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Rural Texas Speaks Out: Tells Lawmakers to Keep Supporting Chapter 313

One of the most valuable tools Texas uses to attract major investments to Texas is currently under assault in the legislature.  Lawmakers in Austin who don’t understand the innovative Chapter 313 program, are working to take this tool away from Texas counties and school districts.  The loss would be felt immediately, especially in rural areas that have used 313 to attract more than $32 billion in wind energy investments.

WIND BENEFITS ALL OF TEXAS.  Texas has benefited tremendously from wind energy’s growth.  Wind is bringing cheaper power to consumers statewide.  Wind is bringing new revenue streams to support farmers and ranchers.  Wind is creating new high-quality jobs, delivering economic opportunity in our rural communities.  And, wind is creating new, stable, long-term tax revenue for local governments and schools.

Wind energy has become the reliable, affordable, stably priced energy source that other industries rely on too.  More and more companies are committing to use wind energy from Texas to make their manufacturing cheaper, and to guarantee long-term affordably priced power.  From our chemical manufacturers on the Gulf Coast, to our automobile manufacturers in the Metroplex, to small factories in towns across the state; leading American companies are using Texas wind energy to be competitive and that wind is making Texas more attractive for job-creating investments.

313 WORKS FOR RURAL TEXAS.  One of the reasons that wind energy has been competitive in Texas is the Chapter 313 program.  As rural communities know well, Chapter 313 in our tax code gives local communities and school districts a discretionary tool to help attracts investments that grow the economy.  This essential tool helps communities compete against other states where taxes are lower by offering a short-term property tax reduction. Because wind energy projects are long-term projects with expected lives of 25 years or more, a short-term tax incentive delivers long-term value to schools and other property tax payers.

The attack on the ability of rural communities to attract investment is real.  If certain lawmakers in the capitol have their way, one of the most valuable and flexible economic development tools available to rural Texas will disappear, or be limited dramatically.  In some cases, proposed changes target wind energy development.  That means that, while other areas of the state will benefit from the program in other industries, rural areas with rich wind energy resources, will be left behind.

That’s why rural constituents are reaching out to Austin, keeping the pressure on until the legislature adjourn on May 29th.  Until then, they’ll be reminding them that rural Texas needs tools to attract investments and grow rural economies.  The Chapter 313 program is one of the most important tools available today, a critically important tool for rural economic development, and one that community leaders rely on to grow their tax base and economy that funds local schools and communities.

If you have questions about the 313 program, please contact Alerts@WindCoalition.org.

Wind Energy to Power GM’s Texas Assembly Plant

Renewable power will be used to build up to 125,000 trucks a year

Arlington, Texas – General Motors’ Arlington Assembly plant will soon be able to build up to 125,000 trucks a year using wind power from turbines whose blades span the length of a football field in diameter.

Arlington Assembly produces more than 1,200 vehicles daily, including the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe; GMC Yukon and Yukon XL; and Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV. The 115 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy will be enough to manufacture more than half of the plant’s annual vehicle output.

GM signed a power purchase agreement with EDP Renewables North America, a fully owned subsidiary of EDP Renovaveis, for its first U.S. wind power – 30 MW of energy from the planned 250 MW Hidalgo Wind Farm in Edinburg, Texas. Fifteen of the wind farm’s 261-foot-tall turbines will generate the energy GM will use.

Arlington Assembly expects to start using the clean power during the fourth quarter of 2016, avoiding about $2.8 million in energy costs annually. Over the course of the 14-year deal, GM will avoid more than 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – equivalent to the emissions of 112 million gallons of gasoline consumed.

“Our investment is helping accelerate the proliferation of clean energy in Texas and the use of wind as a reliable, renewable source of energy,” said Jim DeLuca, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “Our sustainable manufacturing mindset benefits the communities in which we operate across the globe.”

“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with General Motors and look forward to providing clean and more economical energy for GM’s Arlington Assembly plant in the coming years,” said EDP Renewables North America CEO Gabriel Alonso.

Renewable energy complements a robust energy efficiency program at the plant. Arlington Assembly recently met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR® Challenge for Industry by reducing the energy intensity of its operations by 10 percent in five years – the second time it met the challenge. Arlington Assembly also is investing in a new paint shop that will use half the energy of the system it will replace.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2016, wind energy will help power three GM Mexico facilities. Once on line, the company will exceed its commitment to use 125 MW of renewable energy by 2020. GM’s investments in renewable energy to date have yielded nearly $80 million in savings.

For more information on GM’s environmental commitment, visit its sustainability report and environmental blog.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

Procter & Gamble to Manufacture Iconic Brands Including Tide and Dawn with Wind Power

New Texas based wind farm to provide 100 percent of electricity to all P&G Fabric & Home Care plants in the United States and Canada.

  • Procter & Gamble (P&G) and EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) partner to generate wind power to meet P&G’s North American Fabric & Home Care plants’ electricity demands.
  • P&G turns the American Business Act on Climate Pledge into a reality with wind power partnership.
  • Amount of electricity generated by the wind farm would be enough to wash one million laundry loads.
  • Giant pinwheel ‘wind farm’ constructed on Capitol Hill (Washington DC) to celebrate the collaboration.

