San Antonio municipal utility CPS Energy is partnering with a solar firm and global automobile group to develop a large-scale energy storage testing project from recycled electric vehicle batteries.Hyundai Ioniq EV. Image credit Hyundai
The memorandum of understanding between CPS, OCI Solar Power and Hyundai Motor Group aims to build the utility-scale system in exactly one year. Hyundai Motor Group will develop the energy storage system, while OCI Solar Power will procure the storage system components and CPS Energy will operate the project.
“Today, we are taking a very important step in advancing our technology in regards to battery storage, thanks to this new collaboration with OCI Solar Power and the Hyundai Motor Group,” said Fred Bonewell, Chief Operating Officer of CPS Energy. “Evaluating these innovative technologies is key to discovering the next firming capacity that would be needed to replace fossil fuels. The fact that Hyundai Motor chose the Alamo City to test this storage project speaks volumes to San Antonio’s commitment to reducing emissions through innovative technology.”
All three companies will build the system and then analyze and share data from the project. The energy storage installation will be in San Antonio, where CPS Energy already has deployed combination solar and battery systems.
“CPS Energy has been a visionary leader for solar projects in Texas. And now, nearly 10 years after we began developing solar and storage solutions in Texas, we are stepping up our green-energy game,” Charles Kim, CEO of OCI Solar Power, said. “This new collaboration among Hyundai Motor Group, CPS Energy, and OCI Solar Power, will make us one of the first to study the performance and cost benefits of redeploying EV batteries.”
Hyundai Motor Group, which includes the Hyundai and Kia brands, will use the system to verify the possibilities of utilizing recycle batteries for the ESS market in North America. The work could incorporate other carbon-free resources in the future.
“The Group plans to expand its energy solution business via grafting hydrogen energy to the battery system, and provide flexibility against energy volatility in the US electricity market,” said Jae Hyuk Oh, Vice President of Energy Business Development Group of Hyundai Motor Group, in a statement.
CPS Energy launched a 5-MW solar with 10-MW storage project in 2018. It also contracts with customers to offer community solar options.
Lululemon has signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement to achieve 100% renewable electricity for its North American operations.
The 15-megawatt agreement with Enel Green Power North America will provide the athletic apparel company with renewable energy from the Azure Sky Wind and Storage project in Texas.
The energy purchased is equivalent to the electricity needed to power 100% of Lululemon's 380 stores, six offices, and five distribution centers in North America.
"As increasingly more retailers work to address the circularity of their operations, from product design and manufacturing to packaging and end-of-life, industry leaders like lululemon are also prioritizing renewable energy as a centerpiece of their climate and sustainability efforts," said Georgios Papadimitriou, head of Enel Green Power in the US and Canada. "The agreement with lululemon also demonstrates how companies with a distributed operational footprint can leverage solutions like VPPAs to achieve their emissions reduction goals, while also supporting the addition of new renewable energy to the electric grid."
With the VPPA, lululemon's first, the company will achieve its RE100 goal by 2021 through renewable energy credits.
"lululemon is committed to helping create an apparel industry that is both sustainable and inclusive, and addresses the serious implications of climate change, including working toward a net-zero future and cutting carbon emissions across our value chain," said Esther Speck, VP Sustainable Business and Impact, lululemon. "Science clearly shows the urgent need to act now. That's why, among others, we've partnered with Enel Green Power North America to accelerate the transition to renewable energy and reduce our emissions footprint. This agreement is an important milestone on our journey toward cleaner energy and a healthier planet."
The 79-turbine Azure Sky Wind and Storage project, located in North Texas, features a 350 MW wind project paired with 137 MW of battery storage, one of the largest battery storage systems in the world. The project is expected to be operational in the first half of 2022.
In another strong sign of the times, longtime conventional power equipment supplier Babcock & Wilcox is strengthening its move into renewable energy technologies with the acquisition of a solar construction firm.
Ohio-based boilermaker B&W has agreed to buy a majority stake in Fosler Construction Co., a 20-year-old contractor firm based in Illinois. CEO Paul Fosler will continue to lead the team and own a minority share in the solar contractor company, which will be part of B&W’s renewable segment.
Fosler Construction provides commercial, industrial, and utility-scale solar services and owns two community solar projects in Illinois being developed under the Illinois Solar for All program. Founded in 1998 and employing approximately 120 people, it recently ranked in the top 10 percent of Inc. 5000’s listing of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of this month.
“This transaction aligns with B&W’s aggressive growth and expansion of our clean and renewable energy businesses,” said Kenneth Young, B&W Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Fosler Construction is an established leader in the commercial and utility solar business, and we’re excited about the many opportunities we see to work together to capitalize on a North American solar market that is expected to have a high rate of growth over the next five years.”
Research firm Mordor Intelligence has forecast that the U.S. solar energy market will grow by 17.3 percent per year over the next few years, essentially doubling in size by 2025. The industry declined by double-digits last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic impacts but is generally predicted to rally quickly, with Wood Mackenzie anticipating 324 GW of installed capacity by 2030.
Fosler Construction has built more than 100 operational solar installations in Illinois and also has active projects in New York, Virginia, and Maryland.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve done and the great team of employees at Fosler who will continue to be a critical part of our success going forward,” CEO Paul Fosler said. “We believe this transaction will help propel our growth to take advantage of the significant solar installation pipeline we have on the near-term horizon.”
Babcock & Wilcox, founded some 150 years ago, has traditionally worked in the thermal generation sector while moving strongly into renewables in recent years. B&W provided boilers, other steam generation equipment, construction and field services, as well as environmental emissions technologies.
New York's largest community choice clean energy program -- automatically providing residents and businesses with 100% locally sources renewable energy -- has been activated in the City of Rochester.
The opt-out Rochester Community Power program will offer 57,000 residents and small businesses access to clean energy from hydropower and wind sources. The program requires customers to opt-out, instead of enrolling, to provide clean energy to the greatest number of people.
"So much hard work was put into creating Rochester Community Power, and now our residents will begin to reap the benefits," said Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. "We look forward to adding the community solar program early next year, which will offer guaranteed savings for the community, including many of our more than 23,000 Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) households."
The program will supply customers with more than 300 million kWh of renewable energy each year, avoiding roughly 225,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the next two years.
Joule Assets, as the program administrator, managed the competitive bidding process to secure a fixed rate for the next 24 months, protecting residents and businesses from volatile market prices.
Earlier this month, Joule Assets launched the first opt-out community solar program in the U.S. The Finger Lakes Community Choice program will be available to more than 3,800 households and businesses in Brockport and Lima, New York.
