Wind Energy DIY Guide

Energy2green Wind And Solar Power System

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Energy2green Wind And Solar Power System Overview

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The development of wind power in selected European countries

Figure 7.1 displays the development of wind power capacity in five Western European countries. The choice of countries is motivated, first of all, by the fact that the development of wind power differs among these countries. Germany, Denmark and, more recently, Spain have all experienced considerable increases in the installed capacity of wind turbines, while the corresponding developments in Sweden and the UK have been more modest. For instance, in 1991, Spain and the UK had more or less the same amount of wind energy Figure 7.1 Installed wind power capacity in selected European countries (MW) Figure 7.1 Installed wind power capacity in selected European countries (MW) capacity installed (around 4MW to 5MW) but in 1999, Spain's wind capacity amounted to 1584MW while it was only 344MW in the UK. In Sweden, wind power production increased by over 700 per cent over the time period of 1994 to 2002, albeit from a very low level. Thus, in spite of this relative increase, in 2004 the share...

Wind Power Capacity Surges

By the early twenty-first century, wind power was becoming competitive in cost with electricity generated by fossil fuels, as its use surged. While wind power still was a tiny fraction of energy generated in the United States, some areas of Europe (Denmark, as well as parts of Germany and Spain) were using it as a major source. Advances in wind turbine technology adapted from the aerospace industry have reduced the cost of wind power from 38 cents per kilowatt-hour (during the early 1980s) to 3 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. This rate is competitive with costs of power generation from fossil fuels, but costs vary according to site. Major corporations, including Shell International, have been moving into wind power. By 2002, Spain generated 4,830 megawatts of wind power. Spain's industrial state of Navarra, which generated no wind power in 1996, by 2002 was generating 25 percent of its electricity that way. With its wind turbines producing electricity at 4 to 5 cents per kilowatt-hour,...

Components of a Wind Project

Although wind projects vary in scale, the same general components comprise any size project. The typical modern wind energy project consists of three major systems wind turbines mounted on towers, an electrical collection system, and transmission interconnection facilities. Most projects also include access roads, O& M facilities, and meteorological towers. Wind turbine in Stratford, Texas. Photo courtesy of Generation Energy and AWEA. Wind turbine in Stratford, Texas. Photo courtesy of Generation Energy and AWEA.

Constraints on wind capacity

The amount of wind power that can actually be exploited is likely to be limited, eventually, by the amount of wind generated power national transmission systems can accept. The actual proportion remains a matter for debate but the Danish power industry has shown that it is possible to accept 20 wind energy without detrimentally affecting grid operation. The problem lies in the fact that wind is not a reliable resource. The output from a wind turbine cannot be guaranteed from day to day. Over a wide area, some variability will be averaged out, but nevertheless a significant level of uncertainty will remain. Better wind forecasting will help reduce the short-term uncertainty but long-term fluctuations in wind output are unavoidable. Faced with this uncertainty, power dispatchers cannot depend on wind for base-load generation. When wind power is available they can use it to displace other types of generation. When it is not, they must bring those other plants into service. The situation...

Wind energy an already mature energy

Wind power technology is already relatively mature, producing electricity under almost profitable conditions. Current machines can develop powers from 1.25 to 2.5 MW. The rotors fitted on 2.5 MW machines have a span of up to 80 m 59 . Virtually all high-power wind turbines have a three-blade rotor, which offers higher efficiency than two-blade rotors, without making construction of the wind turbine overcomplicated. Wind energy is almost competitive, the cost price of the electricity produced being in the region of D 50 MWh. The main drawback with wind energy lies in the fact that it is intermittent and cannot be modulated to match demand. Intermittent operation must be compensated by the grid, which limits the share of electricity that can be supplied by wind energy. In the future, the price of fossil fuels, together with constraints on CO2 emissions, should make wind energy more competitive. Recently, the development of wind energy, especially within the European Union, has been...

Wind Turbine Installations

In the United States in 2007 the generating capacity of the wind industry expanded by 30 and the consulting firm, Emerging Energy Associates, estimates that between 2007 and 2015 some 65 billion will be invested in wind power. Shekk and TXU Corporation are planning to build the world's largest (3 gW) wind farm in the Texas panhandle. An even larger (4 gW) farm costing about 10 billion is planned on a 150,000 acre area, also in the Texas panhandle. This project is called the Pama Wind Project and will be built by Mesa Power LLP. The first phase is a 1 gW unit consisting of 667 turbines, and the total project is expected to be completed by 2014. Another large project is the 2 gW 8 billion wind farm being built by Spain's Iberdrola. This project will double the capacity of the company's operating plants in the United States. The world's first floating offshore wind turbine with a peak production of 2.3 mW is being built in Karmay, Norway. One of the world's largest wind parks was built...

Global Wind Energy Council GWEC

Established in 2005, the Global Wind Energy Council is an international forum for the wind energy industry. Its mission is to promote the development and use of wind power as a leading energy resource. To accomplish this mission, the GWEC works in areas of policy development, business leadership, global outreach, and education. The GWEC Web site provides information about wind energy industries worldwide, offers information about upcoming events, and provides links to publications about economics and recent technology in the wind industry.

A big flap over wind power

One of the biggest complaints against wind turbines is that they kill birds. Initially, this threat was a serious problem because builders didn't take bird and bat migration routes into consideration when erecting the turbines. A report put out by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences says that for every 30 wind turbines, one bird is killed each year, although these numbers are contested. Based on these numbers, 40,000 birds die because of wind turbines each year in the U.S. alone. While wind energy moves forward, wind turbine developers and companies are taking concerns for bird safety into account. They usually build turbines away from migration routes and often add colored markings to the blades to ensure that our feathered friends can see them. Ultimately, wind turbines are far from a bird's worst enemy, making up just 0.003 percent of human-caused bird deaths in the U.S.

Wind Power Resources Value and Growth in Installed Capacity

Thanks to steeply falling wind power costs (from the early 1980s until today) and rapidly advancing technology, wind capacity is growing faster than any other energy technology in the world today 22 percent a year during the 1990s and 40 percent for the past few years.10 In the 1990s, wind power capacity tripled every 3 years. By the end of 1999, world wind capacity was 13,400 MW, and worldwide investment in wind power was roughly 11 billion. Further large expansions of wind capacity are planned over the next decade Wind projects are under development in nearly 40 countries. If appropriate policies are adopted, wind could produce 10 percent of the world's electricity by 2020 according to BTM Consult, an international wind energy consulting firm.11 BTM calculated that 1.2 million MW of wind capacity could be installed in the next two decades. That would produce as much electricity as Europe now consumes and more than all of Asia and Latin America consume combined while creating 1.7...

Growing Markets for Wind Energy

Historically, wind power has only been able to fill very small market niches. The windmills that pumped water on western ranches fulfilled a vital function, one that could not be filled any other way, but there has never been large-scale water pumping using wind energy. And windmills are very localized in that the power they produce is generally available only at the powered shaft. Windmills used for grinding grain only worked on site. There was no way to store the energy, and there was no way to transport it (unlike fossil fuels which are easy to transport). As electrical energy became feasible through advancements in turbine and generator technology, however, the scope of the markets has expanded considerably. Now wind power is not only a viable option for individual use, but it is a real option for large-scale energy production.

Wind Farms Utility Scale Electrical Production

The potential for wind power has grown considerably in the last few decades due to advances in technology. Utilities are now building large-scale wind farms that produce hundreds of megawatts of power. In 2005, the worldwide wind industry output roughly 17 billion kilowatt hours of electrical energy. This displaced around 25 billion tons of carbon dioxide, 58,000 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 35,000 tons of nitrogen oxides. To put wind potential into perspective, if the U.S. were to exploit only 10 percent of its wind energy potential, we could get rid of 600 coal-fired power plants. The wind farms would be located in only ten of our windiest states, and would be far from urban centers so the social impact would be minimal.

Assessing wind farm developments under the EPBCA

The development of wind farms as a renewable energy source has caught the attention of various state governments, which have sought to legislate specifically for their development.75 The question arises whether such developments are assessable under the EPBCA. It is likely that all wind farm developments will be referred under the EPBCA for assessment as they commonly impact on 'matters 75 See for example, Electricity Industry (Wind Farm Development) Act 2004 (Vic), and announcement by NSW Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources that all large-scale wind farm developments will be declared State significant development and be assessed by the Minister under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). of national significance'. These include impacts on listed threatened species, listed migratory species and Ramsar wetlands. Controlled action determinations under the EPBCA are site specific and are unique to each proposal in relation to the siting and...

