New wind farm will be built west of Adrian

EDF Renewable Energy, a French company, will build a wind farm for electrical energy west of Adrian, Texas, along the Route 66 corridor, reported the Amarillo Globe-News.

The turbines of Spinning Spur 3 will be on 18,000 acres and stretch from Adrian to the edge of the Caprock where Interstate 40 drops west toward New Mexico. The project will have a maximum production capacity of 194 megawatts.

Standard performance of a wind farm sees production at about 25 to 30 percent, said Ken Starcher, associate director for training, education and outreach at West Texas A&M University’s Alternative Energy Institute. Oldham County wind farms have performed at about 50 percent of capacity.

The companies didn’t release financial terms, but industry estimates place the construction cost around $388 million. […]

The wind farm should be in operation by the end of 2015, according to a news release.

The story also reports the revenue from earlier wind-farm projects in the Texas Panhandle — including one north of Vega — have lowered taxes in Oldham County.

Other prominent wind farms sit in Weatherford, Okla., and south of San Jon, N.M.

Just about the only objection to wind farms is the perception the spinning blades kill migratory birds. However, research shows wind energy kills birds at less than half the rate of nuclear plants and 34 times less than coal plants. And the death rate from wind turbines has decreased in recent years.

(Hat tip to Nick Gerlich; image of an old-fashioned windmill and wind turbines near Weatherford, Okla., by Carleta Latham via Flickr)

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