Web Site: http://www.hawaiirenewableenergy.org
Bio: President of HREA
Posts by admin:
- Intelligent demand response
- Microinverters and maximum power point trackers
- Wind energy management tools
- The virtual power plant
- The hybrid solar-gas power plant
This just in from AWEA:
Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 10:00pm PDT
Blumenauer proposes renewable energy tax credit extension
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon
U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) joined with Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) to introduce a bill to extend the federal tax credit for production of wind power, geothermal power, hydropower and other forms of renewable energy.
The “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension” bill calls for an extension of the credits through 2016.
“Tax credits for renewable energy development are an essential part of poweringAmerica’s clean energy future,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “Investing in the renewable energy industry is vitally important for the American economy, creates jobs, and helps curbAmerica’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil.”
The bill was welcomed by officials from the renewable energy industry, which credits the incentive for much of its momentum in recent years.
“Extending the (production tax credit) will keep growing U.S.wind energy manufacturing jobs, rather than losing them to other countries,” said Denise Bode, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, in a press release.
An end to the renewable energy production tax credit, which has been around in some form since 1992, would deal a harsh blow to the renewable energy industry, especially for electricity-generating technologies that are significantly more expensive that conventional power.
This just in from North American Windpower.
UWIG Expands Focus To Solar Energy; Changes Name
|in News Departments > FYI|
|by NAW Staff on Thursday 27 October 2011
This just in from World of Renewbles.com
Sopogy(R) Launches Next Generation of Concentrating Solar Thermal Collector
Cost per Watt Reduced on Solar Thermal Installations.
DALLAS, Oct 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Sopogy(R) the world leader in micro concentrated solar power (MicroCSP) technologies, launches SopoHelios(TM), its next generation, parabolic solar collector today at the Solar Power International Conference in Dallas, Texas.
SopoHelios features Sopogy’s patented, award-winning MicroCSP technology. MicroCSP uses mirrors and optics to intensify the heat energy from the sun creating thermal energy. Thermal energy is the fuel for clean, renewable power generation, air conditioning, and process heat.
The new collector is designed for “high heat” temperatures ranging between 50-326 degrees C or 122-620 degrees F which directly address power generation, solar thermal air conditioning and solar process heat applications. The collector spanning 7.61 meters squared or 82 square feet, reduces the number of collectors required to power a solar electric power field by 33%.
“Requiring fewer collectors reduces engineering and construction costs and speeds up solar field assembly,” said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy, Inc. “SopoHelios maximizes the efficiency for our solar thermal systems and significantly improves the system paybacks,” he added.
Tested in the hot, lava field deserts of Kona for strength, torsion and durability, SopoHelios features a light-weight core, solar tracking, all-weather stow mode, ease of assembly, low maintenance and the capability to enable local manufacturing.
SopoHelios collectors are scheduled for installation in Kalaeloa Solar One, a five megawatt power plant 15 miles from urbanHonolulu. Kalaeloa Solar One will also feature Sopogy’s proprietary thermal heat storage system. Storage stabilizes production when cloudy and prolongs energy production after sunset.
Founded inHawaii, Sopogy has deployed MicroCSP systems around the world, includingHawaii,California,Texas,Florida,MexicoandAbu Dhabi, with projects underway inHawaii,Florida,Arizona,Japan,JordanandPapua New Guinea. Please visit www.sopogy.com for more information.
Congratulations to Darren Kimura of Sopogy!!
And whilst we are mulling over how to get to 70%…
From Renew Grid:
Two huge wind farm approvals totaling 1,400 MW (1.4 GW) bringNew Zealandcloser to its target of 90% renewable electricity by 2025. The small nation of four million gets more than three quarters of its electricity from clean energy already: 79%.
Geothermal and hydropower have long supplied the majority ofNew Zealand’s power, but hydro is at a natural limit. Wind is well positioned to fill the gap, according to Wind Energy Association CEO Eric Pyle. ”Wind power could generate 20% ofNew Zealand’s electricity by 2025, up from 4% today.”
That means growing wind from its current 615 MW to around 3,000MW. These two approvals are a significant step forward, supplying nearly half of that at a total of 1,400 MW. The two large utility-scale wind farms are rated at 860 MW and 540 MW. (Another huge farm in the coal-richSouth Islandwas denied, Meridian Energy is fighting to overturn a decision against its 630 MW Project Hayes in Otago.)