"As the largest CCA in New York, Rochester is a shining example for future projects in the state," said Jessica Stromback, CEO at Joule Assets. "Municipalities deserve a say in how their residents are served energy, and we are eager to help others in New York follow this blueprint to provide savings and clean energy solutions for their communities."
The programs will help New York State achieve its mandate to reach 70% renewables by 2030.
The global rooftop solar market has the potential to exceed 2,000 GW of generation and 1,000 GWh of energy storage by 2050 through careful policy design, according to a new report.
The report by BloombergNEF and Schneider Electric, Realizing the Potential of Customer-Sited Solar, found the global rooftop solar+storage market to be largely untapped. Declining installation costs represent a massive opportunity, but policy and tariff design must enable the expansion of rooftop solar, the authors wrote.
In the U.S., solar prices increased quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year for the first time since 2014. Experts say near-term supply chain constraints and trade disputes threaten President Biden's solar goals.
“Customer-sited solar is a huge opportunity that’s often completely overlooked. Thanks to falling costs and policy measures, it’s already being rapidly deployed in some markets. Its massive scale-up is very likely,” said Vincent Petit, Head of the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute, and SVP of Global Strategy Prospective & External Affairs at Schneider Electric. “This is vital for decarbonizing the power sector and offers huge additional consumer benefits. It’s time to embrace this transformation.”
The report states that modest and stable compensation leads to higher customer-sited solar PV rates than generous and unstable rates. The authors say, as the market takes off, subsidies must be removed to protect government budgets and cross-subsidizing between customers, and fair-value payments are more likely to support the next growth stage for rooftop solar.
In California, grid market regulators are considering an update to net energy metering policy that could result in a significant drop in credit to residential and commercial rooftop solar PV generators. Utilities in the market argue that non-solar PV customers are unfairly burdened with costs to support solar PV customers.
"Customer-sited solar and storage provide benefits not only to the customer but also to the system. As solar penetrations rise and markets mature, the regulator’s challenge is no longer to stimulate the market, but to move towards incentive structures that distribute the benefits ‘fairly,'" the authors wrote.
Policies that lower export rates to be below retail rates will incentivize customers to consume solar generation on-site and spur the growth of energy storage, the report finds. Both solar-only and solar+storage customers in California would be adversely impacted by a reduction in net metering, though residential rates are almost 3 percentage points higher when adding batteries into the scenario.
Time-of-use and time of production pricing signals, when properly designed, can also encourage the addition of storage to solar PV installations, according to the report.
The authors say utilities and regulators should remove penalties and simplify permitting processes to allow market growth.
New Jersey-based utility Public Service Enterprise Group has signed a multi-decade lease for land which will be used as a major manufacturing and assembly port to support the offshore wind industry.
PSEG and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) signed a lease allowing up to 78 years on an artificial island within Salem County. It would be home to the New Jersey Wind Port, providing a site for staging, assembly, and manufacturing work related to offshore wind development along the East Coast.
“The lease signing with the NJEDA is cause for celebration as the New Jersey Wind Port will provide a foundation for even more carbon-free energy in our region,” PSEG Chief Operating Officer Ralph LaRossa said. “Alongside PSEG’s nuclear plants, the New Jersey Wind Port will establish South Jersey as the heart of New Jersey’s clean energy economy.”
PSEG broke ground on the site last week. The construction is expected to be completed sometime in 2023.
Offshore wind is a key component of New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s Energy Master Plan to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2050. To that end, the state is committing to investing more than $150 billion to produce 7,500 MW of offshore wind power capacity by 2035.
The New Jersey Wind Port is being located on an artificial island on the eastern shores of the Delaware River, southwest of the city of Salem. With an expensive footprint, lack of height restrictions and access to the Atlantic Ocean’s wind farm lease areas, supporters say, the New Jersey facility can house offshore wind turbine marshaling and manufacturing activities.
Turbine towers can be hundreds of feet tall and impossible to transport under bridges, power lines and other barriers, the PSEG release noted.
A former coal mine in Southwest Virginia will be redeveloped for a utility-scale solar project.
The collaboration by the Nature Conservancy and Dominion Energy will repurpose 1,200 acres of the former Red Onion surface mine to generate approximately 50 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power 12,500 homes.
“This project is a huge win for Southwest Virginia’s economy,” said Ed Baine, president of Dominion Energy Virginia. “It’s also another major step toward building a 100% clean energy economy in Virginia. Repurposing former coal mines for solar is a smart way to enhance the region’s economy and bring renewables to Southwest Virginia.”
The Nature Conservancy previously announced plans for a solar project on formerly-mined lands with Charlottesville, Virginia-based Sun Tribe and Sol Systems. Together, the projects within the Cumberland Forest Project will total 1,700 acres and 120 MW of solar energy.
“Southwest Virginia and the wider Central Appalachian coalfields have an important role to play in the renewable energy economy,” said Brad Kreps, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Clinch Valley Program. “Some of the region’s former mined lands are well suited for solar development and by directing development towards these areas it will help us conserve the region’s intact forests for wood products, carbon storage, wildlife habitats, outdoor recreation, and tourism. By collaborating with Dominion Energy and other companies on these initial projects, we hope to develop a model that can be replicated in other coal mining regions across the U.S.”
The Virginia Clean Economy Act calls for Dominion Energy Virginia to produce its electricity from 100% carbon-free sources by 2045.
Vineyard Wind, the 800-megawatt project offshore Massachusetts, has closed on $2.3 billion of senior debt financing, setting the stage for construction to begin.
The joint venture between Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is one of the single largest investments in a renewable energy project in the U.S. This marks the first financial close of a commercial-scale offshore wind project in the U.S.
“Achieving financial close is the most important of all milestones because today we finally move from talking about offshore wind to delivering offshore wind at scale in the U.S.," said Vineyard Wind CEO Lars T. Pedersen. "With the signing of these agreements, we now have everything in place to start construction, launching an industry that will immediately start to create jobs and make a significant contribution to meet Massachusetts’ carbon pollution reduction targets."
Vineyard Wind will issues notices to proceed to its contractors in the coming days and weeks, the company said. Onshore work begins this fall with offshore work commencing in 2022.
Located 15 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Wind is expected to begin delivering power to the grid in 2023. The offshore wind farm will generate electricity for more than 400,000 homes and businesses in Massachusetts and is expected to reduce carbon emissions by more than 1.6 million tons per year.
Vineyard Wind 1 will use GE’s Haliade-X wind turbine generators, the most powerful in operation to date. With this selection, GE Renewable Energy is poised to play a pivotal role in the development of offshore wind power in the U.S., which will be a major source of investments and job creation up and down the supply chain in communities across the region.
