industry to make a historic investment of more than $10 billion in new wind energy infrastructure that will diversify our energy production, clean up our air and help Texas surpass our renewable energy goals,” Perry said. Private companies have agreed to the capital investments in wind energy generation while the Public Utility Commission directs the construction of additional transmission lines to capture and deliver the zero-emission power.

“I am proud of our state’s commitment to renewable energy production,” Perry said. “We are on the leading edge of developing renewable sources of energy and a more diversified energy economy which is key to keeping costs down.”

Perry, who was joined at the announcement by executives of several companies that have committed to building wind energy infrastructure, emphasized the benefits wind energy has on the environment. For every 1000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, Texas will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years.

Perry also noted that the announcement bodes well for further growth of the Texas economy. “Over the past three years we have added 650,000 jobs, transformed a record budget deficit into a record budget surplus, and attracted more business expansions and relocations than any state in the nation,” Perry said.

“With this $10 billion announcement, the economic ripple will be more like a tidal wave as these companies pour millions of dollars into wages and salaries for Texas workers.”Texas has abundant wind energy, particularly in West Texas and along the gulf cost. In 2001 Texas added more wind power capacity than all other states combined, and earlier this summer Texas surpassed California as the nation’s leader in wind generation capacity.

The planned expansion of wind-generated energy builds on initiatives Perry developed in 2003 with the creation of the Texas Energy Planning Council. The council was charged with developing a long-term energy plan for the state, including exploring alternative and renewable sources of energy. The council’s report, issued in December 2004, recommended that by 2025, 10 percent of the state’s power needs come from renewable sources and that the PUC takes steps to overcome transmission obstacles that limit the development of renewable energy sources.

“This is a monumental investment that will make our air cleaner and our people healthier,” Perry said.

Source: Office of the Governor, Texas

1 comment:

Tom Gray said...

This is excellent news. Altogether, U.S. wind resources are enough to provide several times our current electricity use, although other sources (or storage) would still be needed because of the variability of the wind.

The key ingredient for wind's continued expansion? Continuing the federal wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which reduces a wind farm owner's tax payments by 1.9 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity the wind farm generates during the first 10 years of its operation. The PTC is currently scheduled to expire at the end of 2007. If the credit is extended for several years, we will see much greater use of this clean energy resource. For smaller turbines, the key incentive is a Small Turbine Investment Credit, something that doesn't yet exist. Readers can help support these and other pro-wind laws here.

Also, plug-in hybrid autos can be manufactured with technology available today. They'll get 80 or so mpg, and they will allow wind energy (for example) to take a bite out of our oil imports. Readers can support this concept through Plug-In Partners.

Thomas O. Gray
American Wind Energy Association