Wind could hedge against natural gas price spikes — study

Source: Umair Irfan, E&E reporter • Posted: Monday, March 18th, 2013

It’s unlikely that natural gas will be cheap forever, so hedging against future price shocks with wind power could be a viable strategy for utilities in the United States, according to new research. In a report released last week, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researcher Mark Bolinger observed that wind power has a hard time competing on cost alone when natural gas prices bounce near a record floor. “It may need to fall back on its nonprice attributes,” he said in a conference call yesterday.

Texas Wind energy takes off

Source: By Kevin Welch, Amarillo Globe News • Posted: Monday, March 18th, 2013

The Texas Panhandle’s wind energy industry is about to be blown away. An international mix of companies has committed to more than doubling the region’s production capacity by spending more than an estimated $3.3 billion on construction of wind farms in the next two years.

Getting More North Dakota Wind Power on the Grid

Johnathan Hladik, Center for Rural Affairs • Posted: Monday, March 18th, 2013

There is a treasure trove of renewable energy in the U.S., but the obstacles and barriers to getting it on the grid are many. Johnathan Hladik, energy policy advocate with the Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA), said the biggest hurdle right now is the lack of high voltage transmission lines. Adding to that infrastructure would allow for the use of more renewable resources, he said, while helping with rural economic development. “There is so much opportunity associated with increased property tax paid by wind-turbine owners and by those building transmission lines, with the actual construction jobs associated with both the wind turbines and the transmission lines,” he explained. “We’re looking at a good way to rejuvenate a lot of our smaller communities.”

Letter, 3/15: Happy with wind Nebraska Committee’s energy vote

Source: Linda R. Brown, Lincoln--Lincoln Journal Star • Posted: Friday, March 15th, 2013

I was elated to read March 8 (“Panel draws ire for wind tax bill”) that several senators on the Revenue Committee voted to advance a bill that would allow renewable energy companies tax breaks under the Nebraska Advantage Act.

Forecast Dims for Future Growth in Wind Power

Source: By Alyson Kenward, Huffington Post • Posted: Friday, March 15th, 2013

Despite a recent report trumpeting a record year for wind power in 2012, the numbers are not as encouraging as they seem. Because even though total wind power capacity grew by 30 percent last year, with 13,000 megawatts in new wind turbines, the actual portion of our electricity coming from wind energy did not increase proportionally. Also, the forecast for future growth in the next few years is not robust, which means wind power will not keep up with the faster growing use of natural gas.

Wind energy drives more than just turbines

Source: By Rebecca Maitland, Houston Chronicle • Posted: Friday, March 15th, 2013

Wind energy is the fastest-growing source of electricity production globally, and in the U.S., Texas ranks No. 1 for wind energy capacity. If Texas were a country, it would be sixth in the world. Presently, Texas has 12,000 megawatts installed, which signifies a $20 billion investment in the state and creates jobs, said Elizabeth A. Salerno, director, Industry Data and Analysis, American Wind Energy Association.

5 companies want to develop turbines off N.C. coast

Source: E&E • Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Five companies responded positively to a federal survey asking whether they would be interested in developing offshore wind power off the coast of North Carolina. Virginia Electric and Power Co., which serves Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, was one of the respondents.

Senate plan calls for energy investments, climate preparation

Source: Nick Juliano and Phil Taylor, E&E reporters • Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The budget released last night by Senate Democrats calls for substantial investments in energy infrastructure and research as mechanisms to boost the economy and address the effects of climate change. The plan is heavy on calls for infrastructure investments, including transmission lines, “smart grid” technology, water management and mass transit. The document is not binding on lawmakers but presents Democrats’ priorities for the coming years.

Wind farm near Searchlight gets OK, could power 70,000 homes

Source: By Conor Shine, Las Vegas Sun News • Posted: Thursday, March 14th, 2013

A major renewable energy project for 87 wind turbines on federal land near Searchlight received government approval Wednesday. The wind farm would cover about 160 acres of a 19,000 acre piece of Bureau of Land Management property west of Searchlight and would generate 200 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 70,000 homes, according to the BLM.

Offshore wind bill breezes through Maryland Senate

Source: E&E • Posted: Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

The Maryland Senate on Friday cleared a measure that would make it easier to develop wind energy off the coast of Ocean City.