860 MW Genesis Energy
Genesis Energy has just filed for the resource consents to build an 858 MW wind farm in a remote region of the Wairarapa, at the bottom of the North Island, but near to Wellington, one of New Zealand’s four main population centers.
The 286 turbines, with a maximum height of 155 meters are proposed for a remote area that is relatively sparsely populated, with just six small rural settlements in or around the remote coastal site, with a combined population of about 500 in just 110 households.
LikeUSwind farms inIowaandTexas, the company has signed land use agreements with 27 owners of the land, and would site the turbines within a “turbine corridor” ideal for wind farm development. Over several years, building the farm is expected to cost around $1.68 billion NZ (US$1.43)
540 MW Contact Energy
Contact Energy, New Zealand’s largest utility has resource consent to build Hauauru ma raki (“northwest wind” in Maori) a 504 MW, 168-turbine wind farm near New Zealand’s largest population center of Auckland, with the farm sited on the windy west coast between Port Waikato and Raglan.
Among the conditions imposed on Hauauru ma raki under the consent are that the turbines must not be taller than 150 metres with a maximum of three, 50-metre blades, which must be light grey or off-white in colour with low reflectivity, and limits for noise created during both the construction and operation of the wind farm, and a number of conditions to protect the local ecology.
At the time, the approval made it the biggest wind project in the country to secure consent to date, but Contact Energy appears to be wavering on going forward with the project immediately. Certainly it is a gigantic step.
Both farms approved are twice the size of New Zealand’s biggest wind farm to date, West Wind, which has only 62 turbines that are less than half the height of the new turbines, with towers that are only 67 meters tall.
Does anyone know anything about this, just in from North American Windpower?
NREL Partners With Semikron To Develop Renewable Energy Inverter
by NAW Staff on Tuesday 02 August 2011
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with industrial partner Semikron and with funding from the California Energy Commission (CEC), has developed a prototype of a 50 kW inverter that converts distributed renewable energy, such as wind or solar power, into grid-compatible alternating-current (AC) power.
The 50 kW modular power block is the size of a microwave oven, and it can be included with a photovoltaic array, small wind turbine, battery charger, fuel cell or flywheel to control the flow of energy into the electric grid, according to NREL, adding that when the power block is produced in volume, the price is expected to be one-third of the cost of other integrated power electronics of the same rating.
Because the power block is modular, it can be used for multiple technologies. It is also scalable, so two or more can be connected to create a larger power converter without having to redesign a system, according to NREL.
The power block includes electronic switches, sensors, direct-current (DC) bus filtering, a heat sink, a driver and a controller board. It will be packaged inside a 6-foot by 2.5-foot inverter, which also will contain inductors, capacitors, sensors, contactors, pilot relays and a DC power supply, along with protective devices to suppress surges, protect against ground faults and ensure emergency shutoff.
“After one more redesign, we’ll get a dozen or so of these into the hands of industry across different disciplines to get their feedback,” says NREL’s Bill Kramer, the principal investigator for the project.
NREL’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the CEC is being used to develop the power block.
Don’t miss the latest wind energy news – register to receive NAW’s news headlines.
Check this out: Pacific Biodiesel to Sell Biodiesel to HECO!
This from Renewable Energy World:
50 Percent Biofuels Now Allowed in Jet Fuel
By Renewable Energy World Editors | July 1, 2011
New Hampshire, USA – Friday’s much-anticipated release of revised international aviation fuel standards officially allows commercial airlines to a blend conventional jet fuel with up to 50 percent biofuels.
The renewable fuels can be blended with conventional commercial and military jet fuel through requirements in the newly issued edition of ASTM D7566, Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons.
The new standards could lead the fledgling aviation biofuel industry to immediately step up production.
Bioderived synthetic blending components are identical to hydrocarbons found in jet fuel, but come from vegetable oil-containing feedstocks such as algae, camelina or jatropha, or from animal fats called tallow.
Mark Rumizen, who helped lead the work to revise the specification, heads the certification-qualification group for the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a coalition that seeks to enhance sustainability for aviation by promoting the use of alternative jet fuels.
