Wind power boom in Texas The current capacity of wind power in Texas has outstripped the capacity of the transmission lines in place across the state. Back in July of 2008, utility officials gave preliminary approval for a $4.9 billion plan to build new transmission lines to carry wind-generated electricity from West Texas to urban areas such as Dallas and Fort Worth. This would be the biggest investment in renewable energy in U.S. history, and would add transmission lines that were capable of moving about 18,000 megawatts. The three main areas in Texas for wind resources lie in the Texas Panhandle, the Gulf coast south of Galveston, and in the mountain passes and ridges of the Trans-Pecos mountains. Currently today there are still 80,000 windmills in Texas used to pump water mainly on farms to supply cattle and farm house. So you can see Texas has a long history of using wind power. Currently more than 7,000 wind turbines exist across the state, with a capacity of 12,355MW, there are over seventeen wind farms that produce a minimum of 140MW each, some producing over 500MW. There are also at least nine wind farms in construction that will produce at least 150MW each. The wind power industry is also creating thousands of jobs in for communities in Texas. Increases in the deployment of wind technology and the other aspects of producing electricity such as transmission line construction may help to offset lost jobs in Texas if oil drilling activity on land and in the Gulf of Mexico subsides. A new energy storage system has been developed for in West Texas. This system allows excess wind energy to be stored, making the supply of wind energy more predictable and less variable. The facility can store 36MW of energy in its batteries during off-peak periods. This can hold enough electricity for the needed of more than 10,000 homes. Future Developments in Texas Wind Power There are plans to construct off-shore wind turbines on 11,355 acres of ocean approximately 7 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. Once completed, the
offshore wind farm is predicted to produce enough electricity to provide power to about 40,000 homes. The expansion of wind power is definitely in the future of Texas electricity production, providing a cleaner source of energy than gas, oil, and coal produced electricity, and definitely safer than producing electricity from nuclear power stations.