Wind

Energy Suppliers Find Fresh Lift From Offshore Wind

7 Aug 2017   Wind

For more than three decades, Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. has built foundations to anchor offshore-oil platforms to the ocean floor. Now, as lower oil prices take a bite out of that business, it is trying to turn that expertise into an edge in a new business: offshore wind. The Houston-based company—which recently built the foundations for the first U.S. offshore wind farm, near Rhode Island—is one of many oil-and-gas industry…

The Race For Floating Wind Farms Has Begun

3 Aug 2017   Wind

For the last six years Statoil has been testing game-changing offshore wind technology. The result: a floating wind turbine has been pulled from Norway to Scotland where the world’s first floating wind farm will be installed. The £190m Hywind project will ultimately see five 6 MW floating turbines in depths of up to 120m in an area close to 4km close to Peterhead. Each tower is taller than Big Ben, at 175m and the blades themselves are almost the wingspan of an Airbus at 75m long. At the bottom of each turbine is a 78m deep tube which is filled with iron ore. Average wind speeds here reach 10m per second and it’s expected it’ll provide enough power for around 20,000 homes. Hywind is building on a demo project that was run off the island of Karmøy. The turbines are being dragged from this site by remote-controlled submarines. What’s […]

Analysis: German wind, solar capacity hits 95 GW with 3.8 GW added in H1

2 Aug 2017   Germany, Wind

Germany’s wind and solar portfolio now stands at 95 GW after 3.8 GW of new capacity was brought online in the first six months of 2017, an S&P Global Platts analysis of the latest data shows. Onshore wind adds 2.3 GW, offshore up 0.6 GW to 52.7 GW total Solar adds 0.9 GW in H1 to 42 GW total Monthly additions average above 0.6 GW over past 24 months Onshore wind registered the biggest gains with almost 2.3 GW added as already approved projects were rushed to benefit from last-minute set feed-in-tariffs before the new auction rules are set to slow down growth from 2019 onwards, the BWE wind lobby group said in its half-yearly update. Video: EU carbon prices rally to four-month high By end-June, onshore wind capacity was 48.024 GW, it added with grid-connected offshore wind capacity at 4.749 GW, it said. Article continues below… Digital Commodities […]

Tesla Batteries May Back Up Wind Farm Off Massachusetts Coast

1 Aug 2017   Wind

Deepwater Wind LLC is proposing to pair Tesla Inc. batteries with massive offshore wind turbines as part of a bid to supply the state of Massachusetts with clean energy generated at sea.  The 144-megawatt development would stockpile electricity produced late at night, then deliver it when the grid needs it most, Deepwater Chief Executive Officer Jeff Grybowski said in an interview Monday.  Deepwater submitted its bid last week in response to a request from National Grid Plc, Unitil Corp. and Eversource Energy for about 9.45 million megawatt-hours of annual clean energy supply. The contracts — open to hydro-electric, solar and other forms of clean energy — require the majority of power to be delivered during late winter afternoons and evenings.  “Those hours are very valuable to the grid,” said Grybowski, who plans to use a 40-megawatt storage system. “The battery will ensure that we can do that.”  Massachusetts will award the contracts in December and is expected to make the bids public this week, Grybowski said. Deepwater, which built the first U.S. wind farm off Rhode Island, also plans to compete later this year for contracts limited exclusively to offshore wind developers to comply with a Massachusetts law to aggressively develop the nascent industry in the U.S.

U.S. wind power momentum up 40 percent from last year

29 Jul 2017   Wind

About half of the population in the state of Kansas could now be drawing energy from wind power as the U.S. sector gains momentum, an industry report showed. A quarterly report from the American Wind Energy Association found the sector is gaining traction. Compared with last year, there were 40 percent more wind energy projects under construction or advancing through the development stage during the second quarter. Nation-wide, more than two dozen wind projects, representing a combined 3,841 megawatts, started construction or advanced toward construction during the second quarter. With 178 MW of new wind power capacity coming online in the second quarter, Kansas became the […]

