Utility system in NE Vermont to be strengthened, resolving concerns about new wind power
In recent days, concerns have arisen about whether additional wind generation can be accommodated by the utility system in Vermont's "Northeast Kingdom," a rural four-county area that has some of the state's best wind sites.
The reason for the concern is that the utility system in the area is very "weak," with no large transmission lines. Bottlenecks on the transmission system have forced the system operator to reduce the output of one of the existing wind projects on some occasions.
This is a highly localized problem caused by the weak utility system, and would likely occur with any energy source that was added on that part of the grid. In addition, it is a fixable problem--by the end of this year, Green Mountain Power Co., the state's largest ...
California ISO reports new wind generation record: 4,196 MW
Wind power set a new generation record on the California Independent System Operator Corp. (CA-ISO) system Friday, but the mark lasted only two days before being eclipsed Sunday, CA-ISO said in a news release.
Sunday's record was set when turbines on the system topped out at 4,196 megawatts (MW) at 6:44 p.m. CA-ISO is the main operator for the state’s high-voltage network, serving about 80 percent of the Golden State.
On Friday, total wind levels surpassed the 4,000-MW milestone when 4,095 MW helped to power California. Previously, the all-time record peak output for wind energy was 3,944 MW, reached March 3. After Sunday's record, wind levels remained high and again crossed the 4,000-MW mark on Monday, hitting a peak of 4,022 MW.
“With these ...
New Yorker explains nocebo effect, NPR airs junk science
In recent weeks, we've reported here on new studies from Australia and New Zealand that strongly suggest ailments attributed to wind turbine sound are actually caused by the "nocebo" (similar to placebo) effect, in which individuals who are led to expect physical symptoms experience those symptoms, whether or not the supposed cause of the symptoms is actually present.
This week's news stories have included two related items, one illuminating and the other less so.
First, the New Yorker blog has an ...
Fact check: GAO report gives misleading picture of federal incentives for wind
A recently commissioned Government Accountability Office (GAO) report was particularly unusual in singling out the wind industry, since numerous federal programs encourage all the various forms of energy.
Federal energy incentives are in place because it has always been in the public interest to ensure stable, low-priced energy, which in turn supports U.S. economic growth. With respect to wind, these policies have been working, as according to a 2012 report from Credit Suisse, current wind prices are affordable and competitive with all other forms of energy.
While the GAO report may provide useful sound bites for wind power opponents, only 16 of the 82 programs it tracked were solely for wind power. In fact, the majority of programs supported renewable energy ...
Fact check: Attack by Locke Foundation's Sanders on N.C. RPS relies on flawed data
A recent column in the Carolina Journal by Jon Sanders, Director of Regulatory Studies at the fossil fuel- and tobacco-funded John Locke Foundation, criticized North Carolina's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law. In doing so, Mr. Sanders ignored real-world data, instead citing analyses from a variety of questionable sources such as the fossil-funded Beacon Hill Institute and American Tradition Institute.
As noted by other third party reviews, Beacon Hill is notorious ...
Apple, Walmart highlight big-name corporations’ move to renewables
The next time you download a song from iTunes, you can rest assured that renewable energy is 100 percent behind it.
Recently, high-tech giant Apple, the largest-ever U.S. company based on stock value, said that its data centers are now 100 percent powered by renewable energy. The company’s goal, it says, is to power every one of its facilities with energy from renewable sources, including wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal.
Apple is not the only big-name corporation to make news with renewables usage. It’s part of a trend, and that trend will be a central topic in ...
Fact check: Tang Energy's Jenevein off target with swipes at wind power
Continuing its unending stream of columns bashing wind power, yesterday's Wall Street Journal opinion page included an article by Patrick Jenevein of Tang Energy, criticizing wind power and the federal tax credit that has been its primary incentive. Mr. Jenevein's column omits some key facts:
Wind power is already making revolutionary contributions to America's energy supply. Two states, Iowa and South Dakota, are now generating more than 20 percent of their electricity with wind, while nine topped 10 percent in 2012. In 2012, the U.S. wind industry passed a milestone, having cumulatively generated more electricity than could be generated by burning 1 billion barrels of oil--without using any fuel or emitting any air pollution or greenhouse ...
USDA program announces funding for renewables, efficiency
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued a notice of funding availability (NOFA) for grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The notice appeared on page 19183 of the Federal Register for March 29. The application deadline for a number of the funding choices is April 30.
The NOFA included a list of the state offices where applications must be filed. The balance of the notice is reprinted below:
Notice of Funding Availability for the Rural Energy for America Program
AGENCY: Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.
SUMMARY: This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces ...
Fact check: Debunking Howard Rich's errors on wind
A recent column by Howard Rich on Forbes.com simply repackaged many previously refuted myths about wind power. Recent posts on this blog have already debunked a study on wind resource potential and explained that wind energy has been a success story for reducing fossil fuel use and emissions in Germany and other European countries.
However, it is worth reiterating why wind energy: (1) does not negatively impact the reliability of electric utility systems; (2) only requires a relatively small amount ...
New Hampshire Senate votes to continue support for renewable energy
The New Hampshire state Senate voted 20-4 today against a moratorium on new wind energy projects in the state.
The decision allows communities in New Hampshire to continue to develop cost-effective, environmentally friendly wind farms.
Wind energy and related activities have created nearly 1,000 jobs in New Hampshire and provide revenues for local towns, school districts and the state's general fund. Wind energy projects benefit many landowners in New Hampshire, including those who lease land for turbines and can continue to use 98 percent of their land for other purposes, including farming, logging, hunting and snowmobiling.
Wind energy has also helped lower the cost of energy for consumers in New Hampshire and across New England. In a January ...
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