The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Wind Industry Losing Jobs But Planning for Big Growth in the U.S.

"When it comes to wind energy, we're making significant progress both onshore and offshore to diversify our nation's domestic energy portfolio and stand up a clean energy economy," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar earlier this week. His comments came on the same day that Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Gamesa announced that it planned to furlough about 165 employees at two of its manufacturing facilities in Pennsylvania in response to weak demand for turbines.

According to an article in the Altoona Mirror, Gamesa’s Cambria County facility, which manufactures blades for turbines, will furlough 73 employees this fall. (There is a 60-day waiting period before layoffs take effect per union rules.)  The paper also reported that 92 employees would be laid off at the Fairless Hills facility in Bucks County, which produces the turbine nacelle.  

In the U.S. wind energy growth practically came to a halt in 2012 due to the pending expiration of the production tax credit (PTC) used by developers to help pay for wind farms. The PTC will sunset on Dec. 31 unless Congress votes to extend it, but a vote for an extension is unlikely anytime soon and industry analysts agree that should the PTC be extended it all, it will most likely be voted on during the lame duck session of Congress that takes place after the November elections. Gamesa said that it hopes the workers will be back at the plant in about 10 weeks.

3 GW Wind Farm and Streamlined Permitting

Meanwhile, the U.S. government continues to make progress in its attempts to streamline the permitting and approval process for both onshore and offshore wind farms.  This week, Salazar announced that two major wind energy initiatives have completed important environmental reviews, clearing the way for public comment and final review. Onshore, Salazar announced the release of final environmental impact statements for the proposed 3 GW Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Farm in Wyoming, which would be the largest wind farm facility in the U.S. and one of the largest in the world should it reach completion.

Offshore, Salazar announced the publication of an environmental assessment for commercial wind leases and site assessment activities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) off Rhode Island and Massachusetts, a key area slated for offshore wind farm development. The environmental assessment for the Rhode Island/Massachusetts Wind Energy Area will be used by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to inform future leasing decisions as part of the Administration’s “Smart from the Start” offshore wind energy initiative. The Wind Energy Area (WEA) comprises approximately 164,750 acres within the area of mutual interest identified by the two states.

BOEM will host public information sessions this month to talk with stakeholders and consider public comments on the environmental assessment. The sessions will help the bureau determine whether to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact, or conduct additional analysis under NEPA in order to hold a lease sale for commercial offshore wind development.

“Today, as we take the next steps toward realizing what could be the largest wind energy project in the world and holding a competitive offshore wind lease sale,” Salazar began in a statement. And were it not for the pending PTC expiration and the wind manufacturing layoffs that are ensuing, the next part of his statement would ring much more true:

“We are really at the forefront of a renewable energy revolution,” he finished.

Lead image: No Pedestrain Traffic with Wind Farm in Background via Flickr. Credit: www.CGPGrey.com

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World or email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

 Subscribe Now

RELATED ARTICLES

offshore wind

Hitachi Plans to Add Production Line for Offshore Wind Parts

Chisaki Watanabe, Bloomberg Hitachi Ltd. plans to expand its reach into the market for offshore wind projects by adding a production line to make...
Renewable energy

Leading US ICT Companies Renewables Use at 14%, and Growing

Andrew Burger Electricity consumption in the global information and communications technology (ICT) industry is growing rapidly. An...
Wind farms

Western: Streamlined Environmental Review Process for Wind Farms in Midwest ‘Takes Effect Right Away’

Jennifer Delony Western in an Aug. 26 record of decision (ROD) adopted a standardized process for collecting information and evaluati...

NextEra Commits to Hawaii’s Clean Power Goal, Local Management

Lynn Doan, Bloomberg NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. made 50 new commitments as part of their proposal to merge ...

PRESS RELEASES

Canadian Solar Wins Five Solar Power Projects Totaling 185 MW in Brazil

These power projects were won under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the B...

$100 Off of 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience. Download a Topic Schedule.

Assemble, ground, energize, and commission a complete grid-tied SolarEdge system from s...

Intersolar AWARD „Solar Projects in India“ – Applications being accepted until September 18

The Intersolar AWARD in the category Solar Projects in India honors projects in the fie...

National Thought Leaders to Present on Today's Clean Energy Issues & Trends During IREC's 3iForum at Solar Power International

"An encore to the standing-room-only sessions the past two years, IREC again brings som...

FEATURED BLOGS

Washington, DC Bridges the Solar Gap

The District of Columbia has enjoyed 15 years of strong economic growth. But prosperity is spread unevenly across the...

Sell Through Hypothesis

You first learned to hypothesize, or make educated guesses, in grade school science class. Now it’s time to ref...

Cronimet / THEnergy study: In solar for mines size does not always matter - Reducing CAPEX with energy efficiency and load shifting

Munich, September 2015. Mining companies are constantly gaining interest in solar solutions because frequently solar ...

Final Program Now Available for GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo - Final Program from

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jennifer Runyon is chief editor of RenewableEnergyWorld.com and Renewable Energy World magazine, coordinating, writing and/or editing columns, features, news stories and blogs for the publications. She also serves as conference chair of Renewable ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Europe – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

There is now 128.8 GW of installed wind energy capacity in the EU (appro...

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS