The 21 turbines at the Kingdom Community Wind farm in Vermont soar above Lowell Mountain, a testament in steel and fiberglass to the state’s growing use of green energy. Except when they aren’t allowed to spin at their fastest. That has been the case several times in the farm’s short existence, including during the record July heat wave when it could have produced enough much-needed energy to fuel a small town. Instead, the grid system operator held it at times to just one-third of what it could have produced.
Xcel Energy Inc. yesterday announced plans to purchase another wind farm currently under development in North Dakota, making it the fourth wind power project the utility has bought within the past month.
In promoting President Obama’s new Climate Action Plan during an event in Rhode Island this morning, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley warned that carbon emissions are as much a public health issue as an environmental one. Joined by two local children with asthma whose outdoor activities are limited during the summer, Sutley told the audience that “as their experiences demonstrate, climate change poses a very real threat to public health — both now and in the future,” according to excerpts provided by the White House.
Construction starts today on the largest federally owned wind farm in the country — which is being positioned next to the nation’s only nuclear weapons assembly plant. The 1,500-acre wind farm near Amarillo, Texas, will have five 2.3-megawatt turbines capable of generating enough electricity to power 3,500 homes each year.
The equipment that’s powering America’s wind energy boom is increasingly being made right at home. In 2007, just 25 percent of turbine components used in new wind farms in the U.S. were produced domestically. By last year, that figure had risen to 72 percent, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy. And exports of such equipment rose to $388 million last year, up from $16 million in 2007.
Clean energy investors, entrepreneurs and proponents shouldn’t be shy about discussing the effects of climate change and shouldn’t fret about those who doubt evidence linking human activities to rising temperatures and fierce weather, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today. Speaking at the opening of his sixth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, the Nevada Democrat said increasingly severe Western wildfires exemplify the need to combat climate change on all fronts and to aggressively highlight the nature of the problem.
Houston has the potential to be the nation’s leader in a much-needed renewable energy future, former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson told a group of officials and business leaders while speaking in the city Thursday.
FloDesign effectively began as a theory. In the sleepy town of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, two semiretired aerospace scientists named Walter Presz and Michael Werle had set up a skunk works for exploring jet-engine propulsion technologies. When I met with them there several years ago, Presz told me that around 2004 the two started to think: Rather than putting energy in for propulsion, what if you took energy out and turned the engine into a wind turbine?
With the American wind market showing record growth and offshore wind farms gaining support, a new report commissioned by the Department of Energy shows that the bulk of this increased capacity is coming from a small-scale, local, decentralized sector known as distributed wind power. The report, prepared by DOE and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), takes stock of the growth in distributed wind power in 2012, which is used independently of utilities to power smaller facilities like farms, small businesses and homes.
The Iowa Utilities Board has approved a $1.9 billion project from the state’s largest utility to install hundreds of wind turbines by the end of 2015, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday. Branstad called the Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy Company’s plan a “win-win” for the state.