News roundup: Empowering America, New Bedford awaits Cape Wind, turbines are beautiful

2 April 2014 by Peebles Squire Peebles Squire

In today’s news, there’s a call to extend the PTC in an op-ed by congressional wind champions, New Bedford’s South Terminal prepares to accommodate offshore wind components, and the beauty of wind power.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Mark Udall, Rep. Steve King & Rep. Dave Loebsack are asking Congress to extend the Production Tax Credit, showcasing wind power’s ability to cross party lines:

  • We're working to build bipartisan, bicameral and regional alliances to secure a victory for America's 21st century clean energy policy. So far, 144 lawmakers have stood with us and hard-working families in our effort to support onshore and offshore wind energy developments in the tax extenders package.
  • Specifically, we are pressing leaders in the House and Senate to prioritize extensions of the job-creating investment and production tax credits for wind energy. This federal tax policy has helped to launch a carbon-free energy source and diversify America's portfolio of homegrown, alternative sources of energy. The tax credits have helped to support 85,000 U.S. jobs; trigger $105 billion in private sector investment; reduce the carbon footprint by displacing carbon-emitting energy with clean generation wind energy (U.S. wind power capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts avoids 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road); and, harness an inexhaustible source of affordable, domestic electricity for consumers.
  • The United States can't afford to pull the plug on wind energy tax incentives that foster responsible environmental stewardship, encourage entrepreneurs to innovate clean-energy technologies and investors to finance the job-creating infrastructure that delivers clean electricity to America's homes and businesses.

New Bedford, Massachusetts is ready for a new U.S. offshore market, with their new South Terminal designed to accommodate the large components necessary for projects like Cape Wind:

  • Construction of the port facility is more than halfway completed and set to be fully finished in December, Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Director of Offshore Wind Bill White said at a public meeting on the project.
  • He said Cape Wind is expected to lease the facility shortly thereafter, and begin shipping some turbine components, such as piles, to New Bedford from Europe in "early 2015."
  • The 1,000 foot long bulkhead is expected to hold 4,000 pounds per square foot, facilitating staging for offshore wind turbines.

Wind turbines are beautiful objects, according to Dr. David Suzuki, who thinks wind should be part of the solution in the fight against climate change:

  • I have a cabin on Quadra Island off the British Columbia coast that’s as close to my heart as you can imagine. From my porch you can see clear across the waters of Georgia Strait to the snowy peaks of the rugged Coast Mountains. It’s one of the most beautiful views I have seen. And I would gladly share it with a wind farm.
  • Climate change is one of the greatest challenges humanity will face this century. Confronting it will take a radical change in the way we produce and consume energy—another industrial revolution, this time for clean energy, conservation and efficiency.
  • Pursuing wind power as part of our move toward clean energy makes sense. Wind power has become the fastest-growing source of energy in the world, employing hundreds of thousands of workers. That’s in part because larger turbines and greater knowledge of how to build, install and operate them has dramatically reduced costs over the past two decades. Prices are now comparable to other forms of power generation and will likely decrease further as technology improves.

Be sure to check out all this week’s roundups:

Sources:

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Mark Udall, Rep. Steve King & Rep. Dave Loebsack, “Don't Pull the Plug: Wind Energy Empowers America.” RealClearEnergy. 1 April 2014.

Ariel Wittenberg, “South Terminal progresses; officials prepare for Cape Wind.” South Coast Today. 2 April 2014.

Dr. David Suzuki, “Windmills are Beautiful.” EcoWatch. 1 April 2014.