An eight-day shutdown of Melancthon 1 wind turbines was undoubtedly costly but is being viewed by industry officials as among statistically and meteorologically predictable occurrences for any wind plant.
The turbines were shut down when ice formed on the blades during the ice storm of Friday, Dec. 1, and came back online only after the ice had thawed from the blades at some point late Sunday.
WARREN - John Rosenthal has his eyes on the heavy current pulling hard underneath the Warren River Bridge. The president of Meredith Management — the company planning to develop the 14-acre former American Tourister property into hundreds of condominiums — wants to harness the river's tidal energy and use it to supply electricity to the proposed residential complex.
The state's Office of Energy Resources is already on board with Mr. Rosenthal's idea. In late August, the agency awarded a $20,000 grant to Meredith Management to fund a feasibility study. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the same day Mr. Rosenthal formally submitted the plan for the redeveloped Tourister property, the company president said work had begun on the tidal energy study, and that he was optimistic about its potential.
"We hope it will be fiscally feasible," he said. "This is better than wind energy ... water is denser than air, and it is invisible to the public."
A tempest is brewing over the proposed wind turbine at White Crest Beach.
Last week, vandals absconded with the stakes used to mark the site of the turbine. This week, a large group of Outer Cape homeowners gathered at National Seashore headquarters to voice their objections to the project.
And it appears that the vice-chair of the Wellfleet Energy Committee, which spearheaded the project, has resigned.
Gamesa Technology, based in Spain, signed contracts Monday with A&M and several affiliated entities calling for research on energy projects, including a turbine rated at a production capacity of 4.5 megawatts to be installed at WT's Nance Ranch. The company itself only makes a 2-megawatt turbine now and most land-based turbines don't exceed that.
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...unlike with wind and solar power, geothermal plants are what Ran called a "24/7 facility." Geothermal production isn't limited only to daylight hours or windy days, meaning it can be a baseload source of power, available all the time, Ran said.
NStar established a program for residents to subsidize wind farms in Maine and upstate New York, willingly tacking on $4 to $7 to monthly bills. Subscribers don't get those specific electrons, but they do contribute to greening the grid.
National Grid offers a similar option. But out of 1.1 million Massachusetts customers, only 6,137 have signed up. Likewise, NStar's program is used by just 8,000 of its 1.1 million customers.
A grandiose plan to link Europe's electricity grids may recast wind power from its current role as a walk-on extra to being the star of the show.
Plug in your toaster-or your television or your vacuum cleaner-and the electricity that surges through it is an alternating current. The question of whether the world would be powered by direct current (DC), in which electrons flow in one direction around a circuit, or by alternating current (AC), in which they jiggle back and forth, was decided in the 1880s. Thomas Edison backed DC. George Westinghouse backed AC. Westinghouse won.
The reason was that over the short distances spanned by early power grids, AC transmission suffers lower losses than DC. It thus became the industry standard. Some people, however, question that standard because over long distances high-voltage DC lines suffer lower losses than AC. Not only does that make them better in their own right, but employing them would allow electricity grids to be restructured in ways that would make wind power more attractive. That would reduce the need for new conventional (and polluting) power stations.
August 18, 2007
by Nicole O'reilly
in The Record
Hans-Armin Ohlmann had hoped his experimental and unusual wind turbine would usher in a revolution in energy production.
But progress has been slow for the Ayr resident -- the wind just isn't there.
"We've had very bad wind capacity -- exceptionally unfortunate," said Ohlmann, principal owner of Ventax Wind Power Inc. in Ayr.
Stretching 90 feet high, the tube-like prototype sits on a farm just west of Ayr in Blandford-Blenheim. It is clearly visible from Highway 401, sitting on a hill on the farm of Phil Schiedel on Concession 11.
Schiedel is a three per cent owner of Ventax and paid $120,000 toward the test wind-turbine project, said Ohlmann, who footed the remaining $130,000.
There are no external propeller-like turbines on this design. They are internal, and flipped 90 degrees so they face upward. The mechanical energy of two vertical rotors is converted into electricity.
