Finally, the WIND Toolkit helps eliminate any guesswork by wind energy advocates regarding newly proposed wind farm projects. Using the old 50 meter, 80 meter or 100 meter wind speed maps use to be the only way the public had any sense of what “good” wind resources looked like. However, those maps always proved too coarse for the average viewer to interpret accurately. Anti-wind activists frequently used outdated maps, some even dating back to the 1980s, to make a case against wind energy. The WIND Toolkit can now provide better analysis for stakeholders interested in learning more about wind energy. As a quick case study, the image below shows the results of the WIND Toolkit query compared to a 100 meter wind speed map in Northeastern North Carolina. The WIND Toolkit shows an average wind speed of approximately 7 meters-per-second (15.7 MPH), but the 100 meter wind map shows speeds of <6 m/s (13.4MPH). That 1 m/s difference results in the difference between a 30% capacity factor and a 40% capacity factor, based on the WIND Toolkit's power curve. In real terms, that is a 33% improvement in capacity factor. North Carolina's first wind farm recently broke ground in that region, and reports suggest average capacity factors of that wind farm to be near 40% – very similar to the results of the WIND Toolkit.
The following guest post is from Climate Feedback, a global network of scientists who analyze and critique articles about climate change in the mainstream media, holding publications accountable for accurately reporting on the issue. Last year was the hottest year in human history, and last week we learned that the Great Barrier Reef is already [...]
Because of the PTC phaseout, there is a real urgency for wind farm development to begin as soon as possible. Electric utilities that delay purchase of wind energy resources may end up losing hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in ratepayer savings due to a reduction in the federal PTC value.
The American Wind Energy Association recently hosted its annual Siting and Environmental Compliance conference in Charleston, South Carolina, where birds, bats, and other wildlife took center stage. The conference was an excellent opportunity to learn about some of the contemporary issues with wildlife confronting the wind industry and progress toward solutions. Of particular note were two promising new technologies showcased in the conference expo that help detect birds and bats flying near wind farms and help wind farm operators curtail turbines when there is danger of collisions.
For months, people on the East Coast have been fighting a proposal to open the east coast to offshore oil and gas drilling. Now we’ve won. The Atlantic has been taken out of the federal proposal for new offshore oil and gas leases.It’s time to celebrate a win for people power and stay engaged in the longterm work of protecting the oceans.
Join us to watch Shore Stories – a new series of six short films that show the powerful organizing that led to this victory. The series explain the dangers we have been working to prevent, and highlight issues we still need to come together to stop (like Seismic testing).
How can clean energy advocates best prepare for wind energy development in the South? During the beginning stages of a proposed wind farm, there may be some general information on the project, but not all details are made publicly available. Or, a proposed project is in such early stages of development that it has not yet been reported or announced. Without this information, advocates can struggle to prepare and answer key questions, concerns, and benefits of a project. Luckily, there is a simple online tool you can use to locate a proposed wind farm near you.
Huge amounts of wind power may soon make its way to Arkansas, Tennessee and the rest of the Southeast. Last Friday, the U.S. Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz, announced that Department of Energy’s (DOE) participation in a new transmission project that will deliver low-cost wind energy to the South. The DOE issued their “record of decision,” completing Section 1222 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 evaluation of the transmission project.
U.S. wind farms now pay $222 million dollars a year to farming families and other rural landowners, according to new data released by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today, with more than $156 million dollars going to landowners in counties with below average incomes.
With new turbine technology, proposed wind farms projects are starting to emerge across the Southeast. With only one large-scale wind farm in the region, wind energy is typically an unfamiliar energy source for local communities. How can local leaders, policymakers, and clean energy advocates streamline the permitting process to attract wind farms to their community? How can they ensure future projects will be sited responsibly and safely?
Guest Post from Marilynn Marsh-Robinson with Environmental Defense Fund: Most Americans think their electricity comes from large power companies. In North Carolina, my home state, that might mean Duke Energy or Dominion Resources. But did you know that 42 million people in 47 states get their electricity from electric cooperatives? These member-owned electric utilities were first formed back in the 1930s to provide electricity to people living in rural areas and small towns.