New transmission is a major issue and permitting is complex, time-consuming, and expensive. Overhead HV often takes 5-7 years to permit. HVDC lines take far less time, because they are laid underground and require only a small right-of-way, which speeds up the process to a two- to three-year average. Such lines also don’t have cooling or freezing issues and (more…)
We hear a great deal about partisan bickering in Washington, but according to a webinar I attended yesterday on power transmission, the governors of each state on the eastern seaboard of the US from Maine to Virginia are all in complete accord on the imperative to develop offshore wind. “There are a couple of extremely (more…)
Wind power generation in Texas is growing so quickly that it is testing the limits of the state’s electrical grid.
The state set a record on March 5 when wind turbines generated 6,272 megawatts of energy, or about 19 percent of the electricity on the state’s main power grid.
That peak far exceeded the 6.2 percent average for wind power in Texas, whose 9,410 megawatts of total wind capacity make it the nation’s wind power leader.
But wind power’s growth poses a critical challenge for the state’s booming wind industry, which includes a 180-megawatt wind farm completed last fall near Corpus Christi in South Texas. (more…)
The U.S. Department of Energy has granted a $43 million loan to a Massachusetts-based company to prove the value of a new technology in which spinning flywheels are used to improve the efficiency of the electric grid. Beacon Power Corp. will build a 20-megawatt flywheel plant in upstate New York in which flywheels spinning up to 16,000 times per minute will act as a sort of short-term power storage system for the state’s electrical distribution system, according to the Associated Press.
Clean tech companies hoping to capitalize on the 30% Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (48C) for re-quipping, expanding, or establishing a manufacturing facility must submit a preliminary application for Department of Energy (DOE) recommendation by September 16, 2009. The federal government has allocated $2.3 billion for this credit. If the limitation is reached during the first allocation round (2009-2010), then no further credit will be permitted.
As we bat around the potential of all electric, plug-in hybrid, hydrogen battery and other possible automotive technologies, its worth noting that once upon a time, almost all of the vehicles on the road ran on…water.
Those were the days of the Stanley Steamer, and automotive technology is – in some ways – just coming back to complete the circle.
Electric transmission might be taking the same trip back in time. NYT linked through to a Climate Wire story that highlights the resurgence of direct current (DC) transmission line construction. The vast majority of transmission is on alternating current (AC), but the story recounts that DC was Edison’s preference: “…it’s all I’ll fool with.”
…to build? NO! To permit!
This report from SoCal on Newshour last night (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/jan-june09/grid_06-09.html) is worth a look.
I deal with public opposition to transmission upgrades and build outs a lot in my professional life, and this piece focuses on how the difficulties in siting lines are now posing problems to deployment of renewables located remotely.