The newly opened 200MW Hereford Wind project in Deaf Smith County, southeast of the town of Hereford, Texas interconnects with the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission infrastructure which enables the transmission of sustainable, clean, competitively priced power from the strong wind resource regions of West Texas to the rest of the state.
CREZ boosts wind power development
Eight years ago, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) assigned $4.93 billion of CREZ transmission projects to be constructed by seven transmission and distribution utilities. The project will eventually transmit 18,456MW of wind power via 3,600 miles of new transmission lines from West Texas and the Panhandle to highly populated metropolitan areas of the state. CREZ zones include:
Panhandle A-extending from the New Mexico border at Oldham County to the southeast into Dickens County.
Panhandle B-extending from the Oklahoma border to the limits of Carson and Armstrong counties.
Central West-extends from Dawson and Borden Counties southwest toward Winkler County near the New Mexico border.
Central-extends from Shackelford County southwest towards Reagan and Irion Counties.
McCarney-extending from Tom Green County west to Brewster County.
Currently generating enough electricity to power about 55,000 homes, the project also avoids greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 80,000 vehicles off the road.
Hereford wind project
The Hereford wind project, encompassing approximately 6,070ha (15,000 acres), was officially opened by EDF Renewable Energy and partner BlackRock Infrastructure.
Construction of the 54 GE 1.85MW, and 50 Vestas V100 2MW wind turbines started in November 2013 and achieved commercial operation on December 22, 2014. EDF Renewable Services will provide long-term operations and maintenance for the facility, balance of plant, project oversight, and 24/7 remote monitoring from its NERC compliant Operations Control Centre.
Following on from the Spinning Spur (161MW) and Bobcat Bluff (150MW) projects ( both are part of the CREZ infrastructure) commissioned in December 2012 and Spinning Spur II (161MW) commissioned in 2014, Hereford Wind is EDF Renewable Energy’s fourth operating project in Texas. The company has two additional wind projects in construction, eventually boosting the Group’s installed capacity in the state to over 1GW.
Texas - an energy force
Thanks to its robust wind resources, Texas leads the nation when it comes to installed wind capacity. The region also offers a business-friendly environment, and supportive stakeholders at state and local levels. [Engerati-Texas Advanced Energy Market Worth US$16 Billion In 2014.]
A Navigant Research Report, prepared for the Texas Advanced Energy Business Alliance (TAEBA), shows that advanced energy industry revenue in Texas was US$16 billion in 2014, accounting for 8% of the total US advanced energy market and making it a powerful economic driver for the state.
The report gives much of the credit for advanced energy growth in Texas to the state's pro-business, pro-growth spirit combined with deliberate policy structures, including renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, as well as the nation's most open and competitive market for energy resources, managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT).