Wind

Can Deep Water Wind Farms Power The World?

12 Oct 2017   Wind

Far out to sea, amid the crashing waves of the North Atlantic, there’s a fortune to be made. According to new research, deep water wind farms could produce enough energy to meet all existing and future electricity demand, if properly harnessed. In a study published on October 9 by researchers at the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University, it’s estimated that deep water offshore turbines could produce three to five times as much energy as land-based turbines, due to the higher speeds and consistent force of the wind at sea. One ‘small’ wind farm, covering 70 thousand square kilometers, could provide enough electricity to power the entire United States for ten years, according to the study. A major factor in generating wind power is the movement of energy from higher in the atmosphere to the surface, where the turbines can transform it into electricity. The researchers found that […]

Shell to Seek Sale of Stake in $1.4 Billion Wind Farm

3 Oct 2017   Wind

Company and partners may cut wind-farm ownership by up to 45% Group won the 700-megawatt project in auction last year Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its partners Eneco Holdings NV and Mitsubishi Corp. are seeking to sell a stake in two Dutch offshore wind-farm projects that may cost $1.4 billion to develop, two people familiar with the plan said. The companies are looking to reduce their ownership in the Borssele III and IV wind farms by as much as 45 percent, according to the people who asked not to be named because they aren’t authorized to speak about it publicly. The fourth partner, infrastructure contractor Van Oord NV, is keeping its share of the project. The move would allow the companies to scale back financial exposure to the wind farms and redeploy the cash in new projects with the potential for higher returns. Shell has said only that it […]

Ice And Drones: The Future Of Wind Energy

2 Oct 2017   Wind

Parts of the world with incredible wind energy potential have long been inaccessible to wind farms. But with the completion of the first offshore wind farm built to withstand ice-prone conditions, the industry has clearly evolved. When it comes to cold-weather climates, wind farm designers face a variety of concerns, notably the impact of low temperatures on the turbines and the collection of ice on the turbines and snow. When the industry first began, developers knew the consequences of ice accumulation. That’s why the very first wind farm was located on Grandpa’s Knob in Rutland, Vermont. They selected this particular mountain despite more elevated ones being available precisely because they wanted to avoid the possibility of structural failure. Today, things have changed. At the end of the summer 2017, Finland wind power production company Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy took over the country’s Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm. The project began in […]

Germany gets economic lift with wind energy

23 Sep 2017   Germany, Wind

With the start of construction of a new wind farm off the coast of Germany, officials said the nation’s economy was supported through low-carbon efforts. German energy company E.ON, with support from Norway’s Statoil, hosted a ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Arkona offshore wind farm, which formally started in late August. Christian Pegel, a regional Germany energy minister, said the wind project represented an important economic milestone because of its new job creation potential. “The Arkona offshore wind project is a key investment in the expansion of wind power,” he said in a statement . E.ON laid the first of the 60 foundations for the wind farm in national waters of the Baltic Sea in late August . Foundations […]

How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Solar and Wind Power Alone

16 Sep 2017   Solar, Wind

While the potential of wind and solar energy is more than sufficient to supply the electricity demand of industrial societies, these resources are only available intermittently. To ensure that supply always meets demand, a renewable power grid needs an oversized power generation and transmission capacity of up to ten times the peak demand. It also requires a balancing capacity of fossil fuel power plants, or its equivalent in energy storage. Consequently, matching supply to demand at all times makes renewable power production a complex, slow, expensive and unsustainable undertaking. Yet, if we would adjust energy demand to the variable supply of solar and wind energy, a renewable power grid could be much more advantageous. Using wind and solar energy only when they’re available is a traditional concept that modern technology can improve upon significantly. 100% Renewable Energy It is widely believed that in the future, renewable energy production will […]

The Two Nations Leading The Wind Power Race

China and the UK have teamed up to develop the next generation of offshore wind power capacity, with a focus on identifying the best locations for the new installations and making them more resilient to harsh weather conditions including typhoons and earthquakes. The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council said research teams from the two countries will work together on five projects, to receive funding from the Joint UK-China Renewable Energy program as well as financial support from NERC and the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The UK and China are among the leaders in renewable energy globally, and their new tie-up will solidify their position at the top of the clean-energy-adopters list. The UK already has the largest offshore wind capacity in Europe, and last year a quarter of all electricity generation came from renewables. China last year installed 23.4 GW of new wind capacity, which accounted for […]

Last of the 67 turbines for a British wind farm installed

Statoil, a Norwegian oil and gas company with a footprint in renewables, said the last of the 67 turbines at a wind facility off the British coast is in place. Statoil said the last of the 67 turbines at the Dudgeon wind farm off the British coast are in place. By next month, the facility could provide service for 410,000 average British homes at peak capacity, though phased installations meant households started receiving electricity in February. Apart from Russia, Norway is one of the leading oil and natural gas suppliers to the European market. Statoil is its main energy company, but said wind energy was a natural fit. “Dudgeon offshore wind farm is part of Statoil’s strategy of […]

Texas makes wind energy strides

7 Sep 2017   Wind

Two wind farms in Texas will become the second- and third-largest facilities with extra storage capacity installed so far, a German power company said. German energy company E.ON said it started construction on a 20 megawatt storage facility to service its Inadale and Pyron wind facilities in the west of Texas. “With both the industrial-scale 10 MW plants, E.ON is expanding its role as an important player in the North American power storage market,” the company said in a statement . “These are the second and third-largest lithium ion battery systems which are connected to the network which E.ON has installed in the United States.” By state, Texas, the No. 1 oil producer in the United States, has the most installed wind […]

Tesla’s New Frontier: Batteries And Wind

6 Sep 2017   Wind

Electric car builder Tesla and wind turbine manufacturer Vestas have combined forces to create an energy storage system based on wind power

Saudi Arabia Shortlists 25 Bidders For First Utility-Scale Wind Plant

30 Aug 2017   Saudi Arabia, Wind

Saudi Arabia has shortlisted 25 companies that qualify to bid for proposals to build a 400-MW wind power plant in the northern part of the Kingdom, in what would be the first utility-scale wind power project, the Renewable Energy Project Development Office (REPDO) of Saudi Arabia’s Energy Ministry said on Tuesday. REPDO has qualified 25 companies—including major players in renewables such as Acciona, Enel Green Power, EDF Energies Nouvelles as well as technology giants such as GE, units of Siemens, Marubeni, and Mitsui, among others—to bid for the 400-MW Dumat Al Jandal project. The qualified companies will proceed to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage as either ‘managing members’ or ‘technical members’ – or both – based on their experience in delivering IPP projects of this scale, the Saudi ministry said. Saudi Arabia invited initial bids in July, and the interested companies had until August 10 to present their […]

First foundations set for Baltic Sea wind farm

25 Aug 2017   Germany, Wind

 German energy company E.ON said Thursday it laid the first of the 60 foundations for a wind farm development in national waters of the Baltic Sea. The German company said it’s deploying the 60 so-called monopiles about 25 miles offshore. Foundations for a common substation were installed last month and the entire project could start generating energy for German consumers by 2019. Nine countries that share a border with the North Sea — Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden — agreed last year to improve infrastructure to support offshore wind. Germany leads among European nations in terms of offshore wind energy growth, though Great Britain has more offshore wind capacity installed. Germany has one of the […]

Minor Market Reforms Are Called Enough to Support Electric Grid

24 Aug 2017   Solar, USA, Wind

A widely anticipated federal report suggests minor market reforms can help ensure a reliable electric power grid and shies away from handouts to struggling coal and nuclear-power producers. The Energy Department study of the electric grid says cheap natural gas is the primary culprit behind dozens of coal and nuclear plant closings in recent years. Renewables and expanding regulations are only secondary factors, says the study, which suggests more research investment can help the grid better adapt to increasing wind and solar power. When Energy Secretary Rick Perry commissioned the study in April, some in the coal and nuclear industries anticipated that it would encourage the federal government to help them. And critics alleged rhetoric from Mr. Perry suggested he was prescribing conclusions for a rollback of regulations or government […]

Why Tesla Is Interested In Offshore Wind

21 Aug 2017   Wind

Platt’s recently reported that global offshore wind capacity could double to 34 GWs by 2020, growing at a compound rate of 19 percent per year. The rapid expansion would be driven chiefly by new capacity in the North Sea and China. In fact, offshore capacity in East Asia will outstrip that of Europe by 2022. But what about the U.S.? Rapidly declining costs, improving reliability and the success of the first offshore installation in Rhode Island are encouraging companies to take further chances on offshore wind. New offshore projects are attracting the interest and attention of major energy companies, as wind power continues to increase its share of the total U.S. energy market. Leases for offshore wind development are being snapped up by European energy companies, which have decades of experience installing offshore wind farms. Royal Dutch/Shell has been investing in electricity start-ups and other ventures to improve its […]

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 […]