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By: john heath | July 19, 2020

A new study by Berkeley Lab, published in the journal Wind Engineering, shows that supersized wind turbines can enhance the value of wind energy to the electricity system and provide other ‘hidden’ benefits. These benefits are in addition to the reduction in levelized costs that such turbines may provide, and illustrate the importance of expanding wind turbine design to focus not only on direct-cost minimization, but also on a broader set of factors that impact the value of wind to the electricity grid.

The significant increases in wind turbine size (nameplate capacity, rotor diameter, and tower height) in recent years have, to date, been driven primarily by a goal of minimizing the levelized cost of wind energy (LCOE). Previous...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

Modern wind turbines would need only small tweaks to supply grid services currently provided by conventional sources, such as natural gas plants, according to a US Department of Energy-led study.

The study was carried out at Avangrid's Tule wind farm in southern California
The study was carried out at Avangrid's Tule wind farm in southern California

Most turbines already have the controls needed to supply a full suite of grid reliability services, including frequency support, ramping and balancing, and voltage control.

But with more advanced inverter functions – which are used to convert direct-current to alternating current – and improved design and operation, turbines can handle grid operational challenges even better and reduce curtailment of renewable generation, the researchers concluded.

A c...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), there are 28 US offshore wind projects in the planning stage, with the biggest clusters along the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia. There are also 15 active commercial leases for offshore wind development in the U.S. and if they are fully built, there is the potential to support approximat...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

 A promotional video purporting to show the manufacture of cutting edge wind farm technology was used by two Canadians and an American to mislead investors, U.S. authorities allege.
A promotional video purporting to show the manufacture of cutting edge wind farm technology was used by two Canadians and an American to mislead investors, U.S. authorities allege.

Two Canadians claiming to have developed unprecedented utility-grade wind farm turbines told investors their technology was so hot their company could be the next Google, Amazon or Facebook.

There was a lot of wind behind their turbines, but not in a good way. Their claims were false and the men, including the company’s Toronto-area president, were siphoning off investor funds to enrich themselves, U.S. authorities allege.

The snappy slogan of Thunderbird Power is: “For us, Power is a Breeze.”

Such conceit is easy if, as U.S. federal aut...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

COVID-19 is changing the way residents use power.

Even before the global coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay inside and businesses to close in a largely unprecedented way, summer months strained electrical grids. The oppressive heat forces residential and commercial units alike to crank up the air conditioning, causing a significant increase in power usage and a greater likelihood of a blackout.

But now, with a record number of people working from home, combined with high unemployment amid the summer heat here in the U.S., there could be a heightened risk of power outages, experts say, despite the overall decrease in power consumption across the country.

At issue are residential grids that are not designed for the sustained ...


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Shell and Eneco’s offshore wind farm to include floating solar and hydrogen production

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