Deaf Smith County moves towards wind farms

Deaf Smith County moves towards wind farms

Hereford, TX - Water is not needed for Deaf Smith County's newest initiative.

Deaf Smith County hopes the economic benefit will spread faster than a West Texas wind.

The County will soon be adding wind to the list of ways they raise money for county operations. Three wind farms will soon be located in Deaf Smith County. The first one is already under construction.

"It is 200 megawatts, it's in the southeastern part of Deaf Smith County, it's about 15,000 acres, be around 100 to 110 windmills," said Michael Kitten who is the Executive Director of Hereford Economic Development. "The second project is smaller, it's kind of a rollover from Oldham County, it's in the very northeastern corner of Deaf Smith, it's a 29 megawatt project so we're talking about 10 windmills, but we have the opportunity of another sub station".

The final wind farm was approved this past Monday by the County Commissioners Court and will be the largest of the three at 30,000 acres.

"It's 240 megawatts of wind and they are also entertaining a little over 100 megawatts of solar," Kitten said. "You put all those together, we're talking about around 500 megawatts, not counting the solar, 500 megawatts of wind, like I said three quarters of a billion dollars in added tax appraisal value".

In addition to the added tax value, the construction will bring in an added benefit to the local economy.

"The first project will have 8 to 10 full time jobs after it's up and running, but we're going to have over 100 people here just for the next 12 months," explained Kitten.

Kitten also added, in addition to jobs, the local hotels, restaurants and gas stations will see an increase in revenue with all of the workers coming into town between the three projects.