Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Renewable Energy News, December 22, 2010

Arizona solar plant is a go as developers obtain loan
The developers of a massive solar-power plant near Gila Bend said Tuesday that they have finally secured financing for the $2 billion project, nearly two years after announcing plans to build it.

Abengoa Solar of Spain has finalized a $1.45 billion loan from the federal government to build the Solana Generating Station, and will invest an additional $550 million of equity into the project, said Kate Maracas, vice president of operations.

Abengoa has a 30-year deal to sell the plant's power to Arizona Public Service Co. starting in 2013.
Atlantic Wind files to build offshore power line
Atlantic Wind Connection filed with federal energy regulators for permission to build a giant power transmission project in the Atlantic Ocean along the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast to enable the region's offshore wind potential, a spokesman for the project said Tuesday.

Announced in October, the project will stretch from New Jersey to Virginia and enable up to 6,000 megawatts of wind power that could be built out of sight from land, enough to serve about 1.9 million homes with carbon-free power.

Independent transmission company Trans-Elect is developing the project, expected to cost about $5 billion.
9 Utah solar energy projects receive Blue Sky money
Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky program is helping fund the construction of nine community-based renewable energy projects in the state.

Overall, more than $938,000 was awarded for 12 projects in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, including 11 solar projects and one wind project. The funding is made possible through participating Blue Sky customers, who number more than 34,000.
From the archive

Under the program, customers can sign up to support as many as 100-kilowatt-hour blocks of renewable energy as they choose, at a cost of $1.95 per block, per month.
US Forest Service seeks input on Vt. wind project
The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public input as part of its deliberations to decide whether to approve plans for a wind energy project on southern Vermont mountaintops in the towns of Searsburg and Readsboro.

A company called Deerfield Wind has applied for permission to build and operate a 17-turbine, 34 megawatt commercial wind energy facility on up to 80 acres of National Forest land on both sides of Vermont Route 8, just north of the Massachusetts border.

The Forest Service is considering four possible alternatives, including approving the project as presented by Deerfield Wind, rejecting it outright or two variations that would include fewer turbines.

Disclosure: SDRS represents Deerfield Wind in this matter.

N.C. sound seen as site for wind turbine cluster
A wind-power company is looking at land along a North Carolina sound for a cluster of 50 or more wind turbines.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reported today that Pasquotank County commissioners will discuss allowing wind turbines of up to 600 feet on agricultural land.

Local business recruiter Wayne Harris says North Carolina's Albemarle Sound is great for turbines because there's plenty of wind at low elevation. Harris says the turbines could employ about 20 people and create construction work for about 300 to 600 others.
Mass. Utility Launches 3 Solar Power Plants
Massachusetts largest electric utility is unveiling three new solar power installations capable of generating enough electricity to run 470 homes.

National Grid and senior state officials are scheduled to formally celebrate the solar power plants Tuesday in Revere, Everett and Haverhill.

The plants cost a total of just over $15 million. They are a product of the Green Communities Act that encourages the growth of solar energy. Gov. Deval Patrick unveiled the initiative last year, allowing utilities to own and operate solar power installations up to 50 megawatts.
Vt. wind co. hopes new turbine is game changer
A Northern Power wind turbine sits atop a hill overlooking Barre's granite quarries. It's one of four 100 kilowatt turbines running in Vermont that were built down the road at the company's headquarters. The big plant was on the verge on insolvency only two years ago, but after attracting new financing, it now employs upwards of 150 workers and ships the wind turbines throughout the country and overseas.

"Considering the economy we are in-- that we have been in-- I think it's a remarkable story. It's really a remarkable American success story," said Parthiv Amin of Northern Power Systems.

Unlike the majority of turbines on the market that run with a gear transmissions like cars, Northern Power's use something called a permanent magnetic direct-drive.

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