Articles from Texas
Renewable energy supporters are bracing for a fight in the next legislative session. Help state lawmakers give to solar and wind companies must be renewed when lawmakers return to Austin in January.
Dan Houchin, who lives in the area, claimed countless roads across precinct 2 are damaged and the heavy machinery associated with carrying the windmills are making some of them worse. He also complained of the crews pouring caliche on some of the roads and questioned the commissioners about who would continue road maintenance once the windmills are in place.
The formation of the reinvestment zone now allows E.On to begin negotiations with Matagorda County on the wind farm. The project was tabled a year ago and brought back to the table after the reinvestment zone was scaled down to the parcel of land that will be used during this phase of the proposed project.
New Mexico regulators approved construction this month of what could be the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind farm, capable of generating as much power as a mid-sized nuclear power plant. But whether all that energy will have a way to reach the load centers of California and the Southwest remains unclear after the regulators denied approval for new transmission lines meant to link the wind project to urban areas.
Texas has virtually no rules of any kind, making it an unregulated haven that attracts even more growth from the wind industry here. That worries some who fear what today’s rush will mean for the future.
Detractors of the project said the county needs to consider the cost to resident and the benefit they will receive in return. Chapter 312 of the Texas Tax Code was enacted to bring jobs to Texas, which allows taxpayers incentivize development via their local governments, the development brings jobs, and taxpayers benefit with employment opportunities and increased tax revenue.
About 40 attended the forum at the Brownwood High School auditorium, and several went forward, at the invitation of moderator and Brownwood Mayor Stephen Haynes, to give opinions — mostly against — on wind energy. May landowner Joe Guidry was an exception, saying those opposed to wind farms “have a biased agenda based on a multitude of different platforms.”
The lawsuit filed by the appraisal district asks the judge “cancel and set aside the decision of the appraisal review board” and that “an order be entered fixing, in accordance with the law, the market value of the (wind farm), as required by law.”
Conflicts between energy producers and conservationists are nothing new in Texas, but a recent fight in Val Verde County centers around wind farms and whether they belong in one of the wildest natural areas left in the state. Members of the Devils River Conservancy, whose group includes landowners with property on the Devils River, have launched a campaign called “Don’t Blow It,” to advocate against wind development along the Devils and Pecos rivers north of the Texas-Mexico border.
Conservative lawmakers, an oil investor and other activists did all they could to stop a wind project in rural Texas, even as the state has increasingly embraced renewable energy. Earlier this year, a Canadian energy producer was poised to build two large wind farms in Clay County, a mostly featureless stretch of plains at the Texas-Oklahoma line. The 300-megawatt project would have bolstered Texas’ growing portfolio of renewable energy, which last year supplied a record 17 percent of the state’s electricity. But then anti-wind farm activists led by John Greer, a Dallas oil investor, swooped into the farming and ranching community to attack the deal.
A company is asking Brown County land owners to lease their property for a wind farm. While a handful of land owners have signed on already, the issue has caused division among neighbors in Brown County.
A Mitchell County family of five is temporarily out of a home because of an out of control wind turbine. ...The company put the family up in a hotel, but has not been able to say how soon they can go home. The failed turbine was part of Third Planet Windpower's Loraine wind facility placed in service in two phases in 2010 and 2011. The facility consistes of 67 GE 1.5sle turbines (phase 1) and 100 GE 1.5xle turbines (phase 2) for a total nameplate capacity of 250.5 MW. The approximate coordinates of the incident are: 32.408429N, 100.685522W
“There was a large group of landowners here in Val Verde that are concerned about the impacts of that and their respective property rights. This is a very strong state for private property rights, and we belong to that line of thinking, and we believe we can do whatever we can on our individual properties, as long as it doesn’t harm our neighbors,” he added.
If we needed any reminder why Texas outpaces Louisiana in so many ways, witness how the Lone Star State last week mooted a bad decision by the Louisiana Public Service Commission made in part by northwest Louisiana’s Foster Campbell.
CLAY COUNTY — On a sweltering weekday in mid-July, it takes a dozen good cowboys on the historic Sanzenbacher Ranch to get the round-up done.
The appraisal district’s board met to discuss its options regarding a recent decision by the appraisal review board to lower the appraised value of a wind farm in central Val Verde County. The decision by the review board represented a loss of nearly $400,000 in expected revenue for Val Verde County.
A decision to lower the appraised value of a Val Verde County wind farm will be appealed through a lawsuit to be filed in state district court here, members of the Val Verde County Appraisal District Board of Directors decided Friday.
Company remains focused on 5-7 percent earnings growth through investments to improve service for customers COLUMBUS, Ohio – American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) is canceling the Wind Catcher project as a result of the Public Utility Commission of Texas’ July 26 decision to deny approval of the project. The project had been approved by the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Louisiana Public Service Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. A decision was pending at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Texas dealt a potential death blow to what would be the largest-ever U.S. wind farm: American Electric Power Co.’s $4.5 billion Wind Catcher project. ...“The costs are known,” DeAnn Walker, chairman of the Texas commission, said Thursday at a hearing. “But the benefits are based on a lot of assumptions that are questionable.”
AEP's plan to build the largest wind farm in the United States might have been dealt a fatal blow. The Public Utility Commission of Texas voted Thursday to reject the proposed 2,000-megawatt Wind Catcher wind farm, stating that as it is structured now, the project doesn't offer clear enough benefits for rate payers.