Tech center welcomes new company
Posted: July 16, 2010 - 12:31am
They are the dowsers of the wind industry.
Instead of the forked-stick witchers traditionally used to detect an underground water supply, this crew uses a meteorological tower -a slender mast nearly 200 feet tall equipped with a wind vane and anemometers to record wind speed at various levels.
Because even the wind has qualities, wind-farm developers want to make sure they're locating their towers in the right place to get the best return on their investment.
Energy Resources LLC, a brand-new company headquartered at Reese Technology Center, is exploring that niche in the process of wind farm development.
The company installs met towers and monitors the findings for landowners who have large open tracts that may be suitable for wind farming
"Developers usually want at least two years' worth of continuous readings before they make a decision," said Jeremy Bechtold, a sales representative with the new business.
The anemometers are mounted on the tower at 40, 50 and 60 meters -the last being the height of the rotor shaft in a standard tower.
Wind speed and direction are recorded electronically and periodically transmitted by cellular connection to the home office, and, over time, the data defines the wind's characteristics for a developer.
The company's president, Mike Powers, said Lubbock's position in the wind corridor makes it a great place to do business in wind services.
"While performing our due diligence on starting a services company, industry professionals repeatedly chose Lubbock as the premier location," Powers said.
Part of the attraction for the new company were some of Reese's other customers, including the Texas Tech Wind Science and Engineering Research program, South Plains College's wind technology program, and Kenworthy Corp., which manufactures met towers.
Bill Miller, executive director of Reese Technology Center, said he's happy with the new situation.
"We have a place here where the public sector can meet the private sector," Miller said, adding the technology center is working hard to attract more wind and energy clients.
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Energy Resources LLC
-What: Installs meteorological towers and collects wind data for landowners considering leasing land for windfarm development.
-Where: Reese Technology Center
-President: Mike Powers
New developments in wind research could bring more wind farms to the South Plains
By Christie Post
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A new entrepreneur wind service company in Lubbock is developing met towers to provide research in wind energy.
Met towers measure wind characteristics and are the crucial first step of wind farms. Without this research, wind farm developers would not know if the area is suitable for producing energy.
Energy Resources, LLC, owned and operated by Texas Tech alumni, wants to be the leading company in wind research. "As the world in general starts looking for alternative fuels. Here in west Texas we do have a surplus of wind. And there's a corridor that runs through this area. We feel like putting up wind turbines can not only benefit this area but the entire United States," says Energy Resources, LLC production manager.
Over the past two years they've seen a dramatic response from people in the wind industry toward using the met meters, to determine if wind turbines can be based on the research.
The company sparked Reese Technology Center to start building their own wind turbines for research. "We will have research that leads to more efficient and practical use of wind to help wind grow out here," says the executive director of Reese Technology Center, Bill Miller.
One company - Pyco - has already jumped on this technology after seeing energy prices grow in 2006. "With that $2 to $2.2 million saving per year on a $6.5 million electric bill, we're looking at a 9-12 year payback on the cost of the turbines," says Pcyco process supervisor Jake Bentley.
Pyco says this alternative resource was just one of the pieces of the puzzle that helped their companies margins grow.
Now others are doing the same to make wind energy in the future Lubbock's new resource.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Big Plans for New Wind Co.
Energy Resources LLC constructs and maintains met towers, which are 200 ft. tall towers that measure wind direction and speed.
That data tells landowners if their property is ideal for building wind turbines.
"How do we bring this [wind] business to Lubbock? The first thing you got to do is start measuring the wind," said Energy Resources president Mike Powers.
The demonstration tower they raised today was near their company in the Reese technology center.
Reese itself is in negotiations with a business group to build three turbines on the west side of its' property.
Powers hopes they will be the first of many.