Wind

1st US offshore wind farm goes ‘full throttle’ during storm

17 Mar 2017   Wind

The company that built the United States’ first offshore wind farm says the powerful storm that hit the Northeast this week was a chance to go “full throttle” and put the turbines through their paces. Deepwater Wind says all five turbines off Rhode Island operated at full capacity during much of Tuesday’s nor’easter. It says the wind farm automatically powered down for several hours when the sustained wind speeds exceeded 55 mph, the designated limit. Winds got as high as 70 mph. Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski says the offshore wind industry loves strong storms and the wind farm handled the season’s worst conditions superbly. The blustery late-season storm plastered the Northeast with sleet and nearly three feet of snow is some areas.

North Carolina ready for offshore wind energy auction

17 Mar 2017   Wind

More than 100,000 acres off the coast of North Carolina go on the auction block Thursday for potential wind energy development, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Department of Interior pounded the gavel to open the seventh offshore wind auction, putting 122,405 acres off the North Carolina coast on the block for commercial wind energy leasing. In August 2014, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a division with the Interior Department, identified three areas offshore North Carolina that were suitable for potential wind energy development. The closest to the shoreline would be the Wilmington West wind energy area, located 10 nautical miles from shore. The furthest out would be the Kitty Hawk wind energy area, which begins 24 nautical miles from shore. North Carolina Gov. Pat McRory’s government […]

Wind energy gaining traction, U.S. trade group says

8 Mar 2017   Wind

A General Electric wind turbine on display. An industry trade group said wind energy is the new American “cash crop.” File photo by Alexis C. Glenn/UPI. March 7 (UPI) — Wind energy in the United States is making a case for itself as a cheap source of energy that steers revenue to rural America, an industry trade group said. Federal data show five state — Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and South Dakota — each sourced more than 20 percent of their electricity from wind power last year to lead the nation. “Wind is now cheaply and reliably supplying more than 20 percent of the electricity in five states and is a testament to American leadership and innovation,” Tom Kiernan, the CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, said in a statement . For the entire United States, wind energy supplied 5.5 percent of the total electricity last year, […]

French, Spanish companies set for more wind power off coast of France

7 Mar 2017   France, Spain, Wind

French and Spanish energy companies said Monday they were setting their sights on building up the wind energy potential off the coast of France. French energy company ENGIE counts an installed wind power capacity of more than 1,700 megawatts in France and is now teaming up with its Spanish counterpart, EDPR, on plans to install as much as 750 MW of wind power offshore. According to ENGIE, offshore France is one of the most attractive parts of the world for offshore wind and the two companies have already pre-qualified for further developments. “Already a leader in on-shore wind, we hope to […]

Battery Power Boost to Renewables

22 Feb 2017   Solar, Wind

It is the holy grail of the renewable energy sector – a cheap and efficient battery system that can store energy generated by renewables such as wind and solar. These days there are few who doubt the potential of renewables, except those diehards on the extreme of the fossil fuel industry. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) , the main body monitoring developments in the global energy sector, renewables are surging ahead. Investment in renewables In 2015, investments in oil and gas – fossil fuels that, along with coal, are the main drivers of global warming – declined by 25% , while energy produced from renewables rose by 30%. Renewables are becoming increasingly competitive with fossil fuels in […]

California demand for wind power energizes transmission firms

16 Feb 2017   Wind

A firm controlled by Philip Anschutz, the billionaire entertainment and pro sports magnate, will soon build the largest wind farm in the United States to serve utilities in California, where officials have set ambitious green power goals. The $5 billion project, however, will be constructed 700 miles away in Wyoming, a state better known for coal mines and oil fields. The vast distance between the two states provides a different Anschutz-owned firm with another big opportunity: a $3 billion project building transmission lines to deliver the power – one of a dozen similar power-line projects by other companies across the West. (Map: How wind power will get from Wyoming to California click here ) In all, about 5,700 miles of transmission lines are in development with the goal of delivering renewable energy to California from other states, according to the Western Interstate Energy Board. Such investments are an outgrowth […]

