Energy – (Electricity, Wind, Oil, Gas, & Pipelines)
The oil and gas industry is a fundamental driver of the Corpus Christi regional economy. In addition to being one of our major industries, we understand that energy prices affect the bottom line of conducting business. San Patricio County has the benefit of its location adjacent to the Eagle Ford Shale and plenty of wind, all which assist in keeping our energy capacity high and our prices competitive.
In Texas, lawmakers deregulated the electricity market more than ten years ago. This has allowed retailers to buy electricity from power generators and then, through open markets, provide more competitively priced power to consumers. The Power to Choose website has more information on electricity resources in Texas, as well as links to many electricity retail providers.
AEP Texas, a unit of American Electric Power, delivers electricity to over one million homes, businesses and industries in South and West Texas. AEP Texas provides regulated energy delivery service to consumers, regardless of which Retail Electric Provider (REP) they choose. AEP Texas also builds new powerlines, restores service following outages and collects electricity use information for REPs throughout its service territory. The company also connects or disconnects service upon the orders of the REPs. The region headquarters is in Corpus Christi. Please contact E. Ray Covey, Managerof Economic and Business Development at (512) 391-2981 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Patricio Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SPEC) is a member owned “not for profit” electric cooperative providing electric power to over 11,500 members located within Aransas, Bee, Goliad, Jim Wells, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio counties. SPEC has proudly supported local communities since 1938. If you need electricity for residential, agricultural, small commercial or large commercial service please give us a call at 1 (888) 740-2220 or visit our website for more information.
Other electricity resources: http://www.puc.texas.gov/consumer/facts/faq/electricity.aspx
Wind is one of the most abundant natural resources in San Patricio County and the Coastal Bend. With an average wind speed of 12 mph throughout the year, peaking at 14 mph in March and April, continual gusts create a strong market for wind energy. San Patricio County is, in fact, windier than Chicago, Illinois which averages only 10 mph, but is often referred to as “the windy city.”
San Patricio County has one operating wind farm with more wind energy projects under development.
Papalote Creek Wind Farm
The Papalote Creek Wind Farm, developed by E. ON Climate and Renewables (EC&R), is located in San Patricio County, between the cities of Odem and Taft, and has approximately 196 wind turbines that can produce 380 megawatts of power, supporting energy to more 100,000 homes. The turbines stand at 262 feet tall, have 3 blades, and rotate at a maximum speed of 22 rotations per minute. The majority of the electricity generated is sold to theLower Colorado River Authorityand CPS Energywhich is owned by theCity of San Antonio.
Papalote Creek project provides enough clean wind power to supply about 114,000 American homes while avoiding more than 684,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions and saving half of a billion gallons of fresh water every year compared with a conventional steam-driven fossil fuel plant.
The land for the wind farm is privately owned and leased to E.ON. The lease agreement allows for other uses of the land such as farming and ranching. The wind farm has added more than $500 million in value to the property tax base ofSan Patricio Countyand local school districts. Additional turbines may be added to the wind farm in the future.
Midway Farms Wind Project
The Midway Farms Wind Project is located in San Patricio County, on 16,000 acres between the towns of Portland and Taft. Situated near the Texas Gulf Coast, the project is approximately 15 miles northeast of Corpus Christi. Transmission lines running near and through the project are owned and operated by AEP. There are both 138 kV and 345 kV interconnect options for Midway Farms, which can serve local electrical loads or be exported to San Antonio, Austin, Houston or other parts of Texas.
The developer of the Midway Farms Wind Project is TradeWind Energy, LLC (“TradeWind”), which is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas.
Key Project Attributes
- The 160 MW Midway Farms Wind Project would produce enough power for approximately 46,000 Texas homes.
- The project will only take a small amount of acreage (1% to 2%) out of service, including land for roads, turbine foundations, and maintenance buildings.
- The project is a very energetic wind site near the Texas Gulf coast and corresponds to load requirements.
