US to fund 150 MW Wind Project in Pakistan

February 8, 2011

The governments of the US and Pakistan have signed an agreement with AES Corporation to develop a 150-MW wind project in Pakistan’s Gharo Corridor. The US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, and Pakistani water and power minister Javed Iqbal were among those signing an agreement to develop the $375 million project.

The US Embassy in Islamabad said the project would reduce Pakistan’s dependence on fuel imports and save Pakistanis $45 million a year. The Pakistani government and AES will invest in the project, leveraging a loan from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a US agency that sells foreign investment services. Pakistan will own a minority stake through a grant from the US Agency for International Development (USAID). These shares will be privatised over time, with the proceeds financing future energy projects.


Peru makes Wind Energy Advances

February 8, 2011

The government of Peru has given the green signal for the construction of  three new wind farms and four solar power plants, for a total capacity of 220 MW, Concessions had been offered in a bidding tender that was held at the beginning of the year. The plants will be put into service by 2012. The announcement was made by the director general of the Energy and Mines Ministry Ismael Aragona.

Regarding the wind power plants, with a total capacity of 140 MW, two of them shall be installed in the northern area of Talara-Guadalupe, while the third wind farm will be put up in the southern region of Marcona. The remaining 80 MW will come from four solar photovoltaic plants, all of which will be developed in the southern areas of Ilo, Arequipa e Tacna. The electricity produced by these facilities will be purchased by distributors at feed-in tariffs, with the purpose of helping develop the renewable energy market.

Iberdrola to Start Building World’s Largest Wind Park in 2011

February 8, 2011

Iberdrola SA will next year start building the first 600 MW of capacity for the world’s largest onshore wind park in Romania. Construction of the planned park will start “sometime next year” and is expected to be finalised in 2016-2017. Iberdrola also plans to build a separate 80-MW wind-farm, starting “this autumn or in the spring” and delivered by mid-2011. The Spanish utility said it acquired rights from the Romanian government to build the largest onshore wind energy project with 1,500 MW of capacity.

Google to Invest in Large Offshore Transmission Project

February 8, 2011

Google plans to invest in a transmission project off the Mid-Atlantic coast to help accelerate offshore wind development. The Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC) will stretch 350 miles off the coast from New Jersey to Virginia and will be able to connect 6 GW of offshore wind turbines. It will be built around offshore power hubs that will collect the power from multiple offshore wind farms and deliver it efficiently via sub-sea cables to the strongest, highest capacity parts of the land-based transmission system.

The AWC project is led by independent transmission company Trans-Elect Development Co. and is financed by Google, Good Energies and Marubeni Corp. Google is investing 37.5 per cent of the equity in this initial development stage and plans to obtain all the necessary approvals to finance and begin constructing the line.

US commits to Offshore Wind

February 8, 2011

The US’ Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, has launched a new wind energy initiative, Smart from the Start, to speed offshore wind energy development off the Atlantic Coast. The move is expected to facilitate siting, leasing and construction of new projects. Salazar said the focus now needs to be on implementing “a smart permitting process that is efficient, thorough, and unburdened by needless red tape.”

Under the ‘Smart from the Start’ initiative, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will work with state partners to identify wind energy areas (WEAs) off the coasts of a number of Atlantic states, including Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, Rhode Island and Massachusetts within the next 60 days.

Vestas plans US Workforce Expansion

February 8, 2011

Vestas plans to hire 100 people at its Windsor, Colorado blade manufacturing plant in the next six to 12 months to increase the total workforce to 750 by the end of 2011. The Windsor plant was opened in 2008. The company is also planning to open its second US blades plant in Brighton, Colorado, next year. The plant will employ about 650 at full capacity, the company said. The additions are part of a US payroll surge. Company CEO Ditlev Engel said in an interview that Vestas plans to add 1,700 US jobs, growing to 4,000 people “in coming months”.

But elsewhere Vestas is cutting 3,000 jobs, closing three factories in Denmark and one in Sweden. Vestas chief executive said the aim was to move production “closer to where the action is”.

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