An $8 billion green energy initiative that would bring large amounts of clean electricity to the Los Angeles area by 2023 is being called "the 21 st Century's Hoover Dam." The project would require construction of one of America's largest wind farms in Wyoming, one of the world's biggest energy storage facilities in Utah, and a 525-mile electric transmission line connecting the two. The proposed project would generate more than twice the amount of electricity produced by the giant 1930s-era hydroelectric dam in Nevada-- 9.2 million megawatt-hours per year vs. 3.9 million megawatt-hours.
The commencement of commercial operations of DTE Energy's Echo Wind Park-- comprised of 70, 1.6 MW turbines across 16,000 acres in Huron County-- is being celebrated. The launch is particularly significant, especially after the November 7, 2013 failure during a six hour turbine reliability test where one of the turbine blades came crashing down. No one was injured, but DTE decided at that time to suspend commissioning activities.
Duke Energy Renewables, a commercial business unit of Duke Energy, will build the next phase of its Los Vientos Windpower Project in Starr County, Texas. The 110 MW Los Vientos V currently has 25-year power purchase agreements with Garland Power & Light, Greenville Electric Utility System and Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU).
The U.S. continues to lead the world in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity, according to two reports released recently by the Department of Energy. The wind market in the United States remains strong due to increasing wind energy generation of decreasing wind technology prices, driving the U.S. closer to doubling wind power generation once again by 2020, the reports predict.
In an era of high energy costs, developments in wind technology have made wind energy among the most affordable and desirable forms of renewable energy. In fact, Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) expects cumulative capacity of wind power to more than double by 2020.
The IRS is expected to provide further guidance on the PTC, which may help increase the percentage of projects with long-term power sale agreements. But congressional action is needed to continue the incentive for private investment in new wind farms to avoid a downturn in development such as the one that occurred last year because of uncertainty up until the last-minute extension on Jan. 2, 2013.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched the Distributed Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) to help the U.S. wind industry develop competitive, high-performance technologies needed to compete in the global distributed wind market and lower the levelized cost of energy so it can compete with retail electricity rates.
Despite the slowdown, wind currently powers nearly 3 percent of the world and is expected to grow over the next several years-- delivering 7.3 percent of the electricity consumed worldwide by 2018.
The U.K. government has taken steps to reduce the country's carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, compared with 1990 levels, according to a report by research and consulting firm GlobalData. At the same time, the U.K. is striving to meet its EU target of 15 percent renewable energy consumption by 2020.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., is celebrating the commercial operation of the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center in Nebraska, which is capable of generating 74.8 MW of wind power.