SACE Comments on the Path Forward for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy

SACE submitted comments yesterday to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as part of their “Request for Feedback” on the path forward for Atlantic offshore wind development. With our comments, we sought to encourage the development of offshore wind energy off the Southeast coast, which could serve as a large economic and environmental opportunity.

Clean Line: A TVA Failure of Clean Energy and Environmental Leadership

Thee Tennessee Valley Authority is abdicating its role as a utility leader and its customers will be left holding the bag. In its biggest blow to renewable energy development, TVA has effectively killed the Plains and Eastern Clean Line high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission project.

New Report PROVES Wind Power’s REAL cost!

Average wind farm installation prices have dropped to roughly $1,590/kW (kilowatt). Some projects in the Interior region of the country were installed for roughly $1,200/kW. The national average levelized cost of power purchase agreements (PPA) has reached $20 per megawatt ($20/MWh), or 2 cents per kilowatt hour, with a number of projects in the Interior region venturing below 2 cents. Those prices are below long-term fuel costs for natural gas power plants.

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.

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.

Staff Update: Amazon Wind Farm in NC

SACE’s Sarah Gilliam stopped by the Amazon Wind Farm in Elizabeth City, NC. This is the first major onshore wind farm for 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 […]

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.