Green Energy News

Turbine work upsets residents; Out-of-town workers expected to soon pause project #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 46 min ago
CHARLOTTE – Siblings Dustin and Allison Baldwin of Cherry Creek have noticed a surge in foot traffic at the South Dayton Super Duper, where they both are employed. While nearly all grocery stores have been overwhelmed with panicked shoppers seeking toilet paper, canned goods and other must-haves, the Super Duper in particular has had several out-of-state customers who apparently are working for wind company Innogy. According to James Denn of the state Public Service Commission, work is supposed to pause soon, . . .

County leaders question influx of contract workers amid coronavirus #WY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 46 min ago
RAWLINS – As scores of contract workers flock to Carbon County to help build several major energy projects, questions have emerged over whether the influx is a good idea amid the spread of COVID-19. “There’s an overrun of employees right now coming in to do wind energy projects, power lines…,” Carbon County Commission Chairman John Johnson said during a Tuesday meeting. He was speaking to local public health nurse manager Amanda Brown. “Do you have concerns with that many people . . .

Windmills bring little real benefit #WA (letter)

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 47 min ago
The proposed Horse Heaven windmill farm will best case generate 600 MW only at peak wind periods, or about what a Snake River dam or half what the Energy Northwest nuclear does on a 24/7 basis on demand. And only when the wind blows, which is less than 25% of the time year around; mostly in the spring with full hydro runoff and low consumption when more power is least needed. Wind makes minimal contribution during peak demand. BPA is forced . . .

Crawford County may soon approve wind farm project #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 47 min ago
GIRARD – As soon as next week, the company Apex Clean Energy could get the green light to move forward with plans for a $250 million renewable energy project, known as Jayhawk Wind, which would ultimately involve the installation of up to 100 wind turbines in northwestern Crawford and southwestern Bourbon counties. In a conference call with the Crawford County Commission in late March, Julianna Pianelli, development manager with Apex, said a series of agreements for the project had been approved . . .

Wind farm extension proposal #ENG

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 47 min ago
Plans have been submitted to extend the life of a west Cumbrian wind farm. A planning application has been to Copeland Council requesting an extension to the operational life of the Park House wind farm, north of Lowca. The wind farm, which consists of seven turbines, first began generating power in March 2000. Now, firm Cannock Wind Farm Services is asking Copeland council for planning permission to extend the operational life of the wind farm until the end of March . . .

BCCR Press Statement re NY Siting Board Meeting on Wind Turbines #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - 7 hours 47 min ago
County Concerned Residents (BCCR) spokesperson Anne Lawrence has called on the New York Siting Board at their meeting today (Thursday, April 9) to urge Governor Cuomo to apply the same rule for locating Industrial Wind Turbines in Broome County as he did for the residents of Long Island. He promised the affluent communities in that part of the State that these huge behemoths would be no closer than 30 miles from their homes. The people of Broome County deserve no . . .

Faulty blades replaced at Glaciers Edge wind farm (part 1) #IA

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Wed, 2020-04-08 14:31
After talking to Cherokee County Auditor Kris Glienke recently to speculate that a significant issue of some sort existed with turbines in the recently commissioned 200 megawatt (MW) Glaciers Edge Wind Project in western Cherokee County, Glienke shockingly reported, “I’m hearing that all the blades might need to be repaired or replaced.” Another (unverified) claim is that they hurried to finish setting up wind turbines by the end of 2019, even while knowing that some blades might possibly be defective, . . .

Assiniboia, Sask. residents call for windmill project postponement during COVID-19 pandemic #SK

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Wed, 2020-04-08 14:31
A 50-turbine windmill project outside of Assiniboia, Sask. is generating concerns for residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Potentia Renewables Inc.’s Golden South Wind Energy Facility broke ground in August 2019. But due to the threat of coronavirus transmission, dozens want the project postponed. “If it’s delayed for a couple of months, yes, it’s going to hurt someone financially, but it doesn’t hurt anybody’s health or risk anybody’s life,” said Dwayne Woolhouse, an organic farmer near Assiniboia. Woolhouse, who lives five . . .

