Aggregated renewable power effort in Texas gets bids below USD 0.03/kWh
Wind turbines in Texas. Photo by: Xcel Energy (www.xcelenergy.com).
The Texas Renewable Energy Co-op (TREC) has received “multiple bids” for wholesale renewable power priced below its target of USD 0.03 per kWh on 12-year contracts for supply to public entities under its first aggregation initiative.
Texas Energy Aggregation (TEA) has launched TREC, formerly known as the Texas Power Pool, as a statewide purchasing option available to public entities that want to utilise aggregated renewable energy. More than 20 public entities, including cities, hospitals, universities and school districts, have signed Letters of Interest already for a minimum electricity load of 150 MW.
The successful green power supplier is to be selected by the end of the month. This first aggregation will close in early July, but TEA said there is already appetite for a second aggregation later this year.
"State agencies told us they wanted cleaner generation without extra cost. We worked with the guidance of SECO [State Energy Conservation Office] and the Comptroller's Office, meeting with State agencies and gathering the anchor subscribers. We then sought out financial backers for the best wind and solar projects to match the base load profile of the subscribers," TEA President TJ Ermoian explains.
SECO director, Dub Taylor, said this purchasing offer sets a new standard for competition and transparency in public sector power procurement.
Oil-rich Texas has already made significant progress in its transition away from fossil fuels like coal. In the first quarter of 2019, generation by wind and solar parks in Texas reached 19.41 million MWh, surpassing the 18.97 million MWh produced by coal-fired power plants, according to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), analysed by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA). Total of 283 wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in the state with a combined capacity of over 12 GW have interconnection agreements and financing in place. Even if not all of them are built, the new capacity that will be coming on stream in the next few years will surely boost renewable power generation significantly.