In 2005, the Texas legislature approved the development of a network of power transmission lines to send wind and solar power from West Texas to population centers in other parts of the state. The landmark project has transformed the renewable energy industry and the part of West Texas that Rep. Drew Darby calls home.
Metal fields of photovoltaic solar panels now stretch over once bare scrub land. Lines of wind turbines that scratch the sky reach the horizon. And with these renewable energy projects have come “some of our only economic development opportunities” in rural Texas, said Darby, a Republican from San Angelo.