Something refreshing is about to blow into Dallas, Houston, and other oil-soaked Texan cities: wind energy. Lots of wind energy.
A wind-farm boom has been brewing in the blustery Texas panhandle, where wind turbines now provide 9.2 percent of the state’s electricity. That figure is growing quickly, with more than $3 billion expected to be spent on new wind generation during the next two years alone. Meanwhile, Sustainable Business reports that the world’s most powerful battery system is helping to store wind energy produced during off-peak times so that it can be sold when demand for electricity is highest.
But the state’s biggest cities are in the east, far away from the graceful wind turbines and snazzy batteries of the west, making it difficult to deliver the renewable energy into most of the state’s homes and offices.
That bottleneck will ease by the end of the year, when the state completes a scheduled $6.8 billion effort to double the capacity of power lines from western wind farms to its eastern municipalities. That will provide an even bigger market and new incentives for potential wind power developers eying opportunities in the Panhandle.
Again from Sustainable Business:
Texas leads the nation in installed wind capacity and grew 18% last year, adding over 1800 MW for a total of 12.2 gigawatts across more than 40 projects. Wind supplies 9.2% of all electricity generated in the state.
Texas is #3 in the country for the green jobs, with 227,532 in 2012.
Until now, utility Excel Energy has bought most of Texas’ wind energy, but the new transmission lines will finally be able to carry power from wind plants in the western part of the state to all metropolitan areas, including Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.
So forget black gold, Texans! Your future is paved with … invisible gold. Or something.