Thursday, March 25, 2010

MAJOR Offshore Wind Project

American engineering giant General Electric (GE) today announced plans to build an offshore wind turbine manufacturing plant in the UK, creating up to 2,000 jobs.
The company said it had not yet decided where to build the facility but that its plans would result in around £100m being invested in Britain, creating clean energy jobs at the new site as well as in the supply chain.
The UK is better placed than most nations to harvest clean energy from the strong winds in the seas surrounding the islands and the government has said it already leads the world in installed capacity. But the closure of a Vestas plant on the Isle of Wight last August was highly embarrassing for ministers, leaving the country without a significant turbine manufacturer. In January, the winning bidders for windfarms in nine zones around the coast were announced.
The construction of thousands of huge offshore turbines is a key part of government plans to meet its commitments to cut greenhouse gases, as well as ensure the continuity of energy supply over the next decade as nuclear and coal-fired stations reach the end of their life.
GE's plans are linked to an announcement in yesterday's budget of a £60m competition to help develop port facilities for the offshore wind industry. "This investment is tied to the successful deployment of the UK government's port development fund," a company statement said.
The company said the project will form part of a planned €340m (£305m) investment in Europe's wind energy industry over the next 10 years. In addition to the UK manufacturing site, it plans to build development centres in Norway, Sweden and Germany.
GE UK managing director, Magued Eldaief, said: "We believe offshore wind has a bright future here in the UK and are delighted that the government yesterday committed to further developing this important sector. These GE investments will position us to help develop Europe's vast, untapped offshore wind resources."
Business secretary Lord Mandelson, said: "This is great news from GE, a vote of confidence in UK low-carbon manufacturing which should create a huge number of jobs." The climate and energy secretary, Ed Miliband, said: "We're creating the right conditions and incentives to maximise the potential of our wind resource."
Greenpeace policy director, Doug Parr, said: "Clean technology is set to be the growth industry of the 21st century, and this announcement shows that, with the right incentives from government, Britain could be in pole position to benefit.
Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: "GE's announcement turns the vision of the UK as an industrial hub for the offshore wind industry into a reality. It provides proof that offshore wind presents a huge economic opportunity for the UK. Analysis from the Carbon Trust shows that with continued commitment from industry and government to work together, the offshore wind industry could be employing 70,000 people in the UK by 2020, creating a net economic benefit of £65bn for the country over the next 40 years."
GE employs 19,000 people in the UK in more than 60 locations, including Aberdeen, Falmouth, Cardiff and Cambridge. UK revenues for GE have grown from £900m in 2000 to £8.5bn in 2008.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vice-President Ike Huffman Interviewed by Muncie Star

Blackford County officials checking which way wind blows
MONTPELIER -- Not that many years ago, an ethanol "gold-rush" swept through East Central Indiana.
Ethanol plants costing several hundred million dollars were built in Randolph, Jay, Madison and Grant counties, while proposed construction in Blackford, Henry and Delaware counties never came to fruition.
Now we're seeing the same mentality in the wind-energy industry.
Subsidiaries of large Spanish and German companies, as well as Indiana Michigan Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity, are planning or discussing wind farms in Randolph, Jay and Delaware counties.
The latest wind prospector looking at East Central Indiana is Wecso Wind, a small, homegrown firm looking at Wells County and Blackford County, where officials are skeptical.
"I can tell you we are trying to do our homework," said Blackford County Commissioner Bob O'Rourke. "That's why we're bringing in the Indiana Farm Bureau, to educate citizens on what to look for when contracts are presented."
A Farm Bureau attorney and a Purdue Extension educator will be among the speakers during a meeting at 7 p.m. today in the Montpelier School gymnasium.
The meeting will provide tips to land owners about signing a contract to lease their land to a wind developer.
Like O'Rourke, Rob Cleveland, director of economic development in Blackford County, is skeptical of some of the claims made by Wesco, which says on its Web site that it is a grassroots wind development company that locates and develops wind farm sites in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Wells County resident Ike Huffman, one of Wesco Wind's principals, says he delivered petroleum to farms, homes and businesses for 45 years before getting involved in wind energy.
He calls himself "a little man" who has helped put together wind farms.
"We are on the move with other companies just as big as Horizon," Huffman said in an interview. "I've already got four going with Apex Wind (Energy) out of (Charlottesville) Virginia."
Horizon Wind Energy, Houston, Texas (a subsidiary of a Spanish company, EDP Renewables) has leased land for a wind farm in Randolph County.
"You've got to have somebody like me out in the field doing this work," Huffman said. "I know the territories. I know the people. If you don't get the ground, it doesn't go. I'm trying to get 10,000 acres."
One wind farm can be a half-billion-dollar project, he said. "Instead of a gold rush, this is a wind rush."


