Wind Power

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Amazon’s largest wind farm to date is up and running in West Texas, reports Engadget.com.

Known as Amazon Wind Farm Texas, the wind energy operation is located in Scurry County, near Snyder, Texas.

The entire operation includes over 100 turbines and will generate enough clean energy to power more than 330,000 homes. Amazon plans to take whatever energy it needs from the farm, then sell the rest to the state’s energy users.

Wallethub

The average American family spends $2,000 per year on energy. But some states are far more energy efficient than others. The personal finance website Wallethub set out to discover which states are doing more with less energy.

Drenaline / Wikimedia Commons

Xcel energy is seeking approval for new wind farms in the Texas Panhandle. If the plans are approved, the new turbines—along with a new farm planned for New Mexico, would generate 40 percent of the region’s power needs by 2021.

In an editorial for North American Wind Power, Betsy Lillian says the new project would power almost half a million homes. She attributes the viability of the project to Xcel’s previous investment in a high-voltage transmission network in the Texas Panhandle.

Steve Wilson / Wikimedia Commons

The construction of what will be the largest single-site wind farm in the United States was announced last week, and the site will provide power to residents of Western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle.

Pixabay / Wikimedia Commons

 A new report reveals which states have fully embraced renewable energy—and the states in the HPPR listening area are among the top in the nation.

As CBS News reports, the state of Texas now produces more wind energy than most countries - and a healthy portion of that energy is produced by wind farms in the Texas Panhandle.

Pixabay

The proliferation of wind farms in the western part of Oklahoma has been causing headaches for the U.S. military’s aeronautical operations in the region, reports The Tulsa World.

ewea.org

While winds were blamed for spreading wildfires that raged across parts of the High Plains in early March, they are also being credited with boosting wind power’s share in High Plains states, including Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, solar and wind power for the first time accounted for 10 percent of a month’s electricity generated in the U.S.

Tim Nauman / The Wichita Eagle

This week Kansas will dedicate two new wind farms, one in Kingman County and one in Pratt County, reports The Wichita Eagle.

Together, the two farms will generate 400 megawatts of electricity—enough to power 100,000 homes. That’s enough clean energy to power five cities the size of Hays, Kansas.

Most of the power will fall under the purview of Westar Energy, which also recently completed a large wind farm in Ford County.

Steve Sisney / The Oklahoman

Oklahoma has jumped to third in the state rankings, when it comes to wind power production.

As The Oklahoman reports, the Sooner State leapfrogged California to take the third spot. That’s no small feat, given that California bests Oklahoma in land area, population, and general economic might.

Energy Central

The number of jobs supported by the wind industry has cracked the 100,000 mark, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Energy.

As Energy Central reports, the milestone means wind power now employs more workers than nuclear, natural gas, coal, or hydroelectric power plants. And one out of every four of those wind workers are employed in the state of Texas.

San Antonio Express News

Nuclear power plants could be on their way out of the Lone Star State. As the San Antonio Express-News notes, Texas’ nuclear fleet is confronting some of the same issues that have led to plant closings in other states.

The main reason? The success of wind power, combined with oil market oversaturation due to fracking technology.

Wikimedia Commons

A new wind farm is on Lamar, Colorado’s very near horizon. 

As The Prowers Journal , Iberdrola Renewables, LLC will begin construction on the Twin Buttes II project, which will consist of 36 wind turbines that will be located on the east side of Highway 287, east of the Colorado Green turbine complex, this spring.

energy.gov

Google announced last week that in 2017, renewable energy will power 100 percent of its global operations, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s blog, Into the Wind.

energy.gov

A Microsoft data center’s electricity will be powered by a wind farm being constructed in western Kansas.

Kathleen Lavine / Denver Business Journal

Wind energy is booming in Colorado, reports the Denver Business Journal.

In fact, 14 percent of the state’s power now comes from wind, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. And the Centennial State isn’t alone; wind power is surging in many parts of the country.

news9.com

Oklahoma is one of several states challenging President Barack Obama's plan that would force coal plants to reduce emissions,

amazon.com

Amazon has plans to invest in a massive Texas wind farm, according to FuelFix.

