Articles filed under General from Texas
The low temperatures were also a challenge, staying below freezing for days and falling below zero several nights. "Temperature-related errors caused turbines to go down," said Brad Christopher, who supervises maintenance for Edison Mission Group at the Wildorado Wind Ranch about 20 miles west of Amarillo. "Thick gear oil, thick hydraulic fluid."...Christopher said about half of the 70 turbines at Wildorado were operating by Friday afternoon.
Texas loves to talk up the fact that it is the biggest wind power state and even ranks high world-wide compared to other countries. But somehow, that didn't seem to serve the residents of the great Lone Star State on February 2. ...But no worries, I have the perfect solution: Next time power plants are "tripping," ERCOT should issue an order for the wind to blow harder in West Texas.
It appears, some coal plants went offline due to cold-weather problems, taking a large chunk of electricity out of the grid. Luminant, a major power-generation company, confirmed that its two coal units at the Oak Grove plant in Robertson County failed, as did two units at a coal plant in Milam County. "We are in various stages of startup and operation for that group." Three of these four units only began operating in the last few years.
Electric utility company Oncor began a sequence of rotating power outages Wednesday morning across Texas. The outages began just before 6 a.m. and were discontinued at about 2:45 p.m. But the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said more interrutions may occur today.
But colleges face the same riddles confounding city leaders in their quest to be on the leading edge of the green economy. What exactly is a green job, and how do you gauge demand in the marketplace? Does a green job require a degree or special certification? "I really don't know what a green job is."
BP agreed to pay Young County $12,500 per megawatt in lieu of a 100 percent abatement on property taxes. Cantrell, the private attorney hired to represent the county in the wind farm negotiations, said BP agreed to put at least 50 megawatts in Young County. "Our reimbursement we'll see from BP is tied to the operating capacity of the project," Cantrell said.
Texans are paying too much to attract major economic development projects, particularly farms of wind-powered electric generators, according to a study by the office of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs. ...The report shows that the cost per job is 40 times what the state spends on projects that earn grants from the governor's Texas Enterprise Fund.
Archer County residents have been waiting years to find out whether or not the county will follow through with a proposed wind farm. Tuesday, Archer County Commissioners met to vote on it, but instead they tabled the item to be discussed next Monday. Currently they are in talks with BP Energy about the tax abatement.
On good years, the turbine helps Blackwell CISD save between $15,000 to $20,000 on its energy bills, but that's not always the case. "It is an expense to take care of it as well," said Gott.
A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the future of natural gas found that 80 years' worth of global natural gas consumption could be developed profitably with a gas price of $4 per 1,000 cubic feet or below. Plans for nuclear plants and wind farms were made under the assumption that gas prices would average $7 to $9.
Shane said only a few products offered by turbine manufacturers lived up to their claims. Some claims bordered on the fraudulent like the one that barely generated power to run a laptop computer. ...The Bealls settled on two 18-foot tall vertical blade turbines; a similar height turbine with a "ball" blade that is quiet; and a 90-foot hybrid, horizontal blade turbine that works in tandem with solar cells.
"There's been lower national gas prices, which made other forms of electricity cheaper. There's been congestion in the power grid in moving electricity from West Texas when wind farms are generating it to the East where most of the consumption is in the Metroplex," explains Young County Judge Stan Peavy III.
A deal has been signed with Duke Energy to build a wind farm in Willacy County, with long-range plans for as many as 250 of the huge structures, interim County Judge Aurelio "Keter" Guerra said this past week.
No company has a larger pending contract with the DCOA than Broadwind, according to DCOA documents; the second largest contract with a private company is with plastics manufacturer PWP Industries, which was acquired earlier this year by Pactiv Corp.
The 168 wind turbines spinning at Iberdrola Renewables' farm in Kenedy County now are producing power for the state electric grid, company officials announced Wednesday. Last April, 84 of the turbines began feeding the grid and in May, the remaining 84 became operational.
The proposed Lewis Ranch wind farm in the Anacacho Mountain Range in Kinney County is causing some concern for Laughlin Air Force Base officials. Laughlin AFB submitted an evaluation to the FAA on Dec. 10, 2009, and is still waiting the FAA's evaluation. ...According to Harris, the United States Air Force is conducting a nation-wide study on the effects wind farms have on flight operations.
The high cost of building wind farms and transmitting their electricity to population centers coupled with a reduced price advantage has slowed the growth of the industry nationwide. ...Texas has some of America's best wind acreage, but the wind blows hardest and most often during times of the day when Texas needs power the least. The question on whether wind power can deliver when needed the most tempers interest.
The City of Kerrville isn't impressed with one of the proposed routes, tying the wind farms of west Texas with San Antonio and beyond. The Lower Colorado River Authority says the late addition came after input from landowners in other parts of the Kerr County, who didn't want the routes disturbing their views either.
"Affordability is the elephant in the room. Clean, reliable and affordable energy-we have to [consider] all those three values," Mayor Lee Leffingwell said. "We have to be able to address cost as we go forward. We want clean energy, but it cannot come at any cost. We imperil our energy company to survive if we don't honor those values."
After record growth in U.S. wind power generation capacity in 2009, top industry executives at the American Wind Energy Association conference were pessimistic Tuesday about prospects for a strong repeat performance this year. But former President George W. Bush cheered up conference attendees with bullish comments on the future of renewable energy.