March 16, 2012
Bipartisan group of Senators propose PTC extension
AWEA applauded a bipartisan group of Senators who proposed an extension of the federal Production Tax Credit on Thursday.
Proposing the two-year extension were Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).
Two days prior, the transportation bill moved on after partisan amendments were voted down, including one from Stabenow with a 'kitchen's sink' of energy-related polices including a one-year extension of the PTC.
“Tax reform efforts might modify or address this incentive in the near future, but the jobs and opportunities provided by wind energy should not be abandoned in the meantime. And limiting the bill’s impact on the deficit can be addressed,” said Grassley. “Tax relief has succeeded in developing this clean, renewable and innovative energy source, and it ought to be continued with the degree of certainty that encourages continued investment. Unemployment remains high at 8.3 percent and energy costs are on the rise. Congress should renew the wind energy tax credit to develop clean energy alternatives and good paying jobs.”
Responding to the news of the legislation’s introduction, AWEA CEO Denise Bode said in a statement, "I want to applaud Senators Grassley, Udall, Brown, Harkin, Heller, Wyden and Bennet for introducing this important piece of legislation. The support of these Senate leaders, alongside the overwhelmingly strong and bipartisan support the Production Tax Credit extension has received in the House, clearly shows that wind energy is one of the few items of consensus in an otherwise difficult political climate.
"Immediate extension of the PTC is critical in order to save 37,000 U.S. wind manufacturing jobs that will otherwise be lost in the next year. Advancements in wind technology have resulted in a steady decline of the cost of electricity from wind, and we've been clear that we don't need the PTC forever. We are just asking to finish the job. One of America's fastest growing new manufacturing sectors would be lost if the PTC is not extended."
Udall said in media reports that he would be willing to move forward with the PTC without necessarily including the 1603 tax credit reimbursement program (from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) if it meant improving the chances at passage for the former.
“It’s like choosing between your children,” Udall said. “But if I had to choose, I think let’s say get the PTC back in place and continue to make the case for 1603.”
The introduction of the legislation capped a busy week for the PTC extension push. On Tuesday a pair of strikingly opposing PTC-related amendments—one that included an all-important, one-year PTC extension with numerous other energy provisions and another that would have ended the credit immediately, retroactive to the start of 2012—did not receive enough votes on Tuesday to be included in the transportation bill.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) introduced Senate Amendment 1812, which would have extended the PTC for one year, until the end of 2013, as well as extend the 1603 investment tax credit 48(C) manufacturing tax credit, in addition to including biodiesel and other provisions. Meanwhile, Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced his own amendment (Senate Amendment 1589) that, among other provisions, would have ended the PTC immediately upon passage—meaning that even projects under construction right now would not have been eligible for the credit. While the DeMint amendment claimed to cut all energy subsidies—it was the companion to the Pompeo bill in the House—it left untouched more than $30 billion in oil-and-gas incentives.
The transportation bill had been seen as a potential vehicle, albeit somewhat of a long shot, for a PTC extension. The wind industry is working feverishly for every possible legislative opportunity for a PTC extension because time is of the essence. While the PTC is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, the wind industry supply chain and the manufacturing jobs within it, in particular, are already feeling the effects of the uncertainty.
Meantime, Senate leadership engaged in a colloquy to agree on an extenders package for 2011 and a handful of 2012 tax extenders, including the PTC. The colloquy highlighted interest in the Senate in extending the PTC, among other provisions.
After one-year wait, Wisconsin siting rules take effect
Wind energy industry members and advocates expressed relief and thanks Thursday when the state’s new siting rules, originally scheduled to take effect a year ago, became law.
The latest news came after a bill to repeal the rules was sent back to committee last week and subsequently was not acted on further in the final days of the legislative session. Actions by Wisconsin-based member companies and individuals in the state were critical to making sure that the state legislature did not act to permanently suspend the rules in the waning days of the session.
The siting rules, developed by a wide range of stakeholders and deemed a major accomplishment by participants, were put in place by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in 2010 and were set to take effect in March 2011. The wind industry had embraced the rules because, while setting a high standard for siting, they provided the industry with the clarity needed to develop projects.
The original guidelines call for wind turbines to be set back from the nearest property line by 1.1 times the height of the turbine. They also require turbines to be no closer than 1,250 feet from the nearest residence. However, after the November 2010 elections, a bill was introduced to increase the property-line setback to 1,800 feet and the rules were suspended.
“The arrival of these siting rules is good news for Wisconsin because it means jobs for the Badger State—not only through the building of wind farms that produce clean, affordable electricity but in manufacturing as well,” said AWEA Director of Business Development Jeff Anthony, a Wisconsin native who is currently based there. “The wind energy supply chain gravitates to areas where there are wind projects, and the industry is eager to tap Wisconsin’s manufacturing infrastructure and know-how. We thank the Wisconsin legislature for their careful deliberation on this issue.”
