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Texas project largest by far outsind of California

A 250 MW commercial wind farm is being planned in Texas. In mid-January, Kenetech Windpower announced a joint venture with the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) to develop the project.

The wind plant will be built starting in 1995, probably in several phases, and may take up to seven years to complete, says Kenetech's Bud Grebey. The project site is in Culberson County near the Delaware and Guadalupe Mountains and 100 miles east of El Paso, says LCRA's Greg Perliski. It includes the 50 MW wind plant already announced in November by Kenetech with the LCRA (Windpower Monthly, December 1993).

Much of the project -- consisting of 750 33M-VS turbines -- will be installed on public land in Texas, owned by the state Texas Government Land Office (GLO). The power generated will be distributed to other utilities through the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. It is not yet known how much of the power will be used on LCRA's own system and how much will be sold to private utilities, says Perliski. When the first 50 MW was announced, LCRA said that 20 MW of that would be used in its own system.

LCRA is a self-supporting public utility created by the Texas legislature in 1934 as a conservation and reclamation district for ten counties on the Colorado River. It supplies power to more than 800,000 central Texans through 44 wholesale customers, including 11 electric co-operatives and 33 cities.

Kenetech set up an office in Texas last autumn. Commenting on the possibility of future projects, Grebey says, "It's a big state." But he stresses that Kenetech will be concentrating on the 250 MW with LCRA.

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