Shale-rich Oklahoma to host mega-wind farm

28 Jul 2017   Wind

 Once operational, the Wind Catcher wind farm in Oklahoma will be the second largest in the world and largest in the United States, the companies involved said. The renewable energy division of General Electric and Invenergy, the largest independent renewable energy company in North America, announced construction is under way for the Wind Catcher wind farm in the Oklahoma panhandle. At its peak, the facility will generate about 2,000 megawatts of power from 800 wind turbines from GE. If all the regional regulators coordinate, and the necessary utility infrastructure is in place, Wind Cathcer could help meet the power demands of more than 1 million customers. “Wind Catcher shows American leadership in […]

Researchers Have Been Underestimating the Cost of Wind and Solar

26 Jul 2017   Solar, Wind

How should electricity from wind turbines and solar panels be evaluated? Should it be evaluated as if these devices are stand-alone devices? Or do these devices provide electricity that is of such low quality, because of its intermittency and other factors, that we should recognize the need for supporting services associated with actually putting the electricity on the grid? This question comes up in many types of evaluations, including Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI), Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), and Energy Payback Period (EPP). I recently gave a talk called The Problem of Properly Evaluating Intermittent Renewable Resources (PDF) at a BioPhysical Economics Conference in Montana. As many of you know, this is the group that is concerned about Energy Returned on Energy Invested (EROI). As you might guess, my conclusion is that the current methodology is quite misleading. Wind and solar are not […]

Saudi Arabia Launches Tender For Wind Plant

18 Jul 2017   Saudi Arabia, Wind

Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry has invited bids for a 400-MW wind power plant to be built in northwestern Saudi Arabia. According to the press release, the Dumat Al Jandal wind power plant will be the first utility-scale wind project in the Kingdom. The plant’s construction is part of a large-scale program to shift away from the Kingdom’s heavy reliance on oil and gas, stipulated in the Vision 2030 initiative. The shift from fossil fuels to renewables will cost some US$50 billion, to be distributed over the next decade. Plans are to have a tenth of the Kingdom’s power generated by renewable energy sources by 2023. This means 9.5 GW of installed capacity needs to be built by that year. Interested companies will have until August 10 to present their qualifications to the ministry. On August 29, the ministry will start the process for request for proposals, which will continue […]

Plans for U.S. Wind Farms Run Into Headwinds

10 Jul 2017   USA, Wind

After two decades spinning power from the gusts that sweep Europe’s North Sea, the offshore wind industry is finally turning to the U.S. A big hurdle: getting its giant turbines to American waters. No one in the U.S. currently makes turbine towers sizable enough for use in deep waters—one of the many challenges impeding the buildup of offshore wind on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. The first offshore wind installation…

Norway’s Largest Wind Farm To Power Google Data Centers

7 Jul 2017   Wind

A new wind farm in Norway will begin providing electricity to tech giant Google by early September, according to an announcement from holding company Alphabet on Wednesday. The 50-turbine Tellenes wind farm will produce 160 MW of power – making it the biggest facility of its kind in Norway, and Google’s largest in Europe. “We’ll purchase power as soon as the wind farm becomes fully operational, which we expect will take place in early September 2017,” a Google spokesman told Reuters . Last year, Google contractually agreed to buy 100 percent of Tellenes’ output to partially power its data centers in Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Ireland. Zephyr, the company constructing the wind farm, said the facility should be operational next week. From then until early September, the farm’s energy will go to the Nord Pool power exchange. “Google will not immediately get the supply. It has an exclusive […]

Wind, solar energy have not harmed U.S. power grid: industry study

21 Jun 2017   Solar, Wind

With the Trump administration expected to publish an analysis that could undermine the U.S. wind and solar industries, two renewable energy lobbying groups on Tuesday released their own study saying new energy sources pose no threat to the country’s power grid. Wind and solar advocates have said the government study’s outcome appeared to be pre-determined to favor fossil fuel industries. The new report, commissioned by the American Wind Energy Association and Advanced Energy Economy, says cheap natural gas is behind most of the decline in the numbers of U.S. coal-fired power plants in recent years, not government subsidies that have bolstered the growth of wind and solar power. It also said there is no evidence to show that wind and solar energy are threatening the reliability of the electric grid. The groups commissioned the report shortly after […]

