Many Texans Willing to Pay a Little More to Get Wind Power

From the Houston Chronicle:

A majority of Texans would be willing to pay $4 more on their monthly electric bills to create a network of power lines from wind farms, according to a recent poll.

The survey, commissioned by a group of wind generation companies, is being released in advance of state utility regulators’ debate over how much new transmission to require for wind-generated electricity. The Public Utility Commission is considering several plans, at costs ranging from about $3 billion to $6 billion.

The commission staff estimates the plans could cost average household electric consumers $2.50 to $5 extra a month.

… When asked about a new charge of $4 each month for power line construction to carry electricity from wind farms, 55 percent said they would favor paying the new fee and 42 percent said they would be opposed, with 4 percent unsure.

… The PUC is expected to decide the level of transmission by mid-August.

It isn’t clear from the article whether the $2.50 to $5 extra a month is simply the estimate of the added transmission costs, or whether it is an estimate of the net effect considering any lower power costs that would offset a higher transmission payment.

Maybe one of our intrepid readers can point us to the PUCT study answering this question.


3 thoughts on “Many Texans Willing to Pay a Little More to Get Wind Power

  1. I’m not able to identify the source of this quote, “The commission staff estimates the plans could cost average household electric consumers $2.50 to $5 extra a month” but can identify some of the documents likely used to come up with these figures. I wrote a master’s thesis on this docket this spring – it could really be a ground-breaking method of infrastructure design if it turns out well. Few people realize how big a stumbling block transmission is to adding new renewable capacity.

    An ERCOT Study, called the CREZ Transmission Optimization Study, provided initial estimates on the cost to build various levels of infrastructure. This can be found on a Public Utility Commission website.
    (Go to http://www.puc.state.tx.us/index.cfm, click ‘filings/interchange,’ click ‘filings retrieval’, click ‘login’, enter ‘33672’ in the control number box, then search for document ‘1016.’) This is a database of every filing in the case.
    I don’t think this document has the breakdown you were looking for but does explain the expenditures on transmission lines.

    Document ‘1309’, by Public Citizen has a detailed cost breakdown.

    For the shortcut version, see this summary: http://www.ercot.com/meetings/board/keydocs/2008/B0415/Item_6_-_CREZ_Transmission_Report_to_PUC_-_Woodfin_Bojorquez.pdf

  2. We’ll see whether the 55% holds up when people have to actually reach for their checkbooks.

    Typically, the positives in this type of survey are 2-3 times the actual commitment when the time comes.

  3. We’ll see whether the 55% holds up when people have to actually reach for their checkbooks.

    Typically, the positives in this type of survey are 2-3 times the actual commitment when the time comes.

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