Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Fidelity increases Vestas stake to 5.19 pct

Fidelity increases Vestas stake to 5.19 pct
Wed Sep 28, 2005 11:20 AM ET
COPENHAGEN, Sept 28 (Reuters) - U.S. fund group Fidelity International has increased its stake in Denmark's Vestas (VWS.CO: Quote, Profile, Research) , the world's biggest wind-turbine maker, to 5.19 percent, Fidelity said in a statement on Wednesday.
A Fidelity spokeswoman declined to say how big the stake had been previously, saying only that it had been below 5 percent.

Friday, September 09, 2005


For more information: Brent Alderfer, President, 215-353-1373

WAYNE, PA -- (09/08/2005; 0830)(EIS) -- Community Energy, Inc. ("CEI"), a leading wind energy marketer and developer, has closed a $50 million investor financing package on two new wind energy generation facilities under construction in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. A group of leading private and public energy finance institutions joined in closing the financing, which will allow the new wind farms to come on line by the end of this year.

CEI partnered with Central Hudson Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: CHG) and investment banking firm, Babcock & Brown, as the long-term owners of the wind projects, backed by project financing from a group of public and private funding sources. The Bear Creek wind farm, located near the Pennsylvania Turnpike just south of Wilkes Barre, PA, received financing from the five regional Pennsylvania sustainable energy funds and the newly authorized Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. The first-of-its-kind Jersey-Atlantic wind farm on the site of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority ("ACUA") wastewater treatment plant in 2 Atlantic City, New Jersey, received financing from the state's Clean Energy Program and a production grant from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

"This first-rate finance team was able to translate the obvious fuel-free advantages of wind energy into market grade investments ranging from secure debt to long-term equity," said Brent Alderfer, President of CEI. "The exciting part of this deal is it opens the door for broader investor participation in the wind energy market."

The Bear Creek wind farm will install 12 wind turbines each providing 2 megawatts of generation capacity -- the largest turbines in use in the U.S. -- supplied by Gamesa Eolica of Spain. The five regional sustainable energy funds in Pennsylvania providing financing to the Bear Creek project are the TRF Sustainable Development Fund, which also structured the financing on behalf of the regional funds, the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania, the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund and the Metropolitan Edison Sustainable Energy Fund.

The Jersey-Atlantic wind farm will install five wind turbines, 1.5 megawatts each, supplied by General Electric. In a pioneering partnership with the ACUA, the wind farm will supply about one-half of the electricity used at the wastewater facility, and will be New Jersey's first commercial scale wind project, and the nation's first coastal wind farm.

About Community Energy, Inc.

Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) is a marketer and developer of wind energy generation founded in 1999 and headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania. CEI has more than 3 billion kilowatt-hours of wind energy sales, 40,000 residential customers and marketing arrangements with 18 investor-owned and municipal 3 utilities. CEI cites its utility partners and customers, which include many of the largest retail purchases of wind energy in the country, as the reason for its success in bringing wind energy to market in new regions of the country. CEI has wind projects under development in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-Western states. CEI acquired the Bear Creek project from early-stage developer Global Winds Harvest, based in New York.

About CH Energy Group

With more than 440,000 customers, CH Energy Group, Inc. is a family of companies seizing new opportunities in the energy marketplace through two primary subsidiaries: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation is a regulated transmission and distribution utility serving approximately 358,000 customers in eight counties of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley, and delivering natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City north to the Capital District at Albany. Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation includes business units delivering energy and related services to nearly 85,000 customers in eight states and the District of Columbia. Its regional footprint stretches from Connecticut to the Washington, D.C. area, as well as an interest in a Lexington, Neb., ethanol plant.

About Babcock & Brown

Babcock & Brown is a global investment and advisory firm with longstanding capabilities in structured finance and the creation, syndication and management of asset and cash flow-based investments. Babcock & Brown was founded in 1977 and is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

Babcock & Brown operates from 18 offices across Australia, the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa and has in excess of 550 employees worldwide. Babcock & Brown has five operating divisions including real estate, infrastructure and project finance, operating leasing, structured finance and corporate finance. The company has established a funds management platform across its operating divisions that has resulted in the establishment of a number of focused investment vehicles in areas including real estate and infrastructure.

For further information please see our website:

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The wind of change

The wind of change
Despite CDU promises to go back to nuclear power if they win the upcoming election, renewable energy is booming in Germany, with the big utility companies investing millions in wind and solar projects. Andrew McCathie looks at the future for eco-friendly power.

By 2025 Germany's windparks will generate the same energy as 20 nuclear reactors
Rocketing oil prices and the push towards reductions in CO2 emissions have triggered a wave of new investment in renewable energy in eco-friendly Germany, helping to underpin a boom in alternative power in Europe's biggest economy.

Up until recently, the alternative energy business was largely dominated by small-to-medium sized companies.

But as energy emerges as a key election issue in Germany, a round of major investments in recent months has signalled a move by big energy groups to broaden their energy mix by shifting into renewable power supplies.

With vast wind parks now spreading out from the land into the sea, Germany's third biggest electricity group, Swedish-owned Vattenfall Europe, has announced plans to launch a EUR 200 million study into the building of an offshore wind park in either the North or Baltic Sea.

"We believe that offshore parks can make a contribution that will transform wind energy from a subsidy receiver into a market-mature technology," said Vattenfall Europe chief Klaus Rauscher.

The environmental revolution

Underscoring the boom that has been underway in renewable energy in Germany, alternative power sources now represent about 10 per cent of electricity generated in the country.

We believe that offshore parks can make a contribution that will transform wind energy from a subsidy receiver into a market-mature technology. - Vattenfall Europe chief Klaus Rauscher
In a sense, the drive to promote renewable energy represents another stage of Germany's environmental revolution with the country already operating very strict recycling laws for products and waste.

Germany is also starting to export its new wind technology, with windpower engineering group REpower Systems announcing earlier this year that it had won its first project order in China.

While giant German insurer Allianz said that it was raising its stockholdings in renewable energy groups from EUR 300 million to EUR 500 million, US conglomerate General Electric chief Jeff Immelt set out plans in Munich for GE to double its revenue from sun and wind energy to EUR 15 billion over the next five years.

Nuclear power? Nein danke

70 percent of Germans support the phasing out of nuclear power
The big power companies have continued to plough money into renewable energy sources despite opinion polls pointing to the possibility of a new conservative government winning a national election next month and moving to downscale public support for alternative energy and to extend the life of nuclear power plants.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's ruling Social Democrat-Green Party coalition has already begun phasing out nuclear power in the country and launching a push to build-up renewable energy sources in Germany.

But as a sign of the Germans' commitment to seeking out alternative sources of energy, a poll published this week found that a majority of people want an end to nuclear energy in the country. Drawn up by pollsters Emnid, the survey found that 70 per cent of Germans are for the phasing out of nuclear power.

Putting their money where their mouths are

However, as a sign of the confidence in the renewable energy sector, investors do not appear to be particularly unsettled by the threat posed by a change of government in Berlin.

After making their stock market debut in March at EUR 54, shares in solar equipment supplier Conergy have been hovering around EUR 90. Another sun-power group, solar cells maker SolarWorld, jumped by more than 500 per cent last year.

