General and Technology
David Cameron wants one; Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, has applied for one and this week there is a full-scale Commons row about miniature wind turbines, among other forms of do-it-yourself energy generation.
Ishpeming, Michigan [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Construction is currently under way this month on a rare wind energy project, a 200 kilowatt (kW) vertical-axis wind turbine outside a large residential complex in Michigan.
FAIRVIEW -- Advocates of the "small wind" generating business have landed another customer.
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The 280ft towers will stand in up to 150ft of water and will generate enough electricity to meet up to 75% of the needs of the oilfield which pumps 3500 barrels of oil ashore a day.
This £35m, five-year pilot could be the first step towards establishing a 200-turbine farm on the site which could meet 20% of Scotland's energy needs.
In May, citing a potential for reliability problems for the provincial network, the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) — which oversees the electricity market and transmission network in Alberta — surprised the industry by announcing that wind power generation in Alberta, currently at about 300 megawatts (MW) of capacity, would be capped indefinitely at 900 MW. However, there are proposals for about 3,000 MW of projects above and beyond the ones already lined up and paid up to meet the 900 MW mark.
Tim and Robyn Wood don't have to sweat over the electric bills for their Oregon home.
More often than not, their utility company - Wisconsin Power & Light of Madison - pays them for electricity.
With a 24-panel solar array for electricity, a separate solar panel system for the water heater and a small wind turbine, the Woods' home is still connected to the state's grid of electric transmission lines. But for the most part, the Woods power their own lights, laundry machines, computers, television and other household appliances.
"I use power whenever it's cloudy out and there's no wind. But when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, I make enough power that I can turn my meter backward," Tim Wood said.
As consumers, we pay the full market price for wind-generated electricity plus the value of renewable energy credits mandated by the Legislature. As federal taxpayers, we donate another two cents per kWh, and support the fast depreciation (tax savings) allowed wind installation entrepreneurs. Mars Hill’s units produce 1 percent of Maine’s electricity and 0.01 percent of New England’s. The Kibby Mountain proposal of 44 three-MW units is projected to produce about .37 billion kWh per year. The number of kilowatt-hours supplied by the wind is very small. The combined output from Mars Hill and Kibby Mountain would be about 5 percent of Maine’s or .5 percent of the total New England grid.
The real cost of wind energy, if broken out on our electric bill, would be a shock.
It's back to the '70s for the south metro, as a new generation of major powerlines is being proposed for rural land -- and activists and farmers begin to meet. ...The companies are seeking state approval for a cluster of major lines. Two of them -- 345-kilovolt lines with towers as high as 150 feet, one stretching 230 miles west to South Dakota and the other 150 miles southward to Wisconsin -- would cross Dakota County. No specific pathway has yet been laid down, but the general outlines of the corridors -- mostly 10 to 12 miles wide -- are clear.
Points of controversy are expected to include whether the lines are needed, whether they pose health risks and how much landowners should be paid.
Ontario will overtake Alberta as the wind-power capital of Canada by the end of the year, in part because Alberta doesn’t have enough transmission lines to connect new wind turbines to its power grid.
The race to build new sources of alternative energy from the wind is running into a formidable obstacle: not enough windmills...Numerous wind-power projects from Virginia to California have been stalled due to the shortage. But for some renewable-energy companies in Europe, where wind power has been in vogue for almost two decades, the logjam is a lucrative opportunity. These firms anticipated a shortage of turbines and locked in orders with makers. They're now using their considerable buying power to gobble up smaller utilities in the U.S. that couldn't otherwise get their hands on turbines.
Apart from general bottleneck problems in times of high demand -- like during periods of extremely high or low temperature -- observers have questioned the grid's ability to cope with the addition of renewable energy sources, such as wind energy, into the mix and the network.
Often, large wind parks that produce hundreds of megawatts of power in remote areas put a massive strain on local grids, which were designed to bring electricity from the center to the peripheries, and not the other way around.
