News

Rhode Island project may become nation’s first offshore wind farm

Source: By Jack Newsham, BOSTON GLOBE CORRESPONDENT • Posted: Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

While problems have mounted for Cape Wind’s 130-turbine installation, a smaller developer may steal its thunder. Deepwater Wind, a Providence-based renewable energy developer, said Monday that its Block Island wind farm project was fully financed. The $250 million, five-turbine project is on track to put “steel in the water” in Rhode Island state waters later this summer, the company said, and begin generating 30 megawatts of power in 2016.

Midwest law center can compromise but doesn’t fear a fight 

Source: Jeremy P. Jacobs, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

ELPC is among a few regional environmental law centers that operate in the gap between national Goliaths like the Natural Resources Defense Council and small grass-roots organizations. The center takes on major litigation — fighting lawsuits brought by former Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon, arguing for solar and wind energy in state Supreme Courts, and battling Great Lakes pollution.

The grid’s electricity storage market booms as regulators race to develop safety standards 

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

“We are increasing our commitment to storage,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a House budget hearing this week. Storing energy on the grid is a big part of making intermittent renewable energy more palatable for utilities. Industry officials also want EPA to include storage as a way to comply with the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, as well as state renewable portfolio standards.

Comment: U.S. must remain No. 1 in wind energy

Source: By James Walker, Former chairman, American Wind Energy Assocoation, Kearney Hub • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Wind power is one of the great success stories of the modern economy. Inventors in New Hampshire launched the world’s first wind farm 35 years ago. In the early 1980s, just one state, California, housed more than 80 percent of all installed wind power worldwide. Today, U.S. wind turbines are so productive that our nation regularly finishes ahead of other countries that have also installed large numbers of turbines, including China, Spain and Germany. This is some of the best infrastructure America has ever built.

Activists try to breathe life into Cape Wind

Source: By Dan Adams, Boston Globe • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Cape Wind may be dead in the water, but climate activists aren’t giving up on the ambitious offshore turbine project yet. In January, after a decade of starts and stops, National Grid and other utility companies that had promised to purchase power from Cape Wind pulled out of their contracts, citing backers’ failure to meet key financing deadlines. Without buyers lined up, the project is effectively stalled. Now, a coalition of environmental groups led by the Better Future Project have kicked off a “hail Mary” campaign asking National Grid president Marcy Reed to reconsider.

Vermont House endorses renewable energy package

Source: By DAVE GRAM, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Vermont’s new requirement would stipulate that utilities get 55 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75 percent by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already, since Vermont gets big chunks of power from hydroelectric dams — which are considered renewable — as well as biomass plants like the wood chip-burning McNeil power plant in Burlington.

Kansas wind, ethanol industries ride through a rough patch ahead

Source: BY DAN VOORHIS, Wichita Eagle • Posted: Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Kansas has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” but why limit ourselves? We have lots of wind. We have lots of sun. We have lots of grain for ethanol. Renewable sources of energy are big business in Kansas. The sector, largely ethanol and wind, make up about 10 percent of the energy consumed in all forms by Kansans, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency.

Eiffel tower embraces wind power

Source: James Murray, The Guardian • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

One of the world’s most iconic sites has become the latest high profile venue to embrace renewable energy, after the installation of two vertical axis wind turbines as part of the Eiffel tower’s high profile renovation project. US-based onsite renewables specialist Urban Green Energy (UGE) announced on Tuesday that it has fitted two turbines at the site capable of delivering 10,000kWh of electricity annually, equivalent to the power used by the commercial areas on the Eiffel tower’s first floor.

Upper Midwest the worst place to plug in — study 

Source: Katherine Ling, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

If you live in Rochester, Minn., you may want to reconsider buying an electric vehicle, according to a new study from scientists at Carnegie Mellon University. The colder temperatures in the Upper Midwest can decrease the range of a battery-powered electric vehicle (BEV) by 36 percent compared to one in California and in turn also increase carbon emissions because the region’s generation mix is also the dirtiest, according to the study published in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Google invests $300 million in U.S. residential solar projects

Source: By Reuters • Posted: Friday, February 27th, 2015

SolarCity Corp on Thursday said it created a $750 million fund to finance about 25,000 residential solar projects, with Google Inc investing nearly half the funding. The money will be used by SolarCity to put solar panels on homes. Homeowners then will pay a monthly fee to lease the panels from the company. The growth of such financing has made generating electric power from the sun an option for households who do not want to shell out the $20,000 to $30,000 upfront cost of a typical residential solar system.