Friday, November 25, 2005 | Turbine Shortage Slows Wind Power Industry

Turbine Shortage Slows Wind Power Industry
October 5, 2005

On again, off again support from the U.S. government has put tight manufacturing constraints on the wind turbine business in this country, leading to overall worldwide shortages.

La Quinta, California [] The U.S. wind energy market suffers from a shortage of wind turbines, and that situation looks likely to continue through 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association, which summarized the proceedings of its recent Wind Energy Fall Symposium held last week in La Quinta, California.

"You'll hear what U.S. demand should be, and what [manufacturers] should do to meet it, but I plead with you to keep in mind what the global needs are. As the global demand for same resources and manufactured goods is felt throughout the world, the U.S. is going to feel pressure in getting its share of global [turbine] production."

-- Rashid Abdul, Mitsubishi Power Systems The tight market, caused in large part by the on-off cycle of the federal production tax credit (PTC) incentive for wind, occupied much of the discussion at the Symposium's Large Wind Turbine Vendor Forum. The session, moderated by Adam Umanoff of the law firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, featured panelists from five wind turbine manufacturers: Rashid Abdul of Mitsubishi Power Systems, Leif Anderson of Suzlon Wind Energy Corp., Bob Gates of GE Energy, Scott Kringen of Vestas Americas and Peter Stricker of Clipper Windpower, Inc.

Suzlon's Andersen summed up the feelings of the panel when he commented, in response to a question about the "biggest challenge facing the industry," that "The biggest hurdle is the stop-go policy situation in the U.S. -- you can't build a sustainable industry based on that type of policy. Creating a long-term, stable market is the biggest challenge. At the end of 2007 [when the PTC is scheduled to expire], we don't know what happens. Are we looking at 100 MW in 2008? How are we going to share that with five or six manufacturers?"

The viewpoints offered by other participants made it clear that the boom and bust portions of the PTC cycle each have their own frustrations. In the current boom time, every turbine that is made can be sold, but only so many can be made. Noted Gates, "Turbine suppliers have pushed to the physical limits, but demand has surged past them. At GE Wind, we'll manufacture 1,000 turbines in 2005. The previous record year was 600 turbines, and the record before that was 300. So that's a growth rate of almost 100% per year, and it's a huge stretch to make more, just with the physical reality of making the parts you need for the turbines."

Looking ahead, Mitsubishi's Abdul said he foresees similar constraints affecting the market in the future: "You'll hear what U.S. demand should be, and what [manufacturers] should do to meet it, but I plead with you to keep in mind what the global needs are. As the global demand for same resources and manufactured goods is felt throughout the world, the U.S. is going to feel pressure in getting its share of global [turbine] production. We have to be realistic in looking at global demand, and U.S. demand, and how it all works out."

Manufacturers are looking at a variety of strategies to deal with what Gates called the "consistent inconsistency" of the U.S. market, the panelists said. Among them: modifying turbine designs to reduce the scale of large parts such as castings that are current choke points in the manufacturing supply chain; finding customers with the capability to place advance orders for large numbers of turbines, thereby reducing the manufacturer's inventory risk; and simply declining to "flood the market" during boom times and aiming instead for slow, steady increases in production.

Approximately 400 people attended the first-ever Fall Symposium, designed as an educational and networking event and held at the La Quinta Resort & Club. The Symposium offered 12 distinct, in-depth half-day sessions in three concurrent tracks on a range of topics of current interest, and also included two networking receptions.

Information courtesy of the American Wind Energy Association

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

American Superconductor products: windEnergy

Wind energy has emerged as the fastest growing source of energy, with over 48,000 MW installed throughout the world today.� With the recent extension of the Production Tax Credit under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, wind power is expected to see continued strong growth in the immediate future. It is projected to provide a total cumulative world-wide capacity of 117,000 MW (roughly 1.25% of the world?s electricity generation) by 2009 according to BTM Consult ApS. As the total base of installed wind capacity continues to grow with the installation of additional wind turbines and new wind farms, compliance with interconnection criteria becomes increasingly important. In many cases, dynamic voltage regulation and continuous power factor correction are required to keep wind turbine generators online, assuring that the business interests and reliability expectations of both wind developers and utilities are met.

Technical challenges

Developers, operators, and utilities face many challenges when interconnecting large, distributed sources of generation with fluctuating output, such as wind energy. These challenges come in many forms.

Many of today?s wind turbines are induction type generators that absorb large amounts of VARs (Volt-Amperes Reactive) from the grid. For such machines, VAR flow fluctuates with the power output of the turbines. Uncompensated, these variations in VAR flow can cause severe voltage fluctuations, affecting overall power quality and the reliability of the local transmission grid. Traditionally, switched capacitors have been used to compensate for fluctuating VAR requirements. However, a typical wind farm can experience 50-100 capacitor switching events on a given day.� Such frequent switching can cause stresses, effectively reducing life-cycle times of the capacitor switches. In addition, some wind generator gearboxes are sensitive to large step changes in voltage associated with normal capacitor switching, which can overstress the gearbox - one of the costliest and most maintenance intensive components of a wind turbine.

Keeping wind turbines online under low voltage conditions is also a potential trouble spot that developers and operators need to consider. Transient voltage events that drop voltage below turbine tolerance levels can cause generators to trip offline.� Most interconnection standards today require wind farms to have the ability to ride through faults (Low Voltage Ride Through). This can be accomplished either by the wind turbine manufacturer or with a centralized solution in the wind farm substation.

AMSC solutions for wind farms

D-VAR systems

American Superconductor?s D-VAR system is ideally suited to help meet wind farm interconnection standards.� The D-VAR system is a fully integrated, inverter-based reactive compensation system (STATCOM). It can be seamlessly integrated with low cost capacitor banks in an extremely cost-effective solution that provides steady-state voltage regulation, power factor correction, and low voltage ride through capability for the entire wind farm. The D-VAR system can also ?soft-switch? capacitors, thereby eliminating the voltage step changes seen by the wind farm and the utility.

PowerModule Power Electronic Converters

The AMSC PowerModule PM1000 is a power converter designed with a building block approach that can be placed right in the wind turbine. The PM1000 inverter can provide power flow control and low voltage ride through (LVRT) capability, similar to the external D-VAR solution, and is cost effective for smaller wind farms. It is a highly power dense (130 W/ in3), fully programmable, flexible and modular system and can be applied to various wind turbine makes and models.

SuperVAR Dynamic Synchronous Condenser

AMSC?s SuperVAR Dynamic Synchronous Condenser is a new breakthrough product. Similar to D-VAR systems, SuperVAR machines can be applied at strategic locations to stabilize grid voltage, increase reliability, and maximize transmission capacity.

SuperVAR machines use standard synchronous condenser frames and stator coils paired with advanced power-dense rotor coils made from AMSC's superconductor wire. The result is a synchronous condenser that is more efficient than conventional rotating machines - without the high rotor maintenance costs typical of older, conventional synchronous condensers. SuperVAR machines are specifically designed for continuous, steady-state dynamic VAR support, with lower standby losses, higher output, and greater reliability than conventional synchronous condensers.

Both D-VAR systems and SuperVAR machines are cost effective solutions that can provide tight voltage regulation and power factor correction to alleviate fluctuating voltage and VAR demands at wind farms.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

D-VAR(R) for Connection of Pacific Northwest Wind Farm to Electric Transmission Grid To Be Supplied By American Superconductor and GE Energy

D-VAR(R) for Connection of Pacific Northwest Wind Farm to Electric Transmission Grid To Be Supplied By American Superconductor and GE Energy
Voltage regulation system to serve 229 megawatt zero-emission energy source
WESTBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Superconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: AMSC), a leading electricity solutions company, and GE Energy, a business of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), received an order for two D-VAR(R) systems for the Wild Horse Wind Farm project located near Puget Sound in Washington. This solution will help meet the grid interconnection requirements of the wind farm. GE Energy is responsible for installation of the D-VAR systems into the wind farm project.

When completed in the summer of 2006, the Wild Horse wind farm will include 127 Vestas V80 wind turbines and will generate up to 229 megawatts (MW) of zero-emission electricity, enough to serve 114,500 homes.

