Partnership to build new Texas transmission

In Texas, two big players in the traditional energy and transmission markets, American Electric Power (AEP) and MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, have formed a partnership to build and own new electric transmission assets within the state's independent electricity region, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The decision comes after the strengthening of the state's renewable energy mandate in the summer. While exact plans have yet to be determined, the two companies expect as much as $1 billion in transmission expansions could occur through the effort and that the new lines will have an especially positive impact in accommodating new wind power in the state. The Texas RPS law was already among the strongest in the nation due to its rigorous compliance measures, but the summer's legislative changes take specific steps to break the "chicken or the egg" transmission dilemma through the proactive development of lines to accommodate future wind developments.