Archive: Renewables

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."

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.

Top Plants: San Cristobal Wind Project, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands, home of the unusual flora and fauna that inspired naturalist Charles Darwin’s groundbreaking work on evolution, are striving to promote clean energy that protects the area’s unique biodiversity. Part of that effort is the 2.4-MW San Cristobal Wind Project, which displaces diesel-powered electricity generation. This new energy source will cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the risk of devastating diesel-fuel tanker spills in a highly protected environment.

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.

Top Plants: La Collada Wind Farm, Tarragona Province, Spain

Ironically, the Spanish province of Tarragona — well known for its many Roman and Medieval ruins, archeological digs, and multiple World Heritage Sites — now has one of the most cutting-edge wind farms in the world. This wind farm recently added an innovative 3-MW wind turbine, which stands 140 meters (459 feet) high and is the largest nationally manufactured wind turbine installed in Spain to date.

Solar thermal energy technologies make major strides

Since the early 1860s, when French engineer and inventor Auguste Mouchout used a glass-enclosed cauldron, a polished parabolic dish, and the sun’s heat to produce steam for the first solar steam engine, solar thermal energy (STE) technology has come a long way. Today, an assorted range of technologies is in use or on-line — including […]

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.

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.

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.

California’s GHG plan gives power heaviest load

On Sept. 12, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and California Energy Commission (CEC) took the next step in the implementation of Assembly Bill (AB) 32, California’s ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – reduction initiative, with the release of a 300-page proposed decision on GHG regulatory strategies.