Category: North America


Aeronautica Windpower will manufacture mid-scale wind turbines in the US

May 1st, 2009 | Posted in Wind

aeronautica-windpowerMore good news for the US renewable energy market. US Massachussets based company Aeronautica Windpower is going to begin manufacturing mid-scale (65kW – 750 kW) wind turbines in the US. This is yet another indicator of the growing US renewables market, only this time in the mid-power sector. The wind turbines made by Aeronautica are meant to be used in industrial parks, commercial complexes and small neighborhoods – basically, for consumers who wish to cut down on electricity costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

The company is hoping to shorten delivery times and reduce cost by having them made in the US. Previously, Aeronautica marketed Danish Norwin wind turbines, but also has an interesting recycle program which offers refurbished wind turbines.


Nordex opens North American headquarters in Chicago

May 1st, 2009 | Posted in Wind

nordexGerman wind turbine manufacturer Nordex opened its North American headquarters in Chicago, US. The area has plenty of talent, and with the recent troubles faced by the US automotive industry, there is plenty of talent in the highly skilled workforce now available. One other reason the company chose Chicago was also for the efforts the city has made in environmental leadership.

Nordex' move is also quite logical from another perspective – the US renewable energy market is a fast growing market, and also the largest in the world. With the announced investments and subsidies for renewable energy by the US government, the US renewables market is expected to explode, and naturally every major renewable energy supplier wants a piece of the cake. According to Ralf Sigrist, Nordex President and CEO, the company has chosen Chicago as the location of its headquarters because it puts the company right at the heart of the market and the wind industry.

Norder currently employs about 2200 people, and is involved in manufacturing of large wind turbines (MW class units). It has sustained more than 50% sales growth for the fourth consecutive year. Back in October 2008, the company announced plans to open a manufacturing facility in Arkansas (a US$100 million investment) which will provide jobs for about 700 people, and another 100 jobs in Chicago, by 2015. Manufacture will cover every component, except towers, and will peak at 750 MW annually.

93 million from US Recovery Act for support of wind energy projects

April 30th, 2009 | Posted in General

US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, announced plans to provide US$ 93 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as support for further developments in wind energy in the US. He also announced another 100 million for NREL facility and infrastructure improvements. Here's a summarized financial breakdown of funds.

- US$ 45 million for wind turbine drivetrain R&D and testing (efficiency and wear improvements)
- US$ 14 million for technology improvements (blades, materials, towers, components)
- US$ 24 million for wind power research and development
- US$ 10 million for National Wind Technology Center (in Colorado, testing current and future generation equipment)

The 100 million for NREL are broken down this way:

- US$ 68 million for research support facility
- US$ 19.2 million for Renewable Energy and Site Infrascructure
- US$ 13.5 million for upgrade to the Integrated Biorefinery Research Facility

It seems DoE is taking serious steps towards strengthening plans to move onto renewable energy sources.

MIT to be home to two Energy Frontier Research Centers

April 30th, 2009 | Posted in

mitlogo

The Department of Energy (US) is going to establish two of the 46 new multi-million dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRC) at MIT, as was announced by the White House. The EFRCs will work on advanced scientific research on energy, established at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations and private firms across the US.

EFRC will provide US$ 19 million for funding the Center for Excitonics at MIT. The center will try to understand the transport of charge carriers in synthetic disordered systems, which are promising as new mterials for converting solar energy to electricity. Another US$ 17.5 million will be available for the Solid-State Solar-thermal Energy Conversion Center, also at MIT, whose objective will be to create nove solid-state materials for converting sunlight and heat into electricity.

Researchers will be taking advantage of the latest breakthroughs in nanotechnology, high-intensity light sources, neutron scattering sources, supercomputing and more. All this is going to be used for laying out the groundwork for fundamental advances in solar energy, biofuels, transportation, energy efficiency, electricity storage and transmission. Research will also delve into areas such as carbon capture and sequestration and nuclear energy.

It is expected that numerous post doctoral, graduate student, and technical staff postitions will be created for the centers.

Vestas to supply its V90 units to Canadian TransAlta

April 29th, 2009 | Posted in Wind
Vestas V90-3.0 (Image credit: Vestas)

Vestas V90-3.0 (Image credit: Vestas)

TransAlta (Canada) has placed an order with Vestas for 23 V90-3.0 wind turbines for installation at the Ardenville wind farm located in southern Alberta. The total installed capacity of all the units will be 69 MW. TransAlta has already ordered turbines from Vestas in May 2008, when the company received 22 units of the same type.

The V90-3.0 is the largest wind turbine in operation in commercial North America, and the company sees this is as a good indication that Vestas will continue to play an important role in developing wind power in Canada.