The Back Story of Wind Power

Humans first used wind power to move their boats well over 5,000 years ago. In the Western world, coarse windmills entered the scene at around 200 bc these were used to process grains and other foods. The Chinese used windmills for the same purpose over 2,000 years ago. The Dutch refined windmill technology, which was used for draining swamps and grinding food. The English also built thousands of windmills for similar purposes. Electricity was first generated by wind power in 1890. This was made possible by larger, metallic blades that captured more of the potential wind energy and converted it into useable power. The first such windmill had a blade diameter of around 50 feet and output only 12 kW's of power, but it was the beginning or a new era in energy production. As the federal government pursued large hydropower programs in the 1940s (refer to Chapter 10), windmills fell out of favor. The national electrical grid was being built and people didn't need localized power sources any...

Table Wind Power Stocks

Clipper Windpower Vestas Wind Systems Western Wind Energy range from the world 's 1 argest power companies, like Spanish utilities Iberdrola and Acciona and America 's FPL, all the way down to single-farm entrepreneurs. And new entrants are pouring in as quickly as land can be leased and turbines delivered. Then there are the component makers that supply the industry with everything from carbon fiber for turbine blades, to specialized electronics, to information management services. Here again, new companies are forming and private firms are going public, so the supply of interesting, not-yet-widely followed wind power stocks will continue to grow for years (see Table 5.1).

Other things to know about wind farms

Wind energy has a lot to recommend it It's renewable, and the supply is virtually infinite. And wind farms offer several advantages as well Turbines are maintenance free for long lifetimes. Very little labor is required to maintain a large-scale wind farm. Wind energy is distributed, in that it can be created all over instead of in a centralized location. The economics don't suffer when turbines are built far apart (aside from the wiring runs). It also increases the diversity of a nation's energy supply.

Following in Wind Energys Footsteps

Wind energy is one renewable energy technology developed successfully by mechanical engineers. In the 1970s, wind systems and PV systems started out on nearly the same footing only a few experimental systems for each were installed around the world. Today, there are roughly 10 times more wind energy systems than PV systems installed 50,000 MW of wind systems versus 5,000 MW of PV systems. Why were wind energy technologies able to surpass PV systems One reason was that wind developers were able to quickly demonstrate economies of production just as a market opportunity appeared. The state of California offered long-term standard-offer contracts from 1985 to 1989 to purchase the electricity over 20 years from large-scale renewable energy projects. These long-term contracts were similar in many ways to the successful European feed-in tariffs. Solar concentrators producing heat to drive electric generators called concentrating solar power (CSP) systems also took advantage of the...

Features of Types of BLM Rightof Way Grants for Wind Energy Projects

Authorization for use of project area for the construction of all facilities necessary for a long-term, commercial wind energy project, including construction of turbines, access roads, distribution lines, and associated facilities Grant authorizes the use of reasonable amount of land necessary for a full-scale wind energy project in the future Grant includes the exclusive right to use project site for wind energy projects for the term of the grant, but grantee must file an application for Project Development Grant if it elects to develop the project Grant includes the exclusive right to use the project site for wind energy projects for the term of the grant, but may require developer to allow public access to the site for public awareness and education purposes BLM retains right to use land for compatible uses, subject to grantee's exclusive right for wind energy project BLM retains right to use land for compatible uses, subject to grantee's exclusive right for wind energy project As...

Legal preconditions for implementing the National Wind Energy Policy at the local level

The installation of wind turbines is largely conditional upon the requirements of the law. Swedish law grants a significant amount of discretion to the local authorities. In the case of wind power development, the system of rules governing the use of land (and water) areas, as well as the assessment of the environmental impacts of turbines, is of particular interest. In Sweden, the development of wind turbines is primarily regulated in the Environmental Code. The code states that the installation of large and medium-sized turbines can be permitted only if they are in compliance with certain environmental requirements, among which are the basic and special resource management provisions and the so-called localization requirement. Also of importance are the rules on physical planning in the Planning and Building Act and the specific legal prerequisites for offshore wind turbine installations. The following analysis shows that although national energy policy promotes increased reliance...

The cost of wind power

Ever since the modern wind power industry began to develop, the main question it has had to answer is the question of cost. Can wind power compete with conventional forms of power generation In Europe the development of wind power took off more slowly but during the middle of the 1990s it became well established with Denmark and Germany its most enthusiastic early supporters, followed by Spain. Here, again, however, government incentives have helped promote wind generation. The wind power market began to grow again in the USA at the end of the 1990s, encouraged both by incentives and by regulations which required utilities in some states to provide a proportion of their electricity from renewable sources. Continuous development since the early 1980s has led to the cost of wind turbine installations falling rapidly during the 1980s and early 1990s. The World Bank estimated that wind technology costs fell by between 60 and 70 between 1985 and 1994. While prices are still falling, the...

Analyzing Peak Time Impact of Wind Power

For the convenience of our analysis, both the power curve of a wind turbine and wind speed at the national level is simulated with certain constraints. Wind speed data for the areas of Youngdeok, Jeju-hanrim, Saemangeum, Seosan, and Samcheok from Sep. 12, 2000 to Sep. 11, 2000 from the wind map of KIER (Korea Institute of Energy Research) is selected for such purposes. For practical simulation, 365 x 5 random numbers are created first to select 365 days' wind speed patterns for 24-h intervals. Selected wind speed is overlapped with the obtained power curve for numerical integration. The simulation is done 1,000 times 5 . The promotion target for new and renewable power by the government is adopted as a base scenario. A total of four scenarios for simulation purposes are used. These scenarios represent combinations of fixed or variable annual wind power generation, and original or new peak load after the impact of wind power generation. However, only the first scenario involving the...

The pros and cons of wind power

It can be generated anytime, day or night. Wind is available almost everywhere, in all climates. In many of the worst climates, it's very powerful. In some locations, wind is virtually a constant (magnitudes may vary, but output is always available). Because wind speeds vary over terrain, you can find locations on your property that provide maximum potential. Ridge lines, coastlines, and the tops of barren hills are the best candidates. Wind power has its disadvantages, too I Obstructions like trees, houses, barns, and so on all affect wind speed. And because wind direction varies, obstructions in one direction may or may not be important in other directions. The best bet is to stay well away from all obstructions, although this may not be possible. And finally, precisely because wind is variable, you definitely need batteries. A wind turbine. The installation is the tricky part. Hire a pro. If you don't know what you're doing, you could literally be...

The impact of national energy policy on the economics of wind power

In 2002, a national planning goal of a yearly wind power generation of 10TWh by 2015 was adopted. Before this planning goal was introduced, Sweden's wind power policy was characterized by soft formulations stating that wind power should be promoted in the Swedish energy system, without explicitly stating when and how much (Astrand and Neij, 2006). Although the cost of producing wind power has declined substantially during the last two decades, public support is still generally needed to make investments in wind turbines commercially attractive. In the past, investment and production subsidies dominated the policy portfolio used to encourage wind turbine investments. However, a green certificate system for renewable energy was introduced in 2003. Its aim is (similar to that of competitive bidding systems) to secure a predetermined market share for renewable electric power sources, but also to promote cost-effective competition between the different types of renewable energy sources...

Wind Power Generations Impact on Peak Time Demand and on Future Power

Abstract Although wind power is regarded as one of the ways to actively respond to climate change, the stability of the whole power system could be a serious problem in the future due to wind power's uncertainties. These uncertainties include intermittency and the fact that wind power cannot be relied upon to supply energy on demand, including and especially during periods of peak demand. From this perspective, the peak-time impact of stochastic wind power generation is estimated using a simulation method that extends to 2030 based on the 3rd master plan for the promotion of new and renewable energy. Results show that the highest probability of wind power impact on peak time power supply could be up to 4.41 of total installed capacity in 2030. The impact of wind power generation on overall power mix is also analyzed up to 2030 using the screen curve method (SCM). The impact turns out to be relatively small, but the estimated investment cost to make up any lack of power generation...

Incentives for smallscale wind power systems

Small-scale wind power has proliferated due to net metering laws, as well as tax rebates and credits. Without net metering, also called intertie, wind power economics would be hopeless under most circumstances. Net metering, selling excess energy back to the utility, is great for wind power economics because every wind system has a certain maximum capacity determined by the total amount of wind that blows past a turbine in a given day. While maximum capacity depends on a number of things on a still day, system capacity is much less than on a windy day, for example consumption is governed simply by what you need and want. In a typical household, power consumption peaks in the morning and evening while wind production peaks in the afternoon when the wind blows hardest. With a wind power system tied in to the grid, you can use as much power as you need, and your wind system merely contributes whenever it can. What you don't use from your wind system is all sold back to the utility. The...