Vattenfall is, however, not thinking about pulling back from conventional energy sources.

Windpower engineering group REpower Systems announced earlier this year it had won its first project order in China.
But with the energy sector expecting ambitious emission reduction CO2 targets in the future and a steep rise in price for CO2 trading certificates, Vattenfall also announced plans to build a EUR 40 million coal-fired power station that does not give off any carbon dioxide.

Since the start of the year, the price for a CO2 trading certificate has jumped from EUR 7 to EUR 23.

Strong wind

Underpinned by support from Germany's ruling SPD-Greens coalition, wind energy has already overtaken hydroelectric power as the nation's main source of renewable energy.

A government report has predicted that by 2025 the windparks rapidly appearing along Germany's coastline will generate the same amount of energy as 20 nuclear reactors.

Accompanying the government move to phase out nuclear energy, Schroeder's coalition has introduced a law compelling energy companies to buy power generated by renewable sources at a generous price has also led to an explosion of wind turbines across parts of Germany's wind-swept countryside and a boom in the sales of wind generators.

In a similar way, government support for renewable energy has helped to foster a boom in solar power with the country's sun power industry having ambitions to become the world leader.

A solar milestone

Last month, the giant global oil company Shell announced it was to build the world's largest single-connected solar power station at a former military base in Bavaria in southern Germany, which the company described as a milestone.

This follows the opening last year of the world's largest solar plant near Leipzig in eastern Germany.

After it is completed in March 2006, Shell's EUR 40 million solar plant would cover the electricity needs of about 3,300 households each year. Shell invested EUR 243 million in renewable energy last year and says it has more projects on the drawing board.

August 2005

[Copyright DPA with Expatica 2005]

US windpower firm Clipper plans September UK float

US windpower firm Clipper plans September UK float
Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:58 PM BST

LONDON (Reuters) - California-based wind-power company Clipper Windpower said on Tuesday it planned to list its shares in London in two weeks.

Clipper and its adviser, investment bank Lehman Brothers (LEH.N: Quote, Profile, Research), declined to comment on how much the company planned to raise or how much it would be valued at as part of the listing on London's junior AIM market.

The shares are due to start trading on September 14, according to a regulatory filing.

It was not immediately clear why the U.S. company had opted for a UK listing, and it made no further comment beside the filing particulars.

Clipper, whose UK chairman is former Olympic cox and Conservative sports minister Colin Moynihan and which says actor Anthony Hopkins is an investor, was formed in 2001. It said it has established two U.S. wind projects valued at $240 million (135 million pounds).

A source close to the company told Reuters in June that Clipper planned to use any IPO proceeds to develop a more efficient wind turbine.

The Santa Barbara-based company said it is one of the world leaders in wind turbine technology, which should cut the cost of wind energy production.

Its website said its two projects total 205 megawatts, and it has a development portfolio of 1,100 megawatts in the U.S. and Mexico plus the largest planned project in the wind industry -- the 3,000 megawatt Rolling Thunder site in South Dakota.

Moynihan was appointed last year to run Clipper's business outside the Americas, which focuses on manufacturing the new generation of the firm's wind turbine and the development of offshore wind farms.

Clipper reported revenue of $5.2 million in 2003 and raised $10 million through private equity funding in 2002.

The company said the global wind power market is expected to grow by 15-30 percent per year for the foreseeable future.

It said renewable energy sources generate about 3 percent of the country's electricity supply -- with 15 percent of that generated by wind power -- and the government intends to lift the renewable energy share to 15 percent by 2015. | General Electric - Investing in Wind Power

General Electric - Investing in Wind Power
Thursday, August 25, 2005

This year, GE’s wind portfolio is expected to generate $2 billion in revenue, an anticipated increase in revenue of 300% over its first-year wind operations in 2002. This is based on orders and commitments calling for 1,600 wind turbines to be installed worldwide, totaling 2,400 megawatts for new wind power capacity worldwide.

"Wind power continues to be the fastest growing segment of the global energy industry, and it certainly is a very significant part of the diverse energy solutions portfolio that we offer to our customers around the world," said Mark Little, vice president - power generation of GE Energy. "The continuing advancement of wind power technology is a key element of ecomagination, our commitment to cleaner energy solutions, which is at the forefront of our company’s business initiatives.”

Investing in the Future
Highlighting its commitment to support its customers' wind energy needs, GE continues to expand its engineering staff and research and development capabilities dedicated to wind-related technology development. Recent customer-focused milestones include:

Enhancements to one of the most widely sold and tested megawatt-class machines in the global wind industry, GE's 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, which recently surpassed 3,000 installations worldwide.
The successful deployment of the industry’s first offshore wind plant built by GE solely to demonstrate its offshore technology and learn more about the rigors of wind energy installation and operations at sea. Owned and operated by GE, the Arklow Bank Wind Park in the Irish Sea, the world's first offshore wind project to use turbines over three megawatts, has completed more than a year of successful operation. Comprising seven of GE's 3.6-megawatt wind turbines, the plant was officially inaugurated during a May 26 ceremony attended by Bertie Ahern, the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), and David Garman, Undersecretary of Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The opening of two customer support and training centers. Located in Salzbergen, Germany, and Tehachapi, California, the facilities offer 24/7 response, and have facilitated an increase in GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine availability to 98% fleetwide. In addition, GE’s Global Research-Europe Center was opened in Munich to support further technology R&D, including the increase of wind turbine reliability and performance.

Growth in China
GE also recently announced plans to supply wind turbines for the first large-scale project in mainland China’s Hebei Province. The 34.5-megawatt Shangyi Manjing Wind Farm will use 23 of GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbines.

Developed and owned by Guohua Energy Corporation Limited, the wind turbines are being installed on a 5 km by 5 km site located approximately 100 km from Zhangjiakou City. Commercial operation is expected by October 2005.

“The Shangyi Manjing Wind Farm is an excellent example of the growing global trend toward cleaner electricity choices,” said Robert Gleitz, general manager of GE Energy’s wind segment. “China has a vast wind resource and an increasing need for electricity. At GE, with a business history in China that reaches back 90 years, we’re pleased to support our local customers’ wind energy needs.”

Cabinet approves €23.6-bln renewable energy initiative

Cabinet approves €23.6-bln renewable energy initiative
Plan helps meet emissions cap obligations, government says

El Pais Spain | A. SIM

The Cabinet on Friday approved a new E 23.6-billion plan through to 2010 aimed at boosting the contribution of renewable energy sources to the country's growing power needs, and help meet its obligations to reduce greenhouse gases.

Presenting the plan, Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega said the government wants 12.1 percent of overall energy needs to be met by renewable sources by 2010 and for those to supply 30.3 percent of total electricity consumption.

Fernández de la Vega said the previous plan introduced by the former Popular Party had failed to meet the initial forecasts for growth in the use of renewable energy, while primary energy consumption in Spain was growing above forecast. Only 28.4 percent of the target in the previous plan had been met by the end of 2004.

The focus on clean energy sources will help reduce Spain's reliance on oil imports - surging crude oil prices have helped swell the country's trade shortfall recently. Spain is also a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol, which seeks to reduce emissions of climate-warming gases such as carbon dioxide. The conversion of coal-fuelled electricity plants to installations using cleaner energy sources will help Spain fulfill its Kyoto commitments.

