The typical Texas residential consumer is expected to potentially save $160 to $355 annually in electricity bills, once new transmission lines are completed to deliver wind power throughout the state, according to a study released today from The Perryman Group. Investment in new wind turbines and the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines will help power the State of Texas with this renewable energy source.

In addition, the combined investment in new wind turbines and these transmission lines will create $30 billion in economic gains, employ thousands and bring in almost $2 billion in additional state and local taxes. Also, Texas’ CREZ investment is expected to help the state annually conserve approximately 17 billion gallons of water, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as16 percent and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 13 percent.

Several Texas university economists endorsed the methodology and results of the study, which measures the likely economic impact of the CREZ transmission investment, as well as the anticipated doubling of available wind power available to Texas customers by 2013.

Because wind turbines do not pay for fuel, their cost of operation does not increase the more they are used. So, as more wind power becomes available on the market, it has a greater influence on wholesale market prices. The net result is a lower overall cost of electricity. This results in reductions in rates for residential, commercial and industrial customers that exceed the long-term cost of the CREZ investments. This effect already has been seen in the West Texas wholesale market for electricity.
“To put these numbers into context, the economic gains from CREZ and wind power translates into almost a half to 1 percent increase in our state’s economy, which is equal to the impact of the air transportation (low range) or the computer and electronic sector (high range) of our economy today,” said Dr. Ray Perryman, president of The Perryman Group. “Our study indicates that the investment in CREZ transmission infrastructure will help solidify Texas’ position at the forefront of wind power, renewables and associated industries, providing an additional $3.8 billion in gross product per year and generate more than 40,000 jobs.”

Dr. Jeremy Hall, assistant professor of public affairs & assistant program head for performance management, University of Texas at Dallas, commented on the study, “Connecting homes, business and industry across the state to efficient and clean energy sources will ensure Texans have the power they need to live and conduct commerce. The Perryman Group report demonstrates the central role this project will play to enhance Texas’ global economic competitiveness for years to come.”

The Perryman Group found sizable positive economic impacts of the CREZ transmission investment on business activity that were related to:

•Construction and development of the new transmission infrastructure and the wind turbines required to achieve the newly expanded capacity;
• Ongoing maintenance of the transmission facilities and wind turbines, royalty payments to landowners, and cost savings stemming from improved fuel diversity; and
• Potential economic development benefits associated with solidifying Texas’ position at the forefront of renewable energy.

Currently, Texas is home to almost one-third of the nation’s wind generation capacity. Within three years, the completed CREZ transmission facilities will make available more
than 18,000 MW, stimulating economic development and delivering clean energy to Texans throughout the state. Read Summary of Wind Study. Read Full Wind Study.