Saturday 4 March 2006

Vestas Receives Order For 29 Units of the V80-2.0 MW Wind Turbine to New Zealand

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Vestas Group has received an order for 29 units of the V80-2.0 MW wind turbine for the White Hill Wind Farm, which is located close to Mossburn in the South Island of New Zealand.

The order for the White Hill Wind Farm project has been placed by Meridian Energy, which is New Zealand’s largest state-owned electricity generator. The order includes supply, installation and commissioning, remote control system as well as a five-year service and maintenance agreement. Shipment of the turbines will begin in late 2006, and commissioning of the wind power plant will take place during the first half of 2007.

”We are delighted to enter into the White Hill contract with Meridian. The signing of this contract marks a major new milestone in the ongoing strong relationship with Meridian,” says Thorbjørn N Rasmussen, President of Vestas Asia Pacific A/S.

Vestas has previously supplied a total of 55 units of V72-1,650 kW turbines for Meridian’s Te Apiti project in New Zealand.

OG&E signs agreement to build new wind farm


OG&E Electric Services announced Wednesday it signed a contract with an affiliate of Illinois-based Invenergy Wind LLC to build OG&E’s new wind energy facility located north of Woodward in Harper County. The new facility will be named OG&E Centennial Wind Farm.

"This is a major expansion of renewable energy in Oklahoma," said Steven E. Moore, chairman, president and CEO of OGE Energy Corp.

"High natural gas prices and the enthusiastic support of Oklahomans and our leaders make this something to celebrate for our state and OG&E," Moore said.

This will be the first wind project owned and operated by OG&E. In 2003, OG&E entered into a 15-year agreement to purchase 50 megawatts of power from 34 turbines owned and operated by Florida-based FPL Energy near Woodward.

Construction of the new facility is contingent upon approval from the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to recover the estimated $200 million in costs associated with the 120 megawatt project.

The new wind farm is expected to be complete and operational by December 31, 2006.
OG&E is a subsidiary of OGE Energy and serves approximately 740,000 customers in a service territory spanning more than 30,000 square miles in Oklahoma and western Arkansas.

Invenergy Wind LLC is an affiliate of Chicago-based Invenergy LLC, a developer, owner and operator of power generation and energy delivery assets whose development activities include wind energy facilities.

Friday 3 March 2006

Midwest's windmills generate buzz

Some people persist in repeating the nonsense that wind turbines don't work. Even more surprising is that some politicians appear prepared to believe them. The following article clearly demonstrates wind turbines do work and secondly, not all politicians think only of today but are prepared in fact, to consider the future.

By Judy Keen, USA TODAY
MASON CITY, Iowa — Windmills are sprouting on hillsides across the Midwest, but this city is encouraging the use of electricity-producing wind turbines everywhere — even in homeowners' backyards.

Mason City this week became the first Iowa town to set rules that allow windmills in commercial, industrial and residential zones. The City Council unanimously approved the ordinance Tuesday.
City planner Tricia Sandahl says the council initially considered permitting windmills only in industrial areas. "Then we decided, let's just take a bolder step," she says. "We wanted to encourage small wind systems in residential areas. With electric prices going up, it just makes sense."

A few generations ago, almost every farm around here had a windmill that generated enough energy to pump water or grind grain. Those old-fashioned windmills became extinct after rural electric cooperatives extended power in the 1940s. In the last decade, commercial wind farms sprouted as energy costs soared.

The increasing popularity of wind energy is part of a surge in the development of alternative energy sources that's apparent here. Mason City, population 28,000, also is home to a plant that produces ethanol, a fuel made from corn and grain. A plant that will process soybean oil into biodiesel fuel will be finished late this year.

"Iowa is doing an awful lot to capitalize on its natural resources," says Gary Swanson of Energy Management Solutions, a consulting company. He's working with several Mason City manufacturers who are considering building windmills.

'Stream of revenue'

The Midwest is leading a spike in wind projects:
  • Minnesota passed a law last year that encourages new windmills by cutting red tape and offsetting some construction costs.
  • Michigan's public service commission changed its policies last year to allow consumers to sell excess electricity from windmills back to utilities.
  • North Dakota last year reduced application fees and made it easier to get permission to build windmills.
Lisa Daniels, executive director of Windustry, a Minneapolis-based non-profit group, says wind energy is a natural fit in rural areas. Farmers lease their land to commercial wind farms and in many states can sell back excess electricity from their own windmills.

