A California based energy company has developed a plan to export Texas electricity to other states. Seen as a way to make use of the state’s abundant supply of wind energy, the proposed 400 mile transmission line would be the first of its kind. It would transmit Texas power from a point just east of Dallas to Louisiana and Mississippi.
The Texas electric grid is separate from the other major North American grids. Texas generates more wind energy than any other state. Because wind power by its nature can be unpredictable, the state sometimes finds that wind turbines produce more electricity than the state can use at any given time. This could especially be true at night when temperatures tend to drop and wind tends to blow more.
Pattern Energy Group, the company responsible for the proposed new line, plans to be able to send up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity out of the Texas grid to neighboring states. The company would use an affiliate, Pattern Power Marketing, to purchase wind power from Texas producers and sell the power to electric companies in other states.
The project is only made possible by the recent completion of massive new transmission lines that were designed specifically to bring electricity from West Texas were most of the state’s wind energy resources are to the more populous eastern part of the state. If the plan goes through it could be completed as early as 2019 at a total cost of up to $2 billion.