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February 8, 2011

Alternative energy forum draws turbine friends, foes

Filed under: National News,News,Wind Energy — Tags: , — Georgia Romig @ 11:02 am

From Tom Henry at the Toledo Blade:

For years, it’s been a phrase linked to debates over where to build nuclear power plants, steel plants, auto plants, coal-fired power plants, refineries, paint shops, coking facilities, and hazardous waste dumps — virtually anything people shudder at the thought of living near, even if they acknowledge it’s a trade-off for maintaining modern life.

Now, with the wind industry booming, there’s a new era of the NIMBY phenomenon. And it’s one in which the opposition isn’t pollution-based but encompasses anything from aesthetics to wildlife to property values to insomnia.

The wind industry produces 2 percent of the nation’s electricity. But it is growing so fast, in part because of government incentives, that it predicts that by 2030, wind will supply 20 percent of America’s power, the equivalent of what nuclear power produces. That has people from Maine to California envisioning thousands of more wind turbines across America’s idyllic countrysides and shorelines.

To some, those huge rotating blades are an adrenalin rush, a symbol of how the nation is finally pursuing more energy independence. To others, they are visual clutter, eyesores not worth the investment.

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.

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 9, 2010

FALL 2010 CLASSES: Register Now!

Registration is now open for West Texas A&M University’s Fall 2010 Alternative Energy Courses!

Both courses will be offered online through WTAMU’s Continuing Education department. You must register with West Texas A&M University to sign up for these classes.

Start Date

Classes begin AUGUST 30TH, 2010.

Cost

  • College Credit Cost – Varies, depending on whether you are pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.
  • CEU & Certificate Cost – $720

What Can You Get From the Course?

Course Summaries

If you would be interested in taking these courses, please look at the following course summaries:

How to Register

Prospective students must register through WTAMU Continuing Education.

STEP ONE: Click the “Register and Pay” link on the Continuing Education web site.

STEP TWO: Select the “ENERGY” topic code and hit Submit (not the WIND code).

STEP THREE: Register for the course of your choice!

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).

December 16, 2009

NEW CLASS: Renewable Energy – Overview

ONLINE, Spring 2010

  • For Credit, must be admitted to WTAMU
    • Undergraduate: ET 4395-70, Research/Problems
    • Graduate: ET 6392-70, Seminar/Engin Tech
  • Continuing Education, ENRGY 1000-01, 4.5 CEU units, Cost $720

Enroll through Continuing Education,  Dec 16 – Jan 20 or call 806-651-2037

How to Register and Pay (THROUGH CONTINUING EDUCATION)

  • Under Topic Code, select ENRGY Renewable Energy, then click submit.
  • Click in the box, then submit and fill out personal form and pay.

Instructors

Nelson and Starcher have taught two courses online a number of times: 1) Wind Energy and Wind Turbines, and 2) Solar Energy. They have over 60 years experience in renewable energy, primarily in wind energy. Drs. Nelson and Chen have been thesis chairs on a number of projects at AEI. Department of Engineering and Computer Science and AEI are developing a renewable energy degree program.

Course Description

Renewable Energy (ET 4395-70) is an overview course with the use of spreadsheets for some analysis.

At the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Understand energy and power as it relates renewable energy production.
  • Be able to analyze data and predict energy production of renewable energy systems.
  • Understand operational parameters of renewable energy systems (mechanical, electrical, control).
  • Size systems and predict performance.
  • Understand institutional issues; local, environmental, and national.
  • Calculate economic values from simple payback to life cycle costs.

Course Information

No Required Text

  • Suggested Textbooks
    • Vaughn Nelson, Wind Energy, Renewable Energy and the Environment, CRC Press, 2009
    • Robert Foster, Majid Ghassemi and Alma Cota, Solar Energy, Renewable Energy and the Environment, CRC Press, 2010
    • Aldo Vieira da Rosa, Renewable Energy Processes, 2nd ed, Academic Press, 2009
  • General:  Godfrey Boyle, Ed., Renewable Energy, Power for a Sustainable Future, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, 2004

Dr. Nelson is in the process of writing textbook, Renewable Energy, Overview, so online course will cover much of the same material.

RENEWABLE ENERGY: OVERVIEW

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • 1.0 Introduction
  • 2.0 Energy
  • 3.0 Sun
  • 4.0 Heat transfer and storage
  • 5.0 Solar heating and cooling
  • 6.0 Concentrating Collectors
  • 7.0 Photovoltaics
  • 8.0 Electricity
  • 9.0 Design of systems
  • 10.0   Wind Energy
  • 11.0   Biomass
  • 12.0   Geothermal
  • 13.0   Micro and Mini Hydro
  • 14.0   Applications
  • 15.0   Ocean
  • 16.0   Storage
  • 17.0   Institutional
  • 18.0   Economics

Tentative Schedule

Cover one to two chapters per week.

Week Of

Topic

1/11

Orientation (WTOnline), for students new to online
Ch 1

1/18

Ch 1

1/25

Ch  2

2/1

Chs 3, 4

2/8

Ch 5

2/15

Ch 6-7

2/22

Ch 8

3/1

Ch 9

3/8

Ch 10

3/11-14

Midterm Test  Chs 1-8

3/15-19

Spring Break

3/22

Ch 11

3/29

Chs 12, 13

4/5

Chs 14, 15

4/12

Chs 16, 17

4/19

Ch 18; Graduate Students Final Project Due

4/26

Review

4/30 -5/6

Final

November 19, 2009

Wind energy conference touts opportunities for agriculture

Texas A&M’s AgriLife has a great write-up our own Dr. Vaughn Nelson and the future of Wind Energy…

Texas farmers and ranchers likely will see more opportunities come about in the future when it comes to wind energy, according to a Texas A&M System expert.

Dr. Vaughn Nelson, professor emeritus and director of the Alternative Energy Institute at West Texas A&M University, predicts small wind systems, those that produce one kilowatt up to 100 kilowatts or more, will receive more interest in the future when it comes to generating power for the farm and ranch, as well as tapping into potential power markets.

“My personal opinion is we may see in the future a farmer or rancher go to a banker some day and say they want to finance a wind turbine just like they would a farm implement,” Nelson said. “They would pay that off in five to seven years, (then be in a profitable situation.)”

Nelson was a panel speaker recently at the Texas/European Union Wind Energy Symposium sponsored by the European Union Center at Texas A&M University in College Station. Co-sponsors included Texas AgriLife Research.

Read the rest (and watch the video!) here!

October 9, 2009

International News: “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”

Here is a clip from The Daily Show, interviewing William Kamkwamba (now 22) an who built a wind turbine out scraps in Africa.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
William Kamkwamba
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

You can find out more about Kamkwamba and his book here.

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