Articles filed under General from USA

Irate farmers blast environmental harm caused by solar array

With Dominion, like many other utilities around the country, eager to jump on the renewable energy bandwagon, more fiascos like the one in Louisa County – whether courtesy of Big Solar or Big Wind – are in the offing. The Biden administration is eager to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, come what may. That burden will fall disproportionately on rural areas, where arable land will be used for industrial-scale wind and solar projects.
21 Oct 2021

Renewables giants nixed from clean energy index

Seven of the 15 companies removed from the Global Clean Energy Index are American, including solar and wind giant NextEra, a $160 billion company that’s taken heavy advantage of government subsidies to grow its portfolio. A NextEra representative declined to comment.
21 Oct 2021

Icebreaker wind project proposed for Lake Erie needs to find more financing soon

If the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo), the non-profit behind Icebreaker, is not successful in securing additional financing by the end of the year, the Department of Energy will likely rescind what’s left of the $50 million grant it extended to LEEDCo nearly a decade ago, advocates said. That would almost certainly spell the end of the Icebreaker, said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.
20 Oct 2021

The solar divide: Plans for large-scale solar projects in forests and on farms have riled neighbors who are fighting back

Statewide rallies took place this summer demanding a moratorium on funding for large-scale solar projects. The moratorium calls on Gov. Charlie Baker and Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen Theoharides to hit the brakes on the many planned projects that they say clear-cut forests and remove prime farmland from production. The groups leading the rallies, which include Save the Pine Barrens, Save Massachusetts Forests and the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, charge that the state’s solar incentives are driving reckless, unregulated development by big corporations.
27 Sep 2021

Towering new turbines spinning in the winds of Altamont Pass

Though touted as more “wildlife friendly” than their windmill ancestors, the new turbines aren’t allaying the concerns of naturalists who have long been concerned about the area’s bird population. The spinning blades still are projected to kill dozens of birds each year, including golden eagles. The Altamont Pass area is a critical breeding and wintering habitat for the eagles, said Glenn Phillips, director of the Golden Gate Audubon Society. ...Phillips said the larger, slower-spinning blades on newer turbines haven’t significantly slowed the bird deaths, however. He said bird kills appear to be more closely tied to the amount of energy being produced, the amount of air that’s “swept” by the blades, and how long they run.
26 Sep 2021

Should the Adirondack Park be used for large solar projects?

The Adirondack Park isn’t widely known for farming, but almost 104,000 of its 6 million acres are in agricultural districts. Much of that is in the Champlain Valley, where sunny fields spread out between dark mountains to the west and sparkling Lake Champlain waters to the east. In that expanse, solar panels are fast becoming the trendy new cash crop. Because of their potential to change the region’s views, its wildlife habitat and its way of life, some are calling for comprehensive planning on where they're being planted.
26 Sep 2021

Wind farm developer pares down plan for land west of Burney, sweetens offer to Shasta County

ConnectGen LLC marketed the changes in a half-page advertisement in Tuesday’s Record Searchlight, calling the revisions “Substantially Reduced Impact & Visibility.” The company says it has reduced the number of wind turbines from 72 to 48, which has cut the overall footprint of the project by more than 33%. ConnectGen also proposes to decrease the height of the turbines by 10%, from 679 feet to about 610 feet.
23 Sep 2021

Planned Minnesota wind farm to be moved farther from Jeffers Petroglyphs site

In June, state utility regulators who must approve the project made it clear they weren't satisfied with Big Bend's plans to locate turbines as close as 5.2 miles from the petroglyphs. The historical society and the Sioux bands wanted at least an 8-mile buffer. Apex Clean Energy, Big Bend's developer, revised the project so that all but two of the 50-plus turbines would be at least 7 miles from the petroglyphs.
22 Sep 2021

Wisconsin regulators pass on policy changes, order further study of clean energy transition

Commissioner Ellen Nowak, the commission’s lone Republican appointee, questioned the premise of the investigation, dubbed the “Roadmap to Zero Carbon.” “Operating the grid with zero carbon as we know it now is a dangerous thing,” she said. “A roadmap to zero carbon is the wrong road to go down. I think we need to go down a road to cleaner energy.” ...“We don’t have a plan to get to literal zero carbon by 2050,” said Commissioner Tyler Huebner. “But we don’t need to solve that today.”
3 Sep 2021

5 charged with manslaughter in death of worker during construction of wind farm

Five people are facing manslaughter charges for the death of a Chehalis man who died in January 2020 when a trench that had not been reinforced collapsed during construction of the Skookumchuck Wind Farm along the border of Lewis and Thurston counties. The charges were filed in Lewis County Superior Court on Aug. 9 — 20 months after the death of 24-year-old Jonathan F. Stringer, who left behind a young daughter and a fiancée.
3 Sep 2021

Hegins Township solicitor challenges wind farm plan's details

Hegins Township’s solicitor sparred verbally Wednesday night with the project manager of the proposed wind farm in Hegins and three other townships. During a hearing that lasted more than three hours at the Hegins Township Ambulance Association, solicitor Donald G. Karpowich, Drums, challenged senior project manager David F. Allen on numerous issues related to the proposed $300 million project.
1 Sep 2021

Kitty Hawk Wind farm project poses serious ecological and environmental risks and economic burdens

In comments submitted today to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the John Locke Foundation’s senior fellow of regulatory studies, economist Jon Sanders, urges environmental reviewers to refrain from moving forward with the proposed Kitty Hawk wind farm project off the North Carolina coastline due to significant negative environmental, economic, and ecological impacts.
27 Aug 2021

Trustees say Ørsted ‘reneging’ on agreement for wind farm lease

The Trustees say that they have demanded that Ørsted delay the cable installation, slated to begin in early 2023, in order to complete a second spring season worth of fish migration surveys. The company has said it will wait to “energize” the cable until after the spring 2023 fishery surveys are conducted, but cannot put off the start of cable installation between the wind farm site south of Block Island and Wainscott. “They were told directly at the time that this would be a deal breaker,” Trustees Clerk Francis Bock said on Monday morning. 
24 Aug 2021

Vestas cuts outlook as commodity prices squeeze margins

The downgrade adds to a picture of mounting pressure on turbine makers after rival Siemens Gamesa last month issued its second profit warning this year, citing soaring commodity prices as well as costs over high associated with a new product. Vestas had already disappointed its first quarter results, pointing to transport issues including the blockade of the Suez Canal in March and the effects of the pandemic in India, one of its key markets.
11 Aug 2021

Big oil squeezes renewable energy profits as commodities rally

Orsted, the top developer of offshore wind farms, said returns on capital employed fell to 7.5% in the first quarter, down from 11% in the same period a year earlier. Vestas, another wind developer, saw returns fall to 12.2% from 17.4% in the first quarter of 2020. Investors will keep an eye on any signs of diminishing returns when the two Danish firms report this week. Siemens Gamesa lost 314 million euros ($369 million) in the three months ended in June
10 Aug 2021

Why a secretive Chinese billionaire bought 140,000 acres of land in Texas

Initially, Sun’s acquisitions in Val Verde County went unnoticed. But in late 2017, property owners became incensed when Akuo Energy, a French wind turbine developer, built the Rocksprings wind farm on the eastern edge of the county. Conservationists, led by a local advocacy group called the Devils River Conservancy, were also worried: ...When the Conservancy learned of GH America’s plans to build a second wind farm in the county, it launched a pressure campaign, entitled “Don’t Blow it, Texas,” to prevent construction. 
9 Aug 2021

Why a secretive Chinese billionaire bought 140,000 acres of land in Texas

Initially, Sun’s acquisitions in Val Verde County went unnoticed. But in late 2017, property owners became incensed when Akuo Energy, a French wind turbine developer, built the Rocksprings wind farm on the eastern edge of the county. Conservationists, led by a local advocacy group called the Devils River Conservancy, were also worried: ...When the Conservancy learned of GH America’s plans to build a second wind farm in the county, it launched a pressure campaign, entitled “Don’t Blow it, Texas,” to prevent construction. 
9 Aug 2021

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