Wind Turbines Essay

600 words - 3 pages

Current Event
09-07-12
Wind Turbines I
First Willacy County Turbine Farm Opens, More to Follow:
A little over a year ago, a Chicago-based renewable energy company E.ON held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new site and began construction in October of 2011. The Magic Valley Wind Farm is what they decided to call it and it is located roughly 5 miles east of Raymondville. It is Willacy County's first wind farm. Within the last year, they put up 112 Danish-produced Vestas 1.8 megawatt turbines that generate more than 200 megawatts together, which is enough to power 60,000 houses. There was over 200 people hired for the construction phase of this wind farm and a staff of around 20 people on site. The project was approximately a 200 million dollar investment for E.ON and is the company’s 16th operational wind farm in North America upping the company’s generating ...view middle of the document...

The first wind farm will have use 87 Siemens 2.3 megawatt turbines and the second farm will have 84 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Turbines 2.4 megawatt units. This smaller company, compared to E.ON, has ten farms in six different states with around 1,000 megawatts of generating power. The two new wind farms will have a team of wind smiths on site, which means more jobs for people like us. Duke Energy’s spokesman says that the Texas coast is unusual compared to others because the wind will actually blow it’s hardest during the times of peak electricity usage, which is during the day, when most farms produce most there power at night. He also refers to Texas as the birthplace of modern wind generation in America and says the area is ripe for expansion of the industry.

Source – The Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas)
D.O.P. - September 9, 2012

Efthimiou called Duke hasn't announced any new wind farm projects in Texas since Los Vientos, though it may in the future.

Efthimiou said several factors go into deciding when or whether to launch new projects: Willingness and ability of wholesale buyers to purchase wind-generated electricity; the price of equipment; and "policy certainty" from the federal government in terms of industry incentives. Every form of energy production throughout history has been boosted in its infancy with government incentives, he noted.

The state of the economy also plays a major role, Efthimiou said. Rising or falling electricity demand is largely dictated by manufacturing activity, which is dictated by the health of the economy. The recession delivered a hit to electricity demand, he said. While things are rebounding to some degree, there is some lingering economic uncertainty that makes buyers less likely to sign long-term purchase contracts, Efthimiou said.

"We're also waiting to see what Washington is going to do in terms of incentives," he said. "Production tax credits are set to expire at the end of 2012."

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