Jason Barton

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Archive for the ‘Wind Energy’ tag

Rural Economic Development and Environmental Health: Growing Hand in Hand

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Ahh…, the sweet sounds of economic development and environmental health, each growing hand in hand, as it should be.

Technology and other forms of innovation are making the conjunction of these essential benefits easier and easier to achieve.

This development is not shutting out the most common energy resources, “While renewable energy industries are generating lots of buzz, the traditional sectors of oil and gas are especially booming in Weld,” but is still working on the kinds of renewable energy that will be, hopefully, much more common in coming decades.

As the article below points out, not only is renewable energy creating jobs, it is creating high-paying jobs that will increase prosperity today and encourage greater education for tomorrow, all while improving the US balance of trade and making it easier for us to meet our current energy demands without compromising, but improving the prospects for future generations of Americans to do the same.

Thank you, Weld County, Colorado, for providing the example.

Greeley Tribune

Weld’s economy gets energized

Expanding renewable energy industries join the entrenched oil and gas, which is experiencing a boom of its own

By Chris Casey

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wind turbines from the Cedar Creek Wind Farm near Grover in north Weld County and an oil/gas pump are some of the vast energy sources that are produced locally. Weld County has become one of Colorado’s leaders in energy production.

From the growing exurbs of Frederick and Dacono to the wind-swept prairie along the Wyoming border, Weld County has established itself as an energy hotbed.
The oil and gas industry has been a big player here for decades, accounting for 40 percent or more of Weld’s assessed valuation for at least 17 years, said Barbara Kirkmeyer, a Weld County commissioner. The industry accounts for about 4,000 jobs in Weld and supplies the county just shy of $50 million in property tax revenue annually.
But just as wells go through layer after layer of earth to reach the sweet spot, other energy industries are now stacking up in northeast Colorado: the renewable sectors of solar, wind and biomass.

Wind turbines from the Cedar Creek Wind Farm near Grover in north Weld County and an oil/gas pump are some of the vast energy sources that are produced locally. Weld County has become one of Colorado’s leaders in energy production.

Read the entire article here.

3,000 Megawatts of Renewable Energy Planned for Montana

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Grasslands Renewable Energy introduces ‘smart grid’ transmission concept aggregating diverse renewable energy at a competitive price

BOZEMAN, Mont., April 8 /PRNewswire/ — Grasslands Renewable Energy LLC (Grasslands) today announced that it has applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) requesting regulatory approvals needed to advance its innovative Wind Spirit Project.

Based in the wind-rich state of Montana, Grasslands has introduced the Wind Spirit Project, an integrated and green approach to harnessing, storing, and transporting clean renewable energy to consumers.  “Our goal is to create a package of renewable energy that can compete on reliability and price, not just with renewables like solar, but with non-renewables such as coal,” said Carl Borgquist, President of Grasslands. “By combining the wind resources of the Northern Plains in an integrated solution, we can help fight climate change and be a leader in America’s energy future.”

Grasslands is developing a transmission system to access geographically diverse renewable energy from across Montana and the Northern Great Plains.  Through the Wind Spirit Project, renewable energy from multiple geographic areas will combine with energy storage technologies and smart grid components to create a more consistent renewable energy supply.  The energy for the Wind Spirit Project would be collected via series of 230KV AC transmission lines and transported to large markets using high voltage AC and DC transmission lines.  By combining renewable energy from different geographic areas, the Wind Spirit Project will make renewable energy more efficient and cost effective.

Read the entire article here.

Energy Secretary Opposes Suspending Stimulus Grants

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The article below is a follow up to an article posted here recently. Dr. Chu’s arguments pose a bit of a contradiction to my own and some U.S. senators’ arguments against certain aspects of the proposed stimulus bill.

MARCH 5, 2010, 8:56 P.M. ET

By JOSEPH B. WHITE

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Friday that an effort by Democratic lawmakers to block federal stimulus grants for energy projects that use foreign-made hardware could cost U.S. jobs.

“There are unintended consequences by just coming out and saying, Buy American,” Dr. Chu said. “I do not want a moratorium. We have 9-10% unemployment. You do not want to stop these projects if 2/3 [of the hardware] is American and 1/3 is foreign.” In remarks on the sidelines of the conference, Dr. Chu said he will “work with people in Congress to explain the subtleties” of the global wind-energy market.

[…]

“China is moving $9-10 billion a month…they want to be a leader in this new technology. It’s ours to lose, but we could blow it,” Dr. Chu said. He said U.S. businesses can adapt to higher energy prices by becoming more efficient and adopting new technology.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 6th, 2010 at 10:44 am

Lawmakers decry energy grants that create foreign work

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Ai ai ai, one of many, huge problems with our current energy system is our reliance on other countries for resources. Especially if these are government dollars, spending them overseas seems an unwise use of scarce dollars.

By JENNIFER A. DLOUHY Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle

March 3, 2010, 10:06PM

WASHINGTON — Four Democratic senators on Wednesday implored the Obama administration to stop spending federal stimulus dollars on renewable energy projects whenever the bulk of solar cell and wind turbine manufacturing is done overseas.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 5th, 2010 at 3:32 am

How communities can take control of their energy futures

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by John Farrell

March 5, 2010

Energy self-reliant states have stronger economies. And new data on wind power potential reveals that five Midwestern states could match their current electricity use with domestic wind power.

But along with the good news, these states — Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Michigan — should take note of the stakes.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

March 5th, 2010 at 12:10 am

Newly installed wind turbines idled by Minnesota’s winter

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Last year, about a dozen Minnesota communities dreamed of clean, green energy: spinning windmills powering hundreds of homes. Now, months after the deadline, the windmills stand largely immobile, and communities are still waiting for the power to flow.

[…]

To fix the problem, a contractor installed heating elements this week in the turbines. In addition, heat tracing is likely to be added to the hydraulic lines and lubrication oil system.

But that might not be enough, said Dahlen, who blames his engineering and construction contractor for the delay.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

January 30th, 2010 at 11:52 am

NREL study shows 20 percent wind is possible by 2024

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If U.S. energy consumption were reduced by 30% by 2020, this same amount of wind power generation would account for nearly 30% of our energy use. It will take investment in our transmission grids that ensures this electricity is transported efficiently, but with the savings in overall energy costs, these expenditures are more easily covered, moving us closer to that goal of having plenty of natural gas and coal for many, many generations to come.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) January 20. This unprecedented two-and-a-half year technical study of future high-penetration wind scenarios was designed to analyze the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 percent or more of the Eastern Interconnection’s electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024.

“Twenty percent wind is an ambitious goal, but this study shows that there are multiple scenarios through which it can be achieved,” said David Corbus, NREL project manager for the study. “Whether we’re talking about using land-based wind in the Midwest, offshore wind in the East or any combination of wind power resources, any plausible scenario requires transmission infrastructure upgrades and we need to start planning for that immediately.”

Read the entire article here.