Texas wind energy plans are electricity plans backed by wind power. If supporting wind energy development across the country is important to you, look for electricity plans with wind energy as the source for green power.
What’s the Difference Between Renewable Energy vs Wind Energy?
Plans that are 100% renewable energy without specifying the source of the renewable energy certificates (RECs) could be using RECs from a variety of renewable energy projects. We call these generic RECs.
Retail electricity companies purchase generic RECs on the voluntary REC market. So that 100% renewable energy plan could have RECs from just about anywhere, from any type of renewable project.
Instead, you can get a wind energy plan with 100% national wind RECs. Or you can get a Texas wind electricity plan that is 100% Texas wind.
When your electricity plan is 100% Texas wind power, that means it’s electricity with RECs from wind farms located in Texas. Your supplier will purchase RECs that are certified to be from a specific location. You can even get electricity plans that back a specific wind power project in Texas, called local wind.
About Wind Energy in Texas
By the end of 2021, 29% of all energy generated in Texas will come from wind farms, according to ERCOT. These are utility-scale wind farms, typically found in west Texas.
The largest onshore wind farm in the world is located in Texas. The Roscoe Wind Farm Project, 45 miles southwest of Abilene, generates 781.5MW of power, enough to power 265,000 homes. It’s owned by RWE Americas Renewables.
Other large wind farms in Texas include:
- Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center in Taylor and Nolan counties. It’s the fourth largest wind farm in the world, generating 735.5 MW. NextEra Energy Resources owns Horse Hollow. (Incidentally, NextEra also owns two Texas REPs, Gexa Energy and Frontier Utilities.)
- Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm in Sterling and Coke counties. This is the fifth largest wind farm in the world, with a 662.5 MW capacity, also owned by NextEra Energy Resources.
- Sweetwater Wind Farm in Nolan County. This is the ninth largest wind farm, with a capacity of 585 MW. It’s owned by Duke Energy and Infigen Energy.
- Buffalo Gap Wind Farm in Nolan and Taylor Counties. Buffalo Gap has a capacity of 523.3 MW and is owned by AES Wind Generation.
What is a MW? A megawatt is 1 million watts. Which enough to power around 200 homes. To find out more about megawatts and kilowatts, check out our article on this topic, What is a Kilowatt Hour and What Can It Power?
What is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?
Wind farms create 2 products that they sell:
- Renewable Energy Certificates
Electricity is sold onto the grid when it’s generated. That means the wind generator earns the market clearing price of energy, or whatever the wholesale price is at the time. Not a great way to build a business plan.
That’s why most wind farms prefer instead to enter into a long term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a wholesale energy trading company or directly with a Retail Electricity Provider (REP). These PPAs are an important part of the wind farm development process. They allow the developer to know the stream of income their wind project will generate. It’s a key milestone in deciding whether a wind project is viable.
Power Purchase Agreements may include power plus RECs. These are known as bundled RECs. REPs that purchase both power and the RECs through a PPA may market their electricity products as local wind. As with any renewable electricity plan, you aren’t actually getting that wind energy at your home. But the local wind approach means that you’ll know the specific wind farm your dollars are supporting.
The wind developer may also sell the RECs separately from the electricity, known as unbundled RECs.