General News

Over 8,000 MW of Wind Energy Installed in 2008

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced yesterday that in 2008 alone over 8,000 MW of wind energy was installed. This increased the nation's wind energy capacity by 50% and created an investment of $17 billion into the economy.

The United States now has a total installed capacity of 25,170 MW of wind energy. Minnesota is ranked 4th nationally with 1,752 MW installed and Iowa has exceeded California and is now 2nd with 2,790 MW.

Brookings County-Hampton Transmission Line Project Application Review

The CapX2020 utilities filed a permit on December 29, 2008 for the Brookings County-Hampton 345kV transmission line project at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

As required by law the application contains two route options for the approximately 240-mile transmission line and associated substations. The MN Public Utilities Commission will decide on a route and issue a permit after a public process that includes public input through meetings and hearings.

The permit application is available to view online as well as at one of the following local libraries:

Nominations for 2008 Wind Co-op of the Year

Nominations for Wind Cooperative of the Year for 2008 are now being accepted. All electric cooperatives that are members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association are eligible, and there is no cost to nominate.

The Wind Cooperative of the Year Award is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program.

The 2008 winner will be recognized at the NRECA TechAdvantage Conference in New Orleans, La., Feb. 11-14, 2009. All nominations are due by close of business on Jan. 5th, 2009.

New energy grant could help jump start rural Kansas in renewable energy and energy efficiency

As Ray Hammarlund, director of energy programs at the KCC, explained to CEP, the grant money will be used to help rural Kansas entities apply for existing federal funds to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The focus will be applying for CREBS and 9006 grants.

Phase I of Minnesota Dispersed Renewable Generation study available

The passage of the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 by the Minnesota State Legislature and Tim Pawlenty requires a study of the potential for dispersed renewable generation statewide. The study consists of two parts, Phase I and Phase II, which focus on installing a total of 1200MW of new dispersed renewable energy projects with a minimal impact on the transmission grid. As determined by the legislation, project sizes under consideration are limited to between 10 and 40MW.

Xcel Energy RFP for C-BED projects now available

On June 17, Xcel Energy (through Northern States Power) released their 2008 request for proposal (RFP) for Community Based Energy Development (C-BED) projects.

Here's what it says on the Xcel Energy website: "As a part of Xcel Energy’s Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) program, Xcel Energy is soliciting proposals for Community Based Wind Projects. In 2005, the Minnesota Legislature directed that each utility establish a tariff for the purchase of C-BED wind energy. The purpose of the tariff is to encourage and promote broader local participation in wind energy development.

Beginning June 17, 2008, Xcel Energy will be accepting proposals for new Minnesota wind generation resources to be in commercial operation by Dec. 31, 2009. Xcel Energy will seek approvals for any resulting Renewable Energy Purchase Agreements from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The submission deadline is July 11, 2008."

Click here to go to the Xcel Energy website and download a complete copy of the 2008 RFP.

"Renewable Energy Payments in the US" from the Environmental and Energy Study Institute

Europe has a very successful feed-in tariff program for renewable energy. Under this type of program priority of interconnection to the grid is given to energy produced from renewable sources, premium rates are paid to generate a reasonable profit for investors of a renewable energy project and standardized 20-year term contracts. Germany is the leading country in this type of payment program and has dramatically increased its renewable energy production so much that it had met its 2010 renewable energy goal by 2007.

Community Wind Energy 2008 Conference Proceedings Now Available

Windustry’s Community Wind Energy 2008 was a national conference bringing economic development, agriculture and wind energy together to advance opportunities for locally-owned clean energy production. Over 400 attendees from 36 states, 4 provinces and 5 countries shared experiences and information to harness the growing momentum for new models, new policies and new projects.

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