Looking for a conference that encompasses all forms of renewable energy? Then RENEW 09: Empowering the Land Conference and Expo may be the one you’re looking for. The conference, being held on June 23-24, 2009 in Tucumcari, New Mexico is a “nuts and bolts” conference for anyone looking to prosper from the emerging renewable energy economy.
Renew 09 will feature major industry thought leaders, top governmental officials and landowners sharing best-practices for developing facility-scale and utility-scale renewable energy projects. This event is for anyone involved in, or wants to be involved in renewable energy including those in wind, solar, water, and biofuels. There will also be a free, two-day Renewable Energy Expo and attendees have the opportunity to tour a 1.5 MW wind turbine installed at Mesalands Community College, operated by the North American Wind Research & Training Center.
David Griscom, Clean Energy Program Manager with the Regional Development Corporation, and committee chair for programming for RENEW 09, says, “We have developed exciting programs and content for our RENEW 09 attendees that are solution-based and actionable. Our sessions and panels will discuss wind energy, solar energy, landowner associations, rural electric cooperatives, transmission, and even new geothermal technology to create electricity from hot, dry rock on the earth’s crust.”
If you can’t be on site, all programs will be broadcast live via the internet. For registration information, visit www.EmpoweringTheLand.com.
The wind and solar industry continues its rapid growth in the U.S. with the announcement that Oneworld Energy, a company that focuses on wind and solar power installations, is expanding is presence. It will be opening an office in Melville, NY and has tapped Roger Slotkins as CEO. Melville has developed a green-tech corridor that focuses on bringing companies and employees together in the clean-tech industry. A tremendous asset to the city has been the support of Congressman Steve Israel.
Congressman Israel noted, “My goal is to see Long Island become the nation’s capital for clean energy. Oneworld is an example of the companies within the alternative energy industry we are attracting to our growing green-tech corridor. These businesses are bringing new green jobs for New Yorkers while also improving our environment and decreasing our dependence on foreign oil.”
Formed in 2003, Oneworld Energy is comprised of three divisions: Oneworld Solar, Green Breeze Energy (wind) and Composotech Structures (wind services). In the States, Composotech Structures currently provides maintenance and repair services for wind turbine blades and is also developing a 200 MW wind farm in Oklahoma.
Mr. Allen, President and CEO of Oneworld, commented, “Given our desire to increase our presence in the U.S., Roger’s track record within the clean-tech industry will be a perfect complement.”
Last year was a big year for growth in the American wind energy field, as the U.S. added more than 8,300 megawatts of capacity in 2008… a record year!
This article in the Des Moines (IA) Register says officials with the industry, along with a governor from a state that is really making headways in wind energy, were on Capitol Hill to warn Congress that the current proposed legislation doesn’t support the same continued growth:
A bill approved by a House committee last month and another under consideration in the Senate would require utilities to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources starting in 2012, but the targets are well below what the wind power industry wanted.
The Senate version would start at 3 percent in 2012 while the House bill would begin at 6 percent, and both could be lowered through energy efficiency measures.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver joined industry representatives Thursday in meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to urge them to enact higher mandates. “The number does matter,” Culver said later.
To maintain the level of construction in the wind power industry last year – about 8,500 megawatts – the mandate would have to start at 10 percent in 2012, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
House and Senate leaders agree they would like to see the higher mandate but don’t think that 10 percent level would make it through Congress. Lawmakers from southern states that don’t have as much wind potential are seen as the biggest roadblocks.
Small wind turbines in the U.S. are growing at a very rapid rate.
EnvironmentalLeader.com reports that the market for small wind turbines… those that produce 100 kilowatts or less… grew by a whopping 78 percent last year… following a trend discovered in an American Wind Energy Association study that showed there was about 17.3 megawatts of new small wind capacity installed in the U.S. and about 38.7 MW installed worldwide in 2008:
Denise Bode, CEO for AWEA, said in a press release that strong federal policies like the federal investment tax credit for small wind are critical to future growth. Wind energy leaders recently discussed how much the industry will rely on government incentives and standards to maintain its high growth at the Wind Power 2009 Conference in May. AWEA recently reported that more than 2,800 WM of wind energy was installed in the United States over the first quarter of 2009, which is enough to power 816,000 homes.
