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Texas energy goes with the wind

Written by , published June 17, 2014


Texas’ wind power production is gaining strength. Earlier this spring, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced a new record for wind power generation in our state. On March 26, wind power production peaked at 10,296 megawatts, or nearly 29 percent of the state’s total power grid at that moment. As more wind farms appear across Texas, along with increased transmission infrastructure to deliver the power where it’s needed most, more generation records are likely to be broken in the years to come. 

Texas leads the nation in wind power, with about 8 percent of the state’s electricity provided by wind turbines. Current projections estimate that Texas’ wind power capacity will increase by nearly 70 percent in the next two years. This represents more than 7,000 megawatts of wind power added to the grid—enough to supply about 1.5 million homes.

If you’d like to learn more about Texas windmills past and present, take a trip to Lubbock to visit the American Wind Power Center. This museum, established by the nonprofit National Windmill Project for the preservation and restoration of historic windmills from across the country, represents generations of farming, ranching, and power generation.

The center, which is open year-round from 10 a.m to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, boasts more than 150 wooden and metal windmills. But it’s not all history on display—there’s also a modern 165-foot wind turbine on site that generates the museum’s power.

If you’ve got about $3,500 burning a hole in your pocket, the center also offers working windmills for sale in its gift shop. But don’t expect to strap it to the top of your car for the ride home.

Wind power is also at the forefront of the discussion over Texas energy supply because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent announcement that in order to meet new federal guidelines, Texas should work to reduce its carbon emissions by 39 percent by 2030. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, wind power generation could contribute to meeting that goal. 

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