Wall Street and high-tech teams to oppose Texas ’wind energy bill
A Wall Street and high-tech alliance has warned the Texas government to impose new costs on renewable power plants as the state’s winter blackout blame increases.
Goldman Sachs and companies from JPMorgan Chase to Amazon and Google, including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, are trying to pass new legislation in the state that would boost the wind and solar energy economy.
The Texas House of Representatives on Thursday would discuss a bill that would force wind and solar plants to pay for grid services that are essential to keep supply and demand balanced.
Lawmakers have been debating ways to avoid a recurrence of the February blackout, when the cold Arctic left nearly half of Texas ’power unconnected.
The cost of these so-called ancillary services – those that keep the frequency and voltage stable regardless of supply and demand conditions – is now borne by electricity consumers, not generators. They earned $ 275 million last year, but rose to $ 7 billion in the February crisis.
The cost of ancillary services “changes inappropriately and unfairly” to the sun and wind, the companies said letter Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas.
“These changes would reduce previous investment decisions and erode confidence that the state will continue to provide the financial stability needed for future energy investment.”
The signatories of the letter are some of the largest investors and buyers of renewable energy.
“It’s a concern, and the letter reflects that this is a kind of effort to punish renewable resources because of the disappearance of electricity because they were responsible for disproportionate power outages,” said Council of America Director General Gregory Wetstone. Regarding Renewable Energy, the letter was organized by the industry team.
Accepting the bill would bring victory to those who want to move the playing field away from renewables. Texas is among several states with Republican-controlled legislatures invoices submitted which add to the costs of renewables or support the use of fossil fuels.
The moves go against President Joe Biden’s efforts to speed up the construction of renewable projects by 2035 with the goal of eliminating carbon emissions from the electricity sector.
As well as being the capital of U.S. oil and gas production, Texas is also a leader in wind power generation and added more last year wind and Sun It has a higher capacity than any other US state, according to the Energy Information Administration.
In March, combined solar and wind accounted for 42 percent of Texas grid generation, ahead of natural gas and other types of power plants, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said.
The bills under discussion will assign additional service costs to solar and wind generators insofar as their operations have caused “reliability problems,” according to the text of bills backed by Rep. Phil King and Sen. Kelly Hancock, both Republicans.
A similar language, introduced by Hancock, was included in a broad bill for electricity reform that was approved by the Texas Senate last week.
Jason Isaac of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank, said the bills were necessary to boost the construction of thermal power plants, such as natural gas turbines, compared to intermediate resources such as the sun and wind. “You have these changing sources that are so promising because it’s hard to predict what additional services and when you’ll need them,” he said.
The February issue spread to nearly all types of generators, such as low-pressure natural gas installations and ice-covered wind turbines, the Texas Electrical Reliability Council (ERCOT) preliminary report this week.