Texas/EZ Policies

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EZ Policies for Texas

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Download EZ Policies for Texas CSV (rows 1 - 92)

Policy Place Policy Type Active Implementing Sector Summary
AEP SWEPCO - SMART Source Solar PV Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) offers rebates to customers that install photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes. Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party.

Rebates are offered at a rate of $1.50 per watt (DC) for residential installations and $1.20 per watt (DC) for non-residential installations. The maximum per project and per customer rebate for residential systems is $15,000 and for non-residential systems is $30,000. Individual system size is limited by the Texas interconnection and net metering limits for distributed renewable generation (currently 2 MW). In addition, systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Each customer and point of service is eligible to participate in the program multiple times, subject to other program limitations (e.g., maximum per customer and per project incentive limits).

Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter, meet minimum estimated performance requirements (80% of optimum), and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. Eligible systems must be covered by an all-inclusive warranty for at least five years from the date of installation.The modules must be new and certified to UL 1703 and inverters must be new and certified to UL 1741. All installations must be performed service providers who meet program eligibility requirements. AC disconnect switches are required as are revenue grade solar meters. Service providers are also subject to ongoing quality assurance standards and are required to attend technical training sessions. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term. System owners retain title to renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by their system.

All incentive reservations expire either on six calendar months after the date of acceptance, or November 30, 2013.

Contact program personnel for additional information on applications, incentive eligibility, installer qualifications and other program details.

*Non-residential maximum rebate amounts were $25,000 in 2009, $90,000 in 2010, $17,500 during most of 2011, and increased to $43,750 in October 2011. Non-residential rebates are not available for the 2012 program year.
AEP Texas Central Company - SMART Source Solar PV Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility American Electric Power Texas Central Company (AEP-TCC) offers rebates to any customer that installs photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes or other buildings. Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party.


Rebates


Rebates are offered at a flat rate of $1.20 per watt (W)-DC for residential customers and $1.05 per W-DC for non-residential customers. The maximum rebate is:


  • $12,000 per residential customer (equivalent to a 10 kilowatt (kW) system),
  • $26,250 per non-residential customer (equivalent to a 25 kW system), and
  • $90,000 per service provider or project owner.

The above limits no longer apply after July 1, 2014. Owners of the systems also own all renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental credits associated with the project.


The total amount of program funding for 2014 is $180,000 for residential customers and $180,000 for non-residential customers.


PV System Eligibility


Unless used for educational purposes by a school, systems must be at least 1 kW- DC in size to qualify for the rebate. Systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Each customer and point of service is eligible to participate in the program multiple times, subject to other program limitations (e.g., maximum per customer and per project incentive limits).

Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter, meet minimum estimated performance requirements (80% of optimum), and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. Eligible systems must be covered by an all-inclusive warranty for at least five years from the date of installation. PV modules must be new and certified to UL 1703, and inverters must be new and certified to UL 1741. All installations must be performed service providers who meet program eligibility requirements. AC disconnect switches and revenue-grade solar meters (provided by the service provider) are required. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term.
AEP Texas North Company - SMART Source Solar PV Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility American Electric Power Texas North Company (AEP-TNC) offers rebates to any customer that installs photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes or other buildings. Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party.


Rebates


Rebates are offered at a flat rate of $1.20 per watt (W)-DC for residential customers and $1.05 per W-DC for non-residential customers. The maximum rebate is:


  • $12,000 per residential customer (equivalent to a 10 kW system),
  • $26,250 per non-residential customer (equivalent to a 25 kW system), and
  • $81,450 per service provider or project owner.

The above limits no longer apply after July 1, 2014. Owners of the systems also own all renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental credits associated with the project.


The total amount of program funding for 2014 is $90,000 for residential customers and $72,900 for non-residential customers.


PV System Eligibility


Unless used for educational purposes by a school, systems must be at least 1 kilowatt (kW)-DC in size to qualify for the rebate. Systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Each customer and point of service is eligible to participate in the program multiple times, subject to other program limitations (e.g., maximum per customer and per project incentive limits).

Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter, meet minimum estimated performance requirements (80% of optimum), and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. Eligible systems must be covered by an all-inclusive warranty for at least five years from the date of installation. PV modules must be new and certified to UL 1703, and inverters must be new and certified to UL 1741. All installations must be performed service providers who meet program eligibility requirements. AC disconnect switches and revenue-grade solar meters (provided by the service provider) are required. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term.
Agricultural Biomass and Landfill Diversion Incentive (Texas) Texas Grant Program Yes State/Province This law provides a grant of a minimum $20 per bone-dry ton of qualified agricultural biomass, forest wood waste, urban wood waste, co-firing biomass, or storm-generated biomass that is provided to a qualified biomass facility. The Texas Department of Agriculture administers the program, and provides quarterly rebates to biomass facilities for the grant monies paid out throughout the year to biomass suppliers. The agricultural biomass and landfill diversion incentive program is available to farmers, loggers, diverters, and renewable biomass aggregators and bio-coal fuel producers who provide qualified agricultural biomass, forest wood waste, urban wood waste, co-firing biomass, or storm-generated biomass debris to facilities that use biomass to generate electric energy. The law was designed to promote economic development, encourage the use of renewable sources in the generation of electric energy, reduce air pollution, and divert waste from landfills.
City of Austin - Green Power Purchasing (Texas) Texas Green Power Purchasing Yes Local Under the Austin Climate Protection Plan, the City Council has set numerous goals for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and carbon emission reductions with the overall goal of making Austin a national leader in local climate change mitigation policy. Included in this larger goal is a goal of powering all city facilities with renewable energy by 2012. According to the EPA Green Power Partners, the city of Austin procures 100% of its electricity from green power (374,086,079 kilowatt hours). Interestingly, the Austin Independent School District (AISD) is one of the largest subscribers to the Austin Energy GreenChoice program since 2003, when it made a commitment to purchase 30% of its electricity from renewable sources, totaling 45,000-48,000 MWh annually. According to the October 2012 EPA Green Power Partner update, the AISD's most recent renewable energy purchase of 20,080 MWh comprises 13% of its total electricity consumption, and ranks 2nd nationally among K-12 school purchases. In comparison, the City of Austin's renewable energy purchase ranks 3rd nationally. As an independent entity, the AISD green power purchases are separate from those made by the city of Austin and the AISD is not governed by the City municipal facility goal.
City of Austin - Renewables Portfolio Standard (Texas) Texas Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes Local The City of Austin, Texas, has been an early adopter of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) regulatory incentive. Using long term planning strategies, the City has set annual benchmarks for the percentage of renewable energy it uses annually. In February 2007, the Austin City Council approved Resolution 20070215-023, adopting the mayor's Climate Protection Plan. The Resolution increased Austin's renewable portfolio goal to 30% by 2020, with 100 MW required to come from solar. The resolution also sets a green power procurement goal, with the plan to power municipal buildings and facilities using 100% renewable energy by 2012. In February 2011, the city council approved Austin Energy's updated Resource, Generation and Climate Protection Plan, thereby increasing the portfolio goal to 35% by 2020 and doubling the solar requirement from 100 MW to 200 MW. See the Final Report on Austin Energy’s Strategy for 200 MW of solar generation per Resolution No. 20110804-027 from November 2011 for updated information on how Austin plans to meet its ambitious goals.

Other requirements established by the Climate Protection resolution include:

Other requirements established by the Climate Protection resolution include:

  • Making the entire City fleet of vehicles carbon neutral by 2020,
  • Developing and implementing departmental climate protection plans,
  • Developing an employee climate protection education program,
  • Achieving 700 MW of new savings through energy efficiency and conservation efforts by 2020,
  • Establishing a CO2 cap and developing a reduction plan for existing utility emissions,
  • Achieving carbon neutrality on any new carbon-based generation facilities, and
  • Implementing aggressive building codes to maximize energy efficiency.
History

The City of Austin has a long history of supporting the development of renewable energy resources. In February 1999, the Austin City Council adopted Resolution No. 990211-36, which set a goal for Austin Energy to achieve 5% of the energy in its portfolio mix from renewable resources by December 31, 2004. Renewable resources include those that rely on energy derived directly from the sun, on wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave or tidal energy, or on biomass or biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas. Funding to achieve the 5% increase in renewable energy resources was authorized to be provided by Austin Energy's green pricing program -- GreenChoice -- initiated in 2000. Residential and business customers can opt to have the standard (fossil) fuel charge on their electric bill replaced entirely by the GreenChoice power charge, which will remain fixed for 10 years.

In September 2003, the Austin City Council approved a resolution to ensure that Austin Energy continues to meet the community's demand for clean energy beyond 2004. Resolution 030925-02 directed the utility to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Wildlife Fund that included a goal to achieve a 20% renewable energy component in its energy mix, an increase in energy efficiency of 15% by 2020, and support of binding limits on national power sector CO2 emissions. Subsequently, in December 2003, the Austin City Council unanimously approved Austin Energy’s 10-year Strategic Plan, which among other initiatives, included elements to comply with the council’s energy policy resolutions. Objective 5 of the plan sets a renewables portfolio standard of 20% by 2020. Austin Energy also committed to develop 15 megawatts (MW) of solar generating capacity by 2007, increasing to 100 megawatts by 2020, increasing it again in 2011 to 200 MW by 2020.
Austin Energy - Commercial Solar PV Incentive Program (Texas) Texas Performance-Based Incentive Yes Utility Austin Energy offers a performance-based incentive to customers with a commercial account number for electricity generated by qualifying photovoltaic (PV) systems of up to 200 kilowatts (kW)-AC. The incentive rate is currently set at $0.09 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) locked for a 10-year term, but the maximum incentive cannot exceed 80% of the PV system invoice cost. Systems rated up to 20 kW-AC are also eligible for net metering.


In order to qualify for this program, PV modules must be new and be listed on the California Energy Commission's Go Solar web site. In addition, all solar panels must have a 20-year manufacturer warranty, all inverters must have a 10-year manufacturer warranty, and all systems must have a 10-year installer's warranty. Licensed electrical contractors must obtain the appropriate permits and perform all electrical connections.
Austin Energy - Net Metering (Texas) Texas Net Metering Yes Utility Austin Energy, the municipal utility of Austin Texas, offers net metering for renewable energy systems up to 20 kilowatts (kW) to its non-residential retail electricity customers. The definition of renewable includes solar*, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave and tidal energy, biomass, and biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas. Systems must be used primarily to offset a portion or all of a customer's on-site electric load. Metering is accomplished using a single meter capable of registering the flow of electricity in both directions (delivered and received) to determine net energy flows.

