THROCKMORTON (KFDX/KJTL) — Two companies are currently working on bringing renewable energy to add to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid.
Two wind farm projects right down the highway from each other are using ranch land to help bring energy to the area.
Enel Green Power’s wind farm will also be a battery storage facility that officials said will bring more generating capacity to the power grid.
They will also bring an economic boost to Throckmorton County that officials said will help increase the tax base.
On the outside looking in, 2021 has been good to Throckmorton County so far. In January, the county was recognized as one of the most vaccinated counties in the nation. And recently, two wind farm projects have began construction in the county which means new income.
“Hopefully it’ll be a good deal for us. Some of our citizens didn’t want the windmills and some of them did. It’s like always, you always got two sides,” Throckmorton County Judge Trey Carrington said.
The King Creek Wind Project is being ran by EDF Renewables North America and Pedernales Electric Cooperative: It will bring 47 wind turbines to the county along with around 300 construction jobs.
Right down the highway is the Azure Sky Wind and Storage Project being run by Enel Green Power.
Carrington said this project should bring around $1.2 million to the county.
“There are energy needs and demands in the Throckmorton area. So it will service that area but it will also flow wherever the energy is being pulled and supply benefits to individuals outside of the Throckmorton area as well,” Enel Green Power Development Manager Clark Bixler said.
This project also includes battery storage that officials say will add resiliency to the power grid. With the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) still reeling after the recent winter storm, Bixler said this kind of storage could have helped during that time.
“That would have been able to supply a period of energy to the system. Even when a wind turbine may not be turning or a thermal plant may not be able to run, the battery would have been able to pick up a portion of that,” Bixler said.
With both projects also creating more than 300 jobs with mostly local contractors, Carrington believes this can be an excellent venture for the county.
“We have an auto supply store that we hope that they help. Of course, we got two or three cafes that hopefully will have some of the people staying here and utilize and help our tax base,” Carrington said.
Enel Green Power officials said they hope to begin operations in the first half of 2022.
The King Creek Project also expects to begin delivering electricity by the end of 2021.