Document Type

Symposia Article


The State of Texas leads the United States in wind energy generation capacity—it has more than twice the wind generation capacity of the next-closest state, California. If Texas was an independent nation, it would rank sixth in the world in total installed wind capacity. Texas has a rich history of legislation and regulatory effort to thank for these statistics, which reflects the knowledge that energy and infrastructure drive the economy. Starting in 1999, Texas became one of the first states to enact a Renewable Portfolio Standard (“RPS”). The RPS set a state-wide goal for new renewable energy installation with deadlines for when that goal was to be met. In addition to passing an RPS, Texas also created Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (“CREZs”). CREZs are areas of Texas that have been designated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (“PUCT”) to receive special benefits for wind transmission and development due to their strong wind resources and large financial commitments in the region by wind developers. These programs, and several others, have helped the wind industry in Texas grow exponentially to continually reach the goals set out by the RPS long before deadlines arrive. In fact, on a recent day towards the end of March, wind generation accounted for 29% of the electricity used by most Texans.

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