America’s hungriest wind and solar power users: big companies

21 Jun 2017   Solar, Wind

FILE PHOTO: A man views solar panels on a roof at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., on June 18, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White/File Photo Major U.S. corporations such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc and General Motors Co have become some of America’s biggest buyers of renewable energy, driving growth in an industry seen as key to helping the United States cut carbon emissions. Last year nearly 40 percent of U.S. wind contracts were signed by corporate power users, along with university and military customers. That’s up from just 5 percent in 2013, according to the American Wind Energy Association trade group. These users also accounted for an unprecedented 10% of the market for large-scale solar projects in 2016, figures from research firm GTM Research show. Just two years earlier there were none. The big reason: lower energy bills. GRAPHIC – Big companies are powering the U.S. clean energy push: […]

Solar And Wind Revolution Happening Much Faster Than Expected

16 Jun 2017   Solar, Wind

The clean energy revolution is unfolding even faster than previously thought, which will have massive ramifications not just for the solar and wind industry, but also for the fading fortunes of old King Coal. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) published its “ New Energy Outlook ” (NEO), with renewable energy forecasts through 2040. BNEF says that the costs of wind and solar are falling rapidly, and the transition to cleaner energy will be more significant than expected. “ This year’s report suggests that the greening of the world’s electricity system is unstoppable, thanks to rapidly falling costs for solar and wind power, and a growing role for batteries, including those in electric vehicles, in balancing supply and demand, ” said Seb Henbest, BNEF’s lead author of the NEO 2017. Solar is already cost-competitive with coal and natural gas in parts of Europe and the U.S., and solar will become […]

U.S. wind power accelerating at near-record pace

3 May 2017   Wind

An annual report from a wind energy trade group in the United States found the sector is in the midst of extraordinary growth and Texas is leading the way. Tuesday’s report from the American Wind Energy Association found first quarter U.S. installations reached 2,000 megawatts, triple the capacity from one year ago, for one of the strongest quarters on record. “The addition of North Carolina’s first utility-scale wind project brings U.S. installed wind power capacity to 84,143 MW across 41 states,” the report read. With a White House under President Donald Trump moving in favor of legacy energy resources like oil and coal, the AWEA joined two other renewable energy trade groups last week in defending […]

Wind turbines provide 8% of U.S. generating capacity, more than any other renewable source

3 May 2017   Wind

Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory Wind generators accounted for 8% of the operating electric generating capacity in the United States in 2016, more than any other renewable technology, including hydroelectricity . Wind turbines have contributed more than one-third of the nearly 200 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale electricity generating capacity added since 2007. The increase in wind development in the United States over the past decade reflects a combination of improved wind turbine technology, increased access to transmission capacity, state-level renewable portfolio standards, and federal production tax credits and grants. More than half of U.S. wind capacity is located in five states: Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, California, and Kansas. In three states—Iowa, Kansas, and Oklahoma—wind makes up at least 25% of in-state utility-scale generating capacity. Several states with the highest wind capacity are located in the Midwest, a region with favorable wind resources . As of […]

Oklahoma to end tax credits for wind energy

19 Apr 2017   Wind

Oklahoma is resting on its laurels in the renewable energy sector by signing legislation ending tax credits for the wind industry, the state’s governor said. Gov. Mary Fallin put her signature on a bill that ends tax credits for wind power, effective July 1. In a statement, the governor said the tax credits were part of a comprehensive energy strategy that left wind accounting for more than 25 percent of the electricity mix in Oklahoma. “With the support of the zero emissions tax credit, our state has become a national leader in wind energy,” she said. “Currently, Oklahoma ranks third in the nation in total installed wind capacity.” The governor’s signature ends the tax support three years early, though polling data from […]