Wind power soars

Electricity generated nationally by wind power: (in megawatts*):
1981: 10
1985: 1,039
1990: 1,525
1995: 1, 697
2000: 2,578
2005: 9,149

Top producers
States generating the most electricity from wind power, as of Dec. 31 (in megawatts*):
California: 2,150
Texas: 1,995
Iowa: 836
Minnesota: 744
Oklahoma: 475
* a megawatt equals 1 million watts
Source: American Wind Energy Association

"People are seeing that it's not only good for the environment, but it's also ... a new revenue stream that fits in well with the corn and the soybeans," Daniels says.
Tax credits and low-interest loans are making windmills more affordable. A small home-based system costs about $40,000.

Last year, a record 9,149 megawatts of electricity was produced by wind in the USA, says Christine Real de Azua of the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group.
That's just 0.5% of all electricity generated in the country, but production this year is expected to top 12,000 megawatts and keep climbing. One megawatt is enough to power 300 to 1,000 households at any one time, depending on climate and other factors.

"It's possible we could generate up to 20% of our electricity needs through wind and turbine," President Bush said Tuesday at the National Renewable Energy Lab in Colorado.

Marv Schlutz helped make Mason City a wind-energy pioneer. He asked the zoning board for a variance so he could put a 100-foot windmill at Mason City Warehouse, his storage business. He figured he'd save enough on electric bills to pay for a $40,000 system in eight to 10 years.

"The neighbors raised heck with me," Schlutz says. They worried about whether birds could be killed by rotating blades, TV signal interruptions, interference with the local hospital's emergency helicopter and bad odors that could be sent their way.

Opposition faded as gas and electricity prices kept rising. School districts in Forest City and Spirit Lake, also in northern Iowa, were using windmills to cut utility bills. The Cerro Gordo wind farm in Ventura, a few miles west of here, has 55 large turbines on 2.4 acres.

Tom Hurd, a Mason City architect, installed two 35-foot-tall windmills outside his office. His windmills and solar-energy panels produce 90% of the electricity used by his company, Spatial Designs.

"If the wind is 15 mph or less, you don't even hear it," he says. "Once a year you have to check whether the blades are tight, and that's all you have to do."

Hindrances, ordinances

There can be drawbacks. The 300-foot-tall wind turbines that stretch for miles along Altamont Pass, Calif., have been blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of birds. Residents of Cape Cod, Mass., who oppose a proposed offshore wind farm say it would create visual pollution. Nebraska is studying whether transmission lines have to be updated to handle electricity produced by windmills, diminishing their cost-effectiveness.

Mason City's ordinance requires permits for windmills and sets limits on where they can be built. Residential windmills can't exceed 100 feet tall and can be put only in backyards. The lot has to be big enough so that if the windmill topples it doesn't cross property lines.

Sandahl, the city planner, says several homeowners have called to get information about installing a windmill. Bill Hammond, who manages an alternate-energy loan program at the Iowa Energy Center, a research facility at Iowa State University, predicts that more people will want windmills as they recognize the potential.

"There's actually money in that wind," he says, "and people want a piece of it."

Edison Inaugurates A New 16-MW Wind Farm In Ripabottoni

By HS - Webbolt Newsroom
February 15, 2006, 20:00

Milan, Italy - The commissioning of the Ripabottoni Wind Farm marks another step in Edison's plan to expand its renewable resource facilities. Located in the province of Campobasso, this new facility will have 24 aerogenerators with a total generating capacity of 16 MW. They will produce 32 million kWh, enough electricity to meet the needs of 16,000 households.

"Renewable resources will play a key role in Edison's growth," said Umberto Quadrino, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. "The commissioning of the Ripabottoni Wind Farm confirms our commitment to add 200 MW of wind-power generating capacity over the next four years. This additional clean energy will help avoid the emission of 180,000 tons of
carbon dioxide a year and will contribute to achieving compliance with the emissions reduction objectives contained in the Kyoto Protocol."

The technology used at Ripabottoni is based on three-blade aerogenerators with a generating capacity of 0.66 MW per unit. Construction of the facility took six months and required an investment of 20 million euros. The installation of the wind generators was carried out with the utmost respect for the local landscape and existing activities.

The Ripabottoni facility brings the number of Edison wind farms to 24. Their total installed capacity is almost 260 MW, 60 MW of which were brought on stream in the last two years with the commissioning of five new wind farms.

Edison's activities in the field of renewable resources also include its hydroelectric operations, which operate 42 power plants with a combined installed capacity of about 1,500 MW. In addition, Edison is involved in the development of other clean technologies, such as
photovoltaic energy, and is also considering expansion opportunities outside Italy.

