A southside windfarm at the center of a debate about what may jeopardize training for U.S. Navy pilots is getting ready to go online later this month.
A tour was conducted Tuesday morning of the Chapman Ranch Windfarm. The tour was to familiarize the public with the wind turbines before they actually go into commercial operation.
Michael Barnes, a spokesman for Enbridge, says, "The reason this project is important is because of its location."
Barnes added that the $400 million project, purchased last November from Apex Energy, is all about our daily breeze.
Each of the 81 wind turbines is buried eight feet below the ground with 550 cubic yards of concrete in each base. The 300 foot towers support three blades which weigh over a ton each.
Corpus Christi will recieve some of the power generated.
Rob Jozwiak, manager of South Texas operations for Enbridge, said, "We have no expansion plans as far as this project is concerned and we have all the required permits to operate and we have an existing relationship with the Navy to ensure we have a minimized impact."
Jozwiak said the 81 turbines are expected to generate almost two and a half million watts of electricity.
"This is really providiing a boost for the local economy," Barnes said. "Up to $55 million will be spread out through the community, the bulk of that money actually goes into the school district. I think about almost $40 million."
Barnes said the company is sensative to the concerns about wind turbines adversely impacting radar at both the Kingsville and Corpus Christi naval air stations.
"We are working with the Navy to mitigate any issues in terms of radar and we want to make sure the Navy is successful and also that this facility here pumps enough energy into the electric grid so people in this area can get the benefits of clean energy," Barnes said.
The turbines are expected to be in commercial operation by the end of August.