Wind energy gusting ahead in Muenster

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

MUENSTER, Tex. -- Wind power is becoming increasingly popular in Texas thanks to consistent winds that blow across the Lone Star State. While you may typically associate wind farms with west Texas, that's about to change. Stephanie Brletic has more.

You may have noticed 18-wheelers carrying big blades down the highway recently. Those blades are on their way to the wolf ridge wind farm in Muenster where workers have been busy since the beginning of the year.

They say seeing is believing, but you do not have to see wind to know how powerful it is. It is power that will soon be harnessed by wind towers in Muenster.

It's a project that was once met with some resistance. Local residents had expressed concern about the effect of the windmills on the environment.

“Prior to the project there were lawsuits filed and a lot of opposition to it, but I think all those were settled and everything. And now that the project is underway, I do not hear any opposition," Cooke Co. Judge Bill Freeman says.

People are moving on, and the project is moving forward. The bases are ready and the 13,000-pound, 128-foot long blades have arrived. By the end of the summer, all 75 wind turbines should be operational, with each providing enough energy to power 250 homes without harming the environment like other resources.

"One of the benefits here is that you don't consume water, you don't create any emissions, so you have no air pollution from them. At the end of the day, it's just an incredibly clean resource for producing power that we desperately need here in Texas."

Experts from wind farm owner Florida Power and Light Energy say while the turbines will be visible. They are not audible, being virtually undetectable unless you are standing right beneath them. They also say north Texas is a great place to set up shop.

"We’re here because we have tremendous wind resource, the land, the availability to get on transmission lines. All those components all aligned in this place and it makes it a very unique place in the country to develop wind energy," says Ned Ross of Florida Power and Light Energy

FPL energy officials say the first wind tower should be up by the end of April. The project should be completed and start generating power by the end of summer, and while it may be tempting to try to sneak a peek, officials say no one is allowed on the property without a company escort.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jeremy Location: Woodhouse on Jul 30, 2010 at 01:51 PM
    Where are the pictures? Come on guys journalism without images?
  • by Anonymous Location: Muenster on May 8, 2008 at 09:31 PM
    the 21st century faces 3 problems: water, food, and energy. the IEA reprots there will be an oil cruch after 2010. currently the US consumes oil at a rate of 10000 gal/sec, natural gas at 60 billion cubic feet per day, and coal at a rate of 100 railcars every 5 minutes. It's estimated the world will need 10 terawatts of energy by 2050. If you could turn on 1 Comanche Peak every day, it'd take 27 to get the power needed by 2050. 10,000 nukes would use up the world supply within 20 years. Wind mills will never meet this power need. The problem is, nothing will. The 21st century could prove to be a very trying time for humanity
  • by derek morgan Location: sherman on May 4, 2008 at 05:07 AM
    like to find out more about the wind power
  • by Jo Location: Cooke County on Apr 9, 2008 at 03:16 PM
    In viewing some of the comments, it is clear to understand that there are some of you that have NOT done your homework in educating yourselves concerning the turbines, before placing your comments. Please make sure you have all the facts correct before posting comments and misleading others. Education is key!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2008 at 01:03 PM
    Steve, I don't understand your math. If one of these turbines can generate enough money to power 250 homes, and they last for 15 years... doesn't that average $400 per household per year? And if the household uses $200/mo worth of electricity, that's $2,400. So the power company would make $2,000 per year per household, above the cost of the turbine. That's $7.5 million after 15 years... and I can't imagine their overhead being that much, so wouldn't that mean some profit for them? In any case, I am all for lessening our dependence on oil!
  • by Amy on Apr 9, 2008 at 12:50 PM
    Tara, I believe that cellphone companies pay on average $800/mo for people to let them build cellphone towers on their property, so I can imagine wind power would also pay. My husband says he wouldn't mind them putting one on our property, it wouldn't be any uglier than our neighbor's junkyard (ick!)
  • by Steve Location: Muenster on Apr 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM
    Nuclear energy is a great source! My family has lived for many years in Glen Rose near Comanche Peak. As far as where would the workers live. FPL will only employ 1-2 people for maintenance! Shouldn't be hard to find a farm house or something. It costs approximately 1.5 million to build 1 turbine with a life expectancy of around 10-15 years. If the wind blew every day (and they only run between approx 5-30mph of wind)They might be able to pay for themselves. If it were'nt for government subsidies FPL couldn't make a profit therefore this would never have been an issue. They wouldn't be here! Taxpayer waste! By The way! This area will never see any of the power the turbines generate. Transmission lines are also being built to ship the electricity generated to the metroplex. Which brings up the point of all the emmissions created by the massive machines being used to erect the Turbines.
  • by Tara on Apr 9, 2008 at 10:55 AM
    Silence means they're enjoying the big sums of money they've received from the energy company for allowing them to build the wind towers on their land. Don't let yourselves be fooled into believing the landowners weren't compensated for the land. West Texas is full of wind farms, my family lives out there, and they've been compensated well for the use of their land.
  • by Joey Location: Sherman on Apr 9, 2008 at 09:52 AM
    I find it strange that Florida Power company has to go out of state to build their power plants. They have regular plants all over the country because they are not able to build in Florida. I say let the tree huggers in the east of this country freeze in the dark - then they would be more in favor of allowing a power plant to build near their home. We give away our natural gas, water and electric power so they can tell us how big a carbon footprint we are making. !!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 9, 2008 at 09:24 AM
    Does this mean that those of us whose electricity comes from Muenster will eventually have lower bills? WHO is going to reap the benefits from the electricity generated???????
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