The project is estimated to cost a mere 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s comparable to the price of operating a modern natural gas power plant, making wind not only cost-effective but a guaranteed low-cost electricity source for decades in the future. Because there is no fuel cost associated with wind energy, utilities can secure long-term contracts (approximately 20-25 years) and lock in prices that protect their customers from price spikes due to volatility in fossil fuel costs. TVA could also receive additional benefits by acting as a pass-through transmission provider for other utilities purchasing wind energy, and earn additional revenue. For the TVA system, the project is estimated to actually reduce overall costs by about $1.44 per megawatt hour.
The Amazon Wind Farm is the first large-scale wind farm in North Carolina, and is located predominately in farm land. The wind developer, Avagrid, has gone through more than six years of federal, state, and local permitting, review, studies and construction. In an eleventh-hour attempt to kill the project, a small group of anti-wind power North Carolina legislators claim even more red tape is necessary, because they claim a wind farm could interfere with a radar installation in Virginia.
The first-ever lease sale for offshore wind off the Carolinas’ coast has been scheduled for March 16, 2017. The lease sale will allow interested development companies to bid on the rights to site assessment activities to gauge the suitability of the area for offshore wind development. The area to be leased is known as the Kitty Hawk leasing area, and lies approximately 24 nautical miles off of North Carolina’s coast (depicted in orange in the map to the right). This announcement follows the identification of the area in August 2014 and the proposal of the sale last August. Development of offshore wind could bring substantial benefits to North Carolina.
The new study highlights the beneficial job and economic development impacts associated with the proposed power line. According to the study, the Southern Cross Transmission project will provide significant economic benefits within Louisiana, and Mississippi, including $3.9 billion in total direct, indirect, induced and fiscal economic impact. The benefits primarily stem from construction, potential local tax revenue, and operations. Notably, the benefits from low-cost wind power associated with the transmission project were not included in the analysis, suggesting a conservative analysis.
Overall, wind energy does not cause population level threats to birds and accounts for an extremely small percentage of unnatural avian mortality. 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.
Wind power is wildly popular. But, wind power hasn’t been as quick to catch on here in the south, so we get a lot of questions and comments about wind energy. Let’s clear the air on wind farms.
On November 29th, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, you can join others around the country and encourage spending with a purpose. Be part of the movement to change the way we produce and consume energy in the Southeast by supporting the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
We’ve all heard of Black Friday. And probably Cyber Monday. But what about #GivingTuesday? Join this global day on November 29, 2016 by donating to SACE, who is committed to fighting global climate change!
The time to contract for low cost wind power is now. The largest renewable energy project in the making is a proposed power line that will bring huge amounts of cheap, wind energy to the South, but electric companies must act quickly.
Wind resources from western Oklahoma and Texas – where the Clean Line and Pattern Energy transmission line projects will source wind – are being marketed at prices around $20-30 per MWh. That’s comparable to the price of operating a modern natural gas power plant, making wind not only cost-effective but a guaranteed low-cost electricity source for decades in the future.