Solar, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  January 7, 2019

Texas Power Pool to promote RE aggregation

The Texas Power Pool has been formed to offer a new power purchasing option for Texas public entities to utilize aggregated renewable energy. Texas Power Pool services include competitive procurement of utility-scale renewables and on-site solar for state agencies, higher education, cities, independent school districts, water districts, and other public entities across Texas, including cooperative and municipal utility regions.

Texas Energy Aggregation, an electricity consulting firm, was awarded a contract by the Texas Comptroller's Statewide Procurement Division to enable these services. In a statement, they explained that while corporate and large municipal entities in Texas have procured wholesaler renewable resources to reduce costs, hedge against energy price volatility, and achieve sustainability goals, “public entities such as cities, schools and universities certainly have an increasing appetite for renewables, but have been slow to cash in on the green energy boom, often lacking the expertise or economy of scale to achieve a price below traditional grid power.”

"Faced with budget shortfalls, public entities are now aggressively seeking new ways to reduce costs," says Texas Energy Aggregation President, TJ Ermoian. "Wind and solar are the new disruptors to the energy industry, offering the lowest-priced generation, but it takes specialized experience and aggregated loads to achieve the scale necessary to get below three cents per kilowatt-hour.”

"There is a short window of opportunity in the market to capitalize upon federal renewable energy tax credits, which begin ramping down in 2020," explained Mike Bendewald, COO with Texas Energy Aggregation and manager of the Texas power Pool. Texas Energy has begun the process of collecting letters of interest from the largest state and other public entities, which already includes some of the largest state agencies, cities and schools. These non-binding endorsements of common goals will be used to release an RFP by the end of first quarter of 2019 to lock in a firm price. "Once we can guarantee a rate under 3 cents per kilowatt-hour, we anticipate additional participation that will further drive down the cost for all participants," he said.

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