Saudis Target 30 Solar, Wind Projects in $50 Billion Pledge

18 Apr 2017   Saudi Arabia, Solar, Wind

World’s biggest exporter of crude seeks to wean itself off oil Government to tender for 400 megawatts of wind in 4th quarter Saudi Arabia will develop 30 solar and wind projects over the next 10 years as part of the kingdom’s $50 billion program to boost power generation and cut its oil consumption. The world’s biggest exporter of crude oil will produce 10 percent of its power from renewables by 2023, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said Monday at a conference in Riyadh. It also plans to generate an unspecified amount of electricity from nuclear plants. The country is currently seeking bids to build 700 megawatts of wind and solar power capacity in a first round of tenders. It plans a second tender round for rights to build 400 megawatts more of wind power and an additional 620 megawatts of solar plants, Turki Al Shehri, head of the ministry’s renewable […]

German power company examining new wind energy options

12 Apr 2017   Germany, Wind

Technology for wind energy could use fixed-wing or sails for power in a way that would make deployment easier for deep waters, a German company said. German energy company E.ON said it made an investment commitment with Ampyx Power to test so-called airborne wind energy technology. “This novel technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as airborne wind devices are cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain than conventional wind turbines,” the German company explained. “Additionally, they are easier deployed in deeper waters surrounding countries such as Portugal, Japan and the United States.” Ampyx Power is a pioneer in the development of novel wind energy technologies and the company said teaming up with E.ON was “clear […]

Wind hits new monthly record for share of ERCOT energy

11 Apr 2017   Wind

More than one in four megawatt-hours consumed in March in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was supplied by wind power — the biggest share ever for renewables in the Lone Star State’s main grid operator, a report released Monday shows. ERCOT’s monthly Demand and Energy Report shows the grid used almost 26 TWh in March, of which wind supplied about 6.6 TWh, equal to about 25.4% of the total, which beat the previous record, 23.3%, set in February. In March 2016, the percentage was 15.5%. Wind’s total in March was less than 2 percentage points below that of coal-fired generation, which supplied the second-largest share, 7.1 TWh or 27.2%. Article continues below… Coal’s total was up from 6.9 TWh in February but ERCOT had a smaller overall total of energy consumed at less than 23 TWh. Therefore, coal’s share equaled 30%. In March 2016, coal plants supplied 3.1 […]

Wind turbine maker Vestas looks at expanding into energy storage

7 Apr 2017   Wind

Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest wind turbine maker, is keen to expand into areas such as energy storage to increase the global use of wind power and bring costs down. The wind industry is entering a phase of slower growth and steadier demand for turbines, prompting producers to look at alternatives to grow revenue. “The storage side is interesting and there are a lot of small start-ups that might be of interest. I’m looking for industry batteries,” Vestas Chairman Bert Nordberg told Reuters. “If you can store over-production in a good way it would take down the total cost.” Energy storage is the capture of energy produced for use at a later time, for instance in the form of batteries. The technology is becoming increasingly viable with the […]

Mega-wind farm offshore Denmark clears hurdle

29 Mar 2017   Wind

Danish plans to build one of the larger wind farms in European territorial waters are in line with competition and environmental goals there, a governing body said. Denmark in February told the European Commission it was offering state-backed premiums for the price of electricity to support the Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm. Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner in charge of competition policy, said the wind farm will help Denmark cut back on greenhouse gas emissions without distorting the market. “The Kriegers Flak offshore wind farm will help to cut carbon dioxide emissions while the support is carefully designed to avoid distorting competition in electricity markets,” she said in a statement . “I’m glad to be able to approve state support for this project.” […]

Big Oil Replaces Rigs With Wind Turbines

23 Mar 2017   Wind

Royal Dutch Shell Plc , Statoil ASA and Eni SpA are moving into multi-billion-dollar offshore wind farms in the North Sea and beyond. They’re starting to score victories against leading power suppliers including Dong Energy A/S and Vattenfall AB in competitive auctions for power purchase contracts, which have developed a specialty in anchoring massive turbines on the seabed. The oil companies have many reasons to move into the industry. They’ve spent decades building oil projects offshore, and that business is winding down in some areas where older fields have drained. Returns from wind farms are predictable and underpinned by government-regulated electricity prices. And fossil fuel executives want to get a piece of the clean-energy business as forecasts emerge that renewables will eat into their market. “It is certainly […]

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 […]