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Photo Friday: Wind Power in Texas

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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In 2010, Texas became the first state in the United States to exceed 10 GW of installed wind generation capacity. This achievement was due in part to the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission projects. These projects have supported the addition of more than 18 GW of new wind generation capacity to date (2013). By connecting wind-rich areas with areas of high electricity demand, these lines facilitate the use of renewable generation resources.

Photo Credit: Photo by T. Scott and used with permission for this publication.

Melissa C. Lott About the Author: An engineer and researcher who works at the intersection of energy, environment, technology, and policy. Follow on Twitter @mclott.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. tsmund 8:38 am 12/13/2013

    Why is this news today, 3 years later? Is there an update?

    How many coal or gas-fired plants are equivalent to 10GW, i.e., how many fossil-fuel plants does this offset?


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  2. 2. Uncle.Al 11:29 am 12/13/2013

    Look up the cost/kWh amortized over infrastructure cost, financing and maintenance costs, and installation working lifetime (add subsidies as costs – you pay those, too). Coal-fired generation in Montana through Wisconsin costs $(USD)0.03 – 0.05 at the busbar, depending on how big a gun the EPA holds to your head.

    Typical capacity factors are 15–50% nameplate. Wind power is inconstant moment to moment. It cannot directly feed a grid. Induction generators require reactive power for excitation. Wind-power collection systems require huge capacitor banks for power factor correction. Have you ever seen a really big capacitor pop?

    Social activism is feeding us to ourselves. Where were the loos in the Frodo’s Shire?

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  3. 3. David Cummings 10:01 am 12/14/2013

    The United States used 3,886,400GW of electric power in 2010

    Link to this

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