Library from Texas
The nation's biggest wind generator, NextEra Energy Resources, has bought the Oklahoma portion of the proposed 700-mile-long Plains and Eastern Line to serve Oklahoma and Midwest customers. But for now, plans to bring wind energy from the windy areas of Oklahoma and Texas into the less-windy Tennessee Valley and Southeastern part of the United States are stalled and unlikely to be resurrected for years.
If a developer spent 5 percent of the project costs -- such as buying turbines or steel for towers -- by the end of 2016, that company qualified for the 100 percent tax credit. The House proposal would retroactively eliminate that provision and force projects to re-qualify for the credit by starting actual work on the projects.
Attached to this page are two letters by the American Bird Conservancy sent to EDF Renewables in regard to EDF's proposed Vista Mountain wind project slated for Hamilton and Mills counties in Texas. The letters raise specific concerns with the impact of the turbines on the ecologically-sensitive Texas Hill Country/Cross Timbers Region on the Edwards Plateau. The letters are important in that they inform readers how significant and habitat-rich the Texas landscape is, a fact that repeatedly gets ignored when the wind industry only touts the number of megawatts installed in the State. The full text of the first letter is pasted below. Both letters can be downloaded from this page.
The company says the project could save customers of Xcel subsidiary Southwest Public Service Co., about $2.8 billion in electric costs over 30 years by offsetting higher fuel costs from natural gas and other sources. But PRC utility staff say the projected savings aren’t guaranteed. T
If implemented, the proposal would require wholesale power prices to reflect the small amount of electricity lost during transmission through heat or other factors, which would essentially raise the cost of sending power from remote generation plants — such as wind farms — to cities. Transmission losses currently are omitted from prices.
Hamilton County Commissioners met Tuesday morning and heard from Keith Sled of the Heart of Texas Defense Lines for Bell, Coryell and Lampasas area for Fort Hood in regard to tax abatements for wind farms. “The turbines have impact on radar and the western trading area,” said Sled.
EDF Renewables has requested a tax abatement from Hamilton County, but the commissioners court had taken no action on the possible abatement as of Thursday, Clary said. The energy company also requested an abatement from Hamilton Independent School District. HISD Superintendent Clay Tarpley confirmed that the school board has accepted an application for review, but it had not determined whether it would offer an abatement.
A Comanche County landowner addressed the board about the wind farm recently constructed there. She said she owns 648 acres and is surrounded on three sides by giant wind turbines. “I can walk around my place and count 57,” she said. “They intrude on every aspect of our lives. “The noise is the worst part, and it varies in tone, volume and intensity,” she said. “Sometimes it is like a giant fan, but most times it is like a constant roar that never stops.
It took crews from Scurry County EMS, Snyder Fire Department, and the Scurry County Sheriff's Office to retrieve Hubbard from the turbine. He was pronounced dead at Cogdell Memorial Hospital, the Daily News reported.
Although activists herald these pledges as major environmental accomplishments, they’re more of a marketing gimmick. ...Texas generates more wind and solar power than any other state. Yet more than 71% of the council’s total electricity still comes from coal and natural gas.
Rapp said when the turbine and tower fell to the ground, operators shut down the 119-turbine Shannon Wind Farm as a precaution. They were eventually able to restart the remaining turbines a couple days after the incident.
Last Friday, a wind turbine failed at midpoint and fell to the ground just approximately 5 miles southeast of Windthorst on Oliver Wells Road just inside the Clay County line.This is the Shannon Wind Farm E-03 to E-04, managed by Alterra Power Corp.
The turbine that collapsed is part of the 204 MW Shannon Wind facility in Windthorst town, Clay County, Texas. The project includes 119 General Electric (GE) wind turbines. Each turbine is 1.7 MW with a rotor diameter of 103 meters The project was placed in service in December 2015 and is jointly owned by Alterra Power (50%) and an affiliate of Starwood Energy Group (50%).
As attractive a renewable-energy concept as wind power is, it's plagued by a fundamental flaw. It blows the most in the dead of night, precisely when there's the least demand for electricity. That's true for just about every windblown spot nationwide, from the foothills of the Tehachapi Mountains in California to the coastal plains of North Carolina.
"Maintaining the ability to train Naval Aviators (sic) requires a safe operating environment with adequate airspace ... and supporting infrastructure such as outlying landing fields and weapons ranges," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy James Balocki. "Continued development may eventually overcome our ability to operationally adapt or consider feasible and affordable mitigation actions."
The incident involved a 1.7 MW GE turbine at the Shannon (204 MW) wind facility outside of Windthorst TX which was placed in service December 2015.
Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal and Wes Hoskins, chairman of the South Texas Military Facility Task Force, recalled being told if Senate Bill 277, or something substantially similar didn't pass, the bases would likely be candidates for closure in the next few years. Hoskins said federal officials told them, "encroachment is the No. 1 issue in the nation (facing military installations), and Texas is in trouble."
Officials with Southern Company, which owns the turbine, said it started around 5:30 p.m. at the company's Salt Fork Wind Facility.
There was another fire at an operating wind plant in Texas. The turbine was part of the 174 MW Salt Fork Wind project, located in Donley and Gray Counties, east of Amarillo. The 87 Vestas V100 (2.0 MW) wind turbines was installed by EDF Renewables and placed into service in December 2016. EDF Renewables sold the facility to the Southern Company. Photos courtesy of Greg Hendricks.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Manning says the biggest danger comes within 25 miles because that's when training aircraft are at their lowest altitudes as they're being brought back by air traffic controllers to base.