Environment

Texas Leads The Country In Wind Energy

Texas produces more wind energy than the next three states combined.

Texas Leads The Country In Wind Energy
Newsy / Kevin Clancy
SMS

The small town of Sweetwater, Texas, is known for two things: its annual rattlesnake roundup and having 4 of the 11 largest wind farms in the world.

In fact, if Texas were its own country, it would be No. 4 worldwide for wind energy production.

"This is the center of the wind industry in the United States," said Cliff Etheredge, a local wind and cotton farmer. "We have this wind corridor comes off this Chihuahua Desert in the south, comes right up the panhandle, right on up to Canada."

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Texas produces the most wind energy in the U.S. — more than the next three states combined.

"So we have available transmission lines, we had pretty good wind, and then we had landowners who were already used to dealing with agriculture and oil and gas, and so we just found some people that could also mix in wind with that," said Ken Becker, executive director of Sweetwater Economic Development.

Etheredge said a focus on wind has helped some in the community. 

"Having this steady income has put a few smiles on some farmers' faces," he said, "or at least erased some frowns. Maybe it's done some of that."