• Cascade, Wisconsin Wastewater Plant Powered by Wind Energy

    With the start-up of two 100-kilowatt (kW) wind turbines, the Village of Cascade became the first Wisconsin community to power its municipal wastewater treatment plant with 100 percent locally produced wind energy.

    The impetus behind Cascade's embrace of wind power was the avoided utility expenditures associated with operating a wastewater treatment plant. In the first year of operation, Cascade stands to save $30,000. With anticipated increases in electric rates, the Village of Cascade should save more than one million dollars over the thirty-year life of the turbines. Additional revenue will come from the sale of excess power to We Energies.

    “With these two turbines, the Village of Cascade has taken a giant step toward energy independence,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin. “Its prudent investment in wind energy will enable the community to control its energy budget, saving money for current and future residents.”

    Kettle View Renewable Energy, LLC, a wind system installer located in nearby Random Lake, installed and commissioned Cascade's turbines. “We are proud that our local efforts on this project made this the first net-zero wastewater treatment plant in Wisconsin,” said Kettle View Renewable Energy project manager Randy Faller. “It speaks volumes to the commitment by the Village of Cascade to generate clean, domestic energy while saving their community money.”

    Northern Power Systems, the Vermont turbine manufacturer, “couldn't be more pleased that our technologically advanced, American-made Northwind 100 turbines are delivering real energy solutions for municipalities, schools, businesses and farms across Wisconsin,” said Brett Pingree, vice president of Americas at Northern Power Systems.

    Grants from Milwaukee-based We Energies and Focus on Energy were instrumental in supplementing Cascade's investment in the project.

  • Lummi Nation Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Services RFP

     

    The Lummi Nation is requesting proposals from qualified consulting firms to provide wind energy development feasibility assessment services. The overall goal of the Lummi Indian Reservation Wind Energy Development Feasibility Assessment Project, which is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is to determine if and at what cost wind energy development on the Reservation can help achieve the tribal goal of energy self-sufficiency.

    Wind power assessments developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL 2002) indicate that the large tideland and floodplain areas of the Lummi Indian Reservation (Reservation) are in Wind Power Class 3, having Fair wind power potential at 50 meters. Although the available mapping and general observations indicate that wind power generation is feasible on the Reservation, site-specific wind measurements are needed to ensure a reasonable economic return prior to making the substantial capital investments associated with installing wind turbines and associated transmission infrastructure. Numerous other factors, such as cultural, socio-economic, natural resources, noise, aesthetics, and adjacent land uses also affect the feasibility of a wind energy project on the Reservation.

    Please contact Monika Lange for further information. Women and/or minority owned businesses are encouraged to apply. All proposals must be received by 12:00 p.m. on July 23, 2010.

  • DOE to Invest $6 Million in Midsize Wind Turbine Technology Development

    U.S. Department of Energy

    Washington DC — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the availability of up to $6 million to advance midsize wind turbine technology in order to boost the speed and scale of midsize turbine deployment. DOE will provide the funding over two years to accelerate the development, testing, and commercialization of domestically manufactured, midsize wind turbines with rated generating capacities between 100 kilowatts and 1 megawatt. Through this funding opportunity, DOE will leverage private-sector technology investment by providing cost-shared partnerships to qualified projects in support of the Administration's drive to create clean-energy jobs, and promote economic development and energy independence. DOE anticipates making up to four initial grants under this competitive solicitation.

    Midsize turbines are used at schools, farms, factories, private and public facilities, remote locations, and community and tribal wind projects to generate renewable electricity. The size of these turbines allows them to be installed on the site of electricity use, thus minimizing the need for new electric transmission lines. However, the market for midsize turbines has lagged behind the growing markets for both utility-scale turbines larger than 1 megawatt and for small turbines under 100 kilowatts.

    This funding opportunity from DOE will help address two major reasons for the slow growth in the midsize turbine market-namely, the scarcity of midsize turbine models available for purchase and unfavorable project economics-by supporting the development of innovative technologies that lower the installed costs and improve the productivity of midsize turbines. In addition, this funding opportunity will promote the utilization of U.S. manufacturers and supply chain vendors.

    For more details, view the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

    For more information on how DOE works to develop wind technologies, visit the Wind and Water Power Program web site.  

  • DOE Announces Funding Opportunity for Enhancing Short-Term Wind Forecasting

    U.S. Department of Energy

    June, 2010 - Washington DC — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding for up to $6 million over two years to improve short-term wind energy forecasting. The funding will support projects that enhance the ability of utilities and electricity grid operators to forecast when and where generation from wind power will take place, allowing for improved utility operations. Electricity grid operators depend on accurate wind forecasts to predict and plan for the energy output of wind power plants in their system. By more accurately forecasting wind conditions up to six hours ahead, utilities operators can better predict the power generation of their wind plants, which reduces the cost and increases the reliability of integrating wind energy into the electricity grid. Improved wind forecasting has the potential to achieve substantial savings in annual grid production costs, and these benefits are expected to increase significantly as national wind deployment accelerates. Innovation in this area will help wind and other renewable energy sources meet more and more of the nation's energy demand.

