Amarillo is uniquely qualified as one of America’s best places for generating wind energy. Not only does the Texas Panhandle top the charts for annual average Class 4 wind speeds, but we also sit squarely in the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) than enables the transmission of 18,500 megawatts of wind power upwards of 3,500 miles.
Our mid-continent position makes transporting massive wind-generating equipment from California all the way to North Carolina, as Interstate 40 runs east and west. Interstate 27 is the thoroughfare to the north and south and with the vision of the Ports-To-Plains initiative, a direct route from Mexico to Canada passes through Amarillo. Two mainlines of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway intersect at Amarillo, and provide direct service to many major US markets. These mainlines also connect Amarillo to the ports of Houston, San Diego and Galveston, conveniently enabling international access. This benefit is fortified by our Foreign Trade Zone status that helps local companies import/export more expediently and at a reduced expense.
To best serve the needs of the wind energy industry, the Amarillo EDC owns a 440-acre, master-planned and rail-served distribution/industrial park. In addition to the direct rail service via the BNSF Railway, CenterPort is directly adjacent to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and just 3 miles from Interstate 40 and 8 miles to Interstate 27. While land in CenterPort has been valued in excess of $20,000 per acre and is conveyable, sites fall within the intended use of the overall development, and may be provided at no cost or reduced cost depending upon the specifics of the project.
Amarillo has a large manufacturing base in companies such as Gestamp Renewable Industries, Bell Helicopter and Amarillo Gear. The raw materials for the production of wind energy blades are already here; Owens Corning produces spun fiberglass threads used in the composites of wind turbine blade manufacturing. With an abundance of machining, electrical and welding operations, the specialized labor force needed is ready and available in Amarillo.
Existing business expansions account for 80%
Incoming new businesses account for 11%
And start-up operations account for 9%