Copyright 2006 - Webbolt Company Limited All rights reserved.

Thursday 2 March 2006

Portugal powers ahead as wind champion

More evidence that Wind energy is in demand and growing....

Portugal powers ahead as wind champion

* Massive new project to harness Atlantic gales
* Lisbon setting European pace on renewables

Giles Tremlett
Thursday March 2, 2006
The Guardian

Portugal signalled the launch of one of Europe's biggest wind power projects yesterday - a move that will supply enough electricity for 750,000 homes. The contract is the equivalent to a quarter of all the wind power installed in the European Union last year. It will help cement the growing reputation of Portugal - a country importing 86% of its energy needs - as a renewable energy champion. This year, it has already approved the building of the world's largest solar plant.

The new wind project will rank Portugal alongside Denmark and Spain as the European countries with the highest proportion of wind energy in the national grid. It will more than double wind power capacity in Portugal.

The winning consortium will be asked to erect about 500 turbines at various locations. "This is definitely one of the biggest tenders we've seen [in Europe]," Christian Kjaer, policy director at the Brussels-based European Wind Energy Association, told Reuters news agency. "We've seen those [auctions] more in the United States and Canada." Half a dozen consortiums featuring some of Europe's biggest power companies were expected to have lodged their bids for the two-phase 1,500-megawatt project by last night's deadline. The winner is expected to be announced during the summer.

Portugal's Socialist government also aims to create 1,600 jobs by allocating €900m (£613m) for turbine equipment manufacturing. With a 520-mile coastline, often battered by Atlantic gales, Portugal is well-placed to take advantage of wind power. Last year, the country increased its wind power target for 2010 from 3,750 to 4,400MW. Lisbon is looking to wind to help meet its goals under the Kyoto protocol on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

The country's emissions surged almost 37% from 1990 to 2003 - the third-highest increase in the world. One of the EU's poorer countries has, however, already shown signs of leading Europe in renewable energy. Its energy plans range from the world's first commercial wave farm to putting a hydroelectric dam on its last big undammed river, the Sabor. The government set aside a €2.5bn renewable energy war chest last year.

It recently granted a licence for the world's biggest solar energy plant, which will be able to produce enough electricity to power 21,000 homes for the southern town of Moura. The 62MW plant will use 350,000 solar panels spread over an area the size of 150 football pitches. It will be 12 times the size of the biggest solar power plant currently in operation near Leipzig, Germany.

A wave power plant is also being established near the northern town of Povoa de Varzim. Using sausage-shaped floating generators made by a Scottish company to lap up energy from the Atlantic, it is due to generate sufficient power by the end of this year to supply 1,200 homes.

Some energy experts predict that Portugal could eventually produce 20% of its needs from the sea.

Gathering force

The global wind power market increased by 43% last year. The total capacity now stands at 59,322MW. This is a fraction of the total electricity supply, but the figure is rapidly growing. The countries with the highest total installed capacity are Germany (18,428MW), Spain (10,027) the US (9,149), India (4,430) and Denmark (3,122). Britain, China, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Portugal have all reached the 1,000MW mark.

Monday 27 February 2006

Canberra causes wind farm hold-up

The following story clearly demonstrates the will to develop wind energy continues despite federal government handicaps, coal industry pressure and the anti wind farm nay-sayers predictions of doom and gloom. I wonder why it is OK to subsidise coal powered electricity and coal research but not wind power?

From the Hobart Mercury
By Luke Sayer - 25 Feb06

THE loss of federal energy credits could pose a much greater threat to Tasmania's largest wind farm than delays in local government planning.

West Coast Mayor Darryl Gerrity this week raised doubts about the future of the Heemskirk wind farm, north-west of Zeehan. He said ongoing delays made him wonder about the commitment to the $300 million project.

But Roaring 40s project development manager Gustavo Bodini yesterday said planning for the 160 megawatt farm was continuing unabated. Roaring 40s, a joint venture company formed by Hydro Tasmania and China Light and Power, is behind the project along with other wind farms in Tasmania.

Mr Bodini said the Heemskirk project was still on track, despite planning starting back in January 2003.

"It is such a complex site in terms of environment and location, we have to have a very comprehensive study of the environment," he said.

"We are working with state and federal regulators to obtain approval to operate a wind farm there."

Mr Bodini said the Howard Government's decision to cease the Mandatory Renewable Energy Target scheme (MRET) was affecting a number of wind farm projects. The MRET scheme offers financial incentives for establishing clean and green energy.

"We are encouraging the government to reconsider the [MRET] change," he said.

"But, at the moment, that's the major threat to the project."