As our resources grow more and more precious, technologies such as wind turbines help us maintain reasonable costs to keep the lights on. Driving west along I10 outside of the city, it’s hard to miss the giant wind turbines standing like sentinels along the plateau. If you haven’t given them a second thought before, there’s some interesting things you might not know.
The collection of wind turbines, also called a wind farm, just north of Interstate 10 in Pecos County is called the Desert Sky Wind Farm and all of the power it produces is bought by CPS Energy, a company you’re probably very familiar with if you live in or around San Antonio.
The energy that this one farm alone produces is enough to supply about 40,000 homes. According to the American Wind Energy Association, “Over the last 20 years, the cost of electricity from utility-scale wind systems has dropped by more than 80%.”
Power from the turbines flows through the power transmission network in West Texas to CPS customers in the San Antonio area. The great thing about it is that turbines create renewable energy that has a low environmental impact.
As companies such as these are embracing and understanding the potential and benefits of renewable energy, they’re working to develop the next generation of wind turbine technology, which may be just around the corner.
A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless has developed a new bladeless design. These 41-foot-tall cylinders are anticipated to cost half as much as traditional turbines and capture up to 40 percent of the wind’s power in ideal conditions.
The company is still raising money, but hopes to close a round of funding in the United States soon, so eventually you might see our beautiful Texas pinwheels replaced by stalks of what resembles white asparagus. In either case, it’s good to know that renewable energy isn’t just a fad but a growing resource!