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News roundup: A green bank, a Texas first for First Wind, and a "non impact"

News roundup: A green bank, a Texas first for First Wind, and a "non impact"
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Thursday's roundup highlights the continued growth of wind power. The launch of New York's Green Bank excites clean energy fans, First Wind gets financing for a new Texas project, and there’s more coverage of wind’s "non impact" on home values.

New York’s Green Bank is open for business, making available millions for clean energy projects, including wind power:

  • New York has officially launched its Green Bank, confirming plans to boost investment in environmental technologies and renewable energy, such as wind farms and solar panels. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the bank officially started operations yesterday, outlining how it will invest alongside other parties in clean power and energy efficiency projects.
  • Yesterday, it opened with $210m funding, $165m of which has been redirected from unallocated government funds such as surcharges on utility bills that the state already collects to fund energy efficiency programs and $45m that has been raised through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative emissions trading scheme.
  • The bank said it expects to support a wide range of businesses and technologies, including solar, wind and other renewable energy generation technologies, as well as energy efficiency measures and onsite generation.

In Texas, First wind is pleased to announce it has secured financing for its Route 66 wind farm:

  • First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, today announced that it has obtained $206 million in financing for its Route 66 Wind project in Armstrong and Carson Counties, Texas. With financing closed for its first renewable energy project in Texas, First Wind will continue engineering and construction activities on the project.
  • “We are excited to complete the financing and continue construction of the Route 66 Wind project, which is our first project in the State of Texas,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “This financing is an important milestone for the construction of Route 66 Wind, and we appreciate the commitment of our financial and construction partners to help us bring cost-competitive, renewable energy to Texas. We also appreciate the support we’ve received from county officials and local landowners. We are glad to be able to make a direct investment into the local economy throughout the construction and successful operations of the project.”
  • Vestas will supply 75 V110 turbines with a capacity of 2 megawatts (MW) each to the project near Amarillo, Texas. First Wind owns and operates wind projects in Maine, Vermont, New York, Utah, Washington and Hawaii.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is pleased to contribute coverage to the growing body of evidence saying wind turbines do not negatively affect home values:

  • More information has come from the authors of a recent wind-turbines-and-property-values study of Massachusetts via a webinar and related Q&A. The answers continue to point to room for additional studies, but reiterate the positive findings: “The results do not support the claim that wind turbines affect nearby home prices.”
  • More of these carefully researched studies, more solid information, and more on-the-ground experiences would certainly be welcome. Those are key inputs to help us figure out how more wind power can help us fight climate change, beef up our energy security, and usefully re-shape our energy mix for a brighter future.

Be sure to check out the rest of this week’s roundups:

Sources:

Jessica Shankleman, “New York Green Bank confirmed as ‘open for business’.” Business Green. 12 February 2014.

First Wind, “First Wind Secures $206 Million Financing for Route 66 Wind Project and Continues Construction of First Project in Texas.” Herald Online. 12 February 2014.

John Rogers, “The non impact of wind turbines on property values.” Earth Techling. 12 February 2014.

 

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