"The recently passed Energy Policy Act of 2005 called for a two year extension on the Wind Farm production tax credit for electricity generated by wind facilities. We believe it has created a more stable environment for the development and financing of new wind farms and ancillary facilities in the U.S. which require solutions to comply with recent FERC grid interconnection standards," said Chuck Stankiewicz, vice president and general manager of AMSC's Power Electronic Systems business. "Our D-VAR-based voltage regulation system has become the industry product of choice for helping wind facilities meet these new grid interconnection standards."

Overall, this is the tenth wind farm in North America and the eleventh
worldwide to incorporate AMSC's advanced D-VAR dynamic voltage control
technologies. These projects bring the total wind-generated electric power
served by AMSC's D-VAR systems to more than 906 MW. To learn more about AMSC's
D-VAR solutions, see: For more
information on AMSC's wind energy solutions, see:

About American Superconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: AMSC)

AMSC is the world's principal vendor of high temperature superconductor (HTS) wire and large rotating superconductor machinery, and it is a world- leading supplier of dynamic reactive power grid stabilization products. AMSC's HTS wire and power electronic converters are at the core of a broad range of new electricity transmission and distribution, transportation, medical and industrial processing applications, including dynamic reactive power grid stabilization solutions, large ship propulsion motors and generators, smart, controllable, superconductor power cables and advanced defense systems.

The company's products are supported by hundreds of patents and licenses covering technologies fundamental to Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricity(TM). More information is available at

American Superconductor and design, AMSC, POWERED BY AMSC, Revolutionizing the Way the World Uses Electricity, and PowerModule are trademarks and D-VAR and SuperVAR are registered trademarks of American Superconductor Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Thursday, November 10, 2005 | Illinois Launches Community-based Wind Power Loan Program

Illinois Launches Community-based Wind Power Loan Program
November 10, 2005

Illinois' new loan program is particularly well suited to promote small wind power projects for farms in the state.

Chicago, Illinois [] Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced the launch of a $4 million Renewable Energy Development (RED) Fund that will support community-scale wind-energy projects throughout Illinois. The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) will work with community banks and lenders to provide loans and loan guarantees to qualified farmers and farmer co-operatives who construct wind turbine projects less than 20 MW in capacity.

"Governor Blagojevich understands wind turbines help farmers and co-ops diversify their income stream which, in turn, helps strengthen the economic environment throughout Illinois. Through long-standing relationships in the agricultural community, we've identified tremendous interest for assistance in financing these types of projects, and now we have the resources to do it."

-- Jill Rendleman, interim executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority The program begins immediately with a goal to launch community-scale projects by the end of 2006 that will generate new wind-to-energy market capacity across the state. This aggressive effort to promote the use of wind energy in Illinois is part of the Governor's Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive strategy to promote economic growth throughout the state.

"Relying more on our homegrown energy sources will not only make our air cleaner to breathe, but will also provide consumers some relief from high gas prices, help make the energy grid more reliable and bring much-needed jobs and economic growth to our rural communities. This partnership with the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation will help increase our use of one of Illinois' untapped renewable natural resources and provide an important economic boost to our farmers," Gov. Blagojevich said.

In the State of the State Speech earlier this year, Gov. Blagojevich announced his commitment to a Renewable Energy Standard for Illinois with a plan for the state to get 8 percent of its total electricity supply from renewable energy resources like wind by 2012 -- up from less than 1 percent today. A recent study by the University of Illinois at Chicago found that Gov. Blagojevich's plan also would create 7,800 jobs by 2012.

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) and the IFA worked together to develop the RED Fund to support a primary mission of both organizations: to encourage and support development of renewable energy resources. With the Foundation providing the financial resources, the Authority will use its financing expertise and community banking relationships to help Illinois farming operations obtain access to capital for wind-to-energy projects.

"Governor Blagojevich understands wind turbines help farmers and co-ops diversify their income stream which, in turn, helps strengthen the economic environment throughout Illinois," said Jill Rendleman, interim executive director of the IFA. "Through long-standing relationships in the agricultural community, we've identified tremendous interest for assistance in financing these types of projects, and now we have the resources to do it."

Within the next six months, the IFA will host at least three informational seminars across Illinois to educate farmers, landowners, developers and agricultural lenders about the RED Fund and its requirements. Community banks will be encouraged to lend funds for the development of wind projects that meet the Authority's qualifying parameters. The same evaluation and approval process currently in use for existing IFA loans and guarantees will be used.

Under the general provisions of the RED Fund, borrowers must contribute a minimum of 10 percent equity and are limited to community-scale projects that are under 20 MW. Projects must be located in Illinois and will be required to meet the specific requirements of the participation loan or loan guarantee being requested.

GE Energy head eyes wind energy to power growth

GE Energy head eyes wind energy to power growth
Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:51 PM ET
By Timothy Gardner

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wind power and other energy alternatives present significant growth opportunities for General Electric Co.'s (GE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) energy unit in the face of high oil and gas prices, the head of GE Energy said on Thursday.

GE Energy, a $17 billion unit of the industrial, finance and media conglomerate, forecasts revenue from wind energy to grow by 50 percent to $3 billion in 2006.

The wind business has already grown ten-fold since GE bought the business from Enron in 2002.

"Right now we're pretty shocked by demand for wind," John Krenicki, president and CEO of GE Energy, told Reuters in an interview. In 2007, GE targets sales to grow to $4 billion and increase at a rate of more than 10 percent annually through the end of the decade, he said.

The wind segment represents one of the fastest-growing pockets of GE's energy business, which has seen profits finally rebound after a 2-1/2-year earnings slide triggered by a downturn in the wholesale electricity market.

GE forecasts operating profit at the energy unit -- which accounts for more than 10 percent of GE's total revenue -- to grow by 10 to 15 percent in 2006 from an estimated $2.7 billion this year.

It targets revenue to rise more than 10 percent next year.

GE Energy builds wind turbines at its plant in South Carolina where it used to concentrate on making gas turbines. As a result, it can increase wind manufacturing throughout the decade with little or no added capital costs, Krenicki said.

The U.S. wind energy business is enjoying the benefits of federal energy legislation passed this summer which extended a production tax credit for two years.

Krenicki, who engineered a drastic earnings turnaround in his previous job as the head of GE's plastics business, forecasts that by the end of the decade wind power may be able to compete on its own without tax incentives, thanks to lower costs from manufacturing improvements.

In gusty parts of the country, such as West Texas, wind power has become competitive and sometimes cheaper than power from natural gas.

Globally, GE Energy is also positioned to take advantage of the interest in a clean energy that releases virtually no greenhouse gases. GE recently signed the biggest wind turbine contract in China.


Krenicki said that given the volatility of energy prices, GE's customers want a broad portfolio of generating assets, including nuclear, natural gas turbines and clean coal units called integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC).

"Really our strategy is to be a leader in each one of those," said Krenicki, who sees the Middle East and Africa as huge markets for natural gas turbines.

GE is now selling 20 percent of its turbines to Nigeria, while Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia need turbines for electricity and, increasingly, for desalinating sea water into drinking water.

About two-thirds of turbine demand in the Middle East should come from electricity needs and the rest going to desalinization.

GE Energy expects sales of IGCC, which offers utilities a cheaper way to capture and sequester greenhouse gases than traditional pulverized coal units, could be a $75 billion opportunity from 2010 to 2020.

That market could grow even larger to over $100 billion if the United States, which dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol, ever requires carbon constraints, he said. U.S. firms American Electric Power (AEP.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Cinergy (CIN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) are planning IGCC units, but are not installing carbon capturing until required to do so.

As GE aims to diversify and expand its energy portfolio, Krenicki sees ample opportunity to drive profitability gains by shaving costs with more efficient use of materials and leveraging its size to lower expenses.

"There is so much more we can extract from them," said Krenicki. "There is infinite room for improvement."

(Additional reporting by Daisuke Wakabayashi in Boston)

India's wind energy output touches 4,228 MW- The Economic Times

India's wind energy output touches 4,228 MW

NRI Special Offer!
NEW DELHI: Power generation from windmills in India, the world's fourth largest producer of wind energy, has increased fourfold in the past three years, according to a government statement.

The country produces 4,228 megawatts of power from windmills, including 632 megawatts added in April-September, the first half of the fiscal year.

"In addition, the ministry of non-conventional energy sources has prepared master plans for 97 potential sites aggregating to 15,062 MW wind power potential," the statement said.