OPEC’s Top Producer Is Turning to Wind and Solar Power

14 Feb 2017   Saudi Arabia, Solar, Wind

The nation most identified with its massive oil reserves is turning to wind and solar to generate power at home and help extend the life of its crucial crude franchise. Starting this year, Saudi Arabia plans to develop almost 10 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2023, starting with wind and solar plants in its vast northwestern desert. The effort could replace the equivalent of 80,000 barrels of oil a day now burned for power. Add in natural gas projects set to start later this decade, and the Saudis could quadruple that number, according to Wood MacKenzie Ltd. That could supplant all the crude burned in the kingdom during its winter months. The effort goes hand-in-hand with a drive by the royal family to broaden the economy following two years of budget deficits tied to low oil prices. More industry, though, means more energy, with the amount of power used […]

British grid drawing power from new offshore wind farm

10 Feb 2017   Wind

While only a fraction of the total capacity is realized, Norwegian energy company Statoil said the British grid is getting power from its latest wind farm. Statoil announced its first wind turbine from the Dudgeon facility off the British coast was now providing electricity to the nation’s grid. Up to 6,000 homes are now getting power from offshore wind. Once in full operation later this year, the entire Dudgeon wind farm will have the capacity to provide power for more than 400,000 average households. “This is a significant milestone for one of the largest offshore wind farms in Europe,” Margareth Ovrum, Statoil’s executive vice president for technology, said in a statement . The first wind turbine at Dudgeon was installed in January. In total, 67 […]

Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream

7 Feb 2017   Wind

When engineers faced resistance from residents in Denmark over plans to build wind turbines on the Nordic country’s flat farmland, they found a better locale: the sea. The offshore wind farm, the world’s first, had just 11 turbines and could power about 3,000 homes. That project now looks like a minnow compared with the whales that sprawl for miles across the seas of Northern Europe. Off this venerable British port city, a Danish company, Dong Energy, is installing 32 turbines that stretch 600 feet high. Each turbine produces more power than that first facility. It is precisely the size, both of the projects and the profits they can bring, that has grabbed the attention of financial institutions, money managers and private equity funds, like the investment bank Goldman Sachs, as well as wealthy individuals like the owner of the Danish toymaker Lego. As the technology has […]

Obama puts offshore North Carolina on wind energy map

19 Jan 2017   Wind

Obama administration sets March date for wind energy development lease for waters off the coast of North Carolina. File Photo by Teun van den Dries/Shutterstock Thousands of acres offshore North Carolina are set aside for potential wind energy in one of the final moves under the Obama presidency, the government said. “This is a significant milestone for North Carolina and our country as we continue to make progress on diversifying our nation’s energy portfolio,” Walter Cruickshank, the acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement. Acting under a climate action plan adopted by President Barack Obama , the BOEM said it was setting aside 122,405 acres offshore North Carolina for a March 16 lease for wind energy developers. The lease area in question begins about 24 nautical miles off the coast of Kitty Hawk, N.C. The offshore wind energy industry is in its infancy […]

It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle.

16 Jan 2017   China, Wind

On the edge of the Gobi Desert, the Jiuquan Wind Power Base stands as a symbol of China ’s quest to dominate the world’s renewable energy market. With more than 7,000 turbines arranged in rows that stretch along the sandy horizon, it is one of the world’s largest wind farms , capable of generating enough electricity to power a small country. But these days, the windmills loom like scarecrows, idle and inert. The wind howls outside, but many turbines in Jiuquan, a city of vast deserts and farms in the northwest province of Gansu, have been shut off because of weak demand. Workers while away the hours calculating how much power the turbines could have generated if there were more buyers, and wondering if and when they will ever make a profit.

Oil Producers Turn to Wind Power

27 Dec 2016   Wind

The Netherlands wants to build the world’s largest offshore wind project, and an unlikely company is helping: Royal Dutch Shell PLC. The oil-and-gas giant is facing shareholder pressure to develop its renewable business. Add in falling construction costs for such projects, and Shell has decided to join a handful of other oil companies aiming to leverage their experience drilling under punishing conditions at sea. Norway’s Statoil ASA is already building its third offshore wind farm, in the Baltic Sea, and is developing the world’s first floating wind farm off the east coast of Scotland. Denmark’s state-owned Dong Energy AS—once a fossil-fuel champion—is now the biggest player in the offshore wind market. A Shell-led consortium won a bid this month to build and operate a portion of the Netherlands’ giant Borssele wind project in the North Sea. Once complete, the Shell-built section will generate enough power for roughly a million […]

