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In Arkansas the growth rate of new wind power manufacturing facilities has been slowed by the lack of availability of funding.  SWEPCO and Entergy both have been purchasing the output of Texas panhandle wind farms, but they do not have adequate or dedicated transmission facilities for this power and so must bid in competitive auctions for transmission on existing pathways.  It should be noted that a new pathway through Oklahoma to, say, Fayetteville or even Springfield, MO would be a major step in enabling the sale of West Texas wind power to mid west buyers, in addition to Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 11:27:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And across New Mexico to Phoenix and then Southern Cali. Amarillo (eg) to Phoenix is 600 miles, and Amarillo / Phoenix / LA is under 1,000.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 11:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks guys, for your research.  It appears I was misinformed.  I had no doubt that there were a lot of "shovel ready" projects held up by funding constraints, and also that there was a lot of unused capacity in the construction sector.  

My concern was more specific to the wind power industry and that bottle necks or unavoidably long construction times might occur in specific specialist areas - e.g. turbine manufacture, critical smart grid components, completion of new power lines - which would constrain the ability of the industry to produce a major expansion of wind capacity in the next 2 years.

Obviously any such under-capacity would be as a direct consequence of the "stop-go" regulatory and financial  regime for wind power identified by Jerome above and the chronic lack of vision of the Bush regime.  

The irony is that the richest wind power resources often seem to be in Republican States.  Now that the DEMS have abandoned their 50 state electoral strategy perhaps they could inaugurate a 50 state energy strategy which might be just as good at harvesting votes in red areas in due course!


notes from no w here

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 07:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Only one of the richest wind resrouce states were "deep red" in 2008 ... Montano North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas and Texas were all lighter shades of red than in 2000/2004, and Montana and North Dakota would qualify as "purple" with the same reckoning as used going into 2008.

And there is definitely a tension between the western style of "conservatism" and the southern style of "conservatism" that can be most usefullly wedged if there is some good old fashioned parochial interests going along with it.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 01:18:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would not look forward to selling much Texas wind power outside of Texas. The Texas grid is almost completely isolated from the rest of the country, on purpose. The west Texas electricity will mostly be sent to Dallas, Houston, Austin, etc., even though plenty of out-of-state cities are much closer.

Amarillo to Denver: 574 km
Amarillo to Houston: 855 km

Amarillo is in the middle of the pink area on the wind map below.

http://www.seco.cpa.state.tx.us/re_wind-transmission.htm

by asdf on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:33:55 PM EST
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I'm not so sure about your hypothesis as regards the future.  There are many plans to link the Texas grid, and rightly so.  whther they happen or not???

special corridors transmitting wind in Texas are already under construction planning.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 03:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe that the Texas electric grid is almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the U.S., and that the regulations are set up to maintain that situation. There are a lot of projects WITHIN Texas to improve their system, but I have not heard of a change in attitude that would help other states.

Texas gets most of its power from natural gas, but is actively working to build a substantial wind infrastructure.

by asdf on Fri Jan 23rd, 2009 at 06:54:03 PM EST
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