“The revision of D7566 reflects an industry cooperative effort to accomplish this task,” said Rumizen. “Because of the great emphasis on safety when you’re dealing with aviation fuel, the passage of this ballot required a collaborative and cooperative effort between the members of the aviation fuels community.”
Representatives from companies across the fuel supply chain plus biofuel producers, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and regulatory agencies were involved in the specification development and revision.
Copyright © 1999-2011 RenewableEnergyWorld.com
All rights reserved.
This in from the Daily Grist:
Cash Incentives for Renewables are Twice as Effective as Tax Credits
By John Farrell
May 19, 2011
Using the tax code rather than cash incentives to support wind and solar power costs ratepayers significantly more. I wrote about this problem last year because project developers were selling their federal tax credits to third parties at 50 to 70 cents on the dollar.
Along these lines, the Bipartisan Policy Center released a study [last week]showing that simply handing cash to clean energy developers is twice — yes, twice — as effective as supporting them through tax credits.[emphasis added]
The problem is that all but the largest renewable energy developers or buyers can’t capture the full value of the federal tax credits. So, prior to the economic collapse, a number of enterprising investment banks (and others) started buying up tax credits to reduce their tax bills.
Banks took their cut, of course, which decreased the value of the tax credits to the actual wind or solar project.
This was great for big banks, but lousy for taxpayers and electric ratepayers. In fact, using tax credits instead of cash grants for wind and solar projects increased the cost per kilowatt-hour produced by 18 and 27 percent, respectively. (Wait, why not 50 percent? Because even though the tax credit is only half as good as cash, the cash payment only covers up to 30 percent of a wind or solar project’s costs. So cash in lieu of tax credits can only improve that portion of a project’s finances.)
Seen another way, if the $4 billion spent on renewable tax incentives in 2007 had been given as cash instead, it could have leveraged 3,400 MW of additional wind power and 52 MW of additional solar power. This would have increased incremental installed wind capacity in 2007 by 64%, and installed solar capacity by 25%.
The increased costs come from higher prices that utilities pay for wind and solar power (and pass on to consumers) as well as the cost to taxpayers of passing half of the tax credit value to investment bank shareholders instead of wind and solar projects.
The problem isn’t solved, but has simply been postponed.
When the economy tanked, so did profits (and tax liability) for big banks. Wind and solar producers had no one to buy their tax credits and the entire industry was in danger of collapsing. The adjacent chart illustrates the idiocy of relying on the tax code for energy policy.
Congress stepped in with a temporary fix, allowing project developers to receive a cash grant in lieu of the tax credit. The temporary cash grant (currently extended through 2011) kept the wind and solar industry running during the recession and has saved taxpayers and ratepayers billions of dollars.
It’s also helped level the playing field, allowing for local ownership of wind and solar projects (such as the cooperative-owned Crow Lake wind Project in South Dakota), rather than requiring complex tax equity partnerships. It’s meant more revenue from wind and solar staying in the local community. And this means a larger, stronger constituency for renewable energy.
The cash grant option will expire at the end of 2011, but hopefully the climate hawks and fiscal hawks in Congress will take note: we can support wind and solar at half the price with smarter policy.
Hat tip to David Roberts at Grist for the study link.
This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States, a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s New Rules Project.
The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.
The top five coolest ways to integrate renewable energy into the grid
17 JUN 2011 3:04 PM
Cross-posted from Climate Progress.
Intermittent renewables at high penetrations will bring new challenges for the grid. But how big will they be? And is it true that wind and solar will necessarily need storage or natural gas back-up at high levels?
The International Energy Agency (IEA) wanted to know, so it modeled a variety of high-penetration scenarios in eight geographic regions around the world. Hugo Chandler, a senior policy analyst with the IEA, explains the organization’s findings to Climate Progress:
Variability is not just some new phenomenon in grid management. What we found is that renewable energy is not fundamentally different. The criticisms of renewables often neglect the complementarities between different technologies and the way they can balance each other out if spread over certain regions and energy types.
Grid operators are constantly working to balance available supply with demand — it’s what they do. There are always natural variations that cause spikes in demand, reductions in supply, or create disturbances in frequency and voltage. Once you see there are a variety of ways to properly manage that variability, you start whittling away at the argument that you always need storage or a megawatt of natural gas backup for every megawatt of renewable energy.