U.S. wind power enjoys a rebirth as solar’s obstacles mount

16 Dec 2016   Solar, Wind

A year after Congress extended generous tax credits for renewable energy projects, the U.S. wind industry is thriving. Solar power companies, meanwhile, are hunkering down for a rough 2017. The tax credit renewal has boosted the long-term outlooks for both industries. But in the short term, the subsidies are far more attractive for wind power, which has spurred utilities to launch wind projects while they scale back or delay solar installations. Advances in wind turbine technology are also opening up new locations for development and driving a wave of spending to upgrade existing projects. In the last few weeks, power companies with large renewable holdings – including Southern Co ( SO.N ), NextEra Energy Inc ( […]

German energy company plants wind farm seed in Texas

9 Dec 2016   Wind

Claiming a leadership position in North America, a German energy company said it’s planning to install a wind farm in the oil-rich state of Texas. German energy company E.ON said it plans to build a 228-megawatt wind farm near the southern Texas coast. The Bruenning Breeze wind farm will be the 22nd wind farm constructed by the German company in the United States. “This decision reflects our strong commitment to further develop renewables in the U.S. market,” Michael Lewis , the head of the renewables division at E.ON, said in a statement. “Projects like Bruenning’s Breeze demonstrate that we are clearly competitive with conventional power and we will continue our goal to further drive down the costs of renewable energy.” The company already entered the construction phase for a wind farm in Illinois before making the Texas announcement. Combined, E.ON has 3 gigawatts […]

Federal leasing for offshore wind grows as first U.S. offshore wind farm comes online

3 Dec 2016   Wind

The first commercial U.S. offshore wind farm, Block Island, is scheduled to come online in late 2016 . Located three miles off the southeastern coast of Rhode Island, Block Island consists of five wind turbines that will produce 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The electricity will be used on Block Island, where electricity is currently supplied by diesel-powered generators. The high cost of current electricity sources on Block Island helps to reduce the economic hurdles typically associated with power from offshore wind. The developer, Deepwater Wind, began construction on the project in July 2015 and holds two additional leases off the coasts of Rhode Island and of Massachusetts for future developments. Although the Block Island Wind Farm was constructed in state waters, these additional leases are farther from shore in […]

Three turbine manufacturers provide more than 75% of U.S. wind capacity

29 Nov 2016   Wind

EIA recently started collecting data on wind turbine manufacturers, turbine models, and other wind plant attributes in the Annual Electric Generator Report . As of the end of 2015, just three manufacturers— General Electric (GE), Vestas, and Siemens—accounted for 55 gigawatts (GW), or 76%, of installed wind generating capacity in the United States. Of the 8.2 GW of total wind capacity installed in 2015, these three companies’ combined share is even greater, representing more than 92% of new capacity in 2015. Two other companies, Gamesa and Mitsubishi, also accounted for significant shares (6% and 5%, respectively) of U.S. wind turbine capacity that was operating at the end of 2015. However, these two companies did not have a significant amount of new capacity installed in the United States in 2015. After GE, […]

With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight

23 Nov 2016   United Kingdom, Wind

When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present. The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it. The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage , the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s […]

With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight

22 Nov 2016   United Kingdom, Wind

When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present. The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it. The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage , the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s […]

Clean Power Is Too Hot for Even Trump to Cool

17 Nov 2016   Wind

 Walmart announced an aggressive plan to increase its investments in renewable energy, pledging to power half its operations from wind, solar, and other renewables by 2025 and to cut the carbon footprint of its operations by 18 percent over the same period. Ten days later, Microsoft made its largest wind-power purchase agreement ever, with a deal to buy 237 megawatts of electricity from turbines in Kansas and Wyoming to run data centers in Cheyenne. In between those announcements, Donald Trump was elected president, in part by calling climate change a hoax and vowing to gut most of Obama’s clean-energy policies and revive coal mining. If the actions of Walmart and Microsoft are any indication, a Trump administration will do little to dissuade companies from continuing to invest in renewables. “I think fears […]

New York set for offshore wind after environmental review

29 Oct 2016   Wind

Areas off the New York coast will be open for offshore wind energy bidders, but some area is reserved because of ecological concerns, the U.S. government said. The U.S. Interior Department, in coordination with its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said it would open 79,350 acres off the coast of New York up for a commercial wind energy lease sale. About 1,780 acres was removed because of environmental concerns associated with a subsea feature known as the Cholera Bank. “In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures,” an Interior Department stated read. “As a result of this removal, the revised […]

Blowing The Competition Away: The Wind Power Boom In The U.S.

