Library filed under Technology from USA

Proposal could calm storm over wind farm; Floating turbines stir hope, interest

A new proposal for a wind farm off the coast of Martha's Vineyard is promising what people on all sides of the Cape Wind debate can embrace: turbines in a location where nobody has to see them. Blue H, a subsidiary of a Dutch company, announced this week that it wants to build 120 floating wind turbines in deep water 23 miles off Martha's Vineyard and sought government approval to install a test turbine. Company officials then joined with the main opposition group fighting Cape Wind's proposed wind farm off Cape Cod in touting Blue H as a viable alternative that would be far from ferry lanes and invisible from shore. "If you had a horse and buggy and then the automobile was invented, it makes sense to embrace the technology moving forward," said Blue H spokesman Martin T. Reilly.
15 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Transmission limits hamper renewable energy plans

State and regional regulators acknowledge the hurdles - especially in northern New Hampshire - but don't have ready solutions. A bill before the New Hampshire Senate would have the state be ready to act if no regional solution is forthcoming. ISO New England, which manages power for the region, is considering changing rules so more of the costs of transmission upgrades could be shared regionally. But as things stand now, backers of projects generally must pay for upgrades needed to connect them to the system. "None of this is a real speedy process," acknowledges Michael Harrington, senior regional policy adviser for the state Public Utilities Commission.
9 Mar 2008

Future carbon

Any approach to determining economic policy for climate change should take into account the possibility that the current understanding of the atmosphere may not be translatable into reliable forecasts with a precision that allows the design of an economic response. Further, any economic forecasts that are used to construct models of future carbon use and carbon dioxide emissions will be unable to deal with technical innovations. Their success cannot be predicted. This impacts on policy in two ways, first the obvious uncertainty in estimating economic development but more immediately the desire of governments to stimulate technical solutions. The need to be seen to be taking action frequently descends to picking winners and creating classes of rent seekers. ...As an example the present subsidies for wind farms are a response to demands for action from Green groups and green politicians. The result is a new rent seeking group. There is little cost benefit analysis to guide policy development. Rather policy is set to subsidise non-competitive technologies that may produce unquantified benefits. A simple comparison with the more conventional alternative of natural gas shows the use of gas to be more cost effective and useful as gas turbine generators produce electricity on demand. General encouragement of innovation should be the limit of government policy. It is hard enough in business to develop innovations and well beyond the reach of general government.
9 Mar 2008

Bluewater: Wind farm will cut use of fossil fuels

A physics argument broke out at Friday's hearing on the Bluewater Wind contract. When a wind farm powers up, which plants power down? Bluewater Wind officials said Friday that in the congested Delmarva Peninsula, it will be area fossil-fuel plants. Area residents will realize a direct environmental and health benefit, they said. But Delmarva Power officials said the benefits will be diluted throughout the 13-state PJM electrical grid, and would have its biggest impact on oil-burning plants, not generators that use the notoriously dirty-burning coal. ...Citing a PJM Interconnection official who spoke at the hearings, they contended environmental benefits of an offshore wind farm would be spread throughout the grid. It wouldn't be coal that would go first, but more-expensive fossil fuels such as oil, said company spokesman Bill Yingling.
8 Mar 2008

Wind firm touts deepwater alternative

In what one Cape Wind official called an "eyebrow-raising" development, plans for a deep-water wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts will be unveiled only hours before the start of a public hearing Monday on Cape Wind's proposal to build 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound. Blue H USA LLC will announce plans for a floating deep-water wind energy project 23 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard and 45 miles from New Bedford, according to a representative for the company. ...The Alliance has long contended the Sound is not the right place for a wind farm and a deep water site would provide more wind resources.
8 Mar 2008

Clean energy today: All bluster or the real deal?

Green is the new black--from Washington, D.C., to Silicon Valley. But the lovefest with clean technology still has plenty of detractors who say that it's all just posturing, wishful thinking, or, worse, misguided. Let's pull together a few threads from Friday morning's river of green tech news and see whether it adds up to anything. For those of you in a hurry, here's my bottom line: No, America will not "get off oil" anytime soon as President Bush urged us this week, but yes, green tech matters a lot for the economy and the environment.
7 Mar 2008

GAO shines harsh light on advanced energy technology research

While the US Department of Energy has spent $57.5 billion over the past 30 years for research & development on advanced energy technologies such as Ethanol, solar and wind power the nation's energy usage has not dramatically changed-fossil fuels today provide 85% of the nation's energy compared to 93% in 1973. Many technical, cost and environmental challenges must be overcome in developing and demonstrating advanced technologies before they can be deployed in the US with greater impact. Those were just some of the not-too-encouraging conclusions the Government Accounting Office told the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Committee on Science and Technology today. ...· Wind technologies: DOE is assessing its long-term vision of generating 20% of the nation's electricity using wind energy by 2030. Its current R&D efforts, however, are focused on more immediate expansion of the wind industry, particularly on utility-scale wind turbines. One of DOE's targets is to increase the number of distributed wind turbines deployed in the United States from 2,400 in 2007 to 12,000 in 2015. Although wind energy has grown in recent years, from about 1,800 megawatts in 1996 to over 16,800 megawatts in 2007, the wind industry still faces investors' concerns about high up-front capital costs, including connecting the wind farms to the power transmission grid, the GAO said.
5 Mar 2008

