With Texas leading the nation in wind farm and wind-related employment, the wind power industry fears if the bill passes, it will be bad not only for their business but also for the economy.
Vice President of Development for Alterra Power Corporation, Paul Rapp said “What this does is it really restricts the land that’s available and potentially with a negative impact and a slow down in the industry and fewer jobs and less benefit to the local community ”
Rapp is working on building wind farms in Clay County and that progress is still ongoing.
At the same time, Representative James Frank’s House Bill 445 would limit tax credits for wind projects built within 30 miles of a military installation.
Rapp said the bill is under the assumption all wind farms can negatively affect aviation.
“The conclusion about whether a wind farm or a wind turbine negatively affect aviation whether it’s civil or military needs to be assessed on a case by case basis and there are lots of cases throughout the united states where wind farms coexist quite happily in close proximity to civilians and military installations,” Rapp.
Wichita Falls Mayor, Stephen Santellana said “If right now putting windmills within 25 miles of an air force base affects the missions at Sheppard Air Force Base, they might find another location where it doesn’t affect their mission. So yeah its very impactful and it’s huge for the city of Wichita Falls.”
Rapp disagrees with Mayor Santellana that the bill should be passed.
He hopes to work even closer with Sheppard to try and find another solution.
House Bill 445 was left pending in the ways & means committee
The next step would be for committee members to take a vote to see if they’ll send it onto the house floor.