Siemens has developed a transformer module for offshore turbines that could reduce grid connection costs by up to 40%, according to the company. The savings, said Siemens, would make the development of offshore wind farms more affordable overall. The modules can support an output of 250 megawatts and can be linked together for wind farms with a larger transmission capacity.
The federal government is preparing to hold an auction to lease space for offshore wind development off the coast of South Carolina. In September, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will host a renewable energy task force meeting to discuss the event. "BOEM intends to gather information from the task force to inform future decisions in delineating lease areas for wind energy development offshore South Carolina," said the bureau.
Overpopulation is a serious issue, but one that too often sparks simplistic, either-or discussions in terms of fertility rates and overconsumption, writes Stephanie Feldstein of the Center for Biological Diversity. What's needed is a more holistic approach that considers both consumption levels and population growth rates, and doesn't seek to blame global environmental problems on the world's poorest communities. "With climate change snapping at our heels ... we can't afford to waste any more time on scapegoats," Feldstein writes.
GE is working to become a key player in the burgeoning American offshore wind industry, writes analyst Scott Levine. GE is in the process of acquiring Alstom's renewables arm and forming a joint venture with the developer. Deepwater Wind will be using Alstom's offshore turbines at its Block Island offshore wind farm in Rhode Island. "GE already has a dominating presence in the U.S. onshore market, and, through its acquisition of Alstom, stands to prosper from the offshore market should it take off," he argues.
Regulators in Ohio approved Windlab Systems Proprietary's proposal to build a 60-megawatt wind farm on Thursday. The $120 million Greenwich Windpark will feature up to 25 turbines. It is unknown when the developer will move forward with the project. The state's renewable energy industry has been stagnant since its Renewable Portfolio Standard was frozen two years ago, say observers. The recommendations on the rule will be released by Sept. 30.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. has launched a pilot project to test whether Lake Erie is suitable for wind energy development. LEEDCo has begun taking samples of the bottom of the lake to determine whether turbine foundations will be able to withstand the area's harsh winter weather. LEEDCo has filed a proposal to build six turbines in the lake.
Wind energy is a cost-effective way for Missouri to comply with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, writes Mike Garland, president and CEO of Pattern Energy and chairman of the American Wind Energy Association. Missouri's wind industry has already created 1,000 jobs in the state and brought $960 million in private investment. "Renewable energy represents true abundance, because it will never run out," he writes.
MidAmerican Energy has gained approval to build two new wind farms in Iowa. The Ida Grove and O'Brien wind farms will have a combined capacity of 552 megawatts. They are scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2016. "Our investment in wind enables us to keep electricity rates stable and affordable for customers, provides economic development in the state and shows our commitment to environmental respect," said MidAmerican Vice President of Renewable Energy Mike Gehringer.
Boralex has proposed to build a 200-megawatt wind farm in British Columbia, Canada. The Red Willow wind farm would feature 80 turbines ranging from 2 MW to 3 MW, said the developer. If approved, the project would begin operations by the end of 2018. Boralex added that it has yet to secure a long-term power purchase agreement for the wind farm.
Crude oil for October delivery jumped by $3.96 on Thursday, finishing at $42.56 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The increase was the biggest daily gain since March 2009. Meanwhile, December corn increased by 1.75 cents to finish at $3.75 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.
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