Archive: Renewables

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Brazil Approves Hotly Contested Construction of Amazon Dam

In an effort to more than double its power capacity by 2030, the Brazilian government in November approved construction of a controversial $3.9 billion hydroelectric dam on the Madeira River, in the Amazon. When completed in 2013, the Jirau hydroelectric plant could add 3,300 MW to the country’s already massive 59 GW hydroelectric capacity.

Commentary: Renewable energy lessons from Europe

Europe has seen tremendous activity in the development of renewable energy as a response to climate change. As a result, some of the most important renewable energy firms operating in the U.S. are based in Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Stable, high-level policy is one reason Europe dominates this sector.

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Top Plants: Far West Rice Mill with solar electric system, Nelson, California

Many companies are finding that with solar energy, the sky’s the limit. As costs fall and mandates for renewable energy rise, solar energy is becoming an increasingly competitive source of power generation. Far West Rice Mill is a forward-thinking business that is taking advantage of this economic opportunity by powering its operations with a 1-MW photovoltaic system.

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Top Plants: Thermo Plant, Beaver County, Utah

Geothermal energy projects are gaining steam in many parts of the western U.S., in large part because geothermal power has the advantage of being a renewable energy source that provides baseload power with no emissions and no waste by-products. One example of the latest developments in geothermal power generation is the recently completed 10-MW geothermal plant in rural Utah, which uses innovative modular power generation units.

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Top Plants: Covanta Onondaga Waste-to-Energy Plant, Jamesville, New York

Covanta Energy Corp. doesn’t believe in wasting waste. Since 1995 the Covanta Onondaga waste-to-energy (WTE) plant has converted approximately 4 million tons of solid waste into 3 million MWh of clean electricity. Additionally, unlike power plants that use wind or solar energy, this 39-MW WTE facility operates 24/7, making it and similar WTE plants among the most continuously reliable sources of renewable electricity generation currently in operation.

UK takes offshore wind capacity crown from Denmark

Opening of the 194-MW Lynn and Inner Dowsing wind farms built by UK energy company Centrica off the coast of Skegness, in Lincolnshire, this October made the UK the worldwide king of installed offshore wind capacity. The farms raise the total electricity generated from offshore wind in the UK to 590 MW, beating Denmark’s 423 […]

Oregon wind turbine loses its bearings

The generator bearings on a wind turbine located in Oregon (Figure 1) first failed in May 2006, only 11 months after the tower was brought on-line. The company that owns and operates the wind farm replaced the bearings and slip rings, but the new bearings failed only five months later. Once again, new bearings and […]

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The return of the Clipper Liberty wind turbine

The Steel Winds project in Lackawanna, New York, was selected as a POWER 2007 Top Plant because of its unusual location (a former steel mill and Superfund site) and because it was the first commercial deployment of the Clipper Windpower 2.5-MW turbine. That report was written just as the project entered commercial service but before a major gearbox problem was identified. For many new designs, it isn’t a question of if problems will occur but of how the manufacturer responds when problems inevitably do occur. For its handling of Liberty’s problem, Clipper Windpower gets an "A."

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Prevailing winds: Trends in U.S. wind energy

Wind power is becoming a mainstream energy source that U.S. utilities are tapping into nationwide as a means of adding clean, domestically sourced energy to balance their generating portfolios. To identify where wind will take us,POWER’s senior editor talked to experts from diverse industry stakeholders about current and future developments.