Texas Ingenuity History


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I think you've got a hit on your hands -- judging by the way the guys were reading it yesterday! They kept going--"I didn't know this"... or, "oh, yeah, I remember this"...What FUN! I gave out 7 of your Texas books at the family Christmas get-together yesterday--and now I need to buy another 3. P.S. (Athens)

"I started it tonight and found it to be interesting and written in very simple language which makes it a fast and easy read.  I will be buying more copies soon." B R. (Dallas)

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The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas; tel. 800/221-9083 or 214/742-8200)

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Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island; tel. 800/292-7704 or 956/761-6511)

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Lake Austin Spa Resort (Austin; 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; tel. 800/847-5637)

Cibolo Creek Ranch (Shafter; tel. 432/229-3737)

Gage Hotel (Marathon; tel. 432/386-4205)

Historic - The Excelsior House (Jefferson; 903/665-2513 or 800/490-7270)






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A New Wind Blowing Across Texas

There is more blowing around in West Texas than tumbleweeds. This great state has been known for the production of energy for over a hundred years, mostly in oil and natural gas. However, the ingenious Texas mind doesn't miss out on a good opportunity, and a new opportunity has been blowing around Texas for years - wind power.

As early as 1970, researchers at West Texas State Universitystarted exploring commercial prospects for wind energy. In 1977, these researchers formed the Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) with a primary emphasis based on the creation of energy from wind power.

Of course, wind energy is not new. People started using wind energy thousands of years ago to sail across the ocean. Around the year 1000 A.D., farmers started using wind energy in early versions of windmills, as a way to grind grain between rotating stones powered by the wind.

In the early American frontier, windmills were used in mills to grind grain and to pump water for drainage or from wells. Almost every frontier American farm had a windmill, and many ranches and farms still use them today for pumping water. The earliest use of the windmill for the production of electricity was in 1890 (in Denmark), but it never really caught on for commercial use until the folks at West Texas State University helped revive the idea in the 1970s.

With an increase in the price of oil and natural gas energy over the past decades, and with technological advances in wind power production, the time is right for large commercial development of wind energy. By 2007, wind energy accounted for about 35% of all new energy production in the United States. Texas wind farms accounted for over half of that new growth. In fact, Texas leads the country in wind energy, accounting for close to one-third of the nation's total installed wind capacity. By 2007, Texas was producing enough wind energy to power more than one million Texas homes.

Continues in book. . .

Texas Wind Farm

West Texas wind farm. (Photo by author.)

Texas Tidbit: The electricity generated by the wind farms is delivered to utility power lines where it is combined with electricity from other sources of electricity (from power plants) and delivered to customers across Texas.

The story continues in the book Texas Ingenuity... For complete information on this and other Texas stories...