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jpak

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 37,952

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They do not know what they are talking about

http://www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=4306

In 2010, Maine’s three large wind farms—Mars Hill, Stetson (I & II), and Kibby—generated 486,683 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity, which is equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 69,000 average Maine households in a year. Because the Kibby and Stetson II projects did not begin operating until well into 2010, the amount of generation from these facilities, pro-rated for a full calendar year, would be at least 620,000 MWh –enough to power 88,600 households.

For wind facilities that operated for a full 12-month period during 2010 (Mars Hill, Stetson I, and Vinalhaven), the actual generation was between 92 percent and 104 percent of the estimated output predicted in their development permit applications.

“We’re pleased that Maine’s first few wind farms are operating generally as expected, generating large amounts of clean electricity for our grid and displacing fossil fuel use,” said Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “Because these projects are generating electricity, New England is burning fewer fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. Reducing our fossil fuel dependence is essential for a clean environment, healthy air, and long-term economic prosperity. And what’s exciting from this new data is that it shows just how much energy is now being provided by wind power projects operating in Maine.”

By way of comparison, the combined output of Maine’s largest three wind farms is roughly the same as the output of Maine’s three largest biomass power plants or the three largest hydropower dams on the Androscoggin River. “Wind power is clearly taking its place right alongside existing, traditional renewable energy sources in Maine,” said Voorhees.

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That's 4% of the state's total generation or 5% of in-state electrical demand.

Those figures do not include the Rollins wind project that went on-line this year or the smaller Beaver Ridge and Vinalhaven projects - or the Record Hill and Spruce Mountain wind farms that will coming on-line very soon - or the Oakfield wind farm in northern Maine that was just approved by the voters there - or the expansion of Kibby Mountain - or the wind farms in Dixfield, Canton and Carthage....more than 220 MW addition capacity

Wind power will produce double-digit percentages of Maine's electricity in the next 3 years.

yup

Increasing Wind Energy in Germany Pricing Out Natural Gas Plants

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/20/increasing-wind-energy-in-germany-pricing-out-natural-gas-plants/

Renewable energy critics are convinced that Germany is going to see skyrocketing electricity prices due to it dropping both coal and nuclear. Well, anyone who looks at the long-term economics of all these options knows that clean, renewable energy is a winner (don’t be a hater, it’s just how it is). Now, natural gas is the newly adored fossil fuel, due to its relatively cheap prices right now (many claim it’s the cheapest electricity option these days), and it’s less-several environmental costs (compared to coal). But something I’ve been writing for quite awhile now is that wind is cheaper than natural gas in many (perhaps most) locations. Recent news out of Germany confirms that is the case there.

Due to surging wind power capacity in northern Germany (and its low price), Statkraft AS is looking to possibly shut down two gas-fired power plants totaling 1 gigawatt (yes, GW) of capacity.

Source: Clean Technica (http://s.tt/14WpS)

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Hawaii wind farm leans on giant battery bank

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-57347037-54/hawaii-wind-farm-leans-on-giant-battery-bank/

A123 Systems today announced that a Hawaiian wind project developer will use its batteries to firm up power delivery into the grid. The Auwahi Wind project, which has a generating capacity of 21 megawatts, will be buttressed by a giant battery bank able to deliver 11 megawatts of power.

It's the second time this year that A123 Systems' storage systems, built around shipping container-size battery banks, were chosen to be co-located with a wind farm. The Laurel Mountain wind farm in West Virginia has a 32-megawatt battery bank attached to it, making it a more reliable source of electricity.

At the Auwahi Wind project, the batteries will be used to provide a more steady supply of power, which dips and rises with changing wind. The system will also be tapped to maintain a steady voltage.

One of the advantages of lithium ion batteries is that they are able to supply lots of power very quickly. A123 Systems said its power electronics can detect fluctuations in supply and be able to send 11 megwawatts of power in milliseconds. Adding storage to renewable energy generation is more commercially viable in Hawaii because it has the highest electricity prices in the U.S.

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I retrieved this from the carcass of DU2....

Wind energy reduces electricity prices, says independent study

http://www.ewea.org/index.php?id=60&no_cache=1&tx_ttnew...

The review ‘Wind Energy and Electricity Prices’, a comprehensive assessment of studies of the impact of wind energy on electricity prices, was carried out by the independent consultancy Pöyry AS on behalf of EWEA. It brings together, for the first time, the findings of case studies in Germany, Denmark and Belgium.

