Tag Archive | wind generation

Wind turbine manufacturer to create 106 jobs

A wind turbine manufacturer moving to Kent is to create 106 jobs.X-Wind Power, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced vertical axis wind turbines, is relocating its operations from the Isle of Wight to Discovery Park, Sandwich.Dong Energy described X-Wind as a “potentially game changing technology”.The move was assisted by Kent County Council, Locate in Kent and South Thanet MP Laura Sandys.

She said: “I’m delighted that X-Wind will shortly be based in East Kent, their innovative approach to wind energy generation is truly enlightened, demonstrating how existing roads, railways and sea defences can be used to generate significant amounts of energy.”

X-Wind Power aims to 16 people in 2013 and a further 90 within the next five years.The company is seeking engineers and technicians to become key members of the design team to develop and bring to market the next generation of wind turbines.Apprenticeships are also on offer for candidates with the right attitude and motivation.

“Kent offers X-Wind highly talented people living close to our future base at Discovery Park,” said Michael Blaize, X-Wind Power chief executive officer.“The communication infrastructure and the quality of people locally were some of the deciding factors in choosing Kent for our business.”

X-Wind prides itself on the quiet operation of its turbines which make suitable for sensitive locations.It is also playing a leading role in renewable energy technology. The company sees strong growth potential for the medium scale wind market, and intends to combine innovative design with robust manufacturing processes.After two years of development, it is currently testing its technology at a smaller 6kW scale before moving to a larger 80kW prototype in 2014.

Read the full story at scfwindturbine web! If you love wind turbines, welcome to contact us!

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Wind farms are a ‘complete scam’

Wind farms have been branded a ‘complete scam’ by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, reigniting coalition battle over green power.

As the government unveiled new powers for local residents to block turbines blighting their villages, Mr Paterson condemned many planned schemes as ‘deeply unpopular’ and causing ‘huge unhappiness’ across the country.

The outspoken remarks from a senior Tory minister in charge of environmental policy risks a furious reaction from Liberal Democrats pushing for more renewable power projects.

The Conservatives have taken a tougher line on wind farms in recent months, and this week unveiled plans to give communities a powerful ‘veto’ over controversial new onshore developments.

Schemes will have to gain local residents’ consent before a planning application can even be made, effectively handing them the power to prevent turbines being erected.

Planning rules are also to be changed so that the drive for renewable energy can no longer be used as a reason for overriding environmental and other concerns.

Mr Paterson signalled that plans for wind farms will have to take into account the impact on the countryside and views as well as the desire to save the planet.

In an extraordinary intervention at the Royal Cornwall Show yesterday, the Tory Cabinet minister said: ‘Turbines are regarded as a complete scam, but as of today we have given power to local communities to decide.

‘The criteria is now that environment and landscape will have to be taken into consideration as well as the national energy requirement.’

Under the new rules councils must look at the cumulative impact of wind turbines and reflect the effect on landscape and local facilities.

There is also a major increase promised in the amount developers pay local communities to win them over,  including long-term electricity bill discounts of up to 20 per cent.

However, Mr Paterson suggested anger with many schemes would not be overcome by additional bribes.

He added:’I know there is huge unhappiness with some of these projects, both from what I hear nationally and from my own constituency in Shropshire.

‘There are places where these projects are well prepared, the community wants it and it will be worthwhile. But in inland areas they are very often deeply unpopular,’ the Western Morning News reported.

Leila Deen, Greenpeace energy campaigner, said: ‘Wind farms may seem like a scam to a Government minister who questions the science of climate change and who’s pushing for his Shropshire constituency to be fracked for shale gas.

‘The public disagrees – two thirds of people would rather have a wind turbine near their home than a fracking site.

‘Onshore wind powered almost 2.5 million homes in 2011, is falling in cost and will play a key role in our future energy mix.’

Mr Paterson’s appointment to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last September was controversial, with allies forced to deny he was a climate change denier.

In 2007, he  described wind farms as ridiculous, claiming they ‘demand vast amounts of public subsidy and do not work’.

Obama administration allows wind farms

It happens about once a month here, on the barren foothills of one of America’s green-energy boomtowns: A soaring golden eagle slams into a wind farm’s spinning turbine and falls, mangled and lifeless, to the ground.

Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It’s also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.

But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret.

Wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan. His administration has championed a $1 billion-a-year tax break to the industry that has nearly doubled the amount of wind power in his first term.

But like the oil industry under President George W. Bush, lobbyists and executives have used their favored status to help steer U.S. energy policy.

The result is a green industry that’s allowed to do not-so-green things. It kills protected species with impunity and conceals the environmental consequences of sprawling wind farms.

More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.

Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren’t required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.

When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or that revealing it would expose trade secrets or implicate ongoing enforcement investigations.

Nearly all the birds being killed are protected under federal environmental laws, which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements from businesses, including oil and gas companies, over the past five years.

“We are all responsible for protecting our wildlife, even the largest of corporations,” Colorado U.S. Attorney David M. Gaouette said in 2009 when announcing Exxon Mobil had pleaded guilty and would pay $600,000 for killing 85 birds in five states, including Wyoming.

The large death toll at wind farms shows how the renewable energy rush comes with its own environmental consequences, trade-offs the Obama administration is willing to make in the name of cleaner energy.

“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a long-time environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West, until his retirement in 2008. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”

The Obama administration has refused to accept that cost when the fossil-fuel industry is to blame. The BP oil company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill. And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.

But PacifiCorp also operates wind farms in the state, where at least 20 eagles have been found dead in recent years, according to corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by The Associated Press. They’ve neither been fined nor prosecuted. A spokesman for PacifiCorp, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, said that’s because its turbines may not be to blame.