The 2009 Small Wind Global Market Study finds that U.S. manufacturers sold about half of all small wind turbines installed worldwide last year, with the U.S. market share accounting for $77 million of the $156 million global total. Growth in the small wind sector is attributed to increased private investment that has allowed manufacturing volumes to increase, particularly for the commercial segment of the market (systems 21-100 kW systems), according to the study.
The article goes on to say that a recent poll of small wind manufacturers finds they believe there will be a 30-fold growth in the U.S. small wind market within five years, in spite of the tough economic conditions.
National Wind, LLC, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has received the 2009 Minnesota Environmental Initiative (MEI) Green Business and Environmental Management Award. The award recognizes National Wind’s for partnering with communities to build utility-scale wind farms. MEI is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build partnerships that create solutions to environmental problems throughout Minnesota.
MEI’s Executive Director, Mike Harley congratulated National Wind. “National Wind’s partnerships with communities are excellent examples of green business developments that help preserve the environment for future generations. Their grassroots wind energy projects start with local communities. By creating opportunities for community members to influence the development process and own a stake in the project, National Wind engenders broad support for clean energy and environmental stewardship.”
National Wind is currently developing twelve families of wind projects across the Midwest and Plains States. The company has more than 1000 landowner partners and over 1300 megawatts (MW) of locally-owned wind projects in development or operation in Minnesota alone. The key component to their success is that they offer joint ownership with local landowners to develop utility-scale wind farms. This enables local communities to have a positive financial stake in their investment in renewable energy.
Leon Steinberg, the CEO of National Wind was on had to recieve the award along with sevearl members of his team. “We have accepted this award on behalf of our 50 employees, our 450 rural farmer-partners and the thousands of landowners that will participate in our projects. Without all of their involvement, this award would not be possible. We want to acknowledge MEI’s success in building consensus to tackle important environmental issues. We also want to thank the utility sponsors of the 2009 awards, namely Great River Energy, Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power.”
The nation’s first eco-sustainable city, which will use biodiesel, ethanol, solar and wind sources to power the community and its green industries (such as building solar panels), has been selected as one among 16 founding projects of the for former President Bill Clinton’s Climate Positive Development Program.
This press release from Destiny, Florida says the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) program supports the development of large-scale urban projects that demonstrate cities can grow in ways that are climate positive… real estate developments that strive to reduce the amount of on-site CO2 emissions to below zero:
The Climate Positive Development Program was launched by President Clinton, Founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation, on May 19, 2009, at the C40 Summit in Seoul, South Korea. Along with the other founding projects, Destiny, Florida will demonstrate Climate Positive strategies, setting a compelling environmental and economic example for cities to follow.
To reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions of their Climate Positive Development projects to below zero, property developers and local governments will agree to work in partnership on specific areas of activity. This includes implementing economically viable innovations in buildings, the generation of clean energy, waste management, water management, and transportation and outdoor lighting systems.
“We are proud of the recognition Destiny has received from the Clinton Climate Initiative as an urban development that can help reduce the world’s carbon footprint. Destiny will be a global model city for sustainable living, and a hub where the latest clean technology innovations will emerge,” stated Anthony V. Pugliese, III, Managing Partner and CEO of Destiny.
The 41,000-acre community in Central Florida was founded in 2005.
Getting ready to take off on your summer vacation? Planning to drive 100… 200… 1,000 miles from home? How about 60,000 miles? That’s been Brian Brawdy’s 11-month long road trip fueled with biodiesel, solar and wind power… plus he captures rainwater when he can to drink.
Brawdy has been using a Ford F-350 diesel pickup truck with a camper in the bed during his cross-country adventure he has dubbed “Conservation through Exploration.” In this latest edition of the Domestic Fuel Cast, he tells me that the solar panels and wind turbine have allowed him to get truly off the grid and see some places that most people can’t even get to.
He says his mission and message have been two-fold: conservation and self-reliance.
It’s a really interesting adventure, and you can hear more about it here: DFCast-5-22-09.mp3
You can also subscribe to the DomesticFuel Cast here.
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Duke Energy continues to expand its renewable energy portfolio with the acquisition of a 70-magawatt wind power project in Pennsylvania known as the North Allegheny Windpower Project. Gamesa Energy USA was the original wind turbine manufacturer and project developer.
