Utility Commission agrees to publish rule requiring 500 MWs of Solar, Biomass and Geothermal

Five years after the Texas Legislature passed a Renewable Portfolio Standard that included a target to get 500 MWs of renewable energy from sources other than wind, the Public Utility Commission today finally agreed to publish a rule that would require this provision of Texas’s RPS to be implemented. While the action today is only an agreement to publish for public comment – and not to actually adopt the rule — Commissioner Ken Anderson said he would be deciding whether to support the rule based upon comments received and also whether or not the Texas Legislature takes any action on its own to either modify or expand the 500 MW rule.

Under the proposed rule, Texas retail electric providers would be required to get a small percentage of their electricity — or purchase Renewable Energy Credits from another source — from solar, geothermal and biomass. However, the proposed rule does not begin to require any investments until 2014, with the goal for meeting 500 MWs not being required until 2018.

Juwi Solar Plant, San Antonio

With one solar power plant of 14 MWs recently opened by CPS Energy, and some 150 MWs more of planned solar in 2011, the delay seems inappropriate. The Public Comment period is expected to begin in early 2011. Look here for how to participate in ensuring a clean energy future.

For more information on the rule, please visit

This PUC webpage on the proposed rule.

Here is a great blog from Colin Meehan on EDF

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