Texas Tech Wants to Make West Texas a Wind Hub

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Texas Tech University is working to make West Texas a research hub for wind and renewable energy, but they need West Texans' support to make it happen.

On Monday night, the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation learned about the university's multi-million dollar plan.

Texas Tech wants West Texas to dominate the wind and renewable energy sector.

So they developed both a national wind resource center and institute for renewable energy.

"I hope they see Texas as a leader and I hope they see West Texas as a Hub," David Miller with Texas Tech University, said. "But at the end of the day as a university of the state, our first main priority is to make sure Texas is a leader. And as a regional university system, our focus is on making sure the communities that we serve have a robust economy."

The plan calls for $500 million to be fully up and running.

On top of that they want Big Spring and other cities' support.

"That can only help the entire region including Big Spring," Terry Wegman with the Big Spring Economic Development Corporation, said. "So we're really excited about it."

By working with the entire region, the university thinks it can bring in more manufacturing and other related jobs.

"It's probably a little bit unknown," Miller said. "But I think as we see manufacturers - larger scale manufacturers - as they move in, in the early stages they may have 100 to 200 jobs. Over a period of time it may bring 800 to 1,000 jobs per manufacturer."

So far, Big Spring thinks jobs and prestige sound pretty good.

Texas Tech says most of the money for the project will come from private donations, but it's also counting on state funding and a few contributions from supporting communities.

Miller has already talked to the Odessa Economic Development Corporation and will visit with Snyder officials on Wednesday.