Texas Wind – blowing away the 20% limit
When it comes to wind power, Texas is blowing away the other 49. The state’s independent streak – combined with its statewide renewable energy standard under Senate Bill 20 – had resulted in the installation of 9,410 megawatts of wind power by the end of 2009. This capacity is more than the next three top wind producing states combined.
Texas has been exceeding expectations on sending green electrons to its residents homes and businesses for over a decade, since the initial passing of Senate Bill 20, with its renewable energy standard – quite a change from the traditional oil and gas background that Texas is famous for. In the state’s capital, the local municipal utility shares its green power purchase agreements with its customers through its GreenChoice Program.
Texas just isn’t installing wind turbines, its letting them spin as often as the state’s grid can handle. On February 28, 2010 Texas reached a significant milestone by supplying a record high of 22% of the state’s electricity demand using wind power.
The state isn’t stopping either – with the development of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) throughout Texas, the time when 20% of total annual electricity generation in Texas will come from green power may be here sooner than we thought.
A strategic and well-planned drive toward increased use of renewable energy resources (with the benefit of decreased environmental footprints) will provide numerous benefits to Texans in the short and long term. Today, it provides influxes of capital and job opportunities in small towns throughout wind rich areas. Our ranchers and farmers have new opportunities to diversify their income streams. In the long term, using renewable resources will help to stabilize energy prices and provide a level of energy independence to the state that will make us stronger.