Benefits Of Wind Power

Wind power is primarily a utility-scale technology, with hundreds of turbines arrayed in large wind farms. Wind offers a number of advantages over fossil fuel in powering the grid Electric power from wind in most cases is already cheaper than power from natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants. Even locations that do not have adequate wind resources can benefit from wind generation elsewhere, which helps to hold down grid power costs overall. Like solar and geothermal power, most of the costs are up front to build a wind system. After that, the maintenance and operation costs are minimal and predictable. So financing wind-power projects can be low-risk compared to fossil-fueled plants, where the cost of the fuel is volatile and unpredictable, and thus an investment risk. Deploying more wind reduces climate change. Once in place, a wind farm creates no greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power needs no water. Traditional power plants of all kinds require significant amounts of water, as much...

Declining costs of largescale wind power production

The economics of large-scale wind power production are competitive with fossil fuel energy production, with costs per kWh as low as 4 or 5 cents. As technologies mature, the price of large-scale wind power has declined and wind now competes, without subsidies, with fossil fuel power production. In the last two decades alone, the cost of wind power has dropped around 90 percent. The average cost of utility wind power capital expenditures in 2000 was 790 per kilowatt (compare this to over 10,000 per kilowatt for solar power). When environmental costs are factored into the equation, wind is the cheapest form of alternative energy available. Enhancing the economics is that wind power can be installed in small increments. Individual turbines may be installed one at a time, and then connected together when the time comes. This makes for easier capital equipment budgeting. Very few other alternatives can be built incrementally, with the exception of solar, but even then it's best to install...

Largescale wind power technology

Based on the laws of aerodynamics, large wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical power. Large numbers of individual turbines are combined electrically so that the power outputs are in phase, and the result can be hundreds of megawatts of wind power. There are two distinct versions of wind turbines in use. Of all the alternative energy technologies that are emerging, wind turbines demand some of the trickiest engineering designs. Small changes in nearly any aspect of a turbine design can result in major changes in performance. This is why there is so much ongoing design and experimentation. At some point, there will be enough data available to deterministically lock down the most optimal designs. In the meantime, expect to see a lot of different looking wind turbines. Following are some of the things engineers have to consider.

Intermittency of Wind Power

With sufficient installed wind capacity, wind and other intermittent renew-ables could easily provide 30 percent of the capacity of an electrical grid without energy storage and a much greater proportion of the grid capacity if storage were provided. According to European researchers, no absolute physical limit exists to the fraction of wind penetration on a large power system.13 However, because wind power (and other intermittent renewables) have a lower capacity factor than fossil and nuclear power plants, wind capacity must be installed at twice or two and a half times the capacity of conventional generation to provide equal average annual energy output.14 For example, for a wind power plant with a 30 percent capacity factor to equal the average generation of a conventional fossil-fired plant with a 60 percent capacity factor, twice as much wind power capacity would have to be installed. Whereas this would not alter the levelized per unit cost of the delivered wind power, it would...

Analyzing the Impact of Wind Power on Power Mix Using SCM

An analysis of stochastic wind power generation and its impact on the power mix is performed using the typical method of SCM (Fig. 1). SCM is used to identify the Results show that the operation of a 635 h LNG 700 MW facility, 7,227 h coal 1,000 MW facility, and a 8,760 h nuclear 1,400 MW facility are required in terms of given cost information and LDC. Considering the fact that wind power generation is treated as a must-run, its long term impact on power mix is analyzed in this model. Resulting investment cost to make up such lack of power generation in terms of combined-cycle LNG power generation facilities is also calculated. Impact of the lack of power generation due to wind power on peak load facilities is estimated to be 1.17 , intermediate load facilities, 1.52 , and base load facilities, 0.02 , respectively, in 2030. The impact is considerably small at present but it is expected that the scale of power generation required to satisfy the lack of power generation will become...

Wind Powers Growth Prospects

Right now, wind power is in such demand that it will grow as fast as new turbines can be made, which is about 25 percent annually. In early 2008, the waiting list for many components stretched for more than a year, and though turbine makers were building new plants, demand was keeping pace, making it unlikely that they'll be able to cut their wait times before 2010. For investors, wind offers a range of choices. (See Table 5.1.) The turbine makers are mostly giants like General Electric, Germany's Siemens, and Denmark's Vestas. Vestas is the biggest pure play turbine maker, with 2007 sales of around 8 billion and projected growth of about 25 percent in 2008. Wind farm operators

Wind TUrbine and Result

Figure 2 shows that the offshore-wind turbine individual simulation output using PSCAD EMTDC 3 . It shows the real power (PwindMW) and the mechanical torque (Tmwindpu) of the offshore-wind turbine, also the AC voltage line to line (Vwind-L-L (RMS) kV). The per-unit machine speed is controlled to be 1.014 per-unit constant throughout the simulation. The design parameters of the wind turbine are listed in Table 1. As shown Fig. 2, the wind generator is in starting up condition until 0.9 s. Wind speed noise is given throughout the simulation period. The noise amplitude controlling parameter is 1 rad s-1, a number of noise components is 30, surface drag coefficient is 0.0192, random wind speed is 8 m s-1, and time interval of random Fig. 2 Simulation results for offshore-wind turbine with mechanical torque Fig. 2 Simulation results for offshore-wind turbine with mechanical torque Table 1 Parameter of offshore-wind turbine Rated wind speed

Offshore wind technology

Pressures for land use and concerted campaigns to prevent the construction of wind farms is forcing wind farm developers in western Europe to consider building wind farms offshore. Offshore wind farming has some significant advantages. The wind regime is both more predictable and more reliable. Turbulence is lower, so wind turbines should last longer and wind farms can be sited far enough offshore to make them virtually invisible. Offshore sites also offer the possibility of building wind farms with capacities of 1000 MW or more. Against this, the primary barrier is cost. Building a wind farm offshore costs between 40 and 100 more than building a similar farm onshore. Maintenance costs are higher too. However the higher wind speeds available offshore mean that output will generally be higher offshore. The main additional cost is for construction of the wind turbine foundation. This can cost up to 25 of the total installation cost offshore. Onshore it is likely to be 16 or less. Grid...

Wind farms and grid connection

To take full advantage of the wind, wind turbines are usually deployed in groups of from two or three to several hundred. These groupings are commonly known as wind farms. When grouped together, wind turbines are usually spaced between five and ten rotor diameters apart in order to reduce interaction between adjacent machines. Even so, when machines are operating downwind of one another there will usually be some loss of output from the downwind turbines. When this spacing is taken into account, a wind farm of twenty 500 kW turbines will occupy an area of 3-4 km2. Of this, only around 1 is actually taken up by the turbines. The remainder can still be used as farmland. The power from a wind farm must be delivered to the local grid. This will normally require a substation. For a small wind farm, under 100 MW, connection may be made to the local distribution system. Larger facilities, such as offshore farms, can have capacities of several hundred megawatts, Small wind farms have often...

The Cape Wind Project

Cape Wind is a proposal by Energy Management, Inc., a for-profit corporation, to build 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow area in Nantucket Sound, slightly over 5 miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.7 With average wind conditions the project, once built, would generate an average of 170 megawatts of electricity, with a maximum of 458 megawatts. The average production would be about 75 of the 258 mega-watts normally used by Cape Cod and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Each turbine would be on a tower 16 feet in diameter and 258 feet tall, with the tip of the blade, when vertical, extending 440 feet above the surface of the water. The wind farm would be located in federal waters. It would be connected to the mainland, and to the national electric grid, by two 115 kilovolt cables. These cables would pass through waters regulated by the state of Massachusetts. Cape Wind is the first major alternative energy proposal for Cape Cod, but not...

Variation Of Pressure And Wind Velocity With Height

Both pressure and wind characteristics change with height. Above the level of surface frictional effects (about 500 to 1000 m), the wind increases in speed and becomes more or less geostrophic. With further height increase, the reduction of air density leads to a general increase in wind speed (see Chapter 6A.1). At 45 N, a geostrophic wind of 14 m s-1 at 3 km is equivalent to one of 10 m s-1 at the surface for the same pressure gradient. There is also a seasonal variation in wind speeds aloft, these being much greater in the northern hemisphere during winter months, when the meridional temperature gradients are at a maximum. Such seasonal variation is absent in the southern hemisphere. In addition, the persistence of these gradients tends to cause the upper winds to be more constant in direction. A history of upper air observations is given in Box 7.1.

Small Scale Wind Power

Small-scale wind power turbines generate up to 20 kilowatts, under ideal conditions. This is enough to power most households in the U.S. Like their big brothers on the wind farms, they only generate power when the wind is blowing. A small-scale wind turbine looks like an airplane with a huge propeller and that's because that's what it basically is. Wind pushes the vane (the opposite of what happens with an airplane propeller), which turns the propeller and forces the alternator (generator) to rotate, thereby outputting AC power. Modern units are controlled by microprocessors which optimize the efficiency of the units. In large-scale turbines, the rotation speed is held constant by gears and processors, but in small-scale systems the speed of rotation is a direct function of wind speed. This makes the resulting output power vary quite a bit, so special electronic converters are used to translate this varying power into useable, residential power. The smallest turbines (with 6-foot...

