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The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) has taken a significant step toward creating the state's Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) by approving a proposed rule that includes CREZ designation criteria. CREZs are areas of land that possess a renewable resource, and are specified for transmission planning purposes.

One of the highlights in the proposed rule states that while designating CREZs, the PUCT would consider the amount of renewable energy potential, cost of transmission, level of financial commitments made by generation developers, and input from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department related to habitats in potential zones. When adopted, the rule will require utilities to file requests for construction approval for transmission identified for a given CREZ, the PUCT adds.

In addition, the rule proposes that CREZs could be designated anywhere in the state, not just within the boundaries of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which does not include the Texas panhandle. The rules are expected to be final in December.

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