Friday, April 21, 2017

Starbucks turns to wind, solar to power storefronts

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AWEA: Wind jobs are growing 9 times faster than US economy | Maryland Energy Administration offers $1M in offshore wind grants | Analysis: Higher capacity offshore turbines are driving down costs
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April 21, 2017
Wind Energy SmartBrief
News for wind power professionals and advocates
Industry Update
AWEA: Wind jobs are growing 9 times faster than US economy
The US added almost 15,000 wind-related jobs in 2016, which shows jobs in the sector are growing nine times faster than the nation's economy, overall, according to the American Wind Energy Association. "Last year, wind energy became America's No. 1 source of renewable generating capacity, further advancing US energy security," said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.
CleanTechnica (4/20) 
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Maryland Energy Administration offers $1M in offshore wind grants
The Maryland Energy Administration has introduced the Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program and the Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program, two grant programs that will give a total of $1 million to businesses that support the state's growing offshore wind industry. The agency said the programs will focus on helping firms enter the market, upgrade facilities and on workforce development. (U.K.) (4/21) 
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Analysis: Higher capacity offshore turbines are driving down costs
Manufacturers led by Siemens are developing massive offshore wind turbines that have a much greater capacity than today's models and significantly cut costs by requiring fewer connections and foundations, write Jess Shankleman, Brian Parkin and Anna Hirtenstein. Bloomberg New Energy Finance Analyst Keegan Kruger said that the machines, which are expected to hit the market by 2025, will help companies like Dong Energy and EnBW drive down costs and make it feasible to built large-scale projects without federal support.
Bloomberg (4/21) 
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Renewable energy leadership doesn't have to be partisan, says energy analyst
Six of the top 10 states in installed renewable energy capacity are considered Democratic or "blue" states, and the remaining four are Republican or "red," said the Union of Concerned Scientists, adding that Wyoming's growing wind industry put it at the head of the pack. UCS Energy Analyst John Rogers said the report shows that renewable energy leadership "doesn't have to be a red state-blue state thing." (free content) (4/20) 
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Project Focus
Infinergy plans phase 3 at Scottish wind farm
Infinergy is in the early stages of developing a third phase for its 69-megawatt Lochluichart project in the Scottish Highlands, said the company. It said the phase could include up to eight turbines. (U.K.) (4/20) 
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Economy, Energy & Trends
Starbucks turns to wind, solar to power storefronts
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)
Starbucks has invested in a 260-acre solar farm in North Carolina, which will be used to provide electricity to power 600 of the company's stores throughout the East Coast. "For a company like Starbucks and some of the tech companies that use a lot of energy, to be able to source their needs in a positive way is a win-win," said Starbucks Energy and Resource Manager Patrick Leonard.
GeekWire (4/20) 
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Microsoft, Facebook, other firms are focused on renewables
Microsoft, Facebook, ExxonMobil and other major US corporations are increasingly focused on incorporating renewable energy into their operations, writes Suzanne Ciechalski. Facebook already sources 35% of the electricity used by its data centers with renewables, and Microsoft has a data center in Wyoming that sources 100% of its electricity from wind.
KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) (4/20) 
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Policy Watch
N.D. Senate passes bill requiring aircraft detection lighting systems
The North Dakota Senate advanced a bill in a 45-1 vote on Thursday that would require aircraft detection lighting systems in all wind turbines approved after June 5, 2016, by Dec. 31, 2019. Projects approved before that point would have until Dec. 31, 2021, to make the changes.
The Bismarck Tribune (N.D.) (4/20) 
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N.C. lawmakers propose renewable energy standard freeze
Lawmakers in the North Carolina House of Representatives have introduced a bill seeking to freeze the state's renewable energy portfolio standard, which would require its utilities to source 12.5% of their electricity from renewables by 2021. The North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association criticized an argument that the REPS increases consumer electricity costs, adding that it has already saved residents $162 million and attracted $2.6 billion in new renewable energy investments.
WRAL-TV (Raleigh, N.C.) (4/20) 
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US District Court blocks Ore. wind farm
The US District Court in Portland, Ore., rejected a wind farm proposed by Columbia Energy Partners on Tuesday, arguing that it poses a threat to local sage grouse populations. The project had already secured approval from the Bureau of Land Management and Harney County.
The Oregonian (Portland)/The Associated Press (4/20) 
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I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
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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.
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