Global assurance and risk management provider DNV has verified the hybrid floating wind platform developed by Gazelle Wind Power with a statement of feasibility.
Gazelle Wind Power's platform combines the features of tension-leg and semi-submersible platforms to enable deepwater wind farms up to 400 meters.
“Achieving DNV verification of our disruptive platform is a major milestone that validates the 12 years of research and innovation that has gone into this technology,” said Jon Salazar, founder and president of Gazelle Wind Power. “Our system, and technologies like it, will be key in global decarbonization goals and will have a significant impact on the growth of the floating offshore wind market.”
The Gazelle Wind Power platform uses 70% steel and is one-third the weight of other floating platforms, according to the company. The platform delivers 70% less horizontal movement than semi-submersible platforms and has a tilt of less than 1 degree, and has 80% less mooring tension load than tension leg platforms.
“Gazelle’s innovative mooring system is a completely new concept,” said Claudio Bittencourt Ferreira, business development director at DNV. “Achieving the Statement of Feasibility as part of the concept assessment defined in DNVGL-SE-0422 is a confirmation that Gazelle has demonstrated technical feasibility of the technology to deliver its targets in line with the requirements of our service specification that was developed to enable innovation in the marine renewables market.”
In August, Gazelle Wind Power announced that it raised $4 million to accelerate the development of the hybrid floating offshore wind platform, including $1.3 million in seed funding and another $2.7 million in strategic long-term financing to develop the company's first grid-connected demonstrator.
Orbital Marine Power announces it will lead a pan-European consortium to deliver the €26.7 million (US$31.5 million) FORWARD-2030 project, set up to accelerate the commercial deployment of floating tidal energy.
The Fast-tracking Offshore Renewable energy With Advanced Research to Deploy 2030MW of tidal energy before 2030 (FORWARD-2030) project will run from 2021 to 2025. Between the Advisory Board and consortium members, 2030 MW of tidal energy sites have been identified and are under various stages of development.
The FORWARD-2030 project consortium will receive €20.5 million (US$24.2 million) of grant support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program to develop a multi-vector energy system that combines floating tidal energy, wind generation, grid export, battery storage and green hydrogen production.
Orbital will act as project coordinator as well as lead technology developer for the FORWARD-2030 project.
The project will see the installation of the next iteration of the Orbital turbine, integrated with a hydrogen production facility and battery storage, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland. Project partners will design options for integrating large-scale tidal power into future net-zero energy systems while developing environmental monitoring and marine spatial planning tools for large floating tidal arrays.
During the project, Orbital will advance its floating tidal turbine design, with support from technical partner SKF, who will design and build an optimized fully integrated power train solution, designed for volume manufacture. The partners will deliver several technical innovations targeting increased rated power, enhanced turbine performance and array integration solutions.
The next-generation turbine will be deployed at EMEC’s Fall of Warness tidal test site off Eday in Orkney, where the company installed the O2 this summer. EMEC will host the demonstration, facilitate hydrogen production, deliver a comprehensive environmental monitoring program, and develop a live environmental monitoring system and test program.
LABORELEC will assess large-scale integration of tidal energy to the European energy system and develop a smart energy management system and an operational forecasting tool. The University of Edinburgh will deliver techno-economic analysis of tidal energy, and the MaREI Centre at University College Cork will address marine spatial planning issues for wide-scale uptake of tidal energy.
“This endorsement of the Orbital technology by the European Commission is a huge vote of confidence in our capability to deliver commercially viable tidal energy. We now have a focused and highly experienced consortium dedicated to the delivery of tidal energy and committed to accelerating its future uptake. This alignment of interest sets FORWARD-2030 on course to have a meaningful impact as we build towards large scale commercially viable tidal energy projects,” said Oliver Wragg, Orbital’s commercial director. “Orbital has consistently delivered step changes in cost reduction for the tidal energy sector and the FORWARD-2030 project will enable us to take that next step.”
Rob Flynn, Commercial Manager of EMEC said: “FORWARD-2030 will show what the energy system of the future looks like by combining offshore renewable generation, with onshore wind and EMEC’s onshore hydrogen and storage facilities – all done in the novel context of an island grid. The project represents a major step forward for the commercialization of tidal energy and we are delighted it has received this significant stamp of approval from the European Commission.”
Global energy companies TotalEnergies and Air Liquide have inked a deal to cooperate on the development of green hydrogen and carbon capture technologies in France.
The deal enables TotalEnergies to leverage Air Liquide’s expertise in low-carbon hydrogen production to decarbonize its Normandy platform in France.
Air Liquide will operate the TotalEnergies Normandy site which produces 255 tons of hydrogen per day and connect its network for optimal performance.
Air Liquide’s network includes a hydrogen production facility in Port-Jérôme equipped with a carbon capture solution since 2015. The takeover of TotalEnergies’ facility will result in the site producing green hydrogen and enable Air Liquide to add a large-scale green hydrogen electrolyzer to its network.
The two parties will launch a feasibility study for the implementation of a carbon capture and storage facility to decarbonize operations at the Normandy site. Air Liquide will provide its carbon capture technology whilst TotalEnergies will be responsible for the transportation of captured carbon through its projects in Norway and the Netherlands.
The projects are expected to reduce emissions of 650,000 of carbon per year through 2030 and are in line with a goal set by the two companies to reduce emissions in Normandy by 3 million tons per year by 2030.
Air Liquide and TotalEnergies will use the collaboration to meet their 2050 net-zero emissions target.
Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals and Member of the Executive Committee of TotalEnergies, said: “This planned investment at our Normandy platform will enhance its industrial competitiveness and secure its long-term future. We are delighted to partner with Air Liquide on low-carbon hydrogen projects so we can work together on reducing the carbon emissions from our industrial operations.”
Analysis by Sage Energy Consulting estimates the value of California solar could drop 40-80% under the proposed policy change.
Now, we wait.
Over the next three months, the California Public Utilities Commission will weigh arguments before making a decision on the next generation of net metering policy -- a ruling that is likely to have a seismic impact on the solar industry.
CPUC is expected to release the 'Net Energy Metering 3.0' policy in December, updating how utilities credit residential and commercial rooftop solar generators for power sent back to the grid. The transition from NEM 2.0 to NEM 3.0 could happen by the end of 2022.
The debate over net metering policy is not new, and it extends beyond California. But what happens in the Golden State -- the largest solar market in the U.S. -- sends ripples throughout the solar industry.
Tom Williard, co-founder of Sage Energy Consulting, told Renewable Energy World that the CPUC appears to be on track to reduce the value of energy produced by residential and commercial solar PV systems by 40-80%, favoring regulated utilities and ratepayer advocates.
