wind energy

California Governor Ups Renewables Commitment

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in California

Already committed to producing 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, California's governor announced a new goal of 50 percent renewable power by the year 2030. Governor Jerry Brown said during his inaugural address that the new target was "exciting" and "bold" and essential in averting potentially catastrophic climate changes, but he didn't offer any specifics on how it might be accomplished, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Maine Poised to Approve State’s Largest Wind Farm

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in Maine

Regulators from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection have signed off on a proposal to build a 62-turbine wind project, the state's largest. The Bangor Daily News reports that a draft order approving the proposal from a subsidiary of First Wind of Boston, Massachusetts, is subject to public comment and further review. But even critics think the project is likely to win final approval.

Wind Energy Is Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in utility-scale wind

Energy produced by wind turbines in the U.S. totaled 167 million megawatt (MW) hours in 2013 and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 127 million tons, the equivalent of taking 20 million cars off the road, according to a report from the American Wind Energy Association. The report paints a rosy picture of wind’s growing impact: a 43% decline in the purchase price of wind power in the last five years and an average growth rate of nearly 20% per year between 2009 and 2013.

N.H. Town Blocks Big Wind

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in utility scale wind

Danbury, N.H., residents have voted in favor of four local ordinances that will make it tough to develop large scale wind projects in town. At a town meeting March 11, voters adopted four proposals aimed at preserving the town's rural character and the property values and health of its residents, according to an article in The Concord Monitor.

U.S. Will Permit Some Eagle Deaths

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in bald eagle

Some wind farms will get legal protection for killing and injuring eagles for as long as 30 years under new rules announced by the government on December 6, according to the Associated Press. In an article published Dec. 6, the AP said the new policy was adopted by the Obama administration under pressure from the wind-power industry.

Judge Cuts Hours for Massachusetts Wind Turbines

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in utility-scale wind

A Massachusetts judge has ordered fewer operating hours for two municipally owned wind turbines that have been blamed by neighbors for a variety of health problems.

Wind Farm Sued Over Noise

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in infrasound

An Oregon man has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the operator of a 50-turbine wind farm, claiming that low frequency noise from spinning turbine blades has caused a variety of health problems. The Associated Press reported that Dan Williams filed his complaint on Aug. 9, about a year after he left his home near Ione, Oregon, where Invenergy had built its Willow Creek wind farm, and moved to Walterville, Oregon.

Wind Energy in U.S. on the Rise

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in utility-scale wind

Two new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy detail the rapid growth of wind energy in 2012, with more than 13 gigawatts (GW) of capacity added in the United States last year alone. For the first time, wind energy accounted for more new electricity generating capacity than any other single source: 43% of all new additions, representing a total investment of $25 billion. Total U.S. wind capacity is now more than 60 GW, enough for more than 15 million households.

Floating Offshore Wind Turbine is Launched in Maine

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in off-shore wind

The country's first grid-tied floating wind turbine, launched in Maine at the end of May, has started feeding electricity into the state's power grid. VolturnUS 1:8, a 1/8-scale prototype of a 6-megawatt design, was launched in Brewer, Maine, on May 31, 2013. It was towed down the Penobscot River and moored off the town of Castine. On June 13, electricity began flowing from the turbine into Central Maine Power Co.'s grid.

Fire Knocks Out a Maine Wind Turbine

Posted on February 28,2015 by ScottG in wind energy

Fire has destroyed a 3-megawatt turbine that's part of the 44-turbine Kibby Mountain wind farm near the Canadian border, according to an article in the Bangor Daily News. The newspaper published the article on April 23 but said the fire actually had taken place on Jan. 16, noting that wind farm operators in Maine are not required to report turbine fires to any state agency.

Commercial-Scale Wind Power

Posted on February 28,2015 by AlexWilson in wind

Last week I wrote about the challenges of small wind turbines and the difficulty of successfully integrating wind power into buildings. This week, I’ll look at larger-scale commercial wind power developments.

Wind Power: Why it Doesn’t Make Sense Everywhere

Posted on February 28,2015 by AlexWilson in building-integrated wind

At least in our neck of the woods, wind power is very much in the news these days. The Vermont legislature is debating whether to institute a three-year moratorium on what detractors refer to as “industrial wind power,” and debate is raging in the nearby towns of Windham and Grafton, Vermont about a potential wind farm. I figured I should weigh in.

Wind Power Getting Cheaper, Turbines More Efficient

Posted on February 28,2015 by Fretboard in wind

Back in 2007, the output capacity of utility-scale wind turbines in the U.S. was a little over 16,500 megawatts – a tiny fraction of what would be required to meet overall demand, but still enough to make the wind industry a viable, emerging player in electricity generation.

Vermont’s Largest Wind Farm Officially Goes Online

Posted on February 28,2015 by user-756436 in wind energy

Vermont’s largest wind energy development, the Sheffield Wind Project, is now fully online. At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 26, 2011, Governor Peter Shumlin declared, “Climate change is the biggest threat to our children and grandchildren. We in Vermont must lead — and get off our addiction to oil. It's essential for Vermont to achieve our goal of generating 90% of our electricity from renewable sources by 2050.” Shumlin predicted, “If we go forward with plans for more renewable energy projects in Vermont, we will be able to retire our aging, leaky nuclear power plant.”

Utility Wind Energy: Bad News for Bears

Posted on February 28,2015 by Tristan Roberts in wind

Author's Note: Please see the comment thread at the bottom of this article for more discussion on the width of the ridgeline road. Since posting this article I learned of other permitting documents indicating a much narrower road than discussed in this article. One of my favorite pieces of Vermont trivia has been that the tallest man-made structure in the state is the Bennington Battle Monument, at 306 feet tall — and construction of it was completed in 1889.

Utility-Scale Wind Turbines

Posted on February 28,2015 by user-756436 in renewable energy

I live in Wheelock, Vermont, a town with 598 residents. Our town is so small that we have neither a post office nor a zip code. To get my mail, I have to travel two miles to the post office in Sheffield, our larger neighbor. (Sheffield has a population of 704.) There’s a $90 million construction project underway in Sheffield this summer. In its entire 200-year history, the sleepy town has never seen anything like this.

7 Steps to an Energy-Efficient House: 7. Renewable Energy

Posted on February 28,2015 by Betsy Pettit in hydro

Editor's introduction: With energy prices rising again, many homeowners are planning energy-efficiency improvements to their homes. But most people are unsure of where to begin, and even seasoned builders don’t always know which priorities should rise to the top of the list. Betsy Pettit, an architect at [Building Science Corporation](http://www.buildingscience.com), recommends starting where you can get the most bang for the buck.

Resisting the Allure of Small Wind Turbines

Posted on February 28,2015 by user-756436 in renewable electricity

Wind turbines have a hypnotic allure. The Siren call of carbon-neutral electricity has [no-glossary]led[/no-glossary] many environmentalists to dream of owning a backyard wind turbine. Unfortunately, small wind turbines, unlike utility-scale wind turbines, are rarely cost-effective, even when installed at a good site. Installed at an average site, a wind turbine is little more than an expensive toy.

Backyard Wind Turbines

Posted on February 28,2015 by user-756436 in renewable electricity

Manufacturers of small wind turbines are enjoying a boom. Fascinated by the idea of generating their own electricity, many rural homeowners have invested thousands of dollars — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars — in a backyard wind generator.

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