Plan seeks to help water, power problems
January 13, 2014, 6:46 pm by James Walker
New power plants built at sites where brackish groundwater can be desalinated and used as a substitute for fresh water might help solve two of the state’s most pressing problems, Fraser said in an interview with Highland Lakes Newspapers Monday.
The plan should appeal to Texans who are concerned about both water and electricity shortages and the daunting task of finding and creating new supplies of each for the future as the state population continues to grow at a rapid rate, Fraser said.
"This is not an electric issue with a water component,” the state senator said. "It’s a water issue with an electric opponent.”
Fraser first detailed his plan to the Austin American-Statesman for a story that appeared in Sunday’s paper.
The high cost of desalinating brackish water, which is saltier than fresh water, has kept the concept from being implemented on a wide scale basis in Texas and the prohibitive cost of building new power plants with uncertain revenue projections is the chief reason no new plant has been built in the state in years, Fraser said.
That is because wholesale electricity prices have been too low for too long, discouraging public and private entities from building new power plants, experts have said.
The state has enough electricity during normal usage periods, but during times of peak demands, shortages occur and rolling blackouts have had to be implemented, Fraser said.
"In studying the problem, I see this as the way to marry two concepts,” said Fraser, who is chairman of the Texas Senate’s Natural Resources Committee, which has authority over both water and electricity issues. "This gives us a way to incentivize people to build what I call peaker plants.”
For the full story, see the Tuesday edition of The Highlander.
|©2014 The Highlander. All rights reserved. All items contained on this site are property of the The Highlander.
P.O. Box 1000, Marble Falls, Texas 78654 - Phone: (830) 693-4367