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Category Archives: ‘Wind’
By MATTHEW L. WALD January 15, 2013, 12:48 pm
Among the “firsts” being tried by the Atlantic Wind Connection, the venture seeking to build an electric transmission line from southern Virginia to northern New Jersey, is negotiating the regulatory system. The problem is that the cable, which would be buried under the seabed, is what grid officials call a “multidriver project,” or a project that is undertaken for more than one reason — something that those officials have little experience with.
To be built, the project must win the approval of the regional grid association, the PJM Interconnection. (The letters used to stand for Pennsylvania-Jersey-Maryland, but the organization now extends into all or part of Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Ohio and Illinois.) And PJM has three different systems for approving lines and apportioning their costs.
The Atlantic Wind Connection project fits into at least two of these categories. The regulatory complications help explain why so little transmission capability is built these days in this country, even when there is growing agreement that the United States should be moving toward low-carbon energy sources like wind power. Often wind turbine technology operates best in places lacking transmission capability.
PJM has the authority to approve a line and add the cost to the bills of all the customers in its territory, or just to some, depending on the line’s function. Other regional transmission organizations, like the New York Independent System Operator or ISO New England, which covers that six-state area, have similar provisions.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/breaking-new-ground-in-grid-rules/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD January 14, 2013
WASHINGTON — An audacious plan to lay a multibillion-dollar wind power transmission spine under the seabed from southern Virginia to the New York City area will take a step forward on Tuesday with an announcement of plans for the first leg, a 189-mile segment running from Jersey City to a spot south of Atlantic City.
The proposed backbone, first outlined publicly in October 2010, is intended to link future wind farms far offshore, sparing them the expense and regulatory problems of bringing power lines all the way to shore individually and to move power to land-based sources. The project’s backers, which include Google and other prominent investors, argue that the buried offshore spine, impervious to storms, could also come in handy in an emergency, providing a backup for hospitals and police stations and restarting power plants in blacked-out areas.
The latter selling point has gained importance for the line’s promoters as interest in offshore wind has suffered setbacks, including the declining price of natural gas, a competing energy source.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/15/business/energy-environment/an-offshore-wind-power-line-moves-ahead.html?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD December 28, 2012, 7:32 am
As I note in Friday’s paper, construction of new wind farms is going to grind to a halt with the end, at least temporarily, of the wind production tax credit. What’s next?
The credit is worth 2.2 cents per killowatt-hour generated, beyond whatever the electricity can be sold for on the regional market. At some hours of the day, most or all of the revenue will come from the tax credit.
Without the credit, wind farms could still be profitable if they were built where the wind is strongest, according to Robert W. Thresher, a research fellow at the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. But the trend lately, he said, has been to move to somewhat less favorable sites because the best ones within connection distance of the grid have been used up.
That has meant an evolution in wind machines, Dr. Thresher said. Newer ones built in places with weaker wind are as tall as 100 meters (328 feet) with the aim of catching more energy; they also have bigger rotors so that at lower wind speeds they can still develop the torque necessary to turn a generator. But longer blades and higher towers are more expensive. In Europe, he said, some developers have even moved to towers 120 meters (394 feet) high.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/an-industrys-future-blowing-in-the-wind/?ref=energy-environmentShare This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD December 27, 2012
WASHINGTON — Forget about parties, resolutions or watching the ball drop. To Iberdrola Renewables, New Year’s Eve will mean checking on last-minute details like the data connections between 169 new wind turbines in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and California and its control center in Portland, Ore.
All over the country, developers are in a sprint to get new wind farms up and running before Tuesday, when the federal wind production tax credit will disappear like Cinderella’s ball gown. After that, the nation’s wind-farm building will be at a virtual standstill.
The stakes of meeting the deadline are enormous. Wind turbines that are connected to the grid and in commercial service before midnight on New Year’s Eve are entitled to a 2.2 cent tax credit for each kilowatt-hour they generate in their first 10 years, which comes out to about $1 million for a big turbine. As it stands now, those that enter service on Jan. 1 or later are out of luck.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/28/science/earth/wind-farm-developers-race-against-end-of-tax-credit.htmlShare This Post
Dec 27 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Tyler Ellyson Columbus Telegram, Neb.
Dec 27 - McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - Tyler Ellyson Columbus Telegram, Neb.
