Articles from Texas
We must do everything we can to protect our military communities from the next round of base closures. With 15 military installations in Texas, our state has a huge target on its back. If encroaching wind farms make it harder to meet training goals, Texas will have to surrender jobs and missions to other states where wind turbines do not pose a problem. That would be a devastating blow to the cities that have developed around our bases, and I have no plans to surrender such assets.
Mayor Santellana said that he wants to see the military grow and not shrink. He added that anything that affects Sheppard affects the city and they will do whatever they have to, to stop it.
A years long battle over the wind farm some feared would impact Navy training may have a conclusion in sight.
Which means landowners and counties in Texas could be on the hook for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars if officials determine non-functional wind turbines need to be removed. Or if that proves to be too costly, as seems likely, some areas of the state could become post-apocalyptic wastelands steepled with teetering and fallen wind turbines, locked in a rigor mortis of obsolescence.
Since the mid-1960s, pilots at Sheppard Air Force Base have made supersonic training flights over the Texas Red River Valley, a region sufficiently remote that mostly cattle ranchers and oil riggers caught sight of the small planes known as "white rockets" as they streaked across the horizon. But North Texas has changed over a half-century. Wichita Falls, where Sheppard remains a leading employer and a major military flight school, today claims nearly 105,000 residents and is the center of Texas' 19th-largest metropolitan area.
AUSTIN - When 39-year-old twin brothers Jimmy and Joe Horn set out to build up to 80 wind turbines near Wichita Falls, the energy developers didn’t envision the blowback they would encounter from a powerful neighbor — the United States Air Force.
The Clay County Commissioners’ Court will be ignoring the interests of Clay County if it awards more wind farm tax abatements.
It's one of two the Corpus Christi Republican is planning to promote this Congress related to wind farms. The second “has more to do with tax credits,” Farenthold spokeswoman Elizabeth Peace said. That legislation, which is planned to be introduced after next week’s inauguration, will mirror a bill U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced last year and be co-sponsored, Peace added.
The fight to beat back the perceived encroachment of wind energy developments on military airspace in Texas is being re-ignited this legislative session. This month, Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) filed a Senate Bill 277, which attempts to limit tax incentives to wind farms built within 30 miles of military bases.
State Sen. Donna Campbell wants to end subsidies for turbines built near military facilities. Facilities too valuable for operations to be hindered, Campbell argues. Wind industry says federal permitting process already “robust.”
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.
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.
The Military Aviation Safety Act aims to amend the state's tax code, specifically the portion that relates to tax abatements for property in "reinvestment zones" that sometimes encompass school districts and other taxing entities.
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.
Future wind farm projects in Clay County might have to be put on hold after new regulations were recently put in place. Energy producers are now required to notify the Department of Defense and complete a "screening study" before connecting to the Texas power.
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.
Shortly after the firefighters arrived, Roye said, one of the burning blades broke loose and fell to the ground, causing a pendulum motion where the wind turbine began to sway back and forth. A second burning blade then broke loose and fell to the ground.
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.
"No one is talking about banning wind turbines, but we do have to be careful when we talk about their proximity" to bases, said Cornyn, R-Texas. "We're just trying to make sure it's safe for our pilots, both those in the military and those who use civilian aircraft."
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.