Types of smallscale wind turbine

Spiralf Rmige Wind Turbine Bilder

Up to the present, horizontal axis machines are much more in evidence that the vertical axis type even at this scale. These machines have efficient braking systems for when wind speed is excessive. Some even tip backwards in high winds adopting the so-called 'helicopter position'. There are advantages to horizontal axis machines such as Produced by Renewable Devices Ltd, the Swift wind turbine claims to be the world's first silent rooftop mounted wind turbine (35 dB) by incorporating silent aerodynamic rotor technology coupled with a revolutionary electronic control system. Care has been taken to provide a secure mounting system which will not transfer vibrations. Its peak output is 1.5 kW and it is estimated that avoided fossil fuel generation produces a saving of 1.8 tonnes per year of carbon dioxide (CO2). The first unit was installed in Collydean Primary School, Glenrothes, Scotland, and there are plans for installations in four other primary schools. It is regarded as an ideal...

Advantages and disadvantages of smallscale wind power

Like any wind power system, power can be generated anytime, day or night as long as the wind is blowing. In some locations, wind is virtually a constant (magnitudes may vary, but output power is always available). Wind speeds vary over terrain, so you can find locations on your property that provide maximum potential. Ridge lines, coastlines, and the tops of barren hills are the best candidates. cjABEft Obstructions such as trees, houses, barns, and the like all affect wind speed. Rotors are noisy and obtrusive when they're spinning (which they're hopefully doing quite a bit). The bigger the blades, the more power they'll generate, but they also make more noise because they're in contact with more air. In some communities, you may be prevented from installing a wind turbine due to noise and visual blight issues. You may like that big propeller whirring away in the sky, the noisier the better, but neighbors may take a dim view.

Other peoples estimates of wind farm power per unit area

Ampair 600

In the government's study the UK onshore wind resource is estimated using an assumed wind farm power per unit area of at most 9 W m2 (capacity, not average production). If the capacity factor is 33 then the average power production would be 3 W m2. The London Array is an offshore wind farm planned for the outer Thames Estuary. With its 1GW capacity, it is expected to become the world's largest offshore wind farm. The completed wind farm will consist of 271 wind turbines in 245 km2 6o86ec and will deliver an average power of 3100 GWh per year (350 MW). (Cost 1.5 bn.) That's a power per unit area of 350MW 245km2 1.4 W m2. This is lower than other offshore farms because, I guess, the site includes a big channel (Knock Deep) that's too deep (about 20 m) for economical planting of turbines. I'm more worried about what these plans for the proposed London Array wind farm will do to this landscape and our way of life than I ever was about a Nazi invasion on the beach. Bill Boggia of Graveney,...

Planning for Wind Power in Denmark A Comparative Perspective

Danish energy policy has for long included different measures to promote the implementation of wind power. At the beginning of the 21st century, as much as 15 per cent of total electric power generation in Denmark was generated with the help of wind power (IEA, no date). This is by far the highest wind power share in the world, and there are many factors which help to explain this successful development (see, for instance, Buen, 2003, for an overview). Here, we focus solely on the Danish wind power planning and permitting processes - The establishment of new wind turbines in Denmark is almost without exception regulated within the legal framework of physical planning. The Danish planning system has a hierarchical structure involving three authoritative levels (national, regional and municipal) and four different types of physical plans (national, regional, municipal and local). The overall competence structure implies that the national planning authorities deal with overarching...

The Impact of Wind Power Generation on Wholesale Electricity Price at Peak Time Demand in Korea

Abstract In this paper, wind power is analyzed to see its impact on wholesale electricity price or SMP (System Marginal Price) at peak time under the consideration of the stochastic characteristics of its power generation. For this purpose, future power supply curve is estimated considering future fuel price for power and the construction and decommission of power plant's plan. Future oil price is assumed to follow EIA's future oil price scenario and the relation between oil price and LNG price for power generation are examined to forecast LNG price for power generation. Information on future power plant's construction and decommission plan and power demand at peak time is used based on the 4th National Power Market Plan. Once future SMP is estimated using future power supply curve with the peak time demand, the stochastic characteristics of wind power generations is considered to see its impact on the changes in SMP. The result shows that SMP without wind power is estimated to be...

General public support for the National Wind Energy Policy

The occurrence of local resistance towards planned wind farms is often referred to as an important obstacle to increased wind power capacity in Sweden and elsewhere. Fears of visual intrusion, noise and land devaluation often explain these negative opinions. However, in spite of the existence of local opposition, the experiences in Sweden (and in many other countries) are that lay people generally express a positive attitude towards wind power (e.g. Krohn and Damborg, 1999 Ek, 2005). For this reason, the occurrence of local resistance towards wind power development is often explained by the so-called not in my backyard (NIMBY) syndrome.8 This explanation has, however, been criticized for being too simplistic (e.g. Wolsink, 2000). Local resistance may, instead, often express suspicion towards the people or the company who want to install the turbines or a rejection of the process underlying the decision to build new plants, rather than a rejection of the turbines themselves. Results...

Variation of wind speed with height

Taller windmills see higher wind speeds. The way that wind speed increases with height is complicated and depends on the roughness of the surrounding terrain and on the time of day. As a ballpark figure, doubling the height typically increases wind-speed by 10 and thus increases the power of the wind by 30 . Wind speed versus height 2. The wind shear formula from the Danish Wind Industry Association yaoonz is Wind speed versus height Figure B.7. Top Two models of wind speed and wind power as a function of height. DWIA Danish Wind Industry Association NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory. For each model the speed at 10 m has been fixed to 6 m s. For the Danish Wind model, the roughness length is set to Zo 0.1 m. Bottom The power density (the power per unit of upright area) according to each of these models. Figure B.7. Top Two models of wind speed and wind power as a function of height. DWIA Danish Wind Industry Association NREL National Renewable Energy Laboratory. For each model...

Typical Local Permitting Requirements for Wind Energy Projects

Development of wind project within county township Many counties have zoning ordinances that classify parts of the county or township into different districts. A wind project is often allowed as a conditional use in agricultural or industrial districts. A permit is required to demonstrate that the wind project will be compatible with the zoning ordinance. Many counties are incorporating requirements into their zoning ordinances specifically for wind projects, or Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS). Other counties may not have zoning ordinances. As discussed in Chapter 3, local approvals required for a wind energy project are often identified during the preliminary site characterization. The issuing authority may be a local planning commission, zoning board, town, city or village council, county board of supervisors or commissioners, or a similar entity. Although some state siting boards are authorized to supersede local procesess, most if not all, state siting boards must first...

Wind power on Fair Isle

A good example of a site where wind power has been put to good effect is Fair Isle, an isolated island in the North Sea north of the Scottish mainland.48 Until recently, the population of 70 people depended on coal and oil for heat, petrol for vehicles and diesel for electricity generation. A 50-kW wind generator was installed in 1982 to generate electricity from the persistent strong winds of average speed over 8 m s-1 (29 km h-1 or 18 mph). The electricity is available for a wide variety of purposes at a relatively high price for lighting and electronic devices and at a lower price controlled amounts are available (wind permitting) for comfort heat and water heating. At the frequent periods of excessive wind further heat is available for heating glasshouses and a small swimming pool. Electronic control coupled with rapid switching enables loads to be matched to the available supply. An electric vehicle has been charged from the system to illustrate a further use for the energy. With...

Wind Turbines

In the coming years the global wind turbine market is projected to be 65 billion per year. The worldwide leader in wind power is Germany, having invested 9 billion in it. In 2007, her 20,000 wind turbines generated 5 of electricity consumption, but Germany is running out of places where new turbines can be located. The second largest user of wind power is Spain. The DOE estimates that by 2030 it could reach 20 of American electricity capacity. Electricity generation capacity is growing at an annual rate of 30 and in 2007 reached 17 gW. In the United States, wind-based total energy capacity is around 1 of the national electricity generation capacity and is nearing 15 gW (Texas 4.3 California 2.4 Minnesota, Iowa, Washington and Colorado about 1.2 ea. Oregon, Illinois and Oklahoma about 0.8 and New Mexico and New York about 0.5 gW). The largest wind turbine suppliers include General Electric Energy, Siemens, Power Generation, Vestar Wind Systems, Aero Vironment, Clipper Turbine Works,...

