NewEnergyNews: WIND WINS TEXAS SHOWDOWN

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  • TODAY’S STUDY: Battery Energy Storage Right Now
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  • THE DAY BEFORE

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    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, March 16:

  • TTTA Thursday-Gallup Shows Rising U.S. Climate Change Awareness
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  • TTTA Thursday-No. Carolina Opens Up To Ocean Wind
  • TTTA Thursday-‘Monumental’ Job Growth In New Energy
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, March 22:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: New Markets Opening Up To Distributed Resources
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Utilities Driving Record Solar Growth
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Hawaii’s Fight For 100% New Energy Goes On

    Friday, August 08, 2008

    WIND WINS TEXAS SHOWDOWN

    A U.S. District Court Judge has validated the claim from wind developer Babcock & Brown that charges blocking their Texas Gulf Coast installation were without merit. The crucial decision dismissed charges brought by a local wind opposition group.

    Babcock & Brown had previously done extensive environmental studies but the Coastal Habitat Alliance (CHA), an environmental group created by wind opponents to obstruct the Gulf Wind Project, claimed the project was built without an environmental review or permit and was therefore in violation of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act. CHA also alleged it was denied a voice in hearings on Gulf Wind Project transmission development.

    A CHA-commissioned report on the wind project’s possible impact on the migratory habits of birds in the region found potential harm. A representative of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department told NewEnergyNews the report’s findings came without up-to-date, on-the-ground studies and were not scientifically valid.

    U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yaekle (Western District of Texas, Austin Division) agreed.

    The installation is expected to go on line later this year. It will provide 20 full time jobs to a rural, low population, job-hungry region and send 280+ emission-free megawatts to the Texas electrical grid.


    (For background, see HIGH NOON IN TEXAS: WIND WON’T BACK DOWN)

    The judicial decision is the 2nd major good news story from Texas this week. The first, posted below, is that power plant operator NRG has reached an agreement with environmental groups on cutting back its emissions. The 2 stories work in tandem: With Gulf Coast winds now more accessible to developers, coal plants are a step closer to being history. With the agreement between NRG and Texas environmental stewards, power plant developers have demonstrated they see the wiser choice.

    The decision could free for completion several installations in the wind-rich region. (Used by permission of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times - click to enlarge)

    Wind Energy Development Path Cleared in South Texas; Final Challenge Dismissed, Freeing South Texas to Harness Its Wind Power and Create Clean, Renewable Energy
    August 7, 2008 (Babcock & Brown via The Earth Times)
    and
    Judge dismisses lawsuit against Texas wind farm
    August 7, 2008 (EnergyCurrent)

    WHO
    Babcock & Brown (Hunter Armistead, head of North American energy group; John Calaway, chief development officer); the Kenedy Memorial Foundation; the Coastal Habitat Alliance (CHA); Lee Yeakel, U.S. District Court Judge, Western District of Texas, Austin Division

    WHAT
    Judge Yeakel dismissed charges brought by CHA that Babcock & Brown violated the federal Coastal Zone Management Act by building the Gulf Wind Projects without an environmental review or permit and denying CHA a voice in hearings on transmission development.

    click to enlarge

    WHEN
    - Planning, including site and environmental impact studies, began in 2004.
    - The Gulf Wind Project will be completed and operational in late 2008.
    - Babcock & Brown was founded in 1977.

    WHERE
    - The case was dismissed from the U.S. District Court, western district of Texas, Austin division.
    - The Gulf Wind Farm covers 300 surface acres of the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation King Ranch property on the Texas Gulf Coast.
    - Babcock & Brown has offices in Houston, Austin and Dallas and operates a 24-7 wind farm monitoring headquarters in Dallas.

    WHY
    - The non-profit Kenedy Memorial Foundation will use royalties from the wind installation to charitable purposes in South Texas.
    - The 118 turbine, 283-magawatt capacity Gulf Wind Project created ~300 construction jobs. It will provide ~20 ongoing permanent maintenance positions.
    - The wind installation will generate significant annual tax benefits to the area.

    - Babcock & Brown operates 20+ wind installations with 1,600 megawatts of capacity in 9 U.S. states and is developing 25+ more.

    click to enlarge

    QUOTES
    - Hunter Armistead, head of North American energy group, Babcock & Brown: " Our intention has always been to deliver the benefits of renewable energy while minimizing any impact to the environment. We were meticulous in the way we approached the development of this wind farm, which we believe will be used as a model for future wind farms around the country."
    - John Calaway, chief development officer, Babcock & Brown: "The winds of South Texas are one of the largest and most attractive renewable energy resources in the country…Our Gulf Wind Farm will provide critical power when it is needed most because the coastal winds in South Texas blow the hardest at the same time our state's demand for electricity peaks."

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