Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Texas
If all goes as planned, Jasper County commissioners will meet in public session in Houston next week with BP (British Petroleum) officials to discuss wind generation in Pecos County. Why Jasper is involved in energy production in far west Texas is a long story.
The state Public Utility Commission opened the way for a big boost in wind power production in Texas on Friday. The commission designated swaths of the state for the construction of new power lines that would carry wind-generated electricity to consumers. The decision serves as a pledge that the state will help build those lines, giving wind power developers the confidence to build turbines in far-flung, windy areas of Texas, according to Mike Aaron, a staff member with Virtus Energy, an Austin renewable energy consulting firm.
Texas is now the number one wind energy state in the country -- producing more power from wind than any other state. Now Texas is also the first to allow wind energy production off-shore -- energy which could not only power our homes and businesses, but also pay for the education of our children. In a small room filled with large maps, the future of Texas energy might be taking shape.
Randall County is inching toward granting tax abatements to a wind energy company. County commissioners approved a reinvestment zone Tuesday that will cover a portion of the southwest corner of Randall County. The reinvestment zone will now allow the county to begin negotiations on exactly what type of tax abatements Chermac Energy Corp. can receive for its 480-megawatt project.
The region long known for sheep and goats, cattle feedyards, cotton fields and oil derricks is evolving into a hub of alternative energy, with plans for ethanol plants and wind farms, and possible nuclear reactors and coal-powered plants. "These rural communities have to find something they can have in their area that provides quality of life and will generate the economic activity that allows communities to thrive and grow," said Greg Clary, a Texas Cooperative Extension economist who works with the Texas Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.
Trying to get a firmer grasp on the implications of a "wind park" in Gillespie County, around 280 concerned citizens attended an educational meeting Thursday at the Hangar Hotel Conference Center. There, they heard an independent speaker talk about both the pros and cons of wind-powered electricity generation as well as give advice to landowners on what to watch for in legal agreements with wind power companies. The event, hosted by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission (EDC), featured a four-hour presentation by Terry A. Argotsinger, an Accredited Farm Manager and Accredited Rural Appraiser (ARA) from Iowa, who frequently provides expert witness court testimony on agricultural matters.
Sarita, Texas - After a century and a half as cordial neighbors, two of the nation's biggest ranches find themselves feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys over wind energy and wildlife and whether the two can coexist. The storied King and Kenedy ranches, which together cover nearly 1.3 million acres in sparsely populated south Texas, are at odds over plans to erect 240-plus wind-powered turbines on the smaller Kenedy property. The structures and their massive blades can stand 400 feet tall - taller than most 30-story buildings. The King Ranch, with 825,000 acres near the Texas Gulf Coast, says the turbines will interfere with migratory birds' flight patterns, threaten other wildlife and create an eyesore.
FREDERICKSBURG - Residents of this scenic Hill Country community are split over a California company's interest in building a field of wind turbines north of town to generate electricity.
Community leaders in Fredericksburg say a major power corporation is exploring the possibility of building a wind farm in their county. Thursday morning, a special meeting was held to answer some questions. Residents want to know what could happen to the area if giant wind turbines are built north of town. Most windmills in Gillespie County pump water to irrigate farms and ranches.
In the next several years, foreign companies plan to invest more than $1 billion in two large wind energy farms on a remote portion of the 400,000-acre Kenedy Ranch bordering the Laguna Madre. "We'll build 157 turbines along about 10 miles of coastline. We're starting construction in early 2008, and we'll be generating by 2009," said John Calaway, chief development officer for Babcock & Brown Ltd., an Australian company. An adjacent project by PPM Energy, now owned by the Spanish giant Iberdrola, is on a similar timetable, with a plan to operate 84 turbines. A second phase could double PPM's output. "We've been talking about 400 megawatts, and we hope to do more," said Jan Johnson, a spokesperson for PPM in Portland, Ore.
T. Boone Pickens and his Mesa Group are working on a wind energy project that would tower above any other in the world. The multi-billion dollar wind energy project, they are working on cover's a four county region. Mostly of the development will be seen in Gray and Roberts counties, with a little Hemphill and Wheeler counties.
