Houston-based Pattern Energy Group says it started construction of its Panhandle Wind project, a 218-megawatt wind power project in Carson County, east of Amarillo. It will tie into the state's new Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission lines that bring power from mostly wind farms in West Texas to urban centers. Pattern Energy says it will install 118 General Electric 1.85-megawatt turbines and expects to go online by August 2014.
The announcement is welcome, given concerns that the power supply in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state's largest power grid, could fall behind growing demand in 2014 and after. Some believe those concerns are overstated. Pattern Energy said it currently operates about 1,000 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity in North America and Puerto Rico.