Another reason behind the need to increase the use of renewable energy sources is the Socialist government's commitment to gradually phasing out the use of nuclear energy.

The new plan calls for the energy sector to foot the bill for 77.1 percent, or €18.2 billion, of the total investment spending of €23.6 billion. Construction groups, financial entities and technology firms will be expected to contribute 20 percent, with the balance coming from the government.The government will also offer tax incentives for using motor fuels derived from vegetable matter and for the installation of electricity generation plants using renewable energy sources.

The plan places strong emphasis on the use of wind energy, but also covers other forms of renewable energy such as biofuels, biomas electricity plants, solar energy, and mini-hydroelectric plants.

Iberdrola, Spain's second largest electricity supplier welcomed the new initiative and said it planned to have 5,500 megawatts of installed capacity using renewable energy sources by 2008, an increase of 68 percent over the 3,280 MW it has at present. It said 1,220 MW of the planned additional capacity will be in Spain.

Endesa, the country's largest supplier, plans to invest €1.2 billion in Portugal and Spain in the period to 2005-2009, to increase its renewable energy capacity by 38 percent to 9,289 MW.

- Wind energy

The government raised the target for the installed capacity of wind-powered electricity plants to 20,155 MW, from 13,000 MW under the previous plan. The installed capacity of wind farms at the end of last year was 8,155 MW. Half of the €4.95 billion in tax breaks available for electricity plants using renewable energies will go to wind farms, which will be expected to produce 45,551 gigawatt hours.

- Biofuels

The use of biofuels such as bioethanol and biodiesel is expected to quadruple by 20010, to 2.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent from 500,000 at present. Biofuels will also be granted tax breaks worth €2.85 billion.
© 2005 El Pais

India moves up to 4th slot in wind power capacity- The Economic Times

India moves up to 4th slot in wind power capacity


MUMBAI: With the rising price of fossil fuels and increasing environmental concerns, renewable energy — particularly wind power — seems to be back in favour. Don Quixote may have tilted at them and the oil industry today dismisses them as impractical, but it looks like windmills are here to stay.

Globally, the installed wind-power capacity has crossed 50,000 MW. India figures amongst the countries with the largest wind-generation facilities. In fact, India has now overtaken Denmark to occupy the fourth place in terms of installed wind power capacity. However, there are issues of low load factors.

India ranks after Germany, Spain and the US, up from the fifth spot last year. The total installed wind-generation capacity in India added up to 3,595 MW — about 3% of the total installed generation capacity in India. Over 1,100 MW of this has been added in ’04-05. Tamil Nadu takes the lead with over 2,000 MW of installed capacity. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Gujarat also have substantial installations. The major suppliers of wind turbines in India include Suzlon, Vestas and Enercon.

Of the global installed wind power capacity of 50,000 MW, almost 70% is in Europe — Germany, Spain and Denmark. The US is the other large user of wind energy with almost 7,000 MW of installed capacity. China is also considering wind energy as a potential power source.

China had 769 MW of installed wind-power capacity by the end of ‘04, of which almost 200 MW was added during that year itself. The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association website mentions that the Chinese Government has set a target of 4,000 MW of wind-generating capacity by ’10 and 20,000 MW by ’20.

The major benefit of wind energy is that it is renewable — unlike fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Secondly, it is a clean energy source so there are no emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and other pollutants. The major problem with wind-power is the low load factors of 20-30% and not so great reliability because of unpredictable wind patterns.

Rough calculations suggest that 1,000 MW of wind-power can replace 300 MW of conventional (coal or nuclear) power. Another problem is the amount of land required — there is a 225 MW wind farm at Satara in Maharashtra. The farm is a large strip of land measuring 35 km by 5 km

Planet Ark : Spain Aims to Double Energy from Renewable Sources

Spain Aims to Double Energy from Renewable Sources
SPAIN: August 29, 2005

MADRID - Spain approved measures on Friday aimed at nearly doubling its production of energy from renewable sources like wind, sun and water over the next five years.

The plan aims for investment of 23.5 billion euros ($29 billion) in the renewable sector from 2005 to 2010, with private companies footing the majority of the bill. The government will put forward only 2.9 percent of the estimated cost.
By 2010, Spain wants 12 percent of consumed energy to come from sources like wind, solar and hydroelectric plants, compared to 6.9 percent at the end of 2004.

A previous renewable energy plan, spanning 2000-2010, has fallen well short of targets, especially for solar energy and biomass -- an energy resource derived from organic material like agricultural waste.

By the end of last year, the energy sector reached just over a quarter of the plan's objectives.

"The initial targets for renewable energy targets are not being met," Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference after the cabinet approved the measures on Friday. "The previous plan was failing."

Spanish renewable energy firms like the world's second-biggest wind turbine maker Gamesa and Iberdrola, the world's largest wind energy company by installed capacity, are set to benefit from the plan, analysts say.

The government has raised the target for wind power energy from 12,000 megawatts under the former plan to 20,155 megawatts.


"This represents very good news for the main players in the industry in Spain, Gamesa, Iberdrola and Acciona. The new target will imply investment of 7 billion euros," said Daniel Gandoy, analyst at Deutsche Bank.

The new plan means an increase in annual production of renewable energies, mainly wind, of around 1,500 to 2,000 megawatts over the next 5 years in Spain, said Roberto Barrio, analyst at Espirito Santo.

Gamesa was leading the gainers in the flagship Ibex-35 index on Friday, up 2.4 percent at 12.31 euros by 1440 GMT -- around year-high levels.

Iberdrola welcomed the new plan on Friday, calling the targets sensible and feasible, and said it would help Spain meet its objectives under the UN's Kyoto protocol.

Under Kyoto, developed countries are meant to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, largely from burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and cars, by an average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

But Spain has seen the biggest increase in the emissions of greenhouse gases since 1990 amongst the countries which originally agreed to Kyoto targets.

The amount of fumes spewed rose 40.5 percent in the 12 years spanning 1990 to 2002, according to UN data.

Story by Sonya Dowsett

Power of the Wind

Power of the Wind

By Rexcel John Sorza**
Iloilo City, Philippines
August 31, 2005

When gigantic rotor blades looking more like electric fans from afar started to generate electricity in the northern Philippine province of Ilocos Norte recently, Filipinos became the first people in Southeast Asia to harvest the power of the wind.

“The future of Southeast Asian wind power starts here,” said Ferdinand Dumlao during the farm’s commissioning attended by government officials and environmentalists. He sees a “huge potential for this technology in the Philippines and beyond.”

Dumlao chairs the Danish-Filipino consortium, NorthWind Power Development Corporation (NorthWind), which turned on last 18 June 2005 the US$44-million wind farm. It now lights up homes of the subscribers of Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative.

Wind Lighting Up Asia

Forming a column of 15 wind turbines with a hub height of 70 meters and 41-meter rotor blades, the NorthWind project has an installed capacity of 25 megawatts.

NorthWind’s wind farm put the Southeast Asian region on the map of regions around the world using wind to generate electricity.

