Library filed under Technology from USA

Texas coastal wind farms advance despite critics

Two companies developing more than 600 megawatts of wind generation along the Texas coastline aren't daunted by threats of hurricane damage or opposition from environmentalists and powerful ranching interests, executives said Thursday. ...The Texas Public Utility Commission on Wednesday blocked a coalition of environmental groups, backed by the powerful King Ranch interests of South Texas, from intervening in a case related to the siting of a transmission line to move power from the two coastal wind farms to the Texas grid.
19 Oct 2007

Major costs, complexities forecast for integrating wind, California ISO study says

Wind varies tremendously, Louton said. The study shows that wind could swing from 100 MW of capacity output to 6,000 MW from day to day and that existing variations ranged from 30 MW to 1,800 MW. When energy is needed most, wind drops off, but during off-peak hours the wind can exceed demand and needs to be regulated or the output compensated by backing off other generators. On July 27, 2006, during an extended heat wave, wind power output dropped back to 7% of capacity, or about 60 MW, Louton said. ...The study estimates that 12,600 MW of other types of callable generation resources will have to be online to accommodate the 20% portfolio.
18 Oct 2007

Wind turbine on your roof? Not so fast; Obstacles include cost, output, noise and even damage to your home

Wind energy carries the promise of tapping into a free, seemingly endless supply of energy. But those thinking to capture the breeze in their backyard with a personal windmill might be surprised how much the wind actually costs. "Small wind doesn't make economic sense," says Paul Gipe, who has written several books and commentaries on wind energy. ...Gipe said it's fine if someone on-grid wants to help save the planet by buying a "dinky windmill" for home use, but they should know that it very likely won't last long enough to pay for itself in lowered energy bills. And they should know to never put one on their roof.
16 Oct 2007

More alternative-energy innumeracy

The latest example of innumeracy comes from Shawn Frayne, an independent inventor here in Silicon Valley. Frayne's Windbelt is a low-cost wind-power generator that uses a fluttering membrane instead of rotating blades to convert wind power into mechanical motion; a simple linear generator turns the motion into electricity. The Windbelt idea won a "Breakthrough Award" in the November issue of Popular Mechanics, but not because Windbelt is actually useful or innovative. It looks like the magazine was a little too eager to jump on the alternative-energy bandwagon, so nobody bothered to run through the numbers.
14 Oct 2007

TVA touts the green power that costs more; Solar, wind present prettier image than cheaper methane

The Tennessee Valley Authority could be generating more "alternative" energy for less cost, if only the public wasn't so enamored with wind and solar power. Methane gas, formed as human and animal waste or garbage decays, produces more power dollar for dollar. It's half as expensive as wind power and a tenth the cost of solar power, according to TVA figures. But, coming from a stinky mess, it lacks appeal to the rate-paying public. TVA depends on ratepayers' choosing to pay extra to help fund alternative energy sources. "From a marketing viewpoint, it's hard to promote," said Jim Keiffer, TVA senior vice president of marketing. ... That's why TVA's program, Green Power Switch, available through distributors including Nashville Electric Service, requires that at least half the energy it creates come from the favorites: solar and wind.
14 Oct 2007

Safer nuclear reactors pre-empt wind as powerful gift to heirs

Sunday is National Children's Day - and what better gift to our local heirs than to assure they have plenty of clean power, undiminished shorelines and fresh air 35 years from now. ...Speaking of clean power, this column recently favored stalling the proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoals and sliding it to the back burner to await signs of new interest on the nuclear side of the wind/nuclear power equation. Wind turbines and nuclear reactors produce clean power, but there is a wide disparity in the amount each can produce, nuclear reactors achieving the significantly higher and consistent output.
12 Oct 2007

Safer nuclear reactors pre-empt wind as powerful gift to heirs

Sunday is National Children's Day - and what better gift to our local heirs than to assure they have plenty of clean power, undiminished shorelines and fresh air 35 years from now. ...Speaking of clean power, this column recently favored stalling the proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoals and sliding it to the back burner to await signs of new interest on the nuclear side of the wind/nuclear power equation. Wind turbines and nuclear reactors produce clean power, but there is a wide disparity in the amount each can produce, nuclear reactors achieving the significantly higher and consistent output.
12 Oct 2007

Alternative, Renewable, Sustainable, and Green: What is the Difference?