While offshore wind-energy projects have been slow to get off the ground elsewhere in the United States, two Louisiana businessmen quietly have been making history off the Texas coast. Herman Schellstede and Howard Schoeffler and their company, Wind Energy Systems Technologies LLC, have received the first permit issued in the United States to build offshore wind towers to produce electricity. Last month, the company finished putting up a 280-foot tower with 17 instruments to test, among other things, the wind, waves and bird deaths.
There is yet another plan to get wind power to the people who need it. In testimony filed with the Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, that group's director of transmission oversight backtracked on a previous plan he proposed. T. Brian Almon said the Panhandle Loop plan is still a bad idea, but sending power to the Dallas area via Oklahoma by the X Plan is not such a good idea either. "I believe that there exist at this time uncertainties related to how the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would react to a very large export from Texas and then import into Texas of power," he said.
To help Fredericksburg area residents learn more about wind-powered electrical generators, a public information event has been scheduled here for June 21 by the Gillespie County Economic Development Commission. Scheduled from 9 a.m. until 12 noon that Thursday in the Hangar Hotel Conference Center, the three-hour session will feature a presentation by Terry Argotsinger, accredited farm manager and accredited rural appraiser from Iowa. Greg Snelgrove, EDC executive director, said the June 21 meeting is intended as a public education activity for any interested individuals, including landowners, who want to learn more about the impact of wind-powered energy on land ownership.
An older generation of about 150 people from Stephenville and surrounding areas turned out for Bill Ladd's anti-wind farm meeting at Henderson Junior High School last night. Property owners Charles and Nell Kennedy, of Eastland, said they had come just to see what it was all about. "We're here to find out about it just in case we are approached by anybody," Nell Kennedy said. Charles Kennedy said they owned property and had already heard of a wind farm that might be introduced near them. Ladd lined up five speakers opposed to wind farms.
"It's too early to know what will happen, so let's focus on this one and make it clear it can be integrated with others," said Jolly Hayden, vice president of transmission development for FPLE and president of Lone Star Transmission. Until the Public Utilities Commission identifies the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones where wind energy can be best developed, there are a lot of questions about exactly where new wind farms will go up and what transmission system will be needed.
Steven DeWolf, president of Wind Tex Energy, L.P., presented county commissioners with information concerning a proposed wind power project in Nolan County. DeWolf said the first project by Wind Tex Energy was the original development of the Camp Springs Wind Energy Center in Scurry County. Construction of the farm began in 2006 and commercial operation is expected to begin in June. When complete, it will consist of 87 General Electric 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. Blattner & Sons was hired as the construction contractor and Invenergy Services LLC serves as project operator.
Local and federal officials exchanged concerns in a closed-door meeting Tuesday about potential encroachment issues involving wind farms, but left the meeting on a positive note, officials said. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, hosted the meeting Tuesday at Dyess Air Force Base for representatives from the city of Abilene, Taylor and Nolan counties, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Federal Aviation Administration. At stake is the future coexistence of two major economic players in the Abilene area: Dyess, the city's largest employer, and the burgeoning wind energy industry.
Wind power does not, in fact, live up to the claims made by its advocates. Its impact on the environment and people's lives is far from benign. Research also reveals that there is a very cozy relationship between fossil fuel plant owners and wind factory owners. The reason is simple: the more you build wind factories, the more you must build fossil fuel plants. Wind factories cannot operate without standby fossil fuel plants. What a scam! They lead people to believe they replace fossil fuel plants, but the truth is that they perpetuate them! How soon people forget Enron's smoke-and-mirrors business plan. If Jerry Patterson's vision of the Texas coast is one full of wind turbines, then perhaps Texas needs a new land commissioner.
Local and federal officials are hoping to head off future encroachment issues as the expanding wind energy industry creeps toward the Dyess Air Force Base flight path. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, is hosting a meeting at Dyess Tuesday for representatives from the city of Abilene, Taylor and Nolan counties, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Federal Aviation Administration. At stake is the future coexistence of two major economic players in the Abilene area - Dyess and the burgeoning wind energy industry.