Library filed under Transmission
Grain Belt Express may move forward, but the U.S. onshore wind industry still needs lots of new transmission. A contested 780-mile Midwestern transmission line for wind, the Grain Belt Express Clean Line, may have another chance at life. A Missouri judge ruled recently that the state’s utility commission “erred” in denying the project, putting a final decision in the hands of the state Supreme Court.
With the proposed multi-state wind energy transmission line, Grain Belt Express, held up over controversial interpretations of Missouri law, prospective developers of the project have pushed for the case to go before the state Supreme Court.
The energy firm behind one of the world’s biggest offshore wind farms has scrapped plans to build large electricity plants in the Norfolk countryside. Vattenfall, which wants to build two wind farms around 50 kilometres off the east Norfolk coast, said today it will use more advanced technology which will mean a cable corridor it hopes to dig across the Norfolk countryside will be narrower. It also means no relay stations will be needed.
“I’m appalled that the state (and the town of Yarmouth) would consider a project that would damage this fragile watershed,” said Andrea Gottfried, a taxpayer in West Yarmouth. “Lewis Bay is historically, ecologically and economically important to Cape Cod residents and visitors from around the world.”
Experts say that building wind farms is the easy part. Far bigger complications arise when it comes to building transmission to distribute the energy produced — challenges that are on full display in Missouri.
AUBURNDALE, Mass. — Speakers at the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association Renewable Energy Conference on Feb. 1 discussed the merits and viability of different methods to achieve New England’s aggressive emission reduction goals.
A state committee unanimously voted Thursday to deny an application for Northern Pass. All seven members of the Site Evaluation Committee agreed that Northern Pass had not met its burden to show the proposed transmission line would not “unduly interfere with the orderly development of the region.”
In recent years it seemed Northern Pass may have made a mistake getting ahead of the crowd in an attempt to sell Quebec hydropower into New England, as it faced more than six years of withering criticism while later-arriving proposals drew little attention.
As Arkansas' congressional delegation stepped up its war Tuesday on a $2.5 billion wind-power transmission project, Clean Line Energy Partners has confirmed that it has shelved plans to string the controversial power line across Arkansas. Michael Skelly, the company's president, told Arkansas Business that the direct-current project, which would have transmitted 4,000 megawatts of renewable energy from Western Oklahoma to eastern Tennessee, is basically on life support.
The deal was sealed after it became apparent to Clean Line that TVA had little appetite to complete a six-year-old memorandum of understanding to purchase the project’s wind power. Late last year, just weeks after TVA said it was still studying whether to sign the contract, agency President Bill Johnson said the Clean Line project didn’t make economic sense, given TVA’s flat demand and ample generating capacity.
The nation's biggest wind generator, NextEra Energy Resources, has bought the Oklahoma portion of the proposed 700-mile-long Plains and Eastern Line to serve Oklahoma and Midwest customers. But for now, plans to bring wind energy from the windy areas of Oklahoma and Texas into the less-windy Tennessee Valley and Southeastern part of the United States are stalled and unlikely to be resurrected for years.
The 8.6-mile line would cross farmland and forestland, drawing opposition from landowners in its path who worry about impediments to agriculture and logging. Opponents argue that a new transmission line between Tillamook and Oceanside isn’t justified by actual electricity demand, but may instead be intended as a connection to future wave power or offshore wind energy projects.
A Missouri Courts of Appeals is being asked to find a peer court’s decision involving an electric line project erroneous that subsequently was used to deny necessary permits for an even more controversial electric project — the Grain Belt Express.
“There is no way any power transmission line coming out of the Panhandle is going to miss important prairie chicken habitat because the best prairie chicken habitat in Oklahoma is in Beaver County. There’s just no way to miss it,” she said. “It is an issue, but right now our main concerns are the bats and destroying their (hibernation area), the erosion it could cause and the idea of building a power line across this area with all these sinkholes.”
Sen. Tom Brewer plans to introduce a bill next legislative session to place a two-year moratorium to block wind development in the Sandhills. “There's a mad rush right now to build wind turbines in the Sandhills and common sense cannot put a corner-post line and not have put in a dead man to anchor it," Brewer said. "So why would you build a 5,60-foot tower in sand and not question the wisdom behind that?"
If implemented, the proposal would require wholesale power prices to reflect the small amount of electricity lost during transmission through heat or other factors, which would essentially raise the cost of sending power from remote generation plants — such as wind farms — to cities. Transmission losses currently are omitted from prices.
Staff advisers at Oregon's utility regulator threw cold water on PacifiCorp's plan to spend $3.5 billion, one of its biggest upgrades ever, on wind turbines and a new transmission line. The Public Utility Commission staff say the utility had failed to justify the need for the massive capital investments, whether to meet its capacity, energy or reliability needs.
Representatives of five transmission projects proposed in July in response to the Massachusetts solicitation for 9.45 TWh/year of hydro and Class I renewables (wind, solar or energy storage) tried to explain why their projects should be among those selected in January. Contracts awarded under the MA 83D request for proposals are to be submitted in late April.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Friday ordered FERC to rescue at-risk nuclear and coal generation by ensuring they receive “full recovery” of their costs.