Huge wind turbines planned for Gulf near Padre Island

Houston Chronicle:
The 300 offshore wind turbines proposed for the Gulf of Mexico near South Padre Island would rival the Tower of the Americas in height, with 280-foot blades longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747.

They would be almost twice the size of any turbine currently in the United States. The electricity produced could meet the demand of millions.

But the towers, blades and transmission lines could also mar an iconic Texas landscape, restrict fishing and impair endangered species, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

They would also stand in the middle of one of the most important migratory flyways in the Western Hemisphere, according to the American Bird Conservancy.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now working on how to evaluate this unprecedented proposal and if it should grant permits for construction.

With no model to follow for this large of a development in the Gulf of Mexico, the corps has no proven methodology for examining the potential consequences and benefits. It also has no system to monitor the project once built.
There is much more.

The area has some pretty consistent wind, especially in the evening.  I don't really recall that much migratory bird traffic in the area, although there used to be plenty of sea gulls.  It has been a good area for fishing.  The rigs might in fact attract fish the way offshore drilling platforms have.  Texas has been the leading producer of wind energy in the US, most of it coming from West Texas.

South Padre Island is a tourist destination as well as a home for many Mexicans who have bought condos on the island.  It used to be popular too for those looking to make shopping trips into Mexico, but now most of the shopping tourism is going in the other direction and people fear for their safety going into the area that has become a turf battle between eh Zetas and the Gulf Cartel.


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