The nation's largest producer of oil and gas has moved into the state with the most wind.

British Petroleum (BP) Alternative Energy, a subsidiary of the international oil giant, has announced the groundbreaking of its first wind project in Texas. The project, named Silver Star 1, is located 80 miles southwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area. BP Alternative Energy owns 85 percent of the 60-megawatt (MW), $100 million project. Clipper Windpower owns the other 15 percent.

Silver Star 1 will use 24 Clipper 2.5-MW wind turbine generators, the largest wind turbines built in the United States, and will be the first application at scale of Clipper’s new C-96 wind turbine technology for BP.

The project is expected to be commercially operational in the first quarter of 2008. When completed, it will generate enough electricity to power approximately 24,000 homes.

The announcement of the new facility comes shortly after the state of Texas solidified its position as the nation’s leading wind power state. According to the American Wind Energy Association, 2006 marks the second year in a row that the Lone Star state led the nation in wind-power production. Texas had 2,768 MW of wind-power generating capacity installed at the end of last year. California was 407 MW behind at 2,361.   EC