This marks the first wind energy project for Duke Energy in the Eastern US; however, they have other wind projects including selling wind power to WalMart stores in Texas. The North Allegheny project consists of 35 Gamesa wind turbines, each capable of producing two megawatts (MW) of electricity. This purchase will give the company more than 700 MW of wind-powered generation by the of 2009.
Wouter van Kempen, president of Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), which is a business unit of Duke Energy that owns and develops renewable power assets, said in a company statement today, “The purchase of the North Allegheny Windpower Project in Pennsylvania marks a milestone for Duke Energy and its renewables business. This acquisition immediately expands our wind power portfolio beyond the western U.S., where we have half a dozen projects already in operation or under construction.”
Once the project is complete, Duke energy will sell all the energy generated from the wind turbines to FirstEnergy. The wind farm is expected to be online by the end of this year.
Looking to take an eco-friendly vacation? Well, your resort options just got bigger with the announcement that Catalyx Inc., has been contracted to build a 100% Eco-Tourism resort owned by the Ramona Band of the Cahuilla Indian Tribe.
This energy friendly resort will be located in the Anza Valley which is near San Diego, California. It is designed to operate completely off-the-grid by employing several alternative energy technologies to meet all of its energy needs. The site will reuse much of its own waste byproducts, such as sewage, biogas and restaurant food waste, and the completed project is expected to produce 1 megawatt-Hr (1000 KW-hrs) per day of renewable energy, with propane as a back up energy source until the project is complete.
“We want to create a truly natural retreat which mirrors our ancestral heritage of living in harmony with Mother Earth,” said John Gomez, Cultural Director for the Ramona Band.“When finished, this resort will not be a burden on the environment. All energy will be renewable and all waste and wastewater will be recycled.”
Phase one is expected to be complete in August, 2009 and is being made possible by a joint venture between the Ramona Band, the Department of Energy, the United States Department of Agriculture, and multiple other Federal agencies. Upon completion it will offer visitors a peaceful retreat and an educational experience about the Native American culture, habitat, natural remedies, and care of the environment through the use of green energy and sustainable lifestyle practices.
Gomez noted, “This resort will be a model for other tribes to generate revenues for themselves in a more appealing manner that is true to their heritage.”
Catalyx, Inc. will provide multiple renewable energy and water treatment technologies as well as contract with third parties for additional technologies to be used at the resort and throughout the reservation.
Progress on what could become the country’s first commercial facility in the United States able to test wind turbine blades longer than 50 meters should take a big step forward with some help from a $25 million federal grant.
This story in the International Business Times says the U.S. Department of Energy is giving the state of Massachusetts the money for the Massachusetts Wind Technology Testing Center, set to start construction in September and to be completed by the end of 2010:
“Testing the next generation of wind turbines here will make Massachusetts a hub for the fastest-growing energy source in the world,” [Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick] said.
The center will attract companies to design, manufacture, and test their blades in the United States, the Department said, rather than shifting them to Europe.
Improving technology for longer blades will be especially useful for large-scale offshore wind power projects, the department said.
Officials believe the facility will help move wind turbine technology along, helping reduce production costs.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has recognized Proven Energy, based in the west of Scotland (U.K.), as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of small wind turbines. A small wind turbine is defined as those with capacities of 100 kW and under. Proven Energy sold more than 5,800 kilowatts of wind energy worldwide in 2008, making them one of the most successful wind turbine manufacturers globally.
According to AWEA’s recent small wind turbine global market study, at least 219 companies manufacture or will manufacture small wind turbines in the world. The small wind turbine market grew 78 percent in 2008 with the installation of 17,300kW of capacity.
The company manufactures 2.5kW, 6kW and 15kW sized wind turbines for use in homes, businesses, schools, and municipalities. Replacing traditional forms of electricity generation (coal, natural gas) with a wind turbine can nearly reduce or eliminate electrical bills. The wind turbines can also provide electricity for remote applications including telecommunications sites operating in isolation of existing power.
It’s anticipated that the small wind turbine market will continue to grow as recent federal legislation offers American taxpayers a 30 percent tax credit for installing renewable energy including wind or solar. Other tax incentives are available through the Rural Energy for America Program.
