Articles from Texas
Across sparely settled, middle-of-nowhere Nolan County, Ussery is among dozens of ranchers joining an energy boom that has helped Texas surge past California as the new leader in wind power. Long known for its oil and gas riches, Texas now produces enough environmentally friendly wind power to light 600,000 homes, and more wind farms are on the way. That's in sharp contrast with Massachusetts, where developers have struggled to complete the controversial Cape Wind project, which would put a 130-turbine wind farm off the coast of Nantucket. The project has been before Congress several times over the years -- with Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, leading the fight against it.
The former chief executive officer of Superior Renewable Energy says plans for a major offshore wind farm near Padre Island could sink before the first turbine is ever placed in the Gulf of Mexico. “The economics today don’t work,” said John Calaway, the former CEO. “It’s underwater. The numbers just don’t work right now.”
MUNCY — More than 200 people from across the region gathered at the Friends Unity Center between Floydada and Lockney to hear a presentation on wind energy Monday night. Featured speaker at the meeting, which was sponsored by the Floydada Economic Development Corporation, was Lisa Chavarria, an attorney with McElroy, Sullivan and Miller in Austin who specializes in wind energy contracts. Ms. Chavarria explained that she is aware of seven development companies seeking leases in the area. Those companies are large, well-established and well-financed, and that is a good sign, she said. The purpose behind Ms. Chavarria’s presentation was to help local and area landowners know how to go about establishing leases.
Just last fall, it appeared the Texas coal rush was rolling ahead like an unstoppable locomotive. Skyrocketing natural gas prices were pushing electricity prices up, and electric demand was growing. Coal, relatively cheap and relatively dirty, seemed the reasonable alternative. Gov. Rick Perry last fall ordered regulators to expedite coal plant applications, and environmentalists feared the plants would be rushed through and rubber-stamped. Companies such as TXU subsequently lined up earlier this year to file a batch of new applications, resulting in 17 proposed coal units, including 10 in Central Texas. But this summer, the coal train has hit some rough rails.
To meet the demands of a rapidly swelling population, Texas needs to expand and diversify its electric generation capacity. It also must build cleaner, less polluting power plants. That's why it is good to see TXU propose to build as many as six nuclear power reactors at up to three sites.
FAIRVIEW -- Advocates of the "small wind" generating business have landed another customer.
A subsidiary of FPL Group has completed building a 662-megawatt wind farm in Texas, making it the largest U.S. wind farm.
Local architect Stephen Colley jumped at the chance to pay more for his electricity on the first day he was able to do so. That's right, he volunteered to pay higher electric rates. So have hundreds of thousands of others around the country, and more are doing so every day, paying a premium to buy "green" energy and reduce the release of greenhouse gases.
Houston-based Reliant has sparked a debate over subsidies that has the EPA, citizens and consumer advocates concerned
AES Corp. has begun construction on one of the nation´s largest wind farms near Abilene, Texas.
Residents who want to use wind power, however, have to pay 24 percent more than the lowest rate now available in North Texas.
In reality, this project should generate for its investors about $2.46 billion over 20 years through the sale of power and Texas renewable energy credits, which are paid by Texas ratepayers. An additional $333 million in federal production tax credits will be added to the revenue stream, along with an anticipated county and school tax abatement (tax forgiveness) generally demanded by all wind project developers of between $125 million and $265 million, depending on the project cost. With the project taking advantage of almost half a billion in tax abatements and credits (some directly out of school district funds and state school funds), lease royalties of only $34 million to $112 million to benefit the state education fund hardly add up to "a good deal." Simply put, Texas public school children, and all Texas residents, will be harmed from a revenue standpoint if the Superior project is built.
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas will bid for a proposed Department of Energy wind turbine research and development facility, the state's land commissioner said Thursday. The facility would be able to test wind turbine blades reaching 230 feet. Applications for the site are due Oct. 2.
The Panhandle is edging closer to plugging into the electricity market downstate. Public Utility Commission members voted Wednesday to take public comment on a process that could allow wind-generated power to flow south on a new $1 billion transmission line.
The thing about West Texas that you can't ignore, that you can never forget, is the wind.
The temperature has been at-or-above 99 degrees. We're all looking for a way to cool off. For many of us, it means turning on fans and air conditioners and CPS is reporting record demand. "We're meeting about close to 7 to 10% of that with wind energy. All depending on whether the wind is blowing in West Texas," said Theresa Brown Cortez, a spokesperson for CPS Energy.
For supply reasons, a power company doesn't want more than 12 percent of the power being generated by wind, Swinford said. While it seems the wind blows constantly, it doesn't, so coal or natural gas is needed for stability of supply. Xcel Energy, the power company serving the Texas Panhandle, is the No. 1 power company using wind in the nation, Swinford said. When all the planned wind farms are built in the Xcel service area, it will have reached its maximum 12 percent for the transmission lines here. "So we have to get some way to hook our wind to a line out of the Panhandle, because we're done," he said. "We don't have the people to justify more production up here."
Wind energy figures compiled during one week are outdated by the next. That's because wind energy projects are expanding at such a rapid rate that numbers mean almost nothing, said Greg Wortham, executive director of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium in Sweetwater. The group is hosting the inaugural Texas Wind Industrial Network Summit in San Angelo on Wednesday to discuss the exploding wind energy industry.
FPL Energy's Horse Hollow 2 made West Texas the wind energy leader in the Americas when the project was energized in June. When Horse Hollow 3 is energized in a few weeks, the U.S. wind energy capacity will top the 10,000 megawatt threshold.
The Texas project, announced in June with plants scheduled to begin operations in 2014, is expected to be the first in a new wave of economical and emissions-free nuclear power plants.