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December 21, 2012
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News for wind power professionals and advocates

  Industry Update 
  • Wind installations ahead of natural gas for 2012
    New wind capacity is outgrowing natural gas this year up to Nov. 30, according to data from Ventyx. A total of 6,519 megawatts of wind power was installed this year, while natural gas capacity grew by 6,335 MW. Observers say the dramatic increase has been fueled in part by the possibility of the renewable-energy Production Tax Credit's expiration at the end of the year. "The reason we're having an historic year is because the incentives are in place. There's more at stake now than there ever has been," said Elizabeth Salerno, director of data and analysis and chief economist at the American Wind Energy Association. Bloomberg (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Comment period opens for offshore Va. lease request
    A request from Virginia's Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to lease an area off the coast of Virginia for wind research has been opened for comment, according to the Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The area, which was opened only last month for a single commercial lease, could supply over 2 gigawatts of wind power. The comment period will end on Jan. 22, 2013. RechargeNews.com (tiered subscription model) (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • FERC gives BPA 90 days to provide fairer cost-sharing plan
    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission stood by its ruling a year ago that the Bonneville Power Administration discriminated against wind power producers, specifically in its plan to have wind producers power down in the event of oversupply caused by excess water. FERC admitted that while the BPA has improved its handling of oversupply instances, it still needs a fairer, more cost-effective plan. The administration is expected to submit another proposal in 90 days. SustainableBusinessOregon.com (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Pattern Energy acquires Finavera Wind Energy
    Finavera Wind Energy has signed an agreement to divest its wind-farm assets in British Columbia, Canada, to Pattern Energy for $40.2 million. Under the terms of the agreement, up to $9 million of Finavera's corporate debt will be refinanced by Pattern Energy and about 10% debt facility will be provided in exchange for Finavera's projects in development. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Project Focus 
  • Maine DEP to open discussion on Bowers Mountain wind proposal
    Maine's Department of Environmental Protection will schedule a public hearing to help decide if it will allow a proposed wind site on Bowers Mountain, said spokeswoman Samantha Depoy-Warren. The announcement aims to urge interested parties, who have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, to register with the DEP for the hearing. The session will also include a public comment period for those people who will state their opinions regarding the project without speaking under oath. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Duke Energy receives loans for Texas wind projects
    North American Development Bank granted two $110 million loans to Duke Energy for the construction of wind farms in Willacy and Cameron counties in Texas. The projects will use wind turbines from Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and supply electricity to CPS Energy and Austin Energy, which hope to get 20% and 35% of their power from renewables by 2020. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economy, Energy & Trends 
  • Energy Dept. touts Maine's offshore wind energy potential
    Maine shows high potential in developing offshore wind energy as it became the only state to have two grant recipients from the Department of Energy's competition to develop U.S. wind energy. The Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine and Statoil North America will each be granted funding of nearly $4 million to test their floating wind turbine projects in the Gulf of Maine. Bangor Daily News (Maine) (free registration) (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • AWEA video puts faces on PTC extension efforts
    The American Wind Energy Association released a video Friday featuring Allsup family from Texas and how they benefit from the renewable-energy Production Tax Credit. Matt Allsup is the senior operations manager at the Lone Star wind farm in Abilene, Texas. AWEA says 37,000 Americans in the wind energy industry like him will find their jobs at risk should Congress fail to extend the PTC by the end of the year. "Behind the windmills there's families, and behind those families we need jobs," daughter Tiffany Allsup says in the video. EENews.net (subscription required) (12/21) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Chu, Sen. Udall seek PTC extension for renewables
    Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., discussed the need to extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy and other forms of renewable energy, saying that failing to do so may push industry players to relocate overseas. Chu said industry players should be allowed to create master limited partnerships to lower financing and capital costs and increase investment from the private sector. This move would "level the playing field" for renewable energies such as wind, Chu added. North American Windpower online (12/20), The Hill/E2 Wire blog (12/20) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sen. Bingaman: Keep tax extenders separate from fiscal cliff
    While Congress works to address the looming fiscal cliff, lawmakers should not associate the issue with the "tax extenders package" that includes extension of the wind-energy Production Tax Credit, writes Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The proposed tax incentives "are much less contentious than the other end-of-year problems" and the proposal "has bipartisan support," Bingaman said. The wind-energy PTC "is a vital component of our nation's energy policy, and its extension is crucial to take advantage of our domestic energy resources and foster a vibrant and globally competitive industry." Politico (Washington, D.C.) (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AWEA News 
  • Fact Check: Faulty Analysis on Costs of Integrating Renewables
    A recent Los Angeles Times article misunderstands how renewables are integrated onto the electric grid. While the topic is admittedly complicated, this article gets almost everything incorrect. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • The Source for Wind Energy Industry Talent ...
    Need skilled wind professionals? Find them on AWEA's CareersInWind.com. Dedicated to connecting wind-energy companies with experienced workers who want to advance the industry, CareersInWind.com is the only job board that directly supports and promotes the wind industry. The 30-Day Job Posting and Energy Job Board product bundle includes a single job posting on CareersInWind.com and secondary exposure for your job posting on more than 16 energy partner sites. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  SmartQuote 
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
--Annie Dillard,
American author


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These stories were selected and summarized by independent editors at SmartBrief Inc., not by AWEA's staff, and do not represent AWEA positions. They reflect the variety of daily coverage of American wind power.
 
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