"Sustainable" refers to energy sources that create no pollution in the conventional sense but may have other undesirable environmental consequences and hence are not green. Wind power is one example, given environmentalists' concerns about migrating birds being struck and killed by rotating turbine blades. Hydroelectric energy is another example. Damning rivers provides a continuous flow of energy but destroys natural habitats and dramatically upsets the surrounding environment.
10 Oct 2007

Wind Turbine Makers Face `Challenge' on Equipment

Wind turbine makers face a ``major challenge'' getting equipment due to surging demand and probably won't be able to cut delivery times for three years, said Suzlon Energy Ltd., India's biggest wind farm construction company. Lead times to supply wind turbines, which have reached at least 15 months, will take time to reduce as suppliers clear order backlogs and add an ``unprecedented'' amount of new capacity, Andre Horbach, Amsterdam-based chief executive officer at Suzlon, said today in Melbourne. Suzlon has a $3.5 billion order backlog, he said.
10 Oct 2007

Energy policy places big burden on utilities

The business community by and large opposes Rendell's plan saying it smacks too much of government mandate and letting public officials pick which businesses will be "winners" in the race to build new green technology, Barr said [an official with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry]. "I think we have to be cautious about government betting on a technology that may not be viable in 10 to 15 years," he added.
7 Oct 2007

Catching The Wind In A Bottle

... a coalition of local utilities is grappling with one of the thorniest challenges in the field of renewable power: how to store the excess energy windmills create when demand is low so it can be used later, when the need is greater. The group is building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor. Connected to a deep well, the compressor pumps air into layers of sandstone. Some 3,000 feet down and sealed from above by dense shale, the porous sandstone acts like a giant balloon. Later, when demand for power rises, this flow is reversed.
3 Oct 2007

Catching The Wind In A Bottle

... a coalition of local utilities is grappling with one of the thorniest challenges in the field of renewable power: how to store the excess energy windmills create when demand is low so it can be used later, when the need is greater. The group is building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor. Connected to a deep well, the compressor pumps air into layers of sandstone. Some 3,000 feet down and sealed from above by dense shale, the porous sandstone acts like a giant balloon. Later, when demand for power rises, this flow is reversed.
3 Oct 2007

Catching The Wind In A Bottle

... a coalition of local utilities is grappling with one of the thorniest challenges in the field of renewable power: how to store the excess energy windmills create when demand is low so it can be used later, when the need is greater. The group is building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor. Connected to a deep well, the compressor pumps air into layers of sandstone. Some 3,000 feet down and sealed from above by dense shale, the porous sandstone acts like a giant balloon. Later, when demand for power rises, this flow is reversed.
3 Oct 2007

Energy suppliers gearing up for nuclear expansion

NRG Energy Inc., a Princeton N.J.-based wholesale power generating company, applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Sept. 24 to build and run two nuclear power plants at the South Texas Project (STP) site in Matagorda County. ...NRG projects that the new units will bring 2,700 megawatts (MW) to the Texas grid, enough to power upwards of 2 million homes. A single wind turbine, [Luminant spokesman Tom Kleckner] said, can generate one to three MW of energy, compared to a nuclear plant that can generate megawatts in the 1000s.
2 Oct 2007

San Rafael wind turbine maker wins financial backing

A San Rafael wind turbine maker has secured financial backing to establish manufacturing operations with the help of a "significant" investment from Goldman Sachs & Co., one of the world's largest investment banks, the company announced Monday. Formed about three years ago, Nordic Windpower Inc. is preparing to start domestic production of its two-bladed, utility-scale wind turbines for sale to small and large energy producers.
1 Oct 2007

San Rafael wind turbine maker wins financial backing

A San Rafael wind turbine maker has secured financial backing to establish manufacturing operations with the help of a "significant" investment from Goldman Sachs & Co., one of the world's largest investment banks, the company announced Monday. Formed about three years ago, Nordic Windpower Inc. is preparing to start domestic production of its two-bladed, utility-scale wind turbines for sale to small and large energy producers.
1 Oct 2007

Nukes still work when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow

... the primary reason that wind and solar energies have not made inroads in the past, and will never supply more than a few percentage points of the world's electrical energy, is their unpredictable variations in time and their constant need for back-ups. They only generate energy when the wind blows and the sun shines. We are so dependent on electricity for work and recreation that we don't permit even occasional outages of a few minutes. Perfect weather predictions are impossible, and no successful method has been discovered to store the electrical energy for the hours, days or weeks required. At the best sites, the wind blows only about 40% of the time. Because the wind times are not predictable, the wind turbines must be backed up 60% of the time, with dependable generators available 100% of the time. Because of the Earth's rotation and latitude effects, the solar back-up energy must be constantly changed. The only non-carbon-dioxide-emitting generator capable of backing up wind and solar energy and replacing coal and gas generators is nuclear fission.
27 Sep 2007

The Voices of Tug Hill - Part 1 of 3

Residents of Tug Hill, NY talk about their experiences of living with large-scale wind turbines. This video is broken into 3 parts for quick viewing. The voices of Tug Hill: Part 1: 10 minutes 00 seconds Part 2: 5 minutes 01 seconds Part 3: 5 minutes 23 seconds   (Thanks to Arkwrightadvocates for posting to the web on Feb 4, 2007)
18 Sep 2007

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=11&topic=Technology
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