Customers that generate more electricity than they consume during a monthly billing period will receive a credit for net excess generation (NEG) at the appropriate avoided cost rate. The amount of the credit is calculated by multiplying the net kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity fed into the grid by the current fuel charge; or, if the customer participates in the utility's GreenChoice program, each kWh delivered by the customer to the utility's electric system in excess of the kWh delivered by the utility is multiplied by the appropriate Green Power Charge. See the Austin Energy Rates Summary for more information.

All systems must meet the requirements of Austin Energy's interconnection guidelines and the customer is responsible for all interconnection costs. Interconnection agreements have a minimum term of one year, unless the customer is a participant in the Austin Energy Solar PV Rebate Program, in which case the minimum term is five years. Agreements will be renewed automatically each year unless terminated by either party (requires 60-day written notice).

*Austin Energy offers the Value of Solar rate for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. This tariff replaces net billing for residential solar PV systems no larger than 20 kilowatts (kW) and provides a larger annual cost savings to customers than if they had net metering available.
Austin Energy - Residential Solar Loan Program (Texas) Texas Utility Loan Program Yes Utility Austin Energy offers two types of loans for residential customers to finance solar energy systems in eligible homes:


  • Solar water heater loans are available for up to $5,000 for single family and $10,000 for duplexes. (A customer can choose either the loan or the rebate incentive for solar water heaters, but not both.)
  • Solar PV loans are available for up to $20,000, which may be combined with Austin Energy solar PV rebates.

Terms for Austin Energy solar loans are 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. All work must be done by a program-approved contractor.


For loan pre-approval with Austin Energy's financing partner, customers can contact Velocity Credit Union.
Austin Energy - Residential Solar PV Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Austin Energy's Solar Rebate Program offers a $1.10 per watt incentive to eligible residential customers who install photovoltaic (PV) systems on their property. Rebates are limited to $15,000 per home installation (not to exceed 80% of the total invoice) and a lifetime maximum of $50,000 per residential site. Residential customers are billed for their whole house energy consumption at standard residential rates and then credited at the current Value of Solar Rate ($0.107 per kilowatt-hour), with monthly net excess generation rolled over to the next month.

Rebates will only be paid for approved systems installed by approved solar contractors according to the established technical requirements. All systems must conform to the utility's equipment and installation standards in order to qualify for a rebate. These standards include the use of pre-approved equipment; equipment warranty requirements; and the use of a program-approved, NABCEP-certified, and appropriately insured solar installer. Participants must meet a detailed set of home energy efficiency requirements in order to qualify for a solar rebate.


Renewable Energy Credits and other environmental credits associated with renewable energy generated from the system belong to Austin Energy.
CPS Energy - Solar PV Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility CPS Energy, San Antonio's municipal utility, offers rebates to customers who install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on their homes, schools, or businesses. There are four rebate "tiers" available depending on customer type and whether or not the customer is using a "local" registered CPS Energy Installer.* Third-party owned systems (e.g., leased PV systems) are not eligible for rebates (a customer must make the upfront financial investment). In all tiers, final rebate levels will be determined upon a final inspection from the utility. Unfavorable shading, angles or direction may influence the final rebate amount. The rebate is available to all CPS Energy customers for systems of at least 1 kilowatt (kW)-AC. CPS Energy will offer special considerations for systems larger than 100 kW, but such systems remain eligible for rebates. The following "tiers" are in place:


  • Tier One
    Eligibility: Schools (private or public; must be accredited and nonprofit) who use local, registered CPS Energy Installers
    Amount: $2.00 per watt-AC for the first 25 kilowatts (kW) and $1.30 per watt for any additional capacity, with a maximum rebate of $80,000.
  • Tier Two
    Eligibility: Residential customers who use local certified CPS Energy Installers
    Amount: $1.60 per watt-AC up to $25,000 maximum or 50% of rebated equipment installation labor and material costs, whichever value is less.
  • Tier Three
    Eligibility: Commercial customers who use local certified CPS Energy Installers
    Amount: $1.60 per watt-AC for the first 25 kW-AC and $1.30 per watt-AC for any additional capacity up to $80,000 maximum or 50% of rebated equipment installation labor and material costs, whichever value is less.
  • Tier Four
    Eligibility: Residential and commercial customers who do not use local, registered CPS Energy Installers
    Amount: $1.30 per watt-AC up to $25,000 maximum for residential and $80,000 for commercial

On an individual basis, rebate eligibility will be determined by a pre-inspection of the site. In order to ensure that rebated systems are efficient, safe, and productive, numerous equipment and installation requirements apply. System owners are responsible for obtaining all applicable permits and permissions required to install and operate the system and all work must be performed in accordance with all applicable federal, state, local, and manufacturer codes and standards. CPS publishes interconnection guidelines for systems smaller than 25 kW. Rules for larger systems will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Rebate recipients will be required to sign an agreement handing over all of the renewable energy credits (RECs) produced by the system to CPS Energy.


*CPS defines "local" as being located in CPS Energy territory with a CPS Energy electric account.
Canadian River Compact (Multiple States) Texas
Oklahoma
New Mexico
Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Canadian River Commission administers the Canadian River Compact which includes the states of New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Signed in 1950 by the member states, the Compact was subsequently ratified by the respective state legislatures, approved by Congress, and was signed into law by the President in 1952. The interstate Canadian River Commission includes one state commissioner appointed by the governor of each member state and one federal commissioner appointed by the President. The major purposes of the Compact are to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of present and future controversy; to make secure and protect present developments within the States; and to provide for the construction of additional works for the conservation of the waters of Canadian River.
Cavern Protection (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province It is public policy of the state to provide for the protection of caves on or under Texas lands. For the purposes of this legislation, “cave” means any naturally occurring subterranean cavity, and includes or is synonymous with cavern, pit, pothole, well, sinkhole, and grotto. No person may excavate, remove, destroy, injure, alter in any significant manner, or deface any part of a cave owned by the State of Texas, unless the person possesses a valid permit under this section. A permit may be obtained following the receipt of an application giving the reasons and objectives for the excavation, removal, or alteration and the benefits expected to be obtained from the contemplated work.
City of Austin - Zoning Code (Texas) Texas Solar/Wind Access Policy Yes Local The Zoning Code (Chapter 25-2) of the Austin City Code provides a height limitation exemption for solar installations. Solar installations may exceed the zoning district height limit by 15% or the amount necessary to comply with a federal or state regulation, whichever is greater. The Zoning Code also allows for preservation plan in historic districts to incorporate sustainability measures such as solar technologies and other energy generation and efficiency mechanisms.
City of Brenham - Net Metering (Texas) Texas Net Metering Yes Utility In September 2010, the City of Brenham passed an ordinance adopting net metering and interconnection procedures. Customer generators up to 10 megawatts (MW) are eligible to participate, although customer generators with systems 20 kilowatts (kW) or less are eligible for a separate rider and expedited interconnection. The utility will install and maintain a meter capable of measuring flow of electricity in both directions. Any net excess generation (NEG) is credited on a monthly basis at the utility's avoided cost rate.

The ordinance includes a standard form interconnection application and agreement as well as standard riders. Customers must provide all equipment necessary to meet applicable safety, power quality and interconnection requirements established by the National Electric Code (NEC), the National Electrical Safety Code, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and any applicable local and state agencies.

Net-metered customers with systems greater than 20 kW must maintain general liability insurance for personal injury and property damage of at least $500,000 per occurrence and $1,000,000 aggregate; systems 20 kW or less are exempt from the insurance requirements as long as the system's inverter is UL 1741 listed and meets IEEE 1547 requirements. A disconnect switch that is easily visible and accessible to City of Brenham employees is required for all systems. The customer generator is responsible for paying related interconnection costs (including interconnection studies, if required) and must pass a field inspection prior to generating.
City of Dallas - Green Energy Purchasing (Texas) Texas Green Power Purchasing Yes Local In September 2007, the City of Dallas finalized purchase contracts for more than 333 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green electricity for city facilities during 2008. The city has elected to continue its green power purchasing program through 2013. The purchase amounts to roughly 40% of total expected electricity consumption by municipal facilities for the year and will be supplied completely by wind generated electricity. It puts Dallas in the fourth spot on the EPA's Green Power Partner listing of local government green energy purchases (as of January 2011). Prior to this, Dallas engaged in a separate purchase of roughly 30 million kWh of green energy for the street lighting component of city electricity consumption for 2007. The City of Dallas also has green building requirements for new municipal structures and adopted green building standards for private developments in April 2008 for new construction as of 2009.
City of Houston - Green Power Purchasing (Texas) Texas Green Power Purchasing Yes Local In 2007, the City of Houston negotiated a 5-year contract with Reliant Energy for up to 80 MW or 700 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually of renewable energy credits (RECs). These RECs will be generated almost exclusively from wind power. The purchase began in July 2008 at 40 MW, equivalent to roughly 350 million kWh annually or 25% of the annual electricity consumption of the city's municipal facilities. Additional 10 MW increments of renewable energy are authorized to be stepped in over time up to the 80 MW specified in the contract. As of January 2012, the purchase had been increased to 50 MW, equivalent to roughly 438 million kWh annually approximately 35% of annual electricity consumption in city facilities. This diversification of Houston's energy portfolio is expected to help insulate the city from price shocks such as those that occurred in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Between January 2009 and December 2012, Houston has captured the second spot on the EPA's Green Power Partner list of green energy purchases by local governments.
City of San Marcos - Distributed Generation Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility The City of San Marcos offers a Distributed Generation Rebate Program for the installation of grid-tied renewable energy systems. The Distributed Generation Rebate Program is offered on a first-come/first-serve basis and is open to all City of San Marcos electric utility customers with an account in good standing.


