Thursday, April 8, 2010


3,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy Planned for Montana

Grasslands Renewable Energy introduces 'smart grid' transmission concept aggregating diverse renewable energy at a competitive price

BOZEMAN, Mont.April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Grasslands Renewable Energy LLC (Grasslands) today announced that it has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting regulatory approvals needed to advance its innovative Wind Spirit Project.  
Based in the wind-rich state of Montana, Grasslands has introduced the Wind Spirit Project, an integrated and green approach to harnessing, storing, and transporting clean renewable energy to consumers.  "Our goal is to create a package of renewable energy that can compete on reliability and price, not just with renewables like solar, but with non-renewables such as coal," said Carl Borgquist, President of Grasslands. "By combining the wind resources of the Northern Plains in an integrated solution, we can help fight climate change and be a leader in America's energy future."
Grasslands is developing a transmission system to access geographically diverse renewable energy from acrossMontana and the Northern Great Plains.  Through the Wind Spirit Project, renewable energy from multiple geographic areas will combine with energy storage technologies and smart grid components to create a more consistent renewable energy supply.  The energy for the Wind Spirit Project would be collected via series of 230KV AC transmission lines and transported to large markets using high voltage AC and DC transmission lines.  By combining renewable energy from different geographic areas, the Wind Spirit Project will make renewable energy more efficient and cost effective.  
"Montana can and will lead our nation in wind energy development. But until we solve our transmission constraint problems, little of this great resource will be developed. The project proposed by Grasslands Renewable Energy is an important first step in ensuring quality energy jobs for Montanans and clean energy for America," said Governor Brian Schweitzer.
Grasslands' project already has broad support from local, state and federal officials, and, if built, will create hundreds of jobs and pay millions in local and state property taxes.

AES Buys Two European Wind Power Companies

Arlington-based AES Corp.’s AES Wind Generation division had made two acquisitions expanding its wind power generation business in Europe.
The company has acquired U.K.-based wind power company Your Energy Ltd. and acquired a 51 percent stake in Polish wind developer 3E. AES did not disclose financial terms of either acquisition.
It is AES’s first project in Poland.
The two acquisitions will add 700 megawatts of wind power capacity to AES’s European projects, including projects that will get underway next year. AES will invest $400 million in the new holdings over the next five years.
AES has brought three wind projects in Europe into operation this year, in France, Scotland and Bulgaria.
AES is expanding its European footprint as demand for renewable energy there is expected to grow. Under a 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive, both the U.K. and Poland must meet 15 percent of their energy consumption through renewable energy by 2020.
AES (NYSE: AES) owns or holds stakes in power generation operations in 29 counties. It is aggressively pursuing alternative energy with both wind and solar projects domestically and abroad.
The company had $14 billion in 2009 revenue.

Wind Turbine Proponents Look to Berea Section of Fairgrounds

BEREA — Proponents of a wind turbine at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds may have their eye on Berea.
Mayor Cyril M. Kleem told the News Sun that representatives from the fair board met with him last week.
“They have shown an interest in Berea,” he said.
Middleburg Heights turned down the fair board’s request to erect a 280-foot, 600-kilowatt turbine near its main parking lot off Bagley and Eastland roads. The eastern end of the fairgrounds is in Middleburg Heights while the rest of it is on property that is within Berea. Kleem said the potential site of the turbine appeared near the original one but westerly on property that is within the city of Berea.
Phone calls and e-mails to those who met with Kleem went unanswered as of Tuesday prior to the News Sun print deadline.
Kleem said any proposal would go before the Berea Planning Commission.
The proposal to Middleburg Heights included an educational component in which local schools and universities would study renewable energy. Kleem said that also was discussed at the informal meeting.
The project received a $1 million grant in federal stimulus funds. Other funding may come from grants to cover the $2 million project.
Those questioning the project at Middleburg Heights meetings included businesses near the proposed site. One included a communications tower provider on the fair grounds. Middleburg Heights city officials also questioned the height, cost and whether the site would create a wind farm.

