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News roundup: Wind grows in Texas, a new energy plan, and records broken in Oklahoma

News roundup: Wind grows in Texas, a new energy plan, and records broken in Oklahoma
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This Thursday, wind power becomes an even bigger part of the Texas grid, a Colorado State University research center has an energy plan for the president, and Enel Green Power’s Oklahoma facilities smash records in January.

Texans are still kings of the wind in the US, as Earth Techling’s Pete Danko reports that wind power has grown to nearly 10 percent of the state’s energy supply:

  • “Wind owned a bigger slice of generation even though the pie grew, with Texans using 2.1 percent more electricity in 2013 compared to 2012. Wind’s share grew because the amount of wind generation rose by a whopping 9.7 percent, from 29,803,361 megawatt-hours to 32,705,373 MWh.”
  • “As the U.S. Energy Information Administration said recently, ‘Texas has added coal- and natural gas-fired capacity since 2011; however, the largest share of capacity growth has been from wind generators, mostly located in western Texas.’ More is on the way from that region, too, thanks to new transmission that can handle up to 2,500 megawatts of power, moving it from the windy west to the big population centers.”

Bill Ritter, former Governor of Colorado, is the director of Colorado State University’s Center for the New Energy Economy (CNEE), which has a list of 200 recommendations for President Obama’s clean energy economy. Some of the recommendations:

  • “The CNEE says the report was developed over eight months with the help of more than 100 CEOs, energy experts, academicians and thought leaders who participated in a series of roundtables last year. Ritter notes that not every participant agreed with all of the ideas, but the report reflects the recommendations that received the strongest support.”
  • “Direct the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to review and, if necessary, improve its methods for projecting the growth of renewable energy technologies in years ahead. According to the CNEE, the EIA has been criticized for underestimating renewable energy’s contribution to the nation’s energy mix.”
  • “Direct federal agencies to work with the nation’s electric utilities and utility regulators to update regulations that are getting in the way of clean energy technologies. The CNEE says utility executives told it that outdated regulations are making it difficult to accommodate new energy resources and technologies such as wind energy and rooftop solar systems.”

Italian renewables company Enel Green Power thanks U.S. wind for its record-breaking New Year, with two of its facilities in Oklahoma pulling some major weight on the grid. Recharge Magazine:

  • "EGP’s 148MW Rocky Ridge and 235MW Chisholm View wind farms, both in Oklahoma, achieved load factors of between 60% and 65% and daily output totaling above 5GWh during high winds in the first two weeks of the year."
  • "US wind – with 22GWh – was a big contributor to EGP’s global output of 114.3GWh on 5 January – a new record for the company."
  • "Wind delivered a total of 67GWh of that figure and was almost two-thirds above its estimated figure on the day in question."

For more great news on American wind power, check out this week’s other News roundups:

Sources:

Pete Danko, “In Texas, wind nears 10% of electricity.” Earth Techling. 22 January 2014.

Staff. “Former Gov. Ritter Heads Effort To Offer Obama Comprehensive Clean Energy Plan.” North American Windpower. 22 January 2014.

Andrew Lee. “US wind stars in record EGP month.” Recharge. 22 January 2014.

 

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