World Wind Energy Association data show that some 47,616 megawatts of electricity are currently produced from wind worldwide. Of this, 34,616 megawatts (73%) are generated by wind farms in European countries followed by those in America with 7,335 megawatts (15%), and then Asia with 4,726 megawatts (10%). Asia’s share, however, was derived only from India and Japan before NorthWind came into the picture.

Wind power development is also picking up speed in other parts of Asia. South Korea recently inaugurated its first wind farm. In February 2005, China passed a Renewable Energy Law to drive the government’s target of 20,000MW of wind power by the year 2020.

The international environmental group the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) says wind energy industry has boomed in recent years, leaping from producing 10,000 megawatts in 1998 to 40,000 megawatts in 2004, with the figure expected to more than double to 150,000 MW by 2012.

The main reason for this boom, WWF explains, is the relatively low cost of wind energy. “In fact, wind energy is the renewable technology whose costs come closest to those of fossil power production and for which there is a large expansion potential worldwide.”

An Economic Approach to Producing Energy

“Dirty and Expensive”?

Technological progress in producing wind energy has already cut production costs in half since 1990, and it is expected that the gap between the power production costs of wind energy and those of fossil energy sources will continue to narrow.

“Wind power takes us one crucial step closer to energy independence," said Lory Tan, president of WWF-Philippines.

Tan explained wind power “builds economic strength by stabilizing business costs, insulating us from pollution and the unpredictable prices of imported oil and coal, while preserving foreign exchange for other more critical needs.”

Philippine Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla congratulated NorthWind for the landmark project, which, he said, shows the “government's persistence at tapping indigenous and renewable energy sources as a strategy to move away from dependence on imported oil, especially at a time of high oil prices.”

"We need a relentless effort to harness our own energy sources and not be forever held hostage by volatile international oil prices," he added.

WWF estimates that the Philippines could save US$2.9 billion in fossil-fuel imports over the next 10 years if the country’s vast renewable energy resources are tapped.

Liam Salter, WWF International's regional climate and energy program director, said, “Across Asia-Pacific the message is the same—spiraling coal and oil prices and dependency upon imported fuels, combined with health and environmental risks, are forcing governments to radically rethink the way they supply their people with energy.”

“Wind and other renewables are central to a new way of thinking—we predict the trend will continue,” Salter added.

Ferdinand Dumlao, special projects officer at the Ilocos Norte provincial government, said, "In terms of pricing, fossil fuels are subject to foreign market pricing and currency fluctuations. These two factors are risks in terms of pricing. Our leadership had analyzed that it is not to our advantage to have fossil fuel power plants."

The Ilocos Norte provincial government had received proposals from several fossil fuel companies. "There was an offer from a foreign company to put up a bunker sea oil power plant, but it was anti-environment and it was also not a guarantee for a stable power pricing," said Dumlao.


The Philippines should shun away “dirty and expensive” energy sources.
Melvin Purzuelo of Green Forum


He further said, "Before the establishment of our wind farm, there was also another proposal to put up a coal plant. It was a bit inviting because it was cheaper compared to the oil-based power plant. But again, the people of Ilocos Norte rejected the idea for similar reasons.”

The Philippine government has set a goal of doubling the renewable energy base capacity for power generation by 2013, lessening the country’s dependence on imported energy sources such as diesel and coal, and broadening the resource base with an indigenous and environmentally desirable option.

This will add another 4,700 megawatts of clean energy mainly from geothermal, wind, solar, hydro and biomass resources to the country’s power generation capacity, and will bring its share in the nation’s energy mix to nearly 40 percent.

The government plans to gradually reduce the country’s dependence of imported fuel such as oil and gas. Imported oil ate up 39.2 percent of last year’s total energy sources.

According to an analysis done by WWF's PowerSwitch! campaign, the wind resource potential in the Philippines could be as much as 7,400 megawatts, enough to power 19 million homes.

Sustainable energy campaigners welcomed the government’s new thrust. Melvin Purzuelo of Green Forum, an environmental advocacy group, said the Philippines should shun away “dirty and expensive” energy sources. Instead, he said, it should exploit its sustainable and renewable energy potentials.

Putting Natural Resources to Good Use

In a study done by the United States’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (US-NREL) using Geographic Information System technology on the wind resource of the Philippines, over 10,000 square kilometers of windy land areas in the Philippines have been estimated to exist with “good-to-excellent” wind resource potential.

Using conservative assumptions of about 7 megawatts per square kilometer, this windy land could support over 70,000 megawatts of potential installed capacity, the report said.

The wind mapping results also showed many areas of good-to-excellent wind resource for utility-scale applications or excellent wind resource for village power applications, particularly in the northern and central regions of the Philippines.

Considering only the areas with good-to-excellent wind resource, there are 47 provinces in the Philippines with at least 500 megawatts of wind potential and 25 provinces with at least 1,000 megawatts of wind potential.

Cleaner sources of energy are slowly making its round in the Philippines, which is currently the biggest producer of geothermal energy with a 1,983-megawatt capacity, second only to the United States.

WWF-Philippines asserts that renewable energy systems make economic sense as they can generate jobs and save the country’s dollar reserves from buying imported fuel.

Renewable energy sources like wind also keep global warming from getting worse. According to WWF’s PowerSwitch campaign, “Generating electricity through the burning of carbon-rich coal has a greater impact on the atmosphere than any other single human activity.”

Green Forum’s Purzuelo said wind energy is produced by the wind, so “it's definitely a clean source of fuel.” Wind energy does not pollute the air like power plants that rely on combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. Wind turbines don't produce atmospheric emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gasses, he said.

Ferdinand Dumlao, special projects officer at the Ilocos Norte provincial government, said they welcomed the NorthWind project because they know the ill effects of fossil fuel power plants. “They emit carbon dioxide that harms our environment. Coal power plants also emit dust that destroys our crops," he said.

The United States Department of Energy (USDE) said, “Wind energy relies on the renewable power of the wind, which can't be used up. Wind is actually a form of solar energy; winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the earth's surface irregularities.”

It stressed that wind energy “is one of the lowest-priced renewable energy technologies available today, costing between 4 and 6 cents per kilowatt-hour, depending upon the wind resource and project financing of the particular project.”

Purzuelo said the Philippines, as the rest of the world, has many options where to source the electricity needed by industries and people. But for him, it’s best to pick the “power of the wind. It’s free, safe, clean, sustainable and renewable.”


** Rexcel John B. Sorza is a journalist from the Philippines and a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Communication and Management. He was recently the runner up in the Water Media Network Journalists’ Competition and received his award at the Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan.Your emails will be forwarded to him by contacting the editor at:

Sustainable Energy to Partner with Chinese on Wind Power: Agreement to Jointly Develop Vertical Axis Turbines for China

AUGUST 8, 2005 - 11:01 ET

Sustainable Energy to Partner with Chinese on Wind Power: Agreement to Jointly Develop Vertical Axis Turbines for China

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 8, 2005) - Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd (TSX VENTURE:STG), announced today that it has agreed to collaborate with a Chinese Group to advance the development and commercialization of Darrieus type wind turbines for use in China and other markets around the world.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed by Guo Shuyan on behalf of the China Renewable Energy Technologies Delegation, Sustainable Energy will license its technology and know how, and will collaborate with the Chinese, in advancing vertical axis wind turbine technology, beginning with the construction and testing of a commercial prototype of Sustainable Energy's 250kW turbine - the "Chinook 250" - at a test site in Southern Alberta.

