U.S. wind industry invested over $14B in 2016, adding 15,000 jobs

For the second straight year, the U.S. wind industry installed more than 8 gigawatts (GW) of new wind power in 2016, adding jobs “over nine times faster than the overall economy,” nawindpower.com reports. The industry invested over $14 billion “in new wind farms built in rural America” and added nearly 15,000 jobs in 2016.  A report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) shows U.S. wind generation “grew nearly 19% during 2016, and as of the start of this year, it provides 5.5% of the nation’s electricity,” according to the article. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, “last year, wind energy became America’s No. 1 source of renewable generating capacity, further advancing U.S. energy security.” Kiernan also said the wind industry is “on the path to reliably supply 10 percent of U.S. electricity by 2020.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Wickliffe first in Ohio to install new “Wind Sphere” technology

A new wind turbine technology called “Wind Sphere” will be installed this month at the Park Ohio PMC Manufacturing Plant in Wickliffe, The News-Herald reports. Green Energy Technologies, a Park Ohio company, “designed the Wind Sphere with a shroud that amplifies the wind,” according to the article. The system allows for shorter blades that increase energy output, “making the wind turbine more conducive to populated, urban environments,” even allowing for rooftop installations. The Wickliffe Wind Sphere will be the “first of its type to be installed in the state of Ohio.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Renewable energy tax credits making huge impact on U.S. jobs, economy

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says federal tax credit extensions for wind and solar power are creating “huge gains” for U.S. employment and the gross domestic product (GDP), nawindpower.com reports. The nonprofit NRDC “analyzed the impact of the tax credits” for wind and solar that Congress extended at the end of 2015. The group published its findings in a report that shows “Ohio will add more than 10,000 jobs in 2018, and the state’s GDP is expected to get a boost of nearly $1.2 billion that year.” Kevin Steinberger, policy analyst in the group’s Climate and Clean Air Program, said, “[g]ood tax policies to boost wind and solar projects are creating new jobs, growing our economy, and providing climate and public health benefits.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

What does repeal of the Clean Power Plan mean for the environment?

President Trump recently signed an executive order rescinding the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) (see our June 9, 2014 blog post), a move that eliminates the nation’s first mandate for power plants to reduce carbon emissions. Without that mandate, “America’s electrical power industry could continue to emit high levels of CO2,” according to Ken Kimmell, president of science advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, in a recent CBSnews.com article. The CPP would have helped the nation move toward “cleaner sources, like [natural] gas, and even really clean sources, like renewable energy, such as wind and solar,” which would provide “significant health benefits,” Kimmell said in the article. Cleveland.com reports that White House spokesman Sean Spicer said dismantling the CPP will “strengthen the nation’s energy security by ‘reducing unnecessary regulatory obstacles that restrict the responsible use of domestic energy resources.’” For more, read the full CBSnews.com and Cleveland.com articles. 

Environmental, Federal Climate Legislation, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

Birding groups file lawsuit to block Camp Perry wind turbine

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) and the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO) have filed a 31-page lawsuit in a U.S. District Court, asking the court “to block construction of a large wind turbine at Camp Perry near Lake Erie,” Cleveland.com reports. The two groups “are asking the court the halt the project until the National Guard obtains the proper permits and conducts environmental impact assessments required by the Endangered Species Act,” according to the article. The BSBO and ABC “successfully halted construction of the 600-kilowatt wind turbine” in 2014 after “determining the Air National Guard had failed to obtain the proper certificates.” Subsequently, the National Guard “completed an environmental assessment and obtained permission from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,” which the birding groups “maintain are inadequate.” In October 2016, the groups announced their intent to file the lawsuit if the Air National Guard did not halt their plans to build the turbine (see our November 22, 2016 blog post). For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

Buckeye Wind case goes to Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on an extension of certificate for the Buckeye Wind turbine project, the Urbana Citizen reports. The issue currently before the Ohio Supreme Court is whether a motion for extension constitutes an amendment to the original Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) certificate. Buckeye Wind attorney Michael Settineri “said nothing has changed in the project facility from when the board approved the amendment to Buckeye I through the motion for extension.” Settineri notes, for example, that “the turbines [are] in the same location and the setbacks remain the same.” By contrast, Jack Van Kley, an attorney for Union Neighbors United, argues that the extension is a substantive change that necessitates a re-evaluation of the project pursuant to current safety regulations. For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

For the first time, wind is U.S.’s top source of renewable energy capacity

Wind energy “grew at its second-fastest pace ever during the last three months of 2016,” passing conventional hydropower to “become the largest source of renewable electricity capacity in the U.S.,” according to a study by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), The Hill reports. AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan said in a statement, “American wind power is now the number one source of renewable capacity, thanks to more than 100,000 wind workers across all 50 states.” This U.S.-made “clean energy resource helps rural communities pay for new roads, bridges, and schools, while bringing back manufacturing jobs to the Rust Belt.” According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “wind power accounted for 4.7 percent of electricity generation in the United States” at the end of 2015; AWEA expects wind power will account for “10 percent of the U.S.’s electricity by 2020.” For more, read the full article

Renewable Energy, Wind

North America’s “first freshwater offshore wind project” files with Ohio Siting Board

Icebreaker Windpower Inc. “formally filed applications with the Ohio Power Siting Board for the Project Icebreaker wind farm” project to install six wind turbines off the shore of Lake Erie, nawindpower.com reports. The project was originally developed by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), which “teamed up with Norway-based Fred. Olsen Renewables” in 2015 (see our December 17, 2015 blog post); Fred. Olsen Renewables’ U.S. subsidiary “established Icebreaker Windpower Inc., the owner, developer and operator of the project.” The 20.7-megawatt (MW) project “would comprise six 3.45 MW wind turbines,” submerged cables, and a substation (see our April 4, 2016 blog post). Icebreaker Windpower’s application states that “two-thirds of the project’s output has already been sold to CPP [Cleveland Public Power] under a long-term power purchase agreement,” with the remaining power to be “delivered to the grid” operated by regional transmission organization PJM Interconnection. For more, read the full article.

Renewable Energy, Transmission, Wind

DP&L agreement would dump coal plants and develop renewable projects

Dayton Power & Light (DP&L) “has filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) a settlement to its electric security plan (ESP) that would end its ownership in 2,093 MW of coal-fired generation and bring more renewable energy to Ohio,” nawindpower.com reports. The six-year settlement was reached “after months of intense negotiation,” according to the Sierra Club, which has also agreed to sign on to the settlement. The agreement would “retire the Killen and Stuart coal plants in June 2018” with DP&L committed to beginning a “sales process for its ownership shares” in three other coal plants. The utility also commits to developing “at least 300 MW of solar and wind energy projects in Ohio no later than 2022” and contributing “$565,000 annually to help DP&L low-income electricity consumers reduce their energy usage.” Additionally, DP&L will invest $35 million in the first year to deploy smart grid initiatives. For more, read the full article.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind

OMA Energy Guide details five game-changing Ohio energy projects

The Ohio Manufacturers' Association recently released a report on what it considers to be the top five energy projects currently under development in Ohio, including a look at how each project impacts Ohio energy consumers' bottom lines. These projects represent more than $30 billion in investment over the past five years, and have afforded Ohio residents lower energy prices.

Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Shale, Sustainability, Wind
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