MELVIN, TX — The skyline in Mcculloch County is changing as the first eight wind turbines in the Rattlesnake Wind Project are under construction and can be seen from U.S. 87 at Melvin.
The Rattlesnake Wind Project is a partnership between Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co., Ltd. It is RES’s 18th wind project in Texas and its largest. Goldwind is the manufacturer of the 2.5 MW permanent-magnet, direct drive turbines. Goldwind, a Chinese company with investments for this project from Warren Buffet’s Berkshire-Hathaway Energy and Citi, has constructed approximately 15 percent of the wind projects in Texas.
According to documents filed with the State of Texas, the Rattlesnake Wind Project consists of 64 wind turbines which when operational will be capable of generating 160 MW of electricity. Additional facilities being built are a Project Operations and Maintenance Facility, a main project substation, and a 16-mile transmission line to connect the project to the existing electrical grid.
The project is situated on an uprising called the “Brady Mountains.” It is actually a ridgeline that runs predominantly east to west, perpendicular to the prevailing wind direction. The land use of under the wind farm is grazing, hunting and off-road recreation on approximately 12,000 acres of private land. The land was procured under 30-year wind lease agreements with 32 different properties.
The project will be interconnected to Lower Colorado River Authority’s 345kV system located approximately 15 miles north of the farm.
The wind turbines are being constructed with tax incentives from Mcculloch County, the Mcculloch County Hospital District, the Brady ISD and the Lohn ISD. The total investment for the project is anticipated to be $250 million and is adding 250 construction and service-related jobs to the region.