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*
Companies seeking renewable energy power purchase agreements should be more interested in how the deals in question would affect greenhouse gas emissions than what their total capacity is, writes Daniel Cohan, an assistant professor at Rice University. Cohan argues that building new wind and solar projects will have a greater impact than purchasing renewable energy credits.
Wind development remains a challenge for Connecticut, given the state's limited available land and relatively weak wind resources, according to state Rep. Lonnie Reed, co-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. "We have a highly educated population of environmentalists, who love the idea of renewables but are very concerned about what tracts of land are going to be utilized for it," she said.
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E.ON has begun building the 278-megawatt, 139-turbine Twin Forks project in Illinois, which is expected to begin operations sometime in 2017, according to the company. "E.ON's wind farms not only produce clean, renewable power, but create jobs, give farmers and land owners additional sources of income, and help local officials improve schools and other critical public services," said Patrick Woodson, E.ON North America chairman and American Wind Energy Association board member.
Apex Clean Energy has sold the 147-megawatt Grant Plains project in Oklahoma to Southern Power, bringing the utility's total capacity, including projects under construction, to over 2,400 MW. The Grant Plains wind farm will feature 64 machines from Siemens.
Akuo Energy and Eurus Energy America have begun operations of a 50-megawatt wind farm in Uruguay featuring 15 Vestas V117 3.3-MW turbines. The Florida 2 wind farm is the second project the duo have completed in the country.
Vattenfall will spend about $3.3 million to research the effect of offshore wind development on the environment, according to the company. "In-depth scientific research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognized as vital to maximizing the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector," said European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre Project Director Adam Ezzamel.
President Barack Obama plans to sign the Paris climate accord "as soon as possible," according to senior adviser Brian Deese. Under the agreement, almost 200 countries pledged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by 2025.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has scheduled a Sept. 20 informational session to discuss the upcoming Kitty Hawk offshore wind leasing auction in North Carolina. If approved, the agency could auction off the right to develop an offshore wind farm on a 122,405-acre stretch off the coast of the state.
Adding wind power to America's electricity mix creates a stronger power system, writes Michael Goggin, Senior Research Director at AWEA. By increasing diversity, he says, wind energy is a critical tool for increasing reliability: "Individual wind plants typically generate electricity over 90 percent of the time, a number that is increasing due to technological advances allowing wind turbines to reach stronger, steadier winds." This increases even further when grid operators combine the output of all wind plants, and all sources of energy supply and demand, over large regions. Commercial wind turbines now operate in 41 states. Goggin says "adding wind energy to a system never increases the need for other power plants, but rather reduces it."
An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist
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.