The arguments, he said, boil down to equity and cost-shifting from solar PV customers to non-solar PV customers.
"We think (the proposed changes) will really depress the market for, at least, the next few years," Williard said, adding that supply chain and trade issues are already putting pressure on the solar industry. "This is a serious issue."Sage’s modeling of the Joint IOU’s proposal shows that commercial customers with a solar PV system sized to offset 90% of their load, a typical target system size, would see a loss in the value of solar in the range of 40%-80%
The three regulated utilities in California -- Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric -- formed the "Affordable Clean Energy for All" coalition, arguing millions of their customers are over-burdened with costs to support customers with solar PV systems.
The solar industry's "Save California Solar" campaign argues the proposed NEM 3.0 would allow utilities to block competition from rooftop solar and delay the state's clean energy goals.
The first bit of bad news for the solar industry came in June when the CPUC voted to drastically reduce the calculated value of solar energy.
"The big utilities’ proposals would not come close to providing a fair credit, given what we know about the many value streams of rooftop solar, community solar, and storage," Vote Solar's Senior Regional Director Susannah Churchill said. "California must make local solar and storage even more affordable and accessible, particularly to vulnerable communities and low-income communities."A graphic from the Affordable Clean Energy for All coalition, formed by the three regulated utilities in California -- Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Williard is advising solar PV clients to request interconnection with CPUC as soon as possible to be grandfathered into NEM 2.0 before NEM 3.0 takes effect, just in case. He said there is the chance of either a settlement between the parties or litigation over the CPUC's eventual ruling.
Contributed by Matt Cramer, ArcVera Renewables
Running power performance tests (PPTs) on operational assets is a highly complex task that requires a significant amount of experience.When should I carry out power performance tests?
Power performance testing is carried out to determine the economic value of a wind project and to ensure that projects are performing to expectations. Performance testing allows investors to identify project underperformance, ensure that projects are generating the expected return on investment, and manage investment risk.
By plotting the power generated against the wind speed, the power curve compares actual on-site results to the warranted power curve in order to identify any deviations or anomalies, which are then analyzed to pinpoint the root cause. The OEM will often recommend actions for improving performance, such as adding vortex generators, adjusting control parameters, or increasing the rated power to maximize the annual energy production and potential revenue of a wind farm.
Beyond turbine performance verification, power performance testing is also conducted for regulatory compliance and warranty verification. Performance testing is warranted for new turbine models or models with inconsistent PPT results. PPTs are also recommended for projects in simple terrain and are a must-do in certain site conditions, such as complex terrain, high elevation, low-temperature, and extreme precipitation, that have no proven performance for the selected wind turbine generator (WTG) model. Terrain deviations in wind projects can have significant impacts on the turbine performance over the project lifetime.
The effects of wakes, terrain-induced turbulence, up flow, veer, and shear due to the proximity of turbines to terrain features and to each other, as well as atmospheric conditions, all tend to have a negative impact on turbine performance. Newer methods for power performance testing can account for many of these conditions, as well as reduce the cost of testing, by utilizing remote sensing to quantify shear, veer, turbulence, inflow angles, and other factors to enable normalization of data for these atmospheric factors. The use of remote sensing can also reduce the cost of testing by enabling the use of shorter meteorological towers (or no towers at all in the case of nacelle-mounted LIDAR testing).How do I select the right PPT provider?
Because testing is carried out according to a standard, PPT methodologies do not vary significantly among providers. However, this is not to say that all providers are equal in quality of service; differences will be apparent in a provider’s troubleshooting methodologies and execution recommendations are given for when to run a test and how to deploy instruments efficiently and accurately. Because the quality of a provider’s methodologies may be difficult to evaluate right off the bat, it is essential to be able to identify other markers of a good PPT provider beforehand. Listed below are two of the most critical parameters for turbine owners to look for when selecting their PPT provider:
A high level of confidence in test results is achieved by ensuring that on-site measurements have high data availability and low scatter.
The quality of the data collected (high versus low data availability) is partly dependent on the weather. For example, tests that run in weather windows with high winds and mild temperatures will generally be time-efficient due to high data availability. On the other hand, cold weather, ice, lightning, and other extreme weather can cause instrument failure and low data availability.
In addition to conducive weather, securing high data availability also requires the constant monitoring of sensors. Monitoring sensors around the clock allows for catching problems early, promptly troubleshooting, and repairing or replacing sensors as needed. Using reliable, high-quality equipment and having a responsive site manager and meteorological tower (met tower) crew available to troubleshoot are prerequisites for successful sensor monitoring.
Scatter is driven mainly by real-world conditions and wind turbine performance. It can be reduced by placing the met tower closer to the turbine (within the lower end of the 2D to 4D range allowed by the IEC). It should be noted, however, that moving the met tower closer to the turbine can also exaggerate the much-discussed “blockage effect” on the power curve test. This method of scatter reduction is indeed a trade-off, so the pros and cons must be weighed carefully.
Additionally, beyond the minimum requirements of the IEC standard, restricting the wind-direction sector can also help reduce scatter. This is done by utilizing the blockage effect, which can sometimes be quantified by segregating data into two different categories: 1) when the wind comes from a direction that places the met tower upwind of the test turbine and 2) when the wind comes from a direction that places the met tower to the side of the test turbine where it is not subjected to blockage from the turbine rotor.
Scenario testing, or “what if” analyses, can be used to troubleshoot inconsistent results and thus increase confidence in those results. By restricting data or, for example, comparing data between different turbine operating states, it becomes easier to identify what might be driving any discrepancies in turbine performance results. A large, geographically diverse wind turbine operational database is required to support this analysis. ArcVera’s extensive PPT database for wind farms across the United States is one of the tools that aids ArcVera in its ability to proficiently perform such detailed analyses.What are the key steps involved in the delivery of successful power performance tests?
While power performance testing comprises several processes, in general, a PPT requires three overarching phases:
The test plan is a highly detailed document that is written in accordance with the IEC 61400-12 standard and depicts all details concerning test methodology. The test plan is a preliminary document that helps the client and test supplier make sure that the test methodology will meet the client’s requirements and that the goals of the test are mutually understood. It requires significant effort and input from multiple parties and involves reducing risks related to compliance with the Turbine Supply Agreement (TSA), IEC 61400-12 standard, test laboratory accreditation requirements, and turbine vendor requirements.
