Texas Lt. Dan Patrick proposes ambitious power security plan

Touted as a multi-billion dollar strategy to balance, bolster and boost the supply of electricity in Texas, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick announced a slate of bills he believes will insulate the Lone Star State from future shortages and blackouts.

Topping the list is a fleet of publicly funded emergency backup generators.

"Businesses won't come to Texas and citizens won't feel safe unless they know we have dis-patchable power for the growing needs of Texas," said Patrick.

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"Dis-patchable" as in fossil fuel and nuclear generation capable of operating when weather conditions prevent wind and solar from contributing electrons to the grid.

State Senator Charles Schwertner says state and federal subsidies for so-called "renewables" have distorted the energy market, stunting the development of more reliable fossil fuel generation.

"We need that dis-patchable generation to balance out and assure we have a grid that's performing in times of critical need," said Schwertner.


Among the proposals backed by Patrick are ultra-low-interest loans to fund the construction of new fossil fuel generation, cancellation of all state subsidies for wind and solar, new protections to harden the grid against cyber-attacks and starting in 2024, a mandate that 50 percent of all new generation built in Texas be "dis-patchable."

"We are going to build those plants and we are going to have renewables that help keep our air clean and prices low. That's why a lot of companies move here and we are going to have dis-patchable that guarantees in the worst weather conditions that when you hit that light switch the lights come on," said Patrick.