More than 25 North American experts will discuss opportunities, trends and challenges related to community wind energy projects during an online web conference May 26 and 27 offered by Green Energy Web Conferences.
Presenters at the web conference include experts from organizations ranging from the American Wind Energy Association, Windustry and the World Wind Energy Association to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy to Atlantic County Utilities Authority and Citibank. Organizers say the web conference is designed for people who are interested in learning more about community wind projects as well as for professionals already in the business wanting to keep up with this fast-changing alternative energy technology.
“When you include the savings from travel, hotel, and restaurant costs, a web conference costs only 10 percent of attendance at a traditional conference,” says Mathijs Gajentaan, CEO of Green Energy Web Conferences. “We’ve set it up interactively, so you can ask the speaker questions, browse the attendees’ profiles to see what they are doing and looking for, and connect with them. And if you can’t attend any of the live sessions, you can review the presentations at your convenience.”
Other upcoming Green Energy conferences will focus on Solar, Bio and Hydro power. The agenda and registration information for the wind energy conference is available on-line here.
“The goal is to set America on a course for a secure and sustainable energy future.” DOE Energy Secretary Steven Chu
The alternative energy industry is already receiving the monies set aside to help spur the economy and reduce America’s dependence on fossil-fuel based energy sources. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory was the recipient of $110 million in funding, announced by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. The funds were allocated as part of the Recovery and Investment Act.
The funds have been designated to accelerate the completion of the construction of NREL’s Golden Colorado campus. Once completed, this research facility will dramatically expand NREL’s capacity for renewable energy research. The facility will be equiped with the latest technologies to reduce energy consumption, a model for future buildings across America.
The remaining $10 million in funds will be used to improve NREL’s National Wind Technology Center located near Boulder, Colorado. NREL’s Director Dan Arvizu said, “These investments are an unmistakable signal from DOE about the Laboratory’s central role in advancing President Obama’s clean energy agenda. It is a significant investment in NREL’s future.”
The announcement was part of a half-day tour of NREL by Secretary Chu and included Colorado Governor Bill Ritter. Colorado has been positioning itself as a leader in renewable energy, and earlier this year President Obama went to Colorado where he signed the Recovery and Investment Act into law.
Citing its central location… in relation to the United States and the country’s wind power industry… officials at Siemens say they will build a wind turbine equipment factory in Hutchison, Kansas.
This Reuters story says the German company expects to employ about 400 people:
The new plant will manufacture nacelles, or the structures that house a wind turbine’s generating components, including the gearbox, drive train and control electronics.
Construction is expected to begin in August, and the first 90-ton nacelle is expected to be shipped in December of 2010.
The factory’s planned annual output is 650 nacelles, or 1,500 megawatts.
The factory will join other Siemens operations in the U.S.: a wind turbine blade plant in Ft. Madison, Iowa and a wind turbine research and a development center in Colorado.
It appears that the race is on as many states across the country vie for the winning position of “leader in renewable energy”. The latest state to post an entry is Missouri. The state is turning to alternative energy to replace jobs lost due to economic turmoil that includes an auto industry near collapse. Several months ago, President Obama was in Colorado to sign the economic stimulus package and praise the state for its support of alternative energy.
More specifically, Missouri is pitching itself to become a leader in the wind industry due to its proximity to the country’s wind corridor (which is what also make states like Nebraska and South Dakota good candidates for wind energy). Here are other reasons why they cite contention for top spot:
- • With a workforce of over 3 million people, Missouri’s labor force exceeds the entire populations of 22 states, including neighboring Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, and Nebraska.
- • Missouri ranks eighth in the nation for low business costs, including labor.
- • Missouri higher education is actively engaged in alternative energy and wind power.
- • According to CNBC’s “American’s Top State for Business, July 2008,” Missouri has the 10th best transportation network in the nation.
- • Missouri has the 14th highest average U.S. wind speed (10.1 mph), higher than Texas, Ohio, Colorado, and California.
Interested in learning more about Missouri’s plan to become a leader in wind energy? The Missouri Partnership is hosting a Wind Energy Supply Chain Workshop series. The next session is scheduled for May 12, 2009.