The report finds that in the studies reviewed by Pöyry, electricity prices were reduced by between 3 and 23 €/MWh depending on the amount of wind power. It concludes that the studies “essentially draw similar conclusions” and that “an increased penetration of wind power reduces wholesale spot prices.”

“It has already been well-established that wind reduces CO? emissions,” said Christian Kjaer, EWEA’s Chief Executive. “But now we have stronger evidence than ever before that wind power also reduces electricity prices for consumers. The message is clear – if you want affordable CO?-free electricity, increase the amount of wind power in your electricity mix.”

Wind power replaces CO? -intensive production technologies, the report finds. The technology that sets the price on the wholesale market is usually hard coal. Wind replaces hard coal power plants during hours of low demand and gas-fired power plants during hours of high demand in all the countries the report analysed.

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Wind Power in New England - Reducing Pollution from the Electricity Sector

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impac...

A network of power lines, called the electricity “grid,” connects power plants with electricity users. The grid operator— the Independent System Operator (ISO) of New England—continually monitors the flow of electricity from more than 350 power plants and coordinates their output to match energy demand. Generally, ISO New England orders the power plants on the grid with the least expensive electricity to operate first to meet hourly demand. When demand increases and the most expensive plant currently operating reaches its full capacity, the next least expensive plant is turned on, and so forth. When wind energy is added to the grid, less electricity is needed from conventional power plants, so the most expensive power plant operating is turned down, or even off. As a result, the emissions associated with this plant are reduced.

Most of the time in New England, natural gas power plants are the ones turned up or down to match rising and falling energy demand. During times of peak energy use, however, especially in the winter, wind energy can displace more polluting oil-fired power plants. At periods of low electricity use, wind occasionally displaces coal power generation.

Sometimes a hydropower plant may also be displaced, which usually allows more water to be stored behind the dam for displacing fossil fuels at a later time.

Periodically, ISO New England examines the emissions associated with the power plants that are turned up and down as demand fluctuates (known as marginal emissions). Based on this emissions analysis,<1> if the region’s currently proposed wind projects are built, millions of tons of pollution could be avoided each year.

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The Facts About Wind Energy and Emissions
http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/20...

For those who have not been following this misinformation campaign by the fossil fuel industry, here is a brief synopsis. Back in March 2010, AWEA heard public reports that the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States (IPAMS), a lobby group representing the oil and natural gas industry, was working on a report that would attempt to claim that adding wind energy to the grid had somehow increased power plant emissions in Colorado.

Perplexed at how anyone would attempt to make that claim, AWEA decided to take a look at the relevant data, namely the U.S. Department of Energy’s data tracking emissions from Colorado’s power plants over time. The government’s data, reproduced in the table below, show that as wind energy jumped from providing 2.5% of Colorado’s electricity in 2007 to 6.1% of the state’s electricity in 2008, carbon dioxide emissions fell by 4.4%, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions fell by 6%, coal use fell by 3% (571,000 tons), and electric-sector natural gas use fell by 14%. (Thorough DOE citations for each data point are listed here (PDF).) Two conclusions were apparent from looking at this data: 1. the claim the fossil fuel industry was planning to make had no basis in fact, and 2. the fossil industry was understandably frustrated that they were losing market share to wind energy.

In early April, AWEA publicly presented this government data, and when the fossil fuel lobbyists released their report later that month it was greeted with the skepticism it deserved and largely ignored. Case closed, right? We thought so, too.

After the initial release of the report fell flat, the fossil fuel industry tried again a month later. John Andrews, founder of the Independence Institute, a group that has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from the fossil fuel industry, penned an opinion article in the Denver Post parroting the claims of the original report. Fortunately, Frank Prager, a vice president with Xcel Energy, the owner of the Colorado power plants in question, responded with an article entitled “Setting the record straight on wind energy” that pointed out the flaws in the fossil industry’s study and reconfirmed that wind in fact has significantly reduced fossil fuel use and emissions on their power system. Having been shot down twice, we thought that the fossil industry would surely put their report out to pasture.

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Study: In Texas, wind power beats natural gas

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9916968-54.html

Wind power is worth it, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

ERCOT studied the costs and benefits of wind power in three scenarios and concluded that expanding wind power in Texas would outweigh the total costs of boosting the state's electrical grid with conventional technologies. (Renewable Energy Access has a more detailed story here.)

