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High-tech firm Baryonyx has big plans for wind deployments in Texas. The company is also building a series of ultra-secure datacenters.  (Source: Baryonyx)
Move over Mr. Pickens

Texas's wind power renaissance took a hit when oil baron T. Boone Pickens abandoned his massive planned Texas deployment after failing to secure financing for high-power transmission lines.  Now a new company is stepping in and looking to pick up the slack.

Baryonyx will create not just one, but a pair of offshore wind farms (PDF) as the winner of bidding on the contract.  Jerry Patterson, Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office says (PDF) that the new farm "could be the biggest offshore wind farms in the nation".

The project will deploy extra-large 5 MW turbines, for a total capacity of 750 MW.  The turbines will likely be deployed across two sites in the Gulf of Mexico, one in Mustang Island near Corpus Christi and another submerged land off South Padre Island -- two areas which total 19,000 acres.  Baronyx has also leased 8,064 acres of land in Dallam County, an area in the northwest corner of the Texas panhandle.  

Under the arrangement, Baryonyx will produce power for the Texas General Land Office, which will then sell it to schools, prisons, and cities.  The proceeds will go towards the state's Permanent School Fund, which holds the rights to all income garnered from the state's submerged coastal lands.  The arrangement will provide over $338M USD for education over the 30-year life of the lease, according to the government's estimates.

Baronyx isn't just involved with alternative energy, either.  It also is building new Tier 4 data centers--the most secure type of data centers -- in Texas.  The new data centers will be used to house mission-critical services.  It hopes to power the data centers partly with the energy from its wind farms.

Jerry Patterson cheers, "Developing wind energy for Texas is just plain smart, it's not just sustainable energy to power our businesses, it's sustainable funding for public education too."

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It's For the Children
By Machinegear on 7/23/2009 9:58:27 AM , Rating: 4
"Developing wind energy for Texas is just plain smart, it's not just sustainable energy to power our businesses, it's sustainable funding for public education too."

<rhetorical question> Does every new initiative have to be "for the children"?

RE: It's For the Children
By arazok on 7/23/2009 10:05:22 AM , Rating: 3
It’s like my wife raving about how much money she saved by buying her $200 flip-flops while they were 50% off.

RE: It's For the Children
By Cypherdude1 on 7/27/2009 3:30:25 AM , Rating: 2
They still have the same problem of not having adequate "high-power transmission lines." Where and how exactly are they going to come up with the financing for them?

RE: It's For the Children
By TSS on 7/23/2009 10:44:01 AM , Rating: 3
well it's always for the children. wether it works or not.

RE: It's For the Children
By Sazar on 7/23/2009 10:48:48 AM , Rating: 3
Of course :)

Take this example.

"I killed that man".

"I killed that man for our children".

Naturally, one is more acceptable than the other and we can all pretend to be angels on the backend :)

RE: It's For the Children
By AnnihilatorX on 7/23/2009 12:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
"I killed that man for the sake of our next generation"

RE: It's For the Children
By Tsuwamono on 7/23/09, Rating: -1
RE: It's For the Children
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2009 2:34:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty dumb statement. Even without religion people can feel better about something if its justified.

Being anti-religion is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of. You don't want to believe in anything, just don't believe. Now if you just meant to say you're athiest that's different. But wanting religions to fall is retarded. They make some people happy and satisfy their spiritual needs. Who are you to say that's wrong?

RE: It's For the Children
By ZmaxDP on 7/23/2009 2:37:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'm confused, do you not believe in children?

RE: It's For the Children
By cornelius785 on 7/23/2009 11:32:41 AM , Rating: 3
In this day, of course you need to attach 'for the children'. It'll make you seem like a saint, increase your election chances, increase approval rating, and whenever someone opposes you or some initiative, you can say 'so are you against protecting the children? are you against improving the future of our children? do you hate children? do you like exploiting children?'. It's like a chess game where 'the children' are the pawns.

