It may come as a surprise that offshore wind projects are not taking over the energy market in Texas. However, attempts to develop offshore wind farms have been met with difficulties and resistance.
In 2007, the Lone Star State’s first offshore wind lease was announced for a wind farm off the coast of Galveston. At the time, it was estimated that the wind farm would produce 150MW of electricity, enough to supply 40,000 homes, by 2010.
This project experienced problems with the expenses associated with building an offshore wind farm. The farther out to sea a farm is placed, the larger and more complex the foundation of each turbine becomes. At times, these foundations need to reach as deep as 150 feet below the surface.
Additionally, traditional wind farms in Texas dominate the energy market. The Lone Star State leads the country in wind energy, producing more than triple the amount of wind energy compared to Oklahoma, the next-highest state.
Because of the prominence of wind farms, experts predict offshore wind energy will remain the runner up in Texas. The Lone Star State may have more than 300 miles of coastline, but the state’s 261,000 square land miles will likely continue to dominate the energy market until at least 2028.
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.