News roundup: The State of Renewables is strong, a new college wind competition, and American-made Kansas turbines
It’s Thursday, and American renewable energy is going strong, DOE announces a first-ever collegiate wind competition, and a Siemens Hutchinson, Kansas plant is filling orders, fast.
Nathanael Green at the Natural Resources Defense Council is urging Congress to renew important renewable energy incentives, like the Production Tax Credit (PTC):
- The president is right: America is making impressive gains on renewables such as wind and solar power, and energy efficiency, at least for now. Thanks to important federal, state and local policies and laws that promote clean, renewable energy, overall, the state of renewable energy in America is strong.
- But while the Obama administration has championed important policies and legislation, the renewables industry has weathered too many boom and bust cycles caused by fickle federal support. Policies and legislation that support renewables are an investment in making America stronger and we need to protect and reinstate them now, especially the recently expired Production Tax Credit for wind power, and the Investment Tax Credit for the promising field of offshore wind.
- Wind power has similarly staggering gains [compared to solar]. Onshore wind now accounts for more than 5 percent of the county’s total installed electric capacity. Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas get more than 20 percent of their electricity from wind, and another six states get at least 12 percent. During our recent cold snaps, wind power with its constant low price has also helped reduce the damage to consumers’ bank accounts, as the price on natural gas surged.
The Department of Energy has announced a new competition among U.S. universities, the Collegiate Wind Competition:
- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced its first-ever Collegiate Wind Competition, set for May 5 to 7, during three of the same days as the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) annual WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition. The competition will feature teams from 10 universities who will design and construct light, portable wind turbines capable of powering small electronic devices.
- “Wind energy is one of the fastest-growing electricity sources in the U.S.,” said Jose Zayas, director of DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office. “The Collegiate Wind Competition is designed to expose students to the multi-disciplinary nature of the wind industry and give them an opportunity to engage with industry leaders.”
- “We’re excited to partner with DOE to host this exciting event,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA. ”Bringing the Collegiate Wind Competition to WINDPOWER will provide unparalleled opportunities for students to interact with leaders in wind energy and give our industry a chance to meet and engage with some of the nation’s best and brightest young people.”
The wind blows strong in Kansas, where Siemens’s Hutchinson nacelle plant is helping fill a large order:
- The Siemens Energy plant in Hutchinson is again reaping the benefits of a large order for the company to construct a wind farm. This time, Panhandle 2 has contracted with Siemens to build 79 2.3-megawatt turbines for a wind farm northeast of Amarillo, Texas.
- Siemens’ Hutchinson plant will assemble the nacelles, which are the car-sized units that house the turbine’s gears, electronics and gearboxes, for the turbines. The Siemens plant in Fort Madison, Iowa, will supply the turbine blades.
- In December, Siemens landed a contract to provide 448 of its 2.3-megawatt wind turbines to MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., the power company of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
For more great wind power news, be sure to check out all of this week’s roundups:
- Wednesday: AWEA's Tom Kiernan joins NWF's Larry Schweiger in op-ed, Obama acts on climate, and the world's largest wind turbine comes online
- Tuesday: Renewables on top in 2013, Kansas wind builds momentum, and the State of the Union's Energy Agenda
- Monday: Wind boosts reliability, a call to extend the PTC, and strong support for the Kansas RPS
Nathanael Greene, “The State of Renewables Is Strong and Congress Needs to Keep It That Way.” NRDC Switchboard Blog. 29 January 2014.
Brandon Baker, “First-Ever Collegiate Turbine Competition to Hit Annual Wind Industry Conference.” EcoWatch. 29 January 2014.
Josh Heck, “Siemens in Hutchinson benefits from new wind farm construction.” Wichita Business Journal. 29 January 2014.