Court Denies Petitioners’ Plea To Halt The Clean Power Planby Joseph Bebonon January 22, 2016 No Comments Categories : Featured, Policy WatchOn Thursday, a federal court handed renewable energy stakeholders, environmentalists and the Obama administration a victory: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a request to halt the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) while an ongoing legal battle over the plan is sorted out.The CPP, which was first released in 2014 and finalized in August 2015, creates the first-ever regulations on carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. It mandates a cut in carbon pollution from the power sector of 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.Although the renewables industry and other advocates have long lauded the CPP and deemed it a great opportunity for U.S. clean energy, a coalition of over 20 states launched a lawsuit to do away with the climate change initiative. Opponents also requested that the court block enforcement of the plan until the case is resolved.Ultimately, the court’s Thursday decision keeps the CPP in effect while the court works on the larger legal challenge. In its order, the court ruled that the opponents “have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay.”Although the court denied the request for a stay, it has scheduled to hear oral arguments on June 2, setting the stage for the next round of the battle.Nonetheless, proponents of the CPP have hailed the court’s Thursday ruling as a win.In a statement, Dan Whitten, vice president of communications for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), says, “The decision by the court to allow states to continue work on their carbon-reduction plans under the president’s Clean Power Plan is a victory for advocates of clean energy everywhere. State regulators can now begin to incorporate a significantly growing role for solar power into their long-term energy planning.“Smart industry, financial and government leaders are already betting on the Clean Power Plan by moving forward with initiatives and policies to advance a clean energy economy,” continues Whitten. “The solar investment tax credit extension enacted late last year is a great example of recent policy that can speed emissions reductions.”The Environmental Defense Fund, which is a party to the case, has also welcomed the development.“Today’s court decision means we can continue working – without delay – to protect Americans from the clear and present danger of climate change,” says Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, in a statement. “The Clean Power Plan encourages states to use their own best ideas and resources to create prosperous clean energy economies. It rests on a rock-solid legal foundation and will help America move toward a safer and healthier future.”According to a USA Today report, the White House press secretary issued the following statement: “We are pleased that the court has rejected petitioners’ attempts to block the Clean Power Plan from moving forward while litigation proceeds. We are confident that the plan will reduce carbon pollution and deliver better air quality, improved public health, and jobs across the country.”In a separate statement, Carol M. Browner, former EPA administrator from 1993 to 2001, has shown her support for the current administration’s climate change plan and applauded the court’s ruling.“Winning isn’t everything, but in this case, it’s pretty close,” says Browner, later adding, “It underscores the Clean Power Plan’s strong basis in law and signals that legal challenges to it will ultimately fall short. It’s time to stop suing to stay stuck in the past, and start working to usher in the clean energy economy of the future.”Categories : Featured, Policy WatchTags : clean power plan, clean-energy, cpp, epa, obama, renewable energy, renewables, solar, wind, wind-power
Fairfield Wind ready to go online mid-May 2014
Published on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 15:43
Martin “Marty” Wilde
Turbine #3 operating at the 10MW wind project near Fairfield, Montana. the project was developed by WINData LLC of Great Falls Montana, financed by Foundation Windpower and constructed by Dick Anderson Construction of Great Falls. The output will be sold to NorthWestern Energy under a 20-year contract.
I just signed a letter calling on U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Congress to renew the vital tax credit for wind and other sources of renewable energy. The Production Tax Credit (PTC) helps wind energy compete with highly subsidized fossil fuel industries, attracts investors for new wind projects, fosters innovation and employs tens of thousands of Americans in the clean energy economy.
Because of wind energy’s growing success, dirty energy billionaires, like the Koch brothers, campaigned to kill the renewable energy credit program. Congress is at a crossroads.
Will they support policies and industries that increase carbon pollution, fueling climate-related disasters? Or will they take action to promote safe, clean energy that will allow us to stabilize the climate?
As incoming Chairman of the Finance Committee, Senator Wyden will play a major role in deciding which direction Congress goes.
Please join me in telling Senator Wyden to renew the renewable energy tax credit now: http://act.engagementlab.org/sign/wind-credit_Wyden/?referring_akid=.227975.zAnFDm&source=taf
By signing the letter, you will send a message the future of our kids and and the stability of our climate are priorities that deserve urgent attention. Thank you for taking action!
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION via Climate Parents | Senator Wyden: Restore support for wind power!.
Interior Department Approves Most Of 1.5 GW Transmission Line Project
in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
by NA Windpower Wednesday November 13 2013
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The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) has approved a majority of the proposed Gateway West Transmission Line Project, a 990-mile, high-voltage line poised to provide up to 1.5 GW of transmission capacity in southern Wyoming and southern Idaho.
The DOI says the Gateway West project particularly expects to tap into the abundant wind energy resources that are being developed in the region. During the announcement, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said, “The line will strengthen the Western grid, bringing a diversified portfolio of renewable and conventional energy to meet the region’s projected growth in electricity demand.”
According to the DOI, Gateway West is one of seven priority projects of the Obama Administration’s Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which aims to improve the overall quality and timeliness of electric transmission infrastructure permitting.
