A personal quest to promote the use of wind energy and hydrogen technology in the Great Lakes area of the United States. The Great Lakes area is in a unique position to become an energy exporting region through these and other renewable energy technologies. *Update 2014: Just do it everywhere - Dan*
Monday, September 19, 2016
Enel secures $500M in financing for 400-MW Kan. project
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AWEA's Sloan: Clean air, low-cost energy among benefits of RPS | Okla. becoming a leader in wind development, says AWEA's Hunt | Analysis: Multiyear PTC extension slowed nonutility PPAs
Thirty-seven states benefit from Renewable Portfolio Standards that drive down the cost of electricity from renewables and deliver environmental benefits, like cleaner air quality, writes Susan Williams Sloan, vice president of state policy for the American Wind Energy Association. "Wind stands ready to meet the demand for clean, reliable, low-cost power in the 21st Century," she writes.
Oklahoma, which is ranked fourth in the country in terms of installed wind capacity, is rapidly becoming a national leader in wind development, according to American Wind Energy Association Senior Analyst Hannah Hunt. She said the industry can continue to drive down costs and encourage the spread of renewables by building new transmission projects, especially in rural areas.
Corporate power purchase agreements have declined in 2016 since Congress decided to extend the wind energy Production Tax Credit for a five-year period, according to this analysis. Observers say a lot of companies rushed to sign deals at the end of last year in case the credit wasn't extended, but now have more time to plan and prepare for future PPAs. "There was such a flurry that people may be taking a breather, but there's significant activity ahead," said Renewable Choice Energy CEO Pete Dignan. Companies like Amazon and Johnson & Johnson announced major wind power deals recently.
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EDP Renewables North America has begun installing 48 Gamesa G114 2.1-megawatt machines at the Amazon US Central wind project in Ohio, according to the company. EDPR spokeswoman Blair Matocha said the 100-MW project would likely become operational by the end of the year.
Johnson & Johnson has secured a 12-year power purchase agreement for 100 megawatts of output from a 200-MW project in Texas under development by E.ON. "We want to use our spending power to drive change. To have healthy people, we need a healthy climate," said Jed Richardson, Johnson & Johnson's global energy director.
Boralex has purchased three wind farms with a combined capacity of almost 200 megawatts in France and Scotland, according to the company. "The acquisition also demonstrates our willingness to explore new markets and we believe that Scotland, with its very advantageous wind conditions and a political environment generally favorable to renewable energy, including onshore wind power, offers attractive growth opportunities in the medium term," said President and CEO Patrick Lemaire.
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Enel Green Power has raised $500 million in financing for a 400-megawatt project in Kansas dubbed Cimarron Bend, according to the company. Enel broke ground on the project in April and hopes to make it operational next year.
Whirlpool has been expanding its installed wind portfolio in recent years and is preparing to launch projects in Ohio that will offset some of the electricity use at facilities in Marion and Ottawa, according to this piece. Whirlpool already operates wind turbines at a facility in Findlay. Observers say this is a part of Whirlpool's sustainability agenda, which also includes solar energy and energy-efficiency projects.
Critics say Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump could have a detrimental effect on the nation's clean energy agenda if elected president. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who has pledged to embrace clean energy as part of her platform, would likely offer more benefits to the sector, but that the industry may have enough momentum to withstand Trump's influence, observers say.
When April 15 rolls around, how would you like to pay no local taxes? For the town of Sheldon, N.Y., that's been the case since a wind farm came online eight years ago. Sheldon sits in the upper western corner of New York, just a short ride from Buffalo. It's an agricultural community with more dairy farms than any other county in the state. In 2009, Invenergy's High Sheldon wind farm started generating electricity, and the project's benefits have been helping the people of Sheldon ever since. Read more.
A new way to cut costs
AWEA is hitting the road this week to visit wind projects across New York, factories in Ohio that supply the industry, and more. The first stop: Sentient Science. We often talk about physical innovations that helped cut wind's costs by two-thirds in six years. Technological advances allow new wind turbines to reach stronger, steadier winds, meaning they can generate more electricity more of the time. The work done by Sentient Science and others represents the next frontier in cost cutting -- using software and data to optimize wind turbine performance. Read more.
These stories were selected and summarized by independent editors at SmartBrief Inc., not by AWEA's staff, and do not represent AWEA positions. They reflect the variety of daily coverage of American wind power.