Tribpedia: Wind Energy

Tribpedia

Wind energy is a renewable form of energy derived from wind turbines. Wind energy produces zero emissions at the source, consumes no fossil fuels and uses no water. Due to its environmental benefits, low operating costs and increasing demand for alternative fuel sources, wind energy is one of the fastest-growing forms of energy nationwide.

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Daniel Yergin: The TT Interview

The Pulizer Prize-winning author and leading authority on energy on his new book, The Quest; the future of Texas energy, including wind, solar and natural gas prices; and the burning national debate on how to spell "fracking."

Video: Texas Windmillers at Work

A windmill company based in San Angelo has been making windmills since 1888 — and the family of Panhandle windmiller Mike Crowell has been in the business of fixing the machines nearly as long.

SLIDESHOW: Texas Windmills — and Windmillers

Windmilling — the art of fixing old water windmills — is difficult and dangerous work, and now it faces competition from solar pumps. But long-time windmillers in the Panhandle wouldn't trade their job for any other.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 10/17/11

Hamilton on efforts to boost faculty productivity, Grissom on newly uncovered evidence in an old murder case, Galbraith on a wind-powered construction boom, Dehn unfurls the new Texas Tribune Weekend Insider, Aguilar on this year's record number of deportations, Ramshaw and Tan on budget cuts and cervical cancer screenings, M. Smith on local control over student grades, Root and Ramshaw on Rick Perry's latest debate performance, Philpott on an issue that didn't get its due in that debate and Titus and Murphy on fundraising and spending in congressional races: The best of our best content from October 17 to 21, 2011.

Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.
Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.

Wind Power Transmission Lines Rise Across Texas

Workers are busy stringing thousands of miles of wires across Texas to aid the wind-power boom, despite lingering controversy — and an estimated cost of $6.8 billion. West Texas businesses, for their part, have found a niche feeding and housing the workers, who must put up with rattlesnakes and bad weather.

Chairman Donna L. Nelson - Public Utility Commission of Texas
Chairman Donna L. Nelson - Public Utility Commission of Texas

Donna Nelson: The TT Interview

The chairwoman of the Public Utility Commission on how close Texas came to rolling blackouts this summer, how well the state's wind turbines are performing, how much consumers can expect to see their bills increase as wind-power transmission is expanded, and how the historic drought affects the reliability of Texas' power grid. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 8/1/11

Aguilar on the denial of asylum petitions by border judges, Galbraith on the history of wind, Grissom talks to the head of the Jail Standards Commission, Hamilton on plans for the state's new online university, Murphy and Ramsey on political warchests at midyear, Philpott on Texas' trucker shortage, Ramsey talks data privacy and abortion with Susan Combs, Ramshaw on the Rick Perry's experimental adult stem cell procedure, Root on the response to The Response, M. Smith on the country's could-be next first lady and Tan on a few of the ways Texas will change on Sept. 1: The best of our best content from Aug. 1 to 5, 2011.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 7/25/11

Aaronson examines the Texas jobs "miracle," Root on how Rick Perry built his financial portfolio, Tan and Wiseman on Perry vs. Ron Paul, Philpott on how budget cuts will affect a mental health provider, yours truly on a House freshman who was less than impressed with his first legislative experience, M. Smith on public schools charging for things that used to be free, Hamilton on a new call to reinvent higher education, Grissom on a rare stay of execution, Galbraith on the end of a Panhandle wind program, Aguilar on the increase of legal immigration into the U.S. and Texas: The best of our best content from July 25 to 29, 2011.

Aluminum tape covers the sensors being tested on a wind turbine in Bushland, Texas.
Aluminum tape covers the sensors being tested on a wind turbine in Bushland, Texas.

End of an Era for Panhandle Wind Program

As the Department of Agriculture focuses on biofuels, it is pulling out of wind and solar research. For the tiny Panhandle hamlet of Bushland, this means the end of a wind program that has operated for 35 years and helped get the Texas wind boom started. It is still doing pioneering work on blade sensors.

New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind
farm, near Floydada
New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind farm, near Floydada

West Texas Project Could Change Future of Wind Power

Utility giant Duke Energy announced last week that it has hired a Kyle-based company to build what would be the world’s largest wind energy storage system for the Notrees wind farm in West Texas. As Lindsay Patterson reports for KUT News, the technology behind the project could solve some of wind power’s biggest problems.

Cows graze near wind turbines at an Iberdrola Renewables wind farm along the Texas coast.
Cows graze near wind turbines at an Iberdrola Renewables wind farm along the Texas coast.

Texas Wind Power Grows Along the Gulf Coast

Mosty of the state's wind turbines are in West Texas. But wind farms are now operating along the Gulf Coast, and alligators and hurricanes notwithstanding, more are likely on the way. But their arrival has spawned a range of concerns, from their impact on birds and the coastal habitat to the turbines’ effect on military radar.

Why Texas Is Using More Coal, Wind and Less Gas

When Texans turn on lights or plug in iPads, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind — and from coal plants. Last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state's electric grid was generated by wind, far above the national average. And coal plants produced more power than any other electricity source. The big loser was natural gas.

Texas OKs New Wind Power Transmission Lines

At the heart of Texas' wind-power boom lies a conundrum: Plenty of ranchers are eager to host wind turbines but few want to allow the unsightly high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry the power to distant cities. But state regulators are moving forward — and yesterday they approved a contentious project that runs through the Hill Country.

New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind
farm, near Floydada
New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind farm, near Floydada

Series Explores Texas' Transmission Lines for Wind

This week, the Tribune put together a three-part series exploring the state's $5 billion transmission-line build-out to support wind power, which is mostly generated in West Texas but needs to be shipped to cities in Central and East Texas. The project is known as CREZ, short for Competitive Renewable Energy Zones.

New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind
farm, near Floydada
New turbines tower over an old windmill at the Whirlwind wind farm, near Floydada

Remoteness a Hurdle in Harvesting Panhandle's Winds

While West Texas has become the nation's wind-power hub, the Panhandle's ferocious winds go largely untapped. That could change with a slew of proposed transmission line projects that could, in turn, enable forests of turbines — if landowners can be soothed. Part three of a three-part series.