New York wind power and related updates

From around the web:

US Offshore Wind Collaborative releases “U.S. Offshore Wind Energy: A Path Forward” report. The report sums up New York offshore initiatives (pp. 12, 15) as follows:

In September 2008, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and Consolidated Edison, Inc. (two New York-based utilities) initiated a joint study to determine suitable locations, wind energy resources, and transmission and interconnection requirements for a large wind project off Long Island. Analysis concluded that 700 MW of wind power capacity would be feasible, provided appropriate upgrades are made to the existing transmission system.

LIPA and Consolidated Edison then formed a collaborative with several other entities interested in supporting or purchasing power from a potential 350-MW wind farm 13 miles off Rockaway, possibly expandable to the full 700 MW target. Partners included the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the New York-New Jersey Port Authority.

This collaborative issued a Request for Information in July 2009, seeking input on the proposed project from the wind industry and other stakeholders on the proposed project.

To carry out an initiative known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project, the New York Power Authority gathered support from wind power proponents including National Grid, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the University of Buffalo, wind power developers, and state and local environmental organizations. This combined effort is gathering a wide range of technical, financial, economic development, and environmental information that would be a basis for large-scale (capacity greater than 120 MW) private wind power development in the state’s future.

NYSERDA Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 1283 – deadline for submissions December 2, 2009.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks proposals to establish New York-based wind and photovoltaic (PV) test and research centers to address performance of wind and solar PV systems. The Centers will focus on testing and research related to system and component safety, performance, reliability, durability and longevity. Each Center will be made up of a coalition that could include university and private team members with expertise in the appropriate areas. The test center(s) will have physical testing at one or more locations in New York State. Teams may propose to establish a PV test and research center, a wind test and research center, or both. It is anticipated that one PV center and one wind center will be selected for funding.

New York City Buildings Department issues BULLETIN 2009-015 to establish “a protocol for acceptance criteria development, testing and approval of wind turbine product assemblies”:

In accordance with Section 28-113 of the Administrative Code, products that are identified in the Construction Codes or that the Commissioner identifies must be tested in accordance with national consensus standards by a Department-approved testing agency and be listed by such testing agency as having passed the acceptance standards of the test. In the case of wind turbine assemblies to be mounted on or near buildings or in otherwise occupied areas, there is no such national consensus standard for other than electrical components and there is no nationally recognized testing laboratory that performs testing on wind turbine assemblies. As wind turbines have the promise of generating distributed renewable power, in recognition of New York City’s long-term PlaNYC initiative to reduce carbon emissions and in the interest of the safety of New Yorkers, the Department establishes the following protocol by which manufacturers may have their products approved by the Commissioner.

Wind power updates

From the Web:

A cottage industry has arisen refurbishing and re-using old turbines.  Interesting article on potential patent infringement issues as they relate to the re-use of old wind turbine parts in Eric Lane’s Green Patent Blog.

For reasons obvious to any renewable energy-interested gadget freak, the announcement of Principle Power and Energias de Portugal (EDP) to develop a floating wind turbine project off the coast of Portugal is just, well, cool. Assuming costs can be controlled, offshore wind, with its reasonably regular winds and proximity to load centers (population centers where electricity is used),  offers tremendous potential and avoids, for obvious reasons, myriad zoning issues faced by on-land projects. Not to say there aren’t other permitting, environmental or other issues to contend with, of course.

Curious where the wind resources in New York state are? Check out the maps made available by Capital Region-based AWS Truewind in partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The New York Wind Resource Explorer (WRE) is available online.

Leonardo Energy Webinar on replacement of existing wind turbines

From Leonardo Energy:

Webinar on Replacement of existing wind turbines
Friday October 10, 2008
15h00 – 16h00 Central European Time

by Walter Hulshorst & Fernando Nuno

In countries that started early with wind energy (Germany and Denmark), old wind turbines are often placed at locations where the wind is very good. Since the best locations for wind in these countries are occupied by old wind turbines with lower energy outputs compared with new wind turbines, programmes were started to replace the old turbines (5 up to 15 years old) with modern ones. With repowering, first-generation wind turbines can be replaced with modern multi-megawatt wind turbines.

