New Power Plan Announced for the High Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/6/08

New Power Plan Announced for the High Plains

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A new major power project was launched Wednesday that will bring more jobs to the area, and will establish Lubbock as a leader for developing "greener" electricity production. 

By the time the project is complete, it is set to produce 4,000 megawatts of power using one of our most abundant resources, wind. What does that number mean?  That's enough to supply power to 3-million households.

The Republic Power Partners LP and the West Texas Municipal Power Agency are joining together to develop a new way to provide a "greener" source of electricity, using a combination of wind power, biomass, clean coal, and natural gas.

 "We have the resource here and now it's our job to develop it, make it available to the rest of the country and to reap the rewards of hard work and imagination to put this to the benefit the people of the High Plains," said Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin. 

Martin says this economic development could be as big as...

"The arrival of railroads here in West Texas, the establishment of Texas Tech University, and the creation of irrigated agriculture all rolled into one as far as the economic impact in the next 20 to 30 years. 

Brownfield, Floydada, Lubbock and Tulia all support the project and hope to start purchasing the electricity by 2019.  That is when current power supplier Xcel Energy's contract is set to expire. 

"Today is the first step, the most important step not just for Lubbock and the High Plains but for the entire state of Texas," said George Bayoud with Republic Power Partners LP.    

Texas Tech will be the center of research for this project. 

"With our engineering science it has a long way that it will go in the future and we will provide a lot of success for this project and for wind engineering science in the future of this country," said Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance.    

The mayor says the new power source will not only benefit the High Plains, but could also provide more affordable power to other parts of the state.

Because this is a privately funded project it will not cost tax payers anything nor will it raise electricity rates. 

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