NewEnergyNews: THE MOMENTUM IN COMMUNITY WIND

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  • TODAY AT NewEnergyNews, May 22:

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Hawaii Leads New Energy Again With Solar Breakthrough
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Grid Modernization Accelerates

    Thursday, November 29, 2012

    THE MOMENTUM IN COMMUNITY WIND

    Smaller-scale development may follow 'golden age' of wind

    Laura D’Alessandro, November 19, 2012 (SNL)

    “Communities that have been engaged by and in communication with the wind industry may be the best sites for future wind development…Targeting customers who want wind makes a big difference, said former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. With many large utilities already meeting state renewable portfolio standards, community wind could be the next market in the second-largest wind-producing state in the U.S.

    “OwnEnergy Inc., a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based community wind developer, is already partnering with landowners in Iowa who have…planning the Carroll Area Wind Farm for about seven years…They reached out to OwnEnergy when they were ready to partner with a developer and move toward construction….The project is set to begin construction in 2013. But community owners are not the only market that OwnEnergy sees opening up for wind developers as utility-scale wind becomes less popular…”

    “Wind developers are reaching out to these new markets because, in many states, there has been a surge in renewable energy development for utilities that must meet RPS mandates. Renewable generation capacity in the U.S. has reached a level that is higher than the amount currently in demand…[T]he wind industry has gone through a "golden age" of development, according to Barrett Stambler, vice president of Iberdrola SA's U.S. subsidiary,Iberdrola Renewables LLC...[but] utilities have purchased enough power to meet their needs for 2020. Natural gas and other competitive sources have come down in price…[and decision makers are reconsidering] a renewable product vs. a natural gas product…

    “…[Wind development] may cost less than retrofitting coal plants, according to Rachel Shimshak, director of the Renewable Northwest Project. The Northwest has a strong tradition of renewable energy standards and incentives for developing renewables. The RNP is working on influencing utilities in the region to begin retiring their coal plants and to choose renewables…”

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