    One to two competitively-selected funding recipient team(s) will work with DOE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to deploy atmospheric measurement systems, make their data available for use in advanced weather prediction systems to improve short-term turbine-level wind forecasts, and demonstrate the value of these forecasting improvements for electric utility operations. The recipient team(s) will include wind plant operators, wind forecasting and meteorological services companies, electric utility system operators, and research organizations.

    DOE will provide $2 million this year to NOAA to fund its technical support of the selected projects and will provide an additional $1 million to the one or two competitively selected awardees. DOE also anticipates providing an additional $3 million in fiscal year 2011 to NOAA and the recipient team(s) for completing the project. Specifically, NOAA will support the project with research instrumentation, advanced weather modeling, and expertise in meteorology. NOAA will deploy and operate a network of sophisticated atmospheric instrumentation in the region identified and supported by the recipient team(s), and incorporate data from this network and other sources into an advanced weather forecast model to provide higher precision wind forecasts, allowing the recipient team(s) to improve wind plant power forecasts for more economic and reliable utility operations.

    The complete Funding Opportunity Announcement can be viewed at the FedConnect Web site.

  • Rural Summit on Capitol Hill Seeks Sustainable Solutions

    “Local ownership through Community Wind development not only provides initial construction jobs, but more importantly it provides long-term economic activity.”
    —Dan Juhl, Chairman and CEO, Juhl Wind, Inc.

    Washington, D.C., April 28, 2010 - U.S. Senators Harry Reid, Blanche Lincoln, and Debbie Stabenow were joined by former president Bill Clinton and wind energy developer Dan Juhl as they hosted a Rural Summit at the capitol. The event brought together stakeholders from communities around the country to focus on revitalizing rural America through economic development and job creation, and preserving the rural way of life for future generations.

    “Today was all about finding ways we can work together to create a sustainable rural economy,” said Senator Lincoln, Chair of Rural Outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I have worked diligently with my Senate colleagues over the last year and a half to pass historic legislation that will benefit rural America. From the Recovery Act...to working toward passage of the toughest financial reform legislation in our nation's history to put the needs of Main Street over the interests of Wall Street—I am working to make sure that rural America is strong and successful.”

    Panel discussions focused on creating jobs in rural America through investments in infrastructure and critical services, along with building a sustainable rural economy through increasing small business access to capital, small business development and workforce development.

    In his keynote speech Clinton offered a positive assessment of the job creation opportunities that exist for rural communities as the economy recovers and moves forward, particularly in creating new and sustainable sources of energy. “Manufacturing will make a comeback in this country, mark my words,” said Clinton. “It's going to be an enormous opportunity for small towns to get manufacturing jobs.”

    Dan Juhl
    Dan Juhl, Chairman and
    CEO of Juhl Wind, Inc.

    Dan Juhl, Chairman and CEO of Juhl Wind, Inc. represented the wind power industry and extolled the benefits of Community Wind. “Local ownership through Community Wind development not only provides initial construction jobs, but more importantly it provides the long-term economic activity for 20 plus years as our wind farms are owned and operated by our farmer partners,” said Juhl. “While it may cost $4 plus million to install one 2 megawatt turbine, there is only about $500,000 of local construction activity. However, that same turbine derives $500,000 a year in revenue—or $10 million over each 20 year period. That is why we are so committed to ensuring that our wind farms our owned by the people of rural America vs. larger utility conglomerates based hundreds of miles away—and sometimes from other countries.”

  • Unprecedented Growth of U.S. and Global Wind Energy

    But Will the Growth Continue?

    United States wind power capacity increased by over 10 gigawatts (GW) in 2009, 20% more than was added in 2008, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). That brings total U.S. capacity to over 35 GW, more than any other country on the planet, providing 1.8% of our national electric power. Similarly, the demand for small wind systems for residential and small business use (rated capacity of 100 kW or less) grew 15% in 2009, adding 20 MW of generating capacity to the nation.

    “Even in the face of a global recession and financial crisis, wind energy continues to be the technology of choice in many countries around the world.”

    —Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General

    This is impressive as the largest single annual gain in U.S. wind energy capacity, but our nation still lags behind the pace of other countries in renewable energy expansion. Global wind power capacity increased by over 38 GW in 2009, an increase of 41% over 2008 according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).

    “Even in the face of a global recession and financial crisis, wind energy continues to be the technology of choice in many countries around the world,” said Steve Sawyer, GWEC Secretary General. “Wind power is clean, reliable and quick to install, so it is the most attractive solution for improving supply security, reducing CO2 emissions, and creating thousands of jobs in the process. All of these qualities are of key importance, even more so in times of economic uncertainty.”

