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Relating to certificates of public convenience and necessity for certain transmission projects.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
HB 1607 makes changes in the transmission process at ERCOT to attempt to address congestion issues that have prevented some renewable energy sources from getting their full energy output to customers. Projects under this bill have the ostensible purpose of replacing aging transmission infrastructure to minimize the need for the acquisition of new rights-of-way, minimizing interzonal constraints and intrazonal congestion during construction activities and accommodating higher voltages
This bill requires when granting a certificate for a project the public utilities commission (PUC) must take into account things like levelized costs, economic benefits, improvement in service, access and reliability, and estimated value of reduced cost of congestion among other things.
By requiring the PUC to consider levelized costs, HB 1607 would have the effect of subsidizing expensive new renewable energy transmission infrastructure at great cost to ratepayers. The state should avoid intervening to tilt the scales in favor of one form of producer against another at ratepayers' expense. For these reasons, Texas Action opposes HB 1607.