- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted approval for Pattern Energy Group LP to move forward with construction of the 400 mile Southern Cross transmission line from near Dallas to northern Louisiana and Mississippi.
- Expected to be complete by 2019, the line would open new markets for Texas wind energy in Southeastern states without significant wind resources of their own where utilities are increasingly recognizing the value of wind as a hedge against the price volatility of natural gas.
- Texas wind capacity grew 12% in 2013 to over eleven gigawatts and is expected to grow by between three and seven gigawatts this year.
Southern Company subsidiaries Georgia Power and Alabama Power, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Southwestern Electric Power have recently entered into PPAs for wind from Midwestern and Plains states via transmission provided through the Southwest Power Pool.
The Pattern Energy application for the Southern Cross project was filed with the FERC in 2011. This FERC approval will likely allow the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state grid operator, to approve new Texas wind builds. FERC’s orders require an interconnection with Garland Power and Light, the utility for Garland, Texas.