Turbines at two new wind farms in Kenedy County have begun spinning, but it likely will be several more months before all 200 of them are operating, a spokeswoman for the two companies said. ...Officials with both companies have said they are not sure when all turbines will be operating. However, ERCOT says all of Gulf Winds' turbines are expected to be online by September 2010.
The company that owns one of two wind farms in Kenedy County is going out of business.
Australia-based investment firm Babcock & Brown, which developed the Gulf Wind project south of Sarita, has agreed to sell its assets over three years to repay about $2 billion in debt, Matt Dallas, Babcock & Brown spokesman, said.
After these assets are sold, the firm will cease to exist, Dallas said.
We watched as the pelicans continued soaring between us and the turbines. It appeared that they were getting closer and closer to the next turbine, but it was hard to get a handle on how close they actually were. Finally, they were approaching one of the most easterly turbines in that particular string, and we watched as the last bird in the group was struck and literally "erased" from the air (a blade is about the width of a city bus, and moving about 180 mph). It was flying at or just below hub height, and was hit on the downstroke.
The City of Kerrville isn't impressed with one of the proposed routes, tying the wind farms of west Texas with San Antonio and beyond. The Lower Colorado River Authority says the late addition came after input from landowners in other parts of the Kerr County, who didn't want the routes disturbing their views either.
Similar to transformations brought by oil and agricultural industries in past decades, the [wind] industry's impact is more than skin deep. Some researchers have found going green through a new generation of windmills may not be what's best for the environment.
"There's almost no understanding of the environmental impact of these wind turbines," said Ronald Kendall, director of Texas Tech's Institute of Environmental and Human Health. "I'm all for alternative energy, but I'm for getting it right."
In a letter to Gov. Rick Perry last year, James Clement Jr., chairman of the board of the fabled King Ranch, vowed that the ranch will fight a new threat to its land as it has all others: "We have been here for 150 years fighting droughts, border raiders, and unstable commodity markets. . . . We are here to stay."
The new threat, unlike the others, is a recent phenomenon: wind power.
King Ranch Inc., the agricultural holding company that owns the South Texas ranch and other properties, is backing legislation that could choke off the boom in Texas wind energy by requiring new state regulations of wind turbines.
Taylor County landowners who went to court to fight a wind farm built in their neighborhoods may have gained a powerful ally in potential future battles: the fabled King Ranch of South Texas.
The ranch ownership, now a corporate holding company, is fighting a proposed wind farm next to one of its spreads in Kenedy County.
A group of Taylor County landowners, mainly residents of the southwest quadrant of the county, lost a jury trial last December. They sued Florida Power & Light affiliates, owner of the Horse Hollow project west of Tuscola and Buffalo Gap. The landowners sought damages for reduced property values they claimed were caused by the building of the wind farm, the world's largest.
Steve Thompson, the Houston lawyer representing the plaintiffs, said he was filing a notice of appeal of the 42nd District Court case on Wednesday. The 11th Court of Appeals in Eastland would hear the appeal.
Dale Rankin, a lead plaintiff in the case, said King Ranch should prove a potent ally.
"I would think so," he said Wednesday. "They carry a little bit of weight around Austin."