The organization estimated the costs of putting in 5.1 gigawatts (GW), 11.6GW, and 18GW of new wind energy as well as the required grid connections. The 5.1GW plan would bring with it a $3.8 billion premium, but save $1.2 billion in fossil fuel costs a year. The 11.6GW plan would cost $4.9 billion, but save $1.7 billion in fuel costs annually. (Estimated fuel cost savings were not included for the 18GW scenario, but will be included in a future study.) Either way, both programs would pay off in about three years. Wind turbines last for decades; thus, new turbines would save billions over time as well as cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

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http://cleantechnica.com/2011/05/01/cost-of-wind-power-... /

Wind Power Costs, Prices Dropping Worldwide

“Prices have dipped below €1m per MW for the first time since 2005, according to the latest edition of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Wind Turbine Price Index,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance wrote in February, 2011. For us Americans, that translates to about $1.48 million per MW.

“The cost of electricity generated from wind is now at record lows: several projects in high resource areas (US, Brazil, Sweden, Mexico) display a levelised cost of energy – excluding the impact of subsidies but after including the cost of capital and maintenance – below EUR 50/MWh ($68/MWh). This compares to current estimated average costs of $67 per MWh for coal-fired power and $56 per MWh for gas-fired power.” (In $/kWh, the figures would thus be less than $0.068/kWh for wind, $0.067/kWh for coal, and $0.056/kWh for gas-fired power.)


The Department of Energy, which seems to use this 30-year assumption, found the price of electricity from new wind farm plants ranged from 4 to 9 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009, which is competitive with other new power plants and essentially the same as AWEA reported above. However, if a 30- or 40-year lifespan were used for the projects, the costs would be much lower, as the huge majority of a wind project’s costs are from the initial investment (wind, the ‘fuel’, is free and there are minimal operating and maintenance costs).

Wind is MUCH Cheaper than Coal & Natural Gas (if You Know How to Add)

Now, as I hinted at the top, if you take the full health costs and environmental costs of various energy sources into account, wind comes out looking even better. A recent study out of Harvard found that if one adds in the hidden costs of coal then its actual price in the U.S. is more like 9-27 cents higher per kilowatt hour. The authors write:

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Blustery States Boost Wind Power Over Gas With U.S. Tax Break

http://www.puertoricosuppliers.com/blog/post.cfm/bluste...

A U.S. tax break has helped wind power stem the growth of natural gas as a power-plant fuel in blustery states.

The natural-gas share of electricity generation increased by less than 1 percent over the past decade in states such as North Dakota that have strong winds to drive turbines, a Bloomberg Government Study found. It grew 17 percent in states such as Florida, where there was no wind to compete with gas.

A production tax credit valued at 2.2 cents for every kilowatt-hour of wind energy has encouraged the growth of the alternative energy source. Natural gas accounted for 16 percent of U.S. electricity generation in 2000 and grew to 24 percent in 2010, according to the study.

“With the benefit of the federal and state subsidies, wind-generated electricity has tended to push out the more expensive sources of electricity generation,” Paul Hughes, a senior economic analyst for Bloomberg Government, wrote in the study. “In many cases that displaced energy has been generated from natural gas.”

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EON Invests $9 Billion in Renewables as Germany Drops Nuclear

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-12-15/eon-invests-9-billion-in-renewables-as-germany-drops-nuclear-generation.html

EON AG, Germany’s biggest utility, said it’s investing 7 billion euros ($9.1 billion) in renewable energy projects over the next five years as the country drops nuclear power generation.

EON plans to build at least three offshore wind projects, including the 1 billion-euro Amrumbank West farm in the North Sea, Dusseldorf-based EON said in an e-mailed statement today. Siemens AG, Europe’s biggest engineering company, will supply the the 288-megawatt plant with 80 of its turbines.

“Renewables are a cornerstone of our strategy, and offshore wind is one of EON’s growth areas,” Chief Executive Officer Johannes Teyssen said in the statement. “We intend to commission a new offshore wind farm every 18 months.”

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, seeks to install 10,000 megawatts of sea-based wind turbines this decade as it raises the share of renewables and phases out atomic energy. Utilities including EON and RWE AG (RWE) are selling assets and cutting jobs to lower costs and boost profit margins as the nuclear exit removes revenue streams.

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China’s Solar Energy Plans Become Even More Ambitious

http://cleantechnica.com/2011/12/16/chinas-solar-energy-plans-become-even-more-ambitious/

The People’s Republic of China has increased its target for installed solar power by 50%. It now aims to have 15 GW of installed solar generating capacity, by 2015, Reuters reports.

The move comes just months after China doubled its solar goal from 5 GW to 10 GW earlier this year, following the partial meltdown of the Fukishama nuclear plant in Japan.

