A consortia backed by Airtricity has committed to the construction of a 345-kilovolt (kV) transmission 'loop' in the Texas Panhandle Plains region: The $1.5 billion 'Panhandle Loop' will be a 800-mile 'looped' transmission project bringing 4,200 megawatt (MW) of wind energy to more than one million homes.
The proposal for the three interconnected transmission lines extending from three separate loops on the grid has been filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and, once approved, all parties are committed to moving it forward with a goal of project completion as early as late 2010.
The consortia behind the Panhandle Loop include Airtricity, Inc.; Babcock & Brown Renewable Holdings Inc; Celanese, Ltd.; Occidental Energy Ventures Corp.; and Sharyland Utilities, L.P.
"The Panhandle Loop project is like constructing a power station greater than the entire generation for Ireland and building it by 2010," said Airtricity's Chief Executive, Eddie O'Connor.
Airtricity, an integrated utility that generates and supplies green electricity, currently supplies renewable electricity to more than 35,000 commercial customers in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. It is actively developing wind farms onshore and offshore throughout Europe (Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands), the U.S. and Canada, and has wind farms operating across Ireland and in Scotland at Ardrossan.
I don't know where they are getting their capital, but Airtricity has big visions and big plans, and if this project is any indication, it looks like they might actually be able to pull it off. More power to them!