The Texas Senate has voted in favor of S.B.931, which would repeal Texas' renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and undo its Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) transmission initiative.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, would end Texas' RPS at the end of the year while undoing the massive, $7 billion-plus CREZ project that unlocked the state's bottlenecked wind areas through the building of transmission lines.
In addition, the bill would require that any new transmission projects in the footprint of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas would no longer proceed through the CREZ process but would now be required to meet an economic needs test, a more onerous hurdle.
Adopted in 1999, the Texas RPS required 2,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity to be installed statewide by 2009. In 2005, the Texas legislature expanded the program to accommodate 5,880 MW by 2015 and included a target of 10,000 MW by 2025. Texas reached the 10,000 MW plateau in early 2010 – 15 years ahead of schedule.
The bill now moves to the House State Affairs Committee.
Advocates say the legislation is not only shortsighted, but would be harmful to the state's economy.