FPL Energy Begins Commercial Operation of Weatherford Wind Energy Center

FPL Group Inc (FPL) announced that it has begun commercial operation at its 106.5-megawatt (MW) Weatherford Wind Energy Center, located near Weatherford, Oklahoma, and plans to expand the project by 40.5 MW. This brings the total capacity of the Weatherford Wind Energy Center to 147 megawatts. Construction on the expansion will begin in the near future and is expected to be completed by year end.

Our Undiversified Wind Portfolio

Wind advocates like to say "The wind's always blowing somewhere" to counter concerns about the variability of wind power.  This is true, and it means that wind can always be relied on to produce some power, but that does not mean that wind can always meet demand.  In the United States' Great Plains wind belt, wind is typically anticorrelated with demand, meaning that, unless we can shift demand to times when the wind is strong, either through time of use rates or demand planning, overall energy production from wind will not be able to exceed 25-35% of overall demand...

FPL Energy Announces New Wind Farm in Texas

FPL Group Inc (FPL) announced it will build, own and operate a new wind farm in Texas, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, to be located in Taylor County, Texas. The 220.5-megawatt Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center will be comprised of 147 1.5-megawatt wind turbines spread over a 22,500 acre site approximately 15 miles southwest of Abilene. Initial site work on the project is underway with full-scale construction expected to begin in the next few weeks and be completed no later than December 2005.

The Wind in Spain is Mostly in GAMESA

by Debra Fiakas CFA In the second week of November 2015, GAMESA Corporation (GTQ1: Berlin, GAM: Madrid, or GCTAF: OTC), Spain’s wind turbine manufacturer, reported double the net profit in the nine months ending September 2015, on revenue that was 30% higher than the same period last year.  During the period GAMESA has received orders from customers in twenty-five different countries for wind turbines with generating capacity of 2,841 megawatts.   Backlog at the end of September 2015 was 3,034 megawatts, representing a 43% increases over backlog a year ago.  At a time when some companies are struggling amidst...

Zoltek Rebuffs Offers, But Quinn Isn’t Going Away

Tom Konrad On March fifth, St. Louis, MO based carbon fiber manufacturer Zolek’s (NASD:ZOLT) shares jumped 14% to $10.52, having traded as high as $11.70 intraday when Quinpario Partners LLC  and allied investors disclosed a 10.13% stake in the company. Jeffry Quinn wants to help Zoltek penetrate new markets and increase its global presence. Quinpario is an investment firm  focused on the specialty chemicals and performance materials sectors, and also based in St. Louis.  The firm was founded in 2012 by Jeffry N. Quinn and several senior executives from Solutia Inc,...

Petersen’s Wind Power Paradigm Paralysis

Tom Konrad CFA I published my rebuttal to John Petersen's recent article "Gone With The Wind – Debunking Geographic Diversity" on November 1st last year.  It was titled Alternative Energy: The Paradigm is the Problem.  That article had two parts.  The first part focused on electric vehicles, and argued that the problem with the electric car was not electric propulsion, but the car paradigm.  I concluded that electric propulsion makes considerably more sense for electric bikes, trains, and buses.  John clearly understood that section, because he published an article just last week "Lux Research Confirms that...

Alaskan Electric Utility Signs $1.1 Million Contract with Northern Power for Three Additional Wind...

Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a contract for $1.14 million to install, commission and service three additional NorthWind 100 wind turbines for the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) in the rural village of Chevak, Alaska. The contract continues AVEC's commitment to the development of its rural wind program in Alaska, bringing the total number of turbines AVEC has purchased from Northern Power to 13. The three new turbines, combined with an additional NorthWind 100 purchased by AVEC in October 2005, are expected to be installed in Chevak by the autumn of 2006. Together, the four...

Chinese wind power company seems to understand American political capitalism

by Michael Giberson American University’s Investigative Journalism Workshop has published reports detailing the extensive political connections in the United States developed by Chinese wind power company A-Power Energy (APWR) in its effort to build a 600-MW wind farm in West Texas. A-Power (APWR) and their Chinese and American partners were seeking $450 million in section 1603 grants and U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantees to help fund the project. New York senator Charles Schumer objected to the idea that stimulus funds would flow to Chinese workers and sought to block the project’s access to the funds. A-Power chose to fight...

Drawing the Right Lessons from the Texas "Wind" Emergency

On February 26, 2008, a drop in wind generation by about 1400 MW over ten minutes, coupled with an increase in demand of 4412 MