El Paso -- Today, state Senator José Rodríguez released the following statement regarding the decision by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) to allow third party-owned solar systems financed though power purchase agreements (PPAs) in El Paso Electric Company's (EPE) service territory. Over the past few months, with the support of a bipartisan group of legislators, Sen. Rodríguez had appealed to the PUC to reach this decision.
"I applaud the PUC Commissioners for their decision, which will encourage new private investment in solar electric generation and promote green jobs in El Paso and throughout the state. Power purchase agreements offer tremendous advantages to solar leases by significantly lowering costs for customers. Many in our community are elated to have this option available in EPE's service area, and we believe that this will encourage considerably more investment in renewable energy. I want to thank the PUC for helping ensure that El Paso can take full advantage of our tremendous solar resources.
"Solar energy is an important to the future of our state as well. Increased solar electric generation will help Texas meet its electric needs during a potentially energy short summer, and conserve precious water resources during our ongoing, statewide drought. Every bit of energy production and water conservation helps.
"I greatly appreciate Mr. Shockley and the EPE for committing to speedy implementation of the PUC's rule. Under Thomas Shockley's leadership EPE has already become a better community partner, jettisoning objections to power purchase agreements and settling the rate case with the City of El Paso. As the sole utility company in El Paso, EPE is a key part of our community, and I am pleased that they have committed to collaboration and engaging in an open dialogue with our community. This is a key first step."