Wind Energy News Archive
  • Renewable Technologies on the Cusp

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 31, 2014
    You probably remember a time when the thought of widespread solar and wind energy seemed far from reality. Interesting or intriguing, maybe, but not practical, and certainly not inevitable. But in recent years, solar panels and wind turbines have sprouted across rooftops and hilltops. They’re not our primary sources of power, but they’re in the mix. They’ve joined the big leagues...
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  • Ocean Leases off New York and New Jersey Offered to Wind Energy Developers

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 18, 2014
    While Rhode Island and Massachusetts are the two states closest to building floating wind farms in the waters of their coastlines, other areas along the Atlantic coast are close behind. Now a large block of ocean off the coast of New York and New Jersey is becoming available for wind power development. The Department of the Interior announced yesterday that they will offer leases for over 344,000 acres of Atlantic Ocean, ranging from off Long Island to off northern New Jersey...
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  • New England States Racing For the First Offshore Wind Farm in the U.S.

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 16, 2014
    Rhode Island and Massachusetts are neck and neck in the race for the first offshore wind farm in America, according to the National Wildlife Federation. The Cape Wind project in Massachusetts and the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island plan to begin construction next year. The NWF described both of them as “within sight of the finish line.”
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  • A Glimpse at How Wind Power Evolves

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 11, 2014
    The wind energy industry is still very young, and has just begun to see success in recent years. So it’s understandable that wind farm operators are hesitant to make radical changes to the fundamental technology and equipment that they have built their operations on. But as a young industry built on an emerging technology, they also know that their success depends on their ability to move forward and innovate...
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  • German Parliament Reforms Renewable Energy Law

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 11, 2014
    Germany’s changes to its renewable energy law passed in the upper house of parliament and is expected to go into effect in August. The law will cut back on renewable energy subsidies, and will change the way the remaining subsidies are funded. Germany has had some of the strongest support for renewable energy of any country, but with this reform, they are rolling that back. The Wall Street Journal explains the rationale...
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  • Washington State Funds Giant Batteries for Renewable Energy

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 09, 2014
    With a 3.2 million grant from the State of Washington, Avista Corp will be testing out utility scale batteries. They received the grant last week. It comes from a $14 million pool of grant money to integrate renewable energy into Washington’s energy grid...
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  • Texas is Considering a Wind-Energy-Only Fee for Transmission Lines

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 09, 2014
    The Texas Public Utilities Commission is considering raising the costs to wind generation companies for energy transmission. Right now, those costs are built into the rates paid by consumers. The PUC Chair Donna Nelson has asked for a study, questioning whether wind companies ought to be paying more than they are now...
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  • Some Renewable Energy Companies Fail, but That Doesn’t Mean Much

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 08, 2014
    Following the Obama administration’s latest round of loan guarantees for renewable energy projects, Michael Grunwald has an essay in Time analyzing the loan guarantee program, and what it means after the Solyndra collapse...
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  • Offshore Cape Wind Plan Gets a $150 Million Loan Guarantee

    by Henry Kaplan | Jul 03, 2014
    The Cape Wind offshore wind farm planned in Nantucket Sound just got a boost from the Department of Energy. The DOE will give them a $150 million loan guarantee. The NRDC says that this is just what the Cape Wind project needs...
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  • California Wind Farm Preapproved for Five Eagle Deaths over Next Five Years

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 30, 2014
    The Shiloh IV wind farm is about to become the first wind farm in the country to be issued a “take permit” for golden eagles, allowing the wind farm to avoid penalties for up to five golden eagle deaths over five years. Without such a permit, wind farm operators can draw criminal charges for golden eagle deaths. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered the permits for five years now, but this is the first to go into effect...
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  • How Affordable is Renewable Energy?

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 26, 2014
    The price of solar power and other renewables is falling. But is renewable energy a good deal for the average ratepayer? A few recent reports from state agencies tried to answer this question.
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  • Nest Opens Up Its Smart Thermostats to Developers

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 25, 2014
    For a “smart grid” company, Nest isn’t all that interested in updating the power grid itself. It’s really something closer to a smart energy use company. The Google-owned company makes small devices for managing a household or officeplace – devices like computerized thermostats, smoke alarms, and as of last week, security cameras. They promise that their thermostats will increase the energy efficiency of a building by carefully scheduling heating and cooling based on your schedule and automatically adjusting your energy use when you’re not home...
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  • A Lake Erie Developer is Still Building an Offshore Wind Farm

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 24, 2014
    When the DOE picked a few offshore wind developers to support a month and a half ago, they left many others in the lurch. Baryonyx cancelled their plans for an offshore wind farm in Texas shortly after. But the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation is still pushing forward on their plans for wind farms in Lake Erie, despite missing out on major grants from the DOE. (They’ll be getting $3 million instead of $47 million...
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  • Supreme Court Gives the EPA Most of the Authority it Wants over Greenhouse Gas

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 24, 2014
    The Supreme Court has issued their opinion on an EPA case originally filed last year. The issue at hand is the way that the EPA interprets the Clean Air Act with regards to greenhouse gas emissions. (That’s an issue that shouldn’t be confused with the EPA’s recent clean power plan, which won’t be affected by this ruling.) The short version of the ruling is that the court just slightly curtailed the EPA’s regulatory reach, an outcome that the EPA and their supporters seem pleased with...
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  • DOE Launches Renewable Energy Incubator Initiative

    by Henry Kaplan | Jun 23, 2014
    The U.S. Department of Energy just launched what they’re calling a national support network for renewable energy entrepreneurs and small businesses. The National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy is funding a renewable energy accelerator and is giving awards to technology incubators...
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