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Texas set to host largest U.S. wind farms

Energy start-up Baryonyx wins bids to lease three tracts of state land for wind-powered data centers.

Energy start-up Baryonyx has won bids for three land leases from the state of Texas to build data centers powered primarily by wind farms.

The Texas-based company's leases include two offshore sites in the Gulf of Mexico and one on land in the Texas panhandle. One of the offshore tracts is submerged land off Mustang Island near Corpus Christi; the other is submerged land off South Padre Island. Both sites are each over 19,000 acres.

According to the Texas General Land Office, the Baryonyx coastal projects are poised to be the "biggest offshore wind farms in the nation."

Baryonyx said its offshore farms will each produce a minimum of 750 megawatts of power and use turbines that produce up to five megawatts each.

The third lease includes 8,064 acres in Dallam County, an area in the northwest corner of the Texas panhandle.

"Developing wind energy for Texas is just plain smart, it's not just sustainable energy to power our businesses, it's sustainable funding for public education too," Jerry Patterson, commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, which granted Baryonyx the leases, said in a statement.

Patterson is referring to the lease provisions in which Baryonyx--once the wind farms are operational--will provide power to the Texas General Land Office. The land office will, in turn, sell the electricity to schools, prisons, and cities. The money from the sale of that electricity will then go directly into the state's Permanent School Fund, which holds the rights to all income garnered from the state's submerged coastal lands.

Over the 30-year lease, the wind farms must provide the school fund with a minimum of $338 million, according to the Texas General Land Office's statistics on the deal's agreed energy royalties.

Baryonyx's goal is to become a "leading provider of both renewable energy and low-carbon, on-line data storage and computational services," according to a company statement on the deal. The start-up plans to build Tier 4 data centers--the most secure type of data centers typically used to house mission-critical systems.

Baryonyx's offshore projects in Texas could be the largest wind farms in the U.S. when completed. Baryonyx