Powering Strong Communities

Voters Sign Off on Creation of Texas Entity That Will Fund Power Plants, Backup Power Sources

Texas residents recently voted in favor of the creation of the Texas Energy Fund, which will provide grants and loans to finance the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric facilities in the state.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) will implement the Texas Energy Fund.

“PUCT staff has been working hard since early summer to prepare for implementation of the TEF,” said PUCT Executive Director Thomas Gleeson on Nov. 8. “With voter approval of the fund, we will push forward developing the program and design transparent processes to ensure the administration of the TEF is timely, fiscally responsible, and effective.”

The PUCT said that TEF funding opportunities will be available for dispatchable electric generation projects and facility enhancements both in and outside of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Power Region based on application and award processes under development by the PUCT.

The PUCT will review all applications and administer the fund.

In addition to grants and loans to finance the construction and modernization of dispatchable electric generating facilities, the TEF will provide grants and loans to support the installation of backup power packages for facilities in Texas that are critical for public health, safety, and well-being, the PUCT said.

 A backup power package is a stand-alone, backup power source that can provide at least 48-hours of power in the event of an outage, such as a natural gas or propane generator or a combination of solar panels and battery storage.

As directed in Senate Bill 2627, passed by the 88th Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott, the PUCT must begin accepting loan applications for projects within the ERCOT region by June 1, 2024, and must make initial disbursements for approved loans by Dec. 31, 2025.

Rich Parsons, Director of Communications for the PUCT, told Public Power Current that

The 88th Legislature capped the Texas Energy Fund at $10 billion. Texas voters approved Proposition 7, which allocates $5 billion to the TEF, he said.

Senate Bill 2627 also includes provisions to prioritize interconnection for TEF-funded electric generation facilities. More information on project eligibility and the types of grants and loans available through the TEF is available on the Texas Energy Fund page of the PUCT website.

Updates on development and implementation of the TEF will post to the TEF webpage, as information is available.

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