Wind energy grew 28% in the U.S. in 2012, and it now generates enough power for 15.2 million homes. While 2013 has seen a slow-down, work continues, and the Global Wind Energy Council predicts a strong uptick in 2014. Here’s what’s happening now:
Turnkey distributed generation
Seattle-based energy firm McKinstry and the owners of Swauk Creek Ranch have completed a 4.25-MW community wind farm. Consisting of five Gamesa 850-kW G58 wind turbines, it’s the first project to be completed by McKinstry’s new turnkey distributed generation development service.
Suisun City, California
The Citibank-backed Solano Wind Project has begun delivering power to 44,000 homes, an effort that helped New York-based Citi knock Banco Santander SA from its perch as the world’s greenest bank, Bloomberg Markets magazine reported.
The completed 67-MW Colorado Highlands Wind project will expand to 91 MW, the Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says. The addition of 14 GE turbines is expected to begin in July and finish this fall.
Facebook follows the wind
Facebook has followed the wind, and will build its $300 million data center in Iowa. Officials say the company passed on Nebraska, a decision made in part because the company’s aim to power 25% of the center with renewables. Iowa ranks as the third largest provider of wind-generated power.
GE powers Buffalo Dunes
Garden City, Kansas
RES Americas has started work on a 250-MW project. Buffalo Dunes will use 135 GE turbines to create power for Southern Co.’s Alabama Power utility, which has signed a 20-year PPA. Construction should complete by December.
Iberdrola Renewables says Ohio State University has purchased 50 MW of capacity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm in nearby Van Wert and Paulding counties. The 304-MW project consists of 152 Gamesa 2-MW wind turbines.
Tower plant near capacity
Broadwind Energy has announced a $14 million order for towers, which puts the company’s plant near-capacity for 2013. “We’ve seen a significant improvement in activity and we are quoting orders for 2014 delivery as the wind energy industry recovers from the downturn at the end of 2012,” says CEO Peter C. Duprey.
A change of name
Orangeville, New York
The Stony Creek Wind Farm, which will include 59 wind turbines, has changed its name. The project is now Orangeville Wind Farm, Invenergy says. A project in Pennsylvania took the Stony Creek moniker in 2009.
Third time is the charm
After three attempts, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has passed an offshore wind bill. The legislation alters the state’s RPS, creating an offshore renewable energy credit. Development could lead to 850 development jobs.