Wind Energy

Like many of the water energies, wind energy is also formed indirectly from solar energy. Solar radiation causes differential heating and pressure effects to occur in the atmosphere, forming wind currents and weather patterns. The differential heating of landscapes and oceans allows for certain areas in the world to be consistently windy. The kinetic energy of wind can be converted into mechanical power with wind turbines and used to generate electricity. The concept of a wind turbine is the same as that for water or gas turbines, but the design is different in order to exploit the aerodynamic properties of wind. Although there are many different wind turbine designs, two main types are made commercially horizontal and vertical (whose axis of rotation is vertical). Significant wind power industries are found in California, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. In California, there are over 15,500 operational wind turbines in the state, with a generating capacity of 16,200 MW. In Denmark,...

Wind Power

The wind blows everywhere on the planet. You might think, why not harness it for power in buildings Typically, average annual wind speeds of 11 miles per hour are needed for commercial applications, while lower wind speeds can be used for water pumping and battery charging. Now, most cities are not built in places where the average wind speed (every hour of the year) is 11 mph that's not really very comfortable. So the best wind resources are located away from cities, and the most cost-effective wind power comes from large-scale wind farms that feed the power generated into the electric power grid. On a good site with modern equipment, wind energy costs in the range of 5 to 8 cents per kilowatt hour, quite competitive with most new power sources.165 In fact wind power is the largest source of new renewable energy in the US, with nearly 2,500 megawatts (MW) of capacity coming online and feeding into the nation's utility grid in 2006 alone, representing an investment of 4 billion....

Wind Turbine

Modern wind turbines are classified as either horizontal axis turbines or vertical axis turbines. A vertical axis turbine has blades that rotate around a vertical axis and its visual appearance has been likened to an eggbeater. A horizontal axis turbine has blades that rotate around a horizontal axis (see Figure 5-1). Horizontal axis turbines are the most common turbines in use today. A typical horizontal axis turbine consists of a rotor with two or more blades attached to a machine cabin set atop a post that is mounted on a foundation block. The machine cabin contains a generator attached to the wind turbine. The rotor blades can rotate in the vertical plane and the machine cabin can rotate in the horizontal plane. If the speed of rotation of the tip of the rotor blade is fast enough, it can be lethal to birds entering the fan area of the rotor blade. This environmental hazard can be minimized by selecting locations for wind turbines that avoid migration patterns. Another way to...

Small wind turbines

Wind Catchers

In this context 'small' means wind machines that are scaled from a few watts to 20 kW. Machines between 1 and 5 kW may be used to provide either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC). They are mainly confined to the domestic level and are often used to charge batteries. The larger machines are suitable for commercial industrial buildings and groups of houses. Wind patterns in the built environment are complex as the air passes over, around and between buildings. Accordingly a wind generator introduced into this environment must be able to cope with high turbulence caused by buildings. Such conditions tend to favour vertical axis machines as opposed to the horizontal versions which have proliferated in wind farms. This is because the vertical versions may be able to operate at lower wind speeds and they are less stressed mechanically by turbulence. In addition, horizontal axis machines mounted on roofs tend to transmit vibrations through the structure of the buildings....

Wind Farms

A wind farm or wind park is a collection of wind turbines. The areal extent of the wind farm depends on the radius R of the rotor blades (Figure 5-3). A wind turbine must have enough space around the post to allow the fan of the rotor blade to face in any direction. The minimum spacing between the posts of two equivalent wind turbines must be 2Reff to avoid collisions between rotor blades. If we consider the aerodynamics of wind flow, which is the factor that controls turbine spacing, the turbine spacing in a wind farm increases to at least 5 to 10 times rotor diameter 2 R Sorensen, 2000, page 435 behind the plane of the rotor blade. The additional distance between posts is designed to minimize turbulence between wind turbines and enable the restoration of the wind stream to its original undisturbed state after it passes by one turbine on its way to the next turbine. Wind turbine spacing is an important factor in determining the surface area, or footprint, needed by a wind farm....

Federal Regulatory Framework

Several federal policies provide directives and guidance to federal agencies and developers of wind projects. On May 18, 2001, Executive Order 13212 Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use directed federal agencies involved in reviewing energy-related projects to streamline their internal approval processes and established an interagency task force to coordinate federal efforts at expediting approval mechanisms. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the National Energy Policy of 2001 report provide additional guidance to federal agencies and developers to promote the development of domestic renewable energy supplies. Interagency working groups such as The Federal Interagency Wind Siting Collaboration have evolved out of such national initiatives to facilitate the coordination among federal agencies regarding wind energy specifically and to develop a federal agency wind energy information center. In addition to carrying out general...

State Regulatory Framework

The regulatory process for siting a wind energy project varies widely from state to state. For example, some states have vested primary siting authority in a state agency while others have left this authority to local governments to handle through their land use and zoning ordinances. Recognizing the great diversity among state programs, this section discusses the more typical state-level regulatory frameworks that a wind developer is likely to encounter. Prior to commencing a wind energy project in any state, a developer should determine the applicable regulatory structure and understand the allocation of responsibility among federal, state, and local government agencies. The lack of uniformity among regulatory programs means that what may be a simple, streamlined review process before a single agency in one state may be a complex, time-consuming process involving multiple levels of review in another state. The following table provides a summary of commonly required state approvals...

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an agency within the DOI, manages approximately 262 million acres of public lands in the United States and is responsible for the development of wind energy resources on BLM-administered lands. BLM has established a Wind Energy Development Program. On August 24, 2006, BLM issued its Wind Energy Development Policy (BLM Wind Policy) (Instruction Memorandum No. 2006-216) which supports development of wind energy in acceptable areas on BLM-administered lands and minimizes potential environmental and sociocultural impacts. The policies and best management practices (BMPs) contained in the BLM Wind Policy establish mechanisms to protect and enhance natural and cultural resources and identify the issues and concerns that need to be addressed by project-specific plans. Mitigation measures to protect these resources must be incorporated into each project's Plan of Development. These mitigation measures may include the specific programmatic BMPs, as well as...

Federally Managed Lands

Federal approvals and reviews under federal statutes such as NEPA, ESA, and NHPA may apply to wind projects anywhere in the United States, regardless of whether the project is located on private, local, state, or federal land. Where a project is proposed on federally-managed lands, additional federal regulations and guidelines apply. Various agencies have jurisdiction over federal lands and land management programs. The discussion in this section highlights the regulations and policies of a number of agencies that regulate development on federal lands. As noted earlier, federal guidance regarding wind development, such as the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the National Energy Policy of 2001, encourage agencies to collaboratively develop policies for more efficient review and permitting of wind energy projects. Currently, some agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), already have policies specific to wind energy. Other agencies review wind projects using the same...

Bureau of Reclamation

The DOI's Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), makes federal lands available for renewable energy development. As of 2007, approximately 14,700 MW of hydro-generation was owned and operated by the BOR. The BOR does not have an official policy for siting wind turbines or wind project The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) developed a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement to evaluate issues associated with wind energy development on western public lands administered by the BLM, including Alaska. The Final EIS was released and approved in 2005. components on its land, but follows the general guidance provided by national initiatives and directives for promoting wind energy development on federal lands. The National Energy Policy of 2001 directs the Secretary of the Interior to reevaluate access limitations to federal lands to increase domestic production of renewable energy, specifically wind energy, and the Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the DOI to take actions to promote the development...

Section Discharge of Dredged or Fill Materials

Section 404 of the CWA (33 USC 1344) regulates a particular source of water pollution, specifically the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. The USACE, rather than EPA, manages and administers the regulatory program (33 CFR 320331) and issues permit decisions. Section 404 requires a federal permit before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States, unless the activity is exempt from regulation. Examples of wind energy-related activities that might require a Section 404 permit include (but are not limited to) clearing and grading, building project infrastructure such as turbines, access roads, and collection systems, and performing road work, such as culvert replacements or intersection improvements. If a wind energy project will involve construction in the vicinity of an area subject to Section 404, it may require a permit. The applicable USACE district office makes the final determination as to...

Bureau of Indian Affairs Indian Reservations

The BIA works with tribes to develop renewable energy on tribal lands. The BIA has funded Wind Energy Feasibility Studies and economic evaluations that indicate high wind energy potential on 93 reservations located in California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. The BIA is using a recent study by the Energy Information Administration, Energy Consumption and Renewable Energy Development Potential on Indian Lands, on a reservation level to evaluate particular opportunities for economic benefit from renewable energy development.

State Energy Facility Siting Commissions Public Utility Commissions

In some states, the state legislature has given a single agency primary jurisdiction for siting decisions for wind energy projects. In these states a dedicated agency oversees all issues relating to the siting of new energy generation facilities, allowing other state agencies to participate as interested parties. Examples of these types of agencies include public utilities commissions, state siting boards, or environmental agencies. The Resources section provides a list of state agencies with siting authority. The review process before a primary agency may involve detailed adjudicatory hearings during which attorneys and expert witnesses provide information about numerous issues. This detailed review may include environmental impact review, superseding that under the state little NEPA program (see Section 4.2.3). In Ohio, siting authority is vested in the Ohio Power Siting Board for wind projects with generating capacity greater than or equal to 50 MW or an electric transmission line...

