Today, Life:Powered filed a comment with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) on the PUC’s proposed rule to establish a new interconnection allowance for generators. Pursuant to H.B. 1500, passed during the 88th Legislature, this new rule should aim to lower the cost uplifted to Texas ratepayers while ensuring the development of new reliable generation is not hindered. To reach this end, Life:Powered recommends a flat allowance per interconnection project that, if previously implemented, would have saved Texas ratepayers $205 million over the past 4 years.

“The transmission cost of service (TCOS) has more than doubled over the past decade, from $1.7 billion to $4.5 billion, placing an increasing burden on Texas ratepayers. Some of the increased TCOS can be attributed to rising interconnection costs for the wind and solar generation added to the ERCOT grid in recent years, which HB 1500 correctly seeks to limit,” said TPPF’s Brent Bennett. “The PUC’s proposed rule creates two tiers, with a higher allowance for generators connecting at higher voltages. This tiered allowance will primarily favor wind and solar projects that are farther from load centers and subvert the purpose of HB 1500. A single allowance at a level between the two existing tiers will strike the right balance of reducing costs to ratepayers while not stunting the development of new dispatchable generation.”

A copy of Life:Powered’s comment can be found here.