Report: Wind, solar are cheapest options, NOW

In its annual Levelized Cost of Energy analysis, Lazard Associates found the cost for power generated from wind energy resources were around $30-$60 per megawatt hour (MWh) range – even without any subsidies! Unsubsidized solar power resources provided power at a cost of $43-$48/MWh range. That’s 3-6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for wind, or 4.3-4.8 cents per kWh for solar. Of course with existing federal tax credits, real wind power prices could be as low as $14/MWh, or 1.4 cents/kWh, and real solar prices may reach as low as $35/MWh, or 3.5 cents/kWh.

Congress: Picking energy losers, over clean energy winners

Congress just released its propose “tax reform” plan – and it’s a doozie. Instead of promoting renewable energy and electric vehicles, the plan would slash those incentives – while giving a massive bailout to the failing nuclear industry.

Two years ago, Congress passed a massive overhaul for the wind and solar industries that gave a clear path for phasing-out tax credits for those industries. The newly proposed “tax reform” plan reneges on that promise made two years ago and threatens hundreds of billions of dollars in clean, domestic, renewable energy development.

The wildly popular, and effective tax credit for electric vehicles has produced many jobs, cut pollution, and increased our energy security. But now Congress’s “tax reform” plan would totally eliminate the electric vehicle tax credit, and slams on the breaks of an American industry.

Meanwhile, Congress would extend $6 billion worth of subsidies to the failing nuclear industry.

Click here to tell Congress to support clean energy and electric vehicles.

Clemson Goes Big With Wind Turbine Testing

Yesterday Clemson University announced they’d landed a big deal for testing a huge wind turbine. The world’s most powerful wind turbine, the MHI Vestas V164-9.5 MW, will be tested at Clemson’s world-class energy innovation center in North Charleston, SC. The facility, equipped with large test rigs, will be able to simulate 20+ years worth of field conditions on the turbines and measure their response and interaction with the grid in just a few years’ time, and then MHI Vestas will be able to optimize the turbines’ performance and reliability. The Clemson-MHI Vestas partnership, a $35 million investment, is a big step forward in realizing the economic potential of offshore wind for South Carolina and the Southeast.

UCS “Dwindling Role for Coal” Report: Wind and Solar Could Help Replace Coal in the Southeast

A recording of our October 24, 2017 webinar with UCS report authors is posted here. The past decade or so has seen a dramatic shift away from coal for producing electricity in the United States. According to a new analysis by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), that trend is set to continue. The analysis [...]

Wind and Solar Power: Complementary Energy Resources

Here at Solar Power International, a number of attendees have openly wondered: how can wind power and solar power work better, together? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two resources pair together quite nicely, naturally.

With nearly 3.5 gigawatts of wind power purchase agreements, and over 5 GW of installed solar power, the South has begun to embrace renewable energy. Pairing utility scale wind and solar power in the South could improve renewable energy market share as well as relieve potential integration issues. For example, as higher levels of solar power penetration occur, several utilities have noted a trend moving towards higher winter peak generation demand.

Texas Wind Farms Survive Hurricane Harvey

Simply put, many wind farms in coastal Texas weren’t affected by Harvey’s highest-level winds. And the turbines that did experience those extreme conditions, performed as expected and shut down for self-preservation, or when the local grid system failed.

How Will Hurricane Harvey Affect Texas Wind Farms?

To date, no wind farm in the United States has been destroyed by a hurricane. Neither Hurricane Iselle (Hawaii, 2014), Hurricane Sandy (New Jersey, 2012), nor Hurricane Irene (Delaware, 2011) harmed wind farms. Wind farms in hurricane-prone coastal zones are frequently designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, up to level Category 3 hurricanes. For self preservation purposes, wind turbines automatically shut down when wind speeds reach excessive levels. Hurricane Harvey is slated to become a Category 3 storm, and may test the limits of turbine engineering.

What do fidget spinners and wind turbines have in common?

As I attended the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER 2017 conference in Anaheim this past May, a number of expo exhibitors were giving away fidget spinners as conference attendee swag. At first, I just thought these companies were jumping on a trend, but then began to think a bit about the similarities between fidget spinners and wind turbines. No, really.

North Carolina Proposes Wind Farm Ban, Defies Department of Defense

North Carolina legislators are proposing wasting potentially thousands of dollars on an unnecessary study to evaluate wind farms and military interactions, a duplicative effort given that the Department of Defense already evaluates renewable energy projects. “There is an existing Department of Defense (DOD) process to evaluate – and if necessary – block wind farms, that was strengthened in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” according to the American Wind Energy Association.

How Can the Southeast Benefit from Wind Energy in Texas?

It’s true what they say, everything is bigger in Texas…and that includes the wind energy industry! Texas is number one in the nation for wind energy production with over 20 gigawatts of installed capacity. With such a fantastic and cheap wind resource, is there any way for the Southeast to reap the benefits? Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) has created a solution: Build a new transmission line that can deliver 2,000 megawatts of clean, abundant, and cheap wind energy to our region.