Library filed under Technology from USA

Testing the effectiveness of an experimental acoustic bat deterrent at the Maple Ridge wind farm

2008mapleridgeacousticbatdeterrent_thumb This paper documents the results of an in-field test at the Maple Ridge wind energy facility in New York to determine the effectiveness of using an experimental acoustic bat deterrent to reduce bat mortality. The executive summary excerpted below suggests the results were inconclusive. Most bat experts remain unconvinced that acoustic deterrence will be a suitable mitigation approach to reduce bat fatalities at existing turbines.
24 Jun 2008

Store wind energy for later? Idea still inefficient

Wind power is unreliable. No one can turn up the wind every time electricity demand peaks. So some utilities are looking at ways to bottle up the wind's energy and store it underground for later use. "The wind blows a lot at 2 in the morning, so it makes sense to save it and use it at 5 in the afternoon when everyone comes home from work," said Georgianne Peek of Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. Compressed air energy storage (CAES) uses off-peak electricity from wind farms or other sources to pump air underground. The high pressure air acts like a huge battery that can be released on demand to turn a gas turbine and make electricity. However, a good portion of the input energy is lost in this process, making CAES one of the least efficient storage technologies available.
4 Jun 2008

GE, Vestas, Siemens and others form DOE wind collaboration

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has created a collaboration with the six leading wind turbine makers to promote advanced research and development. ...The agreement builds on the recently released DOE report '20 Percent Wind Energy in 2030' that examines the technical feasibility of harnessing wind power to provide up to 20% of the nation's total electricity needs by 2030.
3 Jun 2008

Power the wind

They're too noisy, too big and too clunky. And they kill bats and birds. Those are key criticisms about harnessing the wind and converting Mother Nature's fury into energy via a wind turbine, which might be better known as a windmill. Karl Douglass, an engineer with a degree from Drexel University, went about trying to remedy those complaints and he believes he's done that. Sometime this summer, his Omniwind Energy Systems of Dublin in Central Bucks will begin production on a wind turbine that he says is quiet, relatively compact and environmentally friendly. ..."You wouldn't even have seen windmills in Pennsylvania not long ago, but still it's a small amount in the overall scheme," Wood added. "Solar, wind, biomass are nice, but they're a niche, they only fulfill a small percentage of our needs."
26 May 2008

DMI wind tower sections begin trip

Six wind tower sections left DMI Industries, located at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, on Tuesday en route to a wind farm site in northern Texas. ...Less than a year ago, DMI Industries, an Otter Tail company, bought a plant built for Griffin Wheel -- a railcar manufacturer that never moved in -- to extend its geographic reach and meet the growing demand for wind towers in the southwestern states.
25 May 2008

DMI wind tower sections begin trip

Six wind tower sections left DMI Industries, located at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa, on Tuesday en route to a wind farm site in northern Texas. ...Less than a year ago, DMI Industries, an Otter Tail company, bought a plant built for Griffin Wheel -- a railcar manufacturer that never moved in -- to extend its geographic reach and meet the growing demand for wind towers in the southwestern states.
25 May 2008

Wind power could complicate electricity management

These days we read and hear more and more about the exponential increases in renewable energy, particularly large wind farms such as those sprouting up on Colorado's front range and eastern plains. Colorado's Amendment 37 requires the state's largest utility companies to produce 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. A subsequent legislative action doubled that to 20 percent by 2020. ...This is all great news, right? Not if you are an independent grid system operator, and not if you're expecting all of this large scale wind power to help reduce global warming carbon emissions. Wind power is by nature a notoriously intermittent source of power. Wind simply doesn't blow steadily all of the time. Therefore, the power output of all large scale wind farms goes up and down dramatically throughout the day, regardless of the demand for power on the grid. ...Without energy diversity, the more renewable power we mandate, the more unreliable the grid will become. The laws of physics simply can't be amended.
21 May 2008

A wind farm even skeptics can support

But a new proposal for a deep-water, off-shore wind farm answers all the skeptics' objections and, in addition to its environmental benefits, could be an economic boon to southeastern Massachusetts. Blue H USA LLC has recently installed the world's first deep-water windmill off the coast of Italy and now wants to bring that technology to the South Coast, which has been referred to as the Saudi Arabia of wind energy because of its dependable North Atlantic winds. Rather than fight critics, Blue H has embraced their concerns and worked to satisfy them, maximizing the positives of the technology while minimizing the perceived negatives. The solution? Locate the turbines out to sea on floating - but stabilized - platforms similar to oil rigs, far away from any people or animals.
14 May 2008

Our View: Powerful winds

Wind energy opponents often rattle off a litany of objections: Windmills aren't aesthetically pleasing (a notion many dispute); they pose a danger to migrating birds; they're noisy; they're inefficient and expensive. But a new proposal for a deep-water, off-shore wind farm answers all the skeptics' objections and, in addition to its environmental benefits, could be an economic boon to Fall River. Blue H USA LLC has recently installed the world's first deep-water windmill off the coast of Italy and now wants to bring that technology to the SouthCoast ...It turns out answering the critics is actually a benefit to the technology, as 90 percent of the potential energy from wind is well offshore in deep water.
11 May 2008

Storing wind energy in a bottle

While scientists are developing many creative schemes to store wind energy, most are either far-fetched or still years from completion. Some researchers hope to create hillside pumps, or compress air in enormous underground caverns, while others envision enormous flywheels spinning with the buzz of wind-generated energy until it is ready to be spat back out and used. Two not-so-far-fetched technologies have emerged as more real and immediate possibilities -- storing wind energy in batteries, and using it to produce and store hydrogen. ...Denmark, an age-old poster child for tapping into wind energy, is already well over the golden 20 percent threshold. And they do offer one solid piece of wind-savvy advice, as relayed by Rune Birk Nielsen of the Danish Wind Industry Association in an e-mail. "We have simply put up a lot of windmills," Nielsen said.
4 May 2008

Turbulence ahead: India windmill empire begins to show cracks

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in February, Edison Mission Energy, a unit of Edison International, said the 144-foot-long windmill blades it recently bought from Suzlon have begun to split at three wind-power sites it operates in the Midwest. Suzlon has recalled 1,251 blades from its top-of-the-line turbines, which represent the majority of blades the company has sold to date in the U.S.. Its troubles don't end there. A year ago, the company bought a controlling stake in a large German turbine manufacturer, REpower Systems AG, in one of India's biggest overseas acquisitions. ...Now, Suzlon can't get its hands on the blueprints. Hamstrung by a German corporate law, Suzlon must offer to buy out minority shareholders before it can demand REpower's designs. It's unlikely that the company could make a tender offer until 2009, say people with knowledge of the companies. ...Mr. Kher blamed the cracks on the Midwest's unexpectedly violent changes in wind direction. Though Mr. Tanti says that only 45 blades have cracked, Suzlon says it will add an extra lamination layer to almost all of the blades it has shipped to the U.S. To repair cracked blades and reinforce the rest, the company expects to spend $30 million.
18 Apr 2008

Scheduling Wind Power: Better wind forecasts could prevent blackouts and reduce pollution

As wind power becomes more common, its unpredictability becomes more of a problem. Sudden drops in wind speed can send grid operators scrambling to cover the shortfall and even cause blackouts; unexpected surges can leave conventional power plants idling, incurring costs and spewing pollution to no purpose. ...When wind farms were less common, grid controllers could essentially ignore their varying output, as it was all but indistinguishable from natural fluctuations in consumer use.
17 Apr 2008

Scheduling Wind Power: Better wind forecasts could prevent blackouts and reduce pollution

As wind power becomes more common, its unpredictability becomes more of a problem. Sudden drops in wind speed can send grid operators scrambling to cover the shortfall and even cause blackouts; unexpected surges can leave conventional power plants idling, incurring costs and spewing pollution to no purpose. ...When wind farms were less common, grid controllers could essentially ignore their varying output, as it was all but indistinguishable from natural fluctuations in consumer use.
17 Apr 2008

