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.
BP Plc is weighing plans to update as many as 200 of its U.S. wind turbines with newer, higher-capacity equipment, a move that would represent the company’s biggest investment in renewable energy since its last wind farm came online in 2012. If the company green lights the project – a decision that could be reached by mid-year – it would represent about 400 megawatts of capacity. Laura Folse, chief executive of BP Wind Energy, said the move would allow the U.K. energy . . .
Standing over 300 feet tall and weighing 164 tons, wind turbines can be seen all across North Texas. But what’s not seen is the radar interference they create for Air Force pilots and air traffic control. U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced a bill to protect military airfields from electromagnetic radar interference caused by nearby wind turbines. Crafted with input from military leaders and pilots in Texas, the Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act would discourage . . .
Since the mid-1960s, pilots at Sheppard Air Force Base have made supersonic training flights over the Texas Red River Valley, a region sufficiently remote that mostly cattle ranchers and oil riggers caught sight of the small planes known as “white rockets” as they streaked across the horizon. But North Texas has changed over a half-century. Wichita Falls, where Sheppard remains a leading employer and a major military flight school, today claims nearly 105,000 residents and is the center of Texas’ . . .
AUSTIN – When 39-year-old twin brothers Jimmy and Joe Horn set out to build up to 80 wind turbines near Wichita Falls, the energy developers didn’t envision the blowback they would encounter from a powerful neighbor – the United States Air Force. High-ranking officials at Sheppard Air Force Base quickly launched a counter-strike to warn that the towering wind turbines would interfere with radar, potentially obstruct flights and endanger jet training missions. The proposed 8,000-acre wind farm is mired in uncertainty. The . . .
Recently, Alterra Power Corporation and Horn Wind PM, LLC, sent a mailing to residents of Clay County promoting its proposed Byers and Bluegrove wind farm projects. According to the mailing, these projects would bring $80 million in economic impact to the region over the next 25 years, and provide between 350 and 500 temporary construction jobs and 20 permanent hourly jobs. Sounds good, right? But let’s put it in perspective for a moment. These wind farm projects will make flying . . .
The Clay County Commissioners’ Court will be ignoring the interests of Clay County if it awards more wind farm tax abatements. The Clay County Commissioners awarded tax abatements for the Shannon Wind Farms. The county will receive $202,000.00 in lieu of taxes in year one (2017). The Clay County Appraisal District has appraised the value of the wind farm at $301,068,270, nearly half the 2015 tax base of $729,725,252.00. The tax money Clay County would receive in 2017, without any . . .
HARLINGEN – Wind can be harnessed, but the power it generates still has to be moved. AEP Texas and E.ON Climate and Renewables this month submitted a proposal to the Public Utility Commission of Texas to build between 22 and 32 miles of new power transmission lines in Cameron and Willacy counties. The companies say the double-circuit 345-kilovolt lines are needed to bring electricity produced by E.ON’s 116-turbine Magic Valley Wind Farm II into the Texas power grid, known as ERCOT. . . .
Jimmy Horn sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee several years ago outlining the importance of a tax credit that would benefit his family owned business, Horn Wind LLC, in developing wind farms in North Texas. That tax credit could be threatened by a bill filed by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas which would make wind companies ineligible to receive the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit was well as the Investment Tax Credit should . . .
CORPUS CHRISTI – Congressman Blake Farenthold is concerned that wind farms could hinder military operations if they are built near military bases. He and two other congressmen have introduced a bill, and if it passes, any new wind farms built within 50 miles of military installations would be ineligible for the wind production tax credit. However even if the bill passes, it would not impact the Chapman Wind Farm that is soon to be built. David Owen, Chapman Ranch landowner, . . .
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is reintroducing his bill that aims to end tax incentives for new wind energy projects that want to set up within 30 miles of a military airfield. Cornyn argues his proposed “Protection of Military Airfields from Wind Turbine Encroachment Act” is a safeguard for aviators against electromagnetic radar interference that is believed to be caused by wind turbines. He had earlier crafted and introduced it Sept. 28, but the senate failed to act on it before . . .