President Obama's Climate Action Plan calls for the reduction of carbon pollution by taking reasonable action using new technology to replace old, ineffective, and polluting sources of energy. As part of this initiative, the Energy Department is going to break ground on the largest federally owned wind farm at the Pantex plant in Amarillo, TX. Once it is complete the environmental impact of this plant will reduce carbon emissions by 35,000 metric tons every year.
The Administration wants the federal government to increase its current use of renewable energy for electricity from 7.5 percent to 20 percent by 2020. So far the effort of all federal agencies has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 15 percent, which is the same as removing 1.5 million cars off the road. Different incentives including the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credits have been passed by congress to encourage communities and businesses to continue the implementation of wind energy.
The wind farm is going to be installed on 1,500 acres east of the Pantex plant to use the energy of the winds in the Texas Panhandle. A total of five 2.3 megawatt turbines will generate around 47million kilowatt hour of electricity annually. According to the Energy Department the project is expected to start generating electricity in the summer of 2014.
The projects will be constructed by Siemens (News - Alert) under a performance-based contract using long-term energy savings to pay for the project. The project is collaboration between the Energy Department, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, and Texas Tech University.
It will supply more than 60 percent of the annual electricity used by the Pantex plant. The plant is used as the primary site for assembling, disassembling, and maintaining the nuclear weapon stockpile of the United States. It is one of the key weapons complex facilities for the National Nuclear Security Administration.
"As the largest energy user in the country, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity to lead by example in taking actions to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy usage to save taxpayers dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Responsible development of America’s wind energy resources is a critical part of our all-of-the-above energy strategy, and the Pantex wind project furthers our commitment to lead by example and to advance a cleaner, more sustainable energy future said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman.
The state of Texas is one of the largest producers of wind energy around the world, ranking sixth in total wind energy output, which is more than double than the next highest state in the country.
Edited by Ryan Sartor