$2.2 billion project will overhaul Minnesota’s electrical grid

When it comes to big-dig construction projects, public attention over the last few years has focused on the publicly subsidized Vikings football stadium that will cost $975 million.

Meanwhile, a bigger, more critical, but less publicly electrifying project will complete about $1 billion worth of work this year alone. It’s the $2.2 billion overhaul of the state’s electrical transmission system and replacement of 1970s-vintage technology that dates to before the Metrodome was built.

Electrical transmission gets little respect.

“Rodney Dangerfield is the patron saint of transmission systems,” quipped Will Kaul, vice president of transmission at Great River Energy and chairman of the CapX2020 group of 11 Minnesota utilities involved in the 800-mile project.

The nine-year process has been marked by landowner disputes and several lawsuits. Regardless, the huge upgrade, to be completed by 2015, will mean a more reliable, efficient, cleaner way to power Minnesota.

Moreover, it will widen the electric highway to finally accommodate all the wind energy that has come on line in recent years and the ability to dispatch power as needed within the 11-state Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO). This network functions as a wholesale market for buyers and sellers of excess generation in the Midwest.

“There area a number of wind farms waiting for transmission lines in southwestern Minnesota and surrounding states,” said Beth Soholt, executive director of Wind on the Wires Minnesota, an industry trade group. “Transmission facilitates keeping the lights on … and cost-effective energy because it allows energy to flow back and forth in a more robust wholesale market. It creates more energy choices and lets Minnesota and the other states meet their multiyear renewable energy standards.”

In short, Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa — among the biggest national wind generators — have been unable to sell all the wind power they generate because there is inadequate transmission capacity to wind fields such as those along the Buffalo Ridge in southwestern Minnesota.

“When this is done, you’ll have a lot more wind-generated transmission from South Dakota and North Dakota all the way to La Crosse, Wisconsin,” said Mike Gregerson, a veteran engineer who is a consultant to CapX2020. “No more notifications from MISO that the grid is too full and they can’t use your energy.’’

Gregerson said the project should lower the average cost of energy because MISO will be able to move around the cheapest energy better. “And in most cases, that’s wind because there’s no fuel costs,” he said.

Wind constitutes about 12 percent of the 10,000 megawatts of power typically generated in the 11-state MISO territory, including Manitoba, said John Lawhorn, a MISO official. Minnesota produces about 15 percent of its energy from wind. In fact, one day last November, MISO reported that wind generated a record 25 percent of output in its territory.

Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Ohio have legislative mandates to generate 25 percent of their juice from alternative energy, including wind, dams, garbage burners and solar, by 2025. And adjacent states generally are shooting for up to 15 percent.

Including the Minnesota overhaul, MISO predicts that its member utilities will spend more than $5.5 billion upgrading transmission infrastructure by 2015.

The final leg of the Minnesota projects — a 345-kilovolt, high-voltage power line through southeastern Minnesota, which starts just inside the eastern South Dakota border, was approved last spring by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The five-segment project includes a span that is partly completed between St. Cloud and Fargo, N.D.

Leadership in wind project development

Last evening, MidAmerican Energy Company was honored with the Green Energy Supplier Award at the 2012 Platts Global Energy Awards ceremony in New York, N.Y. The company received the award for its 2011 and 2012 wind expansion projects in Iowa, which add another 1,001 megawatts of renewable energy to the company’s generation portfolio.

We know that meeting our customers’ expectations requires action today and planning for our energy future.”
The awards ceremony was attended by energy executives from around the world.

The nomination noted MidAmerican Energy’s diverse generation portfolio. By year-end 2012 when the company’s 407.1-megawatt wind expansion is complete, MidAmerican Energy will have nearly 2,300 megawatts of owned wind generation capacity.

MidAmerican Energy is the No. 1 owner of wind-powered generation capacity among rate-regulated utilities in the U.S. When its wind expansion is complete, approximately 30 percent of MidAmerican Energy’s total owned generation capacity will come from wind.

“MidAmerican Energy believes the best way to meet customers’ energy needs is to provide reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy through a diversified generation portfolio,” said Bill Fehrman, president and CEO, MidAmerican Energy. “We know that meeting our customers’ expectations requires action today and planning for our energy future.”

“By year-end 2012, MidAmerican Energy will have 1,267 owned wind turbines generating electricity in Iowa, with each wind turbine serving as a visible demonstration of the company’s commitment to green energy,” Fehrman added.

As a finalist in the Stewardship Award category, MidAmerican Energy also received the Award of Excellence at a special luncheon at the Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum prior to the awards ceremony. Since 2008, Platts has bestowed a special award on a group of finalists in a particular category, based on the group’s commitment to society.

Kern River Gas Transmission Company, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy’s parent company MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, was a finalist for the Premier Project Award for Construction for its Apex pipeline expansion project.

Nordex says the staff reductions will be made by the end of the month and reflect “the declining capacity utilisation at its Chinese rotor blade production facility and the losses sustained in China”.

The German group adds: “By reducing structural costs, we want to take steps to ensure sustainable profitability in our Chinese activities by the end of this year.”

It says that until demand recovers, it will “use external suppliers, who have previously worked for the company, to cover all of its rotor blade requirements for current and future contracts”.

Like other foreign turbine-makers, the company has seen the Chinese market slow sharply as the government acted to rein in previously runaway growth, while also feeling the pain of increased local competition.

In November it told its shareholders: “As a foreign, medium-sized company we have had to contend with increasingly predatory competition from domestic players, particularly in the Chinese market.”

Nordex has been linked with several Chinese onshore wind groups over a possible joint venture to help it grow in the country. Although this has yet to materialise, Recharge understands it is still on the German group’s agenda.