Transmission Lines will Help Ease Electricity Gridlock

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS- Every wind farm west of I-35 will soon send more electricity into highly populated areas east of that Interstate.

"The energy from these turbines currently they don't have the technology to store it, so if they produce the electricity, it has to be used at that time," Dan Lusk, a partner with AKL Wind Energy Scouting, said.

The Lower Colorado River Authority Transmission Services Corporation announced on Wednesday the State gave the company, along with many others, the go ahead on the multi-billion dollar project to build more transmission lines.

"It's critical if we can't get the electricity from here were we generate it to where the areas where it's needed than we've got some real problems," Gary Vest, with the Odessa Chamber of Commerce said the lines will make way for other big projects. The lines may also bring more jobs to the area. Vest and other city leaders are working with state lawmakers to push for incentives for a new clean coal plant in Penwell.

"We just hope those will meld right together, the new clean coal power plant and the new transmission lines," Vest said the new plant would store most of the CO2 it generates or the company will sell the byproduct to drilling companies.

Senate Bill 483 and House Bill 469 are working through the Texas Legislature and would offer millions of dollars in tax credits and incentives, if passed.

At AKL Wind Energy Scouting, there is already a surge of interest.

"There are a lot of calls, the oil industry has slowed a bit, so a lot of people are calling," Lusk told Newswest 9, standing in a farm of turbines.

The lines may one day move other forms of renewable energy like solar power. Construction is expected to last through 2013.