Major panhandle wind project underway - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Major panhandle wind project underway

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A.J. Swope, Class 4 Winds A.J. Swope, Class 4 Winds

NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, Texas - A major project aimed at carrying wind energy across the Lone Star State is finally underway thanks to the construction of transmission lines in the panhandle.

Most of the power harvested here will be shipped down state to places like Dallas and San Antonio, paving the way for significant changes to the energy supply in Texas.

It's a project six years in the making, confronted with lots of debate and protest, but now the construction of 2300 miles of CREZ lines is finally underway.

Cameron Fredkin with Cross Texas Transmission says, "Texas is already a leader in renewable energy in the country and this project is going to help Texas stay at the top for decades to come."

It will bring thousands of additional mega watts of wind power to Texas.

A.J. Swope with Class 4 Winds says, "The reason behind the lines is additional wind power for the state. To be exact, about 18,500 mega watts of additional wind power state wide and then here in the Panhandle we can expect about 5,500 mega watts."

Which is about five times more wind power than we currently have in the panhandle.

Fredkin explains, "What that will mean for us living here in the Panhandle and throughout the state of Texas, is it will help bring more stable electricity prices to market by diversifying our fuel supply."

Miles of transmission lines won't be the only new structures to pop up on our horizon.

Swope says, "Our main constraint behind getting more wind farms has been transmission up until now. We are really going to see an incredible amount of wind farms being built as a result of all this and I think we will also see some wind farms of a much larger scale, than what we are currently used to seeing."

The CREZ lines are also expected to increase tax revenues for school districts and counties and create about 4,000 new jobs state wide.

The lines should be complete by the end of 2013, but parts may be phased in before that.