Wind Energy Farm Generates from West Texas - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/22/04

Wind Energy Farm Generates from West Texas

Some masterminds have put the legendary West Texas winds to good use, the second largest wind generating plant in the state is now up and running in Fluvanna. The wind farm will generate 160 megawatts of power, providing electricity to more than 30,000 homes annually.

You can see them for miles, spinning as the wind blows, 160 wind turbines have been added to the Caprock. "The source of energy is obviously the wind, and the reason we're here is because the wind blows consistently and year round here in West Texas," said John Savage, Green Mountain Energy.

Each turbine generates one mega watt of power at capacity. And to give you an idea of their size, most of them stand 69 meters tall, which is about the size of the Statue of Liberty. And the blades are the length of the wingspan on a 747.

"The wind needs to blow at a consistent speed over a period of time. And the turbines are placed at very precise locations on the edge of the Caprock to capture the wind as it accelerates over the Caprock to maximize the output of the facility," Savage said.

Due to customer demand for cleaner air there are 17 wind farms in Texas, that's because wind generated electricity is pollution free. "Most people don't know that making electricity causes more air pollution than any other industry in the country so the wind farm here in Brazos is effectively offsetting about 360,000 tons of carbon dioxide pollution," Savage said.

That means this plant will have a tremendous impact on air quality across the state.

12 ranchers have leased the rights on their land for the turbines, and they will be financially compensated for upwards of 50 years. This wind farm also created more than 200 jobs for the six months of construction and about 30 permanent jobs in Fluvanna.

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