(a) It is the intent of the legislature that by January 1, 2015, an additional 5,000 megawatts of generating capacity from renewable energy technologies will have been installed in this state. The cumulative installed renewable capacity in this state shall total 5,880 megawatts by January 1, 2015, and the commission shall establish a target of 10,000 megawatts of installed renewable capacity by January 1, 2025. The cumulative installed renewable capacity in this state shall total 2,280 megawatts by January 1, 2007, 3,272 megawatts by January 1, 2009, 4,264 megawatts by January 1, 2011, 5,256 megawatts by January 1, 2013, and 5,880 megawatts by January 1, 2015. Of the renewable energy technology generating capacity installed to meet the goal of this subsection after September 1, 2005, the commission shall establish a target of having at least 500 megawatts of capacity from a renewable energy technology other than a source using wind energy.
(b) The commission shall establish a renewable energy credits trading program. Any retail electric provider, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative that does not satisfy the requirements of Subsection (a) by directly owning or purchasing capacity using renewable energy technologies shall purchase sufficient renewable energy credits to satisfy the requirements by holding renewable energy credits in lieu of capacity from renewable energy technologies.
Terms Used In Texas Utilities Code 39.904
- Effects: includes all personal property and all interest in that property. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- in writing: includes any representation of words, letters, or figures, whether by writing, printing, or other means. See Texas Government Code 312.011
- Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
- Year: means 12 consecutive months. See Texas Government Code 311.005
(c) Not later than January 1, 2000, the commission shall adopt rules necessary to administer and enforce this section. At a minimum, the rules shall:
(1) establish the minimum annual renewable energy requirement for each retail electric provider, municipally owned utility, and electric cooperative operating in this state in a manner reasonably calculated by the commission to produce, on a statewide basis, compliance with the requirement prescribed by Subsection (a); and
(2) specify reasonable performance standards that all renewable capacity additions must meet to count against the requirement prescribed by Subsection (a) and that:
(A) are designed and operated so as to maximize the energy output from the capacity additions in accordance with then-current industry standards; and
(B) encourage the development, construction, and operation of new renewable energy projects at those sites in this state that have the greatest economic potential for capture and development of this state’s environmentally beneficial renewable resources.
(d) In this section, “renewable energy technology” means any technology that exclusively relies on an energy source that is naturally regenerated over a short time and derived directly from the sun, indirectly from the sun, or from moving water or other natural movements and mechanisms of the environment. Renewable energy technologies include those that rely on energy derived directly from the sun, on wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave, or tidal energy, or on biomass or biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas. A renewable energy technology does not rely on energy resources derived from fossil fuels, waste products from fossil fuels, or waste products from inorganic sources.
(e) A municipally owned utility operating a gas distribution system may credit toward satisfaction of the requirements of this section any production or acquisition of landfill gas supplied to the gas distribution system, based on conversion to kilowatt hours of the thermal energy content in British thermal units of the renewable source and using for the conversion factor the annual heat rate of the most efficient gas-fired unit of the combined utility’s electric system as measured in British thermal units per kilowatt hour and using the British thermal unit measurement based on the higher heating value measurement.
(f) A municipally owned utility operating a gas distribution system may credit toward satisfaction of the requirements of this section any production or acquisition of landfill gas supplied to the gas distribution system, based on conversion to kilowatt hours of the thermal energy content in British thermal units of the renewable source and using for the conversion factor the systemwide average heat rate of the gas-fired units of the combined utility’s electric system as measured in British thermal units per kilowatt hour.
(g) The commission, after consultation with each appropriate independent organization, electric reliability council, or regional transmission organization:
(1) shall designate competitive renewable energy zones throughout this state in areas in which renewable energy resources and suitable land areas are sufficient to develop generating capacity from renewable energy technologies;
(2) shall develop a plan to construct transmission capacity necessary to deliver to electric customers, in a manner that is most beneficial and cost-effective to the customers, the electric output from renewable energy technologies in the competitive renewable energy zones; and
(3) shall consider the level of financial commitment by generators for each competitive renewable energy zone in determining whether to designate an area as a competitive renewable energy zone and whether to grant a certificate of convenience and necessity.
(h) In considering an application for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a transmission project intended to serve a competitive renewable energy zone, the commission is not required to consider the factors provided by Sections 37.056(c)(1) and (2).
(i) Transmission service to a competitive renewable energy zone must be provided in a manner consistent with Subchapter A, Chapter 35.
(j) The commission, after consultation with each appropriate independent organization, electric reliability council, or regional transmission organization, shall file a report with the legislature not later than December 31 of each even-numbered year. The report must include:
(1) an evaluation of the commission’s implementation of competitive renewable energy zones;
(2) the estimated cost of transmission service improvements needed for each competitive renewable energy zone; and
(3) an evaluation of the effects that additional renewable generation has on system reliability and on the cost of alternatives to mitigate the effects.
(k) The commission and the independent organization certified for ERCOT shall study the need for increased transmission and generation capacity throughout this state and report to the legislature the results of the study and any recommendations for legislation. The report must be filed with the legislature not later than December 31 of each even-numbered year and may be filed as a part of the report required by Subsection (j).
(l) The commission may adopt rules requiring renewable power facilities to have reactive power control capabilities or any other feasible technology designed to reduce the facilities’ effects on system reliability.
(m) A renewable energy credit retired for purposes other than to meet the requirements of Subsection (c)(1) may not affect the minimum annual renewable energy requirement under Subsection (c)(1) for a retail electric provider, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative.
(m-1) As provided by this subsection, the commission shall reduce the requirement under Subsection (c)(1) for a retail electric provider, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative that is subject to a renewable energy requirement under this section and that serves a customer receiving electric service at transmission-level voltage if, before any year for which the commission calculates renewable energy requirements under Subsection (c)(1), the customer notifies the commission in writing that the customer chooses not to support the goal for renewable energy generation under this section for that year. The commission shall exclude from the calculation of a retail electric provider’s, municipally owned utility’s, or electric cooperative’s requirement under Subsection (c)(1) energy sold by the retail electric provider, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative at transmission-level voltage to customers who have submitted the notice to the commission under this subsection for the applicable year.
(m-2) The commission shall determine the reporting requirements and schedule necessary to implement Subsections (m) and (m-1).
(m-3) Subsections (m), (m-1), and (m-2) do not alter the renewable energy goals or targets established in Subsection (a) or reduce the minimum statewide renewable energy requirements of Subsection (c)(1).
(n) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission shall have the authority to cap the price of renewable energy credits and may suspend the goal contained in Subsection (a) if such suspension is necessary to protect the reliability and operation of the grid.
(o) The commission may establish an alternative compliance payment. An entity that has a renewable energy purchase requirement under this section may elect to pay the alternative compliance payment instead of applying renewable energy credits toward the satisfaction of the entity’s obligation under this section. The commission may establish a separate alternative compliance payment for the goal of 500 megawatts of capacity from renewable energy technologies other than wind energy. The alternative compliance payment for a renewable energy purchase requirement that could be satisfied with a renewable energy credit from wind energy may not be less than $2.50 per credit or greater than $20 per credit. Prior to September 1, 2009, an alternative compliance payment under this subsection may not be set above $5 per credit. In implementing this subsection, the commission shall consider:
(1) the effect of renewable energy credit prices on retail competition;
(2) the effect of renewable energy credit prices on electric rates;
(3) the effect of the alternative compliance payment level on the renewable energy credit market; and
(4) any other factors necessary to ensure the continued development of the renewable energy industry in this state while protecting ratepayers from unnecessary rate increases.