Hardware selection and deployment
Hardware must meet wind turbine vendor, client, and IEC requirements. In addition, additional requirements are sometimes placed on the hardware by the grid operator. Selection and specification of appropriate and compliant hardware is a crucial capability acquired through comprehensive experience with test execution. Particular attention should be given to calibration requirements. Calibration certificates are required by many accreditation bodies, so ensuring that the supplier has those certificates during procurement will help to avoid problems later. Hardware field performance and compatibility with the DAS are other important considerations. Equipment shipping must be coordinated and the enclosure setup tested. Hardware should be shipped directly to the site and installed according to procedures so that the test hardware installation meets the accreditation requirements.
Data collection analysis and reporting
Clear and transparent reporting is key to a successful test. Data must be regularly checked for errors and immediately input into a database that calculates bin completion. Errors due to meteorological events are often challenging for unseasoned analysts to recognize, which is another reason prioritizing a PPT provider’s experience level is so important. For example, one weather condition that is often not identified until after data analysis is icing, which can often lead to detrimental sensor failures. Icing is likely to be filtered out during post-processing, but it can lead to undetected sensor damage if the analyst does not apply deliberate scrutiny. Sensor damage can invalidate test results if unchecked or not addressed promptly.
Experience level also comes into play if the wind turbine vendor requirements include filtering out periods of precipitation, as this involves a degree of professional judgment to decide if conditions such as heavy fog or light mist should be regarded as meaningful precipitation.
Automated data processing and reporting tools exist to allow experts to recalculate the power curve quickly and easily. These tools will not, however, remove the need for experts. For example, subsets of the collected data can be selected by the expert analyst to restrict the test period, valid direction sector, turbine availability definition, wind shear filters, turbulence filters, and other data filters to help troubleshoot inconsistent results. With the proper expertise, DAS and sensor failures due to lightning strikes or other causes can be accurately diagnosed by examining the data.
Despite the fact that troubleshooting is a regular occurrence that requires experienced personnel, it is not always possible to require such a stipulation within a time-bound proposal process. Therefore, it is critical for turbine owners to do their due diligence beforehand and seek out PPT providers with enough experience to be able to effectively troubleshoot any unexpected issues, should they arise.Should I opt for lidar or met towers?
There are two main ways of assessing a site’s wind resource: met towers and lidar.
Meteorological towers (met towers) configured with industry-standard anemometers to gather wind-speed measurements are the wind industry’s most widely accepted wind measurement methodology. Anemometer-based measurements have been used for decades for wind energy measurement application purposes to technically support project financings.
This long history of use translates to an accepted level of measurement uncertainty for project finance technical due diligence requirements. Met towers are particularly cost-effective as tilt-up versions; however, tilt-up towers above 80 meters are typically more expensive and are more difficult to permit. In the United States and many other countries, reliable and expensive aviation lighting is required for towers higher than 60 meters (200 feet), and depending on the structure, higher than 60-meter towers may have decreased weather ratings.
Higher met towers are also structures of unique designs, using steel or aluminum welded lattice structural geometry that introduces wind flow obstruction properties that are not well understood and require unique sensor mounting hardware to mitigate.
Adding to the cost equation is met towers are simply difficult to reuse – the decommissioning and re-shipment of the tower is costly; adding more expense if higher towers often require a concrete foundation that must be removed, and the sensors must be either replaced or recalibrated after each use. The highest quality anemometers use a bearing system that is not User serviceable, requiring the time-consuming and expensive process of sending the sensor back to the factory for bearing replacement and calibration.
Lidar, on the other hand, is small, mobile, and reusable but is not generally accepted as a permanent monitoring system. Lidar has only recently been allowed for commercial tests under Edition 2 of IEC 61400-12-1, though the standard does not allow for the use of lidar in complex terrain. With lower test data scatter, good uncertainty numbers, much lower costs than traditional power curve testing, and faster test time due to reduced time for planning met tower logistics, it is quite likely that lidar will be more widely accepted in the future.
The upcoming IEC 61400-50-3 standard for measuring wind using nacelle-mounted lidar in flat terrain could soon become a game-changer, as the need for met towers could be eliminated entirely for many sites.
While lidar may remove the need for a hub height tower and thereby reduce costs and permitting complications, there are nevertheless other issues and logistical challenges to consider, such as power supply. As well, lidar verification must be done at intervals, potentially leading to longer, more expensive test campaigns. Unlike the anemometer, the lidar data recovery rate is generally not 100 percent, which reduces data availability and could induce delays in test completion, so any cost benefits may be lost.How do larger turbine sizes impact performance testing requirements?
Larger rotors lead to more scatter in the data, which has partly inspired some changes in Edition 2 of the IEC 61400-12-1 standard, including allowing the use of lidar to measure shear and veer. Because of this new allowance and of the growing frequency of larger rotors, lidar measurement is likely to gain popularity in the coming years.
Since performing PPTs on individual WTGs is likely to become more expensive with higher hub heights, owners will end up testing fewer machines per megawatt of energy production since IEC and warranty requirements do not change with increased size. The number of tests required is typically calculated as a percentage of the number of turbines rather than the overall project capacity. For example, a project consisting of one hundred 1 MW turbines would require more tests than a project of the same size with two 5 MW turbines.
The use of a short met tower and lidar (as prescribed under Edition 2 of the IEC standard) is less expensive and reduces some of the logistical challenges associated with the installation of a hub height met tower; however, there is also higher uncertainty in this type of test. Because of this, ArcVera clients would generally be advised to stick with hub height met tower installation, as prescribed under Edition 1 of the IEC standard, in order to minimize test uncertainty and maximize coverage under the power curve warranty.
Hub height met towers are likely to continue to be the gold standard, especially since they are still feasible for hub heights of up to at least 120 meters. Nacelle anemometry can be accurate if used together with one or more met towers to create a nacelle transfer function. This method has been successfully used in the past both for warranty verification and to allow evaluation of the performance of all wind turbines at a wind farm.
Going forward, it is likely that nacelle lidar will be used instead of nacelle-mounted anemometers for many applications. This is particularly probable in the case of offshore wind farms. Offshore sites differ significantly from onshore sites in terms of layout and turbine size. The installation of met towers in the ocean has proven to be costly, time-consuming, and as such, impractical. As the terrain and elevation are consistent, nacelle-mounted lidar tests have become standard practice.Conclusion
Power performance testing is executed in order to determine the economic value of a wind project and to ensure that projects are performing as they are supposed to, in turn allowing investors to identify project underperformance and manage investment risk. Power performance testing is also conducted for regulatory compliance and warranty verification and is recommended for projects in simple terrain and other types of site conditions.
