Wind farm development in Texas is surging, making wind power Texas’ hottest energy prospect. Texas currently produces more wind power than any other state by a significant margin, and it keeps blowing through major milestones almost every year. Part II of this paper discusses the relationship between Texas and wind energy, examining the success of onshore wind energy in Texas, the uncertainty and challenges of offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Mexico, and possible room for improvement in Texas’ onshore wind farms. Part III analyzes Texas’ current legal framework, evaluating key federal involvement within Texas’ wind energy industry, and local policy towards onshore wind energy. Part IV proposes more effective use of wind energy in Texas by shifting more wind farm development to coastal areas, while addressing possible strategies to mitigate impacts on migratory birds. Part IV also explores the viability of a transition to an increased concentration of coastal wind farms, and analyzes proper siting management and technologies that can minimize potential risk towards migratory birds.
Oscar Burkholder, A Shift in the Wind: Siting More Wind Power Projects Along Texas' 367-Mile Coast of Gulf Winds, and Mitigating Potential Risk to Migratory Bird Populations, 6 Seattle J. Envtl. L. 131 (2016).