Looks Like South Padre Island Will Get An Offshore Windfarm

It looks like South Padre Island will be home to a wind farm featuring 500-foot tall turbines off the coast.

They'll be 10 miles off the coast, but that doesn't mean everyone's happy about it.

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has signed a deal with British firm Baronyx to build the windfarm offshore on land owned by the Texas Permanent School Fund. Baronyx paid a nominal fee for use of the submerged land, but will pay a royalty to the PSF -- which benefits Texas public schools -- on all electricity it produces.

The Valley paper The Monitor reports that there have been complaints about the giant turbines spoiling the view and the environment around South Padre.

"There's a lot more than meets the eye with these projects," Walt Kittelberger, founder of the Laguna Madre Foundation, told the paper.

On the other hand, a Baronyx official makes the hard-to-dispute point that Texas has always had "a working coast," as anyone Galveston visitor can attest.

Up in Massachusetts, Senator Ted Kennedy has famously tried to block a windfarm planned for off the shore of Hyannis.

No word yet on whether some local politico will pick up the NIMBY flag in SPI.

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