Although PPT methodologies do not vary significantly among providers due to the guidance of industry-utilized IEC standards, not all providers are equal in quality of service; differences are most apparent in a provider’s troubleshooting methodologies, test execution recommendations, and instrument deployment approach. Because informed judgment in making those pivotal decisions is what sets providers apart, and because power performance testing is such a complex task, depth of experience is the most crucial consideration for owners to look for when choosing a provider. The best PPT professionals will have used the totality of their experience to thoughtfully establish best practices for accurately scoping, managing, and delivering projects.
PPT services, while standardized, are complex and nuanced. Experienced providers recognize the planning value as well as the most expensive, time-delaying pitfalls. Procurement of PPT services should include careful attention to the firm’s experience doing PPT tests in a variety of locations. It is also critically important to find out who will actually be engaged in the assignment, since some firms tend to field their PPT services work scope using inexperienced, lower-cost staffing, presumably to maximize their margins. Acquiring an experienced PPT provider means having effective field personnel who know how to think through issues, attain reliable data, and maintain the plan-defined PPT schedule, lowering the risk of weather-related and other cost runups.
About the author:
Matt Cramer, ArcVera Renewables’ Business Development Manager & PPT Technical Services Lead
Matthew co-founded Turbine Test Services LLC. (TTS), an accredited wind turbine testing company specializing in loads testing and power performance testing and analysis. Matthew has performed extensive data analysis, deployed tests, sourced hardware, and was involved in all technical aspects of testing. Matthew joined ArcVera in October 2020 specifically to do business development for ArcVera’s PPT group with client-focused services that are responsive to client needs and closely managed and implemented by senior-level engineers.
Utility-scale energy storage startup Key Capture Energy has a new majority owner in a South Korean liquefied natural gas entity.
SK E&S Co. has acquired Key Capture Energy and will provide additional capital for the company’s growth plans in the U.S. Started in 2016. Key Capture holds 254 MW in standalone energy storage projects in construction and operation, with another 3,000 MW in the development pipeline.
The U.S. energy storage market may total $8.5 billion annually within five years, according to reports. Key Capture CEO and co-founder Jeff Bishop lauded the acquisition as a key driver of growth for the company’s next stage.
“We are extremely excited to welcome SK E&S as our new owner,” Bishop said earlier this month. “Over the last five years, we have built a market-leading team and have taken a unique approach of starting with small projects, learning by doing, and using those lessons learned from developing, constructing and operating smaller energy storage projects to transition us to the election grid of tomorrow.”
The South Korean LNG firm is part of the larger SK group which also is involved in engineering, procurement and construction of power generation projects worldwide. SK E&S has made earlier investments in U.S. clean energy firms, including Sunrun and hydrogen fuel-cell developer Plug Power.
One of Key Capture Energy’s bigger projects completed two years ago was the 20-MW KCE NY1 battery installation in Albany region of New York. KCE NY1 was the state’s largest energy storage system installed at that time and the first completed under the New York Energy Research and Development Authority’s incentive program for utility-scale battery technologies.
UK planning authorities have approved plans for GE Renewable Energy's offshore wind blade manufacturing plant in Teeside.
Construction on the manufacturing plant is expected to begin later this year. The facility will be operated by LM Wind Power and will be focused on the production of GE's 107-meter offshore wind blade as a component of the Haliade-X offshore wind turbine.
“We are delighted to have received this important approval from the Local Planning Authorities and are thankful for the collaboration between all parties involved, including Teesworks and the South Tees Development Corporation," LM Wind Power CEO Olivier Fontan said. "There is still a lot of work in front of us but this an important milestone for the construction and future opening of the facility. We are proud of the contribution we will be making in rejuvenating this industrial cluster and helping it play a key role in future of renewable energy.”
With this approval, the offshore wind blade manufacturing plant is expected to be operational in 2023. The project is expected to directly generate 750 jobs.
Blades manufactured at the facility will support the Dogger Bank offshore wind farm which, once completed in 2026, will have an installed generation capacity of 3.6 GW. Dogger Bank will be the world's largest offshore wind farm.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard was launched Sept. 8 at the International Hydropower Association’s World Hydropower Congress and will help to ensure that hydropower projects across the world are recognized and certified for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
Developed by a coalition of industry, governments, multilateral and financial institutions and civil society organizations, the certification scheme aims to build trust and promote transparency in the hydropower sector.
“This new certification system is a game-changer for hydropower and is unmatched in the renewables sector,” commented Ashok Khosla, chair of the Hydropower Sustainability Council, which issued the new certification system.
The Hydropower Sustainability Standard is launched after a public consultation by the Hydropower Sustainability Council, with the support of IHA. The standard is cited in the San José Declaration on Sustainable Hydropower, to be issued at the conclusion of the World Hydropower Congress, as the means to demonstrate a project’s sustainability.
Leading IHA members have declared their support for the new certification scheme, according to a release. Developers, operators and manufacturers – from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Sarawak (Malaysia), the UK and the U.S. – have either already confirmed they will put forward projects for certification or have urged their clients to comply with the new standard.
Hydropower projects will have to meet strict ESG performance criteria after an independent assessment to be awarded a Certified Sustainable Hydropower label. Projects can be certified during planning, construction and operation, and the highest performers will be recognized with Silver and Gold certification status.
“To meet the critical challenge of climate change, we urgently need greater investment in renewable energy such as hydropower,” Dr Khosla said. “Due to the scale of investment required, the hydropower sector needs a credible, transparent certification scheme that will incentivise the best projects. This will give communities, governments and investors greater confidence about their net benefits and how impacts on the local environment are mitigated.”
IHA said it would expect its members to certify new projects under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard, in line with the organization’s updated membership charter. Achieving certification will help demonstrate alignment with the green bond requirements of the Climate Bonds Initiative and the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Investment, as well as with World Bank and IFC performance standards.
“Hydropower is at the heart of the energy transition alongside wind and solar,” said IHA Chief Executive Eddie Rich. “The Hydropower Sustainability Standard is a clear and simple system to certify and assure hydropower projects as meeting minimum environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance expectations. It will address any confusion about whether a new hydropower project is sustainable and will, crucially, help to unblock green investment and licensing decisions.”
Hydropower developers and operators seeking certification under the Hydropower Sustainability Standard can access a grant to part sponsor the cost of an independent project assessment. Up to CHF1 million (US$ 1.02 million) is available for 40 or more projects over four years. The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Assessment Fund is managed by IHA’s non-profit sustainability division and funded by the Swiss government’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
IHA is a non-profit membership organization with a mission to advance sustainable hydropower by building and sharing knowledge on its role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions.
The Illinois legislature gave final approval Monday to a bill that sets the state on a path to 100% carbon-free power by 2045.
The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act heads to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk to be signed into law, which he has indicated he plans to do.
