Wind energy project in Oldham County - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Wind energy project in Oldham County

Vega, TX - Wind has proven to be one of our most abundant natural resources in Texas, and investors remain eager to harness that resource.  And now an up and coming project means Oldham County will see a windfall by this summer.

On April 24th, EDF Renewable Energy, marked both the completion of the Spinning Spur Wind Project in Oldham County, and the beginning of a second.  And county officials couldn't be happier.  Deborah Sue McDonald, Director of the county's chamber of commerce, says wind development will lead to economic development.

"With agriculture and the drought that we've had ," says McDonald, "I mean, [Oldham County] has really suffered in the last few years with our farming and ranching, so this has been a big boost, and if you have wind, you need to use it."

The Spinning Spur II Project is scheduled to begin construction in June, and that means Vega will see a constant revenue stream throughout the process.

"Of course they're going to eat at all of our restaurants, they're going to buy at all of our shops, they're going to buy fertilizer," says McDonald.  "Anything they can buy in Oldham County that they can use out on the project, they're going to buy right here. So of course our businesses, during that eight-month period, they boom a little bit."

Once completed, the both Spinning Spur projects combined will produce enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.  The expansion will add to the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines, which are designed to move surplus power to bigger cities as the lone star state's population grows.

The expansion was possible largely due to the one-year extension of the Production Tax Credit in January of this year, which grants generous tax incentives for wind energy producers.  The PTC has been in existence since 1992, and has been usually extended but sometimes denied by Congress over the years. 

Texas leads the nation in both wind energy production and capacity, and produces about 7 percent of its own energy resources through wind.  According to the American Wind Energy Association, Texas could produce 19 times its own energy needs with wind.

If you'd like to learn more about the project itself or how the wind industry works in Texas, follow the links attached to this story. 

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