North Dakota’s once-booming wind energy sector is waning because of the sluggish economy, continued transmission bottlenecks, and the prospect that federal tax credits will expire at the end of the year. The state, often rated as having the greatest wind potential in the nation, now has about 1,400 megawatts of total wind capacity. Wind power comprises 12 percent of North Dakota’s electricity mix and ranks 11th in the nation for total capacity.
Thousands of Michiganders hold jobs in the wind energy industry; they work for more than 30 companies that make parts for the wind turbines that create clean energy, and they build some of the turbines as well. But wind energy proponents are afraid those jobs will dwindle if the wind energy tax credit is allowed to expire at the end of the year.
The Department of Energy released a new plan today for moving forward on renewable loan guarantees, seven months after the Solyndra bankruptcy pushed the loan program into a political firestorm and slammed the brakes on new commitments.
The statutory deadline for DOE to offer loans under the same Section 1705 program that provided the ill-fated Solyndra loan was Sept. 30, 2011 — just a month removed from the California solar energy company’s bankruptcy announcement.
Located on a 66,000-acre site about 40 miles southwest of Wichita, the wind farm represents a combined investment of more than $800 million and will have the capacity to produce 419 MW of electricity. The electricity produced will be sold under long-term power purchase agreements with Associated Electric Cooperative and Southwestern Electric Power Company, a unit of American Electric Power. The Flat Ridge 2 project is projected to create some 500 jobs during construction and roughly 30 permanent jobs once the wind farm begins commercial operation. Upon completion, it will be the largest wind project in Kansas.
Six months after the expiration of a federal loan guarantee program that backed $16 billion in loans to solar, wind and geothermal energy projects, the Energy Department has decided to offer a smaller set of similar guarantees by tapping another pot of money appropriated by Congress last year. The department said Thursday that it had sent letters to potentially eligible companies inviting them to apply for the new money.
House Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) says the Obama administration’s plan to use power marketing administrations to upgrade the electric grid is flawed and should be halted until Energy Secretary Steven Chu testifies before his committee. Hastings asked Chu in a letter today to testify before the House committee April 26 to discuss a memo he issued last month (E&ENews PM, March 16).
A panel of power experts today warned that the East Coast’s most populous state will have to replace 40 percent of its electricity transmission over the next three decades to keep up with regulations and replace aging generation with more diverse supply. Appearing at Columbia University here, the experts said three drivers — power plant age, transmission congestion and new Clean Air Act rules that go into effect in 2015 — will accelerate the Empire State’s need for an unprecedented wave of line construction.
The Indiana Republican speaks out repeatedly on the costs of “our oil addiction” and how the reliance on imported oil makes the U.S. less secure. He’s crossed party lines to support higher fuel efficiency standards, and strongly advocates for biofuels. He drives a hybrid car and regularly honors Hoosier “energy patriots” who have taken steps to improve America’s energy security.When Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis created a center to study renewable energy in 2007, they named the center after Lugar.
Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is building a 377-megawatt wind farm in Texas, three years after shelving plans for a project about ten times as big that would’ve been the world’s largest. Mesa Power Group LLC, the Dallas-based renewable energy company Pickens created in 2007, is co-developing the Stephens Bor-Lynn wind farm with Wind Tex Energy LP, according to a statement today.
In one of the biggest announcements this year for the domestic wind energy industry, General Electric Co. said yesterday that it will provide advanced technology turbines to nine new North American wind farms in the coming months, amounting to 650 megawatts of new emissions-free power generation. But the investment won’t be happening in the United States, where wind energy developers remain in a holding pattern while Congress debates whether to extend renewable energy tax credits that provide a 2.2-cent-per-kilowatt-hour tax benefit to wind farm owners.