wind energy

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Xcel Energy’s plan to boost renewables was approved by Colorado regulators Monday.

As The Denver Post reports, Xcel Energy Colorado plans to boost the share of power it gets from wind and solar and retire a third of its coal generation.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission voted 2 to 1 in support of Xcel’s Colorado Energy Plan, which the company says will increase its renewable energy sources to 55 percent within the next eight years.

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The Lone Star State is still on top, when it comes to wind energy production, reports The Houston Chronicle.

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that Texas added more than 2,300 megawatts of total installed wind power last year, which brought the yearly total up to nearly 23,000 megawatts of power derived from wind.

That 23,000 megawatts dwarfs the nation’s second-largest producer, Oklahoma, which pumped out 850 megawatts.

From Texas Standard:

Most discussions about how to solve climate change involve limiting greenhouse gas emissions. But what if there was another way? A new study co-published by a team of researchers at Harvard and a Canadian company called Carbon Engineering says there is one.

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Xcel Energy is moving closer toward boosting wind energy production in the Texas Panhandle.

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Colorado’s main utility company is featured in a New York Times article for its embrace of solar and wind energy.

A Feb. 6 article outlines Colorado’s largest power company, Xcel Energy’s plans to replace two large coal-burning units with renewable energy and possibly some natural gas.

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Renewable wind and solar energy, along with a booming natural gas industry, continue to win the battle over coal in Texas.

As The Huntsville Tribune reports, last year Texas lost 455 coal-mining jobs, more than any other state. And the state’s biggest power supplier, Luminant, announced that it would be shuttering two massive coal-fired plants this year.

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Oklahoma is the number two producer of wind energy in the United States.

Yet, as The Christian Science Monitor reports, the Sooner State has recently soured on this form of renewable energy.

Due to the state’s crippling budget woes, in addition to pressure from the state’s powerful oil and gas lobby, Oklahoma has been phasing out the key tax incentives that had, in large part, been responsible for the booming wind industry in the state.

Wind energy groups are praising the recently passed tax bill for keeping in place the renewable energy production tax credit. 

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Wind turbines are often installed in areas, like the high plains, where wind tends to be particularly strong. But a new study has found that climate change may affect wind patterns.

As the Washington Post reports, the study, published in Nature Geoscience, found through computer simulations that, in the central United States, the amount of wind energy that can be harvested may decline by 8 to 10 percent by 2050.

This finding lines up with another recent study out of Harvard which found that regions of China have already seen a decline in winds due to climate change.

Wind Turbines' Ill Effects

Dec 14, 2017
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While wind energy is of benefit to environmental health, it seems to be having some ill effects on human health.

As Gatehouse News reports, a couple in Michigan knows that firsthand.

Cary and Karen Shineldecker of Mason County Michigan began suffering anxiety, headaches, ear pressure, tinnitus, heart palpitations and sleep disturbances believed to be caused by low-frequency pulsations after Lake Winds Energy began operating its 476-foot-tall turbines around their home.   

Illinois Touted As Property Tax Model For Wind Farms

Dec 11, 2017

color:#333333">Illinois’ taxing model for wind energy companies is touted as one of the best in the country, bringing in $30.4 million in property taxes in 2016, according to economic experts.


color:#333333">Mark Buck can see some of the 314 turbines in Kansas’ largest wind farm from his office window in Medicine Lodge, where he is superintendent of the Barber County North School District.


The nearly $1 billion Flat Ridge project, built in two phases and owned in part by British Petroleum, spans 70,000 acres near the Oklahoma border in south-central Kansas. But unlike most other Kansas businesses, Flat Ridge pays no property taxes on its generators to fund local schools and other services.


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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is being pressed to lobby the state’s congressional delegation in opposition to a cut in a federal tax credit that could derail $1.5 billion in planned projects across Kansas.

The tax reform bill passed Nov. 16 by the U.S. House could slow development in the wind energy sector by reopening a two-year-old deal.

One industry leader says they’ll need the Senate in their court to protect their current agreement, which phases out production and investment tax credits through 2020.

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Last week, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced a federal plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants, reports Texas Monthly.

