utility-scale solar energy

The Road to Texas’ Future is Paved with Renewables

Thursday 09, February 2023

Texas is a national leader in energy generation, producing 12% of the total energy through our diversified portfolio—and that is no accident.

Rio Grande Guardian International News Service, Opinion

Dan Berry, Plant Service Technician II at EDP Renewables

Successful renewable energy brings a wealth of economic benefits at the local and state level. Luckily, we see this in our own backyard in the Rio Grande Valley—and I am a true testament to how renewable can change a life.

Clean energy is crucial in securing energy independence and reliable generation – and Texas benefits from it. The state ranks first in the nation for installed wind energy capacity and second in solar energy and battery storage. These impressive numbers have drawn investors to our state and region, bringing jobs and economic growth to our communities.

As a Plant Service Technician at the Reloj del Sol Wind Farm in Texas, I have witnessed and experienced first-hand the benefits the Reloj del Sol Wind Farm brings to the Rio Grande Valley. The renewable energy installation maintains an installed capacity of 209 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation—enough to power more than 45,000 average Texas homes. Throughout the wind farm’s lifespan, an estimated $36 million will be dispersed to local governments. These payments fund police and fire departments, local school systems, and road maintenance.

The land serving Reloj del Sol is intentionally multi-use, as it is an active traditional farming location. It provides a stable source of income to local landowners, who will receive approximately $100 million in payouts over the wind farm’s lifespan. The landowners can continue to harvest crops while also knowing they will bring in income from leasing their land to the wind farm. We know all too well that Texas’ wind is not slowing down anytime soon, and now our farmers can capitalize on it.

I am proud to clock into work every day at Reloj del Sol, as the wind farm created 101 full-time jobs during construction as well as six permanent jobs. Reloj del Sol enables me to put food on my table and provide for my family. When the economic downturn hit south Texas, the wind farm and its benefits were our lifelines. Luckily, my story is not unique. Renewable energy provides this stability to families across Texas and creates more than electricity. These wind farms create opportunities, foster economic development, and provide families like mine stability during financial hardships. As we celebrate National Texas Day this month, let us celebrate the work Texas has done to become a renewable energy leader in the U.S.A.