Section Water Quality Certification

Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the CWA is required for certain activities in wetlands and waters. Water Quality Certification sets out the conditions that have identified as being necessary to ensure that a proposed project will comply with state or tribal water quality standards and other appropriate requirements of state or tribal law. This process gives states and tribes the authority to review projects that require federal approval (such as a permit or license) and that might result in a discharge to state or tribal waters, including wetlands. For a wind energy facility, needed federal approvals that could trigger the need for a 401 Water Quality Certification include a permit from the USACE pursuant to Section 404 of the CWA or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act.

Conduct Preliminary Site Characterization

Analyze the wind resource - The developer will review the available wind data to determine the wind speed and reliability within the proposed project site. This information is generally ascertained through meteorological towers installed within or Establish the economics of the project - The developer will identify the criteria for economic success and how this might be achieved for the project. This step is highly dependent upon the developer and or the business model used to develop the wind project. As such, this handbook does not discuss this component of the development process. The legal process of acquiring land rights may vary from state to state. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has published guidance for establishing lease agreements under the Land Acquisition section of its Wind Energy Toolkit. Assess public acceptability - Reaching out to the community and understanding the level of public acceptability within the project area is a...

Electrical Collection System

Power generated by each wind turbine is transferred to a transformer located in the nacelle or adjacent to the base of the turbine to raise the voltage of electricity produced by the turbine generator to the level of the collection system. This electrical collection system consists of underground and overhead cables that carry electricity from and within groups of wind turbines and transmit it to a collection substation and

Electromagnetic Interference

Studies in the United States and Britain have concluded that wind turbines may interfere with radar systems. In a last-minute amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, Congress mandated that the Secretary of Defense submit a report to Congress on the effects of wind farms on military readiness and specifically whether wind facilities interfere with Long Range Surveillance Radar, often called Air Defense radar. On September 27, 2006, the DoD published its report, The Effect of Windmill Farms on Military Readiness. The report concluded that wind farms located within radar line-of-sight of an air defense radar facility may degrade the ability of the radar to perform its intended function. This impact is essentially due to shadowing and increased clutter caused by the mere presence of the turbine structures and the rotational movement of the turbine blades. The magnitude of the impact, according to the report, depends upon the number and location of the...

National Environmental Policy

Environmental Scoping Process

The extent of the environmental assessment necessary during a NEPA review varies based on the significance of the potential impacts associated with a project. For wind projects that are not located on federal lands, comprehensive environmental reviews most often occur as part of state or local permitting processes rather than as part of a federal agency NEPA review (Section 4.2 and Section 4.3). Wind projects in the western part of the United States encounter comprehensive NEPA reviews more often than in the eastern part due to the greater amount of federal lands available for development. Although federal reviews for wind projects generally consist of consultations or permits that do not require the preparation of lengthy environmental assessment documents, activities that might trigger a comprehensive NEPA review include For wind projects that are not located on federal lands, comprehensive environmental reviews most often occur as part of state or local permitting processes rather...

Bald and Golden Eagle Protection

Bald Eagle Protection Act

Several principal aspects of wind energy project development are subject to the provisions of the Eagle Protection Act. Consultation and permitting can happen concurrently with the FWS review of impacts of proposed actions on protected species under the ESA. A Golden Eagle Nest Take permit is available for obtaining permission to move a golden eagle nest in order to prevent harm to the nest or eggs. However, the Eagle Protection Act is a strict liability statue and does not provide for permits that cover accidental impacts from wind energy projects.

Habitat Alteration and Fragmentation

Habitat alteration is a broad term that includes many kinds of changes to habitats. In this context, alteration is defined as any change in the biological characteristics of a habitat that supports a particular assemblage of species. Alteration can have beneficial, adverse, or no impact on a particular species. Examples of habitat alteration resulting from wind energy projects include changes in plant communities from invasion by weeds, increased wildfires, habitat conversion, increased human disturbance due to changes in access, and fragmentation. Habitat fragmentation occurs when large, continuous blocks of habitat are converted into smaller patches separated by project roads and features. The scale of the fragmentation and the tolerance of the species (or even local resident individuals) determine the severity of the effect. The effects of alteration and fragmentation could range from no effect on some species, to reductions in local populations, to loss of a species from the site...

Planning Public Outreach

Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County, California. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. Sheep grazing near the Shiloh Wind Project in Solano County, California. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. have concerns about a wind project, those concerns usually focus on one or more environmental or land use issues. This section discusses the role of the developer in communicating with various audiences, how to convey a message, and when and where to conduct public outreach activities. Know your audience is the key to any phase of siting and permitting. Whether the developer is facing a regulator, a neighborhood, or the media, it is important to communicate effectively with those interested in the project. The most successful wind energy projects are those in which all stakeholders feel a sense of ownership and empowerment. The challenge is to promote this inclusiveness to gain allies without losing control over the process and the developer's message. During the siting process, the...

Meteorological Towers

Meteorological towers, or wind measurement systems, include three major components 1) anemometers, which are sensors that measure wind speed and direction, 2) a data logger, and 3) a meteorological mast. These towers can also be equipped with sensors to measure temperature and pressure. Meteorological towers can be of steel tube or lattice construction, and can be free-standing or guyed. These towers may be temporary to assess the wind resource prior to the development of a project, or permanent to assist in operation of the facility by transmitting information about wind speed and direction to each wind turbine and to the control facility. Permits are often required to install a meteorological tower, which are separate from the permits necessary to construct and operate the wind energy project. 2.3 Building a Wind Farm Construction of a wind farm involves much more than erecting turbines. Land must be temporarily cleared and graded for a construction trailer, laydown yard, and...

Paymentin LieuofTaxes PILOT

Often the key to reaching agreement with local officials on siting issues and various other local project impacts, regardless of their particular approval process used by such officials, is the size and form of annual community compensation that will be received from the project developer, owner, or operator. Virtually all wind farm facilities will be subject to property taxes and from more than one local taxing entity (e.g., town, school system, county). Because the property tax obligation can be sizable enough to adversely impact project economics and jeopardize a project's financial viability (affecting the decision to build), most developers seek to negotiate an agreement with the local taxing entities to reduce that tax obligation, often called a Payment-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Agreement. By establishing a fixed set of payments over a specific long period of time in a PILOT agreement, the developer (and the project financers) will be assured of a known long-term expense that is...

Impact Analysis Microwave and Radar Systems

Protection against lightning strikes is built into the electrical systems of all wind energy projects. Consultation with federal agencies such as the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and the National Weather Service is necessary to identify federal government microwave communication systems (Section 4.1.6). NTIA maintains a classified database, the Government Master File (GMF), that contains all of the government telecommunications systems. The NTIA notifies federal agencies operating telecommunication systems in areas near wind project sites. This notification method consists of sending site maps and a letter that describes the wind energy project and the turbines to be used, including turbine locations if known. The NTIA distributes the letter to the Interdepartmental Radio Advisory Committee (IRAC), which is made up of government agencies that operate telecommunication or radar systems. These agencies typically include the FAA, the DOD, the Department...

Ground Transportation and Traffic

Ground transportation and traffic impacts associated with wind energy projects typically include impacts on the transportation system itself (e.g., the physical properties of the road system) and impacts on traffic that uses the transportation system. Such impacts arise almost entirely during the construction period. Studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere show that while wind turbines can cause clutter on radars, there are engineering solutions that can be implemented and explored further. For example, the British Wind Energy Association conducted a study in 2003 entitled Feasibility of Mitigating the Effects of Windfarms on Primary Radar.

Interim Guidelines Federal Advisory Committee

On May 13, 2003, the FWS within the DOI issued Interim Guidance on Avoiding and Minimizing Wildlife Impacts from Wind Turbines (Interim Guidelines). The FWS indicated its intent to evaluate the guidance over a two-year period. On December 8, 2003, AWEA submitted comments on the Interim Guidelines to the FWS. AWEA noted that the lack of consultation with the wind industry prior to issuance of the guidance had resulted in a document that has technical flaws, contains inaccurate assumptions, and calls for a level of regulation disproportionate to wind's impacts on wildlife, especially as compared to impacts from other activities. Additionally, although the Interim Guidelines are voluntary, AWEA noted that permitting agencies throughout the country were beginning to adopt the guidance as required procedure. AWEA encouraged the FWS to engage in a dialogue with the wind industry, providing an opportunity to exchange research and information on the potential effects of wind energy projects...