We should not rely on wind energy: Letter #IA #MN (letter)

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Wed, 2020-04-08 14:31
Wind energy is not an agricultural commodity, as hogs, cattle, and grain are. It is not a product that supports rural economic development. It does not revitalize communities. It damages them. Around the world, industrial wind turbines have driven people away from homes due to their noise, flicker, red all-night lights, and just plain being very ugly. In 2016, three wind turbine towers in Fairbank, Iowa, were taken down by court order. One lady in Fairbank said, “I’m thrilled. The . . .

New York becomes first state to establish renewables siting office in an effort to speed up deployment #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Wed, 2020-04-08 14:31
Dive Brief: In an effort to speed the development of large-scale clean energy resources, New York lawmakers authorized the creation of an Office of Renewable Energy Siting (ORES) and took steps to accelerate transmission investment to move carbon-free electricity to load centers. The new siting rules will ensure renewables projects larger than 25 MW can receive approval within a year. Under the current process, siting for these projects takes two to three years, experts say.  The new office was approved last . . .

Is Cassadaga Wind a potential Covid-19 vector? #NY (letter)

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Wed, 2020-04-08 14:31
New York’s governor has decreed that “all non-essential workers must stay home.” But work on the Innogy wind turbine project in Chautauqua County continues: truck drivers, heavy equipment operators, excavators, loggers, flagmen and others are working in Cherry Creek and Charlotte. This work is not essential and for health reasons shouldn’t it be stopped until the Covid-19 pandemic is abated? Literalists will respond that according to “the law” (Executive Order 202.6) utilities are classified as “essential infrastructure” and given a . . .

Smart Tax Incentives Can Kickstart the Efficiency Economy

Efficiency News - Tue, 2020-04-07 20:43

It’s a statistic that surprises a lot of people: Nearly 2.4 million Americans work in the energy efficiency sector, nearly 70% of them in construction and manufacturing. It’s among the largest workforces in the entire energy economy – more than 40 times the size of the coal mining labor force, and almost seven times as big as the wind and solar industries combined.

The efficiency industry was poised for another big year of growth in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Just as restaurants and retail businesses are doing, the efficiency industry is now scaling back at an alarming pace because contractors often can’t get into homes and businesses to do the work of installing insulation or windows, sealing ducts, or replacing heating and air conditioning equipment. The slowdown starts with contractors but will spread throughout the supply chain to manufacturing, distribution, engineering, etc. It is a grave threat to the entire efficiency workforce and to the progress we’ve made in advancing energy efficiency throughout the U.S. economy.

The short-term damage unfortunately appears unavoidable as we focus on the immediate healthcare needs, and hopefully the relief packages passed by Congress can help serve as a bridge for many until the economy reopens. While the timeline is unclear for when the pandemic shutdown will lift, we must start planning now for how we can bring this and other sectors back to life when it does. In order to build a strong economy going forward, Congress should be looking ahead and plotting out policies that will kickstart efficiency work over a two- to three-year timeframe.

One place Washington should start is with tax incentives, a proven policy lever that has worked during economic downturns in the past and can work again. Currently, there are three incentives encouraging efficiency in homes and buildings: the Sec. 25C credit for homeowner improvements, the Sec. 45L credit for efficient new home construction, and the Sec. 179D credit for efficient buildings.

All three of these incentives are slated to expire at the end of 2020. Worse, they’re already outdated and are not strong enough to stimulate the kind of investment needed to make a difference.

For example, the 25C credit for homeowners is currently capped at $500. A homeowner can easily spend more than $10,000 replacing windows or installing a new central heating and air conditioning system and duct work. A $500 tax credit is not enough to drive new projects, particularly at a time when millions of households will likely be squeezed financially. But during the Great Recession, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) showed that significantly boosting the incentive can encourage homeowners to take on these sorts of projects even in a weak economy.