The move surprised many observers in the energy community, as the former Texas Governor had made a name for himself in the Lone Star State as a champion of renewable energy, especially wind power.

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The proliferation of wind farms in the western part of Oklahoma has been causing headaches for the U.S. military’s aeronautical operations in the region, reports The Tulsa World.

SciFiles: What's Next In Clean Energy?

Jul 5, 2017

In 2007, America’s electricity sources were much more diverse than those in Kansas. Less than half of nationwide electricity was generated from coal, with almost equal amounts of natural gas and nuclear power. Kansas, meanwhile, relied on a less diverse mix, with nearly 80 percent of the state’s power coming from imported coal.

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While winds were blamed for spreading wildfires that raged across parts of the High Plains in early March, they are also being credited with boosting wind power’s share in High Plains states, including Colorado.

As The Denver Post reports, solar and wind power for the first time accounted for 10 percent of a month’s electricity generated in the U.S.

Andrew Whitaker / The Hutchinson News

Vic Thomas’ family has always wrestled with the wind.

Born in 1934, Thomas knows the stories of the Dust Bowl days that blew across the family farm near Montezuma. He recalled how his mother would put up wet towels along the windows to help keep the dirt from coming through the cracks.

Even in the 1950s, when Thomas was farming full-time, he battled the wind and drought, which, thanks to better farming practices, wasn’t as bad as his father's Depression-era farming.

In his 82 years of life on the Kansas High Plains, Thomas still lives with the wind. 

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The Sunflower State’s wind power continues to grow.

As The Wichita Eagle reports, according to a first-quarter report from American Wind Energy Association, Kansas will reach 5,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity this year, behind only four other states – Texas, Oklahoma, California and Iowa.

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Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for installed wind power capacity, thanks in large part to a tax incentive that is soon coming to an end.

As State Impact reports, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed House Bill 2298, which requires wind farms to be operational by July to qualify for the state’s Zero Emission Tax Credit, an incentive program Fallin credited with establishing Oklahoma’s wind industry.

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Five states, including Kansas, get at least 20 percent of their electricity needs from wind, but as The New York Times reports, alternative energy investments like wind and solar power have not performed well in recent years.

To make matters worse, the Trump administration has opted for a resurgence of coal and other carbon fuels, not an emphasis on alternative energy.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Legislature is gearing up to end the last remaining major wind-energy tax incentive in the state. And, as StateImpact reports, some in the wind industry are calling the move a betrayal.

Daniel Acker / Bloomberg News

Last week, for the first time ever, the Great Plains derived more power from wind turbines than it did from any other source.

As Bloomberg reports, last Sunday the vast power grid stretching from Montana to the Texas Panhandle reportedly received 52 percent of its energy from wind sources.

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A new wind farm is on Lamar, Colorado’s very near horizon. 

As The Prowers Journal , Iberdrola Renewables, LLC will begin construction on the Twin Buttes II project, which will consist of 36 wind turbines that will be located on the east side of Highway 287, east of the Colorado Green turbine complex, this spring.

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Google announced last week that in 2017, renewable energy will power 100 percent of its global operations, according to the American Wind Energy Association’s blog, Into the Wind.

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As wind energy becomes more economically viable in Oklahoma, momentum is building on a political movement to limit tax breaks to wind farms in the state.

As StateImpact reports, last week a panel that decides Oklahoma’s tax incentives decided to curb the credits being given to wind operations. The Incentive Review Commission has reported on ten different wind incentives under review this year.

energy.gov

A Microsoft data center’s electricity will be powered by a wind farm being constructed in western Kansas.

Kathleen Lavine / Denver Business Journal

Wind energy is booming in Colorado, reports the Denver Business Journal.

In fact, 14 percent of the state’s power now comes from wind, according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy. And the Centennial State isn’t alone; wind power is surging in many parts of the country.

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Amazon has plans to invest in a massive Texas wind farm, according to FuelFix.

The Seattle-based online retail giant is teaming up with Chicago’s Lincoln Clean Energy to build a 250-megawatt wind farm in Scurry County, west of Abilene. The company plans to begin operations in 2017.

The wind farm will feature 100 wind turbines which will power Amazon’s Texas’ facilities, with the leftover energy feeding into the overall state grid.

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