Section National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System

During construction of a wind energy facility, a NPDES General Stormwater Permit for Construction Activities (CGP) is required for any land disturbance equal to or greater than 1 acre (including smaller sites that are part of a larger common plan of development). This includes clearing, grading, and excavation activities. In areas where EPA is the permitting authority, the operator must comply with EPA's CGP. The operator is the entity (e.g., an owner, general contractor, or subcontractor) that has operational control over the construction plans or day-to-day activities at the site. Stormwater Permits for Industrial Activities - In addition to a stormwater permit for construction activities, some wind energy facilities may need an industrial stormwater permit to cover their operations. Although EPA regulations do not currently require an industrial stormwater permit for wind energy generation, many states that implement the NPDES program require all electricity-generating facilities...

State Environmental Impact Review Laws LittleNEPAs

In New York, commercial-scale wind projects typically have to prepare an environmental impact statement under the State In states with this type of legislation, not every project is subject to little-NEPA review. For example, in some states environmental impact review is superseded by the review process applying to energy generation, interconnection, and or transmission facilities. Elsewhere, however, environmental impact review procedures apply irrespective of any energy specific review. Developers should review the applicable statute and regulations to determine whether their project triggers any of the jurisdictional thresholds or criteria. The potential for adverse impacts associated with the proposed project will likely dictate the extent of environmental review required. For example, siting a commercial-scale wind energy project in or adjacent to protected resource areas may require detailed studies documenting potential impacts and mitigation measures. Such studies can be...

State Environmental Laws

Numerous state regulatory programs are likely to be triggered by a proposed wind energy project. While such programs often mirror, implement (through delegated authority), or complement similar federal laws, the state version is typically more stringent than its federal counterpart. One or more of the following regulatory programs are typically encountered by wind energy projects. This list is not exclusive, and in planning a project it is critical for a developer to identify any potentially applicable state regulatory programs and to understand the process for obtaining necessary approvals.

Preliminary Regulatory Analysis

As indicated above, it is important to distinguish between permitting requirements for a meteorological tower and the actual wind turbines and equipment comprising an operational wind energy project. Often a meteorological tower can be permitted as a temporary structure, an accessory or ancillary use to the existing use at the property, or a scientific device. Depending on the zoning regulation, a wind energy developer may seek to have the turbines deemed to be accessory or ancillary uses, especially if the landowner continues to use the underlying land for a viable use such as farming. In some cases, the proposed location for a wind energy project is within or in close proximity to more than one municipality. Depending on state and local requirements, abutting communities may need to be notified of requests for zoning relief due to their potential interest in the proposed wind facility. For example, even if a project is located in only one town, it may be visible from another town....

Formal Application and Approval Process

Once a formal zoning application is filed, local and state laws generally require notice to the public and abutters and an opportunity for public comment, followed by a public hearing or series of hearings. At the conclusion of the public hearings, the board or commission will generally issue a written decision either approving or denying the proposed project. As noted above, a wind energy project developer should consult with local counsel with respect to the applicable public notification requirements. Failure to comply with all applicable public notification requirements could jeopardize the developer's applications for approval.

Habitat Loss Alteration

Potential avoidance of wind projects by big game such as deer and elk has been a concern of state and federal wildlife agencies. In theory, wind farms may disrupt wildlife movements, particularly during migrations. For example, it is possible that herd animals such as elk, deer and pronghorn could be affected if rows of turbines were placed along migration paths between winter and summer ranges or in calving areas. Studies conducted at Foote Creek Rim in Wyoming documented no measured displacement effects of pronghorn that use the site year round (Johnson et al. 2000), and a study of elk in Oklahoma indicated no adverse effect (Walter et al. 2006). The effects of wind energy on mule deer and elk have not been investigated in detail. Studies at oil and gas facilities in Wyoming have documented displacement and local population declines of mule deer (Sawyer et al. 2006a, b). The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is conducting a radio-tracking study of An Oklahoma study that...

Section State Water Quality Certification

As discussed in Section 4.1.4.1, state Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required under the federal CWA for certain activities in wetlands and waters. Section 401 of the CWA gives states and tribes the authority to review projects that require federal licenses or permits and that might result in a discharge to state or tribal waters, including wetlands. For a wind energy facility, such federal approval might include a permit from the USACE pursuant to Section 404 of the CWA or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. The purpose of Section 401 review is to ensure that a project will comply with state or tribal water quality standards and other appropriate requirements of state or tribal law.

Historic Preservation and Cultural Resources

Wind energy developers should become familiar with the applicable state wetland protection programs to ensure that state regulated wetlands are identified and properly delineated according to applicable protocols and necessary approvals are obtained. Regarding paleontological resources, wind energy developers must determine if such resources exist within the proposed project area and, if so, whether they are regulated at the state level. If regulations exist, developers should consult with the regulating agency to determine what types of activities may be required. Some requirements include conduct surveys prior to development of final project design, consider avoidance of adverse effects, and or action following unanticipated discovery of fossils during construction. Section 5.6 discusses impact analysis and mitigation with respect to paleontological resources.

Agricultural Protection

Wind energy projects are often constructed on active agricultural lands. To ensure non-agricultural uses are compatible with farming operations, some states have developed applicable regulatory programs and mitigation policies. For example, in New York State, the Agriculture and Markets Law prevents unreasonable restrictions by local government rules on land use within agricultural districts unless it can be demonstrated that public health or safety is threatened. Mars Hill Wind Farm in Aroostook County, Maine. Photo courtesy of UPC Wind. Mars Hill Wind Farm in Aroostook County, Maine. Photo courtesy of UPC Wind.

Other Applicable State Regulations

In addition to the above-referenced regulations, a wind energy project may be subject to myriad additional state regulatory programs. Although such matters will often be subject to state jurisdiction, in some cases, authority is delegated to local governments. For example, issues related to transportation of turbines and site access may require special approvals from state highway or transportation departments. Curb cut permits may be required, and separate approvals may be necessary to remove certain trees or make improvements along scenic roads. Other requirements may include permission to use former railroad property or ROW, permits to install water wells, issuance of a notice prior to demolition work, compliance with state building codes, and environmental inspection during construction. The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets has created wind energy agricultural mitigation guidelines to facilitate the review process.

Mitigation and Monitoring

Permanent disturbance of the smallest possible amount of surface area minimizes direct habitat losses. Impacts to native vegetation can be minimized by configuring a wind project to result in the loss of the smallest amount of native vegetation as feasible. In most cases, impacts on protected plant species or small and unique plant communities can be avoided or minimized by carefully planning and constructing the project. Mitigation measures such as segregation and storage of topsoil, soil decompaction, and topsoil replacement, will minimize loss of native vegetation and habitat. New populations can also be established through seed collection and planting, or careful

Surface Waters Wetlands

Because of their importance, surface waters and wetlands are subject to special federal, state, and local protections as described in Section 4.1.4. As with development projects in general, wind energy facilities may result in unavoidable impacts to regulated surface waters and wetlands and will need specific approvals and special conditions to minimize environmental impacts. Unavoidable impacts may also require creation of new wetlands as compensation, which is discussed further under mitigation.

Visual Impact Assessment

An aesthetic or visual resource assessment that supports the siting and development of a wind farm should contain the fundamental components needed to determine and evaluate the potential for visual impacts. Those basic components include Visual analysts typically determine the visibility of project facilities through three-dimensional analysis of the study area terrain and the physical dimensions of the project facilities (primarily the wind turbines). This allows identification of the areas in which viewers might respond to visual contrast created by the project, and the areas in which terrain and vegetation would block or screen views of project facilities. Using pre- Simulation of a hypothetical wind project at a typical location in the Intermountain West. Simulated turbines are at distances of approximately 1.75 to 3 miles from the observer. Simulation courtesy of Tetra Tech EC, Inc. Once the visual contrast of the project has been determined, the impact analysis then relates...

Cultural and Historical Resources

Cultural resources at or near proposed wind farm sites may be archaeological, architectural, or other resources that include, but are not limited to, objects, sites, buildings, structures, and traditional cultural places. In general, archaeological and architectural cultural resources may be related to either the prehistoric (before written records) or the historic (starting with written records) time periods. Traditional cultural places are generally areas that are material to an aspect of cultural

Mitigation Local Economy

Socioeconomic impacts are difficult to assess, as they will vary by community and region. Therefore, the developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. It is important that the nature and extent of socioeconomic The developer and local surrounding communities should work together and come to agreements on project specific mitigation for each proposed wind project. The potential for the host community to be compensated in some manner by the developer is often an important factor in reaching agreement with local officials. Virtually all wind project facilities will be subject to property taxes. Alternatively, developers may seek to negotiate an agreement with the local taxing entities, often called a PILOT agreement (Section 4.3.6). By establishing a fixed set of payments over a specified period of time, the developer (and the project financers) will be able to better forecast...

