The integration of renewable energy is universally seen as part of the solution to meeting increased growth in energy demand, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and relieving transmission congestion.
Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) are designated geographical areas where resources, land areas and renewable energy technologies merge to generate energy that will integrate with traditional energy sources. The concept of CREZ in Texas was introduced in 2005 by the Texas State Legislature as a proactive means to alleviate grid congestion and to meet our state’s goals for integrating renewable energy resources by expanding our electric infrastructure.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) established a number of initiatives to address the legislative mandate including regulatory projects to designate CREZs based on study of statewide renewable energy production potential; to direct the study of transmission needs for delivery from the CREZ at various transfer capacity levels; and to create the necessary rules to form the framework for selection of transmission service providers to implement the plan.
Ultimately, the PUCT selected a strategy to interconnect remote wind resources to the electric grid and, in early 2009, selected transmission providers, including Oncor, to build various segments of the transmission infrastructure project to bring wind power to other parts of the State.
In 2013, Oncor completed its portion of the CREZ initiative, which included the construction of over 1,000 miles of new transmission lines and supporting infrastructure at a cost of approximately $2 billion, which represented more than one-quarter of the statewide CREZ transmission plan. The overall CREZ transmission program has provided the infrastructure necessary to approximately double Texas’ renewable energy goals, as well as providing robust availability of 345 kV transmission to the West Texas area that has assisted in addressing increasing demand from the oil and natural gas industry.
Oncor would like to thank all property owners and affected parties for their support and participation throughout the CREZ transmission line licensing and construction process. The benefits realized by completion of the CREZ initiative, to all citizens across the state, would not have been possible without your cooperation.
To learn more about CREZ, visit the links below:
Link to view a high-level CREZ Map.