Local News

Mar 19, 2014 6:31 PM

Wind Turbine Developments Have Helped, Not Hurt in San Patricio

SINTON - Most people may not know it, but a drought helped open the door to wind turbines in San Patricio County.

It was back in 2007, and farmers had to find a way to turn a profit from the parched earth.

San Patricio County Judge Terry Simpson remembered one woman's concern with a plan to bring the turbines to town.

"She'd come to me and said she was concerned the wind generators would mess up the view she had out there and that the noise was going to disturb her."

That was then.

Now there are dozens of turbines all over the county.

And they're generating more than electricity.

Simpson says the taxable value of one these wind turbines is about $6 million. And the proceeds from those tax collections can go to fix roads, for instance.

Simpson said he's not heard of developers balking at building in their shadows.

And they do serve a worthy purpose. Wind generators generate electricity - a single turbine can power a couple of hundred homes.

That electricity is sold and some of the money goes to the land owners.

"Those (farms) pretty much became drought proof," he said. "(That's) because if they didn't make a crop they still had an income comin' in and that was all comin' off the wind generator."

And the woman who worried the wind turbines might upset her view or drown out the peace and quiet?

Simpson said she gave it a year before coming to a conclusion.

"She said, 'You know, it's kinda nice at night to sit there and see just before the sunset those wind generators turning against the sunset. And then, after the sun sets all the red lights, blinking in unison. It's kinda comforting'."

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