Articles filed under Impact on Economy from Texas

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

The night they drove the price of electricity down

In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, the mighty state of Texas was asleep. The honky-tonks in Austin were shuttered, the air-conditioned office towers of Houston were powered down, and the wind whistled through the dogwood trees and live oaks on the gracious lawns of Preston Hollow. Out in the desolate flats of West Texas, the same wind was turning hundreds of wind turbines, producing tons of electricity at a time when comparatively little supply was needed.
22 Sep 2015

Austin plan for renewable energy at odds with utility

But the city-owned utility, Austin Energy, has balked at the council’s proposal and said it would be too expensive for ratepayers. And since then, a debate has ensued over how to be politically progressive and economically practical at the same time. ...“It’s good to have aspirations except if the aspirations are so far afield that they are simply going to be ignored.”
17 Oct 2014

Continued growth in Portland could be threatened by wind farm

City officials said Portland has consistently grown at about 1.5-percent for the past 10-15 years, adding that they have done that by encouraging single-family home development ...However, they said that being so close to the wind turbines in nearby Taft will be the city's biggest challenge for further growth. "What we understand from talking to developers is that they are reluctant to build single-family subdivisions in the shadow of wind turbines."
13 Dec 2013

Report: Texas should revise school tax break incentives

Texas is overpaying to lure major economic development projects, particularly wind farms, under a state law that allows school districts to grant tax breaks to recruit capital-intensive industries, a new study by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs concludes. Granting school property tax breaks has helped Texas attract manufacturing plants ...but the program "has increasingly been used to over-incentivize projects that create few or no jobs."
19 Dec 2010

Senators balk at stimulating foreign-backed wind farms

A group of senators wants to halt stimulus funding for several wind projects regarding concern that the program has subsidized too many jobs overseas. The dispute began after a planned Texas wind farm with substantial Chinese investment announced it would seek a $450 million stimulus tax credit. The developers initially said the project would support 3,000 jobs in China and about 300 in Texas.
7 Mar 2010

Texas wind project's stimulus funds may stall over Chinese parts, jobs

A group of Democratic senators may seek to halt stimulus funding for wind-energy projects over concerns that the program is subsidizing jobs overseas. The dispute was prompted by a proposed wind farm in West Texas, whose investors planned to use Chinese-made turbines and seek a $450 million stimulus grant. The senators insist that stimulus funds shouldn't go to projects that get most of their materials from abroad and create "the bulk of their jobs" in other countries.
6 Mar 2010

Wind turbine jobs blow in China's direction

The rush to America of foreign wind-turbine manufacturers shows that the Obama administration's plan for stimulating the creation of green-energy jobs is going in an odd direction. Two weeks ago, U.S. Renewable Energy Group, led by Dallas investor Cappy McGarr, announced plans to build a $1.5 billion wind energy farm in West Texas. About a third of the money would come from federal stimulus funds. ...There would be perhaps 330 jobs created in Texas. Most would be temporary construction jobs. Meanwhile, thousands of Chinese workers in the northeastern industrial city Shenyang would build the labor-intensive turbines.
21 Nov 2009

Sweetwater businesses compete against wind jobs

The equation changed in the winter, when layoffs hit the wind industry hard, Shamblin said. Unemployment for June was 6.7 percent, still below the state average but the highest in Nolan County since at least 2000. Rainey would hear again from his former employees around March, after the completion of some wind construction projects. "When it all shut down, all four of them came back looking for a job. By then, it'd slowed down for us, too," Rainey said.
1 Aug 2009

Austin struggles with keeping green power affordable

Austin Energy, Austin's municipal power utility, was the first in the nation to give consumers the option of buying green-powered electricity. And as recently as last year the city's green power program, called GreenChoice, was number one in the nation, in terms of sales. This year, 99% of the city's allotment of green power remains unsold, even after seven months on the market, according to the Austin Statesman.
22 Jul 2009

"Robin Hood" could take school money

Meanwhile, lawmakers are trying to pass House Bill 1273 and the bill says that money given by wind energy farms to wealthy districts need to be part of "Robin Hood." "Robin Hood" will then distribute the money through out other districts. Now some school districts in the Big Country can be heavily affected if House Bill 1273 passes.
23 Apr 2009

Controversy erupts over districts not sharing windfall from wind farms

Property values are soaring in this West Texas community, and the reason is obvious. Looming on the northern horizon, hundreds of new wind turbines dot the once-barren hills. Ordinarily, much of the tax dollars generated by the turbines would go to the state's "Robin Hood" school finance plan, which requires property-rich districts to share their wealth with those less fortunate. But that won't happen in Sterling City, at least not if school officials have their way.
3 Apr 2009

Texas wind farms paying people to take power

A power producer typically gets paid for the power it generates. In Texas, some wind energy generators are paying to have someone take power off their hands. Because of intense competition, the way wind tax credits work, the location of the wind farms and the fact that the wind often blows at night, wind farms in Texas are generating power they can't sell. To get rid of it, they are paying the state's main grid operator to accept it. $40 a megawatt hour is roughly the going rate.
10 Dec 2008

Frequent negative power prices in the West region of ERCOT result from wasteful renewable power subsidies

The negative prices appear to be the result of the large installed capacity of wind generation. Wind generators face very small costs of shutting down and starting back up, but they do face another cost when shutting down: loss of the Production Tax Credit and state Renewable Energy Credit revenue which depend upon generator output. It is economically rational for wind power producers to operate as long as the subsidy exceeds their operating costs plus the negative price they have to pay the market. Even if the market value of the power is zero or negative, the subsidies encourage wind power producers to keep churning the megawatts out.
20 Nov 2008
back to top