April 1, 2011
33% California renewables target reaches governor’s desk
A historically aggressive state renewable energy target requiring 33% renewables by 2020 in California is headed for Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) desk.
The measure, Senate Bill 2X, passed the California State Assembly this week after it cleared the Senate on a 26-11 vote in February. “This bill establishes California as the national leader in clean energy, improving the environment and stimulating the economy, while protecting ratepayers from excessive costs,” said State Senator Joe Simitian, who authored the bill.
In 2008, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed an executive order increasing the state’s renewable electricity standard to 33% by 2020, in addition to streamlining California’s approval process for renewable energy projects. However, executive orders don’t have the force of law over utilities. Nevertheless, the order did instruct all state government agencies, such as the California Public Utilities Commission, to take all appropriate actions to implement the new renewables target in all regulatory proceedings. Since then, starting with Schwarzenegger, efforts have been made to back the executive order up with legislation. The legislation passed this year would give the targets the force of law.
Brown has expressed general support for the targets. “He’ll consider the bill closely when it reaches his desk,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Ashford said, according to reports.
To be powered by Siemens direct drive, Minnesota Power to add 105 MW to Bison 2
ALLETTE subsidiary Minnesota Power plans to expand its Bison 2 wind energy project in North Dakota by 105 MW.
The investor-owned utility submitted plans to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) this week to construct a second wind project, consisting of 35 3-MW Siemens direct-drive wind turbines, in Oliver and Morton counties in central North Dakota. The $157 million project will help move Minnesota Power closer to meeting Minnesota’s renewable energy target of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
“The timing is fortunate for expanding our renewable energy production,” said ALLETE President and CEO Alan R. Hodnik. “Development of Bison 2 will leverage substantial investments we’ve already made in North Dakota and take advantage of the federal production tax credit and a very competitive wind turbine market.”
Hodnick added, “Bison 2 will be very economical for our customers. This project is an example of our larger strategy of meeting the demands of a changing energy landscape, reducing our overall reliance on fossil fuels, and making effective use of existing transmission capacity.”
Bison 2 is expected to be online in 2012; like Bison 2, Bison 1 also features the latest-generation Siemens direct-drive technology. The second phase of Bison 1 is scheduled to be completed this year.
Research & development
NREL seeks partner for wind turbine drivetrain testing
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its first call for proposals from wind industry companies interested in forming a partnership with NREL to test a multi-megawatt wind turbine drivetrain.
The drivetrain will be tested in NREL’s new 5-MW drivetrain test facility, which is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2012. The primary objective of the cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) is to commission the new test facility by conducting an integrated system test on the partner’s test article. The test, to begin in July 2012, will last two to four months and will be followed by customer-specified testing of the article for an additional one to four months. Alternatively, proposals may request testing of a second, customer-provided test article for customer-specified testing.
For more information on the CRADA opportunity is available on NREL’s website.
In addition, for more information, contact Jim Johnson at 303-384-6989 or James.A.Johnson@nrel.gov. The deadline for submitting proposals is 5 p.m. MST on May 13.
Developer stays positive as siting limbo in Wisconsin stalls project
For the second time in two weeks, a developer is putting the brakes on a project in Wisconsin.
Midwest Wind Energy said this week it has placed on hold its 98-MW Stony Brook project in Calumet County, Wis., because of uncertainty over siting regulations in the state.
Early last month, a joint committee of the Wisconsin state legislature voted to roll back siting regulations that had been developed through a multi-stakeholder process. The development has called into question the wind industry’s ability to operate in the state. Last week major developer Invenergy withdrew a project application with the state public service commission, citing the cloud of regulatory uncertainty in the area of siting.
Midwest Wind Energy has been developing the Stony Brook project for four years. According to project developer Bill French, the company had not filed for zoning approvals yet because it was awaiting the stakeholder-developed siting regulations, known as PSC128, to go into effect. They were set to take effect March 1, and French said the company was prepared to file once they did so.
In spite of the setback, French told Wind Energy Weekly his company remains hopeful. “You’ve got to be positive in this industry,” he said, explaining he’d like to think that in the end, the alternative siting regulations being discussed would be appropriately seen as draconian.
BP’s Sherbino 2 wind facility expected to start commercial operation by year end
BP Wind Energy has moved into the construction phase on the 150-MW Sherbino 2 wind project, located approximately 40 miles east of Fort Stockton in west Texas.