India is encouraging power generation from new sources to reduce dependence on imported crude oil, which accounts for 70 percent of domestic oil consumption.

It is also promoting research in plant-based fuels such as bio-diesel and ethanol.

The country's crude oil import bill, which stood at $27 billion in 2004/05, is expected to rise this year.

U.S. crude prices hit a record $70.85 at the end of August, but have since fallen by more than $11 and were steady below $50 on Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

SkyBuilt Power

SkyBuilt Power: "SkyBuilt Aims to be the Dell of Renewable Energy Systems

SkyBuilt Aims to be the Dell of Renewable Energy Systems

If you have a unique power need that is off grid, and you want something that can deploy quickly, is rugged, and will last for a long time, SkyBuilt is who you call. The CIA shouldn't be the only one to benefit. By Sterling D. Allan and Mary-Sue Haliburton, Pure Energy Systems News - Exclusive Interview. Copyright � 2005.

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, USA ? SkyBuilt Power recently captured the world's imagination with news that the CIA's venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel, has invested in their company and has a development agreement with them. SkyBuilt is an energy solutions company that makes innovative renewable energy systems. One product on the drawing board is a wind-solar hybrid power unit that can be parachuted to a rugged location and deployed within a few hours by two people.

In fact, a steerable wing-type of parachute can be guided by remote control to get it to an otherwise inaccessible location.

20' x 8.5' x 8'-foot wide Mobile Power Station? (MPS?) unit designed for rapid deployment of a fuel-less power system on display in Arlington, Virginia.
Photo credit: SkyBuilt Power Inc; Rich Clabaugh, staff
The units can be configured to deliver anywhere from 3.5 to 150 kilowatts of electricity, depending on how many options are included.

Though there have been many solar and wind technologies developed, what?s new here is the ability to combine them in a tidy package. Using the heavy and rugged steel container as a base means that it is not necessary to pour heavy footings and install towers and guy wires to support the turbine, or hold solar panels steady against wind pressure.

The modular setup allows off-the-shelf components of many types to be added, including combustion-based generators and alternators, solar panels, wind turbines, and batteries.

I was able to interview the company's president and CEO, Dave Muchow, to learn more about what they do and why and for whom. Very fascinating.

He said that because of the recent coverage of their company, he received some 100 calls yesterday ranging from church groups inquiring about getting a unit, to inventors with ideas to pass along. I caught him at a good time and was able to get a lot of great information.

He didn't much care for the "plop and go" slogan I offered. He prefers "drop and operate." Among themselves they call it the "clean, green power machine".

Muchow said that his inspiration and model in forming the company was the laptop computer, with its plug-and-play versatility of components, from the chips to the hardware and the peripherals. The open architecture enables a mixing and matching of components to suit the individual user so that they don't have more than they need, and they can just add on what they might be missing.

Apply that now to renewable energy systems. That is what SkyBuilt is all about, and has been tackling since 2002 when they started. That is the essence of the 140 claims they have filed in their patent applications.

They want to be the Dell of renewable energy systems.

"We are the world's first plug-and-play, open architecture, mobile, and expandable renewable power system," said Muchow.

Call them up, tell them your needs, and they pull together a package based on their wide experience and network of experts that they can call upon to make an ideal system, providing the highest value, at the lowest price possible.

Is your climate cloudy but windy? Is it extra cold? Is your cabin is larger than usual, and you have chemical sensitivities? SkyBuilt will weigh all those factors, look at the energy requirement, then recommend the combination of technologies that will best suit your situation. The system could also integrate diesel, propane, natural gas or gasoline-powered generators. "However, the supply-line for fuel can be problematic in many of the emergency-response applications we handle", said Muchow. Additionally, he points out that in addition to being clean, the 5-10 kilowatt renewable energy systems, for example, can be 50% more cost-effective than diesel gensets -- sometimes as much as 90% more efficient.

A team of professionals can do far better than one person can do by himself. Think of what is involved. You have to research all the various possible vendors for all the various components of the system, weigh the pros and cons, and then make a determination of the most inexpensive, compatible match of components for the proposed system. That task can be daunting for an individual who has other things they need to be doing with their time. It can be handled much more efficiently by people who have made their lifetime careers out of energy technology and all its various facets, and who specialize in this matching of suitable systems.

Muchow served as a General Counsel for thirty years in the energy industry, representing 300 natural gas and electric utilities before he launched SkyBuilt, so he himself has a wealth of knowledge on the subject, and he knows how to network with companies.

The company has contracts with leading renewable energy suppliers, and can access systems from pretty much any manufacturer. "We use off-the-shelf components and adapt them to be plug-and-play so you don't have to replace the operating system when an individual component changes," said Muchow.

"What you find in the industry is that nuclear people don't talk much to solar people. They specialize in their own focused area of research and development," he said. Meanwhile, the customer might only need a portion of this, a smattering of that, but the specialists only know about their own product.

"We think sideways, across the many companies, rather than focused on any one. The customer wants a cross section that represents the best solution for their particular needs".

While the direct personnel staffing at SkyBuilt is lean, by networking with those who have the skills they need, they are able to respond to whatever scenario is presented to them. They have independent contractor relations with numerous electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, stress engineers, as well as access to business and legal expertise required. They farm out the construction of the systems they build, similar to the Ferrari model of business operation.

"We try not to turn anyone away," said Muchow. The home market is one they are interested in tackling, but that won?t come for a while. Up until now they have specialized in government contracts. Their forte is in situations where there is a need for rapid deployment of a system, such as in disasters or in developing countries. But the Dell model for renewable energy systems is a principle that can be applied much more broadly.

"We could haul a solar-powered water pumping system into a remote area by donkey, install it in a day, and it will last for decades," said Muchow. "The first solar panels installed in the 1950's are still working," he noted.

Part of SkyBuilt's patent claims has to do with the idea of using shipping containers to package and deliver the systems, with easy-to-follow instructions for assembly and disassembly. "We made this as dummy-proof and reliable as possible. Red piece lines up with red piece."

I make the suggestion that while the home installation doesn't require the permanent location of a shipping container along with it, the shipping container could be used to deliver the system, then be sent back to the company to ship another system to a different customer.

The advantages of the shipping container are many, among which is ease of shipping. These containers are used worldwide in trucking, trains, shipping and air freight. They are like the tower that houses the PC. They all look alike on the outside, but can be very different on the inside, though the inside is really just a particular combination of reoccurring themes.

"Think of all the uses for the container once the components are out of it and assembled," said Muchow. "It can be turned into a medical clinic, a fire house, a birthing clinic, a police station, civic building, or even a school." The website itemizes yet further uses of the interior of the Mobile Power Station: "air-conditioned office space, telecommunications, medical center, emergency operations/command center or storage."

In disaster response, which is one of their primary applications, having a clean, sturdy, enclosable small building can be as helpful as the power system that comes packaged in it. According to the company website, "The container can be heated and cooled for climate-controlled and lighted storage, office, medical clinic, border patrol facility, telecom, operations centers, or other secure, self-powered space in any environment from the desert to the artic".

"And it floats," said Muchow, noting that sometimes shipping containers will fall off ships en route to their destination. A floating container can also be a crucial component in a hurricane or flood. Maybe you could even drop it into the water, row it to where you need it, and deploy. There is no absence of wind in hurricane response.

The ruggedizing is in the container itself, and the patented connectors. Designed to avoid the problem of jerry-rigged exposed wiring that can be nibbled by animals and corroded by natural processes, these rugged modular connections will enable the portable station to withstand degradation caused by temperature extremes and other factors.

The MPS can even be left unmanned for extended periods, and operated by remote control, This would have many uses, such as a border-monitoring station in difficult terrain.

A chief benefit from the military point of view is that the solar power generation is silent, and lacks the heat signature of a fuel-burning generator that could give away its location. A small wind turbine such as that depicted on the site can be low-noise as well, storing extra energy to high-capacity batteries. With such obvious advantages for covert work, you can see why the In-Q-tel has invested in it.

Hopefully, the technology will not find its most frequent application in facilitating war, or even make it easier to set up martial law in a disaster zone.

While SkyBuilt is poised to obtain patent protection for the container deployment concept, the Dell concept is one that can be mirrored by many companies, in addition to SkyBuilt. Hopefully such competition will speed the time when home and small business customers can enter into a buying revolution akin to the computer revolution when personal computers began to start showing up in most every home and office.

