The Texas Competitive Renewable Energy Zone program is expected to cost $6.87bn, up from $6.56bn in April, according to a quarterly update released Nov. 1.
The program as originally conceived in 2008, was anticipated to cost $4.9bn, but that estimate was produced prior to engineering and design analyses and finalized routes, among other factors.
“Due to the early stages of the program, the changes in cost seen to date, the addition of reactive power equipment determined necessary by the CREZ reactive power study, and the many outstanding variables in the projects at the time it is likely that costs may fluctuate and change over the next year,” the Public Utilities Commission of Texas said in the report.
The quarterly update is current through Sept. 30.
The last scheduled project completion date for the CREZ program is Dec. 31, 2013, which is in alignment with the PUCT’s stated goal of program completion by the end of that year.
However, the schedule can be affected by the authorization of certificates of convenience and necessity (CCN) for certain projects, extensions to relevant studies and potential delays in material procurement, the PUCT cautioned.
The CREZ program is the PUCT’s response to a public mandate to increase the generation of renewable energy to serve the electric needs of the state, the PUCT said. Ultimately, it is expected to increase Texas’ wind capacity to 18,500 MW.