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Wind Power, Meet Remote Control

Krypty ZA windmill

photo: Krypty ZA (flickr)

Energy alternatives are desperately needed in times of increasingly threatened environment and climate. In West Texas, wind power is becoming a reality. Transmission of that power is becoming a problem.

Landowners between the wind generators that are being put in and the cities that need the power have been raising problems related to the scenery and their stake in that scenery.

On a wind map of the United States, the pinks and purples — indicating average speeds of 17 to 20 miles per hour at nearly the height of modern wind-power turbines — carve a great, meandering swath through the Great Plains. Some of the deepest hues reside in the Texas Panhandle, where howling gales roar through desolate, treeless plains several thousand feet above sea level.

But while West Texas produces more wind power than any region in the nation, the Panhandle’s ferocious winds go largely untapped. Meanwhile, areas with lesser winds — notably near Sweetwater, just below the Panhandle — have sprouted forests of turbines, some twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

The Panhandle’s challenge is its remoteness. Few transmission lines exist to carry power to big cities that need it.

(snip)

Nonetheless, Susan Rogers (organizer of opposition) argues that the proposed lines, because they are intended for ERCOT but in territory covered by the Southwest Power Pool and the Eastern Interconnection grid, constitute a “violation of property rights of people in the Southwest Power Pool.” If the route is put through her land, she says, she would probably force the utility to take it through eminent domain rather than settle beforehand.

The fight against transmission lines echoes a battle that has gone on since time immemorial, and is reminiscent of the oil companies’ past. Long pipelines dot the landscape where drilling has been located, bringing out the fossil fuels now so desperately in need of a replacement.

Ideally, the power grid could eliminate the former eyesore of those snaking pipelines with new power lines, and cut down the desecration of our landscapes.

CommunityMy FDLSeminal

Wind Power, Meet Remote Control

Energy alternatives are desperately needed in times of increasingly threatened environment and climate. In West Texas, wind power is becoming a reality. Transmission of that power is becoming a problem.

Landowners between the wind generators that are being put in and the cities that need the power have been raising problems related to the scenery and their stake in that scenery.

On a wind map of the United States, the pinks and purples — indicating average speeds of 17 to 20 miles per hour at nearly the height of modern wind-power turbines — carve a great, meandering swath through the Great Plains. Some of the deepest hues reside in the Texas Panhandle, where howling gales roar through desolate, treeless plains several thousand feet above sea level.

But while West Texas produces more wind power than any region in the nation, the Panhandle’s ferocious winds go largely untapped. Meanwhile, areas with lesser winds — notably near Sweetwater, just below the Panhandle — have sprouted forests of turbines, some twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty.

The Panhandle’s challenge is its remoteness. Few transmission lines exist to carry power to big cities that need it.
(snip)
Nonetheless, Susan Rogers (organizer of opposition) argues that the proposed lines, because they are intended for ERCOT but in territory covered by the Southwest Power Pool and the Eastern Interconnection grid, constitute a "violation of property rights of people in the Southwest Power Pool." If the route is put through her land, she says, she would probably force the utility to take it through eminent domain rather than settle beforehand.

The fight against transmission lines echoes a battle that has gone on since time immemorial, and is reminiscent of the oil companies’ past. Long pipelines dot the landscape where drilling has been located, bringing out the fossil fuels now so desperately in need of a replacement.

Ideally, the power grid could eliminate the former eyesore of those snaking pipelines with new power lines, and cut down the desecration of our landscapes.

[Photo: TDR1 via Flickr]

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.