Other recent press releases:

In-Q-Tel Announces Strategic Investment in Skybuilt Power to Develop Mobile, Renewable Energy Power Stations

SkyBuilt Power and the Research Institute of Kazakhstan Sign Cooperation Agreement for Renewable Energy in Remote Areas

SkyBuilt Power?s� Mobile Power Stations are Ideal for Tsunami and Other Disaster Relief Needs

SkyBuilt and the University of District of Columbia Invited by Ethopia's President Girma to Assess Ethiopian Renewable Power Needs

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4449 N. 38th Street, Arlington, VA 22207
Phone: 703.536.7866 | Toll-Free: 866.786.2845 | Fax: 703.536.7836

The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA--Gamesa is planning region?s largest wind farm

Gamesa is planning region?s largest wind farm

Wind-turbine builder Gamesa Inc. ? which is constructing a factory outside Ebensburg ? is preparing a state permit seeking to build what would be the area?s largest windmill farm, The Tribune-Democrat has learned.

Spain-based Gamesa?s blueprint along the Blair-Cambria county line includes about 60 wind turbines ? three times the region?s largest, a string of 20 in Meyersdale.

The company is remaining close-mouthed about specifics of the turbines expected to stretch from Portage to the Cresson area. Brian Lammers, Gamesa?s director of development, said only that the project is moving forward.

?Everything looks positive for the project to be built in 2006,? he said.

Exact locations for the siting of the windmills are still unknown.

Allegheny Ridge Wind Farm LLC would be the name, according to information provided to the Portage Township supervisors by a consultant working for wind-energy developer Gamesa.

Shoener Environmental Consulting Services of Moscow, Pa., shows the turbines could be located near Blue Knob, including the Cambria County townships of Cresson, Portage and Washington. In Blair, Juniata and Greenfield townships could be involved.

Gamesa anticipates that a total of 200-plus acres will be affected by construction.

Meanwhile, Gamesa has begun hiring employees for Fiberblade, the company?s first American manufacturing facility, a blade plant being built in Cambria Township.

Portage-area officials were told in April that Gamesa was considering wind power on land belonging to Portage Area Municipal Water Authority, Martindale Lumber Co. and Helsel Lumber Co.

Interest in developing wind energy is increasing in the region as the state and federal governments push for alternative energy sources. The Allegheny Ridge has an elevation higher than 2,600 feet and provides miles of relatively undeveloped land through eastern Cambria County.

The size of the proposed farm is a surprise to Portage Township resident Bruce Brunett, who led a fight in the spring for local officials to develop regulations for the operation.

?This 60 is just flooring me,? Brunett said. ?Each windmill has a 3-acre footprint. That?s stripped ground: No trees, no nothing.?

Details are being ironed out for ordinances by the host municipalities to regulate siting and operation of the turbines. Of particular concern is how far from adjoining property lines the giant blades may be placed and the amount of acceptable noise.

A day of negotiations last week included representatives of Washington, Greenfield and Juniata townships at the Ebensburg office of C.J. Webb, solicitor for Portage Township. Lammers also attended for Gamesa.

?We believe we have reached a tentative agreement on all of the outstanding issues,? Webb said of a draft ordinance that addresses property line setbacks and noise.

The draft is being circulated among the municipalities and could be adopted in Portage Township as early as the November meeting, Webb said.

?The agreement is identical for all four municipalities,? he said.

While Cresson Township is included in the consultant?s description, Webb said it is unclear how much area will be involved there.

Gamesa?s full application to the state Department of Environmental Protection has not been submitted to the Pittsburgh office, spokesman Betsy Mallison said Wednesday.

DEP and Cambria County Conservation District will be involved in the permit process as it relates to soil, erosion control and sedimentation during the construction phase, Mallison said.

Three windmill farms in Somerset County hold 34 turbines, said Brad Zearfoss, director of the Somerset County Planning Commission. Aside from Meyersdale, Garrett has eight turbines and Somerset Township has six.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

GE Energy - 2005 Press releases

GE's 2.5-Megawatt Wind Turbine Technology Selected For New Projects In Japan
ATLANTA, GA. November 2, 2005: -- GE Energy?s 2.5-megawatt wind turbine technology is being introduced into Japan through an agreement that will add 85 megawatts of wind energy capacity to the country?s electricity grid.

Currently being developed by Clean Energy Factory, Inc., a wind energy producer based in Nemuro, Hokkaido, the three projects covered by the agreement will be located on Awaji Island, Hyogo; in Dangamine, near the border between Asago and Shiso, Hyogo; and in Hohoku, Yamaguchi. The projects are expected to enter commercial operation during 2006 and 2007.

GE's 2.5-megawatt wind turbine design, first introduced in 2003, is based on experience and lessons learned from the manufacture and operation of more than 3,300 of the company's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines, which are installed worldwide. Thirty-eight of GE's 1.5-megawatt units have previously been installed in Japan: 22 for the Rokkasho Wind Project, six for Hokkaido, and 10 for the Hibikinada Wind Project.

"The 2.5-megawatt wind turbine addresses a global trend toward wind turbines with greater power capacities," said Mr. Tamio Kani, general manager of GE Energy's Japan-based wind unit. "This machine, with its larger, 88-meter rotor diameter and flexible modular structure, will be a good match for the project sites. We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring this new technology to Japan, as part of the country's aggressive efforts to produce three gigawatts of new, renewable energy by the year 2010."

The continuing advancement of wind power technology is a key element of GE ecomagination, a commitment to cleaner energy options that is at the forefront of the company's business initiatives. Launched in May, ecomagination is a GE initiative to aggressively bring to market new technologies that will help customers meet pressing environmental challenges.

About GE Energy
GE Energy ( is one of the world's leading suppliers of power generation and energy delivery technology, with 2004 revenues of $17.3 billion. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, GE Energy provides equipment, service and management solutions across the power generation, oil and gas, transmission and distribution, distributed power and energy rental industries.

With wind turbine design, manufacturing and assembly facilities in Germany, Spain and the United States, GE Energy is among the leading providers of wind energy products and support services ranging from commercial wind turbines and grid integration products to project development assistance and operation and maintenance. The company?s knowledge base includes the development and/or installation of more than 7,500 wind turbines with a total rated output of 6,200 megawatts.

For more information, contact:
Dennis Murphy
GE Energy
+1 678 844 6948

Ken Darling or Howard Masto
Masto Public Relations
+1 518 786 6488

Saturday, November 05, 2005

MTC, U.S. Department of Energy, and GE Release Framework for Guiding Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States

MTC, U.S. Department of Energy, and GE Release Framework for Guiding Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States

Link to a pdf of the full document (1MB)
or executive summary (73 KB).

WESTBOROUGH, MA (September 30, 2005) ? The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) today joined the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and GE to unveil A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States, an agenda aimed at tapping abundant offshore winds, especially over deep waters, to increase the nation?s production of clean, sustainable energy. The Framework, developed over the past year, identifies the technical, environmental, economic and regulatory needs required for the responsible development of our nation?s offshore wind energy potential, as well as strategies for addressing them.

The U.S. DOE estimates that more than 900,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity, an amount roughly equivalent to the total current installed U.S. electrical capacity, exists within 50 miles off our coasts. The winds over deep waters off the New England coast are among the strongest anywhere in the United States.

?Tapping into offshore wind energy, a free fuel source that is not impacted by fluctuating prices or volatile fuel import schedules, can offer long-term competitive electricity costs,? said Jim Lyons, GE Chief Research Engineer. ?At the same time, it will provide the U.S. with a means to add additional renewable energy into the Nation?s electricity mix. Further technology development will be key to this effort, particularly in deep waters where conditions are beyond the reach of current technology. The Framework recognizes the need for a cost-effective evolution from today?s near-shore, shallow water sites to the future?s more remote, deeper water facilities.?

The Framework is intended to help the United States develop its offshore wind energy industry through a highly collaborative, multi-sector approach. A major goal of this collaborative effort is to bring government, industry, and universities together to spur innovation in wind energy technologies. The document also recognizes the importance of considering this offshore energy source in the context of emerging national ocean conservation and management priorities.

