Library from Texas

State of Mind: Wind farm encroachment

News of a possible wind farm development near a northwest Texas Air Force base has raised concerns about protecting military properties from outside development. Related legislation is poised to be a part of this legislative session. This is part of our "State of Mind" video series. The 15 military installations based in Texas prepare thousands of service members and generate more than 136-billion dollars in economic activity each year, according to the state comptroller. State lawmakers want to ensure nothing interferes with the bases’ missions.
13 Jan 2017

Wind Energy’s Dirty Word: Decommissioning

Stripling95-wind_energys_dirty_word-decommissioning_thumb William Stripling’s note, which appeared in Vol 95 - Issue 1 of the Texas Law Review, examines the general failure of current law to ensure decommissioning of America’s wind farms. He discusses the history and current landscape of domestic wind-energy generation, before focusing on the best practices in wind-farm decommissioning, aesthetic and environmental harms posed by abandoned wind farms, and the challenges and costs of removing wind turbines. He then surveys the state of current law regarding decommissioning across U.S. jurisdictions, before finally discussing common pitfalls of current decommissioning law and suggesting how these pitfalls are best avoided. The conclusion of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded at the links provided on this page.
1 Jan 2017

Navy's wind turbine concerns must be addressed

The study is in and the findings confirm what common sense tells us -- that rows and rows of towering, spinning wind turbines pose a challenge to Navy flight training. And it just so happens that an 86-turbine wind farm is in the early stages of construction on the southern edge of this city that has been home to naval air training since before we entered World War II.
14 Dec 2016

Leaders receive naval study on wind turbines

333573489-mitigation-response-team-status-of-south-texas-wind-projects_thumb ​A new Navy study concludes nearby wind turbines could affect air traffic control radars, meaning possible changes for a wind farm being developed on Chapman Ranch in Texas. A group of local stakeholders in the project, including city and county leaders and state legislators, received information about the Mitigation Response Team analysis on the proposed South Texas wind project on Nov. 6. Naval Air Stations Corpus Christi and Kingsville are points of contact for the study.
8 Dec 2016

LCRA poised to pay $60 million to back out of wind power contract

The LCRA appears to have the upper hand. In June, an arbitrator appointed by a federal court agreed with the river authority that it could break the contract for $60 million. In October, the LCRA stopped taking power generated at the Papalote Creek Wind Farm; now it’s just waiting for a bill from E.ON describing whether it wants the money in a lump sum or installments. ...The blades are still turning at Papalote Creek, but instead of selling the power at $64.75 per megawatt-hour, it’s going for about $25 a megawatt-hour on the open market.
18 Nov 2016

New ERCOT rule in effect

The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas, the nonprofit organization operating the state's power grid, amended its planning guides this year due to concerns that wind farms are encroaching on land near military bases. The amendment went into effect Tuesday.
3 Nov 2016

Wind farm construction gets underway

The development of the wind farm has sparked significant debate in the community. Among the most contentious points has been disagreement on whether its construction would interfere with the Navy's radar and in turn, whether that would jeopardize the Navy's pilot flight training.
18 Oct 2016

Bird kill worries; As wind farms spread in the Valley, concern about avian deaths grows

Many environmentalists who support alternative energy sources are conflicted by the giant turbines' impact on birds. To the human eye the majestic turbine blades make a slow circle as they are set in motion by gulf breezes. The reality is the tips of the blades are really moving as fast as 170 mph, and can lead to fatal encounters for migratory birds and bats.
9 Oct 2016

The misguided politics of renewable energy

We have both taught problem-solving approaches to science and engineering students emphasizing that identifying the real problem may be the more difficult task since getting the right answer to the wrong problem is at best misleading and can be counterproductive. Simplistic solutions to complex problems rarely lead to the desired result, but complex problems can often be broken into smaller entities that lead to appropriate solutions provided that each segment recognizes and takes into consideration the other parts of the problem.
24 Sep 2016

ERCOT: Energy producers should notify military before connecting to power grid

Sheppard Air Force Base has asserted that proposed wind developments in nearby Clay County would interfere with its radar operation and flight training missions. If erected, wind turbines in a 25-mile radius of the base could cause Sheppard's mission to be moved to another military installation, a move that likely would be a crippling blow to the Wichita Falls economy.
26 Aug 2016

In Texas Oil Country, Wind Is Straining the Grid

Some operators and project developers have complained that getting authorization for future expansions will be too costly and time-consuming. “Some of the renewable energy folks are making it sound like the world’s coming to an end,” says Kenneth Anderson, one of the three members of the state’s Public Utility Commission. In fact, future transmission projects will have to prove they are economically viable and/or necessary to maintain the grid’s reliability. The original CREZ system granted a blanket authorization by legislators in Austin; going forward, future projects will have to be approved on a case-by-case basis.
6 Aug 2016

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Texas&p=5
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