Wind Power

New Transmission Will Support Wind Resources in Texas

Every dollar spent for construction of new transmission lines to support the development of wind resources in Texas will result in a $5 to $7 reduction in energy costs, according to testimony filed April 24 with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

Electric Transmission Texas LLC (ETT), a proposed joint venture between subsidiaries of American Electric Power (AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., filed the testimony. “The study jointly sponsored with The Wind Coalition, as well as our own separate analysis, concludes that the savings initially projected by ERCOT are conservative,” said Calvin Crowder, ETT executive director. “Clearly, there is a strong economic case for moving forward to build new transmission lines to ensure the development of wind resources throughout the state.” ETT has proposed the construction of approximately 1,000 miles of transmission lines to support development of CREZ in Texas. At the same time, ETT proposes consideration by the PUCT and ERCOT of a high-voltage, high-capacity backbone transmission system to support long-range reliability and customer growth needs facing the state. The first two stages of the ETT Transmission Plan will deliver up to 10,000 megawatts (MW) of existing and planned renewable energy from CREZs to major load centers. The combined cost of these two phases is estimated to be approximately $3 billion with completion of Stage One anticipated by 2012 and Stage Two by 2015, based upon AEP’s experience with past transmission projects in Texas. Stage Three of the ETT Transmission plan, estimated to cost approximately $4 billion, is conceptual and long-term in its approach and could change significantly as part of the PUCT and ERCOT evaluation process. Definitive paths for the proposed projects have not been determined, and will not be determined, without ample opportunity for public input. The proposal is not exclusive; other transmission developers will be welcome to participate.