Contrary to the gift shop memorabilia, wind turbines are not actually bigger in Texas. But they sure seem to be on the rise. Sixty more wind turbines just came online in West Texas at the Sherbino 2 Wind Farm, adding 150 megawatts (MW) of clean energy to the grid. Owned and operated by BP, the installation marks BP’s 1,000th turbine in the U.S., putting the company on the clean energy map as one of the biggest generators of wind power in the country.
While the actual turbines may not be bigger, Texas does have a one-up on wide open space for the installations. According to BP, the strongest winds in the country go through the central corridor of the country—smack through the ranches and farms of Texas.
Sherbino 2’s 60 wind turbines sit on a 20,000-acre site and on average produce enough electricity to power an estimated 45,000 average American homes. To put the Clipper Windpower C-96 turbines in place, BP reports that 250 workers were employed during construction with 12 remaining on staff to monitor and maintain the wind farm during operation.
As one might expect, if there’s a Sherbino 2 there was indeed a Sherbino 1. The original Sherbino went online in 2008 as a joint effort between BP Wind Energy and NRG Energy. The farm consisted of 50 Vestas turbines, each generating 3 MW of energy for a total capacity of 150 MW.
Three of BP’s 12 U.S. wind farms call Texas home, with a total of 134 turbines in the Lone Star State. Judging from BP’s statements on Texas as a prime wind energy state, we’re likely to see quite a few more turbines pop up over the next five years (assuming the production tax credit doesn’t go down take wind development with it).
“Texas is a leader in promoting renewable power generation and this aligns well with BP’s commitment to produce essential sources of energy and provide cost-competitive power to our customers,” said John Graham, president and CEO, BP Wind Energy. “We have been building two to three projects each year since we started and have invested over $1 billion in wind power in Texas alone.”