Coming off one of the most tumultuous years in its recent history, the U.S. wind power industry has emerged stronger and more confident of its future, industry leaders gathered here for the American Wind Energy Association’s national conference said yesterday. But for wind power to solidify its standing in a highly competitive energy market, it must shift its focus from federal tax policies to seek a broader agenda that plays to wind energy’s inherent strengths while fighting back against those who argue that wind cannot compete with fossil fuels for electricity generation.
House Republicans this week are poised to step into several prickly debates over how the grid and power prices are being affected by an increasing amount of renewables that require natural gas backup, the effect of production tax credits for wind and looming U.S. EPA rules.
Wind industry leaders are urging their members to spend more time lobbying and give more money to political campaigns as they seek to craft a long-term strategy to win supportive policies at the federal, state and local level and defend against their well-funded critics. The American Wind Energy Association opened its annual conference here with an appeal for industry officials to get more involved in the political process as the organization’s new CEO and board chairman acknowledged that they had a lot of work ahead to design a plan to allow for stable growth for years to come.
A top wind trade group said Monday that it’s crafting a long-term policy plan that it plans to take to tax-writing committees in the House and the Senate. The proposal will include “a number of scenarios or strategies,” incoming American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) CEO Tom Kiernan said at the organization’s annual conference in Chicago. AWEA officials will embark on a road show of sorts to get input from industry stakeholders before finalizing a proposal.
More than a year after its approval, a proposed wind farm in the Columbia River Gorge remains in legal limbo. Now the controversial plan is headed for a date with the Washington Supreme Court. The Whistling Ridge Energy Project received a green light last year from then-Gov. Chris Gregoire. But the decision also scaled back the original proposal, reducing the number of wind turbines from 50 to 35 in order to protect views in the federally protected Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
Wanted: Kansas and Missouri businesses to help build a $2 billion wind power transmission line. The project is expected to create 5,000 construction jobs when work begins in 2016 and 500 operational jobs after it starts operation in 2018. Clean Line Energy Partners LLC, the Houston-based company developing the Grain Belt Express Clean Line to export more than 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from Western Kansas, will hold open houses in Missouri in the summer to look for construction partners.
Keynotes to include American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Incoming CEO Tom Kiernan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Iowa Governor Terry Branstad
Minnesota will soon witness a technology first once a new five-turbine wind farm sprouts from land in Renville County, Minn., about 90 miles west of the Twin Cities.
Lawmakers have advanced a bill intended to attract more wind-energy companies to Nebraska, as long as residents receive some of the benefits
Chris Brown, president of Vestas Wind System’s North American sales office in Portland, says he likes a challenge. And he knows a things or two about managing in the midst of turmoil. Before joining Vestas in November, Brown, 52, spent a year as chief operating officer of the city of Detroit, Mich. The Motor City sits at the top of the “worst-of” rankings of U.S. cities — unemployment, murders, etc. — and has the distinction of being the largest U.S. city on the brink of bankruptcy.