19 Oct 2016   Wind

Mid west wind turbines Wind energy is changing the economy of the Midwest. Wind is the fastest growing source of electricity in the United States, and about 70 percent of wind power is located in low income counties. These counties are typically rural, often Midwestern areas, where the dominant industry for decades has been agriculture. Increasingly though, many farmers are finding that leasing space to wind turbine operators is more lucrative than growing corn. That trend is likely to continue going forward, and it should alter the way energy companies and investors alike should think about wind power. Wind power represents an important economic boost in many areas of the U.S. and as a result local farmers and communities welcome wind turbine developers. Farmers benefit directly from wind turbines to tune of between $7,000 and $10,000 per turbine in annual leasing fees. A farmer who could lease land for […]

IEA to Lift Solar, Wind Outlook After Decade of Underestimates

15 Oct 2016   Solar, Wind

The world’s most prominent energy forecaster will raise its outlook for wind and solar installations following a decade of underestimating growth in the renewables industry. The International Energy Agency, which was established as a watchdog of the industry in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, will “significantly” raise its estimates for renewables when it publishes its annual mid-term market report for the industry at the end of this month, a spokesman for Paris-based organization said. The findings will feed into the World Energy Outlook report due in November, which is used by many forecasters as a starting point for trends in the industry. Although the IEA aims to provide its 29 member-nations impartial advice, it’s been criticized for publishing conservative estimates that failed to predict the rapid growth of wind and solar farms as a source of electricity. “The IEA has significantly raised its estimates for the deployment […]

California eyes wind, wave potential

15 Oct 2016   Waves, Wind

California becomes the 14th coastal state in the country to form a task force examining the potential of wind and wave energy, the federal government said. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and California state representatives met in Sacramento for the first time to explore opportunities for wind and wave energy in state waters. A month ago, the federal government approved plans to set aside 10.9 million acres of land it manages in the California desert for conservation and renewable energy development. California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas said the state now looked forward to additional work for offshore energy alongside the BOEM. “California is currently implementing a comprehensive set of climate change policies, including 50 percent renewable energy […]

Oil Rig Builders Tap Into Offshore Wind Market

3 Oct 2016   Wind

Offshore wind With the recent completion of the first wind turbine field off the coast of Block Island, many oil rig developers are shifting their attention to this popular new industry. Deepwater Wind LLC installed five turbines three miles southeast of Block Island this past August and they will hopefully be online in November. These turbines will produce 30-megawatts of energy, enough to power over 16,000 homes. The capital required for these projects can be quite expensive; the Block Island project was a $300 million investment. Several other companies are involved in the production and transportation of the parts. Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. traditionally builds platforms for oil rigs, a service that is shrinking with oil production moving to land. The company has shifted its services over to the renewable industry, providing Deepwater with the means to tether their turbines to the ocean floor. Keystone Engineering Inc. was responsible […]

Solar, wind developers: U.S. desert plan hurts renewable energy

15 Sep 2016   Environment, Solar, Wind

The United States on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited plan for desert renewable energy development that the solar and wind industries said unfairly favors land conservation and severely limits the ability to build projects critical to meeting the nation’s climate goals. The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, eight years in the making, was designed to streamline development of wind and solar projects on federal and private lands in California while preserving pristine desert habitats. On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Interior unveiled the first phase of the plan, covering 10.8 million acres of federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It designates 388,000 acres of those lands as best for renewable energy development. Applications for projects in those areas will receive a streamlined permitting process and possible financial incentives, the agency said in a press release. A coalition of five wind and solar energy trade groups said the […]

Super-tall wind turbines installed offshore Britain

9 Sep 2016   Wind

Turbines installed in Liverpool Bay at 640 feet tall are the largest of their kind in the world, Danish company DONG Energy said. The company announced it installed the first of the 32 turbines planned for its Burbo Bank extension project off the British coast. At 8 megawatts each, the turbines will be able to generate enough power to meet the annual electricity demands of nearly a quarter-million average British households, the company said. “By using bigger turbines, we’re able to bring down the cost of providing clean, renewable energy to homes around the United Kingdom,” Claus Bojle Moller, the project director, said in a statement. The total amount of electricity generated […]