See more at: http://news.pg.com/press-release/procter-gamble-make-iconic-brands-including-tide-and-dawn-wind-power#sthash.0uHTMLdH.dpuf

Cincinnati, Ohio – Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced today plans to meet its electricity demands by using 100 percent wind power to make iconic Fabric & Home Care brands, such as Tide and Dawn. This is possible thanks to a new partnership with EDF Renewable Energy (EDF RE) which will see a new Texas based wind farm generate 370,000 MWh of electricity each year. The wind farm will be fully operational in December 2016.

The partnership was announced at the White House today, as P&G became a signatory of the ‘American Business Act on Climate Pledge’. As part of the pledge, P&G agreed to achieve 30 percent renewable energy to power its plants globally by 2020, with a long term vision to use 100 percent renewable energy. This comes on the heels of a September announcement where P&G committed to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020.

One of the key actions on the journey to rely more on renewable energy is to partner with EDF RE to build a wind farm in Cooke County, Texas. This will generate 370,000 MWh of electricity per year – enough to meet electricity demands for all of P&G’s North American Fabric & Home Care plants, where iconic brands such as Tide, Gain, Downy, Dawn, Cascade, Febreze, and Mr. Clean are produced.

The amount of power generated from the partnership will be equivalent to avoiding more than 200,000 metric tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually. This equals one percent of the national annual reduction target for electricity emissions called for in the White House Clean Power Plan.

The electricity consumption of the plants makes up about half of their total energy consumption. The electricity will be exclusively generated by wind power. The plants will also continue to use natural gas for process heating and comfort heating during winter.

Speaking about the project Shailesh Jejurikar, North America Fabric Care President, P&G, commented: “I am delighted that our collaboration with EDF RE continues to provide our consumers with their favorite, high performing brands while reducing our environmental footprint.”

He continued: “At P&G, when it comes to sustainability, actions speak louder than words and this move is a significant milestone in delivering that promise. It is incredible that the wind farm will generate enough electricity for all our P&G Fabric and Home Care plants; to put that in context: This is enough electricity to wash a million loads of laundry.”

Tristan Grimbert, CEO and President of EDF RE states: “The participation of P&G to directly procure wind power is a concrete action that demonstrates their understanding of the benefits of renewable energy. Wind not only emits zero greenhouse gas emissions, but also delivers long-term energy price stability,” he continues “P&G is leading one of the fastest growing markets in the renewable energy space and we are pleased to be their partner to reach their climate pledge goals.”

To celebrate the scale of the collaboration, P&G Fabric & Home Care and EDF RE have constructed a mini-wind farm in Washington DC. The installation is placed on the lawn in front of the Capitol Building and is made up of thousands of spinning pinwheels.

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About Procter & Gamble
P&G serves nearly five billion people around the world with its brands. The Company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Always®, Ambi Pur®, Ariel®, Bounty®, Charmin®, Crest®, Dawn®, Downy®, Fairy®, Febreze®, Gain®, Gillette®, Head & Shoulders®, Lenor®, Olay®, Oral-B®, Pampers®, Pantene®, SK-II®, Tide®, Vicks®, Wella® and Whisper®. The P&G community includes operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.

About EDF RE
EDF Renewable Energy is a leading U.S. independent power producer with more than 25 years of expertise in the renewable industry, covering all range of services from project development, management to operations and maintenance. EDF Renewable Energy specializes in wind and solar photovoltaic with presence in other segments of the renewable energy market: biogas, biomass, hydro, marine energy and storage solutions. The company develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States for its own accord as well as for third parties. EDF Renewable Energy’s North American portfolio consists of 6 gigawatts of developed projects with 3.2 gigawatts of installed capacity throughout US, Canada, and Mexico. EDF Renewable Energy is a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. EDF Energies Nouvelles is the renewable energy arm of the EDF group, the leading electricity company in the world. For more information visit: http://www.edf-re.com

– See more at: http://news.pg.com/press-release/procter-gamble-make-iconic-brands-including-tide-and-dawn-wind-power#sthash.0uHTMLdH.dpuf

Wind Coalition Formally Responds to Texas Comptroller’s Biased Attack on Wind Energy

On Friday, The Wind Coalition formally responded to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs’ recently released report on wind energy in Texas. Rather than be considered a research piece, her report is better labeled an opinion on wind.  A long-time, outspoken opponent of wind energy development, Susan Combs is taking advantage of her final days in the Comptroller’s office using the power of that agency to push her anti-renewables agenda.  The report is error filled and deliberately distorts the facts to portray wind energy in a negative light.

Fortunately, the public and the press can see through the propaganda and the politicking. Combs’ report is a tired rehash of the arguments made by anti-wind groups and the dirty energy companies that she has so often promoted.

She’s wrong on technology, she’s wrong on subsidies, and she’s wrong on policy.

She’s also wrong on key economic issues affecting Texas, pushing ideas that would keep us hooked on imported coal instead of powering our states with the abundant resources with which we have been blessed.  Texas natural gas, Texas wind, and Texas solar can get the job done.  Texans Powering Texas.

Our response is lengthy but it says what needed to be said in response to her poorly researched, biased attack on a key Texas industry.  Please take time to read and share.

You can read The Wind Coalition’s formal response to the Comptroller here.

Wind Coalition Letter to Susan Combs – September 26, 2014