It seems that the state of Texas is embracing wind power in a big way. They have recently passed a comprehensive $4.93 Billion wind power transmission project that could when it is completed, provide power for up to 3.7 million homes. Texas can already boast that it produces more electricity from wind power, than even California, which was one of the original pioneers of this energy producer. In an article from the NY Times it stated that:
“This project will almost put Texas ahead of Germany in installed wind,” said Greg Wortham, executive director of the West Texas Wind Energy Consortium.
Transmission companies will pay the upfront costs of the project. They will recoup the money from power users, at a rate of about $4 a month for residential customers.
Details of the plan will be completed by Aug. 15, according to Damon Withrow, director of government relations at the Public Utility Commission, which voted 2 to 1 to go ahead with the transmission plan. The lines will not be fully constructed until 2013.
Wind developers reacted favorably.
“The lack of transmission has been a fundamental issue in Texas, and it’s becoming more and more of an issue elsewhere,” said Vanessa Kellogg, the Southwest regional development director for Horizon Wind Energy, which operates the Lone Star Wind Farm in West Texas and has more wind generation under development. “This is a great step in the right direction.”
Ms. Kellogg said that the project would be a boon for Texas power customers, whose electricity costs have risen in conjunction with soaring natural gas prices across the state. “There’s nothing volatile about the wind in terms of the price, because it’s free,” she said.
As it has been pointed out by some who have previously posted on other wind powered articles I have written, when the wind doesn’t blow, no electricity is made. This is a given. However, this is a start in trying to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
What do you think. Is wind power one answer to our energy woes? Or should we build 100 new nuclear power plants that someone has mentioned recently in the news?