SunEdison has started construction of a $420 million wind farm project in Bingham, Maine. The project, which will have 56 turbines, is expected to create 400 construction jobs and will power 65,000 homes when finished. Construction should be completed in 2016.
Some business thinkers appear to believe that making workers happy is less important than ensuring their engagement, but the two qualities are linked, writes Rodd Wagner. Engagement without concern for employees is one-sided, Wagner argues. "[T]he leader who unreservedly wants the best for his or her workers will find they reciprocate with tremendous commitment to the firm and intensity in their work," he writes.
Colorado is ranked number one in the country for wind manufacturing jobs and number three for overall wind-related jobs, according to an Environmental Entrepreneurs report. However, said the report, Colorado needs to embrace renewables further by complying with the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan and advocating renewable-friendly policies. "Colorado's leaders need to take action with policy opportunities that are good for its economy and good for its environment," it said.
Veresen has named RES Canada Construction as the builder for its Grand Valley 3 wind farm in Ontario, Canada. The 40-megawatt project will include 16 Siemens SWT 3-MW 113 turbines. It has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the provincial Independent Electricity System Operator. The wind farm is scheduled to begin generating power in late 2015.
Developing offshore wind is the Northeast's best option for clean electricity generation, writes Ann Berwick, former chairwoman of the Massachusetts Public Utilities Commission. The Cape Wind project alone would generate more energy than half of all the solar panels installed in Massachusetts. "To create a truly green electric grid, however, we need offshore wind in a big way. It's time for Massachusetts to stand up to the billions of dollars that funded the opposition that stopped Cape Wind," she writes.
Senate Democrats have written a letter to all 50 governors asking for input on a national energy policy that would favor clean energy. "[W]e believe the U.S. must establish a framework that helps unleash investment in our infrastructure sufficient to ensure all American citizens and businesses have access to affordable, efficient, reliable and cleaner energy; and that we must do so in a way that cuts carbon emissions, in order to address climate change," they wrote.
The Westermost Rough offshore wind farm in the U.K. has begun operations. Dong Energy owns 50% of the project, and Marubeni and the Green Investment Bank each own 25%. The project has a total capacity of 210 megawatts and features 35 Siemens 6-MW turbines.
Gamesa and SunEdison are in the process of forming a joint venture to install wind energy projects with a total capacity of 1 gigawatt by 2018. The companies said that they would focus on developing wind farms in Mexico and India. The JV "will accelerate SunEdison's drive to respond to rapid growth in global wind markets," said SunEdison Executive Vice President Paul Gaynor. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has moved to uphold the state's rules for siting wind turbines and ruled against a lawsuit from state housing groups claiming the state had to release a housing-impact report. Turbine setback requirements do not "directly or substantially" affect housing, said the court. The ruling sides with a previous decision from an appeals court on the issue.
Improved efficiency will allow farmers to provide more corn for ethanol this year, even with decreased acreage, the National Corn Growers Association said. "While planted acreage has decreased as farmers in many parts of the country face unrelentingly wet conditions, U.S. farmers have steadily increased our ability to grow more corn on every acre," said NCGA President Chip Bowling. Agriculture Department information shows that 88.9 million acres of total corn have been planted this year, the lowest total since 2010.