The Texas grid: superhighway or farm-to-market road?

Date
10/15/2014

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Is Texas' electricity grid the 21st century superhighway
needed to transport electrons "harvested"
on rural wind farms to growing urban markets? What are the grid impacts
of rooftop solar installations that add electrons at sunny times but
not at night? Can the grid be managed to accommodate the unique Texas
cocktail of electrons generated by the sun, the wind and natural gas?

These are among the critical issues that will be addressed at the Texas
Renewables 2014 Conference, "Shaping Texas' Evolving Energy Markets,"
to be held Nov. 3-6 at the Dallas Sheraton Hotel. This will be the 30th
anniversary meeting of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Assoc.
(TREIA), the only industry association that represents the broad
spectrum of renewables - solar, wind, biofuels, and geothermal.

"Renewable electricity isn't just about generating electrons from
affordable solar and wind technologies," stated Hala Ballouz, President
of Electric Power Engineers and TREIA president. "Those electrons need
to reach the market reliably, efficiently and affordably. The grid must
be a superhighway, not a farm-to-market road. Electrons generated when
the sun is shining or the wind is blowing also must somehow be stored
for later use. Energy storage is an emerging and critically important
industry in Texas."

In addition, there are numerous legal, financial and institutional
issues that are pivotal in the evolution of Texas' markets for
renewable energy. These also will be explored by expert speakers and
panelists in the two-day program, Nov. 4-5.

A panel of experts will explore whether or not new utility models are
needed to capitalize on Texas' abundant solar and wind resources.
Another panel will address the future and direction of electric
transmission in Texas. Experts will examine issues related to energy
storage, and others will discuss grid integration of the "new Texas
blend." Innovative financing and marketing of distributed generation
also are on the agenda.

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association

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