Port of Houston To Buy Extensive Renewable Energy, Continues Work on Deepening, Expansion

October 24, 2019

The Port of Houston is in negotiations to buy renewable energy for much of the port complex, as the port continues unprecedented growth and works toward further expansion.

The Port Commission on Tuesday authorized Executive Director Roger Guenther to make the final deals with Constellation New Energy, Inc., MP2 Energy Texas, and NRG Business Solutions, with expectations of a ten-year contract at a cost not to exceed $35 million.

Such a large contract would make Port Houston the first in the US to administer such a renewables program.

A top priority for the port is the widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel, otherwise known as Project 11.

The port commission has partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers on the port’s expansion, with a Corps chief’s report to be issued in April or May of 2020.

The commission also on Tuesday approved a memorandum of understanding with the Corps regarding design efforts for Project 11.

The MOU establishes that any investments Port Houston is making on design can be included in accumulating “Work-in-Kind” credits on the project.

With its new renewables-purchase program, the commission expects to save about $240,000 a year by moving from a three-year to a ten-year term, or a savings of $2.5 million over the longer time.

Sourcing the electricity from 100 percent renewable generation will eliminate about 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide from Port Houston’s carbon footprint or a quarter of a million tons over ten years, according to commission estimates.

“Operationally, container volumes and other cargo continue their upward trend in 2019,” Guenther said, with “operating revenues in September [at about] $32 million, a 2 percent increase over the same period last year.”