Skyscrapers In Use

Solar panel development brings solar energy to large companies by switching from windows to solar panels. Skyscrapers can now run on energy from to sun in order to protect earth's nonrenewable resources.

Solar panel development brings solar energy to large companies by switching from windows to solar panels. Skyscrapers can now run on energy from to sun in order to protect earth’s nonrenewable resources.

Solar panels have now made their way to the exteriors of skyscrapers in large cities. They provide an energy efficient way to cover a building by the use of transparent solar panels for windows, while still allowing sunlight to efficiently shine into the building.

Solar windows are made possible with non-crystalline silicon particles called amorphous silicon. They stand an average one to four inches in diameter and are applied as a film to the glass of existing windows. Amorphous silicon gives solar panels the ability to remain flexible so they can fit to any skyscraper’s architectural needs, while still providing a weatherproof barrier to the building.

Companies participating in the solar movement are given unique opportunities to give back to the environment by saving on nonrenewable resources. Solar energy converts the suns rays into electricity with free flowing electrons in a circuit. This gives skyscrapers the opportunity to turn solar radiation from the sun into energy and then electricity. Up to 30% of the building’s power can be provided through solar cells and wind turbines on the roof.

Global warming is reduced with the use of solar energy on skyscrapers. Solar energy contains zero carbon dioxide, methane, and other emissions that are guilty of warming the atmosphere.

More companies are urged to take part in the going green and solar energy movement. If all skyscrapers were to consist of solar windows, the envi

Renewable Energy News

WESCO President Travels To D.C. To Meet The Senators

Indiana Residents Go to Washington

Business Leaders to Bring Hoosier Support for Clean Energy to Meet with Senator Bayh and Senator Lugar

[Indianapolis, IN]– Comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation can bring up to 45,000 jobs to Indiana and reduce our dependence on foreign oil – something that Elizabeth Nolan-Greven, Alan Loyd and Steve Estes want Senator Bayh and Senator Lugar to remember when they visit them this week in Washington D.C. On Wednesday, the Indiana residents will share their views of everyday Hoosiers and discuss the benefits of clean energy and climate legislation to Indiana.  

“Clean energy jobs can help revive the Indiana economy and put us back to work,” said Elizabeth Nolan-Greven, President of Ecosource, Inc. “I’m going to Washington because I firmly believe that we need clean energy legislation at a federal level to incentivize a green economy for our future. “

“As a business operator, I watch our expenses closely,” Alan Loyd, Director of Health and Lifestyles Center in South Bend, said. “Energy costs can determine if we’re successful in any given year. Investments in clean energy would help minimize this risk.”

“If we continue to wait to adopt clean energy legislation, we will be behind the rest of the world in manufacturing infrastructure for renewable energy components,” Steve Estes, President of Star Distributed Energy, said. “This message needs to be carried to our senators—that investing in clean energy is an investment in our economic growth, as well as national security.”

Nolan-Greven, Loyd and Estes were a part of a ground breaking multimedia campaign centered around The Repower Wall, an interactive online destination, where more than 55,000 people and businesses have uploaded messages supporting a transition to clean energy. 

