Federal funding will continue to be crucial to the development of renewable energy, industry leaders told the House Subcommittee on Energy this week. American Wind Energy Association President and CEO Tom Kiernan noted that improving energy transmission lines will diversify generation sources and help reduce electricity costs. "[G]etting the different grid operators to plan together where they might collectively build transmission lines across these different seams between the different grids is also a really important way to advance the grid," Kiernan said.
Participants at a panel this week hosted by American Wind Energy Association and Politico said burdensome regulation and bureaucracy are slowing the power grid expansion that is crucial to maximizing the potential of wind power. "In the case of transmission expansion, there is private investment waiting to move; however, the struggle to get projects built is excessive regulatory red tape," said Amy Ferrell, AWEA's senior vice president for government and public affairs.
Acciona has installed solar modules on a turbine to test whether they can make wind power more efficient. The company hopes the flexible carbon-based photovoltaic modules will reduce the turbine's energy consumption during stretches of low wind, decreasing operating costs.
EES Gearbox Exchange Service Lower gearbox exchange costs? EES' Gearbox Exchange Service for all major platforms helped our customers cut costs up to 20% by reducing crane related costs and downtime. Use the experience we gained through more than 100 gearbox exchanges with our self- hoisting crane. Arrange your exchange now.
PacifiCorp has placed a 228-megawatt order with Vestas for the 250MW Ekola Flats wind farm. The Wyoming project is part of a $3.1 billion push to repower existing wind projects, add resources and build a transmission line segment.
A Minnesota wind farm project will proceed with a new owner and developer after regulators held it up because of complaints by labor unions. RES, a British energy company, sold the Bitter Root wind project to Oregon-based Avangrid Renewables, which has at least tentative support from the unions and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
A Portuguese research project has found that the speed and direction of wind at the height of wind turbine hubs vary considerably from what is reported in standard weather forecasts. It is the first of several reports due from an initiative designed to improve management of wind facilities.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and local officials applauded the proposed Black Rock Wind Farm, which would provide a generation capacity up to 170 megawatts, increasing the state's wind generation by nearly a quarter. Developer Clearway hopes to begin construction on Black Rock next year and start operations in 2021.
Wind developers need to get new projects underway by the end of 2019 and into operation by the end of 2020 to benefit from expiring federal tax incentives. New facilities that could add up to 5.7 gigawatts of capacity are expected to come online in December.
Japan has pledged that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be the first powered entirely by renewable energy sources. This ambitious goal aims to position Japan as a leader in emerging energy technologies and could drive further adoption of renewables around the world.
Maine Gov. Janet Mills and wind power advocates urged state lawmakers to advance the approval of a floating turbine project held up for more than a year with utility regulators. Pending legislation would direct the Public Utilities Commission to authorize a contract between Central Maine Power and the University of Maine.
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.