A new study shows states with wind and solar energy attract businesses and create jobs in the thousands. The study, released by the US Retails Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), ranks all 50 states. Maine was ranked #14 in the corporate clean energy procurement index. Downeast Wind hopes to keep moving the state up this ladder, increasing job growth and boosting economic development in the region! Click below to read a Clean Technica article on the study. Continue reading
Originally published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration Once final data are in, EIA expects 24 gigawatts (GW) of new generating capacity to be added to the power grid during 2016. For the third consecutive year, more than half of these additions are renewable technologies, especially wind and solar. Of the 2016 renewable additions, nearly 60% were scheduled to come online during the fourth quarter. Renewable capacity additions are often highest in the final months of the year, in part, because of timing qualifications for federal, state, or local tax incentives. Estimated fourth-quarter capacity additions for 2016 are based on planned additions reported to EIA and are subject to change based on actual project schedules. Monthly U.S. renewable electricity generation peaked in March as high precipitation and melting snowpack led to a monthly peak in hydroelectric generation and strong wind resources led to a monthly peak in wind generation. Most renewable generation comes from the Western census division, which accounted for the majority of the hydroelectric (63%) and solar (77%) generation in the United States in 2016. Wind generation was more evenly spread across the country with 37% occurring in the Midwest, 35% in the South, 24% in the West, and the remaining 4% in the Northeast. Continue reading
By Greg Alvarez American Wind Energy Association As we close the book on 2016, let’s take stock of where wind power stands and reflect on some of the year’s biggest trends. Here’s what really stuck out to us here at AWEA: 1. Wind turbine technician became by far America’s fastest growing job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the occupation will grow by 108 percent over the next decade. That blows past the second fastest growing job, occupational therapy assistant, projected to grow by 42 percent in the same time frame. Overall, wind power supported 88,000 well-paying jobs at the start of 2016 in all 50 states. 21,000 of these are manufacturing jobs at more than 500 factories that build wind turbines and parts for them. 2. States really wanted more wind power. Across the country, a number of state governments strengthened their renewable portfolio standards (RPS). These actions will bring more low-cost, clean wind energy to millions of families and businesses. Oregon started the trend in February, upping it RPS to 50 percent. Rhode Island, New York, Washington, D.C. and Michigan all followed suit over the course of 2016. Massachusetts also passed an important bill that will spur offshore wind development and add other renewables to the state’s energy mix. Here’s a full picture of nationwide RPSs. 3. Fortune 500 companies thirsted for more wind power too. A few notable examples: Google announced renewables will meet 100 percent of its worldwide energy needs in 2017. Wind will supply 95 percent of that electricity. Microsoft made its largest wind purchase ever. GM pledged to move toward 100 percent renewable energy, and bought enough wind power to make 1,100 SUVs a day at its Arlington, Texas factory. Chart courtesy of Bloomberg The rationale for these purchases? They’re good for bottom lines. “(W)ind costs have gone down in the last three or four years to the point where they are the lowest-cost source of power on the grid,” said Rob Threlkeld, GM’s global manager of renewable energy. 4. Americans love wind power. Poll after poll showed strong bipartisan support for wind energy growth. 83 percent of Americans want to see more wind, according to a recent Pew poll, just one data point among many that all confirmed wind’s popularity crosses both geographical and political lines. 5. Wind growth continued, supplying an even greater share of the country’s electricity. There’s now enough wind energy in the U.S. to power 20 million homes, or 75 gigawatts of total installed capacity. Iowa continues to lead the way, where wind now generates 35 percent of the state’s electricity. Oklahoma joined Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota as states creating at least 20 percent of their electricity using wind. Overall, a dozen states stand at 10 percent or more. 6. Offshore wind power came to the U.S. Deepwater Wind’s Block Island wind farm came online at the end of 2016, ushering in a new era of American power generation. Another 13 offshore projects on both coasts and in the Great Lakes remain in various stages of development. Just this month, an offshore wind development parcel off the coast of Long Island fetched a record-shattering $42 million bid at auction.
Downeast Wind and its parent company are committed to accelerating the shift to clean energy, here in Maine and across the country. Our newest publication, Accelerate: Clean Energy Insight, covers all different aspects of wind farm development, from securing financing to optimizing turbine performance to delivering community benefits. Check out the first volume here.
By Brian SwartzCounty Wide Free Press COLUMBIA — Pending final approval by regulatory agencies, construction should start in 2018 on a 90-megawatt wind-powerproject in western Washington County. The project, which will generate enough electricity to power 27,000 homes, represents a $106 million investment in the region. Being developed by Charlottesville, Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy, the project known as Downeast Wind would involve erecting 30 wind towers and connecting their turbines to the Emera Maine substation on the Station Road in Columbia. Each turbine could produce three megawatts of electricity. Based on several factors (including favorable wind studies and proximity to existing electrical transmission lines), the wind turbines will be located on higher land north of Route 1 and east of Route 193. “It’s a premier site,” said Paul Williamson, development manager for Apex Clean Energy. The terrain, which he described as a “higher plain geographically,” catches the onshore coastal winds. Agriculture, in the form of blueberry barrens, dominates the existing use of the land, and “there are transmission lines that already run through the area,” he said. And a ready market exists for wind-generated electricity. “New England right now is one of the most competitive renewable energy markets” in the United States, Williamson noted. Continue reading
CRESTON, Neb. — The midday sun pushed temperatures past the 70-degree mark late last week while the fifth and sixth generations of the Brockhaus family gathered the last 20 acres of the fall harvest near here. Brothers Terry and Steve Brockhaus, along with Steve’s sons Jeff and Jon, typically reap corn from these fields, but as a slight westerly breeze picked up, Steve Brockhaus looked southward over the last remaining rows of the 2016 corn crop to the purveyors of their newest cash crop: four 1.7-megawatt General Electric wind turbines. “I’m surprised on days like today when it seems like there’s hardly any wind on the ground and they’re still turning,” Steve Brockhaus said. Read more here.
Investing in wind energy makes so much sense in so many ways. Wind and the related necessary transmission will reduce electric energy costs in Maine and New England. Read more here.