- Once fully developed, the project will pay approximately $2 million a year in total annual landowner payments.
- The project will utilize significant local labor and materials for its construction and operations and will generate significant economic benefits to the local community.
- The project is expected to have no material effect on any threatened and endangered species of birds or animals, based on third party studies commissioned by TradeWind Energy.
- The project will offset approximately 480,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, 1,600 tons of NOxper year, and 2,240 tons of SO2per year.
Currently there are 226 producing leases, 50 operators and more than 8,400 drilled wells in the county. The top producing operators include Abraxas Petroleum Corporation, Apache Corporation, Bopco, L.P., Cantera Operating, LLC, and EOG Resources, Inc. The following information documents recent drilling permits and identifies the oil and gas operators in San Patricio County, Texas:
Called the “heart of economic activity in Texas” by the Houston Chronicle in 2011, the Eagle Ford Shale formation is the largest oil and natural gas producing site in the world. With producing areas of the shale located less than 50 miles from San Patricio County, Eagle Ford is expected to have 5,000 new wells by 2020, translating to 68,000 new jobs and $21.5 billion in economic output, according to a UTSA study. The economic impact of Eagle Ford Shale operations has been off the charts since its discovery in 2008 by Petrohawk—an independent oil and natural gas company— and is transforming Texas’ economy.
The major economic implications of the shale in San Patricio County – which are vast – are related to construction and support, as opposed to active exploration, though exploration plays a significant role. The following link to Texas Drilling provides information from the Texas Railroad Commission on oil wells and production trends in San Patricio County.
You will find that the cost of using natural gas for business in San Patricio County is some of the most affordable in the entire country. Center Point Energy is a major player in gas supply to residential, small business, and industrial consumers in Texas. Furthermore, our region’s abundant natural gas lines and partnerships with local companies like Cheniere Energy make access to natural gas easy and affordable.
Cheniere Energy is investing $13 Billion to develop an LNG export terminal that will have 3 tanks storing over 10 billion cubic feet per day, with an export rate of approximately 2.6 billion feet per day. The project includes a 23-mile pipeline which connects to more 5 billion cubic feet per day from 7 intrastate and interstate pipeline connection points.
They expect to begin construction of the facility in 2015 and begin service in 2018.
For more information on natural gas supply in South Texas, check out our Eagle Ford Shale page.
Fore more information about liquefied natural gas visit the Our Energy Moment website.
San Patricio County has abundant pipeline access for commodities such as natural gas and natural gas liquids, condensate, crude oil, petroleum and petrochemical products.
More than 65 pipeline owners and operators service San Patricio County. These include major names such as: Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Transco, NGPL, KM Texas, Cross Tex, Valero, Gulf South, Texas Eastern, Koch, Magellan Midstream Partners, Citgo Products, Equistar Chemicals, Exxon Mobile, NuStar Logistics and HPL (Houston Pipeline System).
The following resources provide information and data regarding pipelines in Texas and San Patricio County:
- The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is a geographic information system (GIS) created by theU.S. Department of Transportation,Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration(PHMSA),Office of Pipeline Safety(OPS) in cooperation with other federal and state governmental agencies and the pipeline industry. The NPMS consists of geospatial data, attribute data, public contact information, and metadata pertaining to the interstate and intrastate hazardous liquid trunklines and hazardous liquid low-stress lines as well as gas transmission pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, and hazardous liquid breakout tanks jurisdictional to PHMSA.Click the link below for a public map viewer of pipelines in San Patricio County. After clicking link, scroll to insert State (Texas) and then County (San Patricio).
- The Railroad Commission of Texas is the state agency in Texas that regulates the oil and gas industry, gas utilities, pipeline safety, and safety in the LPG industry, and surface coal and uranium mining. The RRC focus is on oil, gas, mining, propane, and pipelines and the website keeps track of news, research, and statistics such as Texas monthly oil and gas production.
- If you are interested in developing an energy related project in the area, please refer to the Federal Energy Regualtory Commission for information. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.