Travis backs wind farm

"Although the wind turbines currently operating in the wind resource area do adversely impact our radar coverage, we believe opportunities will soon arise both to improve overall radar performance and to work with enXco to mitigate that impact," the Lichte letter read. Neither the Air Force nor enXco could say whether that mitigation effort will include a gift to Travis of up to $1 million that was offered by enXco at a Feb. 21 Solano County Planning Commission meeting. That money was offered to improve the radar system anyway Travis chose.
4 Mar 2008

Helping developers map out renewable energy source

Remember the thrill of checking out your house from outer space with Google Earth? Now a Seattle company wants you to know whether there's enough wind to power it with renewable energy. 3Tier, a weather-consulting service geared toward renewable-energy developers, is expected to release a global wind map, available free on the Web. The company also aims to create a similar tool to portray the potential of solar energy, to be released within the next 18 months. ...For a wind project to be profitable, wind speeds must reach an annual average of 6 meters per second. But it also needs to be near transmission lines that reach population centers. ..."You can't just build a wind farm where it's windy. You need to get the energy out," he said.
3 Mar 2008

Xcel to use massive batteries to store wind-generated power

The problem with electricity generated from wind turbines is, the power can fluctuate. Xcel Energy says it's got a way to even out the flow - an 80-ton battery the size of two semi-trailers. The Minneapolis-based utility said Thursday that it will begin testing a sodium-sulfur battery being used in Japan to even out the flow of electricity between windy days and nonwindy days. Xcel plans to put 20 50-kilowatt batteries in Luverne, Minn., about 30 miles east of Sioux Falls, S.D., this spring and connect them to an 11-megawatt wind farm owned by Minwind Energy. The batteries are expected to go online in October.
28 Feb 2008

Lack of lines for transmission trips up wind energy

As wind farms sprout across the country, they're kicking up a new quandary: how to zap the electricity to homes and businesses that need it. The USA's wind-power boom, especially in rural parts of Texas, the Midwest and California, is poised to outstrip the capacity of high-voltage lines to send the electricity hundreds of miles to population centers such as Dallas, Chicago and Los Angeles. ...Wind farms will have to compete to be among the lowest bidders to get on the grid, leaving others off. "Clearly we don't want to build wind farms and have them not run," says Horizon Wind Energy executive Denise Hill. ...A wind farm can be built in 18 months, while a transmission line can take five to 10 years.
25 Feb 2008

Nuclear power is one necessary component of electricity

A 1 GW coal or nuclear base load plant needs less than 500 acres. An equivalent 1 GW base load wind power at U.S. average capacity of about 22 percent would require 45,000 acres, plus another 5,000 acres for transmission corridors. Wind turbines the size of the LDS Church Office Building would be required every 240 feet along I-15 and I-80, spanning the entire state. Unfortunately at this spacing, the 250-foot-diameter blades of each turbine would intersect each other.
18 Feb 2008

Energy crisis making way for 'nuclear renaissance'

Driven by soaring energy demands, the high cost of gas and oil and worries about global warming, an expansion of peaceful nuclear power increasingly appears to be inevitable. "I believe very strongly that new nuclear plants will be built in the U.S. in the coming decades to address problems with respect to higher energy demand, high prices and global warming," said Sudarshan Loyalka, a professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. "I believe the nation has no other choice."
16 Feb 2008

Sound specialist offers expertise on industrial wind installations

Bolton explained the many ways wind developers methodology is flawed. Field measurements are not done correctly (i.e. - improper microphone placement, no justification for sampling sites, etc.); accurate samplings need to be done for a full year to account for seasonal variations, but aren't; and computer prediction models wind developers rely on are inadequate because they don't account for modulation, coherence, refraction, and icing. Facts contained in Perry's DEIS from the sound study done by Horizon for Perry were brought up that highlighted Bolton's point that sound studies being done are totally inadequate: ...In response to questions asking what he thought of being "surrounded" by up to 23 turbines within 1.5 miles of their homes, he answered, "I would be VERY concerned if I were you."
7 Feb 2008

Wonder wind power, Activate!

GWEC figures wind power's capacity in 2005 was about 24%-that is, wind turbines spin 1 hour out of 4, year-round. That will improve, but slowly. Bigger and taller turbines, in more favorable locations-especially offshore-will make wind turbines more efficient. But it will be a long time before wind power's paper strength starts to be reflected in real electricity generation. GWEC's own figures point to wind power creeping toward 30% efficiency over the next twenty years. Wind power may be the most mature horse in the renewable-energy stable. But even a thoroughbred is going to have a tough time catching up with the supertanker that is the fossil-fueled energy establishment.
6 Feb 2008

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=USA&p=7&topic=Technology
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