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’s CREZ investment is expected to help the state annually conserve approximately 17 billion gallons of water, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 16% and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 13%.
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 energy 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 farm 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. (emphasis added)
By Tom Gray, AWEA, www.awea.org/blog/