Which State Is a Big Renewable Energy Pioneer? Texas

30 Aug 2016   Wind

On a blustery February night, the Texas electricity market hit a milestone. Nearly half the power flowing onto the grid came from wind turbines, a level unimaginable a decade ago in a place better known for its long romance with fossil fuels. The Lone Star state still embraces its oil and gas , leading a revolution in innovative “fracking” technology. Yet an equally startling energy bonanza here has gone almost unnoticed—the rise of renewables. Texas has added more wind-based generating capacity than any other state, with wind turbines accounting for 16% of electrical generating capacity as of April. Now Texas is anticipating a huge surge in solar power. At a time when debate is raging between political parties over climate change, and critics charge that “green energy” is little more than a government creation, Texas has taken an approach that works within the state’s free-market-based electricity system. State […]

Wind Power Finally Getting Out From Solar’s Shadow

29 Aug 2016   Wind

Wind power Solar power has been getting all of the proverbial sunlight for the last few years. Most of the focus and attention from environmentalists, regulators, and others has been on solar. There are numerous pure-play solar companies from SolarCity to First Solar. Solar is commonly used in residential applications today, and economic pundits fall all over themselves to talk about the falling cost of solar panels and the changing economics that entails. All of that attention has probably left wind power advocates feeling a little steamed. While there are many pure-play public solar companies, there are few publicly-traded firms investing directly in wind farms or producing wind turbine equipment. Yet wind power is every bit as viable a technology as solar, and in some respects is a natural complement to solar – wind often blows hardest at night and on stormy days – exactly when solar is the […]

America’s First Offshore Wind Farm May Power Up a New Industry

23 Aug 2016   Wind

The towering machines stand a few miles from shore, in a precise line across the seafloor, as rigid in the ocean breeze as sailors reporting for duty. The blades are locked in place for now, but sometime in October, they will be turned loose to capture the power of the wind. And then, after weeks of testing and fine-tuning, America’s first offshore wind farm will begin pumping power into the New England electric grid. By global standards, the Block Island Wind Farm is a tiny project, just five turbines capable of powering about 17,000 homes. Yet many people are hoping its completion, with the final blade bolted into place at the end of last week, will mark the start of a new American industry, one that could eventually make a huge contribution to reducing the nation’s climate-changing pollution. The idea of building turbines offshore, where […]

Solar and Wind Manufacturing Is Thriving. Why Don’t Mainstream Reporters Know?

18 Aug 2016   Solar, Wind

Solar panels Like many Americans, I am an avid listener to American Public Radio’s Marketplace Show. As their website proudly proclaims: Marketplace [is] the most widely heard program on business and the economy — radio or television, commercial or public broadcasting — in the country. This past Friday, they did their weekly roundup on the economy and focused on manufacturing jobs because of emphasis provided on this topic by both of the Presidential campaigns. The guests were John Carney of the Wall Street Journal and Catherine Rampell from the Washington Post . At minute 3:00 Catherine weighs in on whether clean energy jobs would really put the laid off manufacturing sector workers back to work. At 4:30, John Carney shows his complete ignorance and claims that clean energy jobs are “science fiction”. I know that Marketplace knows better because Scott Tong does excellent clean energy reporting on the show […]

U.S., Canada and Mexico vow to get half their electricity from clean power by 2025

28 Jun 2016   Solar, USA, Wind

The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico will pledge on Wednesday that by 2025 half of their overall electricity generation will come from clean power sources, according to administration officials. The commitment — which will be a joint one, rather than an individual commitment by each nation — represents an aggressive target given the reliance by the United States and Mexico on fossil fuels for much of their electricity supply. Roughly 59 percent of Canada’s electricity is generated by hydropower operations, with another 16 percent coming from nuclear plants, so it has already surpassed the targeted benchmark. The new commitment includes not just renewables but also nuclear power, carbon capture and storage plants, and […]

Scotland investing more in offshore wind

21 Jun 2016   Scotland, Wind

Scottish government setting aside funding to push the development of offshore wind energy technolgy. File Photo by Teun van den Dries/Shutterstock EDINBURGH, Scotland, June 20 (UPI) — The Scottish government said the economic returns of renewable energy investments were emerging, adding another $2.1 million would go toward wind. Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said more than 300 jobs would come from the construction of the new Beatrice wind farm slated for the country’s coast. “Innovation in renewables also continues to contribute to the excellent progress we are making on reducing greenhouse gas emissions after the recent announcement that Scotland has exceeded our 2020 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 percent six years early,” he said in a statement. The government awarded $2.1 million toward an accelerator program meant to facilitate research and design for further offshore wind development. Among the strategies included in the new investment are […]

