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Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

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Using less and saving more through ingenuity and efficiency.

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Honey, I Shrunk The Windmills! To The Size Of An Ant

From KERA News Breakthroughs: Commercial wind turbines stand more than a hundred feet tall, with blades nearly as long. The wind turbines developed by engineers at the University of Texas at Arlington are a bit smaller… just half than the size of an ant. In a cold lab room at UT Arlington electrical engineering professor J.C. Chiao shows off a [...]

Tesla’s Interest In Dallas County Inland Port Brings Attention To Quiet Area

From KERA News:  Shelley Kofler KERA News Goods from around the world arrive at Union Pacifics Intermodal Terminal in the Inland Port. Could South Dallas County become home to one of the world’s largest factories? Developers and local officials recently learned electric-car manufacturer Tesla is checking out an area known as the Inland Port as [...]

Sheep Keeping Grass Under Control At OCI Solar “Farm” In San Antonio

From Texas Public Radio:  OCI Solar Power thought of an idea that leaders there say is sheer genius. They’ve put sheep to work on the grounds of a solar farm on the far northeast side to keep the grass cut. As solar panels soak up plenty of hot Texas sunshine, there’s plenty landscaping work to [...]

Despite Obstacles, Solar Gains Ground in Texas

From Marfa Public Radio:  This week we have examined the opportunity and challenge for solar power in Texas. There are no state mandates or incentives for solar. And the head of the Public Utilities Commission says Congress should end solar’s 30 per cent federal tax credit.  Despite that landscape solar is breaking through in parts of Texas, providing models that [...]

Small-Scale Solar Energy Projects take Advantage of Abundant Sunlight in West Texas

From Marfa Public Radio:  Continuing their weeklong series on the future of solar power in West Texas, Marfa Public Radio takes a look at small-scale solar projects around the Big Bend region: The Big Bend region is ranching country. Miles of barbed-wire fences, cows clustered in the distance, and windmills on the horizon. Those windmills, of [...]

In Texas, Using Fire to Protect and Expand Water Supplies

Fire and water may seem at odds with each other, but Austin’s city-owned water utility is using prescribed burning in an effort to help more rainfall make its way underground to the Edwards Aquifer. Austin Water’s Wildland Conservation Division is conducting the burns on over 380 acres of Hay County that feed into the Barton Springs Segment of [...]

Construction Begins on Largest Carbon Capture Project in the World

Here’s a head-scratcher: Over a million of tons of carbon dioxide a year will be captured from a coal plant near Houston, Texas. Then that captured carbon will be used to get more fossil fuels out of the ground, specifically from an old oilfield that’s been in use since the 1930s. Construction has begun on [...]

As Solar Grows in Texas, Border City Provides a Model

From Marfa Public Radio: For most of its life, the small border city of Presidio, Texas has been on the edge of the electric grid. This rugged part of West Texas has seen a major upgrade of its transmission lines over the past five years, but Presidio’s Economic Development Director Brad Newton says before that, it [...]

El Paso May Become the First Texas City to Go Coal Free

El Paso’s public utility announced plans to run the city coal-free in two years. It’s a bold proposal since no major U.S. city can run without coal power yet, but it seems possible, and it puts El Paso ahead among Texas cities that have sought to end their dependence on coal. The announcement mirrors an [...]

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