A Free-Market Energy Blog

Milton Howard’s Grid Cancer Projects

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- March 21, 2023

“It took a decade in Texas, but the cancer grew and spread–thanks, in part, to the very projects that Mr. Howard lists on his resume. Between 3,000 and 4,000 MW of mostly wind but also solar projects are claimed, led by Los Vientos I, II, III, IV, V, and VI….

Milton R. Howard, one of the nation’s leading wind/solar developers (along with the spouse of the Houston Chronicle business editorialist, another story) sees himself as a great man, creating value for society in addition to his employer and himself.

He describes himself as a “people person” who is “making this world a better place than I found it.”

I am driven to make things better from an overall economic, social and environmental standpoint. I am passionate and a high achiever but also very much a people person. I thrive on making new contacts, developing relationships, helping others grow/become successful and making this world a better place than I found it.

He quotes Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

A true altruist and ESGer, no doubt. But as Milton Friedman used to say: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” That applies to feel-good rent-seekers too. Adam Smith warned against “the man of furious resentment” and “violent emotions” stemming from “over-weening conceit” and “self-deceit.”

Mr. Howard’s hateful side erupted against a critic of government-enabled, grid-wounding, landscape-depreciating industrial wind turbines and solar arrays. “Disgusting” … “pathetic” … “anything for a buck”–see yesterday’s post for his unsubstantiated diatribe against me and, by implication, consumer-driven, taxpayer-neutral, free-market energy.


The great Texas blackout of February 2021, the worst in U.S. electricity history (and energy history), had a whole lot to do with wind and solar weakening the Texas grid. More than a decade in the making, the cancer has plenty of warning. Yet the wind/solar apologists–such as Chris Tomlinson of the Houston Chronicle–missed it completely. [1]

Wind/Solar: ERCOT’s Cancer

The problem with wind/solar is not only when it does not (did not) show up. It is also when the wind is blowing well and the sun is shining brightly, in which case the ‘reliables’ are backed out and margins ruined. These posts document the problem with quotations from the parties in the know:

An extreme example of the cancer is negative pricing by wind, thanks to the lucrative federal production tax credit. This distortion was recognized in 2012 in the article, Texas Windpower: Will Negative Pricing Blow Out the Lights?

‘Grid Cancer’ Projects

It took a decade in Texas, but the cancer grew and spread–thanks, in part, to the very projects that Mr. Howard lists on his resume. [2] Between 3,000 and 4,000 MW of mostly wind but also solar projects are claimed, led by Los Vientos, TX, ERCOT, I, II, III, IV, V, and VI: more than 1,312 MW, (2012-2018)

Some deserved questions for Milton Howard regarding his ERCOT-area projects:

  1. What was the state and the federal subsidies per project in absolute dollars and in cents per kWh?
  2. What was the delivered energy during the height of the Texas crisis, from February 13–19, 2021?
  3. Provide the dates that any of your wind projects bid in (and ran) at negative prices. When and for how long?
  4. How did your projects lower the overall margins for “reliable” generation: gas-fired, coal-fired, nuclear-fired. What might have been this effect on reliability during Storm Uri.
  5. How many of these projects would have been viable without the federal Production Tax Credit; local tax abatements (Tax Code Chapters 312 and 313); and stimulus payments?

Howard might also ask himself how the $369 billion in “clean energy” subsidies in the Orwellian-titled Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has increased the federal budget deficit–and the monetization of that debt resulting in price inflation.


Milton R. Howard no doubt is a very wealthy man from his (government-enabled) project development. He could easily hire consultants to answer the above questions, per project and a grand total. Will he do it?

There are many mothers and fathers of the Great Texas Blackout of just over two years ago:

  • Ken Lay, who started the Texas wind boom with Enron Wind Corporation back in 1997, after entering and resuscitating the U.S. solar industry a few years before.
  • Robert Kelly (Enron), who convinced Ken Lay to get into renewables at a time when the renewable industries were floundering.
  • George W. Bush, a big wind guy as Governor, rewarded with a handsome keynote speaking fee at a conference held by AWEA (American Wind Energy Association)
  • Rick Perry, who authorized the CREZ transmission line, and
  • Milton Howard, a leading wind/solar developer of the last two decades.


[1] A Chris Tomlinson article in the Houston Chronicle two months before Storm Uri and the Great Texas Blackout is remarkable for its timing–and falsification. The December 25, 2020, piece stated.

Fossil fuel-supporting Chicken Littles have done their best to spread fear of renewable energy, warning that relying on wind, solar and storage would lead to blackouts and economic devastation.