Guo Shuyan is currently Vice Chairman of the Finance and Economic Committee of the National People's Congress, and was, until recently, Executive Director of the State Council Three Gorges Project Construction Committee.

"The partnership is an important validation of the value of our wind turbine design and of our expertise with this technology," said Michael Carten President & CEO of Sustainable Energy. "But equally importantly, the relationships we are building with the wind turbine partnership will provide the foundation for other partnerships to manufacture and distribute our power electronics products in the Chinese market.

Sustainable Energy has been a leader in vertical axis Darrieus type wind turbines known around the world as the Canadian wind turbine. The Chinook 250 design was developed with support from Canada's National Research Council in 1999 - 2000 to provide a simple, low-cost wind turbine that will significantly reduce costly diesel fuel consumption for power generation on small islands, in remote areas, and throughout the developing world.

"We scoured the world for a robust, simple and cost effective solution to remote wind power generation and that led us to Sustainable Energy," said He Dexin, Chairman of China Wind Energy Association and a member of the Delegation. "In combination with Sustainable Energy's extensive experience with power conditioning, they possess the unique capability to enable cost effective integration of renewable energy into remote diesel micro-grids, and to provide clean power to markets in remote areas of China and around the world."

The agreement with the Chinese is subject to approval of the National Research Council.

Sustainable Energy Technologies Ltd ( develops manufactures and markets products for emerging alternative and renewable energy markets.

Certain statements contained in this press release may be considered as forward-looking. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimated or implied results. | Energy Bill Solves Market Access for Wind Power

Energy Bill Solves Market Access for Wind Power
August 11, 2005

Washington, D.C. [] The Energy Policy Act of 2005 signed by President Bush contains a number of important provisions for the wind energy industry. While it's clear by now that the wind power industry will be able to ramp up development thanks to the bill's extension of the production tax credit (PTC) through 2007, there are other elements of the energy bill that bode well for the future of wind power.

"The Energy Policy Act chips away at two important barriers to continued wind energy development in this country."

- American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Executive Director Randall Swisher. Specifically, the bill requires that utility system reliability rules to be developed for the nation be non-discriminatory, and provides incentives to encourage construction of new and upgraded transmission lines.

"By requiring that new national reliability rules be non-discriminatory and by providing incentives to ease transmission bottlenecks, The Energy Policy Act chips away at two important barriers to continued wind energy development in this country," said American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Executive Director Randall Swisher. "While they do not replace the need for the production tax credit to spur production of clean, safe, domestic, renewable energy like wind, these long-term reliability and transmission provisions could help level the playing field and brighten the long-term planning horizon for wind power."

Summaries by AWEA of the two major reliability and transmission provisions follow.

Electricity Modernization Act of 2005
Sec. 1211: Electric Reliability Standards (Pages 1080-1096)

The provision creates an Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) to create and enforce reliability standards subject to the review of the governments of the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will oversee the ERO in the U.S.. The ERO must be independent yet ensure fair stakeholder representation and balanced decision-making. The ERO may file proposed reliability standards with FERC, which will approve them if they are just, reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest.

What it does:

This provision is the most significant piece of EPAct 05 for the electric industry. Until now reliability has been voluntary and in the hands of hundreds of different parties, all with strong commercial incentives that do not necessarily coincide with reliable operation. After the Northeast blackout of August 2003, pressure for mandatory standards gave many policy makers a good reason to support the energy bill. AWEA believes the wind industry and the rest of the electric industry will benefit by having mandatory reliability standards.

The language in the Act for the first time requires all reliability rules to be non-discriminatory. Discriminatory rules are a clear and present danger: even though modern wind turbines can ride through system faults, contribute reactive power and active voltage control, and otherwise contribute their fair share to overall reliability, AWEA is concerned that the North American Electric Reliability Councils (NERC) comments to FERC in FERCs currently ongoing generator interconnection proceeding create a higher hurdle for wind than other resources. The wind energy industry is currently engaged in discussions with NERC and FERC to resolve this issue, and expects this new law will help AWEA in these proceedings.

Transmission Infrastructure Modernization
Sec. 1221: Siting of interstate electric transmission facilities (page 1096)

This provision directs the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in consultation with the affected states, to conduct a study of transmission congestion and issue a report designating national interest electric transmission corridors. This classification is based on the need for reasonably priced electricity, the need to access more supply and diversify energy sources, and effects on energy independence, national defense and homeland security.

Within certain limits, FERC may authorize the taking of private property and issue construction permits if a state does not have authority to approve the facilities. For siting on federal land, DOE shall act as the lead agency for coordinating federal authorizations. States may form interstate compacts establishing regional transmission siting agencies. FERC has no siting authority over states that are members of a compact unless the states disagree.

What it does:

This provision adds significant pressure to relieve interstate transmission bottlenecks, and could allow for the designation of corridors between wind-rich areas and the high voltage transmission system, based on the criteria of energy independence and diverse supplies.

This provision does not help, however, with cost allocation, which is typically the more difficult challenge in building the transmission necessary to bring wind power to market from windy areas in the heartland.

Harnessing Wind Energy in Eritrea

Wed Aug 10 11:06:25 2005 Pacific Time

Harnessing Wind Energy in Eritrea
BERKELEY, Calif., Aug. 10 (AScribe Newswire) -- At the southern tip of the Red Sea, a constriction formed between two mountain ranges funnels wind onto the shores of Eritrea, a small African nation wedged between the sea and Ethiopia. The country has endured its share of hardships over the years, having won its independence from Ethiopia in 1991 after decades of struggle. But it can count among its blessings that relentless breeze.

"It's a wind resource that is better than most wind resources in the U.S.," says Robert Van Buskirk, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) who develops cost-benefit analysis models of energy policy. Earlier this summer, he spent four weeks in Eritrea to help the nation embark on a $3.8 million pilot project to determine whether a large portion of its energy can be derived from wind-powered turbines. As part of the project, Berkeley Lab has been contracted to help Eritrea create the most efficient procedures for implementing wind energy systems, as well as develop protocols that track the project's progress.

It's a big undertaking for a nation with a population of 4.5 million and an average annual income of $250 per person. The United Nations and an international consortium of donors called the Global Environmental Facility funds half of the nine-month-old project, while the Eritrean government provides the other half. But money isn't the only obstacle.

"The barriers are mostly technical. We need to determine how to develop sustainable contracts between the people of Eritrea, companies that develop wind energy systems, and technical advisers," says Van Buskirk, a member of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division's Energy Analysis Program, which explores ways to introduce energy efficient technologies into society. "Getting these worlds to meet in an economically feasible way is difficult," he adds.

In the project's initial phase, engineers will soon install eight wind energy systems in six villages, some of which have never had electricity. These wind turbines will be used to pump irrigation water, provide electricity for everyday use such as lighting and making ice, and power desalinization plants that provide fresh drinking water to seaside fishing villages. Engineers will also build a multi-turbine wind-park that feeds into the electricity grid of the southern port town of Assab.

"In diffusing wind technology to Eritrea, we want to pilot test an array of applications because we won't know which ones will work best," says Van Buskirk.