"Senate Bill 2408 represents the most robust energy justice bill in the nation and sets new precedent for how states can help navigate a just transition to a renewable energy economy that puts disadvantaged communities at the helm," John Delurey, senior regional director for Vote Solar's lobbying efforts in the Midwest, said in a statement. "The bill is transformative far beyond the renewable energy sector, with policies around utility ethics reform, transportation electrification, and pollution reductions."
The bill will keep three Excelon nuclear plants open for five years while requiring the state's coal and natural gas plants to decarbonize or close by 2045. The bill provides over $80 million per year for solar and energy workforce development, expands the Illinois Solar for All program, and offers electric vehicle and transportation incentives.
If signed into law, the bill will make Illinois the 11th state to mandate 100% carbon-free energy.
“Illinois is the first state in the country with a climate action plan that centers equity and economic investments in clean energy to help communities that need them the most,” said J.C. Kibbey, Illinois clean energy advocate for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). “The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act can serve as a national example of how a transition to clean energy can create jobs, protect communities and keep utilities accountable.”
Despite annual record-breaking installations, supply chain constraints and trade issues are driving price increases across every solar market segment, according to new analysis.
A report released Tuesday by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie found that solar prices increased quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year for the first time since Wood Mackenzie began modeling solar market prices in 2014.
“This is a critical moment for our climate future but price increases, supply chain disruptions and a series of trade risks are threatening our ability to decarbonize the electric grid,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. “If we want to incentivize domestic manufacturing and drive enough solar deployment to tackle the climate crisis, we must see action from our federal leaders.”
The U.S. installed 5.7 gigawatts of solar PV in Q2 2021 to reach a total capacity of 108.7 GW, enough to power 18.9 million homes, according to the report. Q2 2021 installations represented a 45% year-over-year increase and the largest Q2 on record.
Still, solar prices have increased and are likely to continue trending higher through next year because of supply chain constraints and trade issues, the report authors said. The most significant price increases are being seen with input costs, like steel and aluminum, and elevated freight costs.
“The solar industry continues to demonstrate strong quarterly growth, and demand is high across every segment,” said Michelle Davis, principal analyst at Wood Mackenzie and lead author of the report. “But the industry is now bumping up against multiple challenges, from elevated equipment prices to complex interconnection processes. Addressing these challenges will be critical to expanding the industry’s growth and meeting clean energy targets.”
Wood Mackenzie forecasts an annual average of 29 GW of solar capacity additions through 2026, far short of the pace needed to reach President Biden's goal of solar representing 45% of the U.S. electricity supply by 2050. Average annual solar capacity additions must reach 80 GW from 2022 through 2035 to meet the goal.
Solar developers are rushing to take advantage of the Investment Tax Credit before it phases down under current law. Fully-funded extensions of the ITC and Production Tax Credit are included in the $1.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill being considered by Congress.Trade issues threaten Biden's solar target
Ben Catt, CEO of Pine Gate Renewables, a North Carolina utility-scale solar developer with a portfolio just under 1 GW, commended the Biden administration for taking steps to extend incentives for renewable energy. But he added that, without improvements to the supply chain and trade landscape, the administration will fall short of its solar capacity goals.
Catt said significant swings in build costs have led the renewable energy developer to slow certain initiatives.
"The biggest challenge that comes with a lot of these trade policy fights is just the uncertainty that we have as developers in what that means for our business model and how we're going to advance what we're doing," Catt said. "Those things are incredibly difficult for us to plan our business around."
The U.S. government's enforcement of the Withhold Release Order (WRO) on metallurgical-grade silicon (MGS) from companies with facilities in China's Xinjiang region, as well as the possible extension of the Section 201 tariffs on imported solar modules, have added to the uncertainty. Additional tariffs could come, too, from the Antidumping and Countervailing Duties (AD/CVD) case involving companies from Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
"When you start to put tariffs on top of these things that aren't really all that effective when it comes to incentivizing domestic manufacturing," Catt said of the Section 201 tariffs, "those tariffs are getting stacked on top of the build costs and then that gets passed on to those competitive processes where we're selling energy.
"So, ultimately, the cost of those tariffs is largely getting worn by ratepayers," he said.
The U.S. connected 6.1 gigawatts of wind power capacity to the grid in the first half of 2021, according to analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The U.S. now has 127 GW of cumulative wind power capacity with a pipeline of 62 GW under development through 2025.
Here are the 10 largest wind farm projects completed in the U.S. (so far) in 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence reports.10. Texas Gulf Wind Repower - Kenedy, Texas Pattern Energy’s Gulf Wind facility in Kenedy County, Texas
Pattern Energy Group began construction on the repowering of its Gulf Wind facility in December 2019, replacing existing wind turbines with 118 new Siemens Gamesa 2.3-MW turbines, for a total new installed capacity of 271 MW. The ultimate owner of the wind farm will be the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
The Gulf Wind facility entered into a new 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy for the majority of the facility’s energy production. The remaining output will be sold at merchant power prices.
Over 25 years, Gulf Wind is expected to contribute approximately $90 million to the local economy through tax and landowner payments. The Gulf Wind facility sits on 9,600 acres leased from the Kenedy Memorial Foundation. All monies received by the Foundation support its charitable causes to fight poverty, boost education, and build stronger communities.
Gulf Wind began operation in 2009. In late August 2017, the facility withstood Hurricane Harvey, one of the strongest hurricanes to hit the area in recent history. Following the storm, when the facility was deemed undamaged and safe to resume operations, Gulf Wind returned to supplying much-needed energy to the Texas grid.9. Las Majadas Wind Project - Willacy, Texas West Wind Reinforcing crews work on the 272 MW Las Majadas Wind Project in Willacy, Texas (Courtesy: West Wind Reinforcing)
EDF Renewables developed the 272 MW Las Majadas Wind Project in Willacy, Texas using 125 Vestas V120-2.2MW turbines. The project reached commercial operation in March 2021 in support of the Texas grid. In 2019, a subsidiary of an investment firm owned by the Abu Dhabi government, Masdar, purchased a 50% stake in the Las Majadas Wind Project, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.8. Aurora Wind Project - Williams, North Dakota Enel Green Power North America developed, and now owns and operates, the 299 MW, 71-turbine Aurora Wind Project in Williams, North Dakota. (Courtesy: Enel Green Power North America)
Enel Green Power North America developed, and now owns and operates, the 299 MW, 71-turbine Aurora Wind Project in Williams, North Dakota. The total project can generate approximately 1.3 terawatt-hours (TWh) annually, enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes.
