The General Land Office is working aggressively to develop wind power off the Texas coast. For Texas, renewable energy on state lands means renewable revenue for public education.
The state's oldest agency has already racked up a series of firsts for the nation, including the first and largest lease for offshore wind power development. The Land Office - always eager to earn money for the state's Permanent School Fund - even held the nation's first competitive bidding process for offshore wind power leases.
Developers partnering with the Land Office find the state easy to do business in. Texas' unique coastal sovereignty - out to 10.3 miles - means less federal entanglement. Developers don't have to worry about building miles and miles of power lines to deliver electricity to nearby urban areas. The state's deregulated energy market and the economic dynamism of its coast also favor wind power entrepreneurs. And the peak wind power on the gulf is during the day, when electricity fetches the highest price.
For its part, the Land Office identifies state lands with the best potential for offshore wind power development. Currently, there are seven offshore leases in various stages of development and production.
For the Land Office, offshore wind power could mean millions in new revenue for public education. Developing that potential is one way the agency works to diversify the revenue stream for the Permanent School Fund, to which the Land Office has contributed nearly $10 billion in oil and gas revenues since 1922.