Library from Texas
Texas Public Policy Foundation released Part 2 of its research on wind power in the state of Texas. This paper addresses the human and environmental impacts of wind power development. Part 1 reviews the subsidies supporting wind power and how industry growth remains reliant on public outlays.
A Canadian renewable energy company has canceled a pair of wind projects near Wichita Falls after a Air Force training base said the project would interfere with its pilot training and radar systems.
Renewable energy developer, Innergex, will not be building wind farms near Sheppard Air Force Base ...[wind energy development] continues to be an ongoing issue in Texas and Oklahoma. In fact, Sheppard Air Force Base has already lost three low-level training routes in Oklahoma due to wind turbines.
A Canadian-based wind industry operator has pulled out of a potential fight with the Air Force over locating a proposed wind farm near the Sheppard Air Force base in Wichita Falls, Texas.
After information campaigns from the base and Sheppard Military Affairs Committee (SMAC) about how the developments would negatively impact Sheppard’s training routes, the company removing themselves from the permitting process – meaning their interest in the area is essentially over.
Texas Public Policy Foundation released the paper “Texas Wind Power Story: Part 1 – How Subsidies Drive Texas Wind Power Development,” which shows that the growth of the wind industry in Texas is spurred by, and only viable because of subsidies such as the production tax credit, along with tax breaks at the state and local level. A summary of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from the links on this page.
AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation released a new video that reveals a side of the debate over wind energy that rarely receives any attention – the downside. “Like any energy source, wind energy comes with tradeoffs,” said Bill Peacock, TPPF’s vice president for research. “The reality is that wind energy comes at a great cost, particularly to nearby homeowners. One of the great drawbacks of wind turbines is the noise.” TPPF interviewed Comanche County residents who live near wind farms. “Some people describe it as a jet plane that never lands,” said one resident.
Tall objects near the weather radar can block what the radar sees when scanning at lower levels and "ground clutter" is already seen from the radar at Dyess Air Force Base due to a wind farm to the west of the radar.
WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - Hinton, Oklahoma, just west of Oklahoma City, has been sued by a wind energy group to build wind turbines in their town because of an ordinance they passed that they thought was unconstitutional.
Residents who live near wind farms feel they are noisy, an eyesore, and diminish the value of their properties. The Bellevue ISD School Board is considering entering into a Texas Tax Code 313 agreement which includes a taxpayer installing property like a wind farm to get a 10-year limitation on that taxable property.
The Public Utility Commission of Texas on Thursday delayed its final approval of Southwestern Public Service’s request to build a 478-MW wind farm in West Texas, allowing the company and other parties in the docket time to provide written answers to the regulators’ latest questions and recommend further revisions to the draft order (46936).
Texas regulators on Friday approved Xcel Energy's $1.6 billion, 1.2 GW wind expansion plan, about a month after New Mexico first gave its OK.
The resolution passed by the court reads that “wind farms compound and impair border security enforcement efforts” and that they are “substantial industrial developments that limit future generations and impede recreational and agri-tourism values.” The resolution also noted, “Wind farms deteriorate neighboring property values and negatively impact county constituents.”
The turbines ran for three months before one blade fell to the ground 190 feet below. Then a second blade crashed through a nearby storage building's roof, falling into a conference room. No one was hurt. The city asked the builders to remove the contraption and rebuild it. That happened. Then another blade came loose.
The nation's biggest wind generator, NextEra Energy Resources, has bought the Oklahoma portion of the proposed 700-mile-long Plains and Eastern Line to serve Oklahoma and Midwest customers. But for now, plans to bring wind energy from the windy areas of Oklahoma and Texas into the less-windy Tennessee Valley and Southeastern part of the United States are stalled and unlikely to be resurrected for years.
People can make thousands of dollars a month in royalties from wind companies, he says, so they don’t always want to lose that option when they sell their land. But these kind of property deals are uncharted territory. “We’re just learning about this,” Norris says. "I’ve even called the [Texas Real Estate Commission] and the [Texas] Association of Realtors and this is something kind of new to them also."
If a developer spent 5 percent of the project costs -- such as buying turbines or steel for towers -- by the end of 2016, that company qualified for the 100 percent tax credit. The House proposal would retroactively eliminate that provision and force projects to re-qualify for the credit by starting actual work on the projects.
Attached to this page are two letters by the American Bird Conservancy sent to EDF Renewables in regard to EDF's proposed Vista Mountain wind project slated for Hamilton and Mills counties in Texas. The letters raise specific concerns with the impact of the turbines on the ecologically-sensitive Texas Hill Country/Cross Timbers Region on the Edwards Plateau. The letters are important in that they inform readers how significant and habitat-rich the Texas landscape is, a fact that repeatedly gets ignored when the wind industry only touts the number of megawatts installed in the State. The full text of the first letter is pasted below. Both letters can be downloaded from this page.
The company says the project could save customers of Xcel subsidiary Southwest Public Service Co., about $2.8 billion in electric costs over 30 years by offsetting higher fuel costs from natural gas and other sources. But PRC utility staff say the projected savings aren’t guaranteed. T