Berkeley Lab scientists are also developing conceptual designs for six follow-up installations that include more expansive wind energy systems for remote villages, and a large wind-park for the central grid.

Ultimately, Eritrean officials would like to generate as much as 50 percent of the nation's grid electricity via wind power. It's too early to tell whether this goal is technically feasible, but Van Buskirk believes it may be economically viable. He estimates that wind energy will pay for itself in five years if it supplants Eritrea's thirst for foreign fuel oil, which it currently uses as its main fuel for generating electricity. Eritrea's quest for a greener energy program isn't purely driven by environmental concerns either: The nation has worked to be as self-reliant as possible since gaining independence, meaning it must find alternatives to imported oil.

Van Buskirk is uniquely qualified to help shepherd this transition along. Before joining Berkeley Lab in 1999, he worked for three years at the Eritrean Department of Energy's Energy Research and Training Center, which he describes as the Eritrean equivalent of Berkeley Lab, albeit in one small compound. While there, he helped establish research programs in wind and solar energy resource assessment, and stove efficiency.

This latter program has evolved into another energy efficiency project. Eritrean villagers are adopting clean-burning cooking stoves that are three times more fuel efficient than traditional stoves. With help from Harvard University undergraduate student Elena Krieger, a former summer intern at Berkeley Lab who also recently traveled to Eritrea, Berkeley Lab scientists are developing ways to document the economic and health impacts of this program, which installs up to 10,000 new stoves each year. The Eritrean government helps fund the project by selling carbon credits on the international market, a process facilitated with help from Berkeley Lab scientists. These credits are earned because the new stoves emit less carbon, a greenhouse gas.

Van Buskirk has also helped several Eritrean students earn Master's degrees in meteorology from San Jose State University. Two of these former students have recently developed computer simulations that assess the wind resources of Eritrea's highlands and southeastern coast. The simulations were a feature presentation for a delegation of Eritrean experts and leaders who came to Berkeley Lab in January.

"I'm a communication bridge between this world and that world," says Van Buskirk, adding that language and cultural barriers sometimes pose challenges. "When I go to some remote villages to discuss our work, a local staff member translates my words into the Eritrean language of Tigrinya, then a person from the village translates it into a local dialect, called Tigre."

Such hurdles are easily justified, however, as remote villages stand to gain the most from new technologies. In rural areas that have never had modern luxuries such as electricity and running water, projects that raise living standards while decreasing labor often pay for themselves in less than one year.

"It's an extreme case study in technology diffusion. We start with a place that is a world research leader like Berkeley Lab, and go to a place that is the largest socioeconomic distance from that, which is rural Africa," says Van Buskirk. "The difficult part is learning how to adapt technologies to a socioeconomic world far removed from our everyday life. We need to create a context in which people can sustain efficient energy systems over the long term. And in terms of evaluating and creating long-term sustainability, we find that the villagers, rather than the scientists, are the real experts."

Other Berkeley Lab scientists and staff involved in the wind energy pilot project and stove replacement project include Bill Golove and Chris Bolduc, also of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

- - - -

CONTACT: Dan Krotz, LBL Media Relations, 510-486-4019,

ABOUT THE LAB: Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, Calif. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California. Learn more at .

NOTE TO EDITORS: An html version of this release with images can be viewed at .

Media Contact: Dan Krotz, 510-486-4019,

CBC News: More wind energy to power NS

More wind energy to power NS
Last Updated Thu, 18 Aug 2005 12:08:28 EDT
CBC News
Nova Scotia Power has signed a deal to buy energy from a wind power project on the Tantramar Marsh on the province's border with New Brunswick.

It is hoped the Amherst Wind Energy Project will produce about 100 gigawatt hours of energy annually by 2007. That's enough to supply 10,000 homes.

The turbines will be situated alongside the Trans-Canada Highway.

Nova Scotia Power has awarded contracts for 100 megawatts of wind energy from independent power producers in the last 16 months including this latest project.

MSPL, India's Largest Producer Of Wind Energy

Posted on 22 Aug 2005 # UNI

MSPL, India's Largest Producer Of Wind Energy:
Mumbai: MSPL Limited, the flagship company of Baldota Group and the leading private sector company in Iron ore mining and exports and Gases Establishments in the country, has been awarded the ''Highest Investor Award in the field of Renewable Energy'' for 2004-05.

Baldota Group Director Rahul N Baldota received the award at the Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Diwas function organised by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) on Saturday.

Mr Baldota said, ''We are highly pleased that our initiatives have been recognised by the Karnataka government. Baldota Group believes in harnessing green power and our new projects at Jogimatti, Chitradurga District and at Sogi, Bellary District are steps in this direction.'' He said the company had invested about Rs 460 crore during the financial year 2004-05 for installing wind mills of 105 MW.

An ISO 14001 certified company, MSPL has the unique distinction of being India's largest 'Wind Energy' Producer. They have a total installed capacity of 140 MW of Wind Energy as of date that has been put up at an investment of about Rs 650 crore. MSPL Limited alongwith group companies exports about 385 million units of energy to the Karnataka State grid per annum.

One of the major upcoming projects of MSPL Limited in the field of renewable energy for the current financial year 2005-2006 is the expansion of the existing Wind Farm Projects with an additional capacity of 75 MW. This expansion project includes 25 to 30 MW of wind energy projects at Dhule, Maharashtra, 25 to 30 MW of wind energy project on Kappathagudda Hills, Gadag distict and the 15 to 20 MW wind energy project near Hospet.

MSPL will be shortly diversifying into the field of hydro power generation projects in the Nethravathy basin and also in Tunga basin in Karnataka. The company has plans to enter into power trading and power distribution also encouraged by the Electricity Act, 2003.

WindLogics catches soaring demand for renewable energy systems

WindLogics catches soaring demand for renewable energy systems

by John Connelly

From an expanding perch in Grand Rapids, WindLogics is catching a piece of the nation’s soaring demand for renewable energy.

The St. Paul-based company is an anchor tenant at Itasca Technology Exchange, an 18,000 square-foot incubator for high-tech businesses at Central Square Mall in Grand Rapids. WindLogics tracks, models and forecasts wind patterns and demand for its services is growing.

“We completed about 100 wind projects in 2004 and expect to triple that in 2005,” said Lee Alnes, vice president of marketing. “We’ve also doubled the Grand Rapids staff in the past year.”

The WindLogics team of five in Grand Rapids provides scientific review, research and development. It includes Dennis Moon, the company’s chief scientist, two other doctoral scientists, a physicist and an intern from Itasca Community College. Moon plans to hire an additional scientist. The balance of the company’s payroll of 29 employees produce software in St. Paul.

WindLogics was founded in 1989 as Software Solutions and Environmental Services Co. (SSESCO). It produces software products and services for sophisticated modeling, computer visualization and data analysis solutions in environmental and meteorological markets. Along the way the company has helped the U.S. Army implement a mobile system that makes short-term and location-specific weather predictions; developed a similar, stationary system for the Israeli Air Force; and helped the state of North Dakota analyze the wind’s impact on pollution transport.

More recently, WindLogics has helped Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power pursue wind energy development plans, and is the lead candidate to help the state of Minnesota fulfill its goal of generating 20 percent of its electrical demand using wind.