RE: It's For the Children
By fic2 on 7/23/2009 12:47:10 PM , Rating: 2
I used to live in Texas back when the lottery got voted on. Ann Richards (governor) and the other politicians kept talking about how much money would be raised for schools (for the children). Got voted on and SURPRISE the lottery revenues weren't tied to school funding. When people started bitching about it Richards said something to the effect "I don't know why people thought that the lottery revenues would go to school funding". Gee, maybe because she had talked about it for a year.

RE: It's For the Children
By ajfink on 7/23/2009 10:09:08 PM , Rating: 2
Investing in US energy infrastructure IS for our children.

RE: It's For the Children
By VultureTX on 7/24/2009 8:42:23 AM , Rating: 2
If by children you mean Texas college students then you are correct. The PSF is mostly(90%) spent on University of Texas and Texas A&M. And most of the money from that fund has been energy related as in lease revenues in the oil rich Permian Basin.

Renovation Opportunities
By rcc on 7/23/2009 11:31:55 AM , Rating: 3
Nice location. And every x years the system will generate a whole lot of extra power, and they'll have an opportunity to renovate and sell more turbines.

It's not like there are actually any Hurricanes passing through that area on a periodic basis...... oh, wait.

It will be interesting to see how these turbines stand up to hurricane winds and surges.

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By theapparition on 7/23/2009 12:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I believe they are designed to stand up to Cat5 winds. The generation shuts off if the wind speed exceeds a certain value. Think the blade freewheels or is locked after that.

Still, wind is not the answer.

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2009 12:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well I think the bigger issue is what happens when storm surges hit the turbines. Water slamming into something tends to knock it down.

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By Keeir on 7/23/2009 4:02:48 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, I believe they are designed to stand up to Cat5 winds. The generation shuts off if the wind speed exceeds a certain value. Think the blade freewheels or is locked after that.

Speaking as someone familiar with Fatigue concepts in Metal. Even if the blades are not in motion, CAT5 winds (or winds above the rated speed) are going to put some serious loads on the blades and thier restraints. Multiple CAT5 storms could lead to earlier than anticipated Fatigue failure, even if the blades/parts do not fail during a Hurricane. Now, most turbines have many non-metal parts, and the Minar's Rule is not as well understood for composite/etc materials in actual application and even land installations would be prone to higher winds/tornados... but there is significant risk with these installations since abnormal situations could (and probably would) lead to multiple failures...

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By ClownPuncher on 7/23/2009 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not to worry, Bill Gates has a plan to eat hurricanes with his bionic mandibles.

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By Uncle on 7/23/2009 6:59:16 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the point, as soon as the Weather Man says wind storm brewing, the rates go up. Kinda like the oil industry.

RE: Renovation Opportunities
By TSS on 7/23/2009 7:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
that's pretty much already known.

they showed that on discovery once and they mentioned every turbine has brakes always on it, just braking more/less, depending how much wind is on it. the above is what happens if those brakes fail.

still if the blades are locked in place when the storm hits... well who are we kidding, it's going to get ripped apart just like everything else in the path of a serious hurricane.

By invidious on 7/23/2009 10:02:28 AM , Rating: 1
The private sector adopting renewable energy because it actually makes good business sense and not because some idiot politician told them they had to? How can this be? Its almost like we are capable of functioning on our own without being ordered around by people who have no expertise in the field.

RE: impossible
By XZerg on 7/23/2009 10:10:32 AM , Rating: 3
more like the politician wants to score some points for green initiative, the company wants to label green and also more importantly get grants from gov to take on this "initiative"...

The job will be piss poorly done and public money will be endlessly spent on saving that initiative for rest of the eternity else it would be unethical to not support going green plan.

RE: impossible
By wookie1 on 7/23/2009 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 2
What do you mean? There are huge federal tax subsidies for wind turbines. It sounds like at least in one of these locations, Texas will kick in the rest of the money. Of course the private sector will adopt these projects where the wind turbines are free. They just need to sell the power and share some of the revenue back to the state. It ends up being a really complicated indirect tax to increase funding for schools.

RE: impossible
By Spuke on 7/23/2009 3:24:37 PM , Rating: 2
It ends up being a really complicated indirect tax to increase funding for schools.
Are you sure this revenue is tied to the school system?

