A leading U.S. renewable energy company ran into a tangle of red tape while trying to build a project in the Texas Panhandle.
The company had a long track record of success siting, developing, building, and operating utility-scale renewable projects in Texas and throughout the country. However, the rapid industry-wide deployment of new wind projects had left the federal agency in charge of sitting without a solid framework for assessing challenges relating to radar interference.
The agency determined that the company’s 108 proposed wind turbines might present a hazard, but provided no explanation for the decision and was unresponsive to the company’s request to meet. This project needed to be constructed and placed in service by a date certain to claim a valuable tax credit. The determination put into jeopardy hundreds of millions of dollars of investment.
PSW designed a targeted, bipartisan public policy campaign on Capitol Hill to break the logjam. We identified and educated those Congressional offices in a position to move the needle. We made our case based on science-based analysis as well as parochial considerations, given the extraordinary local economic benefit these projects create in rural towns. We also tailored messages that focused on renewable deployment for some offices and government bureaucracy for others.
This process led to a meaningful Congressional engagement, including direct inquiries by two senior Senators with jurisdictional oversight. Very quickly, we were able to facilitate the meeting with agency decision makers that had eluded the project developer for over 12 weeks.
Ultimately, and based entirely on the facts on the ground, the agency reversed course and issued “Determinations of No Hazard” for all 108 turbines. The project was approved, built, and placed in service, representing a $400 million investment in the region.
A renewable-energy company saw radar interference challenges with the deployment of their new wind projects.
PSW targeted Capitol Hill with a science-based analysis in order to get Congress to invest in renewable efforts across rural America.
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