As the wind installations multiply, companies have found themselves dumping energy late at night, adjusting the blades so they do not catch the wind, because there is no demand for the power. And grid operators, accustomed to meeting demand by adjusting supplies, are now struggling to maintain stability as supplies fluctuate.
Wind energy is booming in Iowa, and backers say it's only the beginning. ...But the jobs could blow away, economists warn, just as other manufacturing jobs have disappeared because of competition and technological change. Other states want to attract manufacturers, too. Wind power depends on subsidies, and changes in government policies could dampen the enthusiasm for wind. ...John Solow, a University of Iowa economics professor, is cautiously optimistic about the future for wind generation and turbine manufacturing.
Future policy decisions and technological innovations could change that, he said. A breakthrough in clean-burning coal, for example, could reduce interest in wind energy and biofuels, he said.
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study was led by engineer Stephen Rose, who said turbines can currently withstand a top wind speed of 111mph about 300ft above the ground.
This is only equal to a strong Category 2 hurricane.
A new facility designed to propel growth and development in wind energy was officially opened today in North Cape, Prince Edward Island. The Wind Energy Institute of Canada (WEICan) supports the development of wind power generation and wind energy-related products and services for Canadian and international markets.
"I currently have, in Minnesota, 23,000 megawatts of interconnection requests for wind," says Moeller, who oversees new connections for MISO. Another 23,000 megawatts of future wind power in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin also is in line. In comparison, the entire Twin Cities metropolitan area typically draws about 6,000 megawatts of electricity out of the transmission system. While some have been on record for years, a sudden barrage of requests -- about 22,000 megawatts' worth -- has burst into MISO since Sept. 10. Minnesota's new renewable energy law, probably triggered some.
In several recent published studies, Adams and other researchers have explored the issue of turbines stealing energy from the wind, creating drag or a "wind shadow" of air slowed by the spinning blades. Each turbine added to a particular landscape captures less energy. "You reach a point that if you add any more turbines, you get no more energy," Adams said.
Modern interest in wind energy had its origin following the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 when research in alternative energy grew in response to rising oil prices. However, it was not until the turn of the 20th century, with mounting evidence supporting scientific opinion that tied global warming to CO2 emissions caused by fossil fuels, that large-scale wind farming was seriously contemplated.
Planning Commission Chairman Brian Keefe had his hands full keeping the overflow audience from drifting away from the siting issue. Many wanted to discuss questions of aesthetics or the merits of wind power. Keefe explained that there would be at least two or three meetings to discuss those other issues.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's board passed a contract to acquire a $239-million wind farm in Kern County which is being developed by a private contractor later this year.
The decline in the output of offshore wind farms, based on a study of Danish wind farms, appears even more dramatic. The load factor for turbines built on platforms in the sea is reduced from 39 per cent to 15 per cent after 10 years. ...Overall performance of wind farms in the UK has deteriorated markedly since the beginning of the century.
The claimed benefits of wind energy are called into question today by a study that finds few wind farms in England and Wales produce as much electricity as the Government has forecast. The first independent study to rate farms according to how much electricity they produce shows that wind farms south of the Scottish border are not generating as much as the Government assumed when it set the target of producing a tenth of Britain’s energy from renewables by 2010 and 15 per cent by 2015.
Despite millions being spent on wind turbines, the study by the Renewable Energy Foundation shows that England and Wales are not windy enough to allow large turbines to work at the rates claimed for them. The foundation, a charity that aims to evaluate wind and other forms of renewable energy on an equal basis, based its study of more than 500 turbines now in operation on data supplied by companies to Ofgem, the energy regulator.
Britain's first mobile wind farm could be built off the Scottish coast under an ambitious plan to stop turbines blighting the countryside by mooring them miles out to sea.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is in talks with Blue H, a Dutch company, to build a floating turbine platform that would be anchored to the seabed between Skye and the Uists.
If the pilot scheme is successful, dozens more could be sited off the Scottish coast, thanks to new technology that allows turbines to be moored in waters up to 1,000ft deep. The new generation of turbines - which resemble small oil rigs - can be towed so far out to sea that they cannot be seen from the shore. ..."We want to get this technology working because Scotland's continental shelf drops off very quickly and we have very limited potential for shallow offshore wind. ..."