Qualifying Solar PV systems are eligible for a $2.50 per Watt (W) rebate up to $5,000. Qualifying Wind Generation systems are eligible for a $1.00 per W rebate up to $5,000. Neither rebate amount can exceed 50% of the system installation costs. Renewable energy systems are required to be warranted for minimum time periods as follows:


  • Installation - 1 year
  • Wind Generator - 5 years
  • PV Modules - 20 years
  • Inverter - 5 years

Rebated products must be installed within the San Marcos electric utility service area, and must remain in use at the originating address for the lifetime of the product. Should the system be removed, the customer will be billed a pro-rated amount of the original rebate based on 80% after 1 year, 60% after 2 years, 40% after 3 years, and 20% after 4 years.


Rebate funds are not applicable to used equipment, maintenance agreements, warranties, re-roofing or structural work, batteries, or leases.
City of Sunset Valley - PV Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Local Rebate Program Yes Local The City of Sunset Valley offers rebates to local homeowners who install photovoltaic (PV) systems on their properties. The local rebate acts as an add-on to the PV rebates that are offered by Austin Energy to its electric customers.

The Sunset Valley rebate is $1.00 per watt (W) up to 3,000 W. In order to qualify for the Sunset Valley rebate, the system must first qualify for an Austin Energy rebate. In addition, the system installation cost must be $6 per 1,000 W or less.


The Sunset Valley rebates are in addition to the Austin Energy rebate of $2.50 per watt AC up to $15,000 per installation. In order to participate in the program, local residents must first be approved for a rebate through the Austin Energy program and meet the corresponding equipment, warranty, and installation requirements. This means that local residents of utilities other than Austin Energy are not eligible to participate in the Sunset Valley program.

Please see the program website or use the contact information below to obtain more information about this offer.
Climate Action Plan (Texas) Texas Climate Policies No State/Province The State of Texas currently does not have a climate plan in place or in progress.
CoServ - Solar Energy Rebate (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility CoServ Electric Cooperative provides a rebate to its members who installation a solar energy system on their property. Customers must sign an interconnection agreement (with net metering) for on-site generation with CoServ. Any excess generation from the system will be given to CoServ without compensation.


Interested customers are encouraged to contact the utility for more details before making investment decisions.
Coastal Public Lands Management Act (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The coastal public lands of the state are managed in accordance with the following principles: (a) The natural resources of the surface land, including their aesthetic value and their ability to support and nurture all types of marine life and wildlife, shall be preserved. (b) Preference will be given to uses which the general public may enjoy and participate in over uses which are limited to fewer individuals. (c) The public interest in navigation in the intracoastal water shall be protected. (d) Unauthorized use of coastal public land shall be prevented. (e) Utilization and development of the surface of coastal public land is not allowed unless the public interest as expressed by this chapter is not significantly impaired by it. (f) Use of the surface estate in coastal public land shall not be granted except by leases and lesser interests and by exchanges of coastal public land for littoral property. (g) Vested rights in land shall be protected. The School Lands Board is responsible for implementing, administering, and enforcing these policies, and, in cooperation with the Texas Land Commissioner, will develop a comprehensive coastal land management program to carry out these duties. As part of this program, permits are required for the construction or modification of most structures on coastal public lands.
Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (United States) United States Grant Program
Loan Program
Yes Federal Community Development Block Grant/Economic Development Infrastructure Financing (CDBG/EDIF) provides public infrastructure financing to help communities grow jobs, enable new business startups and expansions for existing businesses. State programs help achieve the national objective of CDBG by funding projects in which at least 51 percent of the new jobs created are made available to low and moderate income individuals. The maximum amounts awarded under the program are $1 million for new businesses locating to the state and $500,000 for existing businesses expanding in the state.
Comprehensive Municipal Solid Waste Management, Resource Recovery, and Conservation Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act encourages the establishment of regional waste management facilities and the cooperation of local waste management entities in order to streamline the management of municipal solid waste in the state of Texas and aid the implementation of resource recovery systems.
Conservation of Oil and Gas (Texas) Texas Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This legislation prohibits the production, storage, or transportation of oil or gas in a manner, in an amount, or under conditions that constitute waste. Actions which may lead to the waste of oil or gas are listed, and include the operation of any oil well or wells with an inefficient gas-oil ratio as well as the wasteful burning of natural gas wells.
County Solid Waste Control Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes Local The purpose of this chapter is to authorize a cooperative effort by counties, public agencies, and other persons for the safe and economical collection, transportation, and disposal of solid waste to control pollution in this state.
Denton Municipal Electric - GreenSense Solar Rebate Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Denton Municipal Electric (DME) offers rebates to its electric customers for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar water heating systems. The solar rebates are designed for residential and small commercial customers and are available for both existing buildings and new construction. Applicants must be a home or rental property owner.


The following requirements apply to the PV rebate:


  • Applicant must contact Program Manager to receive Interconnection Agreement, Application for Interconnection Packet, and GreenSense PV Rebate Agreement.
  • All applications are processed on a case by case basis.
  • Structures will only qualify for this rebate once.
  • Documents must be completed and approved PRIOR to installation of the photovoltaic system. Post inspections by DME and the City of Denton Building Inspections Department are required on all installations before issuance of the rebate.

The following requirements apply to the solar water heater rebate:


  • Solar water heater must be sized to accommodate a family of four, at minimum.
  • Solar water heater must preheat water for an electric water heater that is permanently installed at the structure.
  • Solar water heater must have permanently installed electric backup.
  • Structures will only qualify for this rebate once per 12-month period.
  • Applications must be completed and approved PRIOR to installation of the solar water heating system. Post-inspections by DME and the City of Denton Building Inspections Department are required on all installations before issuance of the rebate.

Failure to follow these or other requirements of the City of Denton Building Inspections Division may render the system ineligible for the incentive and the system will not be allowed to interconnect with the DME electrical grid. Requests for payment must be received by DME within 30 days of installation. Credits will be made to the electric utility accounts of electric utility retail customers that purchase the qualified equipment. Participating builders that install qualified systems will receive a cash payment. All installations must be for accounts served by DME and must meet all applicable national, local, and manufacturers’ codes and specifications.

The DME Application for Interconnection and the DME interconnection Agreement detail specific requirements for this rebate.
El Paso Electric Company - Small Business and Large Commercial Programs (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility El Paso Electric (EPE) offers several incentive programs targeting small business owners as well as larger commercial and industrial EPE customers.

The Large Commercial Solutions Program is designed to help businesses address rising energy costs through the installation of energy efficiency improvements. The program offers objective, third-party consulting on energy usage and efficiency, supporting customers to identify cost-effective projects, properly evaluate vendor proposals, and leverage the resulting energy savings and cash incentives to finance additional improvements. Technical assistance, and communications support services are also offered through this program. Upgrades to lighting, HVACsystems and roofs are eligible for this program, as well as measurement and verification services. Please contact the utility or program representative for additional information on this program.

The El Paso Electric Small Commercial Solutions Program offers participating contractors, and EPE customers, cash and non-cash incentives for implementing energy efficiency improvements in the Texas portion of the El Paso Electric Service territory. The Small Commercial Solutions Program is specifically available to El Paso Electric business customers in Texas with up to 100 kW maximum demand. Incentives are available for qualifying measures in retrofit and new construction projects, and are available on first come, first served basis. Solar Photovoltaics, reroofing, lighting and HVAC upgrades are eligible for incentives under this program. El Paso Electric has partnered with CLEAResult Consulting, Inc. to administer the program. Please contact the utility or program representative for additional information on this program.
El Paso Electric Company - Solar PV Pilot Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Note: All available 2014 funds are fully subscribed and the 2014 program is closed to new applications.


El Paso Electric (EPE) offers rebates to both residential and non-residential customers that install photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes or buildings. Rebates are offered at a flat rate of $0.75 per watt-DC for both residential and non-residential customers.

Residential systems are limited to a $7,500 incentive, and non-residential systems are limited to a $37,500 incentive. Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party. The 2014 program budget is $402,000 ($212,500 for residential and $189,500 for non-residential). Past program budgets were: $141,300 (2010), $1,350,000 (2011), $1,150,000 (2012), and $425,000 (2013).


EPE claims ownership of renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by systems that receive incentives.


Eligibility


Individual systems must be sized between 1 kilowatt (kW) and 50 kW (per S.B. 1910, which came into effect June 2011) to be eligible for the incentive. In addition, systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Customers may only apply for one rebate per point of service, as defined by a unique meter ESI-ID number. Customers with multiple points of service are therefore permitted to apply for multiple rebates, subject to other program requirements.


Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter, meet minimum estimated performance requirements (80% of optimum), and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. All equipment (i.e., modules, inverters, and meters) must meet standard quality and safety requirements (e.g., inverters must certified under UL-1741 or its equivalent). All installations must be performed by service providers who meet program eligibility requirements. Service providers are also subject to ongoing quality assurance standards and are required to attend technical training sessions. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term. Special considerations and rules may apply to new construction projects, apartments, rentals, condominiums, leased properties, large companies, and government agencies. Interested parties are encouraged to contact the program manager prior to submitting an application.
Enterprise Zone Program (Texas) Texas Corporate Tax Incentive
Enterprise Zone
Yes Local The Enterprise Zone Program eligible projects to apply for state sales and use tax refunds on purchases of all taxable items purchased for use at qualified business sites related to the project or activity. The level and amount of refund is related to the capital investment and jobs created at the qualified business site. In addition, local communities must offer incentives to participants under the enterprise zone program, such as tax abatement, tax increment financing, one-stop permitting, and other incentives developed by participating communities.
Financial Assurance for In Situ Uranium Facilities (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Owners or operators are required to provide financial assurance for in situ uranium sites. This money is required for: decommissioning, decontamination, demolition, and waste disposal for buildings, structures, foundations, equipment, and utilities; surface reclamation of contaminated area including operating areas, roads, wellfields, and surface impoundments; groundwater restoration in mining areas; radiological surveying and environmental monitoring; and long-term radiation and perpetual care account. Rules regarding this financial assurance can be found in Title 30, Texas Administrative Code (30 TAC), Subchapter L , “Licensing of Source Material Recovery and By-Product Material Disposal Facilities.”
Forestry Policies (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Texas' forested lands are managed by the Texas Forest Service, a division of Texas A&M University. TFS has issued the "Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources", which includes discussion of the opportunity for utilizing woody biomass from forestry operations:

http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/uploadedFiles/Sustainable/assessment/Texas%20State%20Assessment.pdf

In 2008, the TFS issued a document titled "Estimation of Woody Biomass Availability for Energy in Texas", a study mandated by Texas House Bill 1090: http://txforestservice.tamu.edu/uploadedFiles/Sustainable/econdev/27192_TFSBiomassStudy_Dec_17_2008.pdf

The Texas State Energy Conservation Office offers information on biomass fuels including biomass fuels obtained from forests.:

http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/energy-sources/biomass/forests.php
Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure (Texas) Texas Generation Disclosure Yes State/Territory As part of Texas’s 1999 electric utility restructuring legislation, the state’s retail electric providers are required to disclose certain information in the form of a standardized “Electricity Facts Label” to residential and small commercial customers. This label, which must be disclosed upon request, includes details regarding sources of electric generation, such as the provider’s fuel mix and emissions.
Gaines County Solid Waste Management Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes Local This Act establishes the Gaines County Solid Waste Management District, a governmental body to develop and carry out a regional water quality protection program through solid waste management and regulation of waste disposal. The District has the power to prepare, adopt plans for, purchase, obtain permits for, construct, acquire, own, operate, maintain, repair, improve, and extend inside and outside the boundaries of the district any works, improvements, landfills, recycling facilities, waste-to-energy facilities, composting facilities, transfer stations, storage sites, and other facilities, plants, pipelines, equipment, and appliances necessary to transport, process, dispose of, and control solid waste and to protect groundwater within the district in accordance with state law.
Gas Pipelines (Texas) Texas Fees
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province This chapter applies to any entity that owns, manages, operates, leases, or controls a pipeline for the purpose of transporting natural gas in the state for sale or compensation, as well as any entity that produces or purchases natural gas. This chapter does not apply to entities transporting natural gas solely for interstate commerce. Some other exemptions apply. Any such entity is in the jurisdiction of the Railroad Commission and is subject to regulation by the Commission. This legislation contains provisions for the operation and maintenance of gas pipelines, applicable rates and fees, and pipeline and gas safety.
Gas Production Tax (Texas) Texas Fees Yes State/Province A tax of 7.5 percent of the market value of natural gas produced in the state of Texas is imposed on every producer of gas.
Gas Utility Pipeline Tax (Texas) Texas Fees Yes State/Province All gas utilities, including any entity that owns, manages, operates, leases, or controls a pipeline for the purpose of transporting natural gas in the state for sale or compensation, as well as any entity that produces or purchases natural gas, are required to pay a pipeline tax at the rate of one-half of one percent of the gross income of the gas utility.
Geothermal Resources Act (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The policy of the state of Texas is to encourage the rapid and orderly development of geothermal energy and associated resources. The primary consideration of the development process is to provide a dependable supply of energy in an efficient manner that avoids waste of the energy resources. Secondary considerations will be afforded to the protection of the environment, the protection of correlative rights, and the conservation of natural resources. The Railroad Commission is responsible for regulating the exploration, development, and production of geothermal energy and associated resources on public and private land.
Green Mountain Energy Renewable Rewards Program (Texas) Texas Net Metering Yes Utility Texas does not have statewide net metering as the term is generally understood. However, retail electricity providers in Texas are permitted, but not required, to compensate customers for electricity produced by distributed renewable energy generation systems and exported to the electric grid. The program described below operates in a fashion similar to net metering and has similar customer benefits up to a certain point.

Green Mountain Energy Company, a retail provider of green electricity, offers a special Renewable Energy Buy-back program to Texas customers that produce renewable energy from distributed generation systems. The offer is only available to residential and business customers of Green Mountain Energy Company who purchase electricity under the company's Renewable Rewards product. Wind, solar, geothermal, biomass (and related technologies), hydroelectric, wave, and tidal energy systems are eligible to participate in this program. The program is generally intended to only support systems of 25 kilowatts (kW) or less.

Under the program, systems are installed on the customer's side of the meter and may serve to provide a portion of the customer's on-site electricity demand. Any excess energy produced by the customer’s system that is exported to the grid (NEG) is metered separately and the customer's account is credited (the following month) for the exported energy up to 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month at the retail rate of the Renewable Rewards product. Energy export in excess of 500 kWh per month is credited at half of the retail rate of the Renewable Rewards product. The customer continues to pay the retail rate charged by Green Mountain under the Renewable Rewards program for all the electricity they consume from the grid during a month. Notably, customers retain title to any renewable energy credits (RECs) or other environmental attributes produced by the system.

The arrangement requires the customer to enter into an interconnection agreement with their electric distribution utility (not Green Mountain Energy). The customer must also work with their utility to install a meter capable of separately measuring the flow of electricity in both directions. The program website lists utility interconnection contacts for Oncor, CenterPoint, Texas-New Mexico Power, and American Electric Power.
Groundwater Conservation Districts (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes Local Groundwater Conservation Districts, as created following procedures described in Water Code 36, are designed to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater, and of groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions, and to control subsidence caused by withdrawal of water from those groundwater reservoirs or their subdivisions. Districts may develop, adopt, and promulgate rules pertaining to groundwater management within their jurisdiction; this system is the state's preferred method of groundwater management. This legislation contains further information on the establishment of groundwater districts, landowner protections, powers and duties of districts, well drilling, district finances, and bonds and notes.
Groundwater Management Areas (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This legislation authorizes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Water Development Board to establish Groundwater Management Areas to provide for the conservation, preservation, protection, recharging, and prevention of waste of groundwater and groundwater reservoirs. Designated management areas will cover all major and minor aquifers of the state, and will be identified as areas that are experiencing or that are expected to experience, within a 50-year period, critical groundwater problems, including shortages of surface water or groundwater, land subsidence resulting from groundwater withdrawal, and contamination of groundwater supplies. Groundwater use and development is restricted in these areas.
Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative - Renewable Energy Rebates (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Note: The PV rebate is currently closed.


The Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative (GVEC) offers rebates to its member customers for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar water heaters, solar water wells, and wind electric systems within its service territory. In order to be eligible under the current program, systems must be installed after January 1, 2014. Rebate amounts and limitations vary by technology.


In order to qualify for a rebate, systems must be new and meet a variety of equipment, warranty, and installation requirements that vary by technology. All units must be installed by a program approved contractor according to the manufacturer's specified procedures and codes.


Grid-connected renewable electricity systems must meet the standards of the National Electric Code (NEC) as well as the GVEC's own interconnection rules, code, and by-laws. Interconnection will take place at the GVEC's dual-register meter and electricity produced by the system will be purchased by the GVEC at the utility's renewable energy rate (i.e., not a net metering arrangement). The utility reserves to the right to inspect rebated systems in order to verify that they comply with program guidelines.
Interconnection Standards (Texas) Texas Interconnection Yes State/Territory The Texas Public Utility Regulatory Act (PURA) of 1999 included a provision that "a customer is entitled to have access to on-site distributed generation". As a result, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) adopted interconnection standards in 1999. The rules apply to electrical generating facilities (consisting of one or more on-site distributed-generation units) located at a customer's point of delivery, with a maximum capacity of 10 megawatts (MW) and connected at a voltage less than 60 kilovolts (kV). The total capacity of a facility's individual on-site distributed generation units may exceed 10 MW. However, no more than 10 MW of capacity will be interconnected at any point in time at the point of common coupling.

The following conditions apply to Texas's interconnection rules for distributed generation:

  • Installations must meet all applicable national, state and local construction and safety codes;
  • No pre-interconnection study fees are required for units up to 500 kW (under most circumstances), and study fees for larger systems are limited;
  • Time limits apply to pre-interconnection studies and application approval or rejection (4-6 weeks);
  • Pre-certification provisions allow for fast-track interconnection;
  • Equipment and operational requirements are differentiated based on connection type (single-phase or three-phase), paralleling mode and system size;
  • Cut-off points exist at 10 kW, 50 kW*, 2 MW** and 10 MW***;
  • The rules include technical provisions for interconnection to radial as well as network distribution systems;
  • An external disconnect device is required for all systems;
  • Standardized interconnection applications and interconnection agreements are used;
  • Liability is limited; and
  • Owners of distributed renewable generation and independent school district solar generation of 2 MW or less may not be required to purchase additional liability insurance

The PUCT's Distributed Generation Interconnection Manual includes a review of safety and technical requirements of DG installations; a copy of applicable rules, application procedures and forms; Texas utility contacts; and equipment pre-certification requirements.

*Texas Statute 39.554(e)(1) permits owners of a Distributed Renewable Generation system to interconnect through a single meter if they have a qualifying facility with a design capacity of 50 kW or less. Overall, Texas does not meet the definition of net-metering as generally understood.

**The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) Substantive Rule § 25.217(b)(1) defines Distributed Renewable Generation (DRG) as generation equipment with a capacity of 2MW or less provided by renewable energy technology. Owners of DRG systems are required to provide proof that equipment carries a warranty against breakdown and undue degradation for a minimum of 5 years. Further information on DRG Interconnection Guidelines can be found on the PUCT Distributed Generation web site listed at the top of this page.

***The Public Utility Commission of Texas Substantive Rule § 25.217(b)(3) permits interconnection of unlimited generation capacity for Independent School District Solar Generation (ISD-SG). Systems must meet applicable compliance requirements detailed in § 25.211 and § 25.212. Further information on ISD-SG Interconnection Guidelines can be found on the PUCT Distributed Generation web site listed at the top of this page.
Interstate Mining Compact Commission (multi-state) Alabama
Arkansas
Illinois
Indiana
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Missouri
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Virginia
West Virginia
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Interstate Mining Compact is a multi-state governmental agency / organization that represents the natural resource and related environmental protection interests of its member states. Currently, 23 states are members to the compact, and 6 additional states are associate members. The compact is administered by the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, which does not possess regulatory powers but “provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states” and thus aids the development of effective regulatory programs and environmental protection initiatives. The Commission exercises several powers on behalf of the states, all of which are of a study, recommendatory or consultative nature. The Commission does not possess regulatory powers, as some Compacts do. The Commission provides a forum for interstate action and communication on issues of concern to the member states. It is the potential to stimulate the development and production of each state's mineral wealth through effective regulatory programs that draws many of the states together in the prosecution of the Commission's work. Given the environmental sensitivities associated with this objective, a significant portion of the Commission's work is dedicated to the environmental protection issues naturally associated with this mineral development. It is the significant value and clout that comes from "compacting" together and speaking with a strong, united voice that can make a difference in each state's efforts to implement effective regulatory programs that will conserve natural resources and secure a vibrant state (and thus national) mineral economy.
Interstate Oil and Gas Conservation Compact (Multiple States) Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Michigan
Mississippi
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Mexico
New York
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Dakota
Texas
Utah
Virginia
West Virginia
Wyoming
Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission assists member states efficiently maximize oil and natural gas resources through sound regulatory practices while protecting the nation's health, safety and the environment.

The Commission serves as the collective voice of member governors on oil and gas issues and advocates states' rights to govern petroleum resources within their borders.

The Commission formed the Geological CO2 Sequestration Task Force, which examines the technical, policy and regulatory issues related to safe and effective storage of CO2 in the subsurface (depleted oil and natural gas fields, saline formations and coal beds).

The Commission also funds research on hydraulic fracking, reusing water used in extracting oil and gas, and makes recommendations on national energy policies and statutes for individual states.

The Commission also has several associate states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In addition, it has international affiliations with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon.
Local Option - Contractual Assessments for Energy Efficient Improvements (Texas) Texas PACE Financing Yes State/Territory Note: The Federal Housing Financing Agency (FHFA) issued a statement in July 2010 concerning the senior lien status associated with most PACE programs. In response to the FHFA statement, most local PACE programs have been suspended until further clarification is provided.

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing effectively allows property owners to borrow money to pay for energy improvements. The amount borrowed is typically repaid via a special assessment on the property over a period of years. Texas has authorized local governments to establish such programs, as described below. (Not all local governments in Texas offer PACE financing; contact your local government to find out if it has established a PACE financing program.)

Texas first enacted legislation in May 2009 that authorizes municipalities to establish contractual assessments for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to commercial, residential and industrial property. The law establishes the process for a municipality to establish a program, but many of the details of the program are determined locally. Texas passed subsequent legislation in 2013 (SB 385) that allows counties to also establish PACE programs, but only for commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential property. Under this new legislation a city or county may designate a single region or multiple regions within its boundaries as an assessment area.

As required by the original law, the municipality must first pass a resolution stating its intent to designate an area for the assessment, even if the area will cover the entire municipality. That same resolution must include proposed details of the program and a public hearing must be held to receive feedback from constituents. The resulting municipal plan must determine and specify the following:

  • Eligible renewable-energy systems and energy-efficient technologies;
  • A method for ranking requests from property owners for financing through contractual assessments if requests exceed the authorization amount;
  • Specification of whether the property owner may purchase the equipment directly or contract for the installation;
  • The maximum aggregate dollar amount of contractual assessments;
  • A map of the boundaries within which contractual assessments will be offered;
  • A draft contract specifying the terms to be agreed upon by the municipality and a property owner;
  • A method for ensuring that property owners who request financing have the ability to fulfill financial obligations; and
  • A plan for raising the capital required to pay for work performed. The law allows municipalities to fund these directly or use proceeds from bonds. Furthermore, the plan must include information on how the interest rate and repayment schedule is determined, and whether or not a reserve fund will be created (and how).
Once the municipal plan is implemented, property owners within the assessment area may opt-in to the program voluntarily. Subsequently, after they enter into a contractual assessment and receive funding for their energy improvements, a lien will be placed on their property and will remain until the assessment, and interest is fully repaid.
Mineral Leases by Political Subdivisions (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes Local This legislation authorizes local political subdivisions to lease lands they own for the development of mineral interests, including coal and lignite. A public hearing process is required prior to the lease of such lands. This legislation addresses the pooling of mineral leases, royalties, and other lease terms.
Minerals on Public Lands (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province Any tract of land that belongs to the state, including islands, salt and freshwater lakes, bays, inlets, marshes, and reefs owned by the state within tidewater limits, the part of the Gulf of Mexico within the state's jurisdiction, unsold surveyed public school land, rivers and channels that belong to the state, and land sold with a reservation of minerals to the state are subject to prospect by any person for those minerals which are not subject to lease or permit under any other statute. A person may not prospect from a location within 2,500 feet of a military base, but prospectors may, from a location more than 2,500 feet from a base, look for minerals within the 2,500-foot strip. A permit is required to prospect on public land, and this legislation describes required permit applications and the permitting process. This legislation also addresses the lease of mineral rights to landowners who own the surface of the land in question.
Municipal Utility Districts (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province Municipal Utility Districts, regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, may be created for the following purposes: (1) the control, storage, preservation, and distribution of its storm water and floodwater, the water of its rivers and streams for irrigation, power, and all other useful purposes; (2) the reclamation and irrigation of its arid, semiarid, and other land needing irrigation; (3) the reclamation and drainage of its overflowed land and other land needing drainage; (4) the conservation and development of its forests, water, and hydroelectric power; (5) the navigation of its inland and coastal water; (6) the control, abatement, and change of any shortage or harmful excess of water; (7) the protection, preservation, and restoration of the purity and sanitary condition of water within the state; and (8) the preservation of all natural resources of the state. The legislation contains information about district formation and operations, finances, and the power to issue bonds and notes.
New Technology Implementation for Facilities and Stationary Sources (Texas) Texas Grant Program No State/Province The New Technology Implementation Grant Program was established in 2009 to assist the implementation of new technologies to reduce emissions from facilities and other stationary sources in this state. The program is currently inactive, but the legislation is set to expire only in August 2019, so it is possible that the program will be reopened.
Oil and Gas on Public Lands (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The School Land Board may choose to lease lands for the production of oil and natural gas, on the condition that oil and gas resources are leased together and separate from other minerals. Lands that may be leased include: (1) islands, saltwater lakes, bays, inlets, marshes, and reefs owned by the state within tidewater limits; (2) the portion of the Gulf of Mexico within the jurisdiction of the state; (3) all unsold surveyed and unsurveyed public school land; and (4) all land sold with a reservation of minerals to the state under Section 51.054 or 51.086 of this code in which the state has retained leasing rights. This legislation contains additional provisions for such leases, and specifically addresses the development of riverbeds and channels, the payment of royalties, the unitization and relinquishment of leased lands, and geophysical and geochemical exploration permits.
Oncor Electric Delivery - Solar Photovoltaic Standard Offer Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program Yes Utility Note: The application period for 2015 projects opens on December 1, 2014.

Oncor Electric Delivery offers rebates to its customers that install photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes or other buildings.* Oncor customers of all rate classes (e.g., residential, commercial) are eligible to participate in the program. The term "customer" means "the entity with financial responsibility for paying the electric bill for the meter behind which the distributed solar energy equipment is to be installed." Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party.


Rebate Amount


In 2014, rebates are a one-time payment of $538.79 per kilowatt (kW)-AC and $0.41 per kilowatt hour (kWh)-AC for both residential and non-residential customers (e.g., businesses, governments, nonprofits, etc.). Under this incentive scheme, a typical 5.3 kW residential rooftop PV system can earn a total rebate of approximately $8,600.


The maximum rebate is equivalent to 20% of the most recent funding allocation. Individual systems must be 1 kW or larger, unless they are to be used by schools for educational purposes. In addition, systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Customers may only apply for one rebate per point of service, as defined by a unique meter ESI-ID number. Customers with multiple points of service are therefore permitted to apply for multiple rebates, subject to a 20% maximum rebate cap and other program limits (e.g., limits on total incentives available to a single customer).


Eligibility

Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. All installations must be performed by service providers who meet specific program eligibility requirements. Service providers are also subject to ongoing quality assurance standards and are required to attend technical training sessions. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term. System owners will initially retain title to renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by their system. However, Oncor reserves the right to claim RECs produced by rebated systems at a later time.


For more information, visit the program website.


  • The Oncor program began as a pilot program in 2009 and provided rebates in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Oncor pays incentives to eligible Service Providers who market, sell/lease, and install solar photovoltaic systems to commercial and residential customers served by Oncor.


** Oncor reserves the right to raise the incentive cap if the total amount of incentives for reserved projects is not sufficient to meet the program incentive budget.
Ownership of Carbon Dioxide Captured by Clean Coal Project (Texas) Texas Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This legislation stipulates that the Railroad Commission of Texas automatically acquires the title to any carbon dioxide captured by a clean coal project in the state. The Bureau of Economic Geology of The University of Texas at Austin is responsible for monitoring, measuring, and verifying the permanent status of sequestered carbon dioxide
Pecos River Compact (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This legislation authorizes the state's entrance into the Pecos River Compact, a joint agreement between the states of New Mexico and Texas. The compact is administered by the Pecos River Compact Commission, which is composed of representatives from the member states. The Commission has the authority to provide for the equitable division and apportionment of the use of the waters of the Pecos River; to promote interstate comity; to remove causes of present and future controversies; to make secure and protect present development within the states; to facilitate the construction of works for, (a) the salvage of water, (b) the more efficient use of water, and (c) the protection of life and property from floods.
Protection of Public Parks and Recreational Lands (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province A program or project that requires the use of a public park, recreational area, scientific area, wildlife refuge, or historic site may not be approved by any department, agency, political subdivision, county, or municipality of this state unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use or taking of such land; and the program or project includes all reasonable planning to minimize harm to the land resulting from the use or taking.
Public Utility Regulatory Act, Alternative Energy Providers (Texas) Texas Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province Chapter 35 of the Public Utility Regulatory Act specifically addresses alternative energy providers, and contains provisions designed to aid such providers in selling power in Texas's competitive utility market. The legislation prohibits utilities from expressing undue preference for purchasing power from affiliates, and requires utilities to provide fair transmission service to alternative energy providers. In addition, the legislation specifically addresses distributed generation natural gas facilities and energy storage facilities.
Qualifying RPS State Export Markets (Texas) Texas Renewables Portfolio Standards and Goals Yes State/Province This entry lists the states with Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policies that accept generation located in Texas as eligible sources towards their RPS targets or goals. For specific information with regard to eligible technologies or other restrictions which may vary by state, see the RPS policy entries for the individual states, shown below in the Authority listings. Typically energy must be delivered to an in-state utility or Load Serving Entity, and often only a portion of compliance targets may be met by out-of-state generation. In addition to geographic and energy delivery requirements, ownership, registry, and other requirements may apply, such as resource eligibility, generator vintage and capacity limitations, as well as limits on Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) vintage. The listing applies to RPS Main Tiers only, and excludes solar or distributed generation that may require interconnection only within the RPS state. This assessment is based on energy delivery requirements and reasonable transmission availability. Acceptance of unbundled RECs varies. There may be additional sales opportunities in RPS states outside the Eastern Interconnection. REC prices in markets with voluntary goals (North Dakota, South Dakota) may be lower.
Rating of Solar Energy Devices (Texas) Texas Equipment Certification Yes State/Province The Public Utility Commission has regulatory authority over solar energy devices installed and used in the state of Texas. The Commission can choose to adopt standards pertaining to the rating of solar energy devices, and any person who rates, labels, or certifies the performance of a solar energy device in this state must comply with these standards. Adopted standards are subject to periodic review. If national standards for rating and certifying solar energy devices are developed by a federal agency in conjunction with the states and industry, the commission shall adopt those national standards as the standards for use in this state.
Red River Compact (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Red River Compact Commission administers the Red River Compact to ensure that Texas receives its equitable share of quality water from the Red River and its tributaries as apportioned by the Compact. The Compact includes the states of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. The principal purposes of this Compact are: (a) To promote interstate comity and remove causes of controversy between each of the affected states by governing the use, control and distribution of the interstate water of the Red River and its tributaries; (b) To provide an equitable apportionment among the Signatory States of the water of the Red River and its tributaries; (c) To promote an active program for the control and alleviation of natural deterioration and pollution of the water of the Red River Basin and to provide for enforcement of the laws related thereto; (d) To provide the means for an active program for the conservation of water, protection of lives and property from floods, improvement of water quality, development of navigation and regulation of flows in the Red River Basin; and (e) To provide a basis for state or joint state planning and action by ascertaining and identifying each state's share in the interstate water of the Red River Basin and the apportionment thereof.
Refund for Economic Development (Texas) Texas Sales Tax Incentive Yes State/Province The Refund for Economic Development under the Tax Code for state tax refunds for economic development. Some Texas property owners may be eligible to receive refunds of state sales and use taxes and franchise taxes for paying local school property taxes, subject to the following requirements. To be eligible for a refund, a property owner must have established a new business in a reinvestment zone or expanded or modernized an existing business located in the zone.
Regional Districts (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes Local Adjacent Water Control and Improvement Districts and Municipal Utility Districts can opt to form a Regional District to oversee water issues. Such districts may be created:(1) to purchase, own, hold, lease, and otherwise acquire sources of water supply; (2) to build, operate, and maintain facilities for the transportation of water; (3) to sell water to cities, to political subdivisions of this state, to water supply corporations, to private business entities, and to individuals; (4) to purchase, own, hold, lease, and otherwise acquire equipment and mechanisms necessary for sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment; (5) to build, operate, and maintain facilities for sanitary sewer and wastewater treatment; (6) to transport and treat sanitary sewer and wastewater effluent of cities and political subdivisions of this state and for private business entities or individuals; (7) to purchase, own, hold, lease, and otherwise acquire equipment and mechanisms for the drainage of storm water and floodwater; and (8) for any of the purposes of Municipal Utility Districts.
Regulation of Natural Gas (Texas) Texas Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province This legislation provides for the protection of public and private interests with regards to natural gas production, prohibits waste, and compels ratable production to enable owners of gas in a common reservoir to produce and use the gas. Chapter 87 applies specifically to the production of sour natural gas.
Reinvestment Zones (Texas) Texas Enterprise Zone Yes Local Reinvestment Zones a local economic development tool used by municipalities and counties throughout the state of Texas. These zones can be created for the purpose of granting local businesses ad valorem property tax abatements on a portion of the value of real and/or tangible personal property located in the zone, for a period of up to 10 years.
Renewable Energy Demonstration Pilot Program (Texas) Texas State Grant Program No State/Territory The budget for 2012 is $500,000; this round of funding is specific to renewable energy generation technologies on water or wastewater treatment systems. Application forms are available here. Deadline for applications is July 13, 2012.

The Texas Department of Rural Affairs (TDRA) offers the Renewable Energy Demonstration Pilot Program (REDPP), which provides grants to local, non-entitlement local governments for the installation of renewable energy projects. The REDPP is part of the larger federal Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). The primary objectives of the CDGB program are: to primarily benefit persons of low and moderate income; to aid in the elimination of slums and blight; and to meet other community development needs of a particular urgency that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and safety of the public. The CDBG program separates local governments into two major categories: entitlement communities and non-entitlement communities. Entitlement governments, defined as cities with more than 50,000 residents and qualifying counties with more than 200,000 residents, receive an automatic allocation of CDBG funds. The REDPP portion administered by the TDRA is offered only to those local governments that do not receive an automatic allocation. There are a total of approximately 1260 non-entitlement cities and counties in Texas.

In order to qualify for funding under the REDPP, activities must use "a naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible source of energy such as biomass, solar, wind, tidal, wave, or hydroelectric". Beyond this requirement, eligible activities are determined according to the broader terms of the CDBG program. The program guidebook contains a detailed list of eligible and ineligible activities for CDGB funds. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis according to an evaluation structure which considers:

  • Type of project (e.g., does the project provide public facilities that serve basic human needs)
  • Use of innovative technologies and/or methods
  • Prospects for wider application or duplication in other rural areas
  • Long-term cost/benefits and relationship to state renewable energy goals (e.g., expected energy savings)
  • Partnerships and collaborations with other entities focusing on promoting renewables
  • Leveraging of other funding sources (i.e., level of matching funds)
  • Location in rural areas
Renewable Energy Systems Property Tax Exemption (Texas) Texas Property Tax Incentive Yes State/Territory The Texas property tax code allows an exemption of the amount of 100% of the appraised property value increase arising from the installation or construction of a solar or wind-powered energy device that is primarily for the production and distribution of thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy for on-site use and devices used to store that energy.


Solar energy devices installed or constructed on or after January 1, 2014, used for a commercial purpose are subject to the cost method of appraisal, and the depreciated value must be calculated using a useful life of 10 years or less (H.B. 2500).


Eligible Technologies


"Solar" is broadly defined and includes a range of biomass technologies. "Solar energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the radiant energy from the sun, including energy imparted to plants through photosynthesis employing the bio-conversion processes of anaerobic digestion, gasification, pyrolysis, or fermentation, but not including direct combustion, into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy; to store the converted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute radiant solar energy or the energy to which the radiant solar energy is converted.


"Wind-powered energy device" means an apparatus designed or adapted to convert the energy available in the wind into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy; to store the converted energy, either in the form to which originally converted or another form; or to distribute the converted energy.


Process


Those wishing to claim this exemption must fill out Form 50-123, “Exemption Application for Solar or Wind-Powered Energy Devices.”
Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program (Texas) Texas Corporate Tax Incentive No State/Province The Renewable Energy Tax Incentive Program provides various tax exemptions to businesses that either use or manufacture or install solar or wind energy. They can receive franchise tax deductions and/or exemptions. There also exists a property tax exemption involving solar, wind, biomass, and anaerobic digestion for business installation or construction of such systems. The program is administered through the State Energy Conservation Office and is available to manufacturers, sellers, or installers, and for installations.
Renewable Generation Requirement (Texas) Texas Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes State/Territory In 1999 the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) adopted rules for the state's Renewable Energy Mandate, establishing a renewable portfolio standard (RPS), a renewable-energy credit (REC) trading program, and renewable-energy purchase requirements for competitive retailers in Texas. The 1999 standard called for 2,000 megawatts (MW) of new renewables to be installed in Texas by 2009, in addition to the 880 MW of existing renewables generation at the time. In August 2005, S.B. 20 increased the renewable-energy mandate to 5,880 MW by 2015 (about 5% of the state's electricity demand), including a target of 500 MW of renewable-energy capacity from resources other than wind. Wind accounts for nearly all of the current renewable-energy generation in Texas. The 2005 legislation also set a target of reaching 10,000 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2025.

To address concerns about the adequacy of the state’s transmission systems, the law also instructs the PUCT to require utilities to add to their transmission systems as necessary to meet the renewable energy goal, and to allow utilities to recover the cost of such projects in their electric rates. The schedule of renewable energy capacity required and the corresponding compliance dates are as follows:

  • 2,280 MW by 1/1/2007
  • 3,272 MW by 1/1/2009
  • 4,264 MW by 1/1/2011
  • 5,256 MW by 1/1/2013
  • 5,880 MW by 1/1/2015

Qualifying renewable energy sources include solar, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric, wave or tidal energy, biomass, or biomass-based waste products, including landfill gas. Qualifying systems are those installed after September 1999. The RPS applies to all investor-owned utilities. Municipal and cooperative utilities may voluntarily elect to offer customer choice.

The PUCT established a renewable-energy credit (REC) trading program that began in July 2001 and will continue through 2019. Under PUCT rules, one REC represents one megawatt-hour (MWh) of qualified renewable energy that is generated and metered in Texas. A capacity conversion factor (CCF) is used to convert MW goals into MWh requirements for each retailer in the competitive market. The CCF was originally administratively set at 35% for the first two compliance years, but is now based on the actual performance of the resources in the REC-trading program for the previous two years. For 2010 and 2011 compliance years the CCF was 30.5%. The CCF increases to 32.2% for compliance years 2012 and 2013.

Pursuant to meeting the 500 MW non-wind goal contained in S.B. 20 of 2005, the PUCT has elected to award a "compliance premium" for each non-wind REC generated after December 31, 2007. Compliance premiums are functionally equivalent to a REC for the RPS compliance purposes and may only be awarded to non-wind facilities that were installed and certified by the PUCT after September 1, 2005. This method effectively doubles the compliance value of electricity generated by renewable resources other than wind.

Each retailer in Texas is allocated a share of the mandate based on that retailer’s pro rata share of statewide retail energy sales. The program administrator maintains a REC account for program participants to track the production, sale, transfer, purchase, and retirement of RECs. Credits can be banked for three years, and all renewable additions have a minimum of 10 years of credits to recover over-market costs. An administrative penalty of $50 per MWh has been established for providers that do not meet the RPS requirements.

In 2004, the PUCT amended the RPS regulations to change the formula for calculating final REC purchase requirements, add a mechanism to account for corrections to retail sales data, and allow the program administrator of the REC-trading program to petition for deadline changes under certain circumstances. The program website listed above contains the full list of PUCT rule proposals and adoptions since the inception of the program.

The PUCT has the authority to cap the price of RECs and may suspend the standard if necessary to protect the reliability and operation of the grid. For more information on RECs, including annual compliance reports, visit the ERCOT Renewable Energy Credit Trading Program website. According to the 2009 compliance report, Texas surpassed its 10,000 MW by 2025 in 2009.

In 2007 H.B. 1090 clarified that RECs retired for other purposes (e.g. sold through a voluntary green power program) could not be counted toward the RPS requirements. The law also permits large utility customers served by transmission voltage to opt out of the RPS requirements. Finally, H.B. 1090 empowers the PUCT to establish alternative compliance payments (ACP) for the RPS and for the non-wind target. To date, the PUCT has declined to set an ACP for either portion, although as noted above, an administrative penalty exists for providers that do not meet the general renewable energy obligation. The non-wind portion remains effectively voluntary without a penalty or an ACP.

Regulations for the "opt-out" provision were adopted by the PUCT effective January 2, 2009. The 2009 RPS report issued by ERCOT indicates that a total of 90 transmission voltage customers (unique meter IDs) elected to opt-out during 2009. In 2010 there were 97 transmission voltage customers (unique meter IDs) elected to opt-out. Data such as the customer name and load (MWh) associated with these opt-outs remains confidential.
Rio Grande Compact (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This legislation authorizes the state's entrance into the Rio Grande Compact, a joint agreement between the states of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. The compact is administered by the Rio Grande Compact Commission, which is composed of representatives from each member state. The Commission has the authority to regulate water use and diversion, as well as pollution prevention and mitigation, of the Rio Grande River.
Sabine River Compact (Multiple States) Texas
Louisiana
Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Sabine River Compact Commission administers the Sabine River Compact to ensure that Texas receives its equitable share of quality water from the Sabine River and its tributaries as apportioned by the Compact. The Compact includes the states of Texas and Louisiana. In addition, the SRCC cooperates with Louisiana for programs to increase the quantity and improve the quality of water available to Texas.
San Antonio City Public Service (CPS Energy) - Renewables Portfolio Goal (Texas) Texas Renewables Portfolio Standard Yes Utility In 2003 San Antonio's municipal electric utility, City Public Service (CPS Energy) established a goal of meeting 15% of its electrical peak demand with renewable energy by 2020 under its Strategic Energy Plan. In June 2008 the utility announced plans to increase the overall renewables target to 20% by 2020 with at least 100 megawatts (MW) from non-wind renewable energy sources. As of November 2012, the utility had 11% of their peak electric demand derived from renewable energy sources, including 44 MW of solar electricity installed and another 100 MW of solar electricity under contract . The 20% by 2020 target will require roughly 1,500 MW of renewable energy resources.

In January 2011, CPS Energy issued a request for proposals (RFP) for 50 MW of solar to help meet these goals. The original deadline for responding to the RFP was May 31, 2011. Due to the large response, CPS canceled the original RFP and increased the size of the project to 400 MW. In January of 2012, CPS announced that the offer from OCI Solar was selected as the winner of the RFP. OCI Solar's proposal includes 400 MW of zero-emission solar energy, 800 plus jobs and over $1 billion in construction investment.

CPS is not subject to the requirements of Texas's renewable portfolio standard.

The utility also offers rebates to its customers for the installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar hot water systems, and energy efficiency improvements. Please see the utility website for more detailed information on the programs currently offered.
School Land Board (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The School Land Board oversees the use of land owned by the state or held in trust for use and benefit by the state or one of its departments, boards, or agencies. The Board is responsible for leasing such lands for the development of mineral interests, and can set prices, rules, terms, and conditions for such leases.
Soil and Water Conservation (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board is established to encourage and oversee soil-conserving land-use practices, and to provide for the conservation of soil and related resources and the control and prevention of soil erosion, and thereby to preserve natural resources, control floods, prevent impairment of dams and reservoirs, assist in maintaining the navigability of rivers and harbors, preserve wildlife, protect the tax base, protect public lands, and public health and welfare. The Board works with other state agencies to enact regulations related to soil and water conservation, provides advice and technical assistance to the state's Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and administers a number of water quality programs.
Solar Rights (Texas) Texas Solar/Wind Access Policy Yes State/Territory Property Owners' Associations (also known as Homeowner Owners' Associations or HOAs) are not allowed to include or enforce provisions within their regulations, covenants, or by-laws that prohibit or restrict homeowners from installing a solar energy device. While in theory this law protects homeowners' right to go solar, there are several caveats and exceptions that allow HOAs to maintain authority to include and enforce provisions that could prohibit and/or regulate the solar energy devices in certain situations.

Specifically, HOAs may prohibit solar energy devices if they are found to be illegal or violate public health and safety, as decided by a court. HOAs may prohibit or regulate solar on common property within the subdivision or property that is owned or maintained by the association. HOAs may also regulate (or prohibit) solar devices that are on the roof if they extend above the roof line, are not parallel to the roof line, or do not conform to the slope of the roof. The HOAs may also regulate (or prohibit) solar energy devices installed on the ground in a fenced yard if they are taller than the fence.There are a few additional caveats that would allow HOAs to prohibit or restrict the installation of a solar energy device: if the solar energy device is installed in a way that voids its warranties or if any frames or wiring/piping are not silver, bronze or black.

The law also stipulates that the HOA may designate where the solar device should be located on a roof, unless a homeowner can show that the designation negatively impacts the performance of the solar energy device and an alternative location would increase production by more than 10%. To show this, the law requires that modeling tools provided by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) be used. While not specified by name in the law, one of NREL's available tools that could accomplish this is called In My Backyard (IMBY).

The HOA may be allowed to prohibit the installation of a solar energy device if the homeowner does not receive prior approval from the association. If, in seeking the approval, the HOA finds that the proposed solar energy device will create a condition that harms or interferes with other people's "use and enjoyment of the land," the HOA may prohibit the installation as well. Homeowners should seek written support from neighboring properties in order to prove that this condition does not exist.

In the case of developments or subdivisions that are still under the builder's control and the HOA has not yet transferred to the property owners, the builder can prohibit or restrict a homeowner for installing a solar energy device.
Solar and Wind Energy Business Franchise Tax Exemption (Texas) Texas Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Territory Companies in Texas engaged solely in the business of manufacturing, selling, or installing solar or wind energy devices are exempt from the franchise tax. The franchise tax is Texas’s equivalent to a corporate tax. There is no ceiling on this exemption, so it can be a substantial incentive for solar and wind businesses.

For the purposes of this exemption, a solar energy device means "a system or series of mechanisms designed primarily to provide heating or cooling or to produce electrical or mechanical power by collecting and transferring solar-generated energy. The term includes a mechanical or chemical device that has the ability to store solar-generated energy for use in heating or cooling or in the production of power." Under this definition wind energy is also listed as an eligible technology.

Texas also offers a franchise tax deduction for solar energy devices which also includes wind energy as an eligible technology.
Solid Waste Disposal Act (Texas) Texas Siting and Permitting Yes State/Province The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is responsible for the regulation and management of municipal solid waste and hazardous waste. A fee is applied to all solid waste disposed in the state of Texas. This legislation contains additional provisions pertaining to the disposal of municipal, hazardous, and industrial waste and waste reduction programs. To the extent economically and technologically feasible, it is the state's policy to employ the following waste disposal methods, in order of preference:

For municipal solid waste, not including sludge: (1) source reduction and waste minimization; (2) reuse or recycling of waste; (3) treatment to destroy or reprocess waste to recover energy or other beneficial resources if the treatment does not threaten public health, safety, or the environment; (4) land disposal.

For municipal sludge: (1) source reduction and minimization of sludge production and concentrations of heavy metals and other toxins in sludge; (2) treatment of sludge to reduce pathogens and recover energy, produce beneficial by-products, or reduce the quantity of sludge; (3) marketing and distribution of sludge and sludge products if the marketing and distribution do not threaten public health, safety, or the environment; (4) applying sludge to land for beneficial use; (5) land treatment; (6) landfilling.

For hazardous waste: (1) source reduction; (2) reuse or recycling of waste, or both; (3) treatment to destroy hazardous characteristics; (4) treatment to reduce hazardous characteristics; (5) underground injection;

