The last three months of 2012 saw a record number of wind projects come online, even as construction of new wind farms ground to a halt amid uncertainty over whether a key tax break would be extended, the industry said in a report released yesterday. Wind was the No. 1 source of new generation installed last year, surpassing even natural gas, with 13,124 megawatts brought online, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s fourth-quarter report. The bulk of installations — 8,380 MW — came online between October and December, more than doubling the previous three-month installation record in the fourth quarter of 2009.
A potentially bruising battle for the top Democratic slot on the House Natural Resources Committee is looming. Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) confirmation yesterday as secretary of State could trigger a shakeup at the Natural Resources panel, since current ranking member Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has announced he will run for Kerry’s vacant Senate seat.
The vision is beautiful, if not somewhat tried: a large cluster of 360 foot tall towers encircled with long, slightly cupped blades, similar to airplane wings, spinning in the wind like a wind vane. The result? An outpouring of clean electricity at the Megawatt (MW) scale. That’s what Harry Ruda, CEO of Wing Power Energy, a small vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) company, sees when he imagines his turbines coming of age. He’s one of the believers out there gallantly chasing the dream of making VAWTS big.
While Maryland lawmakers debate whether to subsidize a large wind energy project in the Atlantic Ocean off Ocean City, an Annapolis company is moving ahead with plans for the state’s third land-based wind “farm.” Synergics Wind Energy LLC, which built Maryland’s second wind project along a mountain ridge near the West Virginia border, is seeking state and local permits to erect 24 turbines on similar terrain just west of Frostburg in Garrett County.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday urged Vermont lawmakers not to impose a three-year moratorium on the construction of new wind power projects in the state because he believes it would hurt efforts across the country to combat global warming. Sanders, an independent, was joined at a Burlington news conference by a number of environmentalists who support wind power. He said Vermonters should be proud the state is a national leader in environmental protection and that it has made strides in producing electricity from wind, geo-thermal and bio-mass.
Oregon officials approved a marine zoning plan yesterday that designates offshore areas for renewable energy. Passage of the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan amendments ends a five-year moratorium on permitting for wave-energy projects along the state’s 300-mile coastline. Offshore energy developers and environmentalists praised the plan, which lets Oregon join Massachusetts and Rhode Island as the only states with ocean-management schemes.
Failure has influenced my perspectives on business. I learned more from my couple of negative experiences than from the successes. Failure has made me skeptical about outcomes, which has influenced how I run First Wind. We take credit for something only when it actually happens and not a second before, because you can get burned in the final seconds of a deal.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson introduced Schroeder and other farmers Friday while announcing that she had filed a lawsuit against the company and its owner, Shawn Dooling, 46, of Shorewood, seeking to hold them accountable. Swanson alleges that they sold farmers in Minnesota and elsewhere faulty windmills utilizing federal stimulus money aimed at helping the country during the recession. Dooling and his sales staff promised state-of-the-art wind turbines that would last up to 25 years and qualify for federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
While he’s better known for his national security credentials, McDonough is also a climate hawk who, during his previous work at the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), advocated for the United States to step up efforts to address carbon emissions (E&E Daily, Jan. 24). And when then-Sen. Obama was running for president, McDonough was a spokesman for Obama’s climate efforts and helped put together the campaign’s early energy platform.
The Department of Energy mismanaged millions of dollars last year when quickly doling out recovery funds for new “smart grid” projects, according to a new inspector general’s report. The agency failed to secure proper documentation for reimbursements and allowed some recipients to falter on their cost-share responsibilities when approving 11 projects worth about $12 million, DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman said in a report released this week.