Scheduling Wind Power: Better wind forecasts could prevent blackouts and reduce pollution

As wind power becomes more common, its unpredictability becomes more of a problem. Sudden drops in wind speed can send grid operators scrambling to cover the shortfall and even cause blackouts; unexpected surges can leave conventional power plants idling, incurring costs and spewing pollution to no purpose. ...When wind farms were less common, grid controllers could essentially ignore their varying output, as it was all but indistinguishable from natural fluctuations in consumer use.
17 Apr 2008

Scheduling Wind Power: Better wind forecasts could prevent blackouts and reduce pollution

As wind power becomes more common, its unpredictability becomes more of a problem. Sudden drops in wind speed can send grid operators scrambling to cover the shortfall and even cause blackouts; unexpected surges can leave conventional power plants idling, incurring costs and spewing pollution to no purpose. ...When wind farms were less common, grid controllers could essentially ignore their varying output, as it was all but indistinguishable from natural fluctuations in consumer use.
17 Apr 2008

The carbon neutrality myth of centralized renewables

While it is correct that wind, wave and other renewable energy can save on CO2 emissions synchronizing demand and output to protect the grid comes at a heavy price. In a report by David White, Reduction in Carbon Dioxide Emissions: Estimating the Potential Contribution from Wind-Power, commissioned by the Renewable Energy Foundation, December 2004, White found that, "Fossil-fuelled capacity operating as reserve and backup is required to accompany wind generation and stabilize supplies to the consumer. That capacity is placed under particular strains when working in this supporting role because it is being used to balance a reasonably predictable but fluctuating demand with a variable and largely unpredictable output from wind turbines. "Consequently, operating fossil capacity in this mode generates more CO2 per kWh generated than if operating normally."
27 Mar 2008

Michigan braces for gust of wind power

But state officials do not have a clear picture on how readily the state's electricity transmission infrastructure could accommodate the added load - a proposed 2,500 megawatts in the Lower Peninsula and 520 in the UP - from new wind-generating sources. A 2006 report from MPSC found that barring "significant enhancements," existing electric generation and transmission capacity would be insufficient to meet reliability standards in the Lower Peninsula by 2009. The MPSC is working on a study with transmission-owning companies to determine the cost of updating Michigan's transmission system. "If we do this smart, and that's a big leap of faith right there, where we see the wind being developed is where they need to build transmission anyway," said Joseph Welch, president and CEO of Novi-based ITC Holdings Corp.
27 Mar 2008

Is the Grid blowing in the wind?

Wind 2008 -- the not so good news -- The Energy Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is the independent system operator that manages the region's grid with oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT). As SGN reported in March 2008 (see Smart Grid News article link below), ERCOT operators had to react promptly on February 26 to balance load through demand response (DR) because of system reliability problems caused by wind intermittency. But systems reliability was not the only issue caught in the headlights by this event. The Wall Street Journal also spotlighted the economic impact; namely that the unexpected loss of wind generation caused wholesale power prices to soar from $299 per MWH to $1,055 per MWH in West Texas.
26 Mar 2008

Fickle winds limit local energy options

In some parts of the state, from Cape Cod to the Berkshires, wind turbines are springing up to power municipal offices, homes, and businesses as a push for cheap alternatives to fossil-fuel energy continues to mount. But in the suburbs west of Boston, where green sentiments often run deep, one major hurdle stands in the way of environmental advocates and energy cost cutters - insufficient wind speeds. ...The Stow Board of Selectmen has discussed building a wind turbine on town property, but its chairman, Stephen Dungan, said the panel found local wind speeds were simply not high enough to make it pay off. "Basically, the option wasn't there," he said.
16 Mar 2008

US Department of Energy to invest another $13.7m in solar energy

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that DOE will invest up to $13.7 million, over three years (Fiscal Years 2008-2010), for 11 university-led projects that will focus on developing advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) technology manufacturing processes and products. These projects are integral to President Bush's Solar America Initiative, which aims to make solar energy cost-competitive with conventional forms of electricity by 2015.
15 Mar 2008

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=6&topic=Technology
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