?The Framework represents the collective input and research of many recognized energy experts and specialists across a wide range of fields,? said MTC Vice President for Sustainable Energy Gregory Watson. ?The winds over deep ocean waters represent a potentially inexhaustible source of clean energy. Addressing the challenges facing the offshore wind industry through the strategies outlined in the Framework will enable us to start harnessing this enormous resource in ways that are both environmentally and economically sustainable.?

New offshore wind energy and hydrogen fuel generating company tipping to Europe or Asia

New method would make wind energy primary-grid-power capable.

Floating offshore wind energy and hydrogen fuel generating company tipping to Europe or Asia
Inventor Tom L. Lee, Ph.D. has developed a floating wind turbine platform concept for accessing the higher winds out at sea, and converting wind energy efficiently to hydrogen and electricity. Would prefer to license its manufacture and distribution to a U.S. party.

"This technology has the capacity to quickly revolutionize the global wind energy sector, the global hydrogen economy/fuel cell sector, and the global power industry."
-- Tom L. Lee, Ph.D.
President of Stanbury Resources, Inc. (Oct. 31, 2005)

by Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News -- Exclusive, Breaking
Copyright � 2005

Primitive energy in Africa, begs for solutions.
A Vision to Alleviate Poverty

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN, USA -- Twelve years ago, when he was living in Africa, Dr. Thomas L. Lee wanted to do something to help solve the intermittent power problem that he experienced routinely. He felt there just had to be a way for the power to be more reliable, more affordable, and more accessible to people in poverty-stricken areas of the world.

After years of research and development, he has now arrived at a point where he is ready to implement his solution, which he thinks could be one the most significant developments in the world, "to give developing countries the same advantage we now have."

The application would not be limited to undeveloped countries. The green energy and the savings from fuelless power would be of interest to developed countries as well. All nations are looking for effective ways to eliminate their dependence on polluting fossil fuels and not just from supplemental sources, but for primary power capabilities.

Commercial wind energy in general achieved the milestone earlier this year of becoming competitive with conventional grid energy sources, going down into the 4-6 cents per kilowatt-hour range. (Ref.)

Lee's invention of a floating wind-hydrogen platform with battery storage, developed by his company, Stanbury Resources Inc., accomplishes three things to push yet beyond that.

The Advantages

Concept drawing by Tom L. Lee. (with permission)

Stanbury Resources Inc. does not mount wind turbines on the sea floor, but deploys them on floating platforms on bodies of water of any depth, from 15 meters to 15,000 feet. These floating turbine platforms will be easily repositioned under their own power; and may be situated a considerable distance from land.

First, their turbines are designed to install onto a floating platform, like an oil rig, so they can go to where the wind is -- further out to sea -- in contrast to present offshore wind turbines, which must be situated near the coast in waters shallow enough to build a platform onto the sea floor.

Lee refers to a "wind shadow" that extends from between a quarter of a mile to as much as a full mile out from the coast, dampening the strength of the wind as it comes ashore. "We can go far out beyond that, to where the wind is," he said. "Offshore wind resources can be vastly more power productive than onshore winds, particularly if not influenced or affected by large land masses".

"In addition to global oceanic deployment, this technology is also ideally suited for deployment on Lake Michigan, on Lake Ontario, and other Great Lakes", he adds. If shipping lanes allow, this would enable power development without needing to use up valuable land in this highly-populated region.

Second, the company has a proprietary method of tapping the wind turbine energy to convert sea water efficiently into hydrogen, with a byproduct of pure oxygen.

Third, rather than the wind energy being conveyed directly into the grid, it is stored in a battery system so that it is available continuously and can be used as a primary grid energy system.

While the batteries make the system more expensive than other wind systems, what they do is make the system capable of being a primary energy system, rather than just supplemental. Now the system can provide a continuous flow of energy.

But even more importantly, a battery-based system has the advantage of being able to supply the energy in response to the grid needs. It can respond to peaks and valleys, rather than having to ramp up to peak load and then waste everything else, which is the case with nuclear power, and to a lesser extent with coal, natural gas, and hydro grid power stations. (Ref.)

"While the technology is new, it is based on well-proven energy capture and power generation principles, and is protected by currently pending Patents," said Lee. The two patent filings contain around 45 claims.

Aboard the Platforms (similar to oil rigs)

Government Study
"The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory did a feasibility study on these types of floating turbine farms and found that they could be built using existing technology and provide electricity at approximately $0.05/kWh. The turbines studied did not include the battery storage and hydrogen production described [here]." (Ref.)

Though hydrogen burns cleanly, typically its production is tied to polluting processes, and is accompanied by a net energy loss, requiring more fuel to create than it gives off. Lee's system produces hydrogen cleanly, with no pollution, from energy that is free for the taking ? wind.

Their system does not go straight from the turbines to electrolysis, but involves batteries. Though proprietary, Lee said that the process was "embarrassingly simple." He is not permitted to elaborate further, but states simply: "Our new hydrogen system has solved the net energy deficit dilemma."

Not all of the company's platforms would involve hydrogen production.

The platforms on which hydrogen production would take place would need to be quite a bit larger to house the pressurized tanks holding the hydrogen. The hydrogen would be shipped to ports where it would be offloaded onto tanker trucks and trains. Oil tankers would require very little modification to haul hydrogen, Lee said.

The floating platforms would cause minimal disruption to the sea floor below, requiring just a modified anchor to keep them moored in place. The platform would be held upright by an underwater keel, along with some dynamic ballast controls and a four-direction propulsion pod system.

Related Project

Wind power project floating out to North Sea
Norwegian utility will anchor floating 660-foot-tall post, 200-foot-long blades. Expected 2007. If the concept works, Norsk Hydro envisions parks of perhaps 200 windmills, in waters 700-2,200 feet deep. (PESN; Nov. 3, 2005)

The electrical cables running from the platform to onshore would be small. Lee reminisced back to the 1870's when a 4000 mile cable was run from the U.S. to England. "Cabling has come a long way, and is very efficient today, with very, very low transmission resistance" he said. He envisions that distances of even 1000 miles would not be a problem for the platform, to situate it well, and then transmit the electricity to its destination.

Though fitted for occupancy, the platform would be navigable by remote control, with continuous GPS position reporting, and would not require occupancy other than for occasional maintenance.

While the systems would generally be installed in regions that are not as prone to severe weather, in the case of an approaching storm, the platform would be navigated out of the way, hoisting the anchors onto the platform. With modern satellite systems and weather forecasting, there would be ample forewarning to move the platform out of harm's way if necessary. Lee said the platform could move at around 20 knots.

An onboard cable reeling system could accommodate movements of up to three miles without requiring detachment. If the electrical cables need to be detached, they would be held in place by a buoy, until the platform returns.

"All of this can be done by remote control", said Lee.

In addition to shipping lane considerations for site location selection, the turbine flotilla would also be situated away from bird migratory pathways. "And there is no noise," Lee adds, referring to the distance that the turbines would be from shore. While sound does carry better over the generally flat surface of water, Lee claims that just one mile distance is adequate for the noise to dissipate to zero.

There are "thousands" of suitable locations worldwide, according to Lee.

Lee envisions these platforms being installed in third-world regions, underwritten by more wealthy companies. He believes that companies would work with the local governments for possible part ownership and control (to the extent that the local government can afford), and then provide the power at a rate lower, and at a stability much greater than is possible for such countries at present. While such philanthropy by wealthy companies in the West is rare, Lee said he witnessed it repeatedly when living in Africa.

The company has considered vertical-axis turbines, but chose to go with the horizontal, propeller turbines inasmuch as there is a much larger body of data by which to determine the optimal combinations of height, diameter, concentration, batteries required, electricity generation, and other variables in designing a platform. As more information becomes available on vertical-axis turbines, Lee anticipates that the company may begin to use those as well.

Prefers U.S. Licensee

Lee said that his company is "presently engaged in advanced technology licensing discussions with a large European industrial group, and with an Asian industrial conglomerate." Both have been pursuing the technology aggressively and would like exclusive license rights for manufacturing, distribution, and operation worldwide. Both are experienced in large-scale industrial manufacturing as well as in energy. The European interest also has experience in wind power. "This would be a short leap for them," Lee said.

Lee's interest in seeing a U.S. company license the technology stems from patriotism. "Since 1777, my family has fought in every major U.S. conflict." "I would personally prefer to see global control of this technology remain in the hands of an American entity or entities."

