Archive: Renewables

One-size RPS does not fit all

The U.S. Congress continues to debate proposals that would mandate that a set amount of the nation’s electricity come from renewable energy sources such as wind, the sun, or biomass. These discussions about adopting a nationwide renewable portfolio standard (RPS) raise significant concerns for power providers and customers alike. Backers of a one-size-fits-all federal RPS […]

Global Monitor (January 2008) 

Dominion applies for new Virginia reactor / ABB commissions world’s largest SVC / Google Earth adds air quality data / Alstom supplies integrated solar/CC project in Morocco / DOE updates coal plant database / Dam the Red Sea? / Complying with CWA Section 316

Greater fuel diversity needed to meet growing U.S. electricity demand

Industrial Info Resources’ strengths are tracking capital projects and cost projections and providing intelligence about the power generation market, among others. IIR has used its large industry databases and numerous industry contacts to develop its outlook for 2008. Here’s what you should expect and plan for this year.

Nevada Solar One, Boulder City, Nevada

Concentrating solar thermal projects fell out of favor more than 15 years ago, when the last SEGS plant was commissioned. But advances in reflective mirror, thermal receiver, and tracking system technologies have significantly improved the systems’ energy conversion efficiency at a much lower capital cost. POWER recognizes Nevada Solar One as a 2007 Top Plant for pushing the limits of solar thermal technology and for being the first of a new generation of concentrating solar projects now being developed around the world.

Global Monitor (December 2007)

TVA may revive Bellefonte / GE’s globetrotting Jenbaches / Largest PV plant taking shape / When will PV be competitive? / Siemens goes to the wall with solar / Breakthrough in metamaterials / POWER digest

Developing wind projects in California—or anywhere

Acquiring capacity from renewable resources is now mandatory for many electric utilities, and nowhere is green generation being pursued with more vigor than in California. Regulators there want power from renewables to account for at least 20% of utilities’ annual sales by 2010, and Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing increasing the minimum to 33% by 2020. Wind power appears to have the lowest technical risks of the renewables options, but don’t ignore the rising development risks. Here’s a primer on developing wind projects in the Golden State—and elsewhere.

Central Vermont Public Service, Cow Power Program

Central Vermont Public Service developed the nation’s first farm-to-consumer renewable energy choice by using cow manure to generate electricity. CVPS gave beleaguered farms new economic hope; developed a generation system that provides clean, renewable energy; and helped solve numerous manure management environmental challenges. CVPS and Cow Power’s four member dairies are recognized as a 2007 Top Plant for generating renewable energy one cow at a time.

Steel Winds Project, Lackawanna, New York

This year, for the first time, the U.S. wind power industry is poised to push past the 3,000 MW installed per year milestone. At 20 MW, Steel Winds may seem like a footnote, but its importance is measured in more meaningful terms than just size. Steel Winds is the first commercial deployment of the Clipper Windpower 2.5-MW Liberty turbine, the first installation on a former Superfund site, and is said to be the largest wind farm in the U.S. developed in an urban setting. In addition, the project anchors Lackawanna’s redevelopment of a former industrial site along Lake Erie for public use.

Raft River Geothermal Project, Malta, Idaho

Geothermal power is a unique renewable energy because it has the best potential capacity factor and is perhaps the only option for baseload power generation. U.S. Geothermal has constructed the first geothermal plant in Idaho in a generation by restoring an abandoned DOE demonstration project site that may possess a development potential of over 100 MW using proven power generation technology. The success of Raft River may well determine the future of geothermal energy production in Idaho.