In 2019, Global apparel retailer Gap Inc. signed a 90-MW virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for the Aurora Wind Project with Enel Green Power North America, marking one of the largest offsite renewable energy contracts by an apparel retailer.
The wind electricity output purchased by Gap Inc. from the 90 MW portion of Enel Green Power’s 299 MW Aurora project is expected to total approximately 374 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year. The company set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy across its global owned and operated facilities by 2030.7. Milligan I Wind Project - Saline, Nebraska Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives and EDF Renewables North America partnered to build the 300 MW Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County in southeast Nebraska in 2019. (Courtesy: EDF Renewables)
Infrastructure and Energy Alternatives and EDF Renewables North America partnered to build the 299 MW Milligan 1 Wind Farm in Saline County in southeast Nebraska in 2019. Enel Group is the ultimate owner of the project, according to S&P.
The power generated by the project’s planned 99 turbines will be delivered into the Southwest Power Pool electrical grid.
The wind farm, which is located near Nebraska’s capital city of Lincoln, will draw upon power generated from a combination of Vestas V110, Siemens 129 and Siemens 145 turbines.6. Neosho Ridge Wind Project - Neosho, Kansas Neosho Ridge Wind Project
Liberty Utilities completed its purchase of the 139-turbine, 300 MW Neosho Ridge Wind Project in May. The project is expected to generate savings of $169 million for customers over a 20-year period and $300 million over a 30-year period, according to the utility.5. Deuel Harvest Wind Farm - Deuel, South Dakota Deuel Harvest Wind Farm in Deuel, South Dakota (Courtesy: Southern Power)
Southern Power acquired the 301 MW Deuel Harvest Wind Farm project in Deuel, South Dakota in May -- it's 14th wind project. The project consists of 109 wind turbines manufactured by GE Renewable Energy.
The wind farm reached commercial operation on Feb. 23, 2021. Electricity and renewable energy credits from the project are being sold to Great River Energy and Xcel Energy through power purchase agreements. Southern Power remains the majority owner, while Invenergy has a minority stake in the project.4. Frontier Windpower II Project - Kay, Oklahoma Duke Energy owns the 350 MW Frontier Windpower II project in Kay, Oklahama, an expansion of the 220-MW Frontier Windpower project that has been in operation since 2016. (Courtesy: Duke Energy)
Duke Energy owns the 350 MW Frontier Windpower II project in Kay, Oklahama, an expansion of the 220-MW Frontier Windpower project that has been in operation since 2016. In total, Frontier I and II are expected to generate 550 MW of wind energy, enough to power 193,000 homes.
Nordex Group supplied 74, 4.8-MW wind turbines to the project.
AT&T and Ball Corp. each signed 15-year virtual power purchase agreements for wind energy generated at Frontier II.3. Isabella Wind Project - Isabella, Michigan Isabella Wind Project in Michigan (Courtesy: Apex Clean Energy)
Apex Clean Energy announced commercial operation and the sale of the 384 MW Isabella Wind Project in Isabella, Michigan to DTE Energy in May, 2021.
The project serves commercial customers -- including Ford, General Motors, and the University of Michigan -- through DTE's voluntary renewable energy program. Isabella Wind Project will generate $30 million in tax revenue and $100 million in landowner payments over the life of the project.2. Jordan Creek Wind Farm - Warren, Indiana Jordan Creek Wind Farm (Courtesy: NextEra Energy)
NextEra Energy owns the 400-MW Jordan Creek Wind Farm in Warren, Indiana, featuring 146 GE wind turbines.
The project provides approximately $75 million in payments to landowners and generates approximately $590 million in tax revenue for Benton and Warren counties.1. Maverick Creek Wind Project - Concho, Texas The 492-MW Maverick Creek Wind Project in Concho, Texas, is the largest U.S. wind project to be completed through the first half of 2021.
The project is located in a particularly favorable wind area in central Texas, which is the leading state in the U.S. for wind energy production. RES developed the project, which is owned by Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp.
In 2019, Minnesota-based food producer General Mills signed a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement with Roaring Fork Wind LLC, a joint venture between RES and Steelhead Americas, for 200 MW of power generated at the project.
The wind farm will produce renewable energy credits that, combined with the company’s previous agreement, should equal 100 percent of electricity used annually at General Mill’s domestic facilities, according to a release.
By Power Engineering International
Although wind is expected to play a key role in environmental sustainability through the decarbonization of power generation, adopting a circular approach across the entire value chain is vital.
With over 14,000 wind turbine blades expected to reach the end of their usable life within the next three years in the UK, recycling them will help the sector reduce its carbon footprint, according to the Wind Turbine Blade Recycling P2 report released by the Energy Transition Alliance.
The report states that cross-sector collaboration is needed in the UK to maximize wind turbine recycling and to make the region a global leader in a circular economy within the wind turbine sector.
The report, compiled using funds from the Net Zero Technology Centre and Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, provides five recommendations the UK can adopt to improve the application of circular economy approaches within the wind turbine industry:
Pamela Lomoro, Project Manager at the Net Zero Technology Centre said: “…the early generation of turbines are now being decommissioned and replaced with higher capacity models.
“The report illustrates what can be achieved in this industry if we can develop a collaborative approach that involves all sectors striving for sustainable decommissioning. With input from manufacturers through to end-users, we can reinvent how wind turbines are recycled.”
By adopting a cross-sector approach, the UK could recover up to 50,000 tonnes of composite material and recycle it for a variety of re-use applications by 2023.
The report states that collaboration amongst players in various industries could help the UK better understand the circular economy – a business approach vital for net-zero goals to be achieved and maintained. This in turn would avoid land degradation as a result of disposals in landfills.
The report urges the wind turbine sector to replicate its success achieved in previous years in optimizing installations, operations, and maintenance, within the circular economy.
As more and more wind turbines will need to be retired, recycled, or repowered, investing in a circular economy will help the UK create thousands of green jobs. A previous report by the Energy Transition Alliance identified an extra 20,000 jobs could be created with a circular economy for wind turbines.
Although the majority of wind turbines on the market are claimed to be 90% recyclable, the blades which are made from composite layers of stiff carbon or glass fibers in a resin matrix, are notoriously challenging to reclaim and reprocess.
Lorna Bennet, Project Lead at ORE Catapult, adds: “The best solution is likely to come from a multi-sector approach because of the economies of scale required to create a market for recycled material. Likewise, the drive for better practices in recycling techniques and to develop better research and technologies will come from innovation and cross-industry collaboration.
“WindEurope estimates that 10% of all composite material waste will come from the wind sector over the coming years. It is a massive opportunity and with the right funding, policy direction, and appetite, we could see the UK become a global leader in circular economy solutions.”
Read the report.