(May 11, 2006)—A 40,000-acre complex of wind turbines atop 400-foot pylons will be constructed off Padre Island in the Gulf of Mexico, State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced Thursday.
The nation’s largest wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 125,000 homes, Patterson said.
The multi-million dollar deal grants Superior Renewable Energy the rights to 39,000 acres of submerged land in the gulf.
The General Land Office expects the deal to generate between $34 million and $100 million, all of which would go to the state’s Permanent School Fund, Patterson said.
The offshore farm is the second Patterson has announced in less than a year
Last fall, he announced that a farm of wind turbines is planned for seven miles off Galveston Island that could provide 40,000 homes with power and generate millions of dollars for state schools.
Louisiana subsidiary Galveston Offshore Wind estimates it could begin production between 2010 and 2012. Work was scheduled to begin immediately on two meteorological towers, which will gather data to establish exactly where the wind farm will be constructed.
The state should earn at least $26.5 million from that Lease, Patterson said.
The deals establish Texas as the leader in wind power-generation, Patterson said.
“After today, whenever Massachusetts, New York and California try to court wind energy developers, I think they’ll find a sign on the door that says, ‘Gone To Texas,’” Patterson said.
But environmentalists say the promise of clean energy may not be worth the deaths of countless birds of rare species.
Those birds migrate through the area each year to and from winter grounds in
Mexico and Central America.