Perry Announces Major Energy Diversification Plan
Private Sector to Invest $10 Billion; PUC to Construct Transmission Lines
DALLAS - Gov. Rick Perry today announced a major public-private initiative to further diversify the state's energy supply by expanding wind-generated energy.
"This is a landmark day as the State of Texas partners with private industry to make a historic investment of more than $10 billion in new wind energy infrastructure that will diversify our energy production, clean up our air and help Texas surpass our renewable energy goals," Perry said.
Private companies have agreed to the capital investments in wind energy generation while the Public Utility Commission directs the construction of additional transmission lines to capture and deliver the zero-emission power.
"I am proud of our state's commitment to renewable energy production," Perry said. "We are on the leading edge of developing renewable sources of energy and a more diversified energy economy which is key to keeping costs down."
Perry, who was joined at the announcement by executives of several companies that have committed to building wind energy infrastructure, emphasized the benefits wind energy has on the environment.
For every 1000 megawatts generated by new wind sources, Texas will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by six million tons over the next 20 years.
Perry also noted that the announcement bodes well for further growth of the Texas economy.
"Over the past three years we have added 650,000 jobs, transformed a record budget deficit into a record budget surplus, and attracted more business expansions and relocations than any state in the nation," Perry said.
"With this $10 billion announcement, the economic ripple will be more like a tidal wave as these companies pour millions of dollars into wages and salaries for Texas workers."
Texas has abundant wind energy, particularly in West Texas and along the gulf cost. In 2001 Texas added more wind power capacity than all other states combined, and earlier this summer Texas surpassed California as the nation's leader in wind generation capacity.
The planned expansion of wind-generated energy builds on initiatives Perry developed in 2003 with the creation of the Texas Energy Planning Council. The council was charged with developing a long-term energy plan for the state, including exploring alternative and renewable sources of energy. The council's report, issued in December 2004, recommended that by 2025, 10 percent of the state's power needs come from renewable sources and that the PUC takes steps to overcome transmission obstacles that limit the development of renewable energy sources.
"This is a monumental investment that will make our air cleaner and our people healthier," Perry said.
What Others Say About Expanding Wind Generated Energy in Texas
Mike Sloan, Managing Consultant, The Wind Coalition
"Texas has done an exceptional job in creating a welcoming business climate that is attracting investment from wind companies throughout the world. With the state's policy to expedite needed transmission lines, wind power is ready to become a major business in Texas."
Ned Hall, President, AES Wind Generation
"Wind energy provides an attractive and diversified energy source for Texas and AES is committed to helping Texas meet its growing energy needs through our continued investments in wind energy projects throughout the state."
Andrew Bowman, Senior Vice President, Airtricity Inc.
"Airtricity is an international wind company active in many different markets and we have made a commitment to Texas because it has a great regulatory climate and an outstanding wind resource. If Texas will make the infrastructure investments necessary to keep the wind industry vibrant, we intend to invest more than three billion dollars in Texas over the next seven years."
Hunter Armistead, Head of Renewables for North America, Babcock & Brown, LP
"Texas' commitment to ensuring that renewable power is a significant source of the energy utlilized by the people of Texas has made Texas the nation's leading market for wind power. This commitment, recently expanded by Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature, in addition to improving air quality, has created billions of dollars of new investment in Texas and has resulted in significant new local tax dollars and jobs. Babcock & Brown is delighted to be a major participant in this growth and stands ready to continue to invest in the expansion of renewable power in Texas. The next major challenge Texas faces is in upgrading its transmission system to allow it to maximize the value generated by Texas' vast and unique wind resource. We are confident that Texas' political and business leaders will meet this challenge and continue this impressive growth."
Alec Dreyer, CEO, Horizon Wind Energy
"The Texas Legislature and Public Utility Commission solved the transmission obstacle in Texas and we're proud to be affiliated with a forward thinking legislative and regulatory regime that will help our industry deliver the benefits of low cost and clean wind energy to the citizens of Texas. The key to delivering these benefits is the Legislature passing and Governor Perry signing Senate Bill 20, which will enable transmission to be constructed to the windiest areas in the great State of Texas."
David A. Drescher, Vice President, John Deere Wind Energy
"John Deere Wind Energy has made substantial investments in projects in the Texas panhandle. We are pleased to be among those companies contributing to the development of renewable energy in Texas, and specifically helping farmers and ranchers, along with their communities, gain additional value from their land investments."
Don Furman, Senior Vice President, PPM Energy
"PPM is committed to Texas in no small part due to the favorable business environment for wind that has been cultivated by the Governor and the PUC and their focus on improving transmission in the state. This leadership not only establishes Texas as a leader in wind energy in the U.S. but maintains its position as the center for the energy industry. PPM already has investment in gas storage in Texas and development in wind underway that would dramatically increase our investment in Texas."
Craig Mataczynski, CEO of RES Americas, Renewable Energy Systems
"RES Americas is honored to be here with Governor Perry to celebrate Texas as the top wind producing state in the country. As one of the first companies to develop wind energy in Texas, RES has developed and/or constructed well over 20% of Texas' wind generation. As transmission lines are completed to deliver renewable energy to Texans, RES is committed to strengthening the state's role as a national leader in renewable energy."
Shell Wind Energy
Shell would like to recognize Governor Perry's leadership in addressing issues vital to the wind industry and the future of energy diversity in Texas. Shell believes that wind generated power is good for Texans as it provides clean, dependable power that is virtually inexhaustible.