Texas has installed more wind energy than any other state, but a lack of transmission and its isolated grid are holding up new projects. Southern Cross, a transmission link proposed by San Francisco-based Pattern Energy, would connect up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new Texas wind farms and provide an outlet for the state’s grid by delivering the electricity to the Southeast.

How bad is the transmission bottleneck in Texas? On January 16, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the Texas grid operator, announced that utilities and independent transmission companies in its service territory plan to spend $8.7 billion over the next five years to build or improve 6,693 miles of transmission lines.

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