    China demonstrated a major commitment to renewable energy growth at a breathtaking pace, more than doubling it's wind capacity in 2009. According to the GWEC, China accounted for one third of the total annual wind capacity additions with 13.8 GW of new wind farms in 2009. This took China's total capacity up to 25.9 GW, narrowly overtaking Germany as the country with the second largest wind power capacity behind the U.S. The Chinese government has an unofficial target of 150 GW of wind capacity by 2020, and with the current growth rates, that ambitious target could be met well ahead of time.

    Economic uncertainty was a major challenge in 2009, and the U.S. responded to the challenge through new leadership in both the White House and the U.S. Department of Energy, bringing new policies and incentives to the forefront for renewable energy development, including the extension and expansion of tax incentives along with stimulus dollars in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. But will this be enough to foster continued growth?

    The forecast for U.S. wind capacity growth in coming years is not so clear. GWEC expects that the global installed wind capacity will reach 409 GW by 2014, growing by an average annual rate of 21%. Asia is expected to outpace both Europe and North America, with the U.S. and Canada as possible laggards in 2010 and 2011 due to legislative uncertainty.

    “Our annual report documents an industry hard at work and on the verge of explosive growth if the right policies—including a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)—are put in place,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “A national RES will provide the long-term certainty that businesses need to invest tens of billions of dollars in new installations and manufacturing facilities which would create hundreds of thousands of American jobs.”

    “Our annual report documents an industry hard at work and on the verge of explosive growth if the right policies—including a national Renewable Electricity Standard (RES)—are put in place,”

    —Denise Bode, AWEA CEO

    Clean energy and economic renewal are necessary partners for a sustainable future. It's time for U.S. policy-makers to determine how to make that more of a priority for our country. Many claim that Feed-In Tariff (FIT) policies, which have driven European renewable energy expansion with guaranteed grid access along with set prices on long-term contracts, just won't work in the U.S. However, the United States and Canada are the only major countries that don't even have federal policies for RES targets, which would drive incentives forward without the tight regulation of FIT. A patchwork of state-by-state (or province-by-province) RES targets doesn't present a clear national priority, and without that—clean energy expansion will lag along with the employment, environmental, and community benefits that come with it.

  • Vast Majority of Americans Want More Wind Power

    “An overwhelming majority of American voters, on a bipartisan basis, want more wind power.”

    —Bennett, Petts & Normington

    "Increasing the amount of energy America gets from wind is a good idea," agree 89% of American voters, according to a new poll released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The poll shows that only clean energy sources incuding wind, solar, and natural gas receive a favorable opinion, while coal and oil are given unfavorable ratings, and nuclear energy has split ratings with no majority opinion.

    “The poll's bottom line is clear: An overwhelming majority of American voters, on a bipartisan basis, want more wind power and support a national Renewable Energy Standard (RES) to increase its use,” said Anna Bennett and Neil Newhouse, partners respectively with Bennett, Petts & Normington and Public Opinion Strategies, the firms that conducted the poll.

    Poll highlights include:

    • An overwhelming, bipartisan majority—89%—of American voters (including 84% of Republicans, 88% of Independents and 93% of Democrats)—believe increasing the amount of energy the nation gets from wind is a good idea.
    • A majority of Americans—56%—disapprove of the job Congress is doing on renewable energy and 67% believe Congress is not doing enoughto increase renewable energy sources such as wind.
    • A majority of Americans—82%—believe the nation's economy would be stronger (52%) or the same (30%) if we used more renewable energy sources like wind.
    • A majority of Americans—77%—support a national Renewable Electricity Standard. This support extends across party lines and includes 65% of Republicans, 69% of Independents, 92% of Democrats.

    “Wind works for America and that is why voters want Congress to pass a strong national RES,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “Americans understand that an RES will mean new manufacturing jobs, less dependence on imported energy, and more pure, clean, affordable energy for our country.”

    The poll was conducted March 27-28 by Neil Newhouse of Public Opinion Strategies and Anna Bennett of Bennett, Petts & Normington. The poll sampled a national survey of 600 likely voters. The margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.

  • Massachusetts Community-Scale Wind Initiative Funding

    The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's (MassCEC) Community-Scale Wind Initiative awards grants for qualifying wind projects with a nameplate capacity greater than or equal to 100 kilowatts (kW.) A project is eligible for funding if it is located at a commercial, industrial, institutional, or public site, and if the electric system will be served by a Massachusetts investor-owned electric utility company or a Municipal Light Plant Department that pays into the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. MassCEC will provide financial and technical support to wind projects through the different development stages.

    MassCEC offers support for three stages of the Community Scale development process: 1) services for high level site assessment, available for public projects only (please submit a Public Wind Site Assessment Application); 2) feasibility study grant support for in-depth technical and economic feasibility analyses; and 3) grants for design and construction support. 

    Applications for Block 3 of Community-Scale Wind are due on May 4, 2010. Block 3 is projected to have $2 million available for grant funding. The Block 3 awards will be granted based on a competitive selection process.

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