Messages from The Repower Wall are also a part of an innovative new grassroots-driven television advertising campaign that provides everyday Hoosiers with the tools to make their voices heard in livings rooms throughout the state and in the nation’s capitol. By including video messages from The Repower Wall in television ads, the Climate Protection Action Fund’s Repower Indiana campaign is amplifying the voices that leaders in Washington D.C. need to hear – their constituents. And these are the voices calling for immediate action on clean energy.

Elizabeth Nolan-Greven is President of Ecosource, a small business in Columbus, Indiana that offers LEED-certified green business consulting and distributes and installs solar technologies.
Alan Loyd is a lifelong resident of Indiana and is Director of Health and Lifestyles Center in South Bend, Indiana.

Steve Estes, a resident of Markle, Indiana, has worked on renewable energy projects for the past 10 years, and has owned the renewable energy company Star Distributed Energy for the past three years. 

RePower America

Recovery For Small Wind Firms

The Department of Energy today released a new report highlighting the benefits of the Recovery Act to small businesses throughout the clean, renewable energy industry and environmental management sector. The report found that as of early March 2010, small businesses have been selected to receive nearly $5.4 billion in funding across a number of Recovery Act and related programs, including loans, loan guarantees, grants, contracts and tax incentives, in partnership with the Department of Treasury.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blade Snaps Off HUGE Wind Turbine

An investigation is under way at Europe's largest onshore wind farm in East Renfrewshire after a 150ft blade snapped off a turbine.

The incident, at about 0200 GMT on Friday, led to Whitelee wind farm, near Eaglesham, being temporarily shut down.

ScottishPower Renewables, which runs the site, said the cause was unknown but mechanical failure and a lightning strike were being considered. A safety check on all 140 turbines should be completed by Friday.

The damaged turbine was automatically shut down after sensors alerted the wind farm's 24-hour control room to the problem.

All turbines at the site were then taken offline while engineers began an inspection. "Highly unusual'

By Tuesday morning 65 turbines had been inspected and returned to operation. A full inspection of the wind farm is expected to be completed by 26 March.

Keith Anderson, managing director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "This type of incident is exceptionally rare and highly unusual. "However, the safety of our people and the public is our first priority.

"While the investigation into the cause of the incident is ongoing our engineers continue to conduct an internal and external examination of all turbine blades at the wind farm."

The Whitelee wind farm currently has 140 turbines. Approval has been granted for a further 39 turbines. The wind turbines, which are built by Siemens, are about 360ft high.


Wind Farm Plans Stir up Storm Over Military Radar

The U.S. military is growing increasingly concerned that proposed wind farms can disrupt or block radar designed to detect threats and protect America's skies, a problem that is stalling the alternative energy projects around the country.

A top U.S. general told Congress on Thursday that federal agencies need to work better together on a formal vetting process for the wind projects to prevent them from being built where they will interfere with radar defenses.

Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, head of U.S. Northern Command, said a number of projects raise "real concerns" involving radar interference, and he suggested that requiring companies to do early checks during the approval process for such obstruction may be needed.

"We've heard concerns that wind turbines may interfere with radar and impact military training routes," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo. "While we must find new ways to meet our energy security needs, we must not compromise our national security."

While the radar interference issue is not new, it has become a bigger problem as more wind projects move through the permit process. Industry leaders and the Energy Department have said that wind power could provide as much as 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030.

Last month, Pentagon officials raised the issue with Congress, saying that they are devoting a lot of time and effort to the growing challenge of ensuring that energy projects don't conflict with military requirements. "The current process for reviewing proposals and handling disputes is opaque, time-consuming and ad hoc," said Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment.

The Federal Aviation Administration reviews wind farm projects, looking at any interference with air navigation or radar systems. But while the FAA can flag problems during its review of a project, it cannot force a change or prevent a wind farm from being approved if a change is not made. Its recommendations, however, can sometimes affect a local zoning or other approval process.

ABC News

Yes This Was Really Taken...

A Turbine In Benton County, Indiana