The Sherbino 2 Wind Farm, which uses 60 Clipper Windpower 2.5-MW C-96 turbines, will generate enough electricity to power 45,000 average American homes, according to BP. The facility is expected to enter commercial operation by the end of the year. The balance of plant contract has been awarded to Mortenson Construction; 200-250 people are expected to be employed during the peak of construction.
The output from the Sherbino 2 Wind Farm will be delivered into the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas transmission system and sold on the wholesale power market.
“BP Wind Energy is pleased to be expanding its footprint in the state of Texas, the leading state in the U.S. for installed wind power capacity,” said John Graham, president and CEO of BP Wind Energy. “The investment we are making will create new jobs during construction, deliver an additional revenue stream to rural communities and provide affordable power. Today’s announcement is an important milestone for the landowners, county officials and many others in Pecos County who have continued to support this project throughout its development.”
Officials cut ribbon First Wind Hawaii project featuring Clipper turbines
Wind energy developer First Wind and Hawaiian Electric Co. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the commencement of commercial operations of the Kahuku Wind project.
With Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) leading the celebration, state, local and community leaders gathered at the project site on Oahu’s North Shore to recognize the environmental and economic benefits of the 30-MW facility, which features 2.5-MW Clipper Liberty turbines. The various officials commemorated the occasion by conducting a traditional untying of a Hawaiian maile lei at the entrance of the project’s operations building.
“Renewable energy projects such as Kahuku Wind are significant as they advance Hawaii’s pursuit of energy independence,” said Abercrombie. “By harnessing resources such as the wind to provide renewable and sustainable power to Oahu’s grid, we are building a clean energy infrastructure that will provide both immediate and long-term environmental and economic benefits to the people of Hawaii.”
“We are thrilled that Kahuku Wind is now operating and providing a new source of clean, renewable wind energy to Oahu,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “We’re proud to help Hawaii meet its clean energy goals. The Kahuku wind project is one of the newest and most technologically advanced wind facilities in the nation, and it will be a model for future Hawaii projects.”
As the project owner, First Wind will sell the electricity to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) under a power purchase agreement. “Kahuku Wind is a welcome addition to Oahu’s growing portfolio of renewable energy resources,” said Dick Rosenblum, HECO’s president and CEO. “We applaud First Wind and its partners for working with the Kahuku community to complete this project and bring us closer to meeting our state’s goals of 70 percent clean energy by 2030.”
Jan Blittersdorf to chair board of American Wind Wildlife Institute
At a critical time for wind energy siting initiatives, the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) named a new board leader for the upcoming year to grow resources, skills and institutional knowledge, and to continue steering the organization’s innovative collaborative efforts toward building renewable energy projects while protecting wildlife.
Jan Blittersdorf, CEO and owner of NRG Systems, has already hit the ground running in her new capacity as chair of the board for AWWI, a group composed of some of the nation’s top science-based conservation and environmental groups and wind energy companies. In February, Blittersdorf met with top White House officials to discuss the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposed wind energy siting guidelines. (See related story.)
“AWWI is committed to high-integrity science and providing member organizations access to credible research about wind energy siting and wildlife impacts,” Blittersdorf said. “In relation to the proposed Fish and Wildlife guidelines, AWWI has established the institutional framework to highlight and address relevant questions, develop wildlife mitigation strategies, and create tools to minimize impact on wildlife. The goal is to provide these resources in order to advance the responsible and timely development of wind energy in the U.S.”
Blittersdorf has previously served as vice chair of the board of directors for AWWI. Her primary goal for the group moving forward is that it become the go-to-organization for information on wind energy permitting as it relates to wildlife. Blittersdorf’s hope is that environmental and industry stakeholders will view the group as an impartial body, a trusted voice, and a credible resource that advances the promotion of best practices in wind energy siting.
“It’s a unique privilege to lead an organization that represents a new model for collaboration among otherwise disparate, sometimes conflicting, groups,” Blittersdorf said. “It’s a perfect fit for my leadership style. I much prefer to assemble and empower a team, rather than be the person with all the answers. This speaks to my primary goal as chair, which is to attract the right people to the table and ensure that they stay.”
Most recently, AWWI developed, in conjunction with the Nature Conservancy, a landscape assessment tool designed to identify low-risk wildlife habitat areas in order to prioritize wind power development. Last June AWWI also released a report, Enabling Progress: Compensatory Mitigation Scenarios for Wind Energy Projects in the U.S., which outlined responsible siting practices already employed throughout the country and how such practices may affect future wind projects.
