Library from Texas
On July 2, the Public Utility Commission of Texas denied a request by AEP affiliate Southwestern Electric Power Co. to use its Texas customers' rates to finance the acquisition of a giant wind farm complex in Oklahoma ...The three-member Texas commission said the project didn't lay out clear enough benefits to consumers to justify their up-front investment. While some big companies have championed renewable energy, the farm had been opposed by major Texas consumer groups.
Exactly how the Devils River got its forbidding name is lost to history, but there is little doubt the harsh terrain and fierce natives who once reigned here played a role. “It is far from any habitation, in a barren waste surrounded by hostile Comanches, but it is a beautiful place,” noted one early visitor. A century and a half later, the natural beauty remains and the rushing, spring-fed Devils owns the reputation as the last unspoiled river in Texas.
Beginning in 2015, GH America Investment Group purchased over 130,000 acres of property in Val Verde County (Texas). GH America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Xinjiang-based Guanghui Industry Investment Group. ...Aside from gathering intelligence on U.S. border security operations and plugging into Texas’ critical infrastructure, China could use Sun’s wind farm as cover to collect intelligence on nearby Laughlin Air Force Base.
AEP has received three of the five necessary approvals for its planned $2 billion investment — from Oklahoma, Arkansas and FERC — and expects decisions in May or June from regulators in Louisiana and Texas.
The North Texas Heritage Association has sent demand letters to two energy companies planning wind farms in Clay, Montague and Jack counties. Landowners are concerned the miles of large wind turbines will disrupt an endangered bird, the Whooping Crane, that migrate through these counties twice a year. NTHA had a study done on this and principal biologist Jennifer Blair found that these wind turbines would kill some of these birds Or disrupt their habitat.
The North Texas Heritage Association sent this letter to APEX Clean Energy raising serious concerns over APEX's proposed project, Black Angus, and the threat to whooping crane populations. The Black Angus project and an unrelated wind project abutting it, will obstruct the centerline of the whooping cranes migratory corridor, putting at risk the sparse whooping crane population currently standing at only 505 in the wild. At minimum, the Heritage Association requests that APEX follow federal guidelines to adhere to environmental law, including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act, as well as follow the procedure for obtaining an incidental take permit (ITP) from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Preferably, the Heritage Association recommends that the project be moved to a less environmentally sensitive location. An excerpt of the letter is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
Apex Clean Energy and EDF Renewables have each proposed large wind energy facilities to be situated in Clay County, Texas. The project locations fall squarely within the Whooping Crane migratory corridor and are recognized as stop-over habitat for the birds. Wildlife biologist, Jennifer Blair of Blair Wildlife Consulting, prepared this assessment of the likely impacts to Whooping Crane if the projects are constructed. The report also provides a useful summary of the extent to which wind energy development has been allowed to penetrate the limited migration corridor of Whooping Cranes. A short excerpt of the Blair report is provided below. The full report can be downloaded from this page.
“I could smell an electrical type smell for a good while, and my mom smelled it too,” Gregory resident Dolores Moreno said. “I was looking at our own house going room to room thinking it was coming from our home since the smell was pretty strong. A while later I heard the sirens so I knew it wasn’t us.” She also said that she heard someone saying that just before the blaze, they could hear a noise coming from the turbine.
Developers of transmission projects that would send wind power from rural Wyoming and New Mexico to cities in California and Arizona made their cases at this year’s Western Planning Regions Annual Interregional Coordination Meeting on Feb. 27. ...Cost allocation remains a big question. The projects are merchant-driven and haven’t been fully embraced by CAISO and other planners yet, but developers think California’s ambitious climate policies will demonstrate their importance. “There’s been very little planning activity on these because of the absence of regional need seen through these projects.
“Laughlin is facing a different threat because it’s a Chinese company that is seeking to erect these wind farms, and China’s national security interests are directly contrary to the United States’ national security interests. There is, relatedly, a serious concern with surveillance. China has invested heavily in expanding its ability to engage in surveillance and to gather intelligence. ...“With regard to Del Rio, these Chinese towers, if constructed, pose a threat not only to air training, but also of potential security vulnerabilities, and both of those are serious concerns. I have been working and look forward to continue working with local leaders here to prevent those threats,” Cruz added.
Local officials say that they have no choice but to let the fire burn itself out. They are currently trying to figure out who the wind turbine belongs to so they can contact them to turn off the electricity. The area is being kept clear in case any debris falls off.
One of the 47 Siemens G132-3.465 MW turbines operating at Apex Clean Energy's Midway Wind facility in Texas exploded into flames. The turbines stand 495 feet tall and were placed in service at the end of 2018. The burning turbine is located between Gregory, TX and Taft, TX near Corpus Christi.
Barnett, during that meeting, said that the company was going to pursue this project with or without the county’s abatement and designated reinvestment zone. In response to questions later, Barnett said, “However, this vote is forcing us to reevaluate our future in Bee County.”
Because so much wind power is already on the grid, the growth of other resources, such as solar and storage, is inevitable, King said. “If you keep installing more wind power, but what you need is power capacity for the middle of the day in the summer, then installing another wind turbine becomes too defeating and not helping,” he said.
A packed courtroom greeted the Montague County Commissioner’s Court Monday as more than 50 people filled the room to hear discussion on a proposed safety ordinance related to wind farms.
Finally, using undercover cameras along one of the country roads, the lawmen connected the fence cuts to one vehicle seen over and over by the cameras. They traced his license, caught him and interrogated. Turns out, the man was mad at the landowner whose fences had been cut because that landowner would not put wind turbines on his property.
Matagorda County Commissioners are expected to authorize County Judge Nate McDonald to sign a letter to Peyton Creek Wind Farm regarding county permits.
An inconvenient truth is hanging over Georgetown, Texas: Its celebrated shift to renewable energy doesn’t look like a national model these days. Electric rates are up. Critics are blasting the costs. And the city north of Austin is trying to figure out how to mitigate the situation.
The close call in Texas in mid-August should be a lesson for ERCOT to rethink how it is valuing dispatchable, baseload power. The addition of more intermittent capacity to the market will likely make the reliability challenges Texas is facing only more difficult to manage. Further, the 100% renewable goal that several states have instituted should be viewed as a farce as the City of Georgetown recently discovered.