Due to the wind's variable strength, the amount of electricity injected into the grid is fluctuating constantly, further straining the grid.
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A publicly owned Arizona utility is on the hunt for investors who will share its dream of restarting a shuttered coal-fired power plant in the Nevada desert that was abandoned by its other owners.
Phoenix-based Salt River Project is working to build a new ownership group to buy and upgrade the 1,580-megawatt Mohave Generating Station. The plant, in Laughlin, Nev. near the Arizona border, was shut in December because its owners hadn't installed pollution control equipment required under a court-approved consent decree. The plant also faced other problems, including expiring coal and water supply contracts. To resolve a lawsuit by environmentalists concerned about the harmful effects of pollution from Mohave on wildlife at the nearby Grand Canyon National Park, the plant's owners agreed to either install pollution-control equipment or shut the plant by the end of 2005.
On Aug. 21, when afternoon temperatures in Washington state soared, Avista Corp.’s (AVA) utility division asked customers to cut their electricity use while it scoured the region for power supplies. Utility operators were frustrated, in part, because the company’s supply of wind power was producing nothing, thanks to a lack of wind.
Avista wasn’t alone. Throughout the West during that August heat wave, a growing fleet of windmills met triple-digit temperatures with impotence. California’s grid operator was serving up a record amount of power that afternoon, too, while its 2,850 MW of wind turbines were churning out just 112 MW.......What can all these windmills do to help prevent a blackout in a heat wave? Utilities’ estimates of that range widely. When figuring out how to keep the lights on during the coming summer’s hottest day, PJM pencils in 20% of wind capacity for serving peak load. The California Independent System Operator figures 5% will be there. For Texas, which has more windmills than any other state, Ercot counts on just 2.6% of capacity. Avista, like many utilities operating their own grid, doesn’t count on any wind power during the summer peak. As more windmills come on line, overestimating could mean a blackout, while underestimating could mean paying a lot of money for unneeded standby generators.
It could soon get crowded in waters off Cape Cod. With two large wind farms proposed for Nantucket Sound and Buzzards Bay, a third developer is staking a claim on Vineyard Sound to test the site for a tidal energy project.
Most experts also believe that, using current technologies, there isn't enough land to make a serious dent in oil consumption. Some scientists say production will consume more conventional energy than it will save, and environmentalists came out this month against plans by Indonesia to convert millions of acres of rain forest on the island of Borneo into palm oil plantations.
The plates will be anchored on the ocean floor near the shore, at a depth of a dozen meters. They are designed to capture the back-and-forth motion of underwater swells. The movement produces kinetic energy, which is collected by a piston pump and converted to electricity by more conventional generator systems onshore.
• Tom Susko of the Bald Mountain Wind Farm said freezing temperatures caused the turbines to create in February less than half of the energy budgeted for that month.
The top executive of a Warren-based wind-turbine blade maker said the decision to build a new manufacturing facility in Iowa, rather than in Rhode Island, was based on that state's proximity to the market in which the blades will be used.
The blades made by TPI Composites are typically 35 meters to 40 meters long, and can weigh 10,000 to 20,000 pounds each, said Steven C. Lockard, chief executive officer of the company.
Transportation costs for these blades, which are typically shipped by truck, can run into the "tens of thousands" of dollars, he said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
"In this case, there really wasn't an option for this particular factory to be located in Rhode Island," he said.
Chanellor Gordon Brown plans to invest up to £600m to develop 'carbon capture' technology to transform coal into a clean fuel by piping harmful extracts into caverns under the North Sea.
He wants Britain to take the lead in capturing climate-changing carbon dioxide and believes there is a multi-billion pound market in India and the Far East for UK expertise.
The Treasury has asked San Francisco-based engineer PB Power to investigate the project, find suitable potential partners and recommend whether investment is worthwhile.
A decision is expected by the end of the year. Financial Mail understands the Government is impressed with a plan by Centrica, owner of British Gas, to build a 'clean' coal-powered station in Teesside. This would be the first new coal-fired power station in the UK since 1974.