Articles from Texas
Opponents of additional wind farm projects in Clay County may have gained a powerful ally: Sheppard Air Force Base. Two high ranking base officials told attendees of a Thursday town hall meeting in Henrietta that the installation of a proposed wind turbine farm in the area could interfere with base radar and could limit the number of days pilots are able to train.
“Basically this decision says that Washington, D.C., knows more than the people of Arkansas do about whether to build across the state giant, unsightly transmission towers to carry a comparatively expensive, unreliable source of electricity to the Southeast where utilities may not need the electricity. This is the first time federal law has been used to override a state's objections to using eminent domain for siting electric transmission lines. It is absolutely the wrong policy.”
COSADC and the city are suing Martifer-Hirschfeld for failing to meet both its contractual obligations such as failure to make the total $40 million capital investment, making no meaningful attempts to construct Phase II of the renewable energy plant before the deadline, coming nowhere close to creating or retaining the minimum number of full-time equivalent positions, not continuously operating the plant and failing to uphold promises outlined in "Comfort Letters."
The Department of Energy reports a 1,000-mile truck trip can run more than $20,000. Considering the average wind turbine now runs $3.3 million, that's a relatively small piece of the overall cost. But multiply the trucking bill by the three blades per turbine and the 100 turbines that might make up a wind farm, and the pricetag rises quickly.
Wind energy was producing at exceptional levels for essentially the entirety of December 19 and 20. However, wind production was significantly lower for most of December 18 and December 21.
“Are we really going to fundamentally transform the county from this rural setting that you see to more of an industrial type complex, and I think the majority of people now are saying, ‘No that's not what we want,’ ” Baldwin said. To him, wind farms are a blight for several reasons, among them: They ruin the rural skyline, hurt land values and reduce the acreage used for agriculture.
A group calling itself Clay County Against Wind Farms met Tuesday evening to share information about the many negative effects of wind turbines and to voice growing public opposition to additional wind farms in Clay County.
If Liggett is working on behalf of a wind energy company to solicit leases, there could be a conflict of interests, Duggar said. Wind companies rarely operate on land in which taxes have not been abated, but in order for officials to designate a "tax abatement" area, local landowners have to agree to lease their property to the company.
"Put yourself in some logical shoes on this and ask yourself: If you and your significant other were buying a home right now... Would you want to buy one sitting underneath a wind turban?" 'Clay County Against Wind Farms,' John Greer, said. Or within eye shot of a wind turban? It doesn't make any sense at all. And so land values are the ones most significantly affected by this."
Earlier plans for a 175-turbine wind farm drew criticism last year from Chapman Ranch residents who were concerned about diminishing property values, safety and changes to the area's aesthetics. Those plans were submitted to the FAA before Apex voluntarily withdrew all wind turbines in the blueprint from the new Corpus Christi City limits, after the city annexed the property last year. A study determined the project could interfere with radar.
Steve DeWolf founded Wind Tex Energy in Dallas and developed several wind farm projects over the years ..."Given the lack of cooperation in Congress and the crazies on both sides, I don't know if the PTC is going to get passed," DeWolf said. "And a lot of the best sites in Texas are taken, and then you have the competition from low natural gas prices."
Leading the charge against the wind turbines is the Texas Hill Country Heritage Association (THCHA). The determined group of 485 members, founded in 2011, aims to “protect the Texas Hill Country’s heritage, property, environment and economy.” THCHA has placed several editorials in the Mason County News opposing the project and engaged Braun & Gresham, the Dripping Springs law firm that specializes in rural landowner management, to assist with strategy.
The high winds that drive the wind turbines typically occur at night when demand is low or on the decline. What can occur, and has, during high-wind times is real-time wholesale power prices have dropped into single-digit or negative territory as the grid operator reacts to an over-generation situation or the possibility of an over-generation situation, when there is too much power on the grid and not enough load to absorb it.
Texas utility regulators were adamant yesterday in declaring the coming end to a program known for aiding wind energy, even as they expressed support for completing a project in the state’s Panhandle region. ...Nelson said she thought about the topic a lot and was “diametrically opposed to the concept of treating wind differently than every other generation asset.” She said congestion can point to where more transmission is needed.
The price of wind power is now half the 2009 rate the utility locked into place. That has left the LCRA, which sells wholesale power to dozens of Central Texas communities, mulling a costly, fraught escape from the contract. In papers filed in federal court in late August, the LCRA is asking for an arbitrator to confirm that it would be penalized no more than $60 million should it break the contract.
In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, the mighty state of Texas was asleep. The honky-tonks in Austin were shuttered, the air-conditioned office towers of Houston were powered down, and the wind whistled through the dogwood trees and live oaks on the gracious lawns of Preston Hollow. Out in the desolate flats of West Texas, the same wind was turning hundreds of wind turbines, producing tons of electricity at a time when comparatively little supply was needed.
MASON — They first started appearing in West Texas, where the wind howls through oil rigs. Then it was the Panhandle, and small towns along I-20, like Sweetwater, where cattle farms have given way to giant, white spinning blades.
In summary, we have a foreign corporation that stands to receive Billions of dollars of subsidies, paid for with your tax dollars that will build a wind farm, which will provide marginal, if any, benefit to anyone in our counties. In the process they will cause devastating destruction of the scenic Hill Country while destroying the tourism and hunting industry in our counties. Perhaps, all citizens of both Mason and Menard counties would be well served to do everything possible to halt the construction of this proposed wind farm.
City leaders worked hard to block this wind farm eventually annexing a lot of the property out there to have more control over what built. Ironically the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has now blocked it on its own.
"We designed this house for my young boys to enjoy being out in the country, and every year that we wait to build my boys get a year older," Torno said. "We're missing out on opportunities to enjoy our property out there."