Wind Power News: Texas
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has awarded a contract to Siemens Government Technologies Inc. to construct the Pantex wind farm on government-owned property near Amarillo, Texas. The Pantex wind farm will use five 2.3 MW turbines located east of the Pantex nuclear fuel fabrication plant. Siemens will provide a turnkey wind project that includes a multi-year service, maintenance and warranty agreement. The cost of the plant will be funded by the energy savings guaranteed by Siemens. The NNSA was . . .
BEEVILLE – Bee County could still have a wind farm along its southern border despite last week’s decision. During their April 29 meeting, commissioners declined to give a tax abatement to Lincoln Renewable Energy which wanted to build he turbines. Commissioner Carlos Salazar, after the issue failed to get a second and died during Monday’s court meeting, said, “Even though we didn’t grant the reinvestment zone and tax abatement, this company still has the ability to go before these landowners . . .
Interested parties have a little more time to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if and how the lesser prairie-chicken should be listed as a threatened species as a new comment period opens today. “The public comment period will be reopened for 45 days to allow an opportunity for the public, the scientific community and other interested parties to provide input on the original listing proposal in light of a newly-released range-wide conservation plan for the species,” said Lesli . . .
General Electric Co.’s new Schenectady-built Durathon battery for the first time has been incorporated into the design of a wind turbine, where it will store excess electricity that can be released into the grid as needed. The first three wind turbines to use the design will be installed as part of an 86-turbine wind farm in Mills County, Texas. Chicago-based Invenergy expects to have the wind farm fully operational by the end of the year. Terms of the deal weren’t . . .
One wind farm led to another Wednesday with the announcement of Spinning Spur II during the dedication of Spinning Spur I just north and west of Vega. “Spinning Spur II will bring about a new era in wind production as we begin to move power from the Panhandle, with its tremendous production capabilities, to the ERCOT grid where the demand for power is so great,” said Oldham County Judge Don Allred before the event. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas . . .
Groups are continuing efforts on several fronts to convince federal officials there’s no reason to list the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. This month, state wildlife agencies submitted a third draft plan to preserve and expand the bird’s habitat while another group of interested parties has launched a second year of aerial surveys to count the birds. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and its counterparts in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado submitted a plan to . . .
The program’s advocates call it an important economic development tool, but a 2010 report by the state comptroller said the state has paid dearly for the jobs produced by the agreements: $306,000 in lost tax revenue for each job over the lifetime of the 171 agreements negotiated.
That number was even higher for the wind power industry: $1.2 million in lost taxes per job created.
This session, the Legislature must vote on whether to extend the program, which key lawmakers suspect has given away too much for too little in return.
AUSTIN — A bill heard Wednesday in the Texas House, spearheaded by an Abilene lawmaker, would help landowners avoid raw deals from power generation companies by requiring greater transparency in contracts between landowners and companies that lease the land to put up wind turbines. The proposed law could let landowners access records that reveal why payments owed to them are priced as they are, and let them know they can be part of insurance plans. The bill, HB 3168, comes . . .
Southern Bee County could be home to a new energy source. But this time, it isn’t coming from the ground. It’s coming from the air. Will Furgeson, with Lincoln Renewable Energy, told commissioners last week that he and the company are looking at a multi-phase project named Windwood. “The area we are looking at right now is at the intersections of Live Oak, San Patricio and Bee counties,” Furgeson said. Phase 1 of the project will include Bee and Live . . .
The Texas Panhandle’s wind energy industry is about to be blown away. An international mix of companies has committed to more than doubling the region’s production capacity by spending more than an estimated $3.3 billion on construction of wind farms in the next two years. The area currently has the capability of producing about 1,500 megawatts, but that will go up by another 1,644 megawatts if projects now under contract go through. Cross Texas Transmission and Sharyland Utilities are approaching . . .