Transmission problems have plagued Texas power plants in recent years, and the state is facing a critical juncture in its transmission system that could mean a costly and costly overhaul of the entire power system.
According to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, the state has spent $1.2 billion on transmission repairs in the last year, including nearly $1 billion for transmission upgrades.
In addition to the new transmission equipment, the report estimated that transmission problems could cost the state $500 million in the next few years.
It added that some of the costs could be avoided if Texas replaced older transmission systems.
“Texas has been spending significant amounts of money to upgrade its transmission infrastructure, and it’s a critical time for the state to do that,” said Ed O’Neill, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
“If we can get our costs down, and if we can save some of those transmission systems from going down, that would be a win for Texas.”
But, as Bloomberg New Earth pointed out, transmission upgrades aren’t the only problem.
The state also faces transmission failures and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
As Bloomberg reported, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in May that Texas’s power sector emits more than 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year, which the state blames on a lack of wind turbines and transmission lines.
“We have to do more to fix the transmission system, and we can do that by spending money on transmission upgrades, not on the kinds of things that are causing problems,” O’Sullivan said.
“The only thing that would really help us would be if we were going to invest more in the existing transmission infrastructure,” he added.
“Transmission is the single largest driver of greenhouse gases in the state,” said Mark Jacobsen, president of the Sierra Club.
“We have about 2,000 transmission lines in Texas.
We are one of the largest emitters of carbon pollution.”
While some of these transmission problems are expected to be addressed in the coming years, Jacobsen said, Texas should be focused on getting its power system back to where it was before the recent power plant problems.
“This is a long-term problem,” Jacobsen told Bloomberg.
“The only way we’re going to be able to fix it is if we’re focused on repairing transmission lines and improving the infrastructure and getting the transmission back to the way it was.”
Bloomberg New Energy finance is the premier credit-rating agency for energy companies, and its analysis is based on a wide variety of data sources, including ratings from independent research organizations and government agencies.