Oregon firm developing airborne wind energy system

Posted on November 7th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.




A Beaverton, Ore., company received a $600,000 USDA grant to continue research and development of a wind energy system they will first market to farmers.

The company, eWind Solutions Inc., is developing a tethered, rigid-wing kite that spins an electrical generator as it deploys in a corkscrew pattern 300 to 500 feet in the air. The system can be programmed to continuously deploy and retract the kite, generating electricity the landowner can sell back to the utility grid or use on-farm. Company partners say a system will provide enough energy to power five homes or one small to mid-size farm.

Once the kite reaches its maximum altitude — no more than 500 feet to conform with FAA regulations — it brings itself down, said Katie Schaefer, eWind’s director of strategic partnerships. The device uses 4 percent of the power it created on launch to retract itself to a lower altitude, then rises again to continue energy production.

If the wind isn’t right, the kite comes all the way down and docks itself. The station required is about the size of a small shipping container or a large pickup truck, Schaefer said.

The concept has previously won funding from Oregon BEST, a spinoff of the state business department that connects clean-tech entrepreneurs with money and with university researchers who can help with technical aspects. In 2015, eWind was granted a $100,000 startup grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The new grant also is from NIFA.

Schaefer said the company is pursuing development grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. The company is about nine months away from being ready to approach private investors; she estimated the company will need $3 million to $5 million to gear up for commercial production, possibly in 2018. Schaefer’s husband, David, is the company founder and CEO.

The company chose agriculture as its first niche for the technology because farmers generally have uncluttered air space above their farm, Katie Schaefer said.

“We don’t need their land, we just need the space above it,” she said.

She said dairies or other operations with high power requirements might be a good market. Wineries have shown early interest, she said, in part for branding purposes and the “wow” factor, and also for potential side benefits such as bird deterrence.

Schaefer estimated a system would cost $45,000 to $50,000. She said an airborne system provides more electricity than solar panels and takes less room. Wind turbines are larger, more ponderous and aren’t built high enough to catch wind all the time, she said, while eWind’s device would operate at higher altitudes where wind is more consistent. Unlike solar, they also can operate at night.

The company’s long range vision is to take the technology worldwide after getting established with farmers, Schaefer said,

The system could be used to provide emergency electrical power in disaster relief cases, or where the power grid has been compromised or doesn’t exist, she said.


Scotland generates enough wind energy to power almost every household for an entire month

Posted on November 7th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.



Wind turbines in Scotland provided enough electricity to supply the average needs of almost all Scotland's homes last month, according to a report.

Data from WeatherEnergy showed turbines generated 792,717MWh of electricity to the National Grid in October, up more than a quarter on the same month last year.

The amount is enough to supply the average needs of 87% of Scottish households, WWF Scotland said.

However, the figures show Scotland's total electricity consumption - including homes, business and industry - in October was 2,080,065MWh, with wind power generating just 38% of Scotland's power needs for the month.

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Thanks to a combination of increased capacity and stronger winds, output from turbines surged by more than a quarter compared to the same period last year - supplying power equivalent to the electrical needs of over two million homes.

“As well as helping to power our homes and businesses, wind power is helping Scotland to avoid over a million tonnes of polluting carbon emissions every month.

“As delegates gather in Morocco to discuss continued international action on climate change, I hope Scotland's success in cutting carbon emissions using renewable electricity inspires other countries to follow our lead.”

Karen Robinson of WeatherEnergy said: “According to the Met Office, Scotland had the sunniest and one of the driest Octobers since records began.

“However, the month also witnessed some powerful winds leading to a significant increase in wind power output when compared to last year. All this additional renewable electricity is good news in the battle to address global climate change.”

The figures come as the Scottish Conservatives accused the Scottish Government of overturning two-thirds of windfarm applications rejected by local authorities this year.

Scottish Conservative energy spokesman Alexander Burnett said: “The SNP's obsession with onshore wind energy is damaging Scotland's countryside and ruining local democracy.

“Too often, when these applications are lodged, the people say no, council planners say no and local elected representatives say no.

“You'd think the Scottish Government would respect this, yet still we see ministers in Edinburgh pulling rank and acting like they know what's best for rural Scotland".

“Of course wind energy has a place in Scotland's energy mix, but only when the turbines are not ruining local scenery and upsetting those who have to see them every day.”

SNP MSP Gillian Martin, who sits on Holyrood's Economy Committee, said the latest wind power figures showed the Tories approach to energy is “misguided".

“Just last week, we saw the confusion at the heart of Conservative energy policy, as their energy spokesperson Alexander Burnett suggested subsidies should only support ‘emerging technologies’ whilst tying himself in knots trying to defend the UK government's subsidising of the white elephant Hinkley Point project,” Ms Martin said.

“The people of Scotland are well aware of the need for an effective energy policy fit for the challenges of the future - and it is wonderful to see the Scottish Government's efforts to achieve this continue to pay off.”


Target buys 40MW of Texan wind

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

Target will buy the power from the 211MW Stephens Ranch wind farm in northwest Texas. The project comprises 118 GE 1.7MW turbines and was completed in 2014.


Google Buys 12-Year Output From Norwegian Wind Power Farm

Posted on June 30th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

Google has bought the entire 12-year power production from a yet-to-be-built Norwegian wind power farm to supply its European data centers with renewable energy, its developers said on Thursday.



ACEP backs call for wind power as solution for energy crisis

Posted on June 29th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

The African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) has backed calls for Ghana to choose wind power as the solution to the protracted energy crisis.

This comes after the flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet outlined the party's research points to a major shift in the solutions to meet Ghana's energy demands at an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) evening encounter on Tuesday, June 29.


Wind farms to power Nestlé in UK and Ireland

Posted on June 23rd, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

Nestlé's UK and Ireland operations are set to be powered by a new wind farm in Scotland. A deal between the food company and Community Windpower will result in the opening of a new nine-turbine wind farm in Dumfries and Galloway.


Siemens, Gamesa merge to create wind power giant

Posted on June 17th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

In a note to the Spanish stock market regulator on Friday, Gamesa said it had reached the necessary "corporate approval for the potential integration of Siemens' wind business," with the final terms of the deal still needing to be agreed upon.


Why is wind power New York's future? Let us count the ways

Posted on June 16th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

New York has been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind,” with offshore winds strong and steady enough to rival any in the world. Wind energy, especially offshore, has enormous potential to benefit New York businesses and to grow our economy. In fact, the state plans to bid for a federal lease to develop a 127-square-mile site in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island, smoothing the way for lower-cost wind energy.


Bearing manufacturer Schaeffler supports joint research in wind power

Posted on June 13th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

After a one-year preparation phase, the “Joint project: Loads on the drive components of wind turbines,” the so-called FVA nacelle, was inaugurated at the Center for Wind Power Drives (CWD) at RWTH Aachen on May 31, 2016. The FVA nacelle was developed through the close cooperation of the university and the member companies of the Forschungsvereinigung Antriebstechnik e.V. (FVA), which include Schaeffler.


Sweden to abolish offshore connections costs

Posted on June 13th, 2016 in wind by Spencer R.

A framework agreement between Sweden's main political parties said: "Connection fees to the national grid for offshore wind should be abolished." It was announced as part of a wider energy policy agreement.