He has approached a number of power producers in the U.S., but has thus far been met with a yawn. "They prefer to stay with something they are comfortable with -- [usually] coal; whereas the Europeans and Asians have been extremely aggressive in wanting to secure control of this technology."

"The U.S. is great at coming up with innovations, but they end up being developed outside the United States", Lee said.

In Asia, wind is not fringe. It is mainstream. "Every major power company in China is involved in wind energy development in some way," Lee said. "Same in Japan and Korea."

The Asian interest would like to have systems up and running within two years. "The European party is a little more laid back, though they would also be capable of having something in place that soon," Lee said.

Founded around a decade ago, Stanbury Resources, Inc., of which Lee is president, is a research and development company under the ownership of the Howard Lee Trust, of which Lee is trustee. The late Howard Lee was Tom's father. In addition to Lee, whose doctoral degree was in Communications, the other three individuals in the company are engineers, one of which is a maritime professional. This off-shore wind/hydrogen project has been their exclusive focus as a company.

This off-shore wind/hydrogen project has been their exclusive focus as a company. They have built several small-scale prototypes of the design, at less than 1/100th-scale.

The company is not publicly traded, and "never will" be, said Lee. In the future, they might attempt some manufacturing and operations themselves, but for now they are going to license other companies to do this.

Lee describes this as a "huge business opportunity," and wishes that an American company would express as much interest as the European and Asian companies have.

Stanbury Resources Inc. does not yet have a website, nor have they sought media coverage. This will be the first significant coverage that they have received.

# # #


Phone interview with Tom L. Lee, Ph.D., Oct. 31, 2005
Email correspondence with Tom Lee.

Thanks to Mary-Sue Haliburton for her editorial input.

Tom L. Lee, Ph.D.
Howard H. Lee Trust
2710 Boston S.E.
East Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506

Telephone (616) 957-4166

Related Coverage
Wind power project floating out to North Sea - Norwegian utility will anchor floating 660-foot-tall post, 200-foot-long blades. Expected 2007. If the concept works, Norsk Hydro envisions parks of perhaps 200 windmills, in waters 700-2,200 feet deep. (PESN; Nov. 3, 2005)

PA Governor Rendell Building Clean Energy Future for Pennsylvania

Bear Creek Wind Farm Will Power More Than 9,000 Homes, Enhancing
Pennsylvania's National Leadership in Development, Deployment of Alternative

BEAR CREEK TOWNSHIP, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell is
making investments and putting policies in place to help Pennsylvania build a
clean energy future and keep the state in the forefront of alternative energy
"Pennsylvania is leading the way with cutting-edge projects to develop
home-grown energy resources and solutions, encourage conservation and build a
diversified energy base that creates jobs and improves our environment,"
Governor Rendell said during a tour today of the Bear Creek Wind Farm.
"Working with private industry and making strategic investments,
Pennsylvania continues to build its own energy from wind power to waste-coal-
to-diesel to biofuels," the Governor added. "We cannot afford to wait for the
federal government to establish a policy that supports our businesses and
reduces our dependence on foreign oil. We are acting now.
Pennsylvania leads states east of the Mississippi in the deployment of
wind energy, producing nearly 135 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power
more than 50,000 homes -- with as many as 65 megawatts scheduled to come on
line within the next year.
Among the wind energy projects in development is the Bear Creek Wind Farm,
located just south of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County.
"When I came to Harrisburg three years ago, I said we were going to do
things differently," Governor Rendell said. "Today is another example of how
we're going to lead, not follow. I am determined to start bringing our
independence back as a country. We are working to keep our energy dollars
here and put our own citizens to work by supporting innovative ideas.
Development and deployment of wind resources is an economic and environmental
win for our commonwealth."
Wind power is among the cleanest and fastest-growing sources of energy. In
Pennsylvania, its potential is significant. There are more than 5,000
megawatts of untapped power in the commonwealth, with the potential to
generate 45 billion kilowatt-hours annually, enough to power more than 5
million homes.
The Bear Creek Wind Farm, which is being developed by Community Energy
Inc., features 12 wind turbines that will provide more than 70 million
kilowatt hours of clean, renewable and domestically produced electricity for
more than 9,000 homes each year. All of the towers, currently under
construction, should be in place by early next year."
Governor Rendell provided $692,000 to the wind farm through the Department
of Environmental Protection's Clean Air Fund. Bear Creek also received a $1
million low-interest loan from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority,
which the Governor recently revitalized as part of his strategy to build a
clean, indigenous, diversified energy industry in the state.
Bear Creek's 12 turbines -- the largest turbines in use in the United
States -- are being supplied by Gamesa Corp. of Spain, the world's second-
largest wind-energy manufacturer, which set up shop in Pennsylvania in
September 2004. Governor Rendell personally led the campaign to land Gamesa,
beating out many other vying states. With its U.S. headquarters and two
manufacturing facilities based here, Gamesa represents a $40 million
investment in the state that will create as many as 1,000 jobs over five
The Bear Creek Wind Farm is among a number of projects that Governor
Rendell has supported and advanced to build Pennsylvania's clean energy
future. The Governor's successful and visionary leadership in building a clean
energy future was recognized recently by former President William J. Clinton
in the Inaugural Clinton Global Initiative, an international summit.
In late October, Governor Rendell launched the east coast's first
commercially viable biofuels storage and blending system in Middletown,
Dauphin County. The plant will replace 3.2 million gallons of foreign oil with
domestically produced biodiesel and will keep about $6 million worth of energy
dollars in the Commonwealth by reducing the state's need to purchase imported
Pennsylvanians now spend some $30 billion per year on imported energy
fuels. However, using and developing homegrown energy sources and supplies has
a multiplier effect in local and regional economies that can yield significant
economic benefits.
Governor Rendell has made Pennsylvania a frontrunner in addressing the
country's dependence on foreign oil by supporting the nation's first-ever
waste-coal-to-diesel plant and creating a fuel consortium that will purchase
nearly all of the cheaper, cleaner, diesel fuel that will be produced at the
Schuylkill County facility. The plant, which is being built by Waste
Management and Processors Inc. of Gilberton, Schuylkill County, will use waste
coal to produce as much as 40 million gallons of clean-burning diesel
annually. Construction will create as many as 1,000 jobs.
Operating the plant will produce another 600 permanent, high-paying,
positions. The company expects to break ground and start construction as early
as spring of 2006.
Nationally syndicated business and financial columnist Lou Dobbs praised
Governor Rendell recently on his CNN news program for his national leadership
on energy initiatives. Barron's, one of the nation's premier financial weekly
magazines, and Bloomberg News, also highlighted the Governor's leadership in
creating the buyers' consortium.
Pennsylvania is now home to one of the nation's most progressive
alternative energy portfolio standards, ensuring that 18 percent of all energy
generated comes from clean, efficient sources by the year 2020. Pennsylvania
is one of two states with a portfolio standard that includes energy
efficiency, and the commonwealth's portfolio standard far surpasses any other
state requirement for solar energy, guaranteeing a market share for solar that
is some 300-percent greater than anywhere else in the country. Benefits
include $10 billion in increased output for Pennsylvania, $3 billion in
additional earnings and between 3,500 and 4,000 news jobs for residents over
the next 20 years.
Earlier this week, Governor Rendell announced Pennsylvania is taking
aggressive steps to clean up its rivers and streams, improve parks, revitalize
abandoned industrial sites and protect open space and preserve farmland with
an investment of $65 million in environmental projects that will help scores
of Pennsylvania communities.
The Governor also said all 67 counties will now be able to apply for $90
million, allocated on a county-by-county basis, for eligible environmental
Governor Rendell's Growing Greener II initiative provides significant
resources to build on the success of other energy initiatives, including up to
$10 million annually for PEDA, which has up to $1 billion available to provide
financing to help build clean power and fuel plants. In June, PEDA awarded its
first $6.5 million to finance 16 clean energy projects that will create as
many as 450 permanent and construction jobs, including 327 full-time jobs.
The Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program funds projects that build
markets for advanced and renewable energy technologies that use biomass, wind,
solar, small-scale hydroelectric, landfill methane, energy efficiency, coal-
bed methane and waste coal. The program has awarded $10 million and leveraged
another $26.7 million in private funds since its inception in May 2003.
Governor Rendell also signed an executive order, "Energy Management and
Conservation in the Commonwealth," ensuring maximum efficiency in energy
management and conservation in state facilities through the implementation of
a centralized energy strategy. This measure will decrease energy consumption
and energy costs and promote a cleaner environment.
The Governor enacted an expansion of the state's Alternative Fuels
Incentive Grant Program, which invests in enhancing the infrastructure
necessary to expand the state's capacity to produce alternative fuels. AFIG
also helps residents purchase alternative-fuel vehicles and finances related
fuel projects to create new markets that can have measurable impacts on
pollution reduction, environmental protection and economic growth.
More recently, Governor Rendell announced a plan to replace some 25
percent of the state's vehicle fleet with hybrids by 2011.
For more information on these energy initiatives, visit the state's Web
site at, Keyword: "DEP Alternative Energy."
The Rendell Administration is committed to creating a first-rate public
education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing
economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out
more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his weekly
newsletter, visit his Web site at:

CONTACT: Kate Philips
Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

Kurt Knaus, DEP

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
Web Site:

Wind could blow energy crisis away

Wind could blow energy crisis away
By Liang Chao (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-04 05:51

A recent study has ascertained that China's offshore wind power generation capacity could be as high as 750 million kilowatts.

