US state of Hawaii goes green on power, to set up two mega wind farms

June 29, 2010

The US island state of Hawaii plans to meet up to 40 per cent of its peak projected power demand of 2000 MW by harnessing cleaner resources such as wind and solar. Located thousands of kilometers away from the western coasts of the US mainland, the island state burns liquid fuel to meet its power requirement.

As the first step towards reducing dependence on fossil fuel, Hawaii is now preparing a legal and constitutional framework – referred as Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative – for inviting private investment in setting up two mega-sized wind power farms (of 200 MW each) at two of the less inhabited islands.

Hawaii also plans to enhance the availability of power substantially by way of energy savings at the consumption end. In a parallel initiative, the state plans to popularise the use of electric driven vehicles.

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Google invests in two U.S. wind farms

June 29, 2010

Google has invested $39 million in two wind farms in America’s North Dakota region. The wind farms have a capacity of 169.5 MW, according to Google Green Business Operations Manager Rick Needham.


Green sector finds new players: GWEC report

June 23, 2010

According to a recent Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) report, the renewable energy sector has been able to weather the financial crisis well and is now attracting new lenders and capital. Through most of 2009, it seemed that investment in renewable energy was going to be lower than the previous five years. By the end of the year, however, the sector made a comeback, the GWEC report said.

The report pointed out that long-term prospect for renewables was good, and that the drivers that propelled the sector for the past five years were still at work: Climate change, long-term carbon price exposure, fuel price risk, energy security, fossil fuel depletion and energy access. According to the GWEC report, small, distributed wind projects looked more attractive to developers having to cope with siting, permitting and transmission challenges. However, the report underlined the need for measures to push the renewable energy industry to new levels of raising capital.

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Suzlon Green to Invest Rs 3 billion in 50-MW wind farm

June 23, 2010

Suzlon Green Power Ltd, part of the Suzlon group, outlined its plans to invest about Rs 3 billion (65 million USD) in setting up a 50-MW wind power generation capacity farm at Ramagiri in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. “The company is in parleys with the representatives of Andhra Pradesh government and we are confident of securing necessary clearances for setting up the wind farm in the State. We expect to establish them by the year-end,” said Mr N. Ramani, head (projects), Suzlon Green Power Ltd.

Several other companies such as Shriram EPC and Enercon have come forward to set up wind power plants in Andhra Pradesh. “With the State government hinting at changes in their approach to encouraging wind energy projects, we may see about 200 MW of additional capacity coming into the State during the year,” Mr Ramani said.

Sweden’s first vertical-axis wind turbine operational

June 16, 2010

On April 14 Vertical Wind‘s first 200 kW wind turbine went on line and started to deliver energy to the power grid. This is the first full-scale vertical-axis wind turbine in Sweden. It is placed in Falkenberg, where it will soon be joined by three more turbines from Vertical Wind. The systems are ordered by E.ON and Falkenberg Energy and the park project is also supported by the Swedish Energy Authority.

“-We are currently going through the initial test program, and everything is working according to plan” says Vertical Wind’s CEO Björn Hellström.
Vertical Wind’s innovative concept with vertical-axis wind turbines where the generator is direct-driven and placed at ground level provides excellent cost efficiency, as the design involves few moving parts and lacks a gearbox. The 200kW system is designed for low noise emissions, low service need and with outstanding turbulent air handling properties. This makes it an ideal choice for local energy production and aerodynamically difficult but windy sites as ports, urban areas and commercial centers.

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Wind sector leads India’s Green Power Capacity

June 16, 2010

With major contribution from wind sector, India has added 2,330 MW of renewable energy to the grid during the fiscal 2009-10, taking country’s cumulative green power generation capacity to 16,817 MW as of March 31, 2010. In that sense, the wind energy sector continues to lead the country’s green power capacity addition and about 67 per cent of the new capacity addition of 2,330 MW came from wind. During the financial year 2009-10, India added 1,565 MW from wind, 305 MW through small hydro (up to 25 MW), 295 MW from cogeneration, and 153 MW of power through biomass. Besides, solar and waste to energy added 8 MW and 5 MW, respectively.

Turbines to tap High Altitude Winds

June 16, 2010

In order to harness jet stream winds, a research associate at York University, Toronto, has proposed to install wind turbines at high altitudes. “Ten to 15 km above the Earth, wind is available at all times, which is not possible near the ground. This wind energy can be utilised by installing wind turbines at high altitudes,” says Raj Seth, research associate in the department of physics at York University.

Seth proposes to install 100 wind turbines on a 15-km pneumatic tower made of Kevlar a synthetic fibre with high tensile strength. “The main advantage of these insulating towers of Kevlar or other strong polymer fabric is that electricity collected by the tower skin will not flow into the ground place,” he says.

The estimated cost of a single tower with turbines, which can reportedly generate 20GW of power, is said to be around Canadian $10 billion. But Seth insists it is still cost-effective technology for India. “India’s total demand at present is 200 GW and that can be met by 10 such towers. Consumers would not get higher power bills as wind power and atmospheric electricity are available at dollar zero,” he says.

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