Library from Texas

Peñascal Wind Farm in Kenedy County fully operational

The 168 wind turbines spinning at Iberdrola Renewables' farm in Kenedy County now are producing power for the state electric grid, company officials announced Wednesday. Last April, 84 of the turbines began feeding the grid and in May, the remaining 84 became operational.
23 Jun 2010

State needs to right their wrong

Landowners across the Hill Country are learning that their pristine private property is now going to be condemned for a 260-foot right-of-way so the state can install 180 foot tall towers on their land. And, when the electricity starts to flow, they can't even tap into it because it will be a "pass-through" that only benefits big city users. ...So, landowners are relegated to spending their hard-earned money fighting utility companies, hiring lawyers to argue in front of administrative law judges, and showing up at public hearings only to be ignored and mocked by arrogant bureaucrats paid by our tax dollars.
18 Jun 2010

Oncor seeks input on transmission line

Oncor has scheduled public meetings today through Thursday to get comment on a transmission line that will run from the proposed Krum West switching station to an existing switching station in Anna. The new line is part of a project bringing more wind power from the Panhandle and West Texas to the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
14 Jun 2010

Central Texas landowners win fight to reroute major high-voltage transmission line for wind power project

The "Bluff Creek to Brown" transmission line - a major transmission project for wind energy that terminates just south of Abilene - originally would have sliced through 10 private rural ranches and farms owned by members of the Heart of Texas Landowner's Coalition. But the PUC ordered a new route after the coalition and others presented evidence to protect their interests.
13 Jun 2010

Major transmission project for wind energy reaffirmed for Central Texas

The "Bluff Creek to Brown" transmission line - a major transmission project for wind energy that terminates just south of Abilene - originally would have sliced through 10 private rural ranches and farms owned by members of the Heart of Texas Landowner's Coalition. But the PUC ordered a new route after the coalition and others presented evidence to protect their interests.
12 Jun 2010

Kenedy Ranch wind turbine kills pelican

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.
11 Jun 2010

Power line expansion through county on hold

The chances that the presence of wind power transmission lines will be expanded in Gillespie County have decreased this week following a directive by the state's Public Utilities Commission. On Thursday, the three-man commission asked the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to "conduct a thorough reevaluation of the need for the Gillespie-to-Newton line".
10 Jun 2010

Proposed windmill farm causes LAFB concern

The proposed Lewis Ranch wind farm in the Anacacho Mountain Range in Kinney County is causing some concern for Laughlin Air Force Base officials. Laughlin AFB submitted an evaluation to the FAA on Dec. 10, 2009, and is still waiting the FAA's evaluation. ...According to Harris, the United States Air Force is conducting a nation-wide study on the effects wind farms have on flight operations.
3 Jun 2010

Wind power losing its punch

The high cost of building wind farms and transmitting their electricity to population centers coupled with a reduced price advantage has slowed the growth of the industry nationwide. ...Texas has some of America's best wind acreage, but the wind blows hardest and most often during times of the day when Texas needs power the least. The question on whether wind power can deliver when needed the most tempers interest.
1 Jun 2010

Kerrville vs. PUC: Power lines drawn in the Hill Country

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.
29 May 2010

City plan could increase utility bills, clean energy

"Affordability is the elephant in the room. Clean, reliable and affordable energy-we have to [consider] all those three values," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. "We have to be able to address cost as we go forward. We want clean energy, but it cannot come at any cost. We imperil our energy company to survive if we don't honor those values."
28 May 2010

Wind industry executives pessimistic about growth this year

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.
25 May 2010

West Texas to test 50-story wind turbine

Gamesa Technology, based in Spain, signed contracts Monday with A&M and several affiliated entities calling for research on energy projects, including a turbine rated at a production capacity of 4.5 megawatts to be installed at WT's Nance Ranch. The company itself only makes a 2-megawatt turbine now and most land-based turbines don't exceed that.
25 May 2010

Wind Power: China boost, fight in Texas, Great Lakes maybe

Generating electricity from wind is growing fast enough that as more wind farms are brought online, more are being built. Depending on your point of view, that is either a good or a bad thing. ...Wind is not replacing baseload, it is replacing peaking generation. Not only that, in Texas, wind farms are exempt from rules that would force them to make payments to the system operator if they can't deliver power when the wind stops blowing. Natural gas burners say everyone ought to play by the same rules.
24 May 2010

Texas' wind industry has seen huge growth

"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.
22 May 2010

Project will let electricity flow

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.
1 May 2010

Wind farm plan a win-win? Landowners might profit

"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.
30 Apr 2010

Military officials say wind turbines can stir up problems for bases

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.
27 Apr 2010
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