Tag Archives: PTC

Austin City Councils hears from Austin Energy on new proposed 300 MW wind contract: 35% renewable energy by 2016

This morning, Austin Energy is slated to present to their bosses — Austin City Council — on a proposed contract that would secure an additional 300 MWs of wind energy from West Texas near Lubbock. The proposed contract would cost an estimated $31 million per year in energy purchases from Lincoln Renewable Energy over 18 years and more importantly if approved would meet Austin Energy’s renewable energy of 35% by 2020 four years early. The cost of the wind is priced in the $26 to $36 per MWh range, which is typically cheaper than the price of electricity generated by gas and almost on par with the cost from the dirty Fayette Coal plant. And this price is guaranteed over 18 years. And if it breaks, we don’t have to pay for it. So no operations and maintenance required by us ratepayers. 

 

Sierra Club is supportive of this and other contracts with renewable energy companies, and the word on the street is that Austin Energy will be taking another contract soon for a large solar energy plant or two in the coming months. Will all this activity, one does wonder however why Austin Energy has consistently said we don’t need to reassess our renewable energy goals? While one should certainly celebrate reaching a goal — I mean this beat’s California’s 33% goal set a number of years ago — why not take advantage of good financing and good projects to shoot for a higher goal — say 50% by 2020? While it is true that the vaunted production tax credit granted to wind developers ran out in 2013, any project — including this one — that began construction in 2013 still qualifies, and ERCOT’s interconnection records show us there are more than 5,000 MWs of wind projects being developed in 2014 and 2015 that likely would meet the PTC requirements. So let’s grab up these contracts while we can and wean ourselves off the need for coal, gas and buying off the market. Reaching out and securing  these contracts doesn’t mean we don’t need coal and gas today, but it does mean we can envision a future where we won’t need them as much.. if at all. So keep it coming Austin Energy! We can not only reach our goals, but set more ambitious ones!

 

Cyrus Reed, Conservation Director

Advertisements

More Than 3,000 Texans Call on Reps. Canseco and Farenthold to Save Texas Wind Jobs

Contact: Dave Cortez, Texas BlueGreen Alliance
Davec@bluegreenalliance.org,  512-736-7600

More Than 3,000 Texans Call on
Reps. Canseco and Farenthold to Save Texas Wind  Jobs

WHO:
Dave Cortez – Emcee, Coordinator at Texas BlueGreen Alliance
Jeff Clark – Executive Director, The Wind Coalition
Jeff Neves – Project Developer, American Shoreline Inc.

WHAT: Teleconference on benefits of wind production tax credit in Texas

WHEN: Thursday, October 11th, 11AM CT

CALL INFO: 1-866-501-6174
code: 317-0874-1892
*Spanish speakers available for quotes*

With help from the federal wind energy production tax credit, Texas has become a national leader in wind energy and wind jobs. The Production Tax Credit helps level the energy playing field between fossil fuels and renewables, and has been a key engine in the huge growth of the wind industry over the past decade. The wind industry currently supports more than 75,000 jobs across the country, including over 7,000 here in Texas.  If the PTC is not renewed by the end of the year, an estimated 37,000 jobs will be lost.

As a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report stated, “Current energy tax policy is the result of prior policy action undertaken in an effort to achieve the nation’s long-standing goal of enhancing U.S. energy security.  For example, the promotion of domestic fossil fuel production, the current principle short-run strategy, was a central tenet of energy tax policy from 1918 through the late 1960s” (Sherlock and Crandall-Hollick, September 2012).

In addition, U.S. government support for oil, natural gas, and coal has totaled over $500 billion from 1950 to 2006 according to Management Information Services Incorporated. Some of these incentives have been permanent fixtures of the tax code for decades, whereas the PTC has been periodically extended on a short-term basis since 1992.

List of key wind projects in CD 23
Anacacho Wind Farm (Near Uvalde)
Desert Sky Wind Project (CPS Energy purchases power from here)
Sherbino Wind Farms (BP owned)
Woodward Mountain Wind Ranch

List of key wind projects in CD 27
Palo Alto West Wind Farm (Proposed for construction in Nueces County, projected $3 million annual tax revenue)
Papalote Wind Farm (Near Taft, Texas)
Magic Valley Wind Farm (Willacy County)

South Texas wind farms awaiting fate of energy tax credit
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2012/10/01/south-texas-wind-farms-awaiting-fate.html

AWEA Factsheet
http://www.awea.org/learnabout/publications/factsheets/upload/2Q-12-Texas-2.pdf