[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Cost of wind power lines blows past earlier estimate  

Credit:  By Tom Fowler, San Antonio Express-News, www.mysanantonio.com 25 August 2011 ~~

The cost of building thousands of miles of high-voltage transmission lines to bring West Texas wind power to major markets has risen nearly 40 percent from original estimates, according to a state report.

When approved by the Public Utility Commission in 2008, the plan to build lines to support as much as 18,500 megawatts of West Texas wind power was tagged at $4.9 billion dollars.

A quarterly update now puts the cost at $6.8 billion, an increase of 38 percent.

Early estimates said the cost of the new lines would raise Texans’ monthly power bills by about $4, but the higher price tag will push that fee closer to $5. Companies building the lines have not yet filed with state officials to begin recouping the costs, but that process might start later this year, Public Utility Commission spokesman Terry Hadley said.

Texas leads the nation in wind power capacity, with nearly 10,000 megawatts available from wind turbines built in the past decade.

Most of the wind farms are in rural West Texas, however, far from the major cities that use the most power, and without enough high-voltage transmission capacity to get the wind-generated electricity to those populous areas.

In 2008, the PUC and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state power grid, outlined several plans for building hundreds of miles of transmission lines, with costs ranging from $2.9 billion to $6.3 billion. The PUC eventually chose the plan estimated then to cost $4.9 billion.

The power line projects drew opposition from some Hill County landowners and a handful of legal challenges as the massive steel towers began to creep across the countryside.

But most of the lines still are expected to be in place by December 2013.

Several factors pushed the costs higher, according to the report.

Officials made the original cost estimates before completing detailed engineering and design work, and before securing all the rights-of-way. In some cases, the rights-of-way requirements grew because of decisions for the lines to follow existing paths instead of the most direct routes.

The original estimates also failed to include financing costs and the effects of inflation, and apparently didn’t include contingency markups that typically are in big infrastructure projects to allow for undefined variables and risks, according to the report.

Source:  By Tom Fowler, San Antonio Express-News, www.mysanantonio.com 25 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.