Those who make their living off fossil fuels can keep claiming the sky is falling, but the trajectory is clear. The energy powering the future will not come out of the ground.

For years, I have denounced the propaganda promulgated by lobbyists financed by the oil and gas industry. Now, the latest data proves that the New Year will mark the end of the beginning for clean energy, and the beginning of the end of our reliance on coal and natural gas for electricity.

How wrong can a business editorialist be?


[2] Milton Howard’s resume provides this detail on his projects:

At Terra-Gen, LLC:

Responsible for leading renewable energy strategy development, management and implementation in Texas. Currently leading development of 940 MW of late stage wind projects in ERCOT South; Monte Cristo I and II, Monte Alto I and II representing approximately 75,000 acres acquired via lease option along with our 408 MW Puerto Del Sol solar project and new ERCOT renewables in 2023.

Developed and recently sold the 225 MW Clutch City Solar project in ERCOT-Houston Zone, the Lacy Creek 400 MW wind project in ERCOT-West to Next Era, sold the 200 MW Buenos Aires project in ERCOT-South to a Confidential Buyer and sold a 20+ MW Solar project (NASA-Michoud Solaire) in MISO-South to Entergy New Orleans. In MISO-North, developed and sold the 400 MW Fox Lake Windpower Project to Amshore/Avangrid.

At NRG Energy:

Developed carbon capture projects and evaluated technologies for enhanced oil recovery at NRG and third party facilities. Worked with MHI, Global Thermostat and C02 Solutions regarding EOR and other beneficiation options.

Created, lead and managed Project Tundra in North Dakota in 2015. A $2.5 B venture. We successfully passed SB2318 which was signed into law in April 2015. This new tax law effectively made North Dakota the best State in the US regarding conventional oil EOR exemptions. Developed the project with two utility partners.

I was also the NRG development representative concerning the globally recognized XPRIZE Carbon beneficiation contest; over $20 mm in prizes will be awarded to the participants that best demonstrate the highest greenhouse gas capture rate from coal and gas flue gas and the highest net product market value created. The official launch was September 30, 2015 in NYC.Howard was knee-deep in another government-subsidized effort: carbon capture and storage, which many environmental groups, not only free market groups, rightly criticize as ineffectual and distracting. [1]

At Duke Energy, where he was vice-president, wind and solar development for 13 years:

Responsible for project origination, development and energy contract negotiations with renewable energy buyers. Lead the development, technical and financial aspects through Board approval.

•Developed the ERCOT, WECC, SPP, SERC and MISO power markets. Created a project pipeline of over 3,600+ MWs. Completed the development and negotiations of the Los Vientos Phase I & II projects for 25 year PPAs with CPS and Austin Energy @ 402 MW and more recently Los Vientos Phase III, IV and V for 510 MW of PPAs with Austin Energy, Garland, Greenville and Bryan Utilities. Contributing over $98 mm of EBIDTA. To date Los Vientos is the largest Windfarm in Texas.

•Los Vientos, TX, ERCOT, I, II, III, IV, V, and VI 1312+ MW, 2012-2018
•Spartan, 200 MW, IN, MISO, 2014-15, SOLD 2013
•Meyerland, ND/SD, MISO, 100 MW, 2015-18, SOLD 2015
•Rolling Prairie, IL, MISO, 150 MW, 2010-12
•Frontier City, OK, SPP, 400 MW, 2014-18, JV, COD
•SEUS, AK, LA, MS, TN, KY, AL, SC/ SPP, MISO, PJM, SERC, 2000 MW, 2015-18, 50% SOLD 2013
•Pecos SolarPower I, TX, ERCOT 200 MW, SOLD 2016
•Abernathy SolarPower I, TX, ERCOT, WECC, 200 MW, 2016

•Co-lead the acquisition of Tierra Energy of Austin, Texas which included 1,300 MW of wind generation in ERCOT and WECC. The transaction closed in June 2007. This was Duke’s entry into the wind business, and created a substantial renewable growth platform. Duke had no wind assets prior to 2007 and now has over 2000 MW with the completion of Los Vientos V. Completed wind projects via the Tierra acquisition include:

• Notrees, 150 MW, ERCOT, West Texas, Walmart PPA, Hedge, 2008/2009
• Ocotillo, 58 MW, ERCOT, West Texas, Hedge, 2008
• Happy Jack, 29 MW, WECC, Wyoming, Black Hills PPA, 2008
• Silver Sage, 50 MW, WECC, Wyoming, Platte River, PPA, 2009
• Campbell Hill, 100 MW, WECC, Wyoming, Pacific Corp, PPA 2009

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