Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Texas
Twenty-five landowners and two service companies were dismissed Tuesday as defendants in a lawsuit brought by 11 rural Taylor County landowners who objected to the construction of the Horse Hollow wind farm. The dismissal left FPL Energy, an affiliate of Florida Power & Light, as the sole defendant in the case. The dismissal came at the plaintiffs’ request as a jury was picked to start hearing the case. Lawyers expect the trial to last two weeks in 42nd District Court.
Tierra Energy LLC announced today that it has secured a contract to build a $55 million wind farm that will supply a Wyoming power company with renewable energy. Austin-based Tierra Energy's subsidiary, Happy Jack Windpower, will provide Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power with wind-generated energy over a 20-year period. Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power is a subsidiary of Rapid City, S.D.-based Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH).
His distaste for wind-generated energy may have begun as a “not in my back yard” sentiment. But as he learned more about the industry, Rankin said, his attitude hardened. With several of his neighbors, Rankin filed one of the first anti-wind-industry lawsuits in the state, arguing that wind farms are a public nuisance that do little to help the state’s energy needs. “One of the things that really energized us is how quietly, how stealthily and surreptitiously these people worked behind the scenes,” Rankin said. “The lack of regulation, combined with the state renewable-energy mandate, is making Texas a prime spot for these wind companies. But I can tell you, nobody wants to live next to them.”
A major wind-energy production alliance is scheduled to be announced Monday in Round Rock, adding to the state's growing profile in the wind business. TECO-Westinghouse Motor Co., a leading manufacturer of electric motors and generators, will announce an alliance with a California company to produce wind turbine components at its Round Rock facility.
TXU Corp. Chairman John Wilder said “everybody’s mad as a hornet” about Texas’ high electricity rates, but said increased supply of electricity that would come from 11 new coal-fired generating plants TXU wants to build would be the solution to Texas’ increasingly tight electricity supply. Wilder acknowledged that TXU probably won’t be able to achieve significant carbon dioxide emission reductions for years, perhaps as late as 2020, he said, but added “there is no perfect fuel for electricity generation........ Wind power, Wilder said, is inefficient because wind can’t be depended on to blow consistently at the right times “and besides, it costs 12-14 cents per kilowatt hour to make electricity from wind unless it is subsidized by the government.”
Warren Buffett’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. will form a joint venture with American Electric Power Co., owner of the biggest U.S. network of high-voltage electricity lines, to build transmission lines in Texas. The venture will take on as much as $1 billion of projects in the next several years, Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric said Monday in a prepared statement. American Electric will contribute $100 million of existing power-line projects, and MidAmerican will contribute cash to the 50-50 venture.
A gathering of people in Jacksboro on Monday might go down in the books as an early skirmish in a looming battle that could pit neighbor against neighbor and play out in courtrooms across the region. The issue is wind.
John Richey of Chico is concerned about global warming and thinks that anything people can do to help the cause is worthwhile. With that in mind, Richey attended a meeting about wind turbines in Jacksboro on Monday night. The speakers at the meeting – held before a packed house in the Jacksboro High School auditorium – were generally opposed to wind turbines.
Jack County residents debate value of alternative energy source A gathering of people in Jacksboro on Monday might go down in the books as an early skirmish in a looming battle that could pit neighbor against neighbor and play out in courtrooms across the region. The issue is wind.
Residents of Jack and surrounding counties nearly filled a school auditorium Monday to hear speakers presented by a group opposing wind turbines in the region. Jack County Concerned Landowners, which hosted the forum, invited residents of Archer, Cooke, Montague, Palo Pinto, Wichita, Wise and Young counties to attend. Arguing against development of wind energy were Jack Hunt, president and CEO of King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas, Thomas Hewson, an energy and environmental consultant, and Steven Thompson, a Houston attorney specializing in environmental law and wind energy.
The Panhandle could be a step closer to plugging into the electric market downstate on Monday.
Reaffirming their mission as “stewards of land and livestock,” members of Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association adopted policy Oct. 13 calling for enhanced government support for environmental conservation, an independent evaluation of industrial wind farms and efforts to address the growing shortage of large-animal veterinarians.
A bus loaded with 51 residents from Floyd County and the surrounding area pulled away from the Floydada Economic Development Corp. on Monday morning, headed for a wind energy tour here. The tour of the wind farms in the Sweetwater area was put together by the Floydada EDC. Those on the bus came back to Floydada with two messages: in order for wind energy to succeed in this area the region must gain access to a transmission line, and landowners should work together to provide acreage for the wind projects.
An assurance from Gov. Rick Perry about the future of wind energy is already boosting spirits in Odessa. Neil McDonald, economic development director of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said he is now talking with three wind power-generation companies interested in the Odessa area. McDonald acknowledged that Perry’s announcement will help those negotiations along as well as possibly bringing more wind-power representatives to West Texas. McDonald said it was still too early to identify the companies.
Gov. Rick Perry said Monday he has received a $10 billion investment guarantee from wind energy developers in exchange for the state’s assurance that the necessary power transmission lines will be built. Should the development come to fruition, the state would gain about 10,000 megawatts of power supplied by wind, enough to light up about 2.3 million homes. “Private companies are putting up their money instead of taxpayers putting up their money,” Perry said while flanked by executives from wind developers at Southern Methodist University. “The state of Texas will ensure we build the transmission capacity needed to deliver zero emission power source.” The agreement, though, is not formal and does not come with any binding contract between the state and energy companies touting plans to install more wind power generation, largely in West Texas.
MUNCY — More than 200 people from across the region gathered at the Friends Unity Center between Floydada and Lockney to hear a presentation on wind energy Monday night. Featured speaker at the meeting, which was sponsored by the Floydada Economic Development Corporation, was Lisa Chavarria, an attorney with McElroy, Sullivan and Miller in Austin who specializes in wind energy contracts. Ms. Chavarria explained that she is aware of seven development companies seeking leases in the area. Those companies are large, well-established and well-financed, and that is a good sign, she said. The purpose behind Ms. Chavarria’s presentation was to help local and area landowners know how to go about establishing leases.
The Panhandle is edging closer to plugging into the electricity market downstate. Public Utility Commission members voted Wednesday to take public comment on a process that could allow wind-generated power to flow south on a new $1 billion transmission line.
The thing about West Texas that you can't ignore, that you can never forget, is the wind.
A small request turned into a big deal at Monday's Potter County Commissioners Court meeting.
The hearing to discuss a tax abatement sought by the developers drew more than 100 people, roughly a quarter of the county's population.