Texas Land Office Announces "Wind Rush"

December 03, 2003

Photo of Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson pointing to map of wind energy resources in Texas during press conference

The Texas Land Office hopes to spur leases of the rights to develop wind energy resources on state lands and thus increase revenue to the state's educational fund.
Credit: Texas Land Office

Texas General Land Office Commissioner Jerry Patterson announced on October 23 the availability of leases for wind power generation on state lands. Calling it a modern-day "wind rush," Patterson said, "The 'open for wind business' sign is hanging on the door of the Land Office." He plans to open bidding for leases of state lands along the Gulf Coast and in western Texas, where there are excellent wind resources.

The proceeds from the sales will go to the state's schools. Under the Texas Constitution, the Texas Land Office is responsible to maximize assets on state lands to fund the Permanent School Fund. As of October 2003, the office provides $700 million per year to the fund.

Patterson believes Texas has advantages over other states for quickly developing wind power along its coast. The waters off the Texas coast are shallower than those of nearby states, and Texas owns the land out to 10.3 statute miles. There are many abandoned oil and gas platforms in the gulf that he believes developers could one day use for wind power generation. And by allowing wind developers to deal with one landowner (on state lands), terms for the leases will be standard and predictable. For details, see the land office's announcement.