Such a huge potential energy reserve will help China enjoy the benefits of renewable resources, provided they can be well exploited in the years to come, said the study, which will be continued as a nationwide assessment on wind energy resources and development.

"The amount is almost three times higher than the inland wind resources," said the study, carried out by the National Climate Centre (NCC).

Most wind power is currently generated off the coast of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces by 10-metre-high wind turbines.

However, exploitation of offshore wind power is still a relatively new effort, despite the country being plagued by shortage of power supply, and increasing pollution.

Wind energy use is widespread in some developed countries, but in China it accounts for less than 1 per cent of the total.

The study found that China's installed capacity of wind generators, by the end of last year, was only 764,000 kilowatts, or 0.17 of the total energy capacity.

In Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, despite rich wind resources, the installed capacity of wind generators was only 125,500 kilowatts, just 2 per cent of the total requirement.

It is estimated that, by 2020, China's installed capacity of wind generators will reach 20 million kilowatts, 4 to 10 per cent of the total generation, accordint to Luo Yong, deputy director of NCC.

By then, the world's generation of wind power is scheduled to make up of 12 per cent of the total electricity production, he said, adding, over the past five years, the sector's annual growth rate has averaged 35 per cent worldwide.

To realize China's own goals in the sector by that date, and catch up with developments worldwide, China needs an overall assessment of its wind energy resources and utilization, Luo said.

Before the end of this year the assessment, funded by World Bank and the Global Environment Facility, will help China select sites for 20 key wind generation projects, each with an installed capacity of at least 100,000 kilowatts, he added.

"The assessment is a significant help in exploiting and utilizing climate resources, particularly wind energy," Qin Dahe, top official of China Meteorological Administration told the World Meteorological Organization's Technical Conference on Climate as a Resource, which ended yesterday in Beijing. | DOE Report Backs Cape Wind Power Proposal

DOE Report Backs Cape Wind Power Proposal
October 3, 2005

Offshore wind development is a good source of needed electricity for New England, providing fuel diversity and price stability, finds the recent report "A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States."

Boston, Massachusetts [] There is as much wind power potential (900,000 MW) off our coasts as the current capacity of all power plants in the United States combined, according to a new report entitled, A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States (Framework), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and General Electric.

"Most of the total potential offshore wind resources exist relatively close to major urban load centers, where high energy costs prevail and where opportunities for wind development on land are limited. This is especially true in the densely populated Northeast, where nearly one-fifth of that national population lives on less than 2% of the total land area..."

-- Framework The Framework finds the greatest wind power potential offshore the highly populated urban coastal areas of the northeast and it recognizes the roles of Cape Wind and the Long Island offshore wind project in creating the momentum to develop offshore wind power in the United States. The three passages below are examples of these points being made in the Framework:

"...The United States is getting started with two serious project proposals located off the coasts of Massachusetts and New York. Sustaining and building on this momentum will require leadership and the collective action of all interested parties..."

"Most of the total potential offshore wind resources exist relatively close to major urban load centers, where high energy costs prevail and where opportunities for wind development on land are limited. This is especially true in the densely populated Northeast, where nearly one-fifth of that national population lives on less than 2% of the total land area..."

"Offshore wind energy is also an attractive option for the Northeast because slightly more than half the country's offshore wind potential is located off the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts, where water depths generally deepen gradually with distance from shore. This attribute allows for the initial development of offshore wind in relatively shallow waters followed by a transition to deeper waters further for shore as the technology is advanced."

Finding: Offshore wind is a good source of needed electricity for New England

The Framework notes the beneficial role offshore wind can play in supplying needed electricity to New England:

"In January, 2004, New England came dangerously close to experiencing a blackout during a severe cold spell as a result of limited natural gas supplies being diverted away from electricity generating plants to meet demands for home heating. Those in charge of managing New England's electric grid are uncertain how the region will continue to meet peak demand for electricity beyond the year 2006. Offshore wind is the Northeast's only local renewable energy source with the potential to address the anticipated unmet demand."

A prior Department of Energy White Paper entitled, Natural Gas in the New England Region: Implications for Offshore Wind Generation and Fuel Diversity, noted that, "During the January 14-16, 2004 period of natural gas shortage, the Cape Wind project, if it had been fully constructed and was online, would have made a significant contribution to the power supply and reliability of the regional grid."

Finding: Offshore wind will provide fuel diversity and price stability to Northeast

The Framework cites the need for offshore wind in the Northeast for energy diversification and energy price stability:

"Conventional energy prices are expected to climb. Energy supply and price volatility are significant risks as well, if recent experience with oil, gas, and coal is any indication. The Northeast is particularly vulnerable because the region has virtually no indigenous supply of natural gas and oil, which are responsible for a large fraction of the region's base electric load and the majority of its peaking capability. As the Northeast seeks indigenous alternatives to oil and natural gas, offshore wind is the most promising option..."

"Besides its demonstrated cost competitiveness on-shore, wind is an attractive energy option because it is a clean, indigenous, and non-depletable resource, with long-term environmental and public health benefits. Once a wind plant is built, the cost of energy is known and not affected by fuel market price volatility. This, along with its economic benefits in terms of employment through manufacturing, construction and operational support, makes wind an attractive technology with which to diversify the nation's power portfolio and help relieve the pressure on natural gas prices."

The Framework follows the recent passage of the Energy Bill that was important for offshore wind development

The Framework comes on the heels of the passage of the Energy Bill that has important impacts on the development of offshore wind in the United States. In passing the Energy Bill, the Congress and the President conferred to the Minerals Management Service of the Department of Interior the authority to lease submerged federal lands for commercial offshore wind development. The Congress and the President also included in the Energy Bill a policy objective for the Department of the Interior to approve 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy projects on public lands over the next ten years.

A Framework for Offshore Wind Energy Development in the United States is available on the Internet at the following link.


For further Information
Renewable Energy Trust

Cheyenne firm's wind turbines get makeover

Cheyenne firm's wind turbines get makeover

Star-Tribune capital bureau Saturday, November 05, 2005

CHEYENNE -- Outside the offices of Terra Moya Aqua Inc., the wind was gusting near 60 mph.

The gales provided a perfect backdrop for Friday's announcement of a design breakthrough in the company's vertical wind turbine, one executives say is already drawing international interest and could launch a new era of wind energy technology.

The new turbines are more efficient and less costly than propeller-driven machines and earlier versions of TMA's own mills, officials say.

Former Gov. Jim Geringer was impressed enough to join the company's board of directors and was on hand for Friday's news conference.

"To some people, wind is a four-letter word," he said. "With what we're talking about here, it's anything but a four-letter word."

Geringer said that with his engineering background, he immediately recognized the potential.

"There will be a lot of appeal," he said, adding that interest worldwide is growing for "clean energy."

TMA executives said the key change was the addition of vertical airfoils -- similar to airplane wings -- that surround the turbine's curved, vertical blades. The interaction between the airfoils and blades produces low pressure which actually accelerates wind flow.

"We have the ability to increase wind speeds on our own into our turbine," TMA President Duane Rasmussen said.

Vertical wind turbines have been around for thousands of years, the officials said, but until now have contained flaws that reduced their efficiency.

