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Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Texas Wind Turbines Offer Interesting View of Renewable Energy's Progress in America

When writing entries for this blog, I try to stay focused on energy issues here in Connecticut.

But I couldn't help noticing an item that arrived in my e-mail last week concerning wind power generation.

The University of North Texas has received $2 million grant from the Energy Conservation Office in the Lone Star State to install wind turbines on campus.The money will be used to install three wind turbines that will be used to provide power to the school's new football stadium (an artist's rendition is shown above) and other buildings in that part of campus.

The web page the school has devoted to the construction of the stadium, which will open this September, doesn't show how close the turbines would be to the facility.

The turbines are scheduled to be in place and operational by the end of the year, according to school officials. They are designed for low wind conditions - the average wind speed in North Texas is about 12 miles per hour, according to school officials - and produce a noise level of 55 decibels at a distance of 131 feet away.

"Our university has a 50-year legacy of environmental research and sustainability," V. Lane Rawlins, the president of the school, said in a written statement. "We're proud to be the first university in Texas to install wind turbines on campus.

For those who advocate in favor of wider use of renewable energy, an announcement like this has to be encouraging to see. The idea of wind turbines being used to power, of all things, a football stadium in the heart of America's oil country might seem far fetched to some.

And even though this is taking place halfway across the country, the symbolism of what the University of North Texas is doing should not be lost on Connecticut residents.

Here in Connecticut, residents in Prospect and Colebrook are fighting hard to keep a company from installing wind turbines in those communities. A bill is even being considered by Connecticut lawmakers that would declare a moratorium on wind power development while state officials conduct further study on where wind farms should be located.

Wind power turbines being erected next to a football stadium deep in the heart of Texas suggests that perhaps mainstream America is taking the idea of wind power more seriously.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not wanting wind turbines in a small town, in the middle of a peaceful neighborhood has nothing to do with not taking green energy "seriously," it has to do with wanting to preserve a safe, peaceful and tranquil way of living that is the right of those people in the small town.

I wish that when the news reports about this topic, they would try and actually feel what it would be like to have two 500 foot giants in their yard. There is simply no reason for it. The constant implication that the small town neighbors do not "care" about green energy, or are holding it back in CT is ridiculous and untrue. The neighbors have a right to their peace of mind, safety and good health.

They take wind power and green energy seriously. They just want it done correctly.

April 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM 
OpenID rucio said...

Texas — Enron and George W. Bush — is where the modern wind industry began: a set of subsidies and artificial markets for moving public funds into private bank accounts and avoiding taxes. Texas, with its worship of resource exploitation and nonexistent environmental laws, is hardly a good model.

April 13, 2011 at 9:07 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the anonymous poster above speaks of having a wind turbine in his backyard as a bad thing I guess he has never lived in a small town with oil or natural gas wells in it. The below ground energy business does nothing with the best interest of the town, or towns residents, at heart yet because people are used to “old oils” line of site devastation and the stink of petroleum pollution that industry gets a pass from the small town folks. More misleading information has been put forth toward the negatives of wind energy by the stinky oil and gas industry than ever before yet small town American folks have soaked it up with a sponge. Ironically, if they found oil or gas in that same small town the same folks would look past the mud pits, ditch digging, and red mud trucks that are destroying their roads like they are invisible ghosts. So is it really the sight of wind turbines they are complaining about or just change? I am all for doing things the “right way” and the wind industry is so heavily regulated they can’t help but do things the “right way”. Change is hard for older Americans, the oil and gas companies know this, and change is being used to scare people from letting wind energy have a seat at the grownups table. But when people complain about the sight of a benign wind turbine turning slowly and generating power from the breeze these same people take completely for granted they have no idea how petty they sound. I wish they would just think of all the damage, smell, and toxic waste left behind by the oil and gas industry in small town USA instead of blinding themselves to it. Then all the protest about the sight of a smooth, quiet, nonpolluting wind turbine might not rock their axis quite so much. Just admit it is really change you are afraid of and not the sight of a wind turbine in the distance. I wish they could be proud of the America that is upon them instead of pining for an America of the past because if older small town Americans can’t get past their fear of change they will destroy what they claim to love the most, America.

May 17, 2011 at 10:38 AM 

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