The Seattle-based online retail giant is teaming up with Chicago’s Lincoln Clean Energy to build a 250-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County, west of Abilene. The company plans to begin operations in 2017.

The wind farm will feature 100 wind turbines which will power Amazon’s Texas’ facilities, with the leftover energy feeding into the overall state grid.

Center for Rural Affairs

A recent environmental study got Brian Depew of the Center for Rural Affairs thinking. After mulling the info from the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project, Depew penned a column on the rural development potential of transforming the energy sector.

Eddie Seal / Bloomberg News

Texas is the most productive state for wind power—by far. The Lone Star State pumps out 18,000 megawatts of energy a year, reports the MIT Technology Review. And that’s not counting an additional 5,500 megawatts of possible further capacity, which is equal to California’s entire installed wind capacity.

Tom Corser / Wikimedia Commons

A controversial transmission line that would carry wind power to the east from Kansas is gaining more support, reports The Wichita Eagle. The 780-mile Grain Belt Express line will transmit wind power from western Kansas across Missouri and further eastward. And now a group representing Missouri municipal utilities has signed up for space on the transmission line.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

If you didn’t know better, you might think Western Oklahoma was in the midst of an aviation renaissance. Of late, there’s been a rush to register private airstrips in rural areas, reports StateImpact Oklahoma. But these new landing areas aren’t planning to attract travel. They were created to keep wind turbines out.

Wikimedia Commons

If Nebraska were to switch from coal to wind energy, it could save the state almost two billion gallons of water a year, according to the Center for Rural Affairs. Nebraska currently ranks fourth in the nation for wind energy potential and 13th for solar power potential. But the state relies heavily on coal to provide energy for its citizens.

cpr.org

Yesterday we reported on a problem Texas is struggling with: The state has so much renewable energy these days that, when the flow slows it costs power companies a lot to ramp up fossil fuel energy again. This problem could be solved by renewable energy storage, the next frontier on the energy landscape.

technologyreview.com

Sometimes the modern world presents you with problems you couldn’t have anticipated. Texas is facing one such dilemma. It seems, according to MIT Technology Review, that the Lone Star State has too much renewable energy. Or perhaps “too much too soon” is a better way to put it.

ewea.org

Wind energy is exploding nationwide, and Colorado is hoping to be a big part of the revolution. In 2015 the US wind industry had its third-best year in terms of new wind farms built. Across the nation, the industry installed almost 9,000 megawatts worth of wind turbines, reports Denver Business Journal. That’s a 77 percent increase over the previous year. Colorado installed wind turbines capable of generating 400 megawatts worth of renewable power.

Wikipedia / Creative Commons

Wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.” The implication is that wind energy is now cheaper than coal and gas power nationwide. But that’s not exactly right, reports The Rural Blog. In most of the nation, traditional power sources are still cheaper, if only slightly.

joshuadelaughter / Flickr Creative Commons

A new project is looking to provide Kansas wind power to cities in the east, reports Switchboard—the Natural Resources Defense Council Blog. The Grain Belt Express is an almost 800-mile high voltage transmission line running from Kansas to Indiana. The Illinois Commerce Commission recently approved the construction of the transmission lines in the state.

Brandon Thibodeaux / New York Times

Texas wind farms are generating so much energy that some utilities are giving power away, reports the New York Times. TXU Energy is making a bold attempt to change the way Texans consume energy.

A Look at the World's Windiest Communities

Oct 21, 2015
LatitudeStock / Alamy

High Plains residents are intimately familiar with wind. A recent Weather.com post listed Amarillo, Texas, as the windiest city in the US. Some High Plains communities have discovered how to harness the wind’s power. For example, after Greensburg, Kansas, was destroyed by a tornado in 2007, residents rebuilt the town as a green energy paradise. Its wind now generates three times more power than the town uses.

Carol Hillendahl / HPPR

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the grid for 24 million Texans, nearly doubled from 2009 to 2014. Wind power was responsible for over 10% of the electricity for Texas in 2014, that is up from 9.9 in 2013 and 6.2 in 2009 as per the U.S. Energy Information Administration.