As Wind Power Lifts Wyoming’s Fortunes, Coal Miners Are Left in the Dust

20 Jun 2016   Coal, Wind

After Kullin Orcutt lost his job at the Peabody coal mine this spring, he knew what he needed to do: join the exodus. “Leave Gillette, leave the state,” he said. Mr. Orcutt is a third-generation miner and one of 592 coal workers who have been laid off here since January. Thousands more job cuts are expected this summer.

Siemens, Gamesa Near Wind-Power Deal

16 Jun 2016   Wind

Siemens AG and Gamesa Corporacion Tecnologica SA are close to announcing an anticipated deal to combine their wind-power activities and create the world’s largest wind turbine maker, according to people familiar with the matter. A deal, which could be announced as early as this week according to the people, would end months of the uncertainty around the transaction. As always in these deals, an announcement could be delayed. Siemens and Gamesa in February agreed in principle to combine their wind activities, but the tie-up hit a snag because Gamesa needed to renegotiate elements of an offshore wind joint venture , dubbed Adwen, with French nuclear engineering firm Areva SA. Those issues have been resolved in principle, the people said. The deal structure that is to be revealed as early as Wednesday foresees Siemens transferring its offshore wind activities into the Spanish company in exchange for a roughly 60% stake […]

Ireland aims for greener future

8 Jun 2016   Ireland, Wind

One day after signing a European commitment on offshore wind, the Irish government said it can only realize its true potential through regional collaboration. “Ireland has the best offshore energy potential in Europe but we need to work with our colleagues across the EU to turn this potential into electricity,” Irish Environment Minister Denis Naughten said in a statement emailed from Luxembourg. Naughten’s was among the nine signatures added to a declaration signed by members of the European Union that share a border with the North Sea. The members agreed that closer cooperation in avenues like grid connectivity could advance regional developments for offshore wind. With a maritime acreage 10 times the size of its […]

EDF Energy starts construction of Blyth offshore wind farm in UK

The logo of France’s state-owned electricity company EDF is seen next to the Electricite de France (EDF) thermal electricity production plant in Cordemais, France, April 21, 2016. EDF Energy Renewables, a joint venture between EDF Energy and EDF Energies Nouvelles, has started to build a new offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland in Britain, the firm said on Tuesday. The wind farm will have a maximum total generating capacity of almost 100 megawatts and provide enough low-carbon electricity to power 33,000 homes, the company said. Construction work has started onshore on the project and offshore work will start in 2017, it added. (Reporting by Nina Chestney, editing by Louise Heavens)

Companies propose deep-water wind farms off Hawaii shores

17 May 2016   Wind

As Hawaii pushes to meet its aggressive renewable energy goals, two companies have proposed offshore wind turbine projects for federal waters off Oahu. Their plan would use technology that floats the massive turbines in deep waters miles offshore. The offshore turbine proposals are in the early stages, and would face years of environmental reviews and community meetings before possible approval. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that would decide whether to approve ocean leases for the projects, held a meeting about the proposals Monday. Two companies are proposing offshore wind farms. A.W. Hawaii Wind, a Texas company that’s a subsidiary of Denmark-based Alpha Wind Energy, is proposing two offshore floating wind farms, each generating about 400 megawatts of energy with 50 turbines. One is proposed for the northwest side of Oahu 12 miles off the coast […]

Oil and Gas Giants to Join Wind-Energy Battle, Says Dong CEO

14 May 2016   Wind

The offshore wind-energy industry will soon be flooded by competition as big oil companies join utilities and small renewable players in the growing sector, said the chief executive of the world’s biggest offshore wind company, Dong Energy. “They have been hesitant,” said Mr. Poulsen in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “But I think they’ve come to a point where they’re thinking ‘Gee, maybe we should start mobilizing behind renewables, maybe the green transformation won’t slow down.’” Dong was once one of Europe’s most coal intensive utilities but the state-owned enterprise has steered its business away from coal and oil and gas extraction in the past decade toward offshore wind . The move has helped lift profits thanks to Europe’s significant wind power subsidies. The company says it has a 26% share of […]

