The Texas Panhandle offers:
The Texas Panhandle is located in the central part of the United States and rich with resources. It is a suitable site for optimal wind energy production and wind industry manufacturing. This is attributed to its progressive landowners, pro-business attitude and availability of wide, open spaces that are free from urban sprawl. Currently, aggressive wind farm development is taking place and the area is ripe with opportunity. As you can see from this map, the Texas Panhandle is located in one of the larger attainable high-average wind power areas.
In July 2008, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) announced a transmission scenario that will eventually transmit a total of 18,456 megawatts of wind power from West Texas and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) to metropolitan areas of the state and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid. The PUC selected scenario 2, which is estimated to cost $4.93 billion, or approximately $4.00 per month per residential customer, once construction is complete and costs are reflected in rates. It is expected that the new lines will be in service within four to five years.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the agency which oversees the state’s electric grid, responded to a PUC order to provide several scenarios to the commission. The four scenarios contained a total of 12,053, 18,456, 24,859, and 24,419 MW of installed wind generation distributed among five CREZs in West Texas and the Texas Panhandle. Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZs) are “hot spots” where a renewable resource has been identified and allow for connectivity to the ERCOT grid. CREZs identified and studied by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) are located in mainly four geographical areas of the state: the Texas Panhandle, West Texas, Central Texas and the Gulf Coast. The Texas Panhandle harbors the top four proposed CREZs in the state due to optimal environmental conditions allowing for the most accessible and quantifiable wind resource in the United States. Senate Bill 20, which the state legislature passed in 2005, directed the PUC to select the most productive wind zones in the state and devise a transmission plan to move power generated from these zones to various populated areas in the state.
The Texas Panhandle has the potential for more than $7.5 billion of capital investment in wind development and connectivity construction. In the heart of the Texas Panhandle sits Amarillo, an aggressive and growing city with a strong pro-business environment and a location strategically positioned to the four most favorable CREZs as identified by the PUCT. The Texas Panhandle is positioned to supply the rest of Texas with energy!