Chemical Company Challenges Plan To Distribute Texas Wind Power Across The Nation


Caprock escarpment south of Ralls, Crosby County Texas. Image credit:google maps, panoramic view, by Leaflet.

ClimateWire covers this very complex issue in Proposal to Link the Nation's Grid Sparks a Debate . At stake is a proposal by a Norwegian developer, with support of Texas Panhandle land owners, to build a superconducting grid extension that exports Texas wind power, allowing the equivalent of 10 large nuclear power plants to tie into "Eastern and Western [USA] grid interconnections, and to Texas' independent grid, over the Tres Amigas transmission linkage." Occidental Petroleum, which operates major manufacturing facilities in Texas, has taken steps to challenge the Tres Amigas project, as reported in the ClimateWire story (go read it). Why would they be opposed?Occidental Chemical Corp. of Gregory, Texas, USA, manufactures liquid caustic soda, liquid chlorine, hydrogen (a byproduct of chlorocaustic processing), ethylene dichloride, and vinyl chloride monomer. They also make vinyl chloride monomer in Deer Park TX, and in La Porte TX.

Such manufacturing processes, chloro-caustic production especially, are electricity intensive. Presumably, anything which could potentially result in future electricity cost increases, even marginal ones, would reduce operating profits.

Sidebar: water and power, both being commodities consumed directly by individual citizens, government, and industry, come under added scrutiny, respectively, when they become scarce while demand increases or is projected to increase.

It is no coincidence that T Boone Pickens hatched a now-tabled plan to move large volumes of West Texas water, extracted from deep wells, to Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area, along the high voltage transmission corridor that was being proposed to deliver West Texas wind power to population centers to the East portion of the State.

Green energy is coupled with green jobs and with public welfare in general.
When enough pressure is felt on either resource, elected officials and their appointees are likley to be called upon to make decisions on highest and best use. For a recent and very applicable example, see the the link below for "Buffalo New York Thinking Jobs Per Green Megawatt."

Additional posts on the Texas power grid and on Occidental.
"Tres Amigas" Superstation Could Connect the 3 US Electrical Grids ...
SMART 2020 Report: Smart Grids Can Cut CO2 Emissions by 15 Percent ...
US Electric Grid Not Keeping Up With Renewable Energy Growth ...
For Economic Development - Buffalo New York Thinking Jobs Per Green Megawatt

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