A deal between Southwire Company and energy company Clean Line Energy Partners LLC is expected to create 1,450 jobs in Illinois and boost wind energy projects.
A renewable energy project is taking shape and raising hope for a big economic boost for the state of Illinois and the Quad Cities. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced Tuesday that the wind energy project, called the Rock Island Clean Line, has taken a step forward with an agreement between it and the Southwire Co., which has a facility in Flora, Illinois. Together, they will build transmission lines connecting power from wind turbines in the Midwest and delivering it to Illinois and onto the east.
BP and other energy companies are funneling millions into building and operating wind farms in West Texas, helping to transform oil country into one of the nation’s leading hubs for green energy production.
U.S. investments in turbine farms and wind-energy businesses tumbled 38 percent last year to $9.7 billion, according to data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Venture capitalists have practically left the sector altogether. They invested only $177.6 million in wind startups last year, down 71 percent from the year before.
Governor Terry Branstad will open the Iowa Wind Energy Conference which runs through April 9-11 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.
Seeing a sharp decline in the cost of building wind turbines on land and growing comfort with the technology, the Department of Energy is shifting its money toward offshore wind farms. DOE said in a funding announcement yesterday that it intends to give out $180 million over the next six years, including $20 million this year, to as many as four offshore wind projects that could help drive down the cost of offshore wind farms and reassure financiers about their value.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) today unveiled legislation aimed at boosting the nation’s reliance on low-carbon energy sources and to help meet President Obama’s goal of generating 80 percent of the country’s electricity from “clean energy” sources by 2035.
With gasoline prices at historic winter highs, President Obama made his second major energy address in as many weeks today, decrying “phony election-year promises” about quick fixes and warning there is no “silver bullet” on energy issues.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu spent the afternoon on Capitol Hill defending President Obama’s proposed DOE budget for next year, but his agency’s research programs got firm support earlier in the day from Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. Energy development programs deserve twice as much money as they get now, Gates said during a panel discussion with Chu.
Despite Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s long-expressed dream of putting wind turbines on skyscrapers and bridges, the constraints of an urban landscape have so far proved too challenging for reliable wind power in the city, energy experts said. As a result, New York City has been largely inactive — and behind the national curve — in embracing wind power. But that is about to change. This spring, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection will solicit plans for the first major wind project, the installation of turbines atop the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island. And city planners are working on zoning changes, now under review by the City Planning Commission, to allow turbines up to 55 feet high on the rooftops of buildings taller than 100 feet, and even taller turbines on commercial and industrial sites along the waterfront.