Tag: WindFeatured

Understanding Risk for New Wind Technology in New Wind Markets

Building a wind farm is no small undertaking.Building a wind farm is no small undertaking. With costs ranging from US $2 million to $5 million per MW installed, the financial backing of a strong insurance partner is a must in order to put stakeholders’ minds at ease. But how do insurance companies evaluate risks and determine premium pricing for projects that are “firsts” such as the first U.S. offshore wind farm or the first use of a new MW-class turbine?

Siting a Wind Farm in the Most Challenging Place in the US

According to Jack Kenworthy, CEO of Eolian Renewable Energy, a project developer based in New Hampshire, the best wind projects are those that have died two times because then you know what’s wrong with them. The project he is currently working on is known as Antrim Wind Energy (AWE), a 28.8-MW wind farm on the Tuttle Hill ridge line in Antrim, NH in the United States.

On a windy day in late February, Kenworthy, Henry Weitzner with Walden Green Energy, a subsidiary of German utility RWE, and landscape architect David Raphael with Landworks took several members of the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) on a site inspection tour to show them how AWE will impact the community in which it resides.

This wasn’t the first time Kenworthy and the SEC had driven in vans around Antrim, NH and surrounding towns on a site inspection tour. Back in 2012, AWE went through the exact same process before the project was ultimately denied.

Wind Energy Setting Records, Growing Still: The Wind Energy Outlook for 2016

In 2014, annual global installed wind energy capacity reached an unprecedented 51.4 GW. Although final numbers for 2015 aren’t in yet, several sources, including Bloomberg and FTI Consulting, speculate that number could reach as high as 60 GW – an encouraging surge that gives fair indication 2016 could shape up to be another record year for wind.

60 Minutes Investigates Chinese Cyber-espionage in Wind Industry

A story that RenewableEnergyWorld.com covered in 2012 was featured in the popular news program 60 Minutes on Sunday January 17. The program covered the plight of Massachusetts-based American Superconductor (AMSC) whose Intellectual Property (IP) was stolen by Chinese company Sinovel.  Dejan Karabasevic, an employee of AMSC who was based on Austria, helped perpetrate the IP theft. Karabasevic was arrested and served time in jail in Austria for the crime. However, the Chinese government did not investigate Sinovel’s role in the theft, prompting AMSC to bring a civil lawsuit against Sinovel.

According to 60 Minutes, after the US $1.2 B lawsuit was filed in the Chinese court, Chinese cyber-espionage experts hacked into AMSC by sending a fake email purportedly from one member of the AMSC board to the other members of the board. The subject of the email was the headline from the story that RenewableEnergyWorld.com ran in 2012:  “A Harsh Winter for China’s Wind Industry and Its Leading Turbine Manufacturer: Sinovel” and the body of the email contained an attachment with malicious spyware. Once someone in the company clicked on it, the malware was unleashed, basically “opening the front door” to the spies, said experts on 60 Minutes.

Making Sense of the ITC Extension for Wind, Solar (and Bioenergy, Too)

Tuesday December 15 was a good day for U.S. renewable energy companies. In a landmark deal that could mark the first time the Senate and House democrats and republicans were able to compromise on anything at all, the two parties released an omnibus spending bill that lifts the 40-year U.S. oil export ban and gives a five-year extension of renewable energy tax credits for wind and solar.

Solar Industry Exuberant

The bill extends the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar until 2021. It was originally expected to sunset at the end of 2016, which was forcing developers to rush to finish projects. In a session last week during Renewable Energy World Conference and Expo, Julie Ungerleider of Coronal Group explained that because of the hard stop that the ITC created, solar projects that were not already “fully baked” were unlikely to be able to be built by 2016.  She said material shortages were rampant with the rush to build now.  This extension should relieve some of that pressure.

The ITC will be extended until December 31, 2019 in its current form. After that projects that start construction in 2020 and 2021 will receive 26 percent and 22 percent, respectively. All projects must be completed by 2024 to obtain these elevated ITC rates. For residential solar, a similar tax credit phase-out applies until December 31, 2021, after which the tax credit scheme ends.