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Medina EC News

Exercising Your Right To Vote

Message from CEO Herbert “Trey” Grebe III

As an electric cooperative, we know the importance of democratic control and exercising your right to vote. On election day this year—November 7—there are many constitutional amendments proposed that will impact Texans and, more specifically, members of Medina Electric Cooperative.

Medina EC is urging members to vote in favor of Proposition 7 which is “the constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.”

As Texas electric consumer demand grows, readily dispatchable generation—primarily natural gas fired power plants—is not growing, which is resulting in an undersupply of reliable, dispatchable generation to power the Texas population and economy. Although renewable resources like solar and wind provide a supplemental amount of energy to aid in our power resources, they cannot be relied on when the sun does not shine or when the wind does not blow.

Overall, Texas’ generation fleet is aging with approximately 72% of the fleet surpassing 20 years in age and nearly 30% of the fleet surpassing 40 years in age. There is an expected useful life for a power plant—generally 30 years—and therefore we can expect retirements of these power plants in the coming years. In addition, dispatchable generation investment has slowed significantly over the last 20 years for a variety of reasons; all of which have led to lower wholesale market prices that have not provided the necessary incentive for new dispatchable generation to be built in Texas.

Fortunately, our state leaders have recognized the need to build more electric generation facilities to meet the growing demand. The Texas legislature passed, and the governor signed Senate Bill 2627 earlier this year, which provides additional economic incentives for new dispatchable generation that is built in the power grid region for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Those incentives include low interest loans to build new generation facilities, but also includes a completion bonus to those generators that can quickly complete construction by 2029.

Texas will continue to grow—not only are we are seeing it across the state, but it is happening right here in the 17 counties served by Medina EC. We also see the importance of having more reliable dispatchable generation built to meet the growing demand, but incentives and programs must be created to encourage and promote quick development of these power plants.

In order to create the programs necessary to incentivize these power plants to be built, Texas voters must vote FOR Proposition 7 to amend the Texas Constitution to authorize the creation of the Texas energy fund.

We’ll see you at the polls on November 7.

Until next time,
Trey Grebe