Wind Power Set to Boom in the Panhandle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Wind Power Set to Boom in the Panhandle

The texas panhandle is one of the windiest places in the nation, and now the rest of the state is going to be able to tap into what could be a valuable resource.

This week the texas public utility commission approved a plan by the electric reliability council of texas, or ercot to build two transmission lines feeding power from the panhandle to the rest of the state.

"this is the first step toward us seeing that this is a reality for the texas panhandle and i think it will spur on a lot of wind projects," sais james wester, wind energy expert and attorney for underwood law firm in amarillo.

The over all capacity of the proposed transmission lines can carry, and more importantly sell, over five thousand megawatts of electricity to the energy starved metro areas of the state.

 " there's a lot of opportunity and don't forget it's just talking about the transmission lines for ercot," wester said.  

"mesa power has aggressive plans to build the world's largest wind development in pampa, and to make pampa 'the wind capital of the world.' the puc decision obviously furthers that goal, but it's important to note that, while transmission from the panhandle authorized by the state won't come on line until 2013, mesa will have 1,000 megawatts online by 2011. Obviously, we will continue to plan for our own transmission line," said mesa power spokesman jay rosser in a statement.

"i think this boom is coming i think this decision yesterday is just one more factor showing the boom is coming and we're going to generate and sell a lot out of the texas panhandle," wester said.  

The ercot power lines are going to be funded by ercot rate payers, which in our viewing area are only brisco, hall, childress, motley, cottle, and hardeman counties.  

Other energy customers will not be charged at all.

Counties, school districts, and land owners all benefit financially from wind farms,  wind farms wouldn't be build without these power lines.

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