World’s Biggest Windmills Now Make Jumbo Jets Look Tiny

2 May 2016   Wind

Often derided as a blot on rural landscapes, wind turbines got bigger and stronger than ever anyway. The next generation are even larger and designed to withstand an Arctic battering. The granddaddy of them all is a machine with rotors that cut a 164 meter (538 foot) swath made by a Vestas Wind Systems venture with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. A single blade is 80 meters, about the entire wingspan of an Airbus A380 jumbo jet . In the intensely competitive wind turbine business, it’s rare for executives to allow a close-up look of what they’re developing, lest they tip off rivals. Vestas allowed Bloomberg News to visit and photograph the prototype units this month. As they got bigger, the units became more efficient, boosting global installations 23 […]

Report: U.S. wind energy sector booming

30 Apr 2016   Wind

With the industry reporting one of its strongest performances on record, the American Wind Energy Association said it expects a boom over the next five years. A quarterly report from the AWEA said more than 500 megawatts of new wind energy were added to the U.S. grid during the first quarter and construction started on another 2,000 MW. Tom Kiernan, the group’s CEO, said in a statement the tide is turning in favor of a widespread commercial wind energy sector. “As the wind business builds momentum, we’re prepared to double wind’s contribution to America’s electricity supply in the next five years,” he said. An early April report from the International Energy Agency finds electricity produced […]

MidAmerican Energy Makes Big Bet on Iowa Wind

15 Apr 2016   Wind

Iowa, which already gets more of its power from wind than any other U.S. state, will become more reliant on the electricity source under a $3.6 billion plan announced Thursday by a utility owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  MidAmerican Energy Co. said Thursday that it is planning to build up to 2,000 additional megawatts of wind turbines with a goal of generating 85% of its power from wind. The company, based in Des Moines, will use renewable-energy tax credits that Congress extended last December to make the project economically feasible, said MidAmerican Chief Executive Bill Fehrman.  “Because of the tax credits and our ability to deliver these projects at a low cost, we’re setting up our customers for a low-carbon future,” Mr. Fehrman said in an interview. “Whatever happens with carbon regulations…we will be able to meet those requirements without additional costs for customers.”  Thirty-one percent of the power in Iowa is now generated by wind, more than in any other state, according to the American Wind Energy Association, an industry group. MidAmerican’s new project would boost wind’s share to 40%, according to the state.

View full article at www.wsj.com

Energy work ongoing in Atlantic, advocacy group says

30 Mar 2016   USA, Wind

With seismic testing tied to the oil and gas sector continuing in the Atlantic, an advocacy group called on Washington to make good on clean-energy pledges. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced consent for the first-ever wind energy research facility offshore Virginia this week. The research plan envisions the installation of two 6-megawatt turbines, which could generate enough power to meet the annual demands of 3,000 homes. The move followed a decision to remove consideration for new drilling leases for oil and gas companies considering work in the Atlantic Ocean. Advocacy group Oceana announced the publication of mapping data that show where seismic surveys used to get a better understand of the reserve potential […]

Momentum building behind U.S. wind energy

29 Mar 2016   Wind

U.S. wind energy advocates scored a second victory after the federal government gave its support to a transmission line to service the wind power sector. For the first time, the Department of Energy used authority mandated by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to foster cooperation between the private and public sectors on new electricity transmission projects by joining a line slated for the U.S. South. The development, led by Clean Line Energy Partners, is aimed at bringing up to 4,000 megawatts of power generated from wind in Oklahoma and Texas through a 705-mile power line that would serve the energy needs of up to 1.5 million homes in the region. Simon Mahan, a director for […]

Virginia gets head start with offshore wind

26 Mar 2016   Wind

Approval of a wind-energy research plan in the federal waters off Virginia’s coast is a pathway to commercial sector development, the state’s governor said. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced consent for the first-ever wind energy research facility offshore Virginia. The research plan envisions the installation of two 6-megawatt turbines, which could generate enough power to meet the annual demands of 3,000 homes. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said federal approval supports state plans to become the first in the nation to advance an offshore wind energy program. “This research project is the gateway to commercial development of offshore wind which will help diversify our Commonwealth’s energy […]

