Wind turbines in Amarillo are now meeting most of Georgetown’s daily power needs three months ahead of schedule. The move is one step forward toward making the city one of the largest municipally owned utilities in the U.S. to supply customers with 100 percent solar and wind energy.
The Spinning Spur 3 wind farm, owned by EDF Renewable Energy, became operational Sept. 28, though it was projected to start producing electricity in January. The wind farm produces 194 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 58,200 homes annually, according to a city press release. Georgetown’s 20-year contract is for 144 megawatts.
The 18,000-acre plant has 97 wind turbines, each of which can power 600 homes annually. The electricity generated through the turbines is sent to Georgetown through transmission lines.
In March the city announced the municipal electric utility will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2017. The utility in the long-term will be powered by the wind plant and the SunEdison solar farm, which is being constructed near Fort Stockton next year.
On most days, Georgetown’s energy needs will be supplied by the wind plant. When the solar plant comes online at the end of 2016, the city will have enough power to serve the demand for utilities, according to the press release.