Wind Energy News Roundup (6 Stories)

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Top wind energy news (other than what we’ve covered) from the past week or so:

1. GE’s GE Energy Financial Services unit and Enel Green Power North America have teamed up to commit common equity for a 51% ownership stake in the Chisholm View wind project, one of Oklahoma’s largest wind projects. “The Chisholm View wind project is now under construction near Hunter, 85 miles north of Oklahoma City in Grant and Garfield counties, and is expected to cost approximately $375 million. Enel Green Power North America owns the remaining 49 percent of the 235-megawatt wind farm and serves as project manager…. The project will be completed later this year prior to the Federal Production Tax Credit deadline. It will use 140 of GE’s 1.6-megawatt wind turbines and supply power to Alabama Power Company, a Southern Company subsidiary, under a 20-year agreement. The wind farm’s developer TradeWind Energy, a strategic development partner of Enel Green Power North America, estimated that the Chisholm View wind project will contribute up to $5 million annually to the local economy via property taxes and rent payments to landowners, and create 150 construction and up to 15 permanent jobs. The project is expected to generate enough power to avoid more than 565,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year – equivalent to taking approximately 110,000 cars off the road – according to US Environmental Protection Agency methodology.”

2. Northwestern University researcher Harold H. Kung has found that the an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a more effective way for the government to increase the installation of wind power in Illinois than a Production Tax Credit (PTC). His findings and analysis have been published the journal Energy Policy. (Of course, a combination of the ITC and the PTC would be more effective at stimulating wind energy deployment than one alone.)

3. MidAmerican Renewables, a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, has completed acquisition of the 81-megawatt Bishop Hill II wind project from Invenergy Wind LLC . “This project, which currently is in construction in Henry County, Ill., will feature 50 General Electric 1.62-megawatt wind turbines…. Construction began in fourth quarter 2011, and Bishop Hill II is expected to be in commercial operation in fourth quarter 2012. Ameren Illinois will purchase the electricity from the project pursuant to the terms of a 20-year power purchase agreement.”

4. Finavera Wind Energy Inc. has announced environmental approval of its 49.6-megawatt Tumbler Ridge Wind Energy Project in British Columbia. “The $125-million project will be located 8 kilometres west of Tumbler Ridge. Once completed, the project will generate enough power to provide electricity for up to 18,000 homes. The 12 month project construction period is expected to generate 560 person years of direct employment, and the operational phase of the project is expected to create 188 person years of full-time direct employment.”

5. Boralex Inc. has announced the acquisition of an electricity supply agreement for a 50-megawatt wind power project in the Témiscouata Regional County Municipality (RCM) in Québec. “The 20-year contract was awarded in response to the Hydro-Québec Distribution 2008 call for proposals for 2,000 MW of wind power, and start up is slated for late 2015. Boralex plans to build the wind farm on land that is publicly owned by Saint-Elzéar-de-Témiscouata and Saint-Honoré-de-Témiscouata, and is adjacent to the community wind power project currently being developed by Boralex in partnership with the Témiscouata RCM. The RCM and the towns of Saint-Elzéar-de-Témiscouata and Saint-Honoré-de-Témiscouata have shown their support for the project by passing a resolution agreeing to construction of the wind farm on their territory.”

6. A Virginia offshore wind turbine may be first in US. Installation of the 5-megawatt (MW) prototype recently received state approval. “If it clears federal approval, the 479-foot tall Gamesa turbine will sit in 53 feet of water about three miles off Cape Charles in the lower Chesapeake Bay. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2013, meaning it could be in the water well ahead of Deepwater Wind’s project off the coast of Rhode Island or Cape Wind’s giant installation off Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound. First, the project will need approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and review by the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Image: wind turbines courtesy shutterstock


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Zachary Shahan

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