In 1999, installed wind energy capacity in the United States was just 2,511 megawatts, according to the American Wind Energy Association, a Washington, D.C. trade group. “

Overall, the industry’s goal for growth is 100,000 megawatts by 2020,” said spokeswoman Christine Real de Azua. “Such capacity could generate 6 percent of the United States’ demand for electricity.”

That industry goal got a major boost from the federal energy legislation signed in early August by President Bush that extends a wind energy production tax credit through 2007.

In 2002, Moon attended the wind association’s annual trade show in Portland, OR. It had doubled in size and Moon and a fellow WindLogics employee attending the show smelled significant potential in the wind industry.

“When we returned to Minnesota, we made a case to the rest of the company that we should begin looking for business within the wind industry,” Moon said. “By August of that year, we had taken on our first project.”

Today, WindLogics provides three main products to its wind business clients.

• Wind assessment uses WindLogics data archives and models to assess wind patterns at a particular location.

• Wind forecasting makes short-term predictions about wind, enabling groups like utility operations to trade power.

• Utility-scale wind integration studies help major utilities understand how to integrate wind power into their systems.

In general, WindLogics products help financial institutions, wind developers, electric utilities, government agencies, wind farm operators, construction companies, landowners, energy traders and turbine manufacturers assess the long-term financial risk associated with wind energy development.

“At the moment, we’re backed up by eight to 10 projects,” Moon said. “The growth is great, because it has really helped WindLogics take control of its future.”

Real de Azua of the Wind Association said wind farms will produce more than 17.7 billion kilowatt hours of energy this year, enough electricity to serve more than 1.6 million households. Last year wind energy capacity grew to 6,740 megawatts, and an additional 2,500 megawatts of capacity - reflecting a $2.5 billion investment - will come on line this year, she said.

In both 2006 and 2007, additional 2,000 megawatt increments are expected as a result of the federal energy legislation. Minnesota already is a big player in the wind business. Only California, Texas and Iowa can generate more megawatts using wind.

Minnesota has a total capacity of 615 megawatts, which meets 2.6 percent of the state’s annual electricity needs. By 2010 to 2015, proponents hope the share produced by wind energy will grow to at least 10 percent.

Wisconsin also is far ahead of other states, with 53 megawatts installed and another 414 megawatts planned for the next two years.

“The advantage of wind energy is that it utilizes a long-term and predictable resource, the price of which never goes up,” said Michael Noble, executive director of Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ME3). “It’s also a huge economic stimulus in terms of jobs, manufacturing and heavy industry. Best of all, there’s no pollution.”

At the national level, the additional 2,500 megawatt capacity installed this year means $3 billion in investment and an estimated 10,000 new job-years, the equivalent of 10,000 one-year jobs.

Companies like WindLogics are critical to continued growth of the industry, Noble said.

“WindLogics has been internationally recognized for its leadership in modeling and wind data, and it’s the kind of smart and high-tech company that the industry needs,” he said. “A wide range of groups involved in the industry find significant value in their products.”

Recently, WindLogics helped Xcel Energy in Minneapolis figure out how to add 1,500 megawatts of wind power to its system at no cost to rate payers. In May, WindLogics announced it was beginning work with Xcel to develop a utility-scale wind forecast system.

“The goal of this research and development project is to define, design, build and demonstrate a complete wind power forecasting system for use by other Xcel system operators,” said Mark Ahlstrom, WindLogics chief executive. “System operators and energy traders will be able to more accurately project energy needs and plan appropriately to ensure uninterrupted power supply.”

The company also is helping Minnesota Power add wind energy to its system.

“Since we are venturing into wind energy area, we thought it made sense to get a better handle on the wind resources in North Dakota and Minnesota,” said Paul Johnson, the utility’s project leader. “WindLogics is helping us climb the learning curve so we use wind as effectively as possible in the future.”

The Duluth utility is purchasing 50 megawatts of wind power from a new wind generation project slated near Center, ND. It’s also actively pursuing proposals for a second wind farm to be located on the Iron Range.

“This seems to be a great time to be in the wind business,” said Moon at WindLogics in Grand Rapids. “I think everybody is really beginning to see it as a cost-effective and highly viable form of energy.”

John Connelly is a Grand Rapids freelance writer.

Useful Links:


Xcel Energy

Scoop: Grid can cope with substantial wind energy

Grid can cope with substantial wind energy
Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 11:17 am
Press Release: NZ Wind Energy Association
31 August 2005
Strong National Grid can cope with substantial wind energy

The New Zealand Wind Energy Association (NZWEA) annual conference heard this morning from a number of speakers about the economic integration of wind energy on the New Zealand electricity grid.

New Zealand’s National Grid operator, Transpower, and Electricity Commissioner, Roy Hemmingway, said many of the difficulties associated with connecting substantial levels of wind energy to the national grid could be managed.

The electrical session was led by Ralph Craven, CEO of Transpower, who said that the technical capabilities of wind turbines had advanced significantly over the last few years alone and that any barriers to wind development are now liable to be economic rather than technical. He added;

“Wind is not a replacement for the grid. The connection of large scale wind generation to the New Zealand electricity network will require a strong and flexible grid”.

Electricity Commissioner, Roy Hemmingway, noted that while the installed capacity of wind turbines around the country is currently relatively small, it is expected to increase significantly in the next few years.

“In anticipation of the substantial increase of wind energy coming on to the system in the coming years the Commission is initiating a comprehensive investigation to identify the necessary changes to market rules and to the agreements in accordance with which wind is connected to the grid.”

The conference also heard from Greg Sise, Managing Director of Energy Link and lead author of an MED / EECA report released in May this year which identified that wind turbines could supply the country with up to 20 per cent of its total electricity needs.

“Yes there are challenges and limitations with wind energy, as there are for any form of generation. But by being proactive, by recognising the challenges and by ensuring that wind turbines meet certain basic technical and operational standards, the wind industry will be able to meet a major part of our growing national electricity demand,” he said.

Chief Executive of the NZWEA, James Glennie, said issues associated with the grid integration of wind energy are being examined by System Operators the world over and are now very well understood.

“The wind industry is providing innovative solutions to these historic problems and as a consequence wind, in combination with our extensive hydro resource, is well positioned to meet a substantial portion of New Zealand’s future electricity demand.”

In 2004 the wind industry was the fastest growing energy sector in New Zealand with growth of more than 300 per cent. 200 MW of new capacity has been consented in the last seven months and 607 MW is currently in the resource consent process. The NZWEA has more than 60 members including some of New Zealand’s largest electricity generators, retailers and distribution companies.


FPL Energy to Build N.D. Wind Farm

August 31, 2005 12:11 PM ET FPL Energy to Build N.D. Wind Farm

All Associated Press NewsJUNO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - FPL Energy LLC, the wholesale power unit of FPL Group Inc., on Wednesday said it received approval to build a third wind farm in North Dakota capable of generating 49.5 megawatts.

The company said it will begin building the Wilton Wind Energy Center immediately and will sell the generated electricity to Basin Electric Power Cooperative under a long-term contract. Terms of that contract were not disclosed in a press release.

FPL Energy said it expects to complete the project by year-end, which will include enough wind turbines to generate electricity for nearly 15,000 homes.