South of the border: Vestas gets order for 396-MW project in Mexico
Vestas received a 396-MW order—with a particularly short lead time—for the Mareña Renovables project in Mexico’s state of Oaxaca in the southern part of the country.
The order consists of 132 units of the V90-3.0 MW turbine. The Mareña Renovables project will be located in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the southeastern region of Oaxaca. Delivery of the turbines will start in the second quarter of 2012.
Mareña Renovables is owned by a consortium comprising Macquarie Mexican Infrastructure Fund, Mitsubishi Corp., and PGGM, a Dutch pension fund service provider.
The turbine deal is a turnkey contract, with Vestas performing such functions as civil and electrical works, installation and commissioning of the wind turbines, implementation of a VestasOnline Business SCADA system, and a 10-year service-and-maintenance agreement.
The companies said the project is expected to be the largest “single-stage” wind farm in Latin America. Another notable element of the project is that its output will be bought by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, an operating company of brewing giant Heineken N.V., and subsidiaries of Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (FEMSA) under 20-year power purchase agreements. FEMSA, a large consumer company in Latin America, controls Coca-Cola FEMSA, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in the region, and OXXO, the largest and fastest-growing convenience store chain in Mexico.
Suzlon's REpower takes 20-MW UK turbine order
Suzlon Group subisidiary REpower Systems SE has signed contracts to supply a total of 20 MW of wind turbines to two project in England.
Six REpower 2.05-MW MM82 turbines will go to the 12-MW Armistead wind farm in South Cumbria, owned by Banks Renewables. The 8.2-MW Carsington Pasture wind farm, owned by independent power generation company International Power, will consist of four MM82 turbines. Both facilities are expected to be completed in 2013.
Around the Industry
Former UTC exec takes helm at Capital Safety
Capital Safety, the manufacturer of fall protection equipment under the DBI-SALA, UNILINE and PROTECTA brands, announced that Stephen Oswald will join the company as its new CEO.
For the last fifteen years, Oswald has held various executive roles at United Technologies Corp. (UTC), most recently serving as the integration leader for the company’s acquisition of GE Security. Prior to that, he served as president of the Hamilton Sundstrand Industrial Division and Sullair Corp.
Oswald will begin in his new position effective March 26. He will be based at Capital Safety’s headquarters, and will oversee the company’s global operations, which includes 20 manufacturing, distribution and training facilities worldwide.
“Stephen has a successful and repeated track record of growing top and bottom lines in industrial markets,” said Chairman Pat Velasco. “Combine this with his strong organizational and operations background, as well as his high energy leadership style, and it’s easy to see why we are so optimistic about our future together. He joins us after two excellent years of growth, and the addition of Stephen to our team sets the stage for continued strong performance going forward.”
GL Garrad Hassan gets new head of business development and sales
Christoph Thiel is the new head of business development and sales at GL Garrad Hassan, the company announced. Thiel, who is responsible for managing global sales and business development worldwide, works from the company’s headquarters in Hamburg. He started in his new position on March 1.
"We are very pleased to have Christoph back at GL Garrad Hassan. His breadth of experience and deep understanding of the market will be extremely valuable in helping us to strengthen GL Garrad Hassan's global presence," said Andrew Garrad, President of GL Garrad Hassan.
After studying electrical engineering, Christoph Thiel joined WINDTEST Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog, now a part of GL Garrad Hassan, in 1998, where he carried out load and power performance measurements on wind turbines. Thiel set up WINDTEST's Spanish subsidiary in Madrid and was based in Spain for almost three years before returning to Germany to build the business development department for Measurements & Inspections at Kaiser-Wilhelm-Koog. After a short period elsewhere in the wind industry, Christoph Thiel has now returned to GL Garrad Hassan.
Thinking of attending WINDPOWER 2012 but need supervisor approval?
WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition
June 3-6, 2012 > Atlanta, GA
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WINDPOWER 2012 Conference Proceedings are FREE when you register for a Main Conference Pass
Offering hours of educational sessions synched with session slides, video recordings from the General Sessions, and all the poster presentations from WINDPOWER, the Conference Proceedings make a Main Conference Pass to WINDPOWER event more valuable! Click here to learn more about the Proceedings and what you get.
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April 2 deadline for Offshore 2012 abstract submission!
The call for abstracts is open for the AWEA Offshore WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition taking place in Virginia Beach, October 9-11, 2012.
- Anyone interested in presenting at the conference MUST submit an abstract for consideration.
