Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Located in Riverside County about 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the 21 MW Blythe plant is the largest thin film PV project in the United States and is five times the size of the next largest PV project in California. NRG estimates that at peak capacity, the project can supply the power needs of almost 17,000 homes while helping California meet its renewable energy goals. Approximately 175 people built Blythe during its three-month construction and installation period.
“It is no surprise that America’s largest thin film solar project was built right here in California, where my Administration has successfully created a climate where green businesses can thrive,” said California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “It is forward-thinking businesses such as First Solar that will help California reach its nation-leading greenhouse gas reduction and Renewable Portfolio Standard goals, as well as create the new green jobs that will help spur our economic recovery.”
First Solar expanded its offerings in California in 2008. The Blythe plant is a model for First Solar’s future large-scale solar developments. “The development, project finance and construction of this solar plant demonstrate First Solar’s capabilities in utility scale projects,” said Bruce Sohn, president of First Solar. “With a three-month build-out, we are pleased to be bringing it online ahead of schedule.”
Using First Solar’s industry-leading thin film PV panels that convert sunlight directly into electricity with no water consumption during operation, the Blythe plant will generate over 45,000 megawatt-hours of clean, affordable, sustainable electricity per year. This solar generation will avoid approximately 12,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent of taking over 2,200 cars off the road.
First Solar will provide operations and maintenance services at Blythe under a long-term contract with NRG. NRG Energy, headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, owns and operates one of the country’s largest and most diverse power generation portfolios. the Company’s power plants provide more than 24,000 megawatts of generation capacity—enough to supply more than 20 million homes.
NRG Solar is NRG’s subsidiary company responsible for developing, constructing, financing and operating a multi-technology portfolio of solar power assets in North America. Blythe is part of NRG’s solar strategy that also includes plans to construct commercial-scale solar thermal generation at sites in California and New Mexico. The first of these units is anticipated to begin operating as early as 2011.
First Solar manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) system solutions.
Green Energy News
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday night's Glory Day Talk Show was quite a interesting show. With two of the most gorgeous twins to ever walk through Bluffton and a high student Representative of Wesco Wind LLC.
Lauren and Claire Peterson started off the show introducing themselves and the opportunities they have had through out their high school and college years. From being a "Queen" and "Princess" to an interviewee for CNN the two twins are bound to fulfill their dreams. Their projects and adventures that they have taken has helped make them who they are today and has gave them better views of the world and the future it possess.
Nick Huffman, a student at Bluffton High School and a Wesco Wind Representative was also an invited guess to last nights talk show. Introducing Huffman was the 30 second commercial that Wesco has sponsored for Wells County Voice. Explaining Wesco's mission and purpose as a Wind Firm made a difference to some of the viewers and listeners last night. "I want people to know the advantages of renewable energy, I want them to see what I see." Huffman stated "Its not just that its really cool to be apart of, but the lives touched through this project is tremendous. Just in this County their will be over 400 jobs supplied, a better view of technology, better health, and better economic values will be provided through this development." Huffman went on explaining about the expansion Wesco has invested into. Once starting as an idea in a few farmers head has expanded in to a multimillion if not billion dollar corporation. "We are the ground roots of renewable energy. Where the wind blows, Wesco is their. Where the sun shines, Wesco is their. Where there are tress to grow and leaves to fall, Wesco is their."
You can listen to the show at http://wellscountyvoice.com
Monday, December 21, 2009
It’s an expert estimation that the total energy stored in wind is 100 times higher than actually needed by humans on this earth. The catch is that we have to learn and devise ways to trap this wind power blowing across the planet earth. Experts tell us one more thing that most of the wind energy is available at high altitude and we can’t manufacture turbines of that height. So we have to think of new ways to trap that wind power blowing at a significant height. Some experts estimate that the total energy contained in wind is 100 times the amount needed by everyone on the planet. However, most of this energy is at high altitudes, far beyond the reach of any wind turbine. Now researchers want to create something like a kite that can float at a higher altitude to trap the wind energy.
Kite Wind Generator
The Kite Wind Generator simply known as KiteGen is an Italian company. They are installing kites that sprout from funnel like structures. They are mounted on giant poles. When wind blows these kites come out of funnels. For short, use kites that spring from funnels on the end of giant poles when the wind blows. For each kite, winches release a pair of high-resistance cables to control direction and angle. These kites are light and ultra-resistant. These kites are similar to those used for kite surfing - light and ultra-resistant, capable of flying up to a height of 2,000 meters.
KiteGen people have thought of new ways to exploit the wind power existing at an altitude. They have discarded the usual heavy and static plants like current wind turbines, but opted for light, dynamic and intelligent ones. They have installed all the light devices in the air and heavy ones on the ground for generating power. The basics of the wind turbines and KiteGen are same. But they have moved the heaviest parts to the ground. They claim that the resulting structure, base foundation included, is much lighter and cheaper. They have also provided flexibility regarding the height of kites. If the wind is strong at certain height, the height of the kite too can be adjusted accordingly. If today wind if blowing nicely at 1000m, say, kites can be adjusted at the same height. If tomorrow the strong wind is blowing at certain other height, wind kites can be flown at that height to gain maximum advantage of the wind power.
The swirling kites prompt KiteGen’s core in motion, and the rotation activates large alternators producing a current. They also have a control system on autopilot. This control system manipulates the flight pattern so that maximum power can be generated be it night or day. The KiteGen people are concerned with the environment too. They don’t want the lives of birds to be affected by their flying kites. So they have installed the advanced radar system that can redirect kites within seconds in case they detect flying of birds.