(6) land disposal.
Solid Waste Resource Recovery Financing Act (Texas) Texas Industry Recruitment/Support Yes State/Province The State of Texas encourages the processing of solid waste for the purpose of extracting, converting to energy, or otherwise separating and preparing solid waste for reuse. This Act provides for the financing of certain resource recovery projects using bonds and notes, although it is unclear specifically which projects are eligible.
Southern States Energy Compact (Multiple States) Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Mississippi
Missouri
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Puerto Rico
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
United States Virgin Islands
Virginia
West Virginia
Industry Recruitment/Support
Environmental Regulations
Yes State/Province The Southern States Energy Compact provides for the proper employment and conservation of energy, and for the employment of energy-related facilities, materials, and products, within the context of a responsible regard for the environment, among the Southeastern states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southern States Energy Board is responsible for administering the Compact and may adopt bylaws, rules, and regulations in conjunction with state agencies. The Board also encourages the development, conservation, and responsible use of energy and energy-related facilities, installations, and products as part of a balanced economy and a healthy environment.
Subsurface Excavations (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province This legislation addresses subsurface excavations conducted for all purposes other than the exploration or production of gas and oil resources that may adversely affect water resources of the state. Excavations regulated by this legislation, including those intended for the purpose of waste disposal, require a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Texas Capital Fund (Texas) Texas Public Benefits Fund
Grant Program
Yes State/Province The Texas Capital Fund is designed to promote growth in rural non-entitlement areas, generally defined as cities with less than 50,000 residents or counties with less than 200,000 residents. Specifically, the Infrastructure Development Program funds may be used for construction and/or improvements of projects such as natural gas line and electric transmission services, or pre-treatment facilities. A minimum of 51% or more of all the jobs created or retained by the business must benefit persons who qualify as low or middle income. The standard maximum award is $750,000 with two jumbo awards of $1,000,000 and one jumbo award of $1,500,000 offered each program year. The minimum award is $50,000.
Texas Clean Air Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province This Act is designed to safeguard the state's air resources from pollution by requiring the control and abatement of air pollution and emissions of air contaminants, consistent with the protection of public health, general welfare, and physical property, including the esthetic enjoyment of air resources by the public and the maintenance of adequate visibility. The Act authorizes the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop a comprehensive plan for controlling emissions, designate air quality control regions, create an emissions inventory, create and update a watch list for certain air pollutants, and establish allowable standards for the emission of those pollutants. The Act contains additional information on monitoring and reporting requirements, provisions pertaining to specific agricultural and industrial facilities, emission events, permitting, and advanced clean energy projects.
Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (Texas) Texas Grant Program No State/Province The TERP program provides financial incentives to eligible individuals, businesses or local governments to reduce emissions from polluting vehicles and equipment. Many of the program's initiatives are targeted towards motor vehicle and on-road emissions, but the program also supports emissions reduction from other sources. Past grants have gone to energy storage from renewable energy and alternative fuels technology. While many of the vehicle grant programs are active, the renewable technology grants are not currently active.
Texas New Mexico Power Company - Solar PV Pilot Program (Texas) Texas Utility Rebate Program No Utility Texas New Mexico Power (TNMP) offers rebates to its residential customers that install photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes. Rebates may be assigned to the customer, a service provider, or a third party.

Rebates are offered at a flat rate of $1.75 per watt (DC) for all customers with a maximum rebate of $17,500. Larger systems are eligible, but may only receive incentives for the first 10 kilowatts (kW) of installed capacity. In addition, systems may not be sized to produce energy in excess of that required to meet annual on-site energy consumption. Customers may only apply for one rebate per point of service, as defined by a unique meter ESI-ID number. Customers with multiple points of service are therefore permitted to apply for multiple rebates, subject to the restriction above and other program limits (e.g., limits on total incentives available to a single customer).

Systems must be new, connected to the grid on the customer side of the meter, meet minimum estimated performance requirements (80% of optimum), and meet all applicable code and utility interconnection requirements. All installations must be performed service providers who meet program eligibility requirements. Service providers are also subject to ongoing quality assurance standards and are required to attend technical training sessions. Installations may be subject to a variety of inspection and performance monitoring requirements in the short- and long-term. System owners retain title to renewable energy certificates (RECs) produced by their system.

The total program budget is $120,000 for the 2012 program year. No single customer or Service Provider may reserve more than 50% of available funds during a program year.
Texas Radiation Control Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province It is the policy of the state to institute and maintain a regulatory program for radiation sources that is compatible with federal standards and regulatory programs, and, to the degree possible, compatible with other states' systems. The program permits the development and use of sources of radiation for peaceful purposes consistent with public health and safety and environmental protection. This legislation contains provisions for the management and disposal of low-level radioactive waste, licensing and registration, and facility siting and finances.
Texas Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Siting and Permitting
Yes State/Province The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates all surface mining activities for the extraction of coal. The Commission acts with the authority of the Texas Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act, which establishes that the state of Texas has exclusive jurisdiction over the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in the state, in accordance with the federal Surface Coal Mining and Reclamation Act. The Act establishes that the extraction of coal by responsible mining operations is an essential and beneficial economic activity, provides for the reclamation of land used for mining operations, seeks to strike a balance between environmental protection and agricultural productivity and the state's need for coal as an essential source of energy, provides for the rights of surface landowners, and aims to assure that surface coal mining operations are conducted in a manner that will prevent the unreasonable degradation of land and water resources.
Texas Uranium Exploration, Surface Mining, and Reclamation Act (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province The Railroad Commission of Texas is the regulatory authority for uranium surface mining. Law authorizes the Commission to assure that reclamation of mining sites is possible, to protect land owners and the environment through regulation and permitting, and to ensure that mining is operated within the rules and regulations to prevent unreasonable degradation of land and water resources.
Underground Injection Control Permits and Registrations (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province Chapter 27 of the Texas Water Code (the Injection Well Act) defines an “injection well” as “an artificial excavation or opening in the ground made by digging, boring, drilling, jetting, driving, or some other method, and used to inject, transmit, or dispose of industrial and municipal waste or oil and gas waste into a subsurface stratum; or a well initially drilled to produce oil and gas which is used to transmit, inject, or dispose of industrial and municipal waste or oil and gas waste into a subsurface stratum; or a well used for the injection of any other fluid; but the term does not include any surface pit, surface excavation, or natural depression used to dispose of industrial and municipal waste or oil and gas waste.” All injection wells are regulated by either Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Included in the TCEQ's jurisdiction are wells that inject municipal, industrial, or hazardous wastes into a layer that is below the lowermost underground source of drinking water; wells that inject fluids to extract uranium or sulfur and to get rid of waste byproducts from the mining operation; wells that inject hazardous waste above an underground source of drinking water; any well or similar apparatus that releases a liquid or liquids into or above an underground source of drinking water.

The Railroad Commission of Texas has jurisdiction over: Wells injecting waste arising out, of or incidental to, drilling for or production of oil, gas, or geothermal resources (Class II).

Wells injecting waste arising out of, or incidental to, the underground storage of hydrocarbons other than storage in artificial tanks or containers (Class II).

Wells injecting waste arising out of, or incidental to, the operation of gasoline plants, natural gas processing plants, or pressure-maintenance or repressurizing plants. The injected waste fluid (usually salt water) may be commingled with wastewaters from gas plants, unless those waters are classified as hazardous waste at the time of injection. (Class II.)

Wells used for the enhanced recovery (secondary recovery) of oil or natural gas (Class II).

Wells used for the underground storage of hydrocarbons that are liquid at standard temperature and pressure (Class II).

Salt-mining/brine injection wells (Class III).

Wells used for in situ combustion of fossil fuels (in situ coal and lignite gasification) (Class V).

Injection wells associated with geothermal resources (Class V).
Uranium Recovery Surface Activities (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Safety and Operational Guidelines
Yes State/Province This section of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality enforces and makes the rules and regulations for handling and recovering radioactive materials associated with in situ mining in Texas. The Commission regulates the licensing review process, public notice, and forms to be used by all persons or businesses who wish to handle, process, store radioactive waste, or recover source material in Texas. Included are regulations and guidelines for recovery, storage, processing, disposal of by-products, and inspections of facilities.
Verification, Monitoring, and Certification of Clean Energy Project (Texas) Texas Safety and Operational Guidelines Yes State/Province The Railroad Commission of Texas has the authority to certify a project as a clean energy project. An applicant is responsible for contracting with the Bureau of Economic Geology of The University of Texas at Austin for conducting a monitoring, measuring, and verification process that demonstrates that the project complies with the standards for a clean energy project. Only three clean energy projects may receive a certificate of compliance from the Commission. For the purposes of this legislation, a "clean energy project" is defined as a coal-fueled or petroleum coke-fueled electric generating facility, including a facility in which the fuel is gasified before combustion, that will: (A) have a capacity of at least 200 MW; (B) meet the emissions profile for an advanced clean energy project under Section 382.003(1-a)(B), Health and Safety Code; (C) capture at least 70 percent of the carbon dioxide resulting from or associated with the generation of electricity by the facility; (D) be capable of permanently sequestering in a geological formation the carbon dioxide captured; and (E) be capable of supplying the carbon dioxide captured for purposes of an enhanced oil recovery project.
Water Control and Improvement Districts (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes Local The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is authorized to review and establish local water districts throughout the state of Texas. The Water Code gives the Commission the right of supervision over all districts and authorities. While the Commission does not regulate daily operations of the districts, staff helps district board members and their consultants to understand the complex and varied laws and regulations under which a district must operate. Districts also must comply with state and federal regulations before they can engage in various activities. Local water districts are authorized to plan for the control, use, and appropriation of water in their jurisdiction. Districts may engage in flood control, irrigation, drainage, reclamation, preservation of water resources, development of forests, development of hydroelectric power, navigation, and sewage disposal. Districts may encompass a single county or multiple counties, and may choose to join together to form a Master District to oversee water planning activities on a larger scale.
Water Quality Control (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The policy of the state of Texas is to promote the quality of the state's water by regulating existing industries, taking into consideration the economic development of the state, and by encouraging and promoting the development and use of regional and areawide waste collection, treatment, and disposal systems. Watershed monitoring and quality assessment are performed by the Texas Water Development Board, and the Board, in conjunction with state Soil and Water Conservation Districts, will recommend and implement strategies for mitigation and development in order to minimize pollution impacts. The Board and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (previously known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission) are also responsible for setting water quality standards for the state's water bodies. The Commission is the entity responsible for issuing permits for the discharge of waste or pollutants into or adjacent to water in the state.
Water Rights (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations Yes State/Province The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality regulates the water rights for the state of Texas. Water and state water may be appropriated, stored, or diverted in the state of Texas for beneficial uses in reasonable amounts, with certain conditions. The Commission issues permits and regulations for water rights in Texas.

Included in beneficial uses are: agricultural and industrial uses; processes designed to convert materials into forms having greater usability and commercial value, including the development of power by means other than hydroelectric; mining and recovery of minerals; and hydroelectric power.

The Texas Water Bank, including the Texas Water Trust, is managed by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). The Bank facilitates the marketing and transfer of water and water rights through the provision of information describing availability and needs for water in the State.

Section 12 of the Water Code describes permit applications for water use in more detail, and section 13 focuses on water rates and services.
Water Wells and Drilled or Mined Shafts (Texas) Texas Environmental Regulations
Fees
Yes State/Province The drilling, excavation, and construction of a water well or mine shaft requires a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (previously known as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission). With respect to mine shafts, the Commission will only grant a permit if surface and ground waters can be protected from pollution.