Library filed under General from Texas
Initially, Sun’s acquisitions in Val Verde County went unnoticed. But in late 2017, property owners became incensed when Akuo Energy, a French wind turbine developer, built the Rocksprings wind farm on the eastern edge of the county. Conservationists, led by a local advocacy group called the Devils River Conservancy, were also worried: ...When the Conservancy learned of GH America’s plans to build a second wind farm in the county, it launched a pressure campaign, entitled “Don’t Blow it, Texas,” to prevent construction.
Spurred by these security concerns, the Texas Legislature recently unanimously passed legislation that would ban individuals or companies connected with China, Iran, North Korea, or Russia from entering into contracts relating to the state’s critical infrastructure. The bill has been sent to the governor for signature. If it is signed, it will take effect immediately. The country’s critical infrastructure has been the target of several cyberattacks in recent months.
Property owners and conservationists were the first to raise alarm about the wind farm, saying construction might harm the pristine Devil's River. The also worry allowing a foreign company to connect to the Texas power grid would make it vulnerable. “There are foreign actors, as we've seen recently with the gas pipeline hack, that have ill intent for our country and our critical infrastructure," said Julie Lewey with the Devil’s River Conservancy.
For all the benefits the wind turbines have brought to Sweetwater, a critical question remains: What to do with the worn-out wind turbine blades when they are replaced? Wind turbine blades last an average of about 25 to 30 years. When they are replaced, the old blades become a challenge, from transporting them out of the field to finding a place to store the blades, which can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing.
The study analyzes the outage periods documented by ERCOT for 191 wind farm units, with a nominal capacity of 21,888 MW, of which 57% (12,495 MW) is subject to a hedged financial structure. Lost energy production from wind farms, aggregating individual wind farm results, was 629,700 MWh with a financial impact of this lost production, whether the financial loss to the owner or gain by others, estimated at $4.18 billion. This represents an average financial impact on any project of $44.4 million. For hedged projects, the financial impact of this lost proxy production is even greater, with an average financial impact of $45.4 million.
A Canadian renewable energy firm on Wednesday sued Citigroup Inc for rejecting force majeure declarations during a February winter storm and billing it over $100 million for replacement power, according to lawsuits filed in a Texas state court. Shannon Wind and Flat Top Wind, subsidiaries of Innergex Renewable Energy Inc (INE.TO), operate North Texas wind farms that halted their wind turbines during an arctic deep freeze. Both had agreements to physically deliver power to Citi Energy, a unit of Citigroup Inc (C.N), at fixed prices.
Dozens of wind farms in Texas have been left reeling from billions of dollars of losses incurred during last month’s state-wide electrical grid failure, even though the industry played a minor role in the power generation shortages that crippled much of the state. Those facilities either shut down, under-performed or were unable to fully export power during all or part of a week of historically cold winter weather because of blade icing, low wind resource, onsite electrical supply issues, and transmission congestion in the state’s main power grid, according to industry officials.
Given the situation, we see this as a one-off impact and RWE may try to recoup losses from insurance,” the analysts wrote in a note. RWE said part of its onshore wind fleet in Texas had been partly out of service from Feb. 9 because of icing and grid issues that have dealt a major blow to the second-largest U.S. state.
JACK COUNTY — Wind turbines are hard to miss, whether they are far away or close up, sometimes you just can’t avoid them.
With the latest freeze fresh in regulators' minds, there could be mandatory weatherization of the grid and generation fleet in Texas ...these upgrades are unlikely to amortize and instead may simply be baked into the cost of doing business there. But beyond that, ...financing of projects will be looked at differently. "There will be much closer scrutiny of generating units being financed," Humphrey said. Funders, including tax equity financiers, will also have less appetite for merchant risk. "There will be more security around physical delivery requirements, capping merchant exposure so you don't have projects getting blown up," he said.
RWE owns over 3 GW of mostly wind and some solar capacity in the state, and reduced availability of its generation fleet meant the company had to buy spot volumes to meet its supply obligations. Sky-high power prices in the area make this an expensive problem, which was further exacerbated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas directing grid operator Electric Reliability Council Of Texas Inc. to make price adjustments, RWE said.
Nearly half of Texas' installed wind power generation capacity has been offline because of frozen wind turbines in West Texas, according to Texas grid operators. Wind farms across the state generate up to a combined 25,100 megawatts of energy. But unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend's freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt.
Unusually moist winter conditions in West Texas brought on by the weekend's freezing rain and historically low temperatures have iced many of those wind turbines to a halt. As of Sunday morning, those iced turbines comprise 12,000 megawatts of Texas' installed wind generation capacity.
A proposed wind farm project in West Texas has become a potential national security issue due to its Chinese owner who has ties to the communist regime in Beijing and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), experts say. ...The first concern is that the wind farm will be generating electricity, hence, it involves critical infrastructure and poses a risk to the Texas electric grid. Potential cyberattacks on the electrical grid could disrupt power utility operations, resulting in large-scale power outages.
Columnist Chris Tomlinson’s recent attack on Rep. Dan Crewshaw (R-TX) for repeating “tired talking points” about the silliness of wind and solar was itself filled with unsubstantiated and misleading declarations beginning with Tomlinson’s claim that wind and solar employ 143,000 Texans.
At issue: A Chinese-backed project called Blue Hills Wind, which could bring more than 40 turbines to Val Verde County, Texas. The proposal's future is in doubt as the Trump administration ramps up criticism of both renewable energy and China.
Exactly how the Devils River got its forbidding name is lost to history, but there is little doubt the harsh terrain and fierce natives who once reigned here played a role. “It is far from any habitation, in a barren waste surrounded by hostile Comanches, but it is a beautiful place,” noted one early visitor. A century and a half later, the natural beauty remains and the rushing, spring-fed Devils owns the reputation as the last unspoiled river in Texas.
Beginning in 2015, GH America Investment Group purchased over 130,000 acres of property in Val Verde County (Texas). GH America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Xinjiang-based Guanghui Industry Investment Group. ...Aside from gathering intelligence on U.S. border security operations and plugging into Texas’ critical infrastructure, China could use Sun’s wind farm as cover to collect intelligence on nearby Laughlin Air Force Base.
AEP has received three of the five necessary approvals for its planned $2 billion investment — from Oklahoma, Arkansas and FERC — and expects decisions in May or June from regulators in Louisiana and Texas.
“Laughlin is facing a different threat because it’s a Chinese company that is seeking to erect these wind farms, and China’s national security interests are directly contrary to the United States’ national security interests. There is, relatedly, a serious concern with surveillance. China has invested heavily in expanding its ability to engage in surveillance and to gather intelligence. ...“With regard to Del Rio, these Chinese towers, if constructed, pose a threat not only to air training, but also of potential security vulnerabilities, and both of those are serious concerns. I have been working and look forward to continue working with local leaders here to prevent those threats,” Cruz added.