Articles from USA
With little debate, the Senate unanimously approved legislation, already passed in the House, that requires 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind – that’s roughly the same size as Millstone – by 2030, about the time the nuclear plant’s recently approved new contract runs out. But the 2,000 level is a maximum, not a minimum – which is how other states structure their mandates.
Faced with mammoth amounts of information — studies, reports, comments from citizens — the Douglas County Board has pushed back a final vote on whether to let a wind farm set up shop. The board was scheduled to rule Monday on Texas-based EDP Renewables' application to build the Harvest Ridge Wind Farm in Newman and Murdock townships.
A report released Friday by the Department of Energy Resources calls for the state to move forward with an additional procurement of up to 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind capacity, or enough to power up to 1 million homes. That would be on top of the 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind Massachusetts was authorized to award contracts for under a 2016 renewable energy law.
A chart in the report noted the Vineyard Wind contract price was 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour in 2017 dollars, slightly higher than the price of Quebec hydro-electricity being purchased in a separate procurement and double the price of electricity produced with natural gas. The offshore wind price was half the price of the state’s least-subsidized solar power option.
In fact, most of New York’s “renewable” energy comes from hydropower, which is tough to scale up. Plus, alternative energy faces a growing transmission problem: You have to get the electricity to the customers, which means major new power lines to connect new solar and wind plants to the grid.
“Most failure incidents of wind turbine towers are due to a combination of factors, among which extreme wind is identified as the most common,” says a detailed study of 48 tower collapses between 2000 and 2016 soon to be published by academics from the engineering department at the University of Birmingham in the UK.
They are already too tall to ignore in Arkwright. Villenova’s turbines will someday sky even higher while the towns of Charlotte and Hanover will soon be having additional towers erected for the wind-energy business.
Congressional Republicans are resisting entreaties from Democrats to support a federal clean electricity mandate, widening the gulf between the two parties and showing the limits on what Republicans are willing to stomach as they shift toward saying that climate change is a problem worth addressing.
Harold Youngblut filed an appeal Thursday challenging District Court Judge Kellyann Lekar’s April 29 ruling in favor of Washburn Wind Energy’s 35-turbine wind farm. The notice filed by Youngblut’s attorney, John Holmes, claims the district court erred when it failed to allow Youngblut and others to testify the turbine locations are currently used for agricultural purposes as defined in the county zoning ordinance.
For years developers have tried to figure out how to repurpose Kaiser Steel’s former open-pit iron mine at Eagle Mountain in Riverside County. One idea: Use it as a massive landfill, a proposal that fortunately never came to fruition. The current owners of the site now want to convert it into an immense, $2.5-billion hydroelectric battery, using daytime power to pump water from a lower-elevation pit to a pit 1,400 feet farther up the mountain, then running the water downhill at night through turbines to create energy.
The Cuming County Board of Supervisors voted 6 to 1 Wednesday to table a decision on Bluestem Energy Solution’s application for a conditional use permit for a single wind turbine to be built in the county. Steven Meister was the lone vote not to table a decision. Board members want more time to gather information. No timeline was given.
Legislation to gut Ohio’s green-energy mandates and set up customer-funded subsidies to nuclear and coal power plants passed the Ohio House on Wednesday, thanks to key support from several House Democrats. The 53-43 vote on House Bill 6 came after yet another series of last-minute changes to the controversial bill that would allow subsidies to already-approved solar plants, limit property tax devaluation on the nuclear plants, and cap nuclear subsidies if electricity prices increase.
With the deadline to comment on the draft environmental impact report fast approaching, debate over a proposed wind farm on a ridgeline to the south of the Eel River Valley is heating up.
Maine Title 35-A details the mission of the PUC: “The basic purpose of this regulatory system as it applies to public utilities subject to service regulation under this Title is to ensure safe, reasonable and adequate service, to assist in minimizing the cost of energy available to the State’s consumers and to ensure that the rates of public utilities subject to rate regulation are just and reasonable to customers and public utilities.” Without answering the PUC’s questions (for example, where is the cable going to land?), how can the PUC judge if the rate that would be imposed by this legislation is not abusive to consumers?
Although the three commission members all voted to approve the agreement, they each acknowledged the risks associated with the wind farm and the uncertainties surrounding the benefits to electric customers. If the price of certificates representing the environmental benefits of renewable energy fails to increase as projected, then the contract could cost consumers in the long run, said commissioner Abigail Anthony. Additionally, much of the savings are expected to come on windy winter days when the wind farm is expected to displace more expensive oil generators or natural gas-burning plants that may charge a premium. If those savings are lower, the net benefits may be too, Anthony said.
“A great frustration of mine is when those outside of the community are trying to tell us how to run our counties,” Reineke said in the release. “This amendment supplements the current setback law by bringing the final decision regarding a wind farm project to the local township level.” In the release, Reineke said he has received constituent emails and calls that “come into my office repeatedly” about local control. Among the concerns reported, he said.
Offshore wind developers are up in arms over a provision inserted into the Defense appropriations bill earlier this week requiring the Pentagon to study the impact of turbines on military radar and sonar.
The three electric distribution companies in Massachusetts have together issued a request for a second round of offshore wind energy, ...The utility companies are seeking a levelized price per megawatt-hour lower than the price settled on with Vineyard Wind in the first contract, as the law requires.
For nearly 200 years, the Dunkirk Lighthouse has protected Lake Erie, and last week, board members continued to protect this valuable asset and its surrounding community. In an overwhelming majority, members voted against the installation of a wind monitoring station on the lighthouse’s property, a proposal that was introduced by a representative from Diamond Offshore Wind at the board meeting on May 15.