Wind Power’s Next Hope: Blades as Long as Two Football Fields

1 Mar 2016   Wind

Inspired by the way palm trees move in high winds, a group of researchers at the University of Virginia and Sandia National Laboratory are developing an extremely long wind turbine blade that could make it possible to construct 50-megawatt turbines—far beyond the power of today’s, which tend to produce just two megawatts. The blades, designed under a program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program, would be 200 meters long, 2.5 times the length of the longest blades commercially available today.  In recent years the wind power industry has moved toward longer and longer blades, driven by simple economies of scale: the larger the diameter of the rotor (the circular area swept by the turbine blades), the more power a single wind tower can produce. If the blades can be made and the tower erected cheaply, the cost of electricity goes down as blades get longer.  Even on the wide-open Great Plains, transporting enormous turbine blades by road is a dicey endeavor.

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In Britain, a Green Utility Company Sees Winds of Change

20 Feb 2016   United Kingdom, Wind

A wind farm here, along the River Trent, cranks out enough clean electricity to power as many as 57,000 homes. Monitored remotely, the windmills, 34 turbines each about 400 feet high, require little attention or maintenance and are expected to produce electricity for decades to come. “They’re very well behaved,” said Sam Cunningham, the wind farm’s manager, as she drove around the almost three-square-mile site. The owner of the wind farm, the British electricity company SSE, has been betting big on turbines as well as other renewables for years, with multibillion-dollar investments that have made the utility the country’s leading provider of clean power. In theory, last year’s United Nations climate accord in Paris should have been a global validation of the company’s business strategy. […]

Oilfield Services: the Offshore Wind Opportunity

19 Feb 2016   Wind

Times are tough for oilfield services companies. Rigzone has spent much of the last year reporting on how the industry downturn has affected many of the larger oilfield engineers and service firms: e.g. Aker Solutions ASA , Weatherford International and even oilfield services giant Schlumberger Ltd. have all been hit. Particularly badly affected have been those oilfield services firms who operate in high-cost oil and gas-producing regions such as the North Sea. In such a poor market environment, it is no wonder that some oilfield services firms are looking at expanding their offerings into new sectors. A number of bigger oilfield services companies have recently announced deals in the renewables sector, such as Petrofac’s recent partnership with GE that will see the two firms engineer, construct and install […]

Offshore U.K. to host world’s largest wind farm

European renewables company DONG Energy said it made a final investment decision for its Hornsea project, the world’s largest offshore wind farm ever planned. DONG said it was moving forward with plans to build the Hornsea wind farm off the coast of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Designed with a full capacity of more than 1,000 megawatts, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm ever built. “We are excited about building this huge wind farm and pushing the boundaries of the offshore wind industry,” DONG Energy CEO Henrik Poulsen said in a statement. Hornsea will cover more than 150 square miles at a development site located about 75 miles offshore. DONG Energy is the […]

E.ON readies wind farm for English Channel

26 Jan 2016   Wind

Utility company E.ON announced plans to start laying the foundation for the Rampion wind farm project slated for the English Channel. The Germany company, with help from Canadian energy company Enbridge and the British Green Investment Bank, said it scheduled construction for the foundation of the first of the 116 turbines salted for the Rampion project. Rampion is the first facility of its kind in the region. Turbines for the facility will be erected in early 2017. Combined, the wind farm will generate 400 megawatts of electricity and reduce regional emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by 600,000 tons per year. The German energy company completed construction at its Amrumbank West wind farm in the German waters of the North and the […]

Wind energy output ‘could power most Scots homes’

12 Jan 2016   Scotland, Wind

In six out of 12 months, wind generated enough power to supply more than 100 per cent of household needs, claims WWF Scotland. Picture: TSPL Wind power output hit record levels last year, generating enough energy to supply the electrical needs of 97 per cent of Scottish homes. Turbines provided 10,392,439 MWh of electricity to the National Grid, enough on average to supply 2.34 million homes, up 16 per cent compared to the previous year. 2015 was a huge year for renewables, with wind turbines and solar panels helping ensure millions of tonnes of climate-damaging carbon emissions were avoided Lang Banks, Director WWF Scotland Analysis carried out by WWF Scotland of data that was provided by WeatherEnergy found that in six out of 12 months, wind generated enough power to supply more than 100 per cent of Scottish household needs. With business and industry factored in, wind power generated […]