TradeWind Energy LLC has most of the agreements it needs to move forward with a 200-megawatt wind farm in northeast Nebraska.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/12/12/nebraska-wind-power-needs-push&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=RB_DAILY2&utm_term=Original-MemberShare This Post
Dec 26 - Tulsa World
Wind turbine installations have been exceeding the construction of natural gas plants in recent months as developers rush to complete projects before the expiration of a tax credit for renewable energy.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.energycentral.com/generationstorage/wind/news/en/27067547/Turbines-turn-as-tax-credit-s-end-looms?Share This Post
How will this affect the price of wind?
Herman K. Trabish: December 19, 2012
Advancing another potential renewable energy trade war, the tariffs imposed on Chinese and Vietnamese wind turbine tower manufacturers in June have been affirmed by the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).
The U.S.-based Wind Tower Trade Coalition (WTTC) petitioned DOC and the International Trade Commission (ITC) at the end of 2011 to investigate countervailing duties allegations against Chinese tower makers and to investigate anti-dumping allegations against Chinese and Vietnamese tower makers.
In 2011, imports of utility scale wind towers -- towers for turbines of over 100 kilowatts in nameplate capacity -- from China were valued at an estimated $222 million and those from Vietnam were valued at an estimated $79 million.
“Today’s Commerce Department decision was expected,” said Dan Pickard, one of the two Wiley Rein lead attorneys for the WTTC. “The big one will be early next year, when the ITC rules on whether the Chinese and Vietnamese import practices have materially injured the U.S. companies. If the ITC rules affirmatively, tariffs will be imposed for five years, can be re-imposed every five years and will be subject to yearly re-evaluation.”
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/Chinese-Vietnamese-Found-Guilty-of-Dumping-Subsidies-in-Wind-Tower-Case/Share This Post
Facilities will require a significant amount of energy but the environmental impact doesn't have to be harmful
By Nicholas Heap, Vancouver Sun December 14, 2012
The sudden arrival of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export sector in British Columbia is being referred to as a "generational opportunity."
LNG arguably presents the biggest economic opportunity B.C. has seen in decades, but how the province chooses to power the liquefaction facilities will impact future generations - especially First Nations and those in remote communities.
It's clear the proposed facilities create a strategic opportunity for the province to take advantage of its excellent natural gas and world-class wind resources while asserting leadership on the family health and climate file. Wind energy is the best partner to supply the new electricity the province will require while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The issue facing B.C. decision makers is whether LNG proponents will use electricity to compress and cool the natural gas into liquid (called electric drives), or instead use "direct drives" fuelled by natural gas to self-generate power at the plant. The sheer amount of energy involved means this decision has huge environmental implications for British Columbians in the form of increased greenhouse gas emissions.
In short, natural gas creates greenhouse gas emissions, while wind energy does not.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/resources/Wind+could+power+growth/7698139/story.htmlShare This Post
Posted: 12/19/2012 12:01:00 AM MST
By Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post
A record amount of wind is being turned into electricity in Colorado this week as the last of 250 turbines started turning at NextEra Energy Resource's Limon wind farm.
The wind is now providing about 17 percent of all the electricity used by Xcel Energy customers — more than four times the national average.
The future of wind power in Colorado, however, is uncertain as the U.S. Congress has failed to extend a key wind project tax credit and Xcel says it has all the renewable energy it needs to meet state requirements.
"Wind will be an important part of our energy mix," said Frank Prager, Xcel's vice president for environmental policy. "But it has to become competitive on its own."
Juno, Fla.-based NextEra has been in the wind business since 1989 and with the Limon facility has built 10,000 megawatts of turbines in 19 states and four Canadian provinces.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_22218982Share This Post
Posted: 12/17/2012 4:30 pm
Executive director, Environment America
In just 14 days, one prospect for a cleaner environment could sail right over the fiscal cliff.
That's because key incentives for continuing to develop clean, renewable wind power -- the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and offshore wind Investment Tax Credit (ITC) -- are set to expire if Congress fails to act.
With wind power on the line, there's a lot at stake for our environment and the future of our planet.
Wind energy already powers nearly 13 million homes across the country, and the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 20 percent of the nation's electricity could be supplied by wind power by 2030.
We need only look back at the past year to see just how badly our nation needs to tap into our vast wind energy potential.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/margie-alt/wind-power-fiscal-cliff_b_2285740.html?utm_hp_ref=greenShare This Post
By Philip Bump
I’ve just returned from an expedition to the Yucatan Peninsula to see for myself. And I can confirm: The Mayan prediction of the end of the world is real and the threat is imminent. Two minor caveats, though. The first is that the key date isn’t Dec. 21, it’s Dec. 31. And the second is that all of civilization isn’t at risk — just the U.S. wind industry. So that’s kind of good news, I guess.