Wind energy company buying former rail car plant -

Wind energy company buying former rail car plant
September 2, 2005

BARRE, Vt. --Northern Power Systems, the Waitsfield-based wind-energy company, is buying the 110,000-square-foot plant once used to produce rail cars for Bombardier.

Northern Power Systems designs, builds and installs both stand-alone and grid-connected electric power systems for industrial, commercial and government customers. It has installed more than 900 of those systems in more than 50 countries, using combinations of wind, solar, gas and other sources.

The company has been leasing 35,000 square feet. With the success of that effort, Northern Power Systems has lined up financing to buy the entire manufacturing plant from Bombardier Mass Transit Corp., according to officials with the Vermont Economic Development Authority.

VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley said the authority will be a key source of financing for Northern Power Systems as it seeks to grow the fledgling manufacturing arm of its operations.

Richard Angney, executive director of the Central Vermont Economic Development Corp., said he doubted Northern Power Systems would ever employ as many workers as Bombardier did at the height of its rail car manufacturing days but he predicted it would provide the region with a more stable source of jobs.

Over the course of the past year Northern Power Systems has put its new manufacturing space to good use, fabricating and assembling power systems that are typically contained in large industrial shelters as well as seven huge state-of-the-art wind turbines for the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative.

Northern Power expects to employ more than 170 in Vermont by the end of the year, with roughly 50 of those workers employed at the Barre plant.

Potential for renewable energy source competes against likely danger to wildlife

Lake-based wind tower raises hope, concern
Potential for renewable energy source competes against likely danger to wildlife


Like a silver needle rising 165 feet above Lake Erie’s surface, a newly completed offshore wind tower near downtown Cleveland has the potential of making the Great Lakes region a bigger player in the renewable energy market.

The 6,000-pound tower, by far the region’s tallest in the open water, was anchored in two phases this summer to the city’s water intake crib three miles north of Cleveland’s shoreline. It consists of some 125 feet of steel with movable parts atop the intake crib, which itself sticks 40 feet above the water.

Over the next two years, the imposing tower and a satellite weather station at the bottom of it will collect data on wind direction and velocity, as well as atmospheric conditions.

Green Energy Ohio, a nonprofit group behind the venture, expects it to produce the kind of results necessary to take the next step: gauging the public’s interest in putting utility-scale wind turbines out in the lake.

Wind power is one of the fastest-growing forms of energy worldwide.
Europe — which for decades has overshadowed the United States in terms of land-based windmills — is on an ambitious campaign to install hundreds of wind-harnessing turbines at offshore locales from the United Kingdom to Germany.

But even with all of the apparent momentum under way for the renewable energy market, don’t expect to see the Lake Erie shoreline cluttered by the sight of wind turbines anytime soon — especially along the ecologically fragile western end of the lake between Toledo and Sandusky.

The Ohio Department of Development has been generally supportive, because of the potential for cleaner energy production and job growth in those sectors.

But the idea of putting wind turbines offshore is a politically delicate subject, even more so than it is trying to find the right land.

Many of the same issues that affect land-based turbines — potentially large kills of birds and bats, if proper siting is not done — get carried over to the discussion of offshore turbines.

Thrown into this region’s mix are questions about how well the massive devices can withstand the impact of anything from ice floes to lake freighters. And what, if any, impact the devices could have on the region’s valuable freshwater fishing industry.

Environmentalists have mixed feelings, even though they generally urge less reliance on polluting coal-fired power plants and the radioactive waste generated by nuclear plants.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for the record, say they aren’t anti-wind. But spokesmen for both agencies made it clear in interviews last week that they have a number of ecological issues that would have to be addressed before they would be willing to sign off on the construction of offshore wind turbines in Lake Erie.

“While we’re [generally] supportive, we still want to express our concerns about the appropriate placement of wind turbines in Ohio,” Michele Hoffer, Ohio DNR deputy director, said.

One of the Ohio DNR’s top bird biologists, Mark Shieldcastle, head of the state’s Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station in Ottawa County, said western Lake Erie is so important as a flyover zone that he can’t even conceive of wind turbines in this end of the lake.

The Ottawa County marshes in particular are important to wading birds, waterfowl, songbirds, and raptors, including the state’s largest cluster of bald eagles.

“This may be the biggest concentration of birds in North America in terms of migration,” Mr. Shieldcastle said.

He said the Ohio DNR recommends no wind turbines within three miles of the Lake Erie shoreline. “It’s just amazing the rumors going around about who would like a wind turbine between here and Conneaut,” Mr. Shieldcastle said. “It’s really not practical anywhere along the shoreline.”

The experimental four-turbine wind farm west of Bowling Green, which has generated results that have surpassed expectations, is about 30 miles from the shoreline.

Aaron Godwin, GreenEnergy Ohio project manager, said the Cleveland water intake crib is being used only to collect wind data and is not eyed as a site for turbines.

He said the group hasn’t determined exactly how far out it would have to go to get optimum wind, but said it expects the distance to be at least five to seven miles.

Too close in, and you’re not fully reaping the benefits of going offshore. Too far out, and the costs climb, bringing the law of diminishing returns into play.

“This in no way, shape, or form is a mandate,” Mr. Godwin said of the Cleveland tower. “It’s a way of getting information in the hands of the public.”

Ongoing results are to be posted on the group’s Web site,

Mr. Godwin agreed that the wildlife issue will probably eliminate the western basin from consideration.

“There’s just no way you can get around that,” he said.

Proposals for offshore wind projects in Massachusetts and New York have received mixed responses.

“Right now, we’re at the very, very early stages of looking at offshore wind in the United States,” Megan Seymour, wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in suburban Columbus.

She said the Great Lakes are different from oceanic water because the water here, especially in shallow Lake Erie, is prone to freezing.
“I kind of think the Great Lakes are in a wait-and-see mode, seeing how Atlantic coast projects go first,” Ms. Seymour said.

She said the effect of noises and vibrations would have to first be studied in creatures as small as mayflies, those tiny winged insects that burrow beneath Lake Erie sediment.

Officials also would have to find a better way to gauge the degree of avian mortality offshore. Most of the birds and bats that strike turbine blades would fall into the water without being detected. “That [issue] will have to be overcome in some fashion,” she said.

Despite concerns, Green Energy Ohio remains optimistic about the potential for wind and solar in this region.

But it expects turbines on land sooner than in the water, in part because the land-based ones are about half as expensive. Plus, there are other land-based wind towers, such as the one that went up in Bryan this summer, that could build on the momentum generated by the Bowling Green project.

The Cleveland tower was built at a relatively affordable cost of $87,000, in large part because a deal was worked out to use the intake crib as its base.

Bill Spratley, Green Energy Ohio executive director, cited a recent study that suggested 40 percent of the wind on the Ohio side of Lake Erie to be “conditionally viable for wind energy development.”

Mr. Spratley said Ohio and Wisconsin share an interest in researching the potential in their respective states for offshore wind power. But he too said Green Energy Ohio is not at the point of pushing it for Lake Erie.

“It’s definitely worth looking at,” Mr. Godwin said. “But the moral of the story is that there are a lot of questions left to be answered.”

Contact Tom Henry at: or 419-724-6079.