Texas Leads the Nation in Wind Energy
The old saying that goes “Everything is Bigger in Texas” holds true for a lot of things; including wind energy generation. Texas leads the United States in wind energy generation and its no competition. Texas produces more energy than the next 3 states combined. In fact, if Texas was its own country, it would still be 4th in the world in wind energy generation
“This is the center of the wind industry in the United States,” said Cliff Etheredge, a local wind and cotton farmer. “We have this wind corridor comes off this Chihuahua Desert in the south, comes right up the panhandle, right on up to Canada.”
With over 40 different wind projects in the state and over 21,000 Mw of capacity, wind energy makes up over 13% of the total energy generation in Texas. Typically, farmers lease their land to wind developers that creates a new revenue stream for farmers.
“So we have available transmission lines, we had pretty good wind, and then we had landowners who were already used to dealing with agriculture and oil and gas, and so we just found some people that could also mix in wind with that,” said Ken Becker, executive director of Sweetwater Economic Development.
Texas has a long history with wind energy from the first project in 1970 at West Texas University to today where there are over 40 wind farm projects across the state. Favorable wind conditions and land availability make Texas the perfect place for wind energy generation. There are also subsidies and federal grants for having wind energy projects in Texas making it profitable for farmers.