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June 1, 2009

1.0 – Introduction

Filed under: — admin @ 3:29 pm

Texas has significant renewable energy potential from wind, solar, and biomass. The Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) estimated the capturable wind energy potential at 130,000 MW on accessible lands from wind class 3 and above [1, Ch 5]. For both solar and wind, the primary resource areas are quite distance from the major load centers.

The renewable energy resource has become very important since the electric utility restructuring was passed by the 76th legislature (Senate Bill 7). The Public Utility Commission of Texas has adopted the final rules for the Renewable Energy Mandate, which requires 2,000 MW of new renewable facilities by 2009. Suppliers must add 400 MW of green power by 2003, with additional installation of 450 MW by 2005, 550 MW by 2007 and 600 MW by 2009. Because of this mandate, there is a significant interest in the wind resource and a number of developers are now in the process of acquiring land for resource assessment and wind farm development.

Presently Texas has 880 MW of renewable energy resources, primarily from hydro of the Lower Colorado River Authority. As of January 2000, there are 187 MW installed in wind plants in Texas (Table 1.1).

Table 1.1.  Wind Projects In Texas.

Project MW Annual Energy Output, GWh
Yr
Turbine Mfr
Delaware Mts I 35 80.7
1998
Kenetech
Delaware Mts II 30 online June 99
Zond
Fort Davis 6 8.7
1998
Zond
Big Spring I 34 117
1999 est
Vestas
Big Spring II 7 online June 99
Vestas
McCamey 75 online June 99
NEG Micon

source www.awea.org

The State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) had the foresight to fund wind/solar resource assessments to establish a reference database of 2-5 years. AEI began installing wind/solar meteorological stations in 1994 through early 1995 at seven sites across the State (sites 6-12). Additional sites (Table 1.2) were installed as funding was provided by SECO for South Texas and funding became available from Southwestern Public Service through the Utility Wind Resource Assessment Program (U-WRAP). Additional funding was obtained in 1996 from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory through the Cooperative Networks for Renewable Resource Projects (CONFRRM) for data collection and analysis for sites 7-12 and 24 for a period of two years. Three sites (7, 20, 21) were dismantled after two complete years of data because of low wind potential. Data for the other sites were collected through December 1999. Some of the sites are still operational through funding from private developers.

Most of the data collection systems were installed on existing towers which meant they were more exposed and at higher elevation than the surrounding region (Appendix 1). Two sites were on highly exposed locations and the wind power values will be site specific. Of course on plains sites, there were no significant elevation differences in the local area. (Table 1.2).

Table 1.2.  Location Of Meteorological Sites.

Site
#
Location Data
Period
Latitude (N)
Deg
Min Longitude (W)
Deg
Min Elevation
m
6 Amarillo 9/94- 35 101
1130
7 Hueco Mts 11/94-8/97
8 Guadalupe Pass 1/95- 31 51 104 49
1524
9 Matagorda 1/95-12/99 28 42 95 56
3
10 Bluegrove 2/95-12/99 33 48 98 11
305
11 Mirando City 1/95-12/99 27 24 98 58
269
12 Maryneal 1/95- 32 13 100 27
762
13 Dalhart 6/95- 36 102
1287
14 White Deer 7/95 35 101
1097
15 Quay Co, NM 3/96- 34 103
1520
16 Denver City 4/96- 32 102
1076
20 Alice 8/95-8/97 27 50 98 5
71
21 La Paloma 8/95-9/97 27 14 97 56
11
22 Raymondville 8/95-12/99 26 30 97 47
15
23 Rio Grande 8/95-12/99 26 32 98 42
147
24 Carta Valley 8/95-12/99 29 44 100 40
610
25 Corpus Christi 8/99 27 34 97 15
2

The UWRAP sites are only noted to the nearest degree as two years of data are controlled by SPS.

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