Lt. Governor Dan Patrick: Statement on the Overwhelming Response to the Texas Energy Fund Loan Program


AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement regarding the overwhelming response to the Texas Energy Fund Loan Program.

“Since Winter Storm Uri in 2021, I have been abundantly clear that we must bring new dispatchable generation (primarily new natural gas plants) to Texas to ensure we maintain reliable power under any circumstance. Improving our grid is essential for the Texas Miracle to continue throughout the 21st century. Texas’ economy is the 8th largest in the world, larger than most countries, and we must have reliable generation to meet ever-increasing demand.

“As of this morning, 81 applicants representing over 41 gigawatts of dispatchable power generation projects have applied for the competitive low-interest loan program provided through the Texas Energy Fund (TEF) to keep up with our growing state. Texans overwhelmingly voted to create the TEF through a constitutional election on November 7, 2023. Senate Bill 2627, the Powering Texas Forward Act, funds the TEF with up to $5 billion in funding. Our plan is to expand this program in the upcoming legislative session to keep up with our state’s incredible growth.

“The TEF will provide grants and low-interest loans to finance the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric facilities in Texas. It also provides a completion bonus to expedite the building of these plants. We need more natural gas plants in the ground as soon as we can get them.

“In 2021 during the 87th Regular Legislative Session, the Texas Senate and I worked tirelessly to pass a package of bills to strengthen our grid and protect consumers, and in 2023 during the 88th Legislature, we passed another round of bills focused on fortifying our grid and creating new generation, including SB 2627, the Powering Texas Forward Act.

“This was a bipartisan effort by the Texas Senate, as we all recognize the need for reliable dispatchable generation to meet the ever-increasing demand across the state. The Senate and I will continue to fight for more dispatchable gas-fired generation available on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. The TEF is a step in the right direction to guarantee our grid remains reliable.

“During the Texas Power Grid Investment Summit held in February we pushed to strengthen our grid by encouraging the building of natural gas plants either by direct investment or by taking advantage of the incentive plan we passed in SB 2627 by Sen. Schwertner, R-Georgetown, and by the number of applicants we have seen so far, I believe we have achieved our goal.”