Some top wind energy news from around:
“Wind as an electricity supply resource has been getting steadily cheaper, and its technical performance characteristics continue to improve as larger turbine sizes and higher hub heights capture both economies of scale and more of the passing wind.1 Simultaneously, the projected cost of coal-fired power has begun to climb; the increasingly global coal market has given rise to higher coal prices, and many existing coal plants will need to be retired or retrofitted with new environmental controls to comply with stricter regulations being enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).”
“The costs of offshore wind power generation could be brought down by one-third by the end of the decade, making this form of renewable energy commercially viable in the UK, according to new reports by the wind industry and government.”
Greentech Media had a nice summary of the WINDPOWER 2012 conference, which included several of the announcements below as well as commentary on other topics and this video of a GE flash mob:
“Vestas has signed an order for a total capacity of 39.6 MW consisting of 22 units of the V100-1.8 MW turbine for the Alba Rivas wind power plant, which will be located in Hacienda La Fe, Rivas, Nicaragua.”
“GE is supplying 137 wind turbines to the lower region of Michigan with a total capacity of approximately 220 megawatts of clean energy. DTE Energy’s total investment in these projects is $500 million.”
“Eight GE wind turbines will power a 12.6 MW community wind initiative with the financial benefits from the project will assist local towns.”
“GE has received commitments over the past several months to provide its 1.6-100 wind turbine for projects that will add 1.8 gigawatts of capacity to the world’s clean energy supply by end of 2012. Agreements for the 1.6-100, the highest capacity factor wind turbine operating in North America, have totaled $3.6 billion and approximately 2.8 megawatts since the technology was introduced a year ago, with projected volumes of more than 1,500 units installed globally by 2013.”
“An investment vehicle launched [this week] expects to raise €600m (£485m) from pension funds and insurance companies to finance up to 400MW of European renewable energy assets.
“Prime Renewables GmbH, structured by Frankfurt-based financier Prime Capital AG, is targeting institutional investors through the issuance of 25-year profit-participation notes.”
“Consumers Energy has awarded Outland Energy Services a service contract to provide construction/commissioning-period support, and operations, maintenance, and remote monitoring services at the 100.8 MW Lake Winds Energy Project in Mason County, Michigan. The project is comprised of fifty-six Vestas V100 1.8 MW wind turbines and is expected to begin commercial operation in October, 2012.”
“IBERDROLA has announced it is commencing the detailed engineering phase of Wikinger, the company’s first offshore windfarm in Germany, with a view to starting operations on the €1.6billon project by 2016.
“UK based engineers, project managers and technicians from IBERDROLA’s Offshore Business Division, based in Glasgow and London will have a crucial role in the delivery of the project. In total, IBERDROLA is planning 11,000 MW of offshore wind capacity across Europe, including the United Kingdom and France.
“The €1.6billon project announced [this week] will enable the development and construction of up to eighty wind turbines, with a capacity of up to 400 MW, enough energy to power 350,000 homes. These will be located some 30 km off the coast of the German Island of Rügen, and will cover an area of 34 km2 in the Baltic Sea.”
Wind Power Policy
“The countries most affected by the Eurocrisis could reduce their debts substantially with concessions for renewable energy. Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland have excellent conditions for harvesting energy from the sun, wind and geothermal sources. They could give their creditors concessions for large scale investment programs in renewable energy that offer enough long-term financial profit.”
“The offshore wind power industry could be employing nearly 100,000 people and contributing 0.4 per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, according to a new report that calls on government to boost its policies to support the sector.”
The UK and South Korea this week moved forward with “plans to establish a so-called ‘UK-Korea Ocean Energy Technology Co-operation Project’, as the two countries look to cement their status as two of the world’s leading markets for offshore renewables.”