Wind power

Posted Monday, Jul. 01, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A June 24 letter (“Desalination needed”) misstated the facts on wind energy. Wind power is a reliable, low-cost electricity source, providing numerous economic and water use benefits — especially important for our state’s many drought-sensitive areas.

Because wind energy production doesn’t require water usage like traditional energy sources, it has quickly become a drought-resistant “cash-crop” for many local farmers and ranchers.

Texas wind farms generated $115 million in property tax payments and $31 million in land lease payments last year alone. That added revenue is often critical for many rural communities, funding infrastructure improvements such as schools, roads and emergency services.

Added wind power also makes our utility system more reliable. With more installed wind capacity than any state in the nation, Texas wind power met 9.2 percent of our electricity needs last year.

That’s good news because just two years ago when a cold snap caused dozens of our state’s fossil-fired power plants to shut down, the Texas system operator noted that wind power helped keep the lights on.

Factor in wind power’s long-term, fixed rate pricing — which protects consumers from price spikes in the fuel markets — and the benefits of wind are clear.

— Jeff Clark, executive director, the Wind Coalition, Austin

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