Saturday, September 26, 2009

NRG agreement with Houston

Being from Houston, I was surprised when I came upon an article about the City of Houston making a 25-year agreement with NRG Energy to buy power from a solar power plant that will be built in July of 2010, which will then be the largest solar power plant in Texas. Its 10-megawatt capacity is estimated to provide the city with 1.5 percent of its energy needs. The cost per megawatt hour, estimated at $4 million per megawatt, is not much higher of those of its surrounding plants.

Issa Dadoush, the director of Houston's General Services Department hopes that this will give the city renewable energy credit, stating that "Houston always talks about being the energy capital of the world, but we'd like to see it transformed into the energy conservation and renewable capital".

This quote caught me by surprise because I doubt Houston can change their nickname to something pertaining to renewable when it headquarters a company like Halliburton, which opened a second headquarters in Duabi, a place not known for renewable energy, in 2007.

I found it interesting that the city is investing in a source of energy that will further diversify Houston's sources of fuel, which has been a concern after the natural disasters such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which affected supply of oil and natural gas and caused a rise in the price of electricity.

I believe that if this investment is deemed a success that this could only push Houston in the direction to use more sources of renewable energy, aside from wind. Even if the plant's capacity is a mere 10-megawatts when being compared to plans on building a 14-megawatt plant in San Antonio and a 30-megawatt plant in Austin, this could be a small step towards a better future for the city.

The article, in its entirety, can be found here.


The Archreactor said...

Introducing another form of energy such as solar power to the grid of Houston does help diversify its elecctrical energy options and is a logical step. I say logical for two reasons :

The first refering to the effects of the region's annual hurricane season. Having a permanent plant that runs completely on sun means that there is no risk of loosing energy as is the case with natural gas and oil-which has to be brought to the city. There is always a replenishable and occuring energy source.

The second refers to the one of many steps to diversify not only Houston's energy grid but all of Texas's. This simple step along with the contribution of the cities of San Antonio and Austin toward this cause showcases that Texas can lead a way to successful system of solar power plants and that we are a leading region fitted to do so.

diana camcho said...

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step", this quote I believe best explains what the city of Houston must undergo regarding this article. I fully agree with Orbi Dayrit that although it will only be a mere 10-megawatts that the plant will generate it’s the beginning of something great. As we speak or blog, there are other plans around Texas to build solar powered power plants. Now looking at it from the point of view of the city’s well being itself, Houston could maintain its status in being one of the best in energy efficiency easily.