After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas – In the wide-open spaces of Val Verde County lies the Devils River, one of the last pristine, wild rivers in Texas.  Recently, it was at the center of a monthslong negotiation. “Absolutely. It’s a major win for us and for future generations of Texas and for anyone else who cares about the wide-open spaces in our state,” explained Julie Lewey, with the Devils River Conservancy. The group, made up of landowners along the Devils River and…

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Don’t blow it: Unregulated wind farms encroach on pristine Texas wilderness

Don’t blow it: Unregulated wind farms encroach on pristine Texas wilderness

  • January 24, 2019
  • News

The Devils River Conservancy, is spearheading the “Don’t Blow It” campaign to advocate for thoughtful regulation of wind energy development — an industry quickly expanding in rural Texas, largely without rules and with serious negative implications for Texans. While the campaign is in full support of renewable energy solutions, “Don’t Blow It” by placing renewable energy in locations that negatively impact ecologically and culturally sensitive and pristine areas, military operations and border security, as well as the communities that depend…

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New push for eminent domain reform expected at Texas legislature

New push for eminent domain reform expected at Texas legislature

If you want to cook up a battle over private property rights in Texas, here’s the recipe: Take a handful of sprawling cities and growing populations that are expanding into once-rural areas, add a booming oil and gas industry with a desperate need for new pipelines to move record-high volumes of hydrocarbons, and sprinkle in the new electric lines needed to power both of those trends. In recent years, as companies and governments build more roads, power lines and pipelines…

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Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Conflicts between energy producers and conservationists are nothing new in Texas, but a recent fight in Val Verde County centers around wind farms and whether they belong in one of the wildest natural areas left in the state. Members of the Devils River Conservancy, whose group includes landowners with property on the Devils River, have launched a campaign called “Don’t Blow It,” to advocate against wind development along the Devils and Pecos rivers north of the Texas-Mexico border. They fear an explosion of…

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Transmission line pits land preservation against electric power grid

Transmission line pits land preservation against electric power grid

“In a case pitting electricity demand against Hill Country conservation efforts, the owner of the largest piece of private permanently preserved land in Gillespie County is making a last-ditch effort to persuade state regulators to change the route of a planned transmission line. The line, about 13 miles long, is part of a plan to beef up electrical infrastructure to serve a growing area east of Fredericksburg. Such transmission lines, which involve support structures 10 stories tall or higher, are becoming…

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Clash of land-use priorities troubling

Clash of land-use priorities troubling

The Lower Colorado River Authority has proposed to construct a large electrical transmission line across the largest piece of protected land — public or private — in Gillespie County, southwest of Austin. Owned by Terese T. Hershey, a renowned conservationist, the 1,500-acre Hershey Ranch is protected by a conservation easement that was supposed to conserve it in perpetuity. The Hill Country Land Trust, one of 30 private, nonprofit land trusts in Texas, “holds” the conservation easement and is entrusted with ensuring…

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Mason Residents Resist Unwelcome Wind Project

Mason Residents Resist Unwelcome Wind Project

  • November 6, 2015
  • News

Adding a wind farm to its Lone Star energy portfolio in the scenic Texas Hill Country is proving to be much tougher than setting up shop on the high Texas plains for Enel Green Power North America. Folks in Mason, where construction of the wind project is proposed, believe that wind turbines just don’t belong here. The Italian energy giant has plans for development of the Mason Mountain Wind Project (MMWP) not far from the historic community of 2,077 that…

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SOSHCE Annual Meeting: Updates on industrial wind and transmission developments

SOSHCE Annual Meeting: Updates on industrial wind and transmission developments

  • November 1, 2015
  • News

The Save our Scenic Hill Country Environment (SOSHCE)  Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 7 pm in the Central Texas Electric Co-op Community Room at 386 Friendship Lane in Fredericksburg. The featured presentations will provide updates on industrial wind and transmission developments. The presentations will be preceded by a brief business meeting which will include the election of six Directors to fill expiring positions. The meeting will be open to the public. The presentations…

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Eminent Domain – Changing the Landscape

Eminent Domain – Changing the Landscape

  • October 31, 2015
  • News

“Texas is growing and changing,” said Greg Simons, president of the Texas Wildlife Association (TWA). “More people mean more demands for all types of infrastructure – roads, transmission lines, pipelines, reservoirs, schools and on and on. It all has to go somewhere. In Texas more than 90 percent of the land is privately owned, so in most cases private landowners have to bear the burden.” Eminent domain is nothing new. Some claim that the earliest known use of eminent domain…

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Mason Residents Resist Unwelcome Wind Project

Mason Residents Resist Unwelcome Wind Project

  • October 2, 2015
  • News

Adding a wind farm to its Lone Star energy portfolio in the scenic Texas Hill Country is proving to be much tougher than setting up shop on the high Texas plains for Enel Green Power North America. Folks in Mason, where construction of the wind project is proposed, believe that wind turbines just don’t belong here. The Italian energy giant has plans for development of the Mason Mountain Wind Project (MMWP) not far from the historic community of 2,077 that…

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