Wind Farms in Texas Expand, Will Transmission Capacity Be There?
photo by Jason Kaechler
We’ve been frequently reporting on how much wind power capacity has been growing in Texas, with T. Boone Pickens doing his part to single-handedly uphold the bigger-is-better state motto. All this increase in installed capacity will do little good if there isn’t adequate transmission capacity to bring it to power consumers. Debate on exactly how many more power lines to build is now underway.
Supporters of wind power are urging the Texas Public Utilities Commission to approve plans for additional transmission lines so that an additional 12,000-25,000 MW can be brought from West Texas into Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. This construction will cost somewhere between $3.4-$7.4 billion (or more) depending on the number of lines built and the routes chosen.
T. Boone is taking an end run around all this public discussion by financing and building his own transmission lines: Something which will add an estimated $2-billion to his already massive 4 GW wind project, but a cost which he says is the only way he can bring his project online as planned in 2011. Apparently, according to an interview he did for Living On Earth those pesky public agencies are just too darn slow...
Texas currently leads the nation in installed wind capacity at 5,500 MW...even without Pickens’ metaphorical wallet being $12-billion lighter.
via :: Reuters
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