Offshore wind grid is the answer, study says

The solution to offshore wind energy obstacles lies in pooling all the power into one common electricity grid, according to researchers at the University of Delaware and Stony Brook University.

"We hypothesize that wind power output could be stabilized if wind generators were located in a meteorologically designed configuration and electrically connected," according to the report "Electric power from offshore wind via synoptic-scale interconnection."

Using hard data from 11 meteorological stations, the group tracked hourly how much wind blew over the last five years across a 2,500-kilometer area of the U.S. East Coast, and where it was consistently the strongest offshore. The scientists then created a theoretical wind grid based on the real-world wind behavior. It showed that had a wind grid existed over the last five years it would have neither reached full power nor reached an all-time low, but provided a steady source of electricity.

Despite seasonal shifts up and down in output from each individual offshore wind farm, the connected system allowed for a manageable stable power source, according to the results of the study.

The group concurred with the assertions that harnessing just two-thirds of the offshore wind power that potentially exists off the U.S. northeast coast could provide household electricity from Massachusetts to North Carolina, as well as electricity for lightweight vehicle fuel and building heat for those areas. But the group also agreed that offshore wind is challenging because of wind's naturally intermittent nature, and the expense of building and managing utility-scale storage for an intermittent energy source.

The group studied transmission versus utility-scale storage, and found that transmission between farms along a common grid was far more economical despite an initial cost layout to connect the Atlantic offshore wind farms with 3-gigawatt HVDC submarine cables .

The scientists' theoretical build was based on placing wind farms at strategic meteorological points, and the transmission grid being placed to optimize energy sharing and efficiency. By this criteria, both the farms and transmission lines ended up being primarily placed in federal waters. The group conceded that such a setup might not be a politically popular one.

Many proposed wind projects would each connect separately to their adjacent state's electricity grid through a submerged power transmission cable, and the individual states would have power over them in conjunction with the utilities and regulating authorities. Many wind farm developers are already looking to place their farms in federal waters in an effort to overcome local opposition and regulatory hurdles. If those wind farms were also interconnected in federal waters rather than solely connected to the adjacent state's shore, it would further shift political control away from the states.

"Today, generation of electricity is primarily a state matter, decided by state public utility commissions, whereas the Independent System Operators (ISOs) manage wholesale power markets and plan transmission. An ISO is the type of organization that might plan and operate the electric system we envision, probably with a mix of owners--private firms, existing electric utilities, and/or public power authorities," said the report.

"Because of the unique characteristics of building and operating offshore, and because our proposed Atlantic Transmission Grid would exist primarily in federal waters and bridge many jurisdictions on land, it may make sense to create a unique ISO, here dubbed the "Atlantic Independent System Operator," said the report.


How a Methane Digester Works

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Hey did you know that we moved the Star Distributed Energy Office to Fort Wayne, Indiana? We accepted the opportunity to become a member of “NIIC” which is Northeast Indiana Innovation Center. We are located in the NIIC complex which is directly across from the IPFW Men’s Baseball Diamond. We have a multiple state of the art conference rooms equipped with projection, sound, and smart boards. We also have a smaller conference room right in our own suite. Best of all we share the complex with many other small business with “BIG” ideas. I had a chance to collaborate with one of the other members, “while moving into our office” last Thursday. This is a big step towards setting our Ideas towards building a self sufficient America. While out of the office we will have our calls forwarded to our cell phones so we do not miss any opportunities.

Contact Information:

Star Distributed Energy

3201 Stellhorn Road, Suite A139
Fort Wayne, IN 46815
Conference (260) 407-1762
Steve (260) 407-1715
Shane (260) 407-1757
Dennis (Main Office line) (260) 407-1756
Fax (260) 407-1760
Dennis New Cell (260) 249-8391