Under ARRA, Congress increased the 25C credit to $1,500, and the impact was immediate. More than seven million households used the incentive in 2009 and 2010 before the credit was scaled back to $500 and the number of claims fell back to the 2-3 million range in subsequent years. Clearly, several million new households doing major efficiency projects will create a lot of jobs. And it has the added benefit of reducing those homes’ energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Alliance and our fellow efficiency stakeholders did a lot of work in 2019 drafting improvements to the incentives, as outlined in the bipartisan Home Energy Savings Act and the New Home Energy Efficiency Act sponsored by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Reps. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). Those bills give us a head start on what could be done now to restore confidence in these markets and show one sector of the economy a light at the end of the tunnel.

New England fishing groups wary of rapid offshore wind development plans #CT #ME #MA #NH #RI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
As offshore wind moves up the coast of New England, efforts are underway to make sure the region’s fishing interests have a seat at the table early in project development. An alliance of industry and academic stakeholders is promoting the need for research and best practices as offshore wind takes hold in waters where fishing has long been an economic anchor. Fishing groups have several concerns about the potential for boating obstacles and ecological impacts. A dearth of research makes . . .

Giglio blasts policy items remaining in Cuomo’s budget proposals #NY

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
Assemblyman Joseph Giglio and state Sen. George Borrello both expressed frustration Thursday with the policy items that remain in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed budget. Giglio, R-Gowanda, was especially concerned that Article 23, which eliminates “home rule” in the siting of alternate energy facilities, is in the budget. The revised wind and solar siting laws would create a new state office to promote alternative energy projects like the proposed Alle-Catt Wind Farm in northern Cattaraugus and Allegany counties over the objections . . .

Innogy withdraws Carnedd Wen plans #WLS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
Innogy has withdrawn its planning application for the 150MW Carnedd Wen Wind Farm to revise its plans for the proposed development in Powys, Mid Wales. The German company has written to BEIS to formally withdraw the application and ask the department not to proceed with a re-determination of the scheme, a proposed 50-turbine onshore wind farm located north of Llanbrynmair. A public inquiry was held into the proposal between 2013 and 2014, with an an inspector recommending the granting of . . .

Contact local legislators about new renewable energy act, says Concerned Citizens For Rural Preservation #NY (letter)

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
Are you aware that Governor Cuomo included the Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefit Act as part of a 30-day budget amendment titled Article 23? This amendment is to the Transportation, Economic Development and Environmental Conservation (TED) bill. The Act, unveiled a few weeks ago in a 30-day budget amendment, is now included in the governor’s 2020-21 budget proposal. https://www.budget.ny.gov/pubs/archive/fy21/exec/fy21bills.html read: TED New Part JJJ (pdf) This rushed action will not allow public hearings or the ability for the . . .

Scotland’s wind power growth at a standstill #SCT

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
Scotland’s drive to build its wind power industry completely stalled in the second half of last year. With record-breaking levels of renewable electricity on the UK grid, wind turbines in Scotland have played a key role in a green energy revolution. However, figures from the Scottish Government also revealed no new net capacity was added in the country between last June and December. Industry leaders have warned Scotland needs to quadruple its output if it is to wean its home . . .

Kansas justices strike down electricity rate hikes on green energy producers #KS

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
Reversing a state appeals court, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled Friday that utilities cannot charge higher rates for customers who partially produce their own energy via solar or wind power. In a 14-page opinion by Justice Caleb Stegall, the state’s high court found rate increases by Westar Energy, now Evergy, and Kansas Gas and Electric for customers who use solar and wind energy violates the state’s anti-price discrimination law. “By its plain text, [the state law] clearly prohibits the utilities . . .

Political Scene: Former R.I. lawmaker mired in battle over ’tunnel muck’ #RI

National Wind Watch: News Watch - Tue, 2020-04-07 15:06
A doozy of a fight played out at a Rhode Island State House hearing just before the pandemic shut down this year’s legislative session. It involved: Arsenic-laced “tunnel muck.” An alleged move by a once powerful state lawmaker to acquire property along the East Providence waterfront to build a hotel on land that the quasi public state agency he heads is now seeking to take by eminent domain. The potential derailment of a multi-million dollar investment by Boston-based developers seeking . . .

Vestas suspends 2020 guidance

Latests news from Windpower Monthly - Tue, 2020-04-07 13:26
Vestas has suspended its financial guidance for 2020 due to the “poor visibility” caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
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