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Wind Power Transmission and Steel Pipe: Monday’s Show (April 4, 2016)

Wind Power Transmission and Steel Pipe: Monday’s Show (April 4, 2016)

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaA Houston-based company has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out a project designed to modernize a portion of the country’s electric grid and be able to deliver wind-generated energy from the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma and southwest Kansas to more than 1.5 million homes across several states. DOE announced its participation in the public/private partnership with Clean Line Energy Partners last month. Under the Plains & Eastern Clean Line Project, Clean Line will construct, operate and maintain the transmission lines while DOE will own some of the project’s facilities. Clean Line Energy likens the delivery of renewable energy across several states to the use of railroads transporting cattle and other goods from rural to urban communities.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn more about the project from Michael Skelly, the founder and president of Clean Line Energy, and Gavin Dillingham, the program director for clean energy policy at the Houston Advanced Research Center. We also discuss the potential for additional wind power transmission across the country and the implications of projects like this for Greater Houston’s renewable energy companies.

Bringing Manufacturing Back

Also this hour: Tenaris is one the world’s largest oilfield services companies, specializing in manufacturing steel pipe. It’s building an enormous new mill to do just that in Bay City, about an hour southwest of Houston. The mill will be operational next year. But why build such a huge new operation at a time when oil prices are so low? News 88.7 energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling toured the new plant to find out. He talks with German Cura, the company’s North American area manager.

Making Houston More Walkable

Then: On past Houston Matters programs, we’ve explored a number of concerns and efforts related to walkability in the region. We’ve talked about safety concerns for pedestrians, areas in need of improved access and policies designed to make the region more walkable. Now, two Houston neighborhoods have been named to a residential brokerage firm’s list of The 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Texas. Of course, the firm in question, Redfin, is based in Seattle, Wash. So how did the firm determine Midtown and the Neartown/Montrose neighborhoods deserve to crack that list? Paige Phelps asks two Redfin employees: marking manager Tara Waggoner and public relations specialist Keena Bean. We also hear the thoughts of several Houstonians, from a pedestrian hit by a car in Montrose six years ago, to representatives of Houston Tomorrow, the Urban Land Institute and the City of Houston’s public works department.

National Poetry Week

Plus: Each Monday this month, during National Poetry Week, we will meet Houston-based poets. Today, we’re introduced to Choonwha Moon.

Sports Monday

And: From tonight’s (April 4, 2016) NCAA men’s basketball championship game at NRG Stadium, to the Houston Astros’ season opener, to the Houston Rockets on the postseason bubble, there’s a lot happening in Houston sports. We talk — as we do every Monday — with Jeff Balke, who writes for the Houston Press and Houstonia magazine.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

Segments:

  • DOE Works to Build Avenues to Transmit Renewable Energy — What Does That Mean For Houston?

    A Houston-based company has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out a project designed to modernize a portion of the country’s electric grid and be able to deliver wind-generated energy from the Texas panhandle, Oklahoma and southwest Kansas to more than 1.5 million homes across several states. DOE announced its participation in the

    Read/Listen More...

  • Why Is One Company Building a Pipe Mill in Bay City When Oil Prices are So Low?

    Tenaris is one the world’s largest oilfield services companies, specializing in manufacturing steel pipe. And it’s building an enormous new mill to do just that in Bay City, about an hour southwest of Houston. It will be operational next year (2017). But why build such a huge new operation at a time when oil prices are so low? News 88.7

    Read/Listen More...

  • Revisiting Houston’s Walkability

    On past Houston Matters programs, we’ve explored a number of concerns and efforts related to walkability in the region. We’ve talked about safety concerns for pedestrians, areas in need of improved access and policies designed to make the region more walkable. Now, two Houston neighborhoods have been named to a residential brokerage firm’s list of The 10 Most Walkable Neighborhoods

    Read/Listen More...

  • Houston Poet Choonwha Moon

    April is the 20th annual National Poetry Month. In conjunction, each Monday this month we’ll meet Houston-based poets. On this edition, we meet Choonwha Moon. MORE: National Poetry Month: Sound Portrait Of Poet Choonwha Moon (Houston Public Media, April 5, 2016)

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  • Opening Day Postponed and Houston Crowns a National Champ

    From tonight’s (April 4, 2016) NCAA men’s basketball championship game at NRG Stadium, to the Houston Astros’ season opener being postponed due to inclement weather, to the Houston Rockets on the postseason bubble: there’s a lot happening in Houston sports. We talk — as we do every Monday — with Jeff Balke, who writes for the Houston Press and Houstonia magazine.

    Read/Listen More...

About the Author

Craig Cohen

Craig CohenCraig Cohen is the executive producer and host of Houston Matters, which airs weekdays at noon and 7 p.m. on Houston Public Media, News 88.7 FM. Craig is a 20+ year veteran of broadcast journalism. He's spent the bulk of his career in public media, in roles ranging from programmer and manager, to talk show host, reporter, news director, and producer. He's interviewed politicians, industry leaders, authors, newsmakers, and the occasional Muppet. Craig seeks to make the world a slightly better place every day, by informing, enlightening, and entertaining.View all posts by Craig Cohen →

  1. Swanson CornersSwanson Corners04-04-2016

    Clean Line is being investigated both by the Iowa Legislature and now the US Congress. If the DoE is allowed to “partner” with CLEP it will be the first time that the Federal government has been allowed to usurp the authority of the States in such a large manner.
    In 2009 the DoE was discussing using the vast amounts of wind in the oceans and offshore in the Great Lakes. Today there is still NOT ONE offshore wind turbine. The property owners with a view didn’t want their view marred but obviously they are OK with not only our views being marred by thousands of turbines but also our inland private property being threatened by thousands of miles of 15 story tall transmission lines. Just about every inch of CLEP’s proposed routes are through private property, not state land, not federal land, not existing right of ways.
    Transmission should not be run by politics!!