Idaho Power and Rocky Mountain Power proposed the Gateway West line as 10 segments originating at the Windstar substation near Glenrock, Wyo., and terminating at the Hemingway substation near Melba, Idaho, 20 miles southwest of Boise.
The DOI says the project underwent extensive review, with the final environmental impact statement issued on April 26. The department’s Bureau of Land Management has elected to approve eight of the 10 segments and will make its decision regarding the final two following additional stakeholder outreach and public engagement. Once the project proponents meet all necessary conditions identified in the right-of-way grant, they can begin construction for the approved segments, the DOI adds.
Development has started on a new wind farm that will soon rise above the wheat fields of Teton County, Montana.
When completed, the $19 million Fairfield Wind project will include six commercial scale turbines standing 398-feet tall, with a combined total of 10 mega watts of generating capacity.
“It has broken ground, and we expect to complete commissioning by June of 2014,” said John Pimental, ofFoundation Windpower, a wind power engineering and development company out of San Francisco.
Foundation Windpower and WINData, a wind power consulting and project management firm located in Great Falls jointly own the Fairfield Wind project.
Last week representatives of a California based firm, Foundation Windpower, met with Teton County commissioners regarding a proposed wind farm north of Fairfield.
According to Martin Wilde, a former Choteau resident who operates Windata, Inc., a firm that assists with site selection, the project has been in the works for several years, in part because investors have “signed up and then disappeared, which was very disappointing.”
Matt Wilson and John Pimental, representing Foundation Windpower, said they are committed to the project which will consist of 5 turbines reaching nearly 400 feet in height. The turbines will be installed to the north and south of the Bole substation, north of Fairfield in Township 23N, Range 3 West and Sections 35 and 26. Marvin Klinker and Reece Brown were on hand as landowners.
If all goes according to plan, the turbines could be up as early as the end of the year.
Foundation was seeking a letter to provide to their bankers. The commissioners asked the developers to use a letter from the county commission issued in 2010.
According to Wilson and Pimental, a federal law known as The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) dating to 1978 would require Northwestern Energy to purchase the electricity. Even though it is a Federal law, the act’s implementation is left up to the individual states.
The commissioners have put the project on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting.
Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com
Groundbreaking has begun on a new wind farm that will soon rise above the wheat fields of Teton County.
When completed, the $19 million Fairfield Wind project will include six utility scale turbines standing 398-feet tall, with a combined total of 10 mega watts of generating capacity.
“It has broken ground, and we expect to complete commissioning by June of 2014,” said John Pimental, president of Foundation Windpower, a wind energy engineering and development company based in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Fairfield Wind project is jointly owned by Foundation Windpower and WINData, a wind energy consulting and project management firm located in Great Falls. The general construction contractor for the project is Dick Anderson Construction, also of Great Falls.
During construction, the project is expected to employ 50 to 60 workers. Foundation Windpower has already inked a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy, which will begin accepting electricity from the turbines in 2014.
Fairfield Wind may have the distinction of being one of the last wind energy projects initiated in Montana under the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) program. Enacted in 1992, the PTC program encourages investment in renewable energy by lowering an energy development company’s overall tax liability.
As currently structured, the PTC offers 2.3 cents in tax offsets per kilowatt of electricity generated to owners of new wind energy facilities. Credits are offered for the first 10 years that a wind energy facility is in operation. Proponents of the program argue that investment in renewable energy would be negligible without these types of government incentives.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind energy now constitutes 3.91 percent of total energy generation in the United States, up from 0.27 percent 10 years earlier.
Critics of the PTC argue the federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the energy industry, and that wind energy is less economical than other sources of electricity.
WINData’s “WINDataNOW! Technology” was developed under research support from John Deere Renewables, NaturEner and the US Department of Energy. WINDataNOW! is a 4G high-fidelity real-time met data technology leveraging OSIsoft PI for use by wind energy integrators, forecasters, developers and plant and system operators.
WINDataNOW’s core technology takes advantage of many industry standard pieces of equipment and combines them to deliver real-time meteorological data to users. Various meteorological tower configurations and instrument combinations are possible and vary by individual site characteristic and customer specifications. WINDataNOW can even add non- standard sensors as required to further characterize the wind flows of a prospective site.
While today’s site assessment technology relies on 10 minute average wind speed readings, the WINDataNOW technology records a much higher fidelity data set (usually second-by-second data). Legacy systems paint an even more incomplete picture of a site’s potential operations once that 10 minute average data is rolled into hourly, daily or monthly averages.
WINDataNOW’s technology gives users the flexibility to use their high fidelity data in any manner necessary. They can easily assess a site’s behavior and dynamics during seasonal, diurnal, or synoptic variations over long periods of time without sacrificing their source data quality.
In order to deliver higher fidelity data to customers, WINDataNOW uses quality instrumentation that can deliver a more exact representation of the wind speed information to the WINDataNOW data acquisition system. The system is able to communicate wirelessly to a central server and deliver near-real time data to customers.
Because WINDataNOW uses OSIsoft’s industry leading PI System as its data repository, most utility and operating companies can use their live met data at its full fidelity just like any other data source that feeds their on-site PI System. This enables wind experts to interact with their data in familiar tools such as Excel, or PI ProcessBook. Met data can also feed directly into forecasting provider models and can be used to support rapid refresh.