- Both speaking and poster presentation opportunities are available.
- Highly educational presentations offering attendees solutions to challenges that face the offshore wind industry, and/or ideas and innovations that will move the industry forward will be shown preference.
Click here for more information. Deadline to submit an abstract is April 2, 2012. All submitters will be notified by late May whether or not their abstracts were accepted.
Don’t forget to book a booth! Do it today to ensure the best possible location for your company.
Submit an abstract for the AWEA Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Seminar
AWEA Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Seminar
September 13 – 14 > Pittsburgh, PA
For the first time in its history, the AWEA Wind Resource & Project Energy Assessment Seminar is accepting abstracts. The opening of abstracts is an invitation for the infusion of new and innovative applied research from a broadened base of potential contributors for speaking roles and poster presentations. ABSTRACT DEADLINE: April 12, 2012 5:00 PM EST.
For complete details and to submit an abstract, CLICK HERE.
Mock financing = real development at the AWEA Wind Finance & Investment Seminar
AWEA Wind Finance & Investment Seminar 2012
April 12 - 13, 2012 > New York, NY
Register by April 9 to save.
AWEA’s Wind Finance & Investment Seminar brings together leading wind developers and project investors for a deep dive into the major issues impacting wind power. Join the major players in wind finance, and leading wind energy professionals at the AWEA Wind Finance & Investment Seminar to network and get answers to the big questions everyone is asking.
One of the highlights of this event is the mock financing sessions: two lively simulations, “Mock Financing: Find Project Debt” and “Mock Financing: Find Tax Equity,” led by wind industry project debt and tax equity leaders who illustrate the real-world questions facing wind farm development. You will certainly want to participate in these educational, yet entertaining, exercises.
This is what attendees thought about these panels last year:
- “Good info; great format.”
- “Very useful.”
- “BRAVO! Excellent session.”
- “Most interesting session so far! Great practical information for the industry, crucial for developers to understand.”
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View the program agenda and register now! Also, you should consider sponsoring this event to increase your visibility with wind industry leaders. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Don't miss the most important transmission seminar of the year…
AWEA Wind Power Transmission Seminar
March 21-22, 2012 > Indianapolis, IN
Register by March 19 to save!
Learn about policy drivers that are influencing the way we plan and allocate costs for transmission and integrate renewables into the system; gain a better understanding of the process for getting transmission built. Hear from Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner John Norris and MISO President and Chief Executive Officer John Bear as they discuss the impact of recent and pending transmission and integration – related policy changes on the future of the wind energy industry at the Welcome & Opening General Session on Wednesday morning. Following this exclusive kick-off, learn from experts in leading wind energy companies, utility/transmission companies, and regional organizations, such as American Transmission Company, the California ISO, Invenergy, LS Power, Northern Tier Transmission Group, and PJM, as they highlight challenges and solutions associated with getting transmission lines built and lowering wind integration costs, including:
- Understanding what Order 1000 means, and whether or not it will result in “steel in the ground”
- How to cost effectively integrate large penetrations of wind resources
- Emerging rules and regulations that have the potential to increase the cost of doing business
- Besides planning and cost allocation, what more is involved in getting transmission built
Please join us and your industry peers in discussing these timely issues. We look forward to seeing you in Indianapolis next week! Register now.
AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium 2012 – Save the date!
AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium
November 13 - 15 > Chandler, AZ
Executive-level networking, education, and collaboration
Every fall, the AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium sets the stage for sharing successes, strategies, and lessons-learned with industry leaders and your wind industry peers. This exclusive, executive-level event is the only place (except for WINDPOWER) where AWEA's committees, working groups, and Board of Directors convene face-to-face – it really is a "Who's Who" of the wind energy industry. The top-tier educational program provides information, industry trends, and innovations you need to operate in a complex and global marketplace – and arms you with a competitive edge to advance your organization and enhance your career.
Wind professionals within every segment of the industry should attend – anyone who has a stake in the future of wind energy should participate in this vital learning and networking experience. Get:
- Superior peer-to-peer after-hours networking events, including the popular 60-Minute Idea Exchange and Friday Golf Tournament
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- In-depth discussions with key industry leaders in a relaxed and intimate environment
- and much more!
Submit a registration inquiry to be notified when registration opens for this must-attend event!
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Volume 29, Issue 1475
|Wind Energy Weekly is a publication of the American Wind Energy Association and a service to its Members.
Upcoming AWEA Events:
AWEA Wind Power Transmission Seminar
March 21 - 22, 2012
AWEA Wind Finance & Investment Seminar
April 12 - 13, 2012
New York, NY
WINDPOWER® 2012 Conference & Exhibition
June 3-6, 2012
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