CREZ Transmission Projects send wind power from remote West Texas to Dallas

The project transmits 18,456 megawatts (MW) of wind power from West Texas and the Panhandle to highly populated metropolitan areas of the state

Wind Farming, Between Big Spring and San Angelo, Texas / Photo Credit: Creative Commons /  Ken LundWind Farming, Between Big Spring and San Angelo, Texas / Photo Credit: Creative Commons / Ken Lund

Created in 1975 by the 64th Texas Legislature, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (also referred to as the Commission, PUCT, or PUC) is responsible for the oversight of the electric and telecommunications industries in Texas.

In response to legislative action, the PUC issued order 33672 in 2008. The PUC assigned $4.93 billion of CREZ (competitive renewable energy zone) transmission projects to be constructed by seven transmission and distribution utilities. The project will eventually transmit 18,456 megawatts (MW) of wind power from West Texas and the Panhandle to highly populated metropolitan areas of the state.

Description of CREZ

The utilities code section 39.904 in conjunction with Senate Bill 20 (2005) established Texas's Renewable Energy Program and directed the PUC to identify Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ). A CREZ is a geographic area where wind generation facilities will be constructed. In 2008, PUC issued order 33672 designating five CREZs for the generation of wind power and defining the required transmission upgrades to deliver wind generated energy to Texas consumers.


Transmission build-out program

The CREZ project is the PUC’s response to a public mandate to increase renewable energy in Texas to serve the electric needs of the state. The Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill (SB) 7 in 1999, which restructured the state’s electric industry and allowed Transmission Service Providers (TSPs) to offer transmission services to other utilities throughout Texas. Ultimately, the CREZ effort will significantly increase Texas’s current level of wind generation capacity to 18,456 MW.



Benefits to community

CREZ projects are primarily designed to move electricity generated by renewable energy sources (primarily wind) from the remote parts of Texas (i.e., West Texas and the Texas Panhandle) to the more heavily populated areas of Texas (e.g., Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio). However, several of these lines also will provide transmission infrastructure necessary to meet the long-term needs of the growing area west of the I-35 corridor between San Antonio and Killeen. In addition, more clean energy will be brought to customers which will improve air quality in Texas.


CREZ zones:

For more information on the CREZ Zones please select one of the links below:

Project Regions

CREZ Projects:

For more information on the CREZ Projects please select one of the links below:

The regions are:

For further insight into the latest development of the CREZ Projects, please click to view:

Competitive Renewable Energy Zone Program Oversight - CREZ Progress Report

The CREZ Program was completed in 2013 and includes 3,500 miles of new line carrying up to 18,456 megawatts, and according to a trade news report, PUC is already looking to order more wind power transmission lines, apparently with connections to out of state markets. With completion of this major effort for wind energy in the US, it is no wonder that the US tops China in wind energy production. It is not the amount of erected wind turbines that counts but the transmission of produced renewable energy that reaches the end consumer!

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Public Utility Commission of Texas
Edited by Trevor Sievert, Online Editorial Journalist / by Public Utility Commission of Texas Staff

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