By Geena Martinez
FORT STOCKTON - A $250 million project is keeping Pecos County on track to being a leader in renewable energy.
High winds and long summer days are boosting the economy in Fort Stockton.
Energy giant BP is behind a new wind farm in Pecos County that's generating power and dollars for the city.
"The turbines are going up this week, we're very excited about it," Doug May, Director of the Economic Development Center, said. "There are about 200-250 people in here for construction."
The 20,000 acre site is expected to be finished by the end of the year but the city isn't stopping there.
City officials just approved a lease with another energy company for future production of solar energy.
"We have many solar companies in this part of the country and in Pecos County that have leased a lot of land," May said. "It fits great with the wind energy. Most of the wind is produced at night and of course your solar energy is produced in the day."
Although Pecos County is the only county in state that's a top 10 producer of oil and gas, the city wanted something to fall back on.
"The oil and natural gas is a very roller coaster kind of economic support," May said.
May says turning to renewable energy was a smart move.
"Renewable energy maintains its value," he said. "It doesn't quite have the drilling activity that booms and then goes away. This is pretty stable."
They're also going back to their roots.
"The first wind farms built in Texas were large utility scale wind farms," May said. "They were built in Pecos County."
Another plus, the new projects benefit more than just the city's economy.
"We're allowed to keep some of this money locally that is capital and the taxes from the capital goes into our local school systems," May said.
That's what May calls a win-win situation for everyone involved.
"We're very fortunate to have the resources." he said. "It's a great harmony in the production and in the job support for each system."
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