The first-generation wind turbines can then be used in developing countries. Growing energy demand in developing countries stimulates the use of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, to provide a sustainable and environmentally-friendly power supply. For most of these countries, projects with new wind turbines have proven to be unaffordable: that is why using these lower-cost turbines may be an option.

This webinar summarises results of repowering programmes and used wind turbine projects.

Clipper Windpower turbine patents

For our “gear head” readers, a patent post from our friend Eric Lane at Green Patent Blog regarding Clipper’s “uber” patented turbine.

New York and U.S. wind industry news

Beekmantown examining wind law

According to the Press Republican, the Town of Beekmantown (Clinton County) received negative comments from the Clinton County Planning Department regarding its proposed wind energy conversion systems (WECS) regulations and so has extended a wind development moratorium. The proposal had been modeled after the town’s wireless telecommunications facilities siting law.

Enfield negotiations with wind developer continue

The July 5 Ithaca Journal reports on continuing negotiations between the Town of Enfield (Tompkins County) and wind developer John Rancich. One sticky issue is whether a deal will be struck prior to Enfield passing a WECS law.

Hanover considering new wind law

The July 7 Observer reports that the Town of Hanover (Chautauqua County) is considering a WECS law, in anticipation of a Noble Environmental Power’s Ball Hill wind project.

Lackawanna Schools and Steel Winds

Buffalo Business First reports July 4 on the apparent controversy resulting from payments, or lack thereof, to the City of Lackawanna school district from BQ Energy, developer of the Steel Winds wind project.

Niagara Falls Considering Wind

The Niagara Gazette reports July 6 on the attempt by Empire State Wind to site a project in Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls mayor Paul Dyster is quoted mentioning the importance of public input.

Spafford considering wind law

WSYR-TV reports July 3 and online on the efforts by the Town of Spafford (Onondaga County) to regulate relatively small WECS.

Wind Turbine Recycling

Renewable Energy World has an interesting article on the recycling of wind turbines and the efforts of a Massachusetts company, Aeronautica Windpwer, to do just that. Per the article,

According to the company’s industry research, over 10,000 machines that were installed during the mid ‘80s and ‘90s may soon be replaced by larger, more modern turbines. That’s a lot of generation capacity that would otherwise be scrapped.

DOE announces effort to advance U.S. wind power manufacturing capacity

The U.S. Department of Energy announced June 2 that it entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with major turbine producers to push wind power generation in the U.S to 20% by 2030.

The MOU (a two-year collaboration) was signed with GE Energy, Siemens Power Generation, Vestas Wind Systems, Clipper Turbine Works, Suzlon Energy, and Gamesa Corporation.

The MOU addresses:

* Turbine Reliability and Operability Research & Development to create more reliable components; improve turbine capacity factors; and reduce installation and operations and maintenance costs.

* Siting Strategies to address environmental and technical issues like radar interference in a standardized framework based on industry best practices.

* Standards Development for turbine certification and universal generator interconnection.

* Manufacturing advances in design, process automation and fabrication techniques to reduce product-to product variability and premature failure while increasing the domestic manufacturing base.

* Workforce development including the development, standardization and certification of wind energy curricula for mechanical and power systems engineers and community college training programs.

Press release here.

Battery backup for wind?

One of the central problems in relying on wind as an energy source is that wind is not entirely reliable on a 24/7 basis. One solution would be to store some of the energy produced by wind and rely on the stored energy during times of low wind. Creating such a technology, with economics that make it viable, has proved to be challenging.

One such attempt, a double-decker-sized sodium and sulfur battery is described in a recent article of Medill Reports of Northwestern University.