How can China be so ambitious? It’s thought that the revised target has been made possible by an uptick in solar installations thanks to new government supports for the industry. China’s government introduced its first unified national feed-in tariff for solar energy in August, guaranteeing a price significantly higher for solar power than was previously being paid by various state agencies. Note that feed-in tariffs are believed to have driven three-quarters of global photovoltaic solar power installations.

To give you a sense of the scale of what China’s trying to achieve, consider this: at the end of 2010, the country had less than 1 GW of installed solar capacity. A government think-tank reported in August that it expected there to be 2 GW of installed solar capacity by the end of 2011.

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Wind Power Produces Just 4-14% Emissions of Fossil Fuels, Even With Manufacturing & Decommissioning

http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/wind-power-emissions-4-14-percent-fossil-fuels.html

It's tempting to think that wind power is entirely free of greenhouse gas emissions, but energy has to be used to make, assemble, maintain and ultimately decommission turbines and wind power projects. Even given all that though, a new assessment of the environmental impact of wind power, published in Environmental Research Letters, shows that wind power is a huge improvement over fossil fuel power plants it replaces.

Assuming a 20-year lifecycle for onshore wind farms, and a 25-year timeframe for offshore projects, the paper concludes,
the total emissions of wind electricity range between 4% and 14% of the direct emissions of the replaced fossil-fueled power plants. For all impact categories, the indirect emissions of displaced fossil power are larger than the total emissions caused by wind power.

The paper's authors note that these figures are in high range of other analyses done on the subject from other sources.

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For onshore projects the wind turbine itself is the single largest emission source at 60-69% (very roughly evenly divided between making the tower, the nacelle and the rotor). In an offshore project though, the turbine itself drops to just 19-35% of the overall emissions, with the installation and decommissioning creating the majority of impact (19-35% and 18-52% respectively). Interestingly, the foundations for the turbines can be up to 11% of the overall emissions for an onshore project, and up to one quarter of the emissions for an offshore project.

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Cape Wind Project: Northeast Utilities And NStar Buy Stake In Offshore Wind Farm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/16/cape-wind-project-northeast-nstar_n_1280427.html

BOSTON (AP) — Energy companies Northeast Utilities and NStar have agreed to buy more than a quarter of the power produced by the long-planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm as a condition of a proposed merger, state officials announced Wednesday.

The announcement is a huge boost for the 130-turbine Cape Wind project, which would be located about 5 miles off Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound and aims to be the nation's first offshore wind farm.

The Cape Wind project has sold half its power to the Massachusetts utility National Grid but has struggled to find buyers for the rest of the power, posing a major obstacle to its efforts to secure financing. As part of the deal announced Wednesday, the combined Northeast Utilities-NStar company would buy 27.5 percent of the electricity Cape Wind produces under a 15-year contract.

State Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan said the agreement shows the administration's commitment to clean energy.

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Mass. wind turbine health study debated at hearing

http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9STS1U80.htm

Neil Anderson says the headaches, dizziness and palpitations began shortly after Wind One, a 400-foot high wind turbine, began operating about a quarter mile from his Falmouth home. So did sleep disruptions, ringing in his ears and elevated blood pressure.

Anderson was among a number of Massachusetts residents who on Tuesday disputed a recent report from a state-appointed panel of experts that reviewed existing scientific evidence and found no serious health risks associated with living near wind turbines.

"Despite the conclusions of this expert health panel, wind turbines that are close to residences make people sick," Anderson told the Statehouse hearing, adding that nearly all of his symptoms disappeared when the town-owned, 1.6 megawatt turbine was temporarily shut down in November amid complaints.

Environmentalists, industry officials and other wind energy advocates were equally strong in their praise of the panel's report, telling state officials who called the meeting that the findings were a resounding endorsement of wind as a safe and clean alternative to other types of energy.

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U.S. May Achieve Energy Independence This Decade, Citigroup Says

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-15/u-s-may-achieve-energy-independence-this-decade-citigroup-says.html

The U.S. may achieve energy independence this decade because of growing North American oil production from shale formations, according to Citigroup Inc. (C)

U.S. shale oil output will grow by 2 million barrels a day as California production increases by 1 million and U.S. Gulf of Mexico output gains 2 million barrels, Seth Kleinman, global head of energy strategy at Citigroup Inc. in London, said in a report today. Foreign imports will drop to 3 million barrels a day, according to the forecast.

“U.S. oil production is rising fast, and net imports of oil are falling sharply,” Kleinman said in the report. Net U.S. oil and product imports are about 8 million barrels a day now, he said.

Canadian production is expected to rise by 1.6 million barrels by 2020, according to the report, which cited the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

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