WSJ has an article on the problem the power transmission system in Western Texas being strained by the higher use of Energy drilling and pumping that is increasing the costs for many industries in areas.
While the largely rural region has enough power plants to supply the growing demand for electricity, the high-voltage transmission network hasn't kept pace. Beginning last summer, a shortage of transmission lines in some areas meant that grid operators couldn't automatically send the cheapest power to customers, but had to turn to more expensive power plants elsewhere in the state, where there was enough transmission capacity. Those higher costs were passed on as surcharges to many large customers.
Here are descriptions of some of the pain.
That isn't good news for executives at Tower Extrusions Ltd., which makes aluminum products like stadium seats and storm gutters in Olney, Texas, about 100 miles west of Fort Worth. The company says its power bills climbed 40% last year.
"The congestion charges are putting me at a huge disadvantage, compared to my competitors near Dallas or in other parts of the state," said Mark McClelland, Tower's general manager.
Even oil and gas companies are being hit by the charges. Kinder Morgan Inc.,KMI -0.84% which produces oil in the Permian Basin, said it had to pay as much as $400,000 in congestion costs on a single day in 2012.
Apache Corp., one of the Permian Basin's top oil producers, said its average costs in the area this year are running about 15% higher, largely due to the power-line congestion costs.
Ouch. Could imagine if you ran a data center in this area? There are probably some data center operators who are being hit by these costs.