"We were able to increase the efficiency over the original design by six to eight times" while decreasing the cost, mechanical design engineer Scott Taylor said. Extensive testing in a wind tunnel helped perfect the design, he said.

Prop-driven turbines are 25 to 40 percent efficient, while TMA's new turbine is 43 to 45 percent efficient, officials said. The theoretical maximum efficiency of wind turbines is 59 percent.

The company has filed for a third patent since 2000 and is awaiting certification by federal energy officials.

"We have people nationally and internationally who want to buy this turbine now," said Ron Taylor, founder and chief operating officer.

At a maximum of 96 feet tall, the turbines can be placed in industrial areas where taller propeller turbines are not allowed. The speed of the blades is very low, making them less noisy and less dangerous to birds, officials said. In fact, they said no dead or injured birds have ever been found at the sites of their test models west of Cheyenne.

The company plans to sell turbines generating from 500 watts to 1 megawatt. The smaller ones are portable and can be used by farmers, the military and remote cabin owners.

TMA, which has five full-time employees, is privately held and has about 230 shareholders.

"Going public is a possibility, and it could happen within the next 18 months," Rasmussen said.

For Geringer, who now works for a mapping software company, it's the first time he has joined the board of a for-profit company, but he said he didn't climb aboard to make money.

"I'm in the business to promote Wyoming," he said, complimenting the company for turning down offers to relocate.

Capital bureau reporter Robert W. Black can be reached at (307) 632-1244 or

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wind power seen reducing need for US natgas

Wind power seen reducing need for US natgas

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Growth in U.S. wind power could reduce the amount of natural gas used to produce electricity by up to 5 percent at the end of the year, which could provide some relief to consumers from near record prices for the fossil fuel, an industry group said.

The Washington, D.C. based-American Wind Energy Association said about 2,500 megawatts (MW) of new wind power capacity will be installed this year, bringing total U.S. wind capacity to more than 9,200 MW.

The cumulative total is enough power to supply 2.4 million average U.S. homes, AWEA said.

When additional wind power capacity comes on line it generally replaces the highest priced fuel, natural gas, rather than other sources of power like coal, oil and nuclear, said AWEA spokeswoman Christine Real de Azua.

U.S. natural gas supplies are above normal for this time of year. But futures prices are about double last year's and above $11 per mmBtu as nearly half of the Gulf of Mexico's output of the fuel remains down after hurricanes this summer.

The gas industry has no complaints about the growth in wind power, especially amid near-record prices.

"We welcome it in order to meet our nation's growing demand for energy," said Daphne Magnuson, a spokeswoman for the American Gas Association.

Regional grid operator ISO New England Inc., which is heavily dependent on natural gas for fuel, warned of possible fuel shortages for the region's power plants this winter due to the suppressed production from the Gulf of Mexico.

Texas, Oklahoma, and New York are the three states leading instillation of wind power in 2005.

AWEA's director Randall Swisher said the industry is hopeful to maintain record growth rates, particularly after Congress extending the wind energy production tax credit through December 31, 2007.

By then U.S. wind power capacity should grow 52 percent to 14,000 MW, according to AWEA.

About a quarter of U.S. natural gas is used for producing, power, with the majority going to industry and heating homes.

AWEA said U.S. wind power produced in 2005 will reduce emissions of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by about 7 billion pounds or the equivalent to keeping nearly 500,000 sports utility vehicles off the road.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Sea-based windmills could blunt eyesore criticisms - Yahoo! News

Sea-based windmills could blunt eyesore criticisms By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
1 hour, 16 minutes ago

OSLO (Reuters) - Windmills floating on the high seas could produce electricity from 2007 in a scheme likely to please critics who reckon that land-based turbines are an eyesore, Norwegian energy group Norsk Hydro said on Wednesday.

Out of sight over the horizon, parks of non-polluting windmills could eventually supply power to coastal cities or to offshore oil and gas platforms anywhere from the North Sea to the Gulf of Mexico.

Hydro said it aimed to go ahead with a project to build a prototype -- an upright steel and concrete tube about 200 meters (660 feet) high with 80 meters jutting above the water and rotor blades 60 meters long -- after successful laboratory tests.

Some nations have parks of windmills that stand in shallow waters offshore but none have windmills far from land.

"The results are promising," Alexandra Bech Gjoerv, head of New Energy at Hydro, told Reuters of a three-year research program. "We're very hopeful that we can be first in the world to set up a floating windmill at sea."

She said rivals in nations from Japan to the United States were also working on designing similar windmills.

Hydro, Norway's number two oil producer behind Statoil, hopes to deploy a prototype at sea in 2007, likely to cost about 150 million Norwegian crowns.

Norway is the world's third largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and Russia.

The floating windmills would be tethered at three points to the seabed to keep them stable. Bech Gjoerv said that there were likely to be fewer objections to windmills offshore.

"On land there are objections partly to visual pollution, partly problems with birds and other environmental issues like laying cables through the countryside," she said. Birds are sometimes killed by flying into windmill blades.

Bech Gjoerv said electricity from offshore windmills was likely to cost more than electricity from fossil fuels, nuclear or big hydropower plants. Maintenance costs could be higher.


"Initially we want to compete with windmills on land. It's a lot more windy out at sea -- installation costs will be higher but the production will be higher," she said.

Each 5-megawatt windmill would be capable of generating about 22 gigawatt hours a year. That would be enough to supply electricity to about 1,000 typical Norwegian homes.

If the concept works, Hydro envisages parks of perhaps 200 windmills, in waters 200-700 meters deep.

"We're using a tested platform concept, windmill technology that's well known and an anchoring system that is known. It's a radical adaptation of the technology," Bech Gjoerv said.

Many countries are trying to shift to cleaner energies like wind or solar power to curb emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide from fossil fuels burned in power stations, cars and factories.

The scientific panel that advises the United Nations says that rising temperatures could trigger more floods, storms, spread deserts and drive thousands of species to extinction.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Edison Mission Group To Develop Wind Energy Projects in Midwest: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Press Release Source: Edison Mission Group Inc.
Edison Mission Group To Develop Wind Energy Projects in Midwest
Tuesday November 1, 2:43 pm ET

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 1, 2005--Edison Mission Group Inc. (EMG), a subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE:EIX - News), announced it has entered into a joint development agreement with Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, of Chicago, to provide funding and other support to advance a series of Midwest Wind Energy's projects, which EMG plans to own and operate when completed.

EMG is the parent of Chicago-based independent power producer Midwest Generation, which operates about 5,600 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired capacity at six power plants in Illinois.

Midwest Wind Energy is a leading utility-scale wind power development company with a current project portfolio of over 700 MW.

"We are especially pleased to strike this agreement in the Midwest, where we already have a strong presence with Midwest Generation," said Edison Mission Group CEO Ted Craver. "Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle have advanced sustainable energy plans that include specific targets for expanding the use of wind and other renewable sources of energy over the next several years. That's a compelling signal to developers that Illinois and Wisconsin can be attractive places to invest in renewables."

"This joint development agreement combines Midwest Wind Energy's project development expertise with the considerable financial and development resources of the Edison Mission Group," said Stefan Noe, president of Midwest Wind Energy. "That's a powerful formula for success."

Edison Mission Group has acquired a wind energy portfolio of 318 megawatts at nine projects in Iowa, Minnesota and New Mexico. The company has targeted a portfolio of up to 1,200 MW of wind power by 2009.

Related facts

Other EMG wind energy projects:
Name State Generating Capacity (MW)

Bingham Lake MN 15
Eastridge MN 10
Lakota Ridge MN 11
San Juan Mesa NM 120
Shaokatan Hills MN 12
Storm Lake IA 113
West Pipestone MN 9
Westridge MN 18
Woodstock Hills MN 10

Note: One MW is enough power for approximately 650 average homes.

Edison Mission Group is a subsidiary of Rosemead, Calif.-based Edison International (NYSE:EIX - News) an electric power generator and distributor, and an investor in infrastructure and renewable energy projects with assets totalling more than $33.6 billion. The EMG wind projects referred to above are owned by Edison Capital.
Edison Mission Group Inc.
Doug McFarlan, 312-583-6024 or 312-343-2561
Corporate Communications, 626-302-2255
Source: Edison Mission Group Inc.