QUICK NEWS, May 30: FEDS SERIOUS ABOUT OCEAN WIND; PUMPED STORAGE TO POWER ISLAND; SAN DIEGO SOLAR HOT WATER; GE LAUNCHES NEW TURBINE
FEDS SERIOUS ABOUT OCEAN WIND
BOEMRE Sets More Aggressive Approach To Offshore Wind Permitting
Daron Threet and Steven Wellner, 19 May 2011 (North American Windpower)
"Over the past several months, the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) - the lead federal permitting agency for offshore wind - has aggressively stepped up its efforts to review and permit the first wave of offshore wind projects…
"The regulatory process for gaining the necessary approvals to construct and operate wind farms in federal waters generally three miles or more from shore has been slow to develop. However, the DOI and BOEMRE have recently taken steps to revamp and implement new permitting and leasing procedures to streamline and speed up the overall process."
click to enlarge
"The most significant change in the federal review framework was implemented…as part of a broader effort by the Obama administration to expedite deployment of renewable resources on federal lands.
"…DOI adopted a new, streamlined approach to lease issuance by deciding to identify potential lease areas, known as wind energy areas (WEAs), and to issue leases in the WEAs upon BOEMRE's completion of regional environmental assessments (EAs) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a far less time- and resource-intensive process than developing full-blown environmental impact statements (EIS)."
click to enlarge
"Only after BOEMRE issues an individual lease would it prepare an EIS to evaluate the specific environmental impacts of the actual project to be constructed and operated on the leased site. The importance of this new procedure cannot be overstated, because eliminating the need for an EIS at the leasing stage should shave years off of the current permitting time frame…
"As a new industry in the U.S., the offshore wind industry faces many challenges, but with increasingly bold and decisive leadership at the federal level, the complex permitting process is becoming more streamlined, which will significantly reduce the regulatory burdens and associated risk of developing the first offshore wind projects in the U.S…"
PUMPED STORAGE TO POWER ISLAND
Pumped-storage hydro scheme planned for island of Alderney
May 16, 2011 (PennWell via HydroWorld)
"Tidal energy developer Alderney Renewable Energy is planning a small pumped-storage hydro project on the island of Alderney in the Channel Islands…
"The pumped-storage hydropower scheme would [reportedly] use tidal power devices, with an estimated combined capacity of about 3-MW, to power a system that would pump sea water into a land-based reservoir before releasing the water through at least one hydro turbine…The pumped-storage scheme would supply an estimated 90 percent of the island's power demands."
Schematic of the concept (click to enlarge)
"The Channel Islands are an archipelago of British Crown Dependencies in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy.
"Recently, ARE signed an agreement to lease a site near Braye Harbour, Alderney, as the site of the turbine pump house and reservoir…[The company has begun an environmental impact assessment to obtain marine consent from the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy…[and their] project could [reportedly] be completed by 2012…"
SAN DIEGO SOLAR HOT WATER
San Diego Pilot Program Opened The Doors For Calif. Solar Thermal Market
19 May 2011 (Solar Industry)
"The California Solar Water Heating Pilot Program, which operated in the San Diego area during 2007-2009, helped drive a statewide program for rebates for solar thermal applications, according to a new report from the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). CCSE administered the pilot program for the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
"More than 340 residential and commercial solar water heating systems were installed in the San Diego region during the 30 months of the pilot program, with rebates totaling nearly $540,000. Funding for the rebates came from the CPUC and utility ratepayers statewide."
click to enlarge
"Based on the success of the pilot program, the CPUC established a statewide solar water heating rebate program under the California Solar Initiative (CSI) called CSI-Thermal in January 2010. The commission allocated $350.8 million, with the goal of installing 200,000 systems in the state by 2017. CCSE administers the CSI-Thermal program in the San Diego Gas & Electric service territory.
"In addition to providing rebates of up to $1,500 for residential solar water heating systems and $75,000 for commercial installations, the pilot program was designed to gather data to evaluate the effect of incentives on the adoption and marketing of the technology…"
click to enlarge
"The report shows that single-family homes that installed solar water heating experienced an average monthly utility bill savings of $11.29 for displacing natural-gas water heating and a savings of $41.08 when displacing electric water heating.
"The report also found that single-family participants appeared to be driven to install solar water heating slightly more by environmental concerns, whereas commercial/multifamily residential owners were driven mostly by financial interests. Increasing energy costs, concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and improved technology were found to be contributing factors…One of the major conclusions was that solar water heating and solar photovoltaic generation, in combination, offers a faster path toward a true zero-energy home…"
GE LAUNCHES NEW TURBINE
GE Launches 1.6-100; Secures More Than a Half a Gigawatt of Commitments for World’s Most Efficient Wind Turbine
23 May 2011 (GE Energy)
"GE unveiled its latest wind turbine technology, the 1.6-100, at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Windpower 2011 Conference & Exhibition. GE has already secured nearly 630 megawatts of commitments for the evolutionary 1.6-100, which has been designed for increased performance in areas with lower wind resources. GE’s 1.6-100 is the world’s most efficient wind turbine when taking into account capacity factor in wind class…
"The 1.6-100 machine combines the proven performance of GE’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine series, known as the industry workhorse, with certified components from the advanced technology of its 2.5-100 wind turbine. With blades that extend 100 meters—a height of 33 stories—the 1.6-100 has the ability to capture additional energy, making it well suited to a variety of wind farm locations…[It has] the highest capacity factor in its class…"
The 1.6 prototype in Tehachapi (from GE - click to enlarge)
"The 1.6-100 wind turbine offers a 47 percent increase in swept area over previous models, resulting in a 19 percent increase in annual energy production at 7.5 meters per second. This allows for the turbine to deliver IEC Type Class II performance while operating in a Type Class III (low wind) environment. GE has been operating a prototype 1.6-100 wind turbine at its Tehachapi, Calif., site since February of this year.
"GE’s latest wind turbine technology already has been chosen for multiple projects in the United States and in Latin America. Invenergy, the largest independent wind power generation company in the United States, has initially made commitments for 233 of the 1.6-100 wind turbines for three of their projects in the Midwest United States. This will provide 372.8 megawatts of power to the U.S. grid by 2012."
The wind industry may soon be looking up to the GE 1.6 (from GE - click to enlarge)
"In addition, three Brazilian companies have selected the 1.6-100 for 256 megawatts of projects in the country. GE will provide…a total of 160 turbines to be delivered in 2012…
"GE’s current product portfolio includes wind turbines with rated capacities ranging from 1.5 to 4.1 megawatts and support services ranging from remote monitoring and fault resolution to complete operations and maintenance support…"