Business and Transportation
In 2013 the Texas economy continued its steady post-recession expansion, adding 274,700 nonfarm jobs, for an increase of 2.5 percent. Private sector employment grew by 2.9 percent, while government employment (federal, state, and local) grew by 0.8 percent. Pre-recession Texas employment peaked at 10,635,700 in August 2008, a level that was surpassed in September 2011, and since that point Texas has added an additional 548,000 jobs.. . . (click)
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For Texans, the 20th century did not begin on January 1, 1901, as it did for everyone else. It began nine days later, on Jan. 10, when, spurting drilling pipe, mud, gas and oil, the Lucas No. 1 well blew in at Spindletop near Beaumont.
The gusher spewed oil more than 100 feet into the air until it was capped nine days later. With that dramatic fanfare, Texas’ economy was wrenched from its rural, agricultural roots and flung headlong into the petroleum and industrial age. . . .
Indians found oil seeping from the soils of Texas long before the first Europeans arrived. . . . Melrose, in Nacogdoches County, was the site in 1866 of the first drilled well to produce oil in Texas. The driller was Lyne T. Barret. Barret used an auger, fastened to a pipe, and rotated by a cogwheel driven by a steam engine — a basic principle of rotary drilling that has been used since, although with much improvement.. . . .
Toll Collections in Texas
From the Almanac
The Horse Hollow wind farm in Nolan and Taylor counties. Photo by Robert Plocheck.
Wind Energy Continues Expansion
Texas continues to lead the nation in installed wind capacity and generation. In 2012, Texas had 21 percent of the nation’s installed wind capacity, reaching 10,648 megawatts. Iowa was second in installed wind capacity, at 4,524 megawatts.
With Texas’ significant increase, wind generation was responsible for 7.0 percent of total electricity generation in the state in 2010, and dipping slightly to 6.9 in 2011.
|Installed Wind Capacity in megawatts (MW)|
By the middle of 2012, U.S. installed wind capacity had grown to 49,802 MW.
The Texas plains continues to see rapid growth in wind farms, while more recently expansion has began offshore on the Gulf Coast. In all, Texas has six of the ten largest wind generation projects in the country. Roscoe Wind Farm, which stretches across Nolan, Mitchell, Scurry and Fisher counties, is the largest in the state, with a capacity of 782 MW. It is second in the nation to Alta Wind farm in California at 981 MW.
Wind power is variable and ERCOT historical wind generation data reveals that there is often less wind blowing on summer afternoons that coincide with peak electrical demand. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s largest power grid, is responsible for ensuring the reliability and adequacy of the electric grid, it makes capacity calculations to determine if it will have sufficient generating capacity on the grid.
For planning purposes, ERCOT determined that in the future, it can count on just 8.7 percent of its installed wind capacity to alleviate Texas’ peak summer demand. It also notes that conventional generation must be available to meet forecast load and reserve requirements.
Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Governor/Economic Development & Tourism, the State Energy Conservation Office, 2012, and other sources.