Articles from Texas
In the wide-open spaces of Val Verde County lies the Devils River, one of the last pristine, wild rivers in Texas. Recently, it was at the center of a monthslong negotiation. "Absolutely. It's a major win for us and for future generations of Texas and for anyone else who cares about the wide-open spaces in our state,” explained Julie Lewey, with the Devils River Conservancy.
“I know two people that want to do this and live in the county,” Commissioner Dennis DeWitt told county leaders last week. “One of them is a large landowner. They more or less have been promised wind generators on their property. “Everybody else in the northern part of the county does not want these to go in. So if and when it comes to commissioners, we will make an appropriate decision.”
Texas is the nation’s leader in commercial wind power, while Louisiana remains on the sidelines. Harnessing the wind has taken off in the last decade. But the Pelican State’s wind speeds, regulatory framework, abundant natural gas, and opposition from farmers and others, along with the industry’s technical obstacles, have kept projects from launching. Ironically, companies in Louisiana, however, provide expertise and equipment to wind installations in other states.
Last fall, Keith Uhles, an engineer with the oil-and-gas firm CrownRock Minerals, invited other young West Texas professionals to join him at a popular Midland Mexican restaurant for a conversation about renewable energy subsidies.
The city lost $21.8 million on its wind and solar contracts from 2016 to 2018 due to the falling prices of oil and gas, according to figures provided by City Manager David Morgan. Georgetown is renegotiating its 20- to 25-year wind and solar contracts to try to get a better deal, Morgan has said.
“This is an industry that is costing taxpayers millions and the general public deserves to be fully aware of its cost,” Ryan said. Ryan’s message was heard at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature. More than 100 legislators attended.
These structures have a high-tech twist, say officials with the wind farm’s owner, Acciona Energy. ...The soil anchors are 40 to 60 feet deep, and not only solidify the wind turbine foundations but they allow construction crews to create a smaller footprint for the platforms.
Electric bills for city of Georgetown customers will increase by an average of $12.82 per month starting Feb. 1 to help the city recover the cost of purchasing energy, according to a city news release.
Calpine Corp. of Houston and NRG Energy of Houston and Princeton, N.J., asked the state to assign transmission losses based on the distance the power travels, a move that would benefit traditional power companies which tend to have plants closer to population centers and hurt wind and solar farms in the remote parts of the state
The indefinite mothballing of a 470-MW coal-fired plant has reduced ERCOT’s “pretty scary” reserve margin of 8.1% to 7.4%, prodding the Texas Public Utility Commission into ordering several market changes.
The Wharton County Commissioners Court unanimously decided not to move forward with a 312 tax abatement application from Wharton Wind, LLC during its Monday session. The 5-0 decision came in front of dozens of people who packed the meeting room inside the Wharton County Annex Building in Wharton.
The Devils River Conservancy, is spearheading the “Don’t Blow It” campaign to advocate for thoughtful regulation of wind energy development — an industry quickly expanding in rural Texas, largely without rules and with serious negative implications for Texans.
Georgetown officials will try to renegotiate the city’s renewable energy contracts and find other cost cuts after a late-summer drop in energy market prices lost the city’s utility $6.84 million.
“It’s my impression, that something was done wrong, incorrectly, illegally, inappropriately, that’s what this is saying. We had a beautiful place to live, now we’re looking at 12, 500-foot tall industrial wind turbine towers on one side of our house and on the other side there’s 100-foot tall transmission line towers — we were never notified of any of this. When the surveyors came onto our property they wouldn’t tell me who they were or what they were doing there. I found out from one town employee, they were from the wind project, we never received a thing about this. What the project was, the scope, implications, impacts. That’s what I’m saying, this is my impression.”
NRG and Calpine are asking Texas regulators to end the equal sharing of lost electricity costs and assign them to companies according to the distance the electricity moves along transmission lines, giving their coal and natural gas power plants, which are closer to Houston and other population centers, an advantage.
The 300 megawatt Sage Draw Wind farm — which is selling electricity to Irving, Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) under a power purchase agreement with the farm’s owner, Denmark-based Ørsted — is set to draw $22.56 million in tax incentives over the course of 10 years.
Renewable energy supporters are bracing for a fight in the next legislative session. Help state lawmakers give to solar and wind companies must be renewed when lawmakers return to Austin in January.
Dan Houchin, who lives in the area, claimed countless roads across precinct 2 are damaged and the heavy machinery associated with carrying the windmills are making some of them worse. He also complained of the crews pouring caliche on some of the roads and questioned the commissioners about who would continue road maintenance once the windmills are in place.
The formation of the reinvestment zone now allows E.On to begin negotiations with Matagorda County on the wind farm. The project was tabled a year ago and brought back to the table after the reinvestment zone was scaled down to the parcel of land that will be used during this phase of the proposed project.
New Mexico regulators approved construction this month of what could be the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind farm, capable of generating as much power as a mid-sized nuclear power plant. But whether all that energy will have a way to reach the load centers of California and the Southwest remains unclear after the regulators denied approval for new transmission lines meant to link the wind project to urban areas.