"I will continue my efforts to get rid of the 20-year-old, multi-billion-dollar subsidy for unreliable, expensive wind energy that stands no chance of powering our nation's 21st century economy." ...Perhaps just as important, Alexander said, wind turbines would scar the mountaintops of Tennessee, the only place in the state where they can work.
“Over the next 10 years, the wind production tax credit will cost the American taxpayers more than $26 billion….In fact, the tax breaks for the five big oil companies we have been debating on the Senate floor this week actually cost less than this one tax credit for Big Wind. The tax breaks for the five big oil companies amount to about $21 billion over 10 years.”
The Tennesseee Valley Authority favors a Houston company's effort to build an electrical connection between windmills in Oklahoma and Texas and power users in the Tennessee Valley.
The proposed $3.5 billion project would use direct current rather than the alternating current.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, looking outside the region to boost its renewable energy portfolio, said Thursday it will buy 450 megawatts of wind power capacity from the Great Plains.
The nation's largest public utility has signed 20-year power purchase agreements with Maryland-based CVP Renewable Energy Co. and Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC for electricity generated by wind farms they are building in McIntosh County, N.D., and Roberts County, S.D., respectively.
On Thursday, the Johnson City Commission approved a license agreement with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Integration Technology to allow the installation of a wind-monitoring device to be installed on the tower at Buffalo Mountain.
Johnson City Manager Pete Peterson said city officials were approached by SACE, and the device would be used to measure and observe things such as wind speed and frequency.
Garland is the latest North Texas city considering a zoning ordinance aimed at regulating wind energy devices that generate power for residential use. The measure is on Tuesday's council agenda.
Other cities, including Grand Prairie, Waxahachie and Oak Point, already have such ordinances.
Residential wind energy devices are rare in urban areas and may be too expensive or impractical for many homeowners. But city officials say they want to make sure rules are in place for the day when wind energy devices become more commonplace.
Tygard is sponsoring a bill that would put restrictions on wind towers that produce energy.
He said he wants the public to remember when cell phone towers started popping up and how it caused residential complaints. The councilman said the city needs to make sure that doesn't happen with the wind machines.
"What are the height, aesthetic, noise regulations?
The Tennessee Valley Authority could be generating more "alternative" energy for less cost, if only the public wasn't so enamored with wind and solar power. Methane gas, formed as human and animal waste or garbage decays, produces more power dollar for dollar. It's half as expensive as wind power and a tenth the cost of solar power, according to TVA figures.
But, coming from a stinky mess, it lacks appeal to the rate-paying public. TVA depends on ratepayers' choosing to pay extra to help fund alternative energy sources.
"From a marketing viewpoint, it's hard to promote," said Jim Keiffer, TVA senior vice president of marketing. ...
That's why TVA's program, Green Power Switch, available through distributors including Nashville Electric Service, requires that at least half the energy it creates come from the favorites: solar and wind.
Ratepayers would save money if TVA paid the penalty - estimated at $410 million a year by 2020 - rather than meet a goal of finding 15 percent new energy sources, said U.S. Sen Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn. ...The agency's alternative green energy program - of which a wind farm on Buffalo Mountain in East Tennessee is a large part - provides less than one half of 1 percent, and customers have to pay extra to support it.
"It's a puny amount of unreliable power at a very high cost," Alexander said in an interview Thursday with The Tennessean. And then there's the appearance. "We have 10 million people a year come to the Great Smoky Mountains," he said. "They don't come down to see white towers as big as football fields with flashing lights. They come to see the Smokies."
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An industry-sponsored poll suggests most Tennesseans support renewable wind energy, but don't count U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander among them.
"I am all for renewable fuels. I am all for clean air and carbon-free electricity," the Tennessee Republican said Tuesday in a conference call from Washington, where the Senate is getting ready to debate an energy bill that could come with renewable energy mandates.
But Alexander has no love for windmills. Wind power, he said, "is expensive and disfigures the landscape. It produces a puny amount of power, and it doesn't fit Tennessee."
American Electric Power has received more than a dozen bids from companies offering to construct wind farms under long-term power purchase agreements, spokeswoman Jeri Matheney said.
"We're very pleased with the response that we got, and the variety," Matheney said. "We got quite a few bids - more than a dozen - from several states.
"It will take at least a few weeks to pore through and analyze all of them," she said. "Then we'll go from there in making our decision."
American Electric Power announced it wants to enter long-term purchase agreements for 1,000 megawatts of wind energy, including up to 360 megawatts for its eastern United States service territory - where coal has traditionally been king.
The utility giant said it wants to add the wind energy by 2011 as part of its strategy to address greenhouse gas emissions.
On Tuesday the company issued a request for proposals seeking up to 260 megawatts of wind energy for its Appalachian Power unit. Appalachian serves more than 900,000 customers in southern West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee.
The company also issued a request for proposals seeking up to 100 megawatts of wind energy for its Indiana Michigan Power unit.
The deadline for bids is April 30, with delivery to begin by the end of 2008.
States with renewable portfolio standards have generated growth in the renewable energy sector, but many of the Appalachian states don't have one. Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New York all have some fairly progressive goals, but West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee don't have a state RPS and wind projects often ignite battles.
OLIVER SPRINGS, TENN. - When Martha Walls gives tours of her town’s small museum, she points to framed photographs of coal-blackened faces next to those of 400-foot wind turbines that stand on a reclaimed strip mine just outside town.
The Southeast’s first commercial wind farm was built here on Windrock Mountain on the site of an old coal mine after people in North Carolina fought a proposal to place it within view of Watauga County.
In Oliver Springs, the new environmentally-friendly energy came without a fuss.
“I don’t hear anybody complain about our windmills, and I don’t know why anybody would,” Walls said.
But in North Carolina, where a proposal to build a wind farm in Ashe County has run up against opposition from longtime residents and newcomers, the road to renewable energy is not so certain.
Sandy Bivens and other birders took turns over the fall inspecting the ground around a hilltop television tower near White Bridge Road.
Each morning, one of them would pick up the birds that died flying into the WSMV-Channel 4 tower or its guy wires.
JONESBOROUGH, TENN. — On Saturday, a group of wind energy advocates invited the media out to see a new 30-meter tall anemometer at the Jonesborough Waste Water Treatment facility. The Tennessee Wind Working Group was erecting the anemometer to test the wind potential for the city of Jonesborough, Tenn.