The cost of the technology is US$750,000 and it won’t takes acres and acres of space like a wind farm. You can install the whole machinery within a diameter of just 100 meters. KiteGen claim that they can produce half a GW of energy, and produce it at a cost of US$2.5 per GW. Its creators, Sequoia Automation, say a 2,000 meter-version would generate 5GW of power.http://www.alternative-energy-news.info
A-Power is a majority shareholder of SPG. A-Power has been chosen to supply wind turbines to this project, which is expected to be one of the largest wind farms in the U.S. No details of the agreement were disclosed. On October 29, 2009, A-Power announced the signing of the framework agreement of the joint venture among SPG, affiliates of US-REG and Cielo Wind on the Texas wind farm.
The terms of the agreement include the purchase of up to 240 units of A-Power's 2.5-MW wind turbines. The agreement also includes a delivery schedule starting in March 2010, subject to SPG securing third-party financing, among other conditions. The project, which will be 49% owned by SPG, with the rest of the equity ownership held by US-REG and Cielo Wind jointly, is expected to be one of the largest wind farms in the United States.
The project is expected to cost in total approximately US $1.5 billion, a portion of which is designated for wind turbine purchases, and its establishment is subject to, among other things, further due diligence by the parties, the securing of financing from commercial banks in China, and other project development conditions. This project is in line to receive U.S. tax credits, which has prompted criticism from Senators and business leaders who are worried that the tax credits and stimulus grants the project is in line for will in effect leave the country and create jobs in China, not in U.S. as they are intended to do.http://www.renewableenergyworld.com
But just which project will get that first turbine in the water is still a matter of speculation. In total there are four companies with more than 10 projects in different states of development. Each company — Cape Wind, Bluewater Wind, Fisherman's Energy and Deepwater Wind — is developing projects on the East Coast.
The most well-publicized and possibly controversial offshore wind project in the U.S. is Cape Wind. The project, which has spend eight years in development, would put turbines in Massachusetts' Nantucket Sound. The project had a lot of opposition to overcome, first from residents in towns on the sound worried it would ruin their views and lead to higher electricity prices, and later from environmental groups concerned with the wildlife impact. These issues have since been addressed. More recently, a group of Native Americans have said the project would obscure the view from an ancient burial ground, this issue is working its way through the regulatory process and is expected to be resolved by the end of 2009.
Not all of the news about Cape Wind has been negative however. The project was given a favorable Environmental Impact Statement from the U.S. Minerals Management Service, its grid connection in Barnstable, Massachusetts was approved by the Massachusetts Citing Board and National Grid has said that it will negotiate a power purchase agreement for the electricity the project might one day produce. Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind said that he thinks the U.S. will see an offshore wind project realized sooner rather later and its one of the keys to fighting the effects of climate change, especially for East Coast cities like Boston where trillions of dollars worth of infrastructure could be damaged or destroyed by rising seas and stronger storms that would be a result of climate change and an economy that needs to put people back to work to grow.
"Right now if Cape Wind was operating we would be producing 422 megawatts of clean renewable energy. That's 422 megawatts of emissions free power that blows off our coast that will be harnessed by workers from this region," Gordon said. "The Natural Resources Defense Council has said that Cape Wind represents one of the largest single greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in the United States. We've missed out these many years on mitigating many tons of greenhouse gases, but I believe and I hope that the American offshore wind industry is no going to emerge and reach its full potential."While Massachusetts has been the first stand of sorts for offshore wind, Delaware might be the spot of the industry's first major victory. Bluewater Wind, formerly owned by Babcock and Brown, and now a subsidiary of NRG Energy, has leases in place and is set to deploy a series of meteorological (met) towers to determine the best sites for turbines in 2010.
The company also has one 200-MW PPA in place with Delmarva Power and has been selected to provide 55 MW of power to the state of Maryland under a PPA. Bluewater CEO Peter Mandelstam said that the company has interconnection agreements in place and also begun the federal permitting process. He said the process is easier now as a result of the Obama Administration's renewable energy goals.
"The most important investor, the most important advocate and the most important public official for offshore wind is President Barack Obama. This industry was dead, but the restructuring of the tax credit, the loan guarantees, the various stimulus provisions and the new regulatory regime totally revived us. We can't say enough good things about President Barack Obama. He mentioned our Delaware project on Earth Day and going into Copenhagen, he talked about offshore as one of his six pillars to mitigating climate change," Mandelstam said.
Two other development companies, Fishermen's Energy and Deepwater Wind are taking different approaches to developing offshore wind projects. Fishermen's Energy is taking what it calls a community-based approach to offshore wind. The company was founded by leading Northeast commercial fishing companies so that they could be part of and benefit from the emerging offshore renewable energy industry. The company's CEO Dan Cohen said that commercial fishing executives knew there was a need for workers to do the construction, operations and maintenance for offshore wind projects, jobs uniquely suited to commercial fishermen who already work offshore and the know waters.
Fisherman's is involved in two projects: the first is a 350-MW project that the company plans to work on in conjunction with Bluewater Wind and Deepwater Wind. The second is demonstration project located in the waters just off the coast of Atlantic City, New Jersey. This 20-MW project is expected to be built by 2012 and rules for the build out of this project are currently drafted by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.Deepwater Wind plans to do exactly what's implied by its name, namely build projects 15-20 miles offshore, minimizing the impact of not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) protests and taking advantage of the stronger wind regimes in those waters. The company has been awarded met tower leases and plans to put them in the water in the next year.http://www.renewableenergyworld.com