RE: impossible
By Keeir on 7/23/2009 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Read the third to last paragraph in the article. Multiple press releases claim the same thing...

Although it might not happen, since its so public, I think we can fault the plan for it...

Normal Post About Nuclear
By Keeir on 7/23/2009 12:24:34 PM , Rating: 3
First, a mistake, apparently each of two locations will have 750 MW capacity, for a total installion of 1500 MW capcity.

However, since wind farms are typically ~35% of max capicity of the year, this is only ~525 MW. And since it doesn't constantly run even at this lower output rating, Combined Cycle Natural Gas stations will need to be built and placed on standby to generate some portion of power.

A single 1000 MW Nuclear Facitily will generate far more power (~900 MW on average) and do so very predictiably for years.

The cost of this project (totally missing... which leads me to believe it is very high) needs to be significantly less than a Nuclear facility to justify it.

Furthermore, the "extra money to schools" bit only makes sense if people can refuse to purchase the power. Since the power appears to be sold directly to a form of the government... isn't the government going to essentially be paying the lease and therefore taxpayers paying the extra anyway? In fact, since the lease price probably drives the cost of the power higher than a 1:1 ratio (since companies do like to make a profit percentage, not an absolute), it doesn't even seem an efficient way to fund schools....

RE: Normal Post About Nuclear
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2009 1:01:11 PM , Rating: 2
The cost isn't mentioned because like the Pickens wind farm, it will likely be paid for with tax payer money.

RE: Normal Post About Nuclear
By nct on 7/23/2009 1:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
They should just cut out the middle man: send a couple knee-breakers to the home of every taxpayer and demand money to subsidize education and the prison system. This plan is nothing more than extortion in the guise of development.

RE: Normal Post About Nuclear
By FITCamaro on 7/23/2009 2:35:36 PM , Rating: 2
What do you think that citizen army Obama said he wanted is for? :)

i wonder
By kattanna on 7/23/2009 10:17:45 AM , Rating: 2
i wonder where these turbines are being bought from?

i mean, what if they are being bought from that pickens guy who has already used lots of taxpayer funds to buy them, but now if he resells them to this company, would that not be the taxpayers paying double for the same turbines?

RE: i wonder
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/23/2009 12:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you haven't heard that Pickens scrapped the whole wind power thing. I guess Jason hasn't heard either when he tells Pickens to move over... oh wait, he has:

RE: i wonder
By kattanna on 7/23/2009 1:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you haven't heard that Pickens scrapped the whole wind power thing

incorrect, its exactly why i am asking. the article stated he bailed because of lack of power lines, but had the turbines already.

so.. i wondered then, if he wouldnt possibly sell them to this outfit.

By fic2 on 7/23/2009 12:43:32 PM , Rating: 3
I wonder if hurricanes are as attracted to wind farms as tornadoes are to trailer parks.

RE: Hurricanes
By rcc on 7/23/2009 4:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
In as much as Murphy is a Butthead, probably.

on MARS...
By Sdaas on 7/23/2009 11:09:47 AM , Rating: 1
They should build wind farms... on MARS. Its for the children of course. Maintance would be a bitch but think of all that energy we could generate!

RE: on MARS...
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 7/23/2009 12:21:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, mars need all the greenhouse gasses it can get.If we could somehow move Venus' atmosphere to Mars, we would have 2 more habitable planets to go nuts on.

Are you messing with Texas?
By nct on 7/23/2009 6:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone else notice the spelling in the link..."Texass", lol.

more power to em!
By inperfectdarkness on 7/23/2009 7:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
we're talking output capacities equivelent to some coal plants. i say good for them. technology has to be used in order for new designs to be innovated.

here's to hoping that we'll see 2-3 GW wind farms in the not too distant future.

By 41A on 8/3/2009 8:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
<rhetorical question> Does every new initiative have to be "for the children"?

No, but ultimately it will be... when they are 60 years old.

You can buy crude from the middle east... Africa... south east Asia... Venezuela... or North America.

You can generate electricity using solar... wind... nuclear... or natural gas from conventional sources or shale... here in North America.

The operative is 'here in North America'.

The most secure solution is not necessarily the 'cheapest' solution.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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