“From the outset, Jan’s collaborative style and vision have provided clear direction to this group,” said AWWI executive director Abby Arnold. “With her as chair, we will continue to benefit from her leadership and advance our vision of furthering wind energy and addressing potential wildlife impacts.”
Supply Chain Connections
Shell subsidiary awards UpWind Solutions O&M contract
Whitewater Hill Wind Partners has awarded UpWind Solutions, Inc., a five-year operations-and-maintenance agreement for post-warranty O&M services at Whitewater Hill Wind Farm in North Palm Springs, Calif. Whitewater Hill Wind Farm consists of 41 GE 1.5-MW turbines; the facility began commercial operation in 2002. Whitewater Hill Wind Partners is a subsidiary of Shell.
Around the industry
Summer interns available from community college wind turbine service tech program
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in western Virginia is seeking summer internship opportunities for students who have completed two semesters of study in a new wind turbine service technology training program, which is housed in the community college’s workforce services division. Individuals will be available to work from mid-May through mid-August. Call Earl Dodrill at 540-863-2902 for more information.
Last chance to register online for AWEA’s Finance & Investment Workshop: Tuesday April 5!
AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop
April 7-8, 2011 > New York, NY
Register online by Tuesday April 5, or register onsite, for AWEA’s Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop. Attendees will hear from Pat Woods, III, get the latest information and insights on the Wind Industry Market from top experts, and get a copy of AWEA’s U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report for 2010 hot off the press!
Not only will you be one of the first to peruse the contents of this all inclusive wind market report, but attendees of the AWEA Wind Power Finance & Investment Workshop will get a copy to take back to the office for FREE.
Unparalleled networking opportunities are also available throughout the conference with executives from top wind developers, finance companies, and more. With the Annual Market Report for 2010 as a primer to the workshop, look ahead to best practices for successful investments in wind energy in 2011. Our experts know how to build a better project, structure the right deal, and operate according to plan, which generates electrons and returns.
Register online by April 5 to save or register onsite! Click here to view the detailed program agenda.
Register for WINDPOWER 2011 or enhance your current registration package – you won’t want to miss a thing!
Register by Monday, May 20 to save!
AWEA has revamped WINDPOWER registration packages for attendees and exhibitors. Regardless of why you attend or what you want to obtain from your participation, you will find a registration package that meets your needs and achieve your WINDPOWER 2011 Conference & Exhibition goals.
AWEA has always offered conference - and exhibition - focused registration options, but this year we’re offering various bundled upgrade options to save you money and enhance your WINDPOWER 2011 experience!
Not yet registered? Click here for a full description of the packages and optional activities. WINDPOWER offers the best in education, networking, and exhibits – you won’t want to miss a thing!
Already registered? No problem – you can simply add items or upgrade your current registration package by contacting us at email@example.com and we’d be happy to help you upgrade your overall registration package.
April showers bring... a sale on "Cloud" umbrellas, wind breakers, new T-shirts and more!
You’re not ready for spring until you’re wearing this 100% recycled, water-resistant, lightweight shell. Available in both men’s and women’s styles, this wind breaker is the perfect outerwear for wetter weather! These, and our whimsical, one-of-a-kind “Cloud” umbrella are 10% off.
Earth Day is April 22! Show your love for Earth and Wind with our new Earth Day Tee!
This endearing Earth Day tee will let you make a statement about renewable energy and your love of our planet.
AWEA outreach: the weeks ahead
AWEA staff members participate in high-level industry events to ensure that the newest and most accurate information about the wind energy industry gains maximum visibility. In the next two weeks, AWEA will have a presence at the following events:
- Event: Hannover Messe 2011
- Details: April 4-8, 2011; Hannover, Germany
- AWEA Participation: Jeff Anthony, Director of Business Development, will provide a presentation on the morning of the 7th on the U.S. wind power market update, with an emphasis on offshore potential, as well as on the “Changing Political Conditions in the U.S “ on the afternoon of the 7th. AWEA will have an exhibit booth at the conference.
- Event: Ports-to-Plains Alliance Energy Summit
- Details: April 7-8, 2011; Broomfield, CO
- AWEA Participation: Tom Maves, Deputy Director Manufacturing and Supply Chain Services, will participate as a speaker on the session entitled “Wind Energy Issues throughout North America’s Wind Corridor” on the 7th.
- Event: Power Shift 2011
- Details: April 15-18, 2011; Washington, D.C.
- AWEA Participation: AWEA will have an exhibit booth at the conference and co-sponsor the event.
Volume 29, Issue 1428
|Wind Energy Weekly is a publication of the American Wind Energy Association and a service to its Members.
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