Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) are “hot spots” where a renewable resource has been identified and allow for connectivity to the ERCOT grid. CREZs identified and studied by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) are located in mainly four geographical areas of the state: the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, Central Texas and the Gulf Coast. The Texas Panhandle harbors the top four proposed CREZs in the state due to optimal environmental conditions allowing for the most accessible and quantifiable wind resource in the United States.
In July 2008, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced a transmission scenario that will eventually transmit a total of 18,500 MW of wind power through more than 3,500 miles of transmission lines from West Texas to metropolitan areas of the state and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. As a result of the state's $7 billion investment into the CREZ system, wind power transmission congestion has been reduced and Texas has reached new heights in wind power generation and efficiency. In March of 2014, Texas recognized a peak output of 10,296 MW of wind energy equaling 29% of the total electrical load.
The maps below illustrate the Panhandle A and B CREZ zones. These areas have more than 300 miles of 345 kv line installed. Additionally, eight new sub-stations have been constructed.
For more information about the CREZ transmission system, contact us.