Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Project Development, Solar, Wind Power

Briefly Noted … Wind Energy

National Wind Power launches a service to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for small wind energy projects; Nebraska approves 30 MW windfarm to use self-erecting towers; Xinjiang Windpower receives certification for a 600 kW turbine; Inner Mongolia connects more windfarms to grid; shares in Vestas and NEG Micon drop in response to status on U.S. wind legislation; London could install downtown windfarm; West Virginia develops windfarms; Petrobras invests US$25 million a year in studies related to renewable energies.

– Britain’s National Wind Power, a subsidiary of Innogy, has launched a service to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for small wind energy projects of one to three turbines. ‘WindWorks’ was developed to provide farmers and landowners with the financial rewards associated with ownership of a wind turbine while avoiding exposure to financial risks. It also avoids the problems that can be caused by high costs of financing small wind sites. – The Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska has approval from the state Power Review Board for a 30 MW wind facility in Kimball County, near the borders of Colorado and Wyoming. It will be the first large-scale use of Valmont Industries’ 243 foot turbine towers, which are self-erecting and can be serviced without the use of construction cranes. Each turbine will generate 1.5 MW and will cost US$2 million to construct. – Xinjiang Windpower in China has received certification for a 600 kW wind turbine generator unit, which is 78 percent locally sourced. The company has the capacity to build 100 units a year, and says each locally manufactured unit can save US$350,000 in capital investment. – Grid-connected windpower is expanding in Inner Mongolia with five windfarms being built since 1989, one quarter of China’s construction. The largest windfarm at Huitenggele will have a capacity of 1,200 MW. There are 113 wind turbines in the region and China predicts that total installed wind capacity of Inner Mongolia will reach 6,000 MW by 2010. – Shares in Danish wind turbine manufacturers Vestas Wind and NEG Micon plunged last week as a result of uncertainty over the future of the wind energy market in the United States, where a two-year extension of the wind production tax credit stalled in the Senate and will not be debated until January 23. The tax credit expired and installation of new turbines may drop unless the tax treatment is renewed. – Downtown London could have its own windfarm in the form of two turbines atop the Royal Institute of British Architects building in Portland Place. Westminster City Council is considering a planning application to install two 3.5 m diameter turbines on its six-storey building. Wind tests are being conducted to determine if the turbines could generate the electricity needed to justify the project. – In West Virginia, a 65 MW wind facility is being developed in Tucker County, near the western border of Maryland. Backbone Mountain Windpower plans to complete the project by December after signing of a 20-year agreement for Exelon Power Team to purchase the power produced. – The West Virginia Public Service Commission is considering a permit for a wind facility in Grant County, where US Wind Force LLC wants to build a windfarm with capacity of 250 MW over a 20 square mile area near the town of Mt. Storm. – In Brazil, Petrobras is investing US$25 million a year in feasibility studies related to renewable energy sources. One project is the production of biodiesel, and others include solar power and three wind generation plants. Later this year, the company will launch its B5 fuel, a mixture of diesel and biodiesel to displace imports of diesel.