Library filed under Technology from USA

Wind energy too much of a good thing?

"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.
10 Nov 2007

A Primer on Wind Energy

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.
8 Nov 2007

A Primer on Wind Energy

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.
8 Nov 2007

European power companies breeze into the U.S. wind farm business

The European Union has taken the lead on many climate change issues - from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol to passing laws to require and encourage the development of renewable energy. Why, then, are so many European energy companies looking to invest in the United States? For António Mexia, the chief executive of Energías de Portugal, the answer is simple. "The United States is the fastest-growing market in the world for wind power," he said. "If we want to be a leader, we have to be here." ..."In America you can put up a 200- or 300-megawatt wind park," Mexia said. "You can't do that in Europe" because of the lack of open space for such large wind farms. There is also more potential for growth in the United States, where wind farms account for barely 1 percent of installed generating capacity. In some EU countries, that figure is as high as 10 percent.
6 Nov 2007

Latest U.S. energy plan: Use power of oceans; federal government exploring ways to tap ocean's wind and water

A year after a bitter congressional fight over offshore drilling for oil and gas, the Bush administration now wants to tap the ocean's winds, waves and currents as a source for alternative energy. This time, though, environmental interests are likely allies, not vocal opponents. ...The federal government will entertain bids beginning this week for companies to put testing equipment like meteorological towers in the ocean waters to gather data on wind, wave or current energy.
6 Nov 2007

Officials seek planning guidance in wind power study

For $50,000, Oklahoma can get the same kind of comprehensive study Kansas got from Southwest Power Pool on the state's wind power resource. The plan could be finished by spring 2008 and would provide the guidance state leaders need to form a plan for new electricity generation and transmission upgrades. ...Bary K. Warren, director of transmission policy and compliance for the Empire District Electric Co. in Joplin, Mo., cautioned the group to keep projections for future wind generation development modest. Companies may put out press releases indicating their intent to build future capacity, but unforeseen developments may significantly limit the amount of wind generation that actually gets built, he said.
4 Nov 2007

Forecasts to power use of wind energy; Latham firm wins contract to predict weather for generators

AWS Truewind, a Latham firm, will forecast winds 48 hours in advance under a two-year contract with the New York Independent System Operator to make it easier for turbine companies to offer more guaranteed power in advance. Forecasting also will make it easier to manage the grid by giving a clearer picture of how much wind power will be coming, which in turn should reduce the amount of power supplied from polluting sources like coal- and oil-fired power plants.
1 Nov 2007

Energy logjams looming

North Dakota's wind-power industry has grown dramatically in recent years and shows signs of continuing the upward trend. However, the industry also faces increasing obstacles in exporting electricity because of transmission bottlenecks. That was a message industry figures made in presentations Wednesday to the Empower North Dakota Commission, a new board that will help steer state energy-development policy, at North Dakota State University.
1 Nov 2007

Okla. utility proposes power line to unlock wind

OGE Energy Corp is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday. Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east. Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma's largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.
30 Oct 2007

Okla. utility proposes power line to unlock wind

OGE Energy Corp is prepared to build a new high-voltage transmission line to accelerate development of wind generation in Oklahoma, the utility company chief executive said on Tuesday. Oklahoma City-based OG&E Electric Services said new transmission is needed to unlock the potential for power to flow from future wind farms in the western part of the state to populated cities in the east. Chief Executive Officer Pete Delaney said OG&E, Oklahoma's largest electric utility, plans to significantly increase its wind production from 170 megawatts to 770 MW over the next five years to meet increased customer demand for renewable power.
30 Oct 2007

Getting a Second Wind; Bigger blades boost offshore potential

No renewable energy is growing faster than wind power, and yet those gigantic white turbines-one built every four hours-are churning out less than 1 percent of the nation's electricity. To get to 20 percent-President Bush's aim-production would have to ramp up to one every 15 minutes for 25 years, says Vic Abate, vice president for renewables at General Electric. ...Pricey power. Although offshore wind power is big in Europe, it's not moving so quickly in the United States. Local opposition is often cited, but just as important is that offshore developments cost twice as much as onshore wind. Sure, the East and West coasts have enough wind to power the whole country, but the same could be said of the Great Plains and Texas. "On shore, there's plenty of resource," says Abate, who thinks the next wave of technology will be to try to squeeze more efficiency out of large wind farms and deal with wind's greatest problem-its intermittency.
26 Oct 2007

Lawmakers ponder North Country power puzzle

Several new North Country energy projects are in the works, but questions remain on how to transmit to homes and businesses the power they would generate. Experts at an ad hoc energy stakeholders meeting held Oct. 16 at the State House in Concord generally agreed that construction on several proposed wind farms and wood-fired power plants in Coos County will take three to four years - and perhaps longer if New Hampshire hopes to convince other New England states to cover 90 percent of the costs. ...Donna Gamache of PSNH said the hard part is guessing which players are serious and have the stamina to wait out the regulatory approval process. She said what she called "the California model" would may be "the easiest way to absorb the risk." In California, a regional electric grid underwrote the cost to transmit new solar and geothermal power to the populated coast in the hopes that future developers would pay their share as they hooked into the lines. If PSNH tackles a project like that without state help, experts fear ratepayers would eat the stranded costs if too few plants came on line.
26 Oct 2007

SUSSEX: Wind farm supplier suspends production; Del. project still planned

The manufacturer picked to supply a proposed Delaware wind farm has halted production of its offshore turbine because of a faulty component. ...Of Vestas' 96 V-90 turbines installed off the coast of Europe, between 10 and 15 are idle as workers fix the gears, said Anders Soe-Jensen, president of Vestas Offshore. All of the gearboxes will eventually have to be replaced, if they haven't been already. ...Delmarva Power spokesman Bill Yingling said his company is disappointed Bluewater Wind didn't alert Delmarva to the mechanical problem during negotiations for a power purchase agreement. ..."It [offshore wind] will grow far bigger, but we do not believe, in the foreseeable future, it will become as big as people believe. Media coverage for offshore far exceeds reality," Kruse said. There are about 15,000 megawatts of wind power available globally, but only about 198 of those megawatts come from offshore production, he noted.
26 Oct 2007

Giant wind turbines face a storm of protest; General Electric plans generators with blades the size of a jumbo jet's wingspan

A new generation of super-size wind farm could be on its way to a field near you. General Electric is developing wind turbines with blades longer than the tip-to-tip wingspan of a jumbo jet. In a move likely to dismay activists who view wind farms as a blot on the landscape, the American company has taken the wraps off a project to develop power-generating windmills with blades of 70 metres - some 75% longer than the typical existing length of 40 metres. ...There was a hostile reaction yesterday from British campaigners who have fought wind farms on the grounds of their appearance, noise and economic viability. Angela Kelly, chairman of the pressure group Country Guardian, said she was "horrified" by jumbo jet-sized windmill blades and described the prospect as an "absolute disaster".
25 Oct 2007

Kansas has wind potential, if it is willing to act on it

Why is Kansas behind? The short answer: It's complicated, and thoughtful people disagree. Wind proponents say the state has provided little leadership, either through regulation or incentive. State officials say Kansas has been perceived as being anti-wind, which has encouraged citizens opposed to wind. Utilities insist they're embracing wind just as fast as they can. ...Many utilities maintain that adding any significant quantity of wind-powered generation will make the electric grid too unstable, because you never know when the wind will start blowing. Or stop. ..."They [wind turbines] could never, ever serve even one home," he said. That's because at some point the wind will stop but demand for electricity hasn't. ...in order to make this wind power available, Austin Energy had to line up a back-up source of electricity for nearly all its wind energy. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the electric grid in much of Texas, requires all utilities file an energy plan, every day, that shows how much electricity it expects its customers to use during every 15-minute period of the next day, and where it plans to get that power from. The 9 percent rule If the power source is a wind farm, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas counts only 8.7 percent of the farm's rated capacity. Never mind wind farms typically produce 20 percent to 40 percent of their rated capacity in the long term. What matters is the short term.
23 Oct 2007

SMMPA has power generation options

While it is pursuing wind power as a renewable resource -- most recently with a large deal last week -- that source is strictly supplemental, SMMPA spokesman Dan Hayes says. Wind-generated power is available when the wind blows, so it is not always online to ship. SMMPA needs to have enough power available 24/7 to supply its 18 city-owned utility companies and their customers. ...But there are other possibilities for baseline electricity, and SMMPA's chief operating officer, Dave Geschwind, says agency managers now are evaluating them more closely.
22 Oct 2007

Wyoming in for new crop of wind turbines

Industry leaders believe wind could fill up to 20 percent of generation portfolio. But even wind proponents warn against the notion that it can solve the nation's energy and greenhouse gas concerns. "Wind is a great technology ... But it's not a panacea." There's fossil fuel consumption in the maintenance of wind farms. Many prime wind resources are located far from areas where renewable energy is in demand. Even here at the Foote Creek wind facility, where high gusts wreak havoc on turbines, lightning strikes are equally troublesome. "You've got to look at it for what it is," said Borrows.
21 Oct 2007

Energy transmission a problem in N.D.

North Dakota ...has abundant resources in coal and wind, making it a logical place to produce energy for its less resource rich neighbors. ...Because the state is far away from the metropolitan areas that demand a lot of electricity, any extra power produced here will require a lot of transmission capacity to get it to its potential buyers. ... the main challenge is that many different interests have to come together and agree on terms before new power lines can be built. For even the most basic transmission construction projects, the different power companies that will utilize the lines have to agree how to split the costs of paying for the project. Also, some of the landowners along a route may object to the lines crossing through their property.
20 Oct 2007

Money Blowing in the Wind

Wind power is not the answer to global warming. Do we have alternatives? We certainly do have alternatives to windmills but they would disrupt the lifestyle of electors and consumers. In Paris, an article in the September 2007 issue of the medical journal, The Lancet, shows with supporting calculations that it would be better to minimize human consumption of meat, for 80% of agriculturally produced methane comes from farm animals. Wind turbines won't even alter the greenhouse gas equation but by a mere .03%, as mentioned above. The way to reduce CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases is to use less energy. Governments must massively invest in energy conservation measures rather than in these wind machines. According to another research, if every English household switched for one single low energy light bulb, a fossil fuel-burning electrical plant could be shut down! Wind power would only be interesting if energy produced can be stored. It has been proposed to fill reservoirs of large hydroelectric dams, for example. An Australian method has just offered in September 2007 to store electricity in liquid accumulators. Quebec would thus be able to utilize wind energy because the major part of our electricity comes from hydroelectric dams, which is not the case for Ontario or New York where, as almost everywhere else in the world, wind power must be backed up by carbon-based generating stations.
19 Oct 2007

Ironing Out Bumps In Wind Turbine Output

"Unfortunately, electric power generated from wind energy is intermittent and variable. That means we need to have better measurements of wind power plants' output as we integrate wind energy into existing power systems. We also need to develop a way of managing wind power so it can be more readily called upon when needed."
19 Oct 2007

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=10&topic=Technology
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