HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Port Houston is set to begin to purchase renewable electricity port-wide, a move that would make it the first port in the United States to administer such a program.
Executive Director Roger Guenther was given authorization by the Port Commission Tuesday to enter into final negotiations for the purchase of renewable electricity with three retail electric providers. Those providers are Constellation New Energy, Inc., MP2 Energy Texas, and NRG Business Solutions.
The authorization includes determining the provider with the proposal that provides the best value for the port and entering into a ten-year contract with that provider at a cost not to exceed $35 million.
Port Houston will save about $240,000 annually 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.
Renewable energy is energy collected from renewable resources, including sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.
Also Tuesday, a move to share Port Houston’s Comprehensive Long-Range Plan with stakeholders was given the green light by the Port Commission. The commission awarded a contract to SWA Group to provide stakeholder participation support services for the long-range plan, with the aim of sharing developments and operations planned by Port Houston.
Strategic expansion of Port Houston’s facilities has been underway in recent years to keep ahead of the tremendous growth in international commerce. Investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in capital improvements in Port Houston, which is the largest port in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, has been made.
That growth has continued in 2019, and Guenther reported Tuesday that Port Houston leadership is optimistic about finishing 2019 on a good note.
“The Port Authority continues to perform well,” Guenther said. “Operationally, container volumes and other cargo continue their upward trend in 2019.”
From a financial standpoint, operating revenues in September were $32 million, a 2 percent increase over the same period last year, he said.
Port Houston and industry leaders remain laser-focused on advocacy in Washington D.C. for the widening and deepening of the Houston Ship Channel, otherwise known as Project 11. Through a solid partnership between Port Houston and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, we remain confident that the project remains on track for a chief’s report to be issued in April or May of 2020.
Expanding the Houston Ship Channel is vital to the port’s future, and the Port Commission 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.
Project 11 plans include widening the channel from 530 feet to 700 feet and deepening upstream segments to 45 feet. Port Houston and other stakeholders maintain that expanding the channel throughout Galveston Bay is essential to safety and the growth of regional and national commerce.
Finally, Griffin & Strong, P.C. provided the Port Commission a presentation on the process of the disparity study it will conduct over the next 12 months. Port Houston recently hired the firm to manage the study. Commission Chairman Ric Campo expressed his enthusiasm and support for the process and welcomed the opportunities the study will present.
About Port Houston
For more than 100 years, Port Houston has owned and operated the public wharves and terminals of the greater Port of Houston – the nation’s largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage and an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the U.S. nation. The Port of Houston supports the creation of nearly 1.35 million jobs in Texas and 3.2 million jobs nationwide, and economic activity totaling $339 billion in Texas – 20.6 percent of Texas’ total gross domestic product (GDP) – and total of $801.9 billion in economic impact across the nation. For more information, visit PortHouston.com.