What’s putting the wind industry at risk, as you may remember and as the Mayans savvily predicted, is the expiration of the wind production tax credit, an incentive given to electricity producers to use wind energy. It’s a key prop for the industry, allowing it to compete in a sector heavily biased toward long-standing fossil-fuel-based systems. First introduced under President George H. W. Bush, the credit (and other similar renewable credits) has been regularly renewed since. With the production tax credit in place, wind has seen growth. Without it?Share This Post
John Murawski | The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
last updated: December 13, 2012 07:30:14 AM
Federal authorities on Wednesday announced that about 1,900 square miles of Atlantic Ocean waters are open for building offshore wind farms, making North Carolina the nation’s new energy hotspot for planting forests of whirling turbines in the high seas.
The U.S. Department of Interior identified a combined sector that’s larger than any such previously designated for hosting the 400-foot turbines. Two of the maritime blocks are between Myrtle Beach and Wilmington, while one lies beyond the Outer Banks, across from Kitty Hawk, Nags Head and Manteo.
A host of developers are expected to express interest, setting the stage for a federal lease auction as early as next year to allow projects to move forward. North Carolina’s ocean waters are considered to have some of the best wind resources along the East Coast. What’s more, the offshore areas picked by the feds have the advantage of being near populated regions with existing transmission capacity and other infrastructure needed to move gigawatts of electricity onto the power grid.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/12/13/177272/nc-ocean-waters-chosen-for-offshore.htmlShare This Post
How can a record breaking year herald ruin?
Herman K. Trabish: December 10, 2012
The debut GTM Research and Azure International China Wind Market Quarterly called 2012 “the best of times and the worst of times.”
The industry passed the 50 gigawatt cumulative installed capacity milestone and will likely set a new record for annual installed capacity at more than 12 gigawatts. Yet analysts believe the industry will be lucky to build 3 gigawatts and hold onto two-thirds of its workforce in 2013.
The PTC Bleeding and the Deal
One: “This bleeding must stop!” AWEA CEO Denise Bode declared last spring in calling for renewal of the vital $0.022 per kilowatt-hour production tax credit (PTC). But it has not been renewed and the bleeding has worsened.
To read the entire article go to: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/winds-top-ten-stories-for-2012-the-best-and-worst-of-times/Share This Post
By MATTHEW L. WALD December 4, 2012, 7:22 am
A worldwide survey of offshore wind installations takes a look at why it might be slow going in the United States, which still doesn’t have any.
Navigant Consulting, reviewing conditions at the end of last year, found that building a wind machine offshore in Europe cost about 4 million euros (around $5.1 million) per megawatt of capacity. By comparison, wind turbines built onshore in the United States (the only point of comparison for now) cost about $2 million per megawatt.
Building offshore is not all downside; for one thing, there is more wind, so identical machines onshore and at sea will produce wildly different amounts of electricity. And winds offshore tend to blow around the clock, delivering some energy during daylight, when electricity sells for a higher price in the wholesale markets. On land, the wind blows mostly at night, producing electricity at an hour when the market for electricity is depressed.
To read the entire article go to: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/outlook-for-offshore-wind-dark-and-stormyShare This Post
November 23, 2012
Original source: http://www.cacurrent.com/storyDisplay.php?sid=6538
With the fiscal cliff ahead as a lame duck Congress races to the end of the year, the wind industry and conservatives are fighting over the future of the production tax credit. Wind developers in and outside California have reaped the credit for 20 years.
The tax credit--set to expire at the end of this year--is integral to wind generators across the nation, including California.
Here, wind energy supplied 5.1 percent of the state’s electricity in 2011, according to the California Energy Commission. Supplies are growing.
Jobs are at stake too, according to the industry, but the credit is caught up in politics.
Conservatives generally are against tax hikes to increase federal revenues and trim the federal budget deficit--preferring spending cuts instead.
Election results earlier this month point to voters’ preference for compromise.
That’s why the conservative Heritage Foundation thinks that it’s got an edge in calling on lawmakers not to renew the production tax credit. Non-renewal would bring new revenue to the federal government, something conservatives could claim as a compromise in exchange for a spending cut.Share This Post