Turning old wind farms into new wind farms could become a cornerstone of NextEra Energy Inc.’s investment strategy in the coming years, especially if the company has stockpiled cheaper, more efficient turbine equipment during a broader pause in the wind industry’s development pipeline. NextEra management during a second-quarter earnings call emphasized the company’s decision to repower a pair of wind facilities in Texas totaling 327 MW for roughly $250 million, an investment it hopes to replicate across its wind holdings, so as to capture federal production tax credits for repowered wind plants, per guidance the Internal Revenue Service issued in May.
The stereotype is that the switch to clean energy is driven by political progressives, but wind energy is booming in conservative states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Texas produces more wind-generated electricity than any other state. And Oklahoma and Kansas aren’t too far behind. That’s not a coincidence.
My Turbine Lies Over The Ocean: It Takes Herculean Labor To Build America’s First Offshore Wind Farm
Eric Crucerey and his team can move mountains. Well, maybe not mountains, but machines that dwarf the Statue of Liberty. Crucerey, who works for GE Renewable Energy, is the project director in charge of delivering GE’s Haliade wind turbines for America’s first offshore wind farm that’s being built by Deepwater Wind near Block Island, Rhode Island. Over the next few weeks, he will ship five wind turbine nacelles from France to the U.S. across the Atlantic. Each of these 400-ton structures is as large as a school bus and houses the turbine’s power-generating components, including a massive permanent magnet generator. They will sit some 330 feet (100 meters) above the waves.
The changing winds bear good news: The heat wave is on the wane. For much of this week, temperatures across the United States have been blistering. In Washington, D.C., thermometers hit 100 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, breaking records for July. The heat was caused by a strong ridge of high pressure that parked over most of the United States and formed a dome of stifling heat and humidity. The weather pattern is dissipating and being replaced, from the Mississippi Valley through the Northeast, with rain, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service.
Long before wind and solar, water was the nation’s top renewable energy source. Going back some 100 years, the United States built enormous dams — like the Depression-era Hoover Dam in Nevada — to produce tremendous amounts of energy. We have so many such dams that hydropower last year remained our fourth largest source of electricity overall and our single largest renewable source, providing 6 percent of Americans’ electricity. Yet it’s rarely talked about and lacks the excitement attached to other renewables. That’s in part because dams are controversial and can have major environmental consequences, affecting wildlife and altering local ecosystems. New ones also are expensive to build.
Lobbyists and journalists surrounded Trevor Houser after a panel discussion on energy and the environment here this week. Houser, an adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has been in demand at events related to the party’s national convention. He’s not only helping craft the candidate’s positions but also explaining them. “He’s a person who really gets that intersection of what can be done in government, both nationally, internationally,” Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta said during an interview.
Minnesota Power, a division of US energy company Allete Inc (NYSE:ALE), intends to add roughly 600 MW of wind and solar power capacity to its fleet following a request by state regulators. The company said on Wednesday it has released a Request for Proposals (RfP) targeting up to 300 MW of new wind power capacity. It currently has 625 MW of wind on its system. Proposals are due by September 7, 2016.
Madison-based Alliant Energy Corp., which owns utilities serving four U.S. Midwestern states, plans to spend $1 billion over the next five years to expand its wind power in Iowa by as much as 500 megawatts. The company is seeking regulatory approval to enlarge its Whispering Willow Wind Farm in Franklin County and potentially build developments elsewhere in Iowa, Alliant said in a statement Wednesday.
Alliant Energy says it will invest $1 billion over the next five years to add 500 megawatts of wind energy to an existing farm in north central Iowa. Alliant CEO Patricia Kampling announced the project Wednesday with Gov. Terry Branstad in Cedar Rapids, headquarters of Alliant’s Iowa utility, Interstate Power & Light. “Our customers expect low-cost, clean energy, which is exactly what this project will bring to our communities,” said Doug Kopp, president of Interstate Power & Light. “Wind has no fuel costs and zero emissions, making it a win-win for Iowans and the Iowa economy.”
The largest proposed wind energy project in Iowa’s history appears to be back on track this week after a tense period when it seemed the deal might fall apart over differences between a utility and large energy users. On Tuesday, MidAmerican Energy — the utility pursuing the $3.6 billion Wind XI project — reached an accord with several major customers that objected to the plan, including tech giants Google, Microsoft and Facebook and a group of large industrial customers known as the Iowa Business Energy Coalition (IBEC).