TX: Gov. Perry - Wind Power Will Help Address Texas’ Growing Energy Needs

31 Aug, 2010

Announces $8.4 million TETF investment in Texas Tech wind energy project

Gov. Rick Perry today discussed the importance of diversifying the state’s energy portfolio in order to protect our environment, reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources and grow our state economy. The governor announced an $8.4 million research superiority investment through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) in the Texas Tech University System for the development of a collaborative wind energy project.

“Texas is home to some of the brightest minds in the energy business, both in the private sector and at our world-class universities, like Texas Tech,” Gov. Perry said. “This TETF investment will ensure that Texas can continue to add wind capacity and prepare to connect wind farms to the grid and our major cities, helping address the growing energy needs of a population that is expanding by about 1,000 people per day.”

Texas Tech is partnering with the National Institute for Renewable Energy (NIRE), which will support the National Wind Resource Center (NWRC). NWRC is a nonprofit organization formed by Texas Tech that focuses on wind power research and education through collaboration with national laboratories, academic institutions and trade organizations. NWRC pursues competitive funding to accomplish its research initiatives.

NIRE is a public-private partnership that focuses on generating revenue by building and operating research wind farms, developing other renewable energy research facilities, operating an industry-wide renewable energy consortium in coordination with the Wind Alliance, and providing commercial services to industry partners. NIRE will provide an ongoing funding mechanism to support the research of the NWRC.

“We are thrilled to receive this Texas Emerging Technology Fund grant,” Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance said. “Texas Tech is nationally recognized as a leader in wind-energy research. As our country moves toward energy independence, Texas Tech will continue to create innovative solutions and make advancements in all areas of the power generation sector. Because of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, consumers will benefit more quickly from the ever expanding investments in wind power generation technologies.”

Diversifying the state’s energy portfolio is a priority for Gov. Perry. Texas has already installed more wind power than any other state and all but four countries, and is developing new transmission lines that will move more than 18,000 megawatts across the state. Texas has attracted more than 9,000 megawatts of energy from the development of next generation nuclear power plants. The state is also looking to add new clean coal plants, which will capture and sequester carbon dioxide emissions or use carbon dioxide to increase production from Texas oil fields.

The TETF is a $200 million initiative created by the Texas Legislature in 2005 at the governor’s request, and reauthorized in 2007 and again in 2009. A 17-member advisory committee of high-tech leaders, entrepreneurs and research experts reviews potential projects and recommends funding allocations to the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. To date, the TETF has allocated more than $154 million in funds to 111 early stage companies, and $161 million in grant matching and research superiority funds to Texas universities.