Archive for July 19th, 2008
Texas is determined to be the leading state in the Union harnessing wind energy. Texas officials gave the go-ahead Thursday to the nation’s largest wind-power project, a plan to build billions of dollars worth of new transmission lines to bring pollution-free energy from gusty West Texas to urban areas.
Texas already generates about 5,000 megawatts of wind power, more than any other state. Most of Texas’ wind-energy production is in petroleum-producing West Texas, where nearly 4,000 wind turbines tower over oil pump jacks and capture the breeze that blows across the flat and largely barren landscape. This wind-abundant zone is known as the “wind corridor” which extends from the Canadian border to West Texas.
The enormous Lone Star state is already the nation’s leader in wind power, but when said plan is fully implemented (pending final approval), it’ll produce more wind energy than the next closest 14 states combined. Granted, customers will be paying more ($4 per month is the current estimate) for all this clean energy, but environmentalists assert that the cost is minor when looking at just how much this will help out Mother Earth.
“People think about oil wells and football in Texas, but in 10 years they’ll look back and say this was a brilliant thing to do,” added Patrick Woodson, vice president of E.On Climate & Renewables North America, which has about 1,200 megawatts of wind projects already in use or on the drawing board in Texas.
Supporters called the move a critical expansion of the “renewable energy superhighway,” predicting it will spur wind energy projects, create jobs, reduce energy costs and reduce pollution.
The new plan would not directly build a slew of new turbines, but would add transmission lines capable of moving about 18,000 megawatts. One expert said that is enough to power more than 4 million Texas homes.
As stated in my recent post “Exploting a ‘Wind Corridor’ in America,” one of wind’s most surprising backers is legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens.
Pickens’ company, Mesa Power, is purchasing hundreds of wind turbines to eventually cover 400,000 acres near Pampa, Texas, and generate enough power for more than 1.3 million homes. “We are making Pampa the wind capital of the world,” Pickens said last May.
Pickens said it would be the world’s largest wind farm at a cost that could grow to $12 billion before its scheduled completion in 2014.
There is no doubt that Texas officials are correctly thinking of a future without significant air pollution and no foreign oil dependency. It’s only responsible to switch to clean renewable energy resources such as wind, waves, bio fuels, solar, thermal and others. When that happens the OPEP countries can keep their sticky oil. Way to go Texas!