Yellow Canary

Wind Energy News


Wind Power Attracting Interest from Region's Entrepreneurs (Lubbock, TX)
Changing Winds (Idaho)
Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Potential: 330 GW
Strong Support for Offshore Wind Power in Delaware
Wind Energy News Archive (2006)

Wind Power Attracting Interest from Region's Entrepreneurs

Article published February 8, 2007
cite: D. Lance Lunsford, Avalanche-Journal, Lubbock TX

The feasibility of wind power is growing day by day, and a couple in Bovina are making a move to capitalize on it.

Dottie and Tony Neal have posted a wind turbine on their property and are now selling the turbines, which are marketed to residential consumers and businesses.

Sold for $5,400 - installation costs another $5,000-$7,000 - the Skystream 3.7 turbine can produce 40 to 80 percent of a home's electricity needs, according to Southwest Windpower, the company that produces the turbines.

The Neals already have sold some units.

"We feel that this turbine is a new generation of turbines. It connects directly into your home, not into batteries," Dottie Neal said.

Excel Energy retrofitted her home's utility to suit the turbine for a little more than $100, Neal said. The turbine begins producing electricity when wind speeds reach 8 mph. When wind speeds are good, surplus electricity is produced. That power is then pumped back into the electric utility's power grid.

Neal said the turbine costs can be made up in electricity savings in five to seven years, but many buyers are looking at doing something good for the environment as well.

"Some people are saying, 'I'm tired of my high electric bill,' and other people feel that this is something that helps the country, helps the environment," Neal said.

The movement toward residential wind generation is slow but growing, and new technology in the past few years is spurring the growth.

"I think it's going to definitely only grow from this point. The technology (in the smaller turbines) has gone right along with the larger turbines," said David Carr, assistant director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University. "The only problem right now is price."

Neal and Southwest Windpower officials said their current price is one-quarter to half the cost of past turbines.

How long it will take to make up the cost of investing in a turbine varies and is determined by energy consumption and general wind speeds.

"Look at your area's wind speed, and you can figure out how much power you'll get for that turbine," Carr said.

Changing Winds

Article published February 8, 2007
cite: Joshua Palmer, Times-News, Twin Falls, Idaho

Idaho Power releases study on impact of small wind farms: It takes energy to maintain energy from small wind farms.

That was the conclusion of Idaho Power's study on the impact of wind power, which was released Wednesday.

Among other findings, the Operational Impact report said that small wind farms - those which produce 10 megawatts or fewer - require the assistance of hydroelectric power to compensate for generating fluctuations caused by changes in wind speed.

Idaho Power uses its hydroelectric sources to provide additional energy when small wind farms are unable to stay at predetermined power levels.

The report estimates that it costs Idaho Power $10.72 per megawatt hour to offset such fluctuations. The utility wants wind farm operators to pay that expense.

Wind farm developers are paid an average of $64 per megawatt hour for farms built in 2008.

Jeff Beaman, director of corporate communications for Idaho Power, said the cost is an average of what it costs Idaho Power to adjust flows at dams for backup energy.

"The dams are already being fully utilized to produce energy for the benefit of customers," Beaman said. "This firming (backup) requirement places another demand on the hydro system."

According to the report, hydroelectric generation is near capacity in Idaho. If additional wind farms are added to the system, the state would have to consider alternatives to hydro such as coal-fired power plants in order to provide backup electricity to wind farms.

Beaman said the report is the first step in what will be a lengthy discussion.

"This is the beginning of a continued learning process of how wind will be integrated into an energy generating system," Beaman said. "Idaho Power recommends that the (Idaho Public Utilities Commission) sanction a workshop where all the interested parties put this study under the microscope and work through it together."

Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Potential: 330 GW

February 7, 2007
cite: Tracey Bryant, Assistant Director for Research Communications, University of Delaware.

The wind resource off the Mid-Atlantic coast could supply the energy needs of nine states from Massachusetts to North Carolina, plus the District of Columbia -- with enough left over to support a 50 percent increase in future energy demand -- according to a study by researchers at the University of Delaware (UD) and Stanford University.

"The United States began producing 2,000 warplanes per year in 1939 for World War II, increased production each year, and, by 1946, had sent 257,000 aircraft into service. We did that in seven years, using 1940s technology."
~Oceanographer Richard Garvine addresing the practicality of producing 166,720 wind turbines.

Willett Kempton, Richard Garvine and Amardeep Dhanju at the University of Delaware and Mark Jacobson and Cristina Archer at Stanford, found that the wind over the Middle Atlantic Bight, the aquatic region from Cape Cod, Mass., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., could produce 330 gigawatts of average electrical power if thousands of wind turbines were installed off the coast.

The estimated power supply from offshore wind substantially exceeds the region's current energy use -- which the scientists estimate at 185 gigawatts -- from electricity, gasoline, fuel oil and natural gas sources. [Complete Article]

Strong Support for Offshore Wind Power in Delaware

January 19, 2007
cite: Tracey Bryant, Assistant Director for Research Communications, University of Delaware.

Survey finds nearly 78 percent of Delaware residents would give a project identical to Cape Wind a thumbs-up if it were located in Delaware.

Delawareans are strongly in favor of offshore wind power as a future source of energy for the state, according to a survey conducted by University of Delaware (UD) researchers.

"We wanted to study a place along the East Coast where there hadn't been much debate about offshore wind power and compare the results to places like Cape Cod."
~Jeremy Firestone, University of Delaware, Marine Policy Scientist

When asked to select from a variety of sources to help the state increase its energy supply, more than 90 percent of the 949 Delaware residents responding to the survey supported an offshore wind option -- in which whirling wind turbines as tall as 40-story buildings would be erected off the coast to generate electricity -- even if wind power were to add between $1 and $30 per month to their electric bills.

Fewer than 10 percent voted for an expansion of coal or natural gas power at current prices. [Complete Article]

Wind Energy News Archive


Cape Wind project
Wind power is turned on at Maalaea
Wind power: Make your choice, turbine or carbon?
Los Angeles utility board approves deal for Wyoming wind power
BAE technology to Make Wind Power Stronger Option
Western cities, states rush for wind power
New Poll: 81% of state, 61% of Cape favor Cape Wind