A Louisiana company is getting awarded rights to four tracts in the first competitive lease sale for developing wind power in the Gulf of Mexico, the Texas General Land Office said today.
Wind Energy Systems Technologies, already developing a wind farm off Galveston, was nominated by the state and was the only bidder for the tracts.
Two other offshore wind farm leases were previously awarded by the state of Texas, but not through competitive bidding. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson said he decided this time to treat the wind farm leases like an oil or gas lease sale and allow the market to place a value on the tracts.
“The future of our nation’s offshore wind industry is off the Texas Gulf Coast,” Patterson said. The bidding was part of the state’s regular oil and gas lease sale.
The Texas General Land Office oversees development of territory up to 10 miles from the state’s coastline.
Wind Energy Systems Technologies gets the right to develop offshore wind power in the tracts near Jefferson, Calhoun, Brazoria and Cameron counties. The four tracts total 73,098 acres in size.
The company will pay $21,000 per tract for development rights. The state will make most of its money off the tracts for the Permanent School Fund from a percentage of the company’s energy production once its wind farms are up and running, Land Office spokesman Jim Suydam said.
The Louisiana company is in the testing phase of its wind farm under development off Galveston, Suydam said.
Another company that previously contracted for offshore leases for wind farming off South Padre Island has stopped payment on those leases to focus its efforts on its onshore wind farm, Suydam said.
On the Net: Texas General Land Office, www.glo.state.tx.us
By Kelley Shannon
2 October 2007
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