TransAlta is based in Calgary, Alberta, and is one of the largest non-regulated Canadian power companies, but also a leading Canadian wind power generator.

The 23 units will be supplied and commissioned by Vestas by mid-2010. The wind farm is expected to go into full operation in early 2011. The order contract also includes a five-year service and maintenance agreement.

American Electric Power is doubling its renewable energy goal

April 29th, 2009 | Posted in Wind

aepAmerican Electric Power (AEP) is planning to double its goal of adding 1000 MW of renewable energy, to 2000 MW by the end of 2011. The goal assumes regulatory support. This plan would bring the company's total renewable energy portfolio to above 2600 MW.

The company has added about 900 MW of wind power generation since 2007, the time when the company committed to the original goal to reach 1000 MW. Another of AEP's goals is to reduce energy consumption by 2.25 MWh by the end of 2012, which is complementary to the goal of reducing power consumption by 1000 MW by 2012.

First Wind gets financing for Milford Wind Corridor Phase I

April 27th, 2009 | Posted in Wind

firstwindFirst Wind (US) announced it got financing for their project Milford Wind Corridor Phase I, which is US$ 376 million investment. The installed capacity of the project is about 203 MW, located in Milford, Utah. The financing was provided by the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, with another nine banks acting as joint lead arrangers for the financing.

Once completed, the Milford Wind Project will be the largest of its kind in Utah, but also the largest wind project for the company. It will feature 97 wind turbines – 58 2.5 MW Clipper Liberty units, and 39 GE 1.5 MW units. The completion of Phase I is expected at the end of 2009. About 44000 homes will be powered by the total capacity of the Milford Wind Project.

Major construction on the project has begun in March this year, including about 88 miles of transmission lines to Intermountain Power Plant in Delta. The first turbines are expected to be erected in the early summer this year.

Sandia and Mesalands Community College will jointly research new wind energy technologies

April 25th, 2009 | Posted in Wind

nawrtcSandia National Laboratories and Mesalands Community College have signed a memorandum of understanding (moU) to jointly do research in new wind energy technologies. The MoU stimulates Sandia and the North American Wind Research and Training Center (NAWRTC), which is part of MCC, to share resources and collaborate in exploration of wind turbine operation and maintenance improvements, as well as component reliability and repair methods.

Most of the research will focus around the 1.5 MW wind turbine installed at NAWRTC, which is a new US$ 7 million training facility for wind technicians, as well as performing operations and maintenance research.

Sandia is hoping to remove barriers for wind energy adoption through workforce development, with necessary training for the next generation of a qualified workforce, that will hopefully further develop and support the industry. With the anticipated expansion of wind energy jobs in the coming years, programs like the one at Mesalands, is going to help fill the void for qualified workers.

BP Solar will supply PV power systems for Wal-Mart stores in California

April 24th, 2009 | Posted in Solar

bpsolar

Wal-Mart's sustainability efforts, part of which is installing solar power generators on its stores, clubs and distribution centers, is going to be supplied with PV power systems coming from BP Solar, at least for their locations in California.

Under a power purchase agreement (PPA) reached for the projects, BP Solar will finance, install and maintain PV systems, while Wal-Mart will have immediate benefits of clean electricity with no up-front cost for the retailer. BP Solar will initially focus on building some 10 to 20 rooftop systems at Wal-Mart locations in California, evaluating potential for further engagement on other locations. It is expected the inital installation will be completed within 18 months, totalling in 10 MW of installed power capacity.

In 2008, BP Solar already completed installation of 4.1 MW of solar power for seven Wal-Mart stores and Sam's Clubs, also in California.

Two geothermal power projects inaugurated in Nevada

April 22nd, 2009 | Posted in Geothermal

enel

Enel Green Power inaugurated two geothermal power plants in Nevada (US), on April 17. The total capacity of the two plants is 65 MW, which is enough to power about 40,000 households, generating some 400 TWh annualy. The plants are also a significant move towards achieving Nevada's energy goal which is to generate 20% of electricity from renewable resources by 2015.

The addition of the new plants, Stillwater and Salt Wells, quadruples the total amount of geothermal electricity produced by Enel Green Power in the US.

Both plants are medium enthalpy plants, which means water pumped from underground is at temperatures between 130 and 150 degrees Celsius. The heat from the heated water is transferred onto a working fluid (in this case isobutane), which in turn powers steam turbine generators. Water is returned underground, and the working fluid remains in the closed loop process, eliminating the possilibility of leaking into the environment. Additional benefits of these two plants come to the local community, in form of 25 permanent jobs, after having created more than 300 temporary jobs during construction earlier.

Enel Green Power also has installations in Italy (Tuscany, about 700 MW), but also in South and Central America (Chile, El Salvador).