The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a little-known federal incentive to promote economic development from the private wind industry here in the United States. Wind farms have been slow to develop here in the Southeast, but the region already benefits from the PTC.
Clean energy and energy independence are always on our minds, so it seems only fitting that this Thanksgiving we take a look at how far we’ve come in developing renewable energy in our nation. Here’s a great blog from our friends at Moms Clean Air Force. You can view the original post here. Wind energy [...]
Yesterday was the grand opening of the Clemson University Wind Turbine Drivetrain Testing Facility, the biggest and most advanced test center of its kind in the world. SACE was a sponsor of the event had the pleasure of sending a small team to attend. The facility will test advanced wind turbines by simulating field conditions [...]
To kill the Alabama’s first two wind farms, a small number of local residents is suing Pioneer Green Energy through two separate but very similar lawsuits. While these foes exhibit just about every tell-tale sign of wind farm opposition, they now appear to be borrowing a tactic from high school: plagiarism. Indeed, the lawsuit (which is available online here) mirrors a 2005 lawsuit from Texas where a small number of residents there sued to block a wind farm (text of that lawsuit is available here). By 2008, that Texas lawsuit proved to be a losing strategy on four separate occasions – in front of a trial judge, a trial by jury, by an appeals court and by the Texas Supreme Court through its refusal to reject the lower courts’ decisions. Just like in high school, the consequence of plagiarism is failure and history suggests the plagiarized Alabama lawsuits won’t make the grade.
A study in Energy Policy, found that fossil fueled power plants, on a per unit of energy basis, are estimated to kill 17 times more birds than wind energy. So for every megawatt hour of electricity from a wind farm that replaces fossil fuels, seventeen times as many birds may be saved.
I am proud to announce that SACE reduced our carbon dioxide emissions by another ten metric tons from 2011 to 2012! As in years past, after calculating our footprint, we purchased offsets for the equivalent of 166 metric tons of carbon dioxide from Native Energy. As with the last three years, we calculated Scope 1, [...]
Alabama has become a hotbed of wind energy activity. At least four different wind farms have been proposed across the Yellowhammer State – from upstate, mid-state and downstate Alabama. Alabama Power is buying 404 megawatts of wind energy from the Plains (enough to supply 3% of the company’s power), and the state’s biggest power company just erected a tiny 4 kilowatt turbine on their headquarters building in Birmingham. The flurry of activity has some people asking, “Why?” Here’s just a few reasons that may help explain the interest. State electric costs are high. The wind is better than estimated. Alabama’s Pro-Business. Wind turbines have dramatically improved. Wind energy costs are predictable.
The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that buildings and windows may kill up to 976 million birds annually (although the FWS website is down due to the government shutdown, you can access a cached version of its website here). Power lines and electrocution could cause up to 176 million bird deaths. Perhaps up to 50 million birds are killed annually from communications towers, like those used for radios, television or cellphones. And let’s not forget about our furry friends: a study published by the University of Georgia-Athens suggests nearly one billion birds may be killed annually in the United States by cats. It has been estimated that for each megawatt of wind power capacity installed, four birds may be killed. Last year, 60,000 megawatts of capacity at wind farms was operating, suggesting 240,000 birds may be killed for more than 4% of the nation’s electricity. Even if the United States produced 100% of its electricity from wind energy, it seems that wind-related bird deaths would still be just a few percent of total deaths from other human activities. To put this all in perspective, a study performed by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that “Clearly, bird deaths caused by wind turbines are a minute fraction of the total anthropogenic bird deaths—less than 0.003%…”
Offshore wind energy is a clean and inexhaustible resource that would reduce air pollution, provide greater energy security, and restore economic growth here in Georgia. A study from Geo-Marine, Inc. shows that Georgia has about 14.5 gigawatts of feasibly developed offshore wind energy potential–enough power to provide one-third of Georgia’s current electrical needs. Even though Georgia does not have any wind farms of its own yet, many companies have set up shop in our state to help service the domestic and international wind industry markets. In 2011, there were between 500-1000 direct and indirect jobs provided by the wind industry in Georgia. In addition, the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal is an important transportation hub for wind energy equipment. If the the growth of the industry persists, the U.S. Department of Energy predicts that up to 20,000 manufacturing jobs could be created in Georgia by 2030. Imagine the increased local job opportunities if Georgia developed offshore wind farms along our own coast!
The City of North Charleston proclaimed support for offshore wind energy at last night’s City Council meeting as Mayor Keith Summey presented a proclamation listing many benefits of wind energy and how the City is positioned to benefit from the industry’s further development. Some highlights of the proclamation include recognition that North Charleston is well [...]