Today’s a day when I feel pride as an SMU Mustang. I was taking my little pooch, Colt, to the vet for his yearlies, when I saw a HUGE wing from a wind turbine with the logo "www.vestas.com." I’ve never seen one of those up close, but it was tons bigger than I thought it would be. Anyway, Governor Perry and tons of other private companies came to SMU to announce a partnership to invest $10 billion dollars in new wind energy infrastructure. The partners include: AES Wind Generation; Airtricity, Inc.; Babcock & Brown, L.P.; Gamesa Energy Southwest; Horizon Wind Energy; John Deere Wind Energy; Orion Energy L.L.C.; PPM Energy; Renewable Energy Systems (USA); Shell Wind Energy Inc.; Superior Renewable Energy; D.H. Blattner; GE Energy L.L.C.; Mortenson; Siemens; Trinity Structural Towers, Inc.; and Vestas-Americas Inc.
To begin with, I’m a little skeptical. Recently Governor Perry came out in support of TXU’s plan to dot the Texas map with 16-17 coal plants. Not only does Kinky support renewables, but he’s against TXU. The same goes for Strayhorn and Chris Bell. I mentioned in my blog that I thought the state could do more to chase renewables and added that coal energy has hidden costs that don’t factor into the consumer’s bill–cheap energy for small towns is a small-minded solution. Nevertheless, regardless of whether Perry is political grandstanding, I’m excited about this partnership for wind energy infrastructure.
As of December 2004, about 10% of Texas’ energy needs were sourced from renewables. Under this partnership, private companies will invest capital in wind energy generation while the Public Utility Commission will construct additional transmission lines to deliver the power. Such a large investment in wind energy should help Texas diversify its energy sourcing and slow down carbon dioxide emissions. For every 1,000 megawatts of new wind energy, Texas reduces emissions by 6 million tons over a 20 year span. This is great news for the state of Texas.
State, Private Partners to Invest $10B in Wind Energy [Dallas Business Journal]
Governor Uses SMU’s Embrey Building to Announce Wind Initiative [SMU]
::UPDATE: TXU Reveals Competitive Strategy [Dallas Business Journal]