Willacy County wind farms kept producing energy during winter storm blackouts, experts says
Though Willacy County is one of the smaller counties in Texas, it's a big player when it comes to the State's wind energy, reaching out all the way up to the Panhandle.
According to Scott Dunaway, a representative for renewable energy advocacy group Powering Texas said that during last week's freeze the area's windfarms were still able to provide power, but the issue was getting it to where it needed to go.
Dunaway said there were projects in Willacy County and other parts of south Texas that were generating energy.
He said transmission congestion in the region, prohibited all that electricity that was being made to be exported onto the grid.
"As you know there were infrastructure problems all over the state," Dunaway said. "From iced electricity lines, to road ways that were snowed and iced over prohibiting maintenance from getting to those facilities."
Dr. Christopher Gabler with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley's School of Earth, Environmental and Marine Sciences said it's up to the large governing bodies and utilities companies to make sure transmission lines are up to speed and operational.
Gabler said the problem can be fixed by investing more into the states energy systems.
"Research stations in Antarctica use wind turbines to power them," Gabler said. "They have a pretty sophisticated battery complex so they can store the power produced by their turbine for use when the wind isn't blowing."