After record growth in U.S. wind power generation capacity in 2009, top industry executives at the American Wind Energy Association conference were pessimistic Tuesday about prospects for a strong repeat performance this year. But former President George W. Bush cheered up conference attendees with bullish comments on the future of renewable energy.
"We've used Texas as the poster child for wind energy for the last five to six years," American Wind Energy Association official Kathy Belyeu told a group of wind industry professionals Tuesday. ...A major rap on wind power is that in West Texas and the Panhandle the wind often blows little during peak periods for electricity consumption but blows more at night, when power demand is lower. That's a problem.
Turbines are popping up all over tornado alley - nearly 1,400 in windswept Nolan County alone.
Every year, about 1,000 twisters crop up across the country.
But no one knows what would happen if a high-intensity tornado struck a turbine.
Hundreds of miles of transmission line proposed Tuesday will ease the flow of cheap power in and out of the city's main source of energy.
Lubbock customers will pay an unknown share of the $1.4 billion in projects directors of the Southwest Power Pool proposed stretching through Oklahoma and Kansas. ...But the real target are the huge markets along each coast, he said.
"We want to take our land and not change our farms and ranches, and make additional income," said Randy Darnell, who has leased about 1,000 acres to Buffalo Wind. "Wind looks inevitable, and we want to participate."
Darnell and landowner Todd Vincent started talking about attracting a developer about two years ago.
Giant wind turbines dotting the Texas landscape have made the Lone Star State the nation's leader in the development of wind power, but they may also pose a hazard to military installations by interfering with crucial radar operations, state lawmakers were told Tuesday.
The wind turbines could cause false signals on radar and endanger aerial maneuvers or produce erroneous information about storm conditions.
A final decision on the route of an electric line intended to carry wind power from West Texas through the Hill Country took a tumble Friday after the state agency nixed the options before it.
The Public Utility Commission voted to send the route of the electric line, to be built and operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority, back to the drawing board.
The river authority had spent years homing in on nearly a dozen possible routes for the line.
Property owners from all across the Hill Country are worried that saving the environment might mean destroying their view, their investments and their quality of life. ..."The state has made a policy of moving wind energy from where the wind blows to where people live, but we have to do it in a way that respects landowners," said Barry T. Smitherman, Public Utility Commission chairman.
While Texas continues to enjoy its top U.S. ranking for installed wind capacity, not all power generators operating within the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) are pleased with its growing prominence.
In the past year, several initiatives relating to grid interconnection and the operational performance of wind turbines have been pushed through ERCOT's regulatory channells in an effort to stunt the proliferation of wind development in the state.
The movement toward investing in green energy sources has been picking up steam, helped by a big push from the White House to "make America energy-independent." But the movement also has brought out scam artists attempting to ride on its popularity and rip off unsuspecting investors.Not every alternative-energy investment is a rip-off, of course, but investors have to be able to tell the difference.
The Public Utility Commission gave informal approval Thursday to a schedule to restart wind-energy transmission development in the Panhandle.
A joint proposal by interested parties like transmission builders puts Cross Texas Transmission filing for approval of its first segment May 3 and Sharyland Utilities' first filing June 14.
After a string of hearings, open houses and debates, the Public Utility Commission is preparing to make decisions in April on the hotly contested routes for the transmission lines bearing West Texas wind power to the central part of the state.
On April 15, the PUC will take up a portion that runs from Fredericksburg to Kempner, which is just east of Lampasas, that will be operated by the Lower Colorado River Authority.
A sense of bitter resignation permeates the Hill Country over proposals for new electric transmission lines now advancing through state and federal regulatory processes. ..."The picture I have is, you know there's a burglar coming in your neighborhood but you don't know whose home he's going to hit," Campbell, 58, said Friday. "The problem is the burglar is the government, with the right of eminent domain."
A state judge has handed down her recommendation from a February hearing during which dozens of landowners spoke out on the route of a planned 345-kilovolt transmission line ending in Kempner that would cross or pass near their properties.
The route recommended by Administrative Law Judge Wendy K. L. Harvel on March 18 is different from the line-builder's preferred route.
The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America's skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country.
A top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday that federal agencies need to work better together on a formal vetting process for the wind projects.
Wind farm developers want to put up $25.8 million to prove they really want to start building in the Panhandle, but it's not that easy.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas couldn't take the vote Thursday that would have started the clock for getting Panhandle wind farms plugged into the state's grid. The holdup is a lawsuit that forced the PUC to put the brakes on the schedule to begin transmission construction.
A group of senators wants to halt stimulus funding for several wind projects regarding concern that the program has subsidized too many jobs overseas.
The dispute began after a planned Texas wind farm with substantial Chinese investment announced it would seek a $450 million stimulus tax credit. The developers initially said the project would support 3,000 jobs in China and about 300 in Texas.
A group of Democratic senators may seek to halt stimulus funding for wind-energy projects over concerns that the program is subsidizing jobs overseas.
The dispute was prompted by a proposed wind farm in West Texas, whose investors planned to use Chinese-made turbines and seek a $450 million stimulus grant. The senators insist that stimulus funds shouldn't go to projects that get most of their materials from abroad and create "the bulk of their jobs" in other countries.
The OISD Board of Trustees and other local and area governing entities approved tax abatements last year after a proposal from BP Alternative Energy stated that construction on a multi-million dollar wind farm project would begin in 2010.
B&W Pantex is partnering with West Texas A&M University to study the effects of wind turbines and associated infrastructure on wildlife at Pantex.
The contract for evaluating the wind farm's effects on wildlife began this past fall and will continue through the next five years.
The Pantex Site Office is in the process of designing, constructing, operating and maintaining a renewable energy source and its associated distribution infrastructure on Pantex property and nearby land.
This makes this research project timely and necessary.