General and Colorado
Two local Republican lawmakers are worried that a Democratic senator is planning to hijack their measure to help bring high-voltage transmission lines to rural Colorado.
And even if Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver, isn’t trying to make HB1150 his own, Sen. Ken Kester and Rep. Cory Gardner said they are afraid the freshman senator, and son of former Gov. Roy Romer, will lead an effort to kill their measure or amend it beyond recognition.
Currently, the measure would create a new authority with bonding powers to help renewable energy companies build the transmission lines they need to get that electricity to the state’s power grid.
PPM Energy, ScottishPower's competitive U.S. energy business, will begin construction this fall on the 75-megawatt (MW) Twin Buttes Wind Power Project in southeastern Colorado. And in Oregon, PPM just announced construction of the 100 MW Leaning Juniper Wind Project near Arlington, which is expected to be commercially operational later this year.
The expansion of a wind farm in northeast Weld County was approved by the Weld County Planning Commission on Tuesday following some last-minute changes by the company proposing to build it.
The first phase of the Cedar Creek facility, about eight miles east of Grover, began full commercial operation in January 2008, according to BP Wind Energy.
The United States is expected to be home to an anticipated 49,000 MW of installed wind-power capacity by 2015, making it the world's largest wind-power producer, according to a recent report. Developers are expected to invest more than $65 billion between 2007 and 2015 in wind-power facilities, researchers say.
On remote land near New Castle, wind turbines spin, helping power a plant that produces ethanol, perhaps also with the help of electricity from solar panels. The plant also could tap methane from the coal-rich Grand Hogback and convert it to ethanol.
In addition, the plant would make ethanol from biodegradable materials at area landfills, from solid waste from municipalities and septic service companies, and from switchgrass grown by local ranchers.
The windmills even could be used to pump water into a nearby reservoir, essentially storing energy that could be tapped through hydroelectric turbines when the water later is released downstream.
These are among some ideas being floated by a mix of local investors and out-of-state companies seeking to capitalize on a growing demand for alternative sources of energy.
Despite the recession, Denver oilman Philip Anschutz is moving ahead with his Wyoming wind farm project. ..."Nothing has really changed. We're still pursuing the transmission line and the wind farm," said Jim Monaghan, an Anschutz spokesman. "There's no change in our plans."
Green-e, the company hired by PRPA to track renewable energy credits, said it can't guarantee PRPA funds are actually going to targeted renewable projects.
Renewable Energy Credits are essentially tradable certificates of proof that one kWh of electricity has been generated by a renewable source.
Green-e, owned by the Center for Resource Solutions, audits the sale of renewable energy credits, ensuring that the value green electricity has on the environment is only purchased once through the sale of credits.
But the company cannot verify money going to the owners of renewable energy projects such as Shell is actually being invested in the energy project and not going into the general fund.
Prowers County Assessor, Andy Wyatt, got an unpleasant surprise on Thursday, March 30, when he read the Pueblo Chieftain story headlined, "Lawmaker challenges wind farm legislation." According to the story, an amendment tacked onto House Bill 1275, "at the behest of Prowers County Assessor Andy Wyatt" would potentially make the bill unconstitutional.
NREL spokesman Bob Noun blames Congress for the organization's failures. The Denver Post reports that he believes the gridlocked U.S. Congress forced the NREL to find $8 million in new budgetary savings.
"We don't see any budget scenario where the lab doesn't face budget cuts," Noun said.
Bill would require more green energy
January 19, 2007
in Durango Herald
Democrats rolled out their long-awaited renewable-energy bills Wednesday, setting up a potential fight with rural electricity providers.
With the backing of a friendly governor, legislators put forward an aggressive set of bills that includes requiring 20 percent of Colorado’s electricity to come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2020.
So far, the Colorado Division of Wildlife has documented more than 70 raptor nests in the project area. Among those species: Swainson's hawks, ferruginous hawks, golden eagles and prairie falcons.
The area, along with the Comanche National Grassland, is recognized by the National Audubon Society as a Colorado site of "global importance," said Ken Strom, Colorado Audubon's director of bird conservation.
Estes Park residents are clear about one thing on renewable energy -- they want to be green. However, they don`t want to be an ugly chartreuse or industrial shade or go into the red for a technology that might not be effective here. Yet, they want options and to be independent, while not offending their neighbors.
Planning commissioners took residents` words to heart Tuesday night and continued the discussion concerning small wind-generating systems to the Dec. 15 meeting.
Entegrity Wind Systems Inc., a wind turbine manufacturer that based some of its operations in Boulder, has gone bankrupt after failing to develop a plan to tackle millions of dollars of debt.
The business was declared bankrupt pursuant to the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act of Canada, where it was incorporated, according to a document posted to the front door of Entegrity's locked offices.
BP Alternative Energy North America Inc. expects to begin construction on five U.S. wind power generation projects in 2007 across four states, including Texas.
The projects — also located in California, Colorado and North Dakota — are expected to deliver a combined generation capacity of 550 megawatts.
BP’s year-old wind power business plans to launch a host of new projects by year’s end, showing how a major oil company can quickly move into the ranks of major wind companies.
Power output from the individual projects, which the company will announce today, tends to be somewhat smaller than typical plants fired by natural gas or coal. But it’s another sign of the growing enthusiasm for renewable power.
“This is a profitable business for us today,” said Bob Lukefahr, president of Houston-based BP Alternative Energy North America. “Finding resources and bringing them to market on a large scale is a core function of BP, so over time these will become even bigger projects.”
Paccione also spoke about the country’s dependency on foreign oil, and said she would fight to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit to give incentives to businesses pursuing renewable energy. The current tax credit for energy generated by wind turbines will expire in 2007.
While many residents may like the feel of Estes Park wind in their hair and the "feel-good" idea of wind turbines used to generate power, many others do not like the idea of whirling wind turbine blades in their neighborhoods. They said as much to the planning commission at its special meeting concerning regulating small wind energy conversion systems last week.
However, as much as they objected to the idea of wind turbines in their back yards, the opponents seemed to favor the concept of creating a wind farm in Estes Park.
Another energy cooperative has opted out of Amendment 37, the year-old initiative that requires large Colorado power providers to increasingly use renewable sources for their juice.
A coalition including union representatives, farmers and environmentalists called Thursday for boosting renewable energy resources in Colorado.
The Coalition for Colorado’s New Energy Future said it was urging lawmakers to adopt its recommendations to encourage more use of solar, wind and biofuel power.
Colorado has lost out on a bid for a Vestas Wind Systems research center.
Vestas, which opened a major blade-manufacturing plant earlier this year in Windsor, announced Monday it will locate the research facility in Houston.
Colorado was the other finalist, according to Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.