Library filed under General from Texas
Tempers flared as an obviously miffed Texas Public Utility Commission assailed a Garland city attorney Friday over a news release in which he called a court ruling reversing a commission order "a big win for Texas ratepayers." The meeting in Austin featured uncharacteristically heated and personal exchanges, coming on the heels of a Jan. 15 ruling by state District Judge Stephen Yelenosky of Austin.
A Texas district judge has reversed an order from the state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to award billions of dollars in transmission projects relating to Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ), ruling that the regulatory agency should suspend the process until the PUC adequately weighs the costs and benefits to electric customers.
T. Boone Pickens has cut his massive order for wind turbines from GE by more than half. The energy investor, who made wind power a key part of his plan to wean Americans off foreign oil, said Tuesday he will now take delivery of 300 turbines, which he will use for wind farms in Canada and Minnesota. ...He also acknowledged it's not possible to use wind exclusively for power generation.
Global decentralised power generation provider, Wartsila, has won a contract to supply a 170-MW gas-fired power plant for the Antelope Station, located near Texas, USA. The power plant is to be located close to significant wind farm generation, and will serve to stabilise the grid when the output from the wind farms change unexpectedly.
So far, talk of wind farms off South Padre Island has been just that: wind. However, giant turbines offshore may be closer to reality now that the state has awarded leases to two companies studying their feasibility along the Texas coast. One is Baryonyx Corporation, which in July signed a contract with the Texas General Land Office to lease 8,000 onshore acres in Dallam County in the Texas panhandle and 38,000 acres off South Padre Island and Mustang Island.
Two companies that encountered political anger for their plans to use Chinese-built turbines on a wind farm in West Texas have announced plans to build a new turbine factory - in the United States. The U.S. Renewable Energy Group, an investment firm, and A-Power Energy Generation Systems, a Chinese turbine maker, said in a statement on Tuesday that they had signed an agreement to build "a new production and assembly plant in the United States that will supply highly advanced wind energy turbines to renewable energy projects throughout North and South America."
The rush to America of foreign wind-turbine manufacturers shows that the Obama administration's plan for stimulating the creation of green-energy jobs is going in an odd direction.
Driving through western Kansas, you'll see hundreds of whirling wind turbines. But you won't see lots of people - or high-voltage power lines. And that is the big obstacle to realizing the wind-energy potential of Kansas and the Midwest: You can put up all the towers and turbines you like, but without more transmission lines, the added electricity won't get to the cities that could use it. Those lines will take years to build and cost tens of billions of dollars - if they are built at all.
A Sino-US consortium yesterday announced plans for a US$1.5 billion, 600MW wind farm in Texas, with China supplying all the turbines and most of the funding. The 36,000-acre wind farm ...is a joint venture between state-backed Chinese firm Shenyang Power Group, US wind farm developer Cielo Wind Power and private equity firm US Renewable Energy Group. Most of the funding for the project will come from Chinese banks, with loan guarantees and grants provided by the US federal government's economic stimulus package.
Texas, which produces more energy than any other U.S. state, may see a slowdown in expanding wind generation this year and in 2010 as low natural-gas prices make new plants less profitable, state utility regulator Barry Smitherman said.
A doubling of wind-generated electric capacity anticipated in Texas by 2015 will alter operations of every power plant in the state, industry sources said on Wednesday. The rise in wind to an expected 18,500 megawatts of installed capacity will force aging, natural gas-fired power plants to shut, limit output at times from coal-fired plants and create a need for nimble, simple-cycle gas plants that investors are wary to build in the current market, said members of an industry panel at the Gulf Coast Power Association conference.
As 37-mile-per-hour gusts blasted downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, hundreds of wind-energy executives were inside the Minneapolis Hilton, discussing the challenges their industry still faces. Chief among those challenges: weather-related down times and - perhaps more surprisingly - utilities unwilling to accept energy from wind farms because their high-voltage transmission lines can't accept any more power.
German power giant E.On is expected to announce on Thursday that the world's largest wind farm, close to Sweetwater, Texas, is open for business and generating juice. The wind farm in Roscoe, just west of Sweetwater, boasts 627 wind turbines, with a total capacity of 781.5 megawatts. ...As some wind farm developers slow down in Texas, E.On keeps building.
The companies building Texas' $5 billion renewable-energy transmission network have decided against seeking stimulus funding that could have saved money for consumers. The decision was made last month in a little-noticed hearing of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, where regulators agreed with the companies that stimulus funds came with regulations that could slow construction.
If you've been driving around the Permian Basin lately, you probably aren't as likely to have gotten stuck behind a truck pulling a giant wind turbine blade. While wind energy projects are still going on in other parts of West Texas, Gary Vest, economic development director for the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said it would be a while before they start back up in the counties around Odessa. "It's kind of on hold," he said. "Any of them that are in progress already are still going, but they haven't been starting any new ones." Companies are waiting until construction on a $4.93 billion plan to connect transmission lines from West Texas to the state's population centers is closer to completion, Vest said. That isn't expected until 2013.
Carter Wind Energy, in partnership with landowners in the Seymour area, is in the process of developing a project to harness the wind to generate electricity in Baylor County. Matt Carter, president of the company, said plans call for developing an anticipated 80MW (megawatts) Community Wind Energy Project on 8,000 acres.
As she sat at a small sunlit table by her apartment window, near the wheelchair and oxygen tank in the corner, Leona Morgan ticked off her monthly spending list. Rent: $550. Groceries: $300. Medicine for anemia, a heart condition and other ailments: $50 beyond what's covered by government health programs. Electric bill: $93.87 in August. "My income just barely covers what I have to spend," said Morgan, a sprightly, bone-thin 86-year-old, contemplating the possibility of soaring electric bills.
Universities and businesses across Texas are expecting to spend millions in the next few years honing the blades, gearboxes and generators that make up turbines designed to harness power from the wind. The work, including studies slated for a new University of Houston research park as well as at a massive, 22-acre testing operation planned near Corpus Christi, all has a common goal: developing a new generation of efficient and reliable wind turbines.
General Electric has sued Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in federal court over three wind energy patents. Two South Texas wind projects use Mitsubishi turbines. GE says Mitsubishi used protected technology that allows a wind turbine to provide a constant, steady stream of electricity to the electrical grid when wind speed changes.
When it comes to the biggest decision facing CPS - how to meet the energy shortage looming in the next decade or so - utility officials are adamant that renewable resources like solar and wind are not yet ready to shoulder the lion's share of the load. The proposed solution instead is to add two nuclear reactors to the South Texas Project. Utility officials insist the proposed $5.2 billion investment is cheaper and more reliable than solar or wind. The situation has the local anti-nuclear coalition Energia Mia and statewide renewable energy proponents outraged.