Off Air TV Broadcast Signal Distortion

Off-air stations are television broadcasters that transmit signals that can be received from terrestrially located broadcast facilities on a tele' receiver. Off-air television signals are subject to distortion by the reflections from the turbine blades and by the attenuation of the signal passing through the wind turbines. The reflections may cause multipath distortion and ghosting. Blade motion may cause the contrast and brightness of the signal to vary. These effects apply to Analog modulated television signals and do not affect digital signals in the same way. A TV Broadcast Off-Air Reception Analysis can be done prior to development of a project to characterize the baseline signal strength and reception conditions within the project area. The study is used to identify the potential impacts from project development. The extent of the impacts would vary based on factors identified by the study, such as the pre-existing signal strength and the use of cable and satellite television in...

Transportation Impacts Analysis

The means for transporting the components of a wind energy project to the project site should be determined early in the development process to accurately identify risks, potential impacts, and applicable regulatory requirements. This includes identifying the origin of the components and the most efficient route to the location of the site. Knowing the origin of the components helps to identify an appropriate delivery port (if coming from an international location) as well as the nearest major artery or Interstate highway from which to begin the analysis. The design crit for Interstate highways and ramps will likely accommodate the type oversized construction vehicles required for wind projects. With the major access point identified, the focus of the analysis can then be directed to the location of the site. A site location map is necessary to identify the primary access routes to the site, which would receive the greatest impact from construction vehicles. With this basic...

Traffic Impacts Analysis

Traffic volume data on state, county, and local roads in and around a proposed wind energy project site should be available from the state or county. Subsequent to the on-site traffic evaluation, a transportation engineer visits the proposed wind energy project site to confirm the analysis. In addition, after completion of the on-site traffic evaluation, the transportation engineer meets with local and state regulatory agencies to begin consultation about the proposed project.

Air Quality and Climate Impacts

Wind energy benefits the local ambient air quality and long-term health of the atmosphere because it produces electricity without emitting pollutants. Unlike conventional fossil fuel-fired electric power plants, no pollutant emissions are associated with wind power generation. To the extent that electricity produced by wind energy displaces electricity produced by fossil fuel-fired power plants, pollutant emissions are reduced and air quality is improved. Pollutants that may be reduced from this energy displacement include criteria pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and volatile organic carbon, as well as non-criteria pollutants, such as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) including metals and other toxic compounds. In addition, unlike fossil fuel-fired energy generation, wind power does not result in greenhouse gas emissions (such as carbon dioxide), generally considered the major factor in global...

Water Resources

Two major pieces of federal legislation, the Clean Water Act (CWA) (33 USC 1251-1387) and the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 401 et seq.), govern impacts to water resources. The CWA has a broad goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. Among other things, the CWA establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and managing polluted runoff. In particular, wind energy projects may be subject to Water Quality Certification under Two major pieces of federal legislation, the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Rivers and Harbors Act, govern impacts to water resources. In particular, wind energy projects may be subject to Water Quality Certification under Section 401 of the CWA and permit requirements under Sections 402 and 404 of the CWA and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act applies to work in or over navigable waters of...

Wind Energy Basics

Wind projects vary in size, from small projects of one to a few turbines (known as behind the meter or distributed wind systems) serving individual customers, to large projects (commercial, utility-scale, or wind farms) designed to provide wholesale electricity to utilities or an electricity market. Wind energy projects may be on land or off-shore. This handbook focuses on land-based commercial-scale wind projects. These wind projects are generally owned and operated by independent power producers, which traditionally sell their power to electric utilities. Individual wind turbines are connected to one another and to a substation via an electrical collection system and then, in turn, connected to the electrical transmission system. Commercial-scale wind projects range in generating capacity from 5 megawatts (MW) to several hundred MW and can consist of a few to hundreds of wind turbines. This handbook focuses on land-based, commercial-scale wind projects. Distributed wind projects,...

Table of Contents

2 Wind Energy Basics_2-1 2.2 Components of a Wind Project 2-5 2.2.1 Wind Turbines 2-6 2.3 Building a Wind Farm 2-8 Global warming is considered one of the most serious problems facing the global community. Certain gases, such as carbon dioxide, when released in the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, create a greenhouse effect. Clean, renewable energy solutions, such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems, that do not rely on fossil fuels for energy generation help curb the effects of global warming. Throughout the United States, many local and state governments have set mandates or passed laws to encourage clean energy generation by requiring utilities to produce a portion of electricity from renewable sources. Although wind has been used as an energy source for centuries, only within the last 30 years have advances in technology allowed wind energy to become an increasingly important part of the nation's energy mix. Since 1974 the American Wind Energy Association...

Transmission System

Construction of a substation at the Big Horn Wind Project in Klickitat County, Washington. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. There usually are a number of access roads into and around a wind project. These roads provide construction and service access to the wind turbines. Construction of a substation at the Big Horn Wind Project in Klickitat County, Washington. Photo courtesy of PPM Energy. There usually are a number of access roads into and around a wind project. These roads provide construction and service access to the wind turbines.

Forest Service

Department of Agriculture (USDA), is responsible for managing 193 million acres of National Forest System (NFS) lands. Wind energy uses are governed by the Forest Service's special use regulations at 36 CFR part 251, subpart B. Wind energy proposals and applicants are currently processed in accordance with 36 CFR 251.54 and direction in Forest Service Manual 2726 and Forest Service Handbook 2709.11 on administration of special uses. R< for utilization of NFS lands for wind energy facilities are currently processed in the same manner as other proposed commercial uses of public lands. In September 2007, however, the Forest Service proposed to amend its internal agency directives for special use authorizations and wildlife monitoring, which would provide direction and guidance specific to wind energy development on NFS lands (72 Federal Register 184). According to the proposed rule, these amendments would supplement, rather than supplant or...

Ice Shedding

Wind turbines can experience periods when the weather conditions will result in ice build-up on the exposed parts of the turbine. In addition, it has been observed that the moving turbine rotor is liable to accrete heavier quantities of ice than the stationary components of the wind turbine. It has also been observed that the rotor ice can break off, and if the rotor is moving, be cast some distance. Field observations indicate that most ice shedding occurs as temperatures rise and ice thaws from the rotor. A typical scenario is that ice builds up on the rotor and on the wind sensors, which are mounted on the nacelle. Sensor malfunction normally causes automatic turbine shutdown in most modern wind turbines. In this situation, most turbines will restart only when the ice has thawed and fallen from the stationary turbine and the operator has reset the sensors. However, in certain situations the operator will accelerate the process by thawing the sensors and restarting the turbine with...

Collisions

Until 2003, the bat fatalities recorded at wind energy projects during post-construction monitoring were relatively low in number (0 to 6 bats per MW per year) and dominated by a few species (migratory, solitary tree bats such as the hoary, silver-haired, and red bat). The fatalities appeared to occur mostly during the fall migration season (NWCC 2004). The discovery of 458 bat carcasses at a 44- turbine wind project on a forested ridge in West Virginia was unanticipated (NWCC 2004). As a result, the Bat Wind Energy Cooperative (BWEC), a joint effort between AWEA and its member companies, Bat Conservation International, the FWS, and the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, was formed. BWEC's purpose is to investigate the cause of bat collisions with turbines and to assist the wind industry in avoiding or minimizing the number of collisions. BWEC is currently involved in studies to determine whether high bat fatalities can be reliably predicted based on...

Wetlands

Most states have regulatory programs that address wetlands and or isolated wetlands. The requirements of such programs vary from state to state. Certain programs are more comprehensive than others and some states regulate wetlands that are not governed under federal law. Although most programs are mandatory, a few rely on voluntary compliance to protect wetlands. State wetland laws also typically differ in both the activities and types of wetlands that are subject to jurisdiction. Resource areas that may be broadly regulated in one state may be wholly unregulated in another. For example, some states regulate extensive buffer areas outside of the wetlands area itself, while others are focused solely on the defined wetland. Wind energy developers should become familiar with the applicable state wetland protection programs to ensure that state regulated wetlands are identified and properly delineated according to applicable protocols and necessary approvals are obtained.

Studies

Studies of effects using a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design can provide credible evidence as to whether any post-construction changes observed are the result of the wind energy facility itself or other action, such as mitigation, instead of natural or other man-made variations or land management. Aside from fatalities, species scarcity results from displacement when species avoid the area within a certain distance of a wind turbine. To a lesser extent, before-after studies at a project site (without a control area), can provide some information on whether displacement occurs. A simple example of a BACI study in relation to a wind energy project would be to conduct surveys of raptor nests and nesting success for two or three years, using the same methods, before and after project development, at a nearby control area where no wind energy project has been developed, and at the impact area where the wind energy project is located. The control and impact areas should be as...

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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