According to a recent announcement made by EDF Renewable Energy, formerly known as enXco, 150 MW Bobcat Bluff wind farm in Texas became operational on 26 December 2012.
EDF Renewable Energy had acquired the project from Element Power in March 2012, and construction of the project was started in April. The Bobcat Bluff wind farm is comprised of 100 GE turbines, 1.5 megawatt each. The wind farm is located on approximately 12,500 acres 20 miles south of Wichita Falls. The project is expected to generate enough clean electricity for the needs of approximately 40,000 average homes.
“Bobcat Bluff represents EDF Renewable Energy’s first project in the ERCOT market and our second in the state of Texas where we commissioned 311 MW of new wind capacity in 2012,” said executive VP Ryan Pfaff.
“We are pleased to bring the project to fruition, aided in no small part by the state’s promotion of a business-friendly environment, as well as local stakeholders who understand the critical importance of wind energy to our nation’s energy portfolio.”
The operation and maintenance of the wind farm will be undertaken by EDF Renewable Services. The energy management will be done by EDF Trading, according to the developer.
With the commissioning of the Bobcat wind farm, EDF Renewable Energy has successfully completed five wind projects with an aggregate capacity of 654.3 megawatts during 2012, bringing total installed capacity of all its renewable projects in the US to 1,785 megawatts.
Wind Energy in Texas
Texas is one of the leading wind energy producers in the US, with about 10,000 MW installed capacity. The recent few months have been exceptionally great for the Texan wind energy sector. Numerous records were set over the last few months in terms of share of wind-based electricity in the total share of electricity.
On December 25, 2012, wind energy projects in the state generated 25.7% of the total electricity supplied to the grid, the highest-ever share of wind energy in Texan grid. On that day, wind energy projects injected 8,638 MW electricity of the total 39,847 MW electricity in the system. Last year, we noted that the cost of wholesale electricity in Texas fell to zero due to higher wind energy generation compared to the demand. Surely, this has happened a few times since then.
Wind power generated in Texas is expected to double in 2013 and contribute about 16% of the total electricity produced in the state.
The future of wind power development in the state seems bright, as Congress extended a federal tax credit recently. The tax credit extension is expected to save approximately 37,000 jobs, according to estimates of an independent study conducted for the American Wind Energy Association.
While the prospects of wind energy in Texas remain bright, interestingly, some scientists have noted that land surface temperatures underneath and around large wind farms in west-central Texas have increased as a result of the introduction of the wind farms, especially at nighttime.
The views presented in the above article are author’s personal views only
Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.