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Texas power customers will save money with new transmission lines, study says

May 20, 2010 - Jack Z. Smith - Star-Telegram

A typical Texas electricity consumer will save $160 to $355 annually on residential electric bills once $5 billion in new transmission lines are completed to deliver West Texas and Panhandle wind power to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and other state population centers, according to a study released Thursday by The Perryman Group and funded by companies involved in the wind industry.

The study said the combined investment in new wind turbines and transmission lines will create $30.6 billion in economic gains, create thousands of jobs and bring in almost $2 billion in added state and local tax revenues, while also resulting in substantial water savings and reductions in polluting emissions.

The investment in the so-called Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines, projected to be completed by the end of 2013, �will help solidify Texas� position in the forefront of wind power, renewables and associated industries, providing an estimated $3.8 billion in gross product (economic output) per year and generate more than 40,000 jobs,� said economist Ray Perryman, in a news release announcing results of the 264-page study.

The economic benefits of the new transmission lines will far outstrip their cost, Perryman said. The cost is to be paid by electricity consumers served by the power grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).

A charge �very roughly� estimated at $3 to $6 per month and perhaps levied anywhere from 5 to 15 years, is to be added to monthly bills, said Terry Hadley, a spokesman for the Texas Public Utility Commission.

The PUC will determine the charge after receiving requests for rate increases from electric transmission and distribution companies such as Oncor Electric Delivery that are building the lines.

The study estimated that the new transmission lines and resulting expansion of Texas wind-generation capacity will result in the state conserving approximately 17 billion gallons of water annually, curbing emissions of carbon dioxide associated with global warming by 16 percent and reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to formation of harmful ground-level ozone, by up to 13 percent.

Texas already ranks No. 1 among the 50 states in installed wind-generation capacity, at 9,410 megawatts. The study�s release comes just before the annual national conference of the American Wind Energy Association, which will run Sunday through Wednesday at the Dallas Convention Center.

Updated: 2016/06/30

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