Is TVA Undervaluing Wind Energy?

TVA recently released its Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). An IRP is a planning exercise to determine utility power plant needs 20 years into the future. The exercise depends on inputs (such as cost and performance data for various power plant types, including wind farms) to develop outputs and recommendations. Some of TVA’s most important inputs for wind power are a bit opaque – especially cost and performance data. But based on the IRP outputs, it appears that the inputs for wind energy are stuck in TVA’s wind energy glory days and are about a decade out of date.

The Palmetto State Stands Tall in the Wind Energy Industry

This is the seventh post in a blog series discussing state-by-state highlights of wind energy throughout the South in the lead up to the WINDPOWER Expo in Orlando, FL, May 18 – 21. See the rest of the series here. New wind turbine technology is a game changer for clean energy opportunities in South Carolina. Taller turbines [...]

Wind Power Set to Take Flight in North Carolina

Although North Carolina has yet to develop a wind farm, the state is set to take flight with wind power. In 2011, Iberdrola Renewables proposed a 300 megawatt wind farm in northeastern North Carolina. Similarly in 2011, Invenergy also proposed a 300 megawatt project in a similar part of the state, and a separate 80 megawatt project near Pantego. In 2012, another wind project was proposed, but this time in Pamlico County. In 2013, Torch Renewable Energy Incorporated announced a plan to develop a wind farm near Mill Pond. Meanwhile, North Carolina has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the country. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management may begin leasing tracts offshore for potential wind farm site assessment and planning as soon as next year.

Wind Power in the Sunshine State

Although Florida has yet to develop a wind farm, the state is already taking advantage of the wind industry. In February, Gulf Power announced it would purchase approximately 180 megawatts of wind power from the Kingfisher wind farm in Oklahoma – the first wind power purchase for the Sunshine State.

Sneak Peek at Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical

In 2013, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace published Energy, Justice and Peace: A Reflection on Energy in the Current Context of Development and Environmental Protection. It wasn’t translated into English until late 2014 and must be ordered from the Vatican – it’s not an easy book to get ahold of. The Council is appointed by the pope, and its primary charge is “to engage in action-oriented studies based on both the papal and episcopal social teaching of the Church.” The Council’s work offers a credible sneak peek into Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical. Listed below are a few major themes from the book.

Obama to Sell America’s Offshore Areas to Queen of England

The Executive Order is widely seen as a boon to the United States’ offshore wind energy industry. The Obama Administration approved the nation’s first offshore wind farm, the Cape Wind project, off Massachusetts in 2008; however, the project has stalled. Clark Kent, White House spokesman, stated that, “The Crown Estate – which manages the entire seabed around the United Kingdom out to the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, has a rigorous offshore wind energy development policy that could quickly be harmonized with the United States OCS area.” He noted that offshore wind farms already provide more than 3% of the United Kingdom’s electricity. The Executive Order would also eliminate the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the federal agency in charge of managing all federal waters offshore. “Some may be opposed to the sale and the disbandment of BOEM, but it’s not like we had an effective offshore wind energy policy anyway. We figure, let’s let the Brits have a go at it,” said Kent.

Breezy for the Big Easy: Wind Power for Louisiana

Although Louisiana has yet to develop a wind farm, the state is already taking advantage of the wind industry. SWEPCO, an electric utility in northwestern Louisiana, is currently purchasing approximately 469 MW of wind power from the Great Plains. Wind farm developers are also interested in building the state’s first wind farm.

Massive Wind Power Opportunities for Tennessee

Tennessee is home to the Southeast’s first wind farm, the Buffalo Mountain wind project. This wind farm was installed nearly a decade ago and is still meeting performance goals and expectations. Several other wind farms have been proposed in Tennessee. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority is currently purchasing over 1,500 megawatts of wind power from the upper-Plains states. High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission projects, like the Plains and Eastern project, would inject thousands of megawatts of new high quality, low cost wind power for the Volunteer State.

Wind Turbine Pair Installed on Paris’ Eiffel Tower

This post is part of the “Prelude to Paris” series highlighting updates and analysis on international climate negotiations in the lead up to the United Nations climate change conference – the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) — to be held in Paris this December. Other posts in the series are available here. Paris, [...]

Lengthy Environmental Review Covers Bases for Wind Power Transmission

The Plains and Eastern Clean Line, a high voltage direct current transmission project, would connect more than 3,500 megawatts of high quality, low cost wind power from western Oklahoma and Texas deep into Arkansas and Tennessee. The 720 mile long power line is presently undergoing a federal environmental impact statement review by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Weighing in at 3,700 pages, the hulking review document exhaustively covers just about any impact the project may have.