A wind energy company has proposed erecting up to 200 wind turbines off the Texas Gulf coast between Corpus Christi and Brownsville.
Houston-based Baryonyx Corp. has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the offshore wind farm.
One proposal would develop more than 26,000 acres off Mustang Island, just north of Padre Island near Corpus Christi. That site is being reviewed by the Pentagon for potential interference with operations at nearby Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
Baryonyx expected a Defense Department report within the next three months, Senior Vice President Mark Leyland told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
If problems arise with that site, an alternate proposal would develop 45,000 acres in coastal waters off the southern third of Padre Island.
The turbines and pylons could mean new fabrication and storage jobs for the Corpus Christi-area economy, Leyland said.
"I really want to work with people to try and get this to work because I do see tremendous benefits for the local community," he told the Caller-Times.
NAS Corpus Christi spokesman Bob Torres said station commanders had no comment, for now, on the project. However, Patrick Paddock, deputy operations officer at nearby Naval Air Station Kingsville, said he did not think initial Baryonyx plans to erect a few test turbines would affect NAS Kingsville operations significantly.
Turbines erected in San Patricio County, north of Corpus Christi, have caused false echoes on Navy radar because they are arranged in different directions and too close together. A large number of widely spaced turbines can cause less of a problem, Paddock said.
"What we ask is all the developers come to us early and work with us and decide if there are issues," Paddock said. He said Baryonyx has shown considerable willingness to work with the Navy.
Leyland estimates that the wind project, fully developed, could generate 3 gigawatts of electric power. Each gigawatt is enough to power about 250,000 homes, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.