First Home Wind Turbines in West Texas

By Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

People in Lamesa will soon be able to capture wind power from their own back yard. It's the first city in West Texas to consider allowing people to have their own wind turbines.

"We had several lamesa residents that were interested in installing a wind turbine, what we call a small wind turbine in their residential areas. One of the concerns we had first of all, was because we didn't have anything that would regulate that," Lamesa City Manager Fred Vera, said.

The city council met Wednesday night and passed the Wind Energy System authorizing permits for small wind turbines.

"In this West Texas area, especially your small communities, they don't have an ordinance yet,"  Vera said. "But I think eventually, people will inquire about installing these wind turbines."

But this idea has created some controversy in Lamesa. The towers stand thirty feet tall and some feel it might change the neighborhood landscape.

"I know that a lot of people think they're an eyesore," Lamesa Resident Jerry Millhollon, said. "And you know, for someone not benefiting off the thing, you've got some controversy there too."

"I can look around and see a lot more things that are uglier to me than a wind turbine sticking up," Lamesa Native Buddy Brandon, said.

The city says, anyone interested in the turbines has to own at least a half an acre of land. They say, the turbines cost about ten thousand dollars, a large initial investment, but they say the savings will begin to pay off within five years.

"Knowing that we're saving energy and stuff, it would be a great deal, I think," Lamesa Resident Alex Smith, said.

The Lamesa City Council plans to meet again next month to address this issue. After it passes, city leaders say the towers could go up as early as September.

"I think it's going to show all the other towns that they're ready for a change and for the good, and save the environment," Smith said.