In a first, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has struck a deal with a power company that requires it to add batteries to the electric grid in order to avoid blackouts. The Imperial Irrigation District (IID), which delivers power to a swath of the Southern California desert, was ordered last week by FERC to spend $9 million to add the capacity for 33 megavolt amperes to its transmission infrastructure. The settlement ends a FERC investigation that began after a September 2011 blackout that cut power to much of Southern California.
Coal-fired rural co-ops dig in against EPA emission rules, but a few mavericks flirt with renewables
After spearheading a 3 ½-year effort to build what is now the largest solar farm in Iowa, Warren McKenna is optimistic about his rural electric cooperative’s renewable energy goals in Frytown — a tiny, unincorporated town in the southeast corner of the state. “Solar is coming on strong,” said McKenna, who is the general manager of the 650-member electricity co-op, formally known as the Farmers Electric Cooperative, and has been involved in solar energy since 2008. “Our goal is to have 15 percent of our power produced locally [with renewable energy] by 2025.”
From Brazil to South Africa, from northern Europe to the American heartland, wind is on the rise. Already among the world’s fastest growing energy sources, wind technology is on the cusp of advances that could multiply a turbine’s ability to transform currents of air into electricity, and at a time when global leaders are seeking ways to power the planet without greenhouse gases. So wind energy should be poised for wider acceptance and tremendous growth. And perhaps it is.
The American Wind Energy Association released its U.S. Wind Industry Second Quarter 2014 Market Report this week and we looked at its top 10 with installed wind capacity.
A plan to string high-voltage transmission lines 200 miles across the state of Missouri got a chilly reception from area landowners during the first public airing of the project yesterday. Over the course of several hours, farmers, business owners, politicians and organized labor representatives aired opinions about the $2.2 billion project, which aims to deliver 3,500 megawatts of cheap wind energy from the southwest Kansas plains to more populated areas hundreds of miles to the east.
“One turbine produces somewhere in the neighborhood of about 2,000 households. That’s a lot. These truly are power supplies and when you couple together a whole field of turbines we can power cities,” Knobb said. Udall said he’s confident when the legislature returns from recess, the extension will pass. “Republicans and democrats alike know the energy industry isn’t about democratic or republican parties, it’s about American-grown energy. It’s about being energy secure, it’s about being energy self-reliant. So that’s the good news, and we’re gonna get this done,” Udall said.
More than 50 House Republicans, including the third-ranking member of the party’s leadership, are renewing a call to end a key wind energy tax credit. A letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and newly elected Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) argues the production tax credit (PTC) has outlived its useful life and distorts wholesale energy markets — claims that have been leveled against the wind industry for years from a coalition of free-market activist groups and elements of the nuclear industry.
Canada’s top environmental agency is set to employ new technology that would counteract the radar disruptions caused by wind farms. The movement of wind turbines can sometimes mimic weather in Doppler radar systems, confusing meteorologists trying to make weather forecasts and even blocking radar signals in extreme cases.
The Obama administration is ramping up efforts to expand offshore wind energy development in the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina, an area that previous studies estimated could support nearly 300,000 megawatts of power production. The Interior Department today said it has established three so-called wind energy areas off the North Carolina coast, totaling about 307,590 acres, which would be potentially suitable for commercial-scale wind power production.
The Obama administration continues to move a massive wind farm project that proposes to string together 1,000 turbines across nearly 220,000 acres of public and private lands in southeast Wyoming closer to construction. The Bureau of Land Management this week issued a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) of some of the infrastructure projects needed to build the massive Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, which would have the capacity to produce up to 3,000 megawatts of electricity, making it the biggest power-producing wind farm in North America.