Renewable generation capacity expected to account for most 2016 capacity additions

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

Accelerating the Shift to Clean Energy

Heritage Wind and its parent company, Apex Clean Energy, are committed to accelerating the shift to clean energy, here in New York 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.

Turning to Turbines: A Welcome Source of Income for Farmers

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.

National Farmers Day

A very special thank you to each and every farmer, young and old, big and small, in our area! Your work keeps our community strong.   Continue reading

AWEA: Fact Check: Wind Power Protects Wildlife with a Legacy of Care

The wind industry has always taken big steps to reduce its environmental impacts on wildlife, and in particular, bats. In addition to extensive environmental studies and siting procedures, the wind industry has also created the Bats and Wind Energy Cooperative, in an effort to reduce impacts on bats in the vicinity of certain mountaintop wind facilities. In 2015, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) announced new voluntary best practices that would reduce impacts on bats by 30%.  Click through to read more Continue reading

Eagle Conservation and Wind Power Go Hand in Hand

Protecting America’s wildlife is one of my deepest passions; it’s a big part of why I’ve devoted my career to safeguarding our nation’s natural heritage. President Nixon once correctly pointed out that “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed”. No species is more emblematic of America than the bald eagle. Once facing extinction, these magnificent birds have rebounded nicely, thanks in large part to protective laws like the Endangered Species Act and a ban on the pesticide DDT. Seeing a bald eagle is much easier today than it used to be. In fact, there is a nesting pair just down the street from my home. Despite this good news, a number of looming threats could reverse our progress. According to scientists, one of the largest threats to eagles—and many other species of wildlife—is climate change. The Audubon Society says that over 300 different bird species, including eagles, are at risk because of rising temperatures, which could cause them to lose up to half of their ranges by 2080. Read more here.

Wildlife advocates support wind power

Wildlife advocates support wind power Scientists tell us that our wildlife, from the tiniest pollinators to the largest mammals, are facing an unprecedented threat from climate change. Pollution is altering our climate much too quickly for wildlife to adapt. We are in real danger of losing many of the animal and plant species we enjoy and depend on. The good news is that we have technology available today to reduce that pollution – and electricity rates – by using cleaner sources of energy. One of the best ways to reduce climate pollution is wind power. As an emission-free electricity source, wind directly combats climate change. In 2015, wind reduced the equivalent of over 28 million cars’ worth of carbon pollution. Greater savings will be seen as wind generates even more of America’s electricity. By 2030, it could eliminate up to 20 percent of the electric sector’s carbon emissions. By 2050, wind could save $400 billion worth of climate change damage. Continue reading

USFW Speaks on Eagle Conservation and Wind Turbines

"The truth is, thousands of eagles die every year for a variety of reasons — most from natural causes. The vast majority of human-caused deaths result from intentional poisoning and shooting — federal crimes that we aggressively investigate and prosecute. Most other eagle deaths are caused by collisions - with cars, buildings, power lines and other structures. Wind energy facilities represent a fraction of these deaths, and the media’s singular focus on wind turbines is a gross distortion of the truth." - Dan Ashe, Director, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Read more here.

U.S. Wind Farms Invested $128 Billion into U.S. Economy Over Past 10 Years

That's right, $128 billion! Not to mention an average of $13 billion per year for the past five years alone. The American Wind Energy Assocation (AWEA) released the data last week. Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA, said, "Over this time, wind has rapidly scaled up. There's now enough wind power installed to reliably produce electricity for over 19 million American homes." There were more records broken last year by wind energy, including capacity installed. Click through to read more Continue reading

See Turbine Construction from Beginning to End

MidAmerican Energy posted this informative and cool video that shows a turbine being constructed from beginning to end. The video includes interesting facts about the individual parts of the turbine (such as the nacelle being the size of a school bus!) and how long it takes to assemble.Check out the video below! MidAmerican Turbine Construction