Texas proposes tightened renewable vitality permits_ An business reacts

The five hundred MW Roseland Photo voltaic venture, one of many largest tasks below building in Texas, might be mixed with a 50 MW battery storage system.

The utility-scale photo voltaic and wind market was dealt a blow to the top when a Texas senate group voted 21-9 in favor of SB 624, a state invoice which might implement allowing restrictions and fines on photo voltaic and wind tasks within the state. A companion invoice now heads to the state’s Home for approval.

Lately Texas has turn out to be the most important wind vitality market in the US and is quickly to take over because the primary state for photo voltaic, probably leapfrogging California. The Photo voltaic Power Industries Affiliation (SEIA) expects the state so as to add 36 GW of photo voltaic over the subsequent 5 years, constructing on the 16 GW that’s lively up to now, and making it the nation’s sterling instance of harnessing the solar’s vitality.

Texas lawmakers confirmed their help for SB 624 in late April.

The regulation singles out photo voltaic and wind amenities, requiring them to acquire a allow from the Public Utility Fee (PUC) of Texas, whereas excluding fossil gasoline amenities. Governor Greg Abbott, who has lengthy proven an affinity for fossil fuels, has appointed all of the PUC members, who now would act as gatekeepers for any renewable vitality venture.

(Learn extra: “Texas Senate approves tight allow restrictions on photo voltaic and wind”)

pv journal USA touched base with a number of venture builders the place Texas is a major marketplace for venture growth exercise. Many builders have said that if SB 624 stays, they might think about focusing growth exercise in different states.

Karlis Povisils, senior vp of growth at Apex Clear Power mentioned, “if this invoice turns into regulation, tasks presently in growth might be delayed, downsized, or cancelled altogether, harming rural communities which might be anticipating new tax income for faculties, providers, and infrastructure.”

“The invoice additionally threatens Texas landowners who wish to train their personal property rights to earn multi-generational earnings for his or her households by harnessing vitality assets on their land. Texas will lose hundreds of megawatts of latest, clear, low-cost capability and financial growth at a second when it’s essential that the state provides extra producing capability to satisfy surging demand and make sure the variety of its energy fleet,” Povisils mentioned.

This week, Apex Clear Power and Powin introduced the event of the 195 MW Angelo solar-plus-storage (100 MW | 200 MWh) system utilizing Powin’s Centipede modular battery programs. The venture was superior regardless of the menace posed by SB 624 and different anti-renewable vitality payments within the Texas senate.

Mike Wietecki, senior vp of technique and regulatory affairs of Powin mentioned, “Texas has undergone a fast and seismic shift in its producing fleet. An unbelievable variety of assets have gone into changing the state to a world chief within the vitality transition. Such fast transformation is predicted to be difficult and hit some pace bumps, however it’s exhausting to argue towards Texas’ management and success,” he mentioned.

“This new laws will undeniably hinder continued transformation of the Texas grid and threaten funding, development, workforce development, and vitality price discount inside the state,” Wietecki mentioned. “Due to the fast transition, and the potential for unintended penalties, there could also be a chance to judge progress so far to make sure the continued deployment of unpolluted vitality occurs in an environment friendly method. Sadly, that doesn’t look like the objective of this laws. Reasonably it appears intent on placing up illogical roadblocks that may price Texans actual {dollars} by growing vitality prices, all whereas decreasing the standing of Texas as a frontrunner within the sector,” added Wietecki.

Diane Sullivan, senior vp, environmental and allowing of Chicago-based Hecate Power mentioned, “Texas invited us in additional than a dozen years in the past and continues to be one of many largest renewable producers. Now with a shift this one administration has modified the way in which we glance to do enterprise in Texas.”

Hecate Power has developed greater than 554 MW of Texas photo voltaic and 1 GW of storage tasks.

Raina Hornaday, co-founder and common supervisor of Caprock Renewables, an Austin, Texas-based utility photo voltaic and wind venture developer mentioned, “Whereas the invoice lists a sequence of things {that a} venture should present, PUC’s authority to approve or reject a venture is totally subjective. There is no such thing as a goal standards that tasks might meet to be assured approval.”

“That is intentionally designed to permit the rich and politically-connected to regulate the method, and creates chaos within the renewables growth world,” Hornaday mentioned. “We’re working with business teams right here in Texas to struggle this laws.”

To this point, Caprock has put in over 1.2 GW of renewable vitality tasks throughout the Lone Star State.

Caprock is amongst a number of Texas builders which might be members of CleanTX, a statewide clear vitality advocacy platform that in late April partnered with REAL Houston, the Superior Energy Alliance (APA), the Shopper Power Alliance and the Texas Land & Liberty Coalition to supply webinars and varied community-wide instructional periods for locals and regional constituents. The applications are designed to tell varied stakeholders on SB 624 and the assorted payments that would blunt the expansion of Texas’ burgeoning renewable vitality market, corresponding to SB 6, SB 7 and SB 2014.

The opposite Texas laws packages are geared in the direction of incentivizing pure gasoline fired energy vegetation (SB 6), together with coal, nuclear and gas-powered assets as “dispatchable vitality assets” as an affront to distributed vitality assets (DER) (SB 7), and the termination of the state’s Aggressive Renewable Power Zones (CREZ), renewable vitality portfolio requirements (RPS) and renewable vitality credit (REC) (SB 2014).

A replay of an April 27 informational CleanTX webinar is obtainable right here.

The Superior Energy Alliance printed an April 27 report from NERA Financial Consulting and Astrapé Consulting highlighting that in 2024, renewable era within the ERCOT grid will ship $6 billion in internet system working price financial savings with greater than 18 GW of dependable capability contributions.