AUSTIN – The University of Texas System Board of Regents today (Nov. 11) approved a lease and associated easements worth a minimum $30 million over 10 years for a wind farm operation in West Texas. Under the agreement, Spinning Star Energy, LLC will erect 150 wind turbines on 18,000 acres of UT System land in Reagan County.
“The UT System is a leader in energy research and this agreement helps demonstrate our commitment to creating clean, sustainable energy,” Regents’ Chairman Colleen McHugh said. “This not only benefits institutions in the UT and Texas A&M University systems, it benefits all of Texas.”
With each turbine capable of generating two megawatts, the West Texas wind farm, when completed, will have the potential to generate enough power to support more than 75,000 homes.
Proceeds from the lease agreement will be deposited into the Available University Fund (AUF) for immediate use by the UT System and the Texas A&M University System. The AUF is a public endowment that provides financial support to institutions in both university systems.
The UT System has been under contract with one other wind farm company for 100 turbines in Pecos County since 2001.
The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $12.8 billion (FY 2011) including $2.3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.