Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wind Power

This article was taken from the Amarillo Globe News today.

Region a wind powerhouse
Panhandle among suppliers of top wind user Xcel Energy
By Kevin

New ratings show the Panhandle and South Plains are already leading players in the wind energy game.
Xcel Energy, which serves parts of the Panhandle through Southwestern Public Service, is the utility that provides its customers the most wind energy in the country, according to the new report from the American Wind Energy Association.
"The Panhandle is possibly becoming the wind power capital of the country and we're in the heart of it," said Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves. "Right now wind is 10 to 15 percent of our capacity at SPS and we will see that grow to possibly 20 percent."
The utility added wind capacity in Texas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Colorado during 2006.
The new Texas power came from four installations in Hansford County in the northern Panhandle that are rated to produce up to 110 megawatts of electricity.

Going with the wind

Utilities using the most wind energy in 2006:
Xcel Energy: 1,323 megawatts
Southern California Edison: 1,026 MW
MidAmerican Energy Holdings: 861 MW
Pacific Gas & Electric: 793 MW
TXU Energy: 704 MW

Xcel buys that power from John Deere Credit and local owners.
One megawatt is enough electricity to power an average of 250 to 300 homes, according to the State Energy Conservation Office.
In 2007, Xcel has added up to 160 megawatts of wind power at the Wildorado Wind Farm largely owned by the Edison Mission Group. Shell Energy's Llano Estacado Wind Ranch at White Deer also serves the utility.
In addition, AWEA ranks the 19th Congressional District as having the most wind power production among districts across the country in 2006.
The district, represented by U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, runs from Deaf Smith County southward past Lubbock to Big Spring and Abilene then north toward Wichita Falls.
It had turbines that had a total rating of 1,419 megawatts.
The district's activity is part of what put Texas in first place for the second year among states producing electricity from wind.
Texas had 2,768 megawatts of capacity while California had 2,361, according to the AWEA report.
The expansion of wind energy may not be over.
"There's at least 20 companies that have expressed interest in developing it in Texas," said Susan Williams Sloan, communications specialist for AWEA. "If transmission is built, there will be more projects. That's our limiting factor."
Xcel's goal of 20 percent wind is in line with standard estimates of how much can be handled.
"In Denmark and regions in Germany and Spain, they have 10 to 25 percent. There's a lot to be learned," Williams Sloan said. "Texas is still at less than 5 percent."


Wind power is an important part of our future. In this part of the world we certainly have plenty of it!

Some related links:

No comments: