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February 4, 2011

Global wind power capacity increases by 22% in 2010

From REVE:

Global wind energy installations increased by 35.8 GW in 2010. Wind farm capacity up to 194.4 GW, a 22.5% increase on the 158.7 GW wind turbines installed at the end of 2009.

This brings total installed wind energy capacity up to 194.4 GW, a 22.5% increase on the 158.7 GW wind farm installed at the end of 2009. The new capacity added in 2010 represents investments worth EUR 47.3 billion (US Dollars 65 bn).

For the first time in 2010, more than half of all new wind power was added outside of the traditional markets in Europe and North America. This was mainly driven by the continuing boom in China, which accounted for nearly half the new wind installations (16.5 GW).

Click here to read more.

American Wind Energy Association – Background on Texas Blackouts

Filed under: National News,News,Texas News — Tags: — admin @ 10:41 am

From REVE

Wind power played a major role in keeping the blackouts from becoming more severe. Between 5 and 7 A.M. this morning (the peak of the electricity shortage) wind turbines was providing between 3,500 and 4,000 MW,

Many parts of the Texas experienced rolling blackouts, coinciding with unusually cold temperatures across many parts of the state. Millions of customers statewide appear to have been affected. Here are the facts as they are currently understood:

Wind energy played a major role in keeping the blackouts from becoming more severe. Between 5 and 7 A.M. this morning (the peak of the electricity shortage) wind farm power was providing between 3,500 and 4,000 MW, roughly the amount it had been forecast and scheduled to provide. That is about 7% of the state’s total electricity demand at that time, or enough for about 3 million average homes.

Cold and icy conditions caused unexpected equipment failures at power plants, taking up to 50 fossil-fired power plants totaling 7,000 MW of capacity offline.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

January 28, 2011

It’s Not Just Oil: Wind Power Approaches 8% of Texas Electricity in 2010

Filed under: News,Texas News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:26 pm

From Repower America, by Ryan Koronowski, ACP Research Director:

When you think of Texas and the energy resources it possesses, the first image that might come to your mind is an oil derrick.

This is perfectly reasonable — Texas produces the most crude oil in the United States and more than twice as much as California. But oil isn’t the only energy resource Texas produces in large volumes.

In fact, Texas also leads the U.S. in wind power production. And business is booming for the companies and communities in the Texas panhandle wind corridor. Many farmers and ranchers love wind because when they allow the turbines on their land, the operators can pay landowners leasing fees and even a small percentage of revenues. A report released this week noted that wind power represented 7.8% of total electricity production for most electricity consumers in Texas last year. This is up from 4.9% in 2008 — a huge increase.

Click here to read the full article.

November 3, 2010

New Staff!

Filed under: Local People,News — Tags: — admin @ 10:02 am

We’ve made some changes to our staff! Check out our Staff Page for more info.

July 19, 2010

AEI Receives Grant for Renewable Energy Project

Filed under: Education,Wind Energy — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 3:56 pm

The  Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) has received a grant award of $497,350 from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation of two renewable energy systems that will help reduce energy consumption at the University.

Funding for the grant is provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through a statewide program designed to increase the amount of installed renewable energy at public facilities in the state of Texas and help reduce utility costs and save tax dollars. The grant will help fund a $622,000 solar and wind electricity project to install a 48 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaics (PV) system at the University’s Palo Duro Research Facility and a 50 kW wind system for the feed mill at WTAMU’s Nance Ranch.

June 24, 2010

AEI Wins SECO Award for Research Facility

The Alternative Energy Institute has received an award of $497,350 from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation of renewable energy systems at the Palo Duro Research Facility and at the feed mill at the WTAMU Nance Ranch (Regional Wind Test Center).

The total project cost is around $622,000. The state provided money for renewable energy projects with funding provided through federal ARRA funds. For more information, click here.

Staff Working on the Project:

  • Project Director, Dr. Byungik Chang, Director AEI
  • Principal Investigator, Ken Starcher, Assistant Director AEI

The project, involving solar and wind electricity, will consist of two components:

  1. Photovoltaics (PV), 48 kW for the Palo Duro Research Center.
  2. Wind, 50 kW for the feed mill at the WTAMU, Nance Ranch.

The objectives is to reduce electric consumption at WTAMU through use of renewable energy, as well as providing information on performance and economics of the systems. Information on both systems will be disseminated to the public and business entities through seminars and display areas.

Systems will provide electricity for use on-site and systems also displace the production of carbon dioxide from the conventional power plants.

One proposed system will have two 4 kW tracker units, and 40 kW of fixed tilt, flat plate PV. The PV system will generate an estimated 80,000 kWh/yr.

AEI will also install a 50 kW, 49 ft diameter wind turbine, on a 120 ft tower. The system will generate an estimated 175,000 kWh/yr.

June 1, 2010

WT to test 50-story wind turbine

From The Amarillo Globe-News:

West Texas A&M University became part of a push Monday to raise expectations for a Spanish company’s wind turbines – machines that could double the power production of today’s standard turbines.

“It will be fundamental research like how to make a better blade with light, robust material, testing aerodynamics, the integrity of blades,” said Theresa Maldonado, associate vice chancellor for research of the Texas A&M University System and director of the Energy Engineering Institute, which will participate.

Gamesa Technology, based in Spain, signed contracts Monday with A&M and several affiliated entities calling for research on energy projects, including a turbine rated at a production capacity of 4.5 megawatts to be installed at WT’s Nance Ranch. The company itself only makes a 2-megawatt turbine now and most land-based turbines don’t exceed that.

Click here to read more.

May 24, 2010

Local News: Texas A&M University System and Gamesa Technology Corp. Announce Plan to Collaborate on Nation’s Largest Wind Turbine

From Alt Energy Mag, concerning WTAMU’s own Regional Wind Test Center:

The Texas A&M University System and Gamesa Technology Corp. (Gamesa) announced an agreement today with the intention to install a new generation of wind turbine at West Texas A&M University, coordinated jointly by the Energy Engineering Institute and the Alternative Energy Institute of the A&M System. The Gamesa G10X (also known as the G128) would be the largest of its kind in the country, while providing substantial advances in production output, energy efficiency and noise reduction.

With today’s signing ceremony at the 2010 American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition, A&M System and Gamesa officials have initiated a long-term agreement in which the system, through its multiple members, will conduct ongoing research and testing for Gamesa’s energy-related projects. System members include the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (Energy Engineering Institute), Texas A&M University, West Texas A&M (Alternative Energy Institute) and the Texas Transportation Institute. The initial collaboration will involve installation of the Gamesa G10X, a 4.5-megawatt turbine that has a higher tower height and a larger rotor diameter (420 feet/128 meters) than existing land based turbines, which allows it to access better wind resources that further increase its production capability.

Click here or visit Gamesa’s official web site to read more.

May 5, 2010

Firm applies for route: PUC to review transmission line plan from Cross Texas

Filed under: News,Texas News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 10:13 am

From the Amarillo Globe-News:

Cross Texas Transmission says the statistics are convincing and is asking the state Public Utility Commission what it thinks about the company’s preferred route for the first transmission line in the Panhandle solely devoted to moving wind energy.

Cross Texas applied Monday for permission to build the segment from a substation southeast of Childress to one southwest of Lefors. The PUC will include its choice for the route when it rules on the application. That choice does not have to be Cross Texas’ preferred route.

The distance between the points wind farms will plug into the system is 82.2 miles along a straight line, but avoiding obstacles and following existing rights of way stretched the preferred route to 94.9 miles. Some of the alternatives Cross Texas discarded were as long as 110 miles.

Click here for more information (and to see the map).

January 7, 2010

International News: Solar Panel Thefts Heating Up

This is kind of an odd alternative energy story, but we thought you might enjoy it.

From National Public Radio:

Solar panels are a hot commodity, and not just for residents and businesses that want to go green. It turns out that thieves also embrace clean technology. Solar panel thefts are on the rise, and the most popular targets include California wineries. What a disappointment. You’re a vintner. You’re sitting there, the thieves leave the bottles of wine alone and take the panel.

For more info on the thefts (and possible motivations), listen to the broadcast (or read the transcript) here.

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