Theoretical modeling is important. But what companies are doing in reality?
Here’s five of the top methods for integrating renewable energy into the grid — proving that intermittency isn’t the showstopper that critics make it out to be. Explanations of each of these with videos are below.
Intelligent demand response
Intelligent demand response is often called the “killer app” of the smart grid. Demand response is not a new concept — but the “intelligent” part is still somewhat new.
The demand-response leader, EnerNOC, is now applying this concept to renewable energy. The company announced earlier this year that it would work with a Northwestern transmission operator to help manage demand to meet the fluctuating output of wind electricity in the system. EnerNOC President David Brewster calls it “the perfect dancing partner for wind.” By ramping up demand at facilities during times of peak supply and lowering demand when supply drops off, the grid can respond to changing conditions in real time without the need for storage.
Microinverters and maximum power point trackers
Inverters are the gateway to the grid — turning direct current electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to grid-friendly alternating current. Over the past several years, there has been a revolution in inverter technologies that allows project owners to more effectively regulate system performance. One technology, the microinverter, is installed on the back of individual panels, turning each module into its own unit and providing real-time data on how each is operating. Therefore, if clouds roll over a PV system, the “Christmas tree light effect” is avoided, and each panel still functions normally, maximizing the output of a system — sometimes by 20 percent or more.
Speaking of maximizing output, that’s where maximum power point trackers come in. These pieces of power electronics are also installed on the back of individual panels. But they’re not microinverters; instead, they boost voltage to an optimal range for a central inverter, thus allowing the device to run more efficiently. By allowing a system owner to control a PV plant at the module level, you can boost performance on the module level and regulate voltage even as weather patterns change.
Wind energy management tools
Supervisory control and data acquisition systems that remotely monitor wind farm performance have been around for years — but there are a host of new applications being developed that allow grid operators and utilities to monitor system-wide performance in an easier, more compelling way.
The Wind Energy Management System (WEMS) from the Portuguese company Logica is a great example. The company manages over three gigawatts of wind farms in the U.S. and Europe using its WEMS, which allows for real-time monitoring of a set of geographically dispersed wind plants — providing the tools to balance voltage, ramp wind farms up and down quickly, and plan for maintenance.
A company like EnerNOC provides the tools for better management on the demand side; a company like Logica provides the tools for better integration on the supply side.
The virtual power plant
Virtual power plants combine intelligent demand response with supply-side management software, bringing distributed renewable energy plants together to form a “virtual” centralized resource.
We previously wrote about Germany’s regenerative combined power plant, a project that proved existing renewable energy technologies could provide 100 percent of the country’s electricity. The project blended three wind farms worth 12.6 megawatts, 20 solar PV plants totaling 5.5 megawatts, four biogas systems equaling four megawatts, and a pumped-storage system with 8.4 gigawatt-hours of storage. By using geographically dispersed renewable resources that complement one another, the plant operators were able to meet needs on the grid as supply and demand shifted. The project shows that with better information technologies and a balanced set of resources, the intermittency issue can be dealt with.
The hybrid power plant
While innovative grid management tools will allow us to scale wind and solar without an equivalent megawatt-to-megawatt backup, there will definitely be a need to better integrate renewables and fossil energies to boost output and maximize current infrastructure.
Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) can be a great way to increase efficiencies of newer fossil fuel-based infrastructure that may be around for a while. A number of companies are integrating direct-steam CSP technologies into coal or natural-gas plants. Florida Power & Light recently finished a 75-megawatt combined CSP/natural gas plant in Florida, with plans to add 500 more megawatts of hybrid plants in the coming years; Areva Solar is building a 44-megawatt plant at a coal facility in Australia; and GE, which recently invested in e-Solar, plans to integrate CSP technology into its natural-gas plants, boosting power-plant efficiencies substantially.
In an ideal world, CSP would be developed on its own to phase out fossil-based plants. And that is happening. But in order to scale these technologies, drop costs, and better utilize power plants that are in operation (or switch from burning coal to far more efficient natural gas), the hybrid approach is a very attractive option. Here’s how one type of direct-steam CSP plant works:
To categorically claim that intermittent renewables can’t scale without hurting the grid ignores the very real innovations that are evolving today.
As the IEA’s Hugo Chandler explains: “We want to explode the myth that there’s a technological limit.”