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The American Wind Energy Association's proposals for including wind power as an integral part of energy supply strategies caught the attention of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) at an April 3 hearing. PUCT chairman Pat Wood listened intently to AWEA consultant Nancy Rader describing the virtues of a renewables portfolio standard as a means of integrating wind power into a market moving from wholesale to retail competition.

She proposed Texas set a goal of deriving 2% of its total electricity supply from renewables by 2002, a policy that would effectively set aside a quarter of the state's new capacity additions for clean, renewable sources. "In anticipation of competitive markets, utilities are likely going to avoid making investments that don't improve their competitive position in short term markets," warned Rader. "And since neither they nor their consumers can capture the benefits of renewable resources -- at least not in the short-term -- they will be reluctant to invest in them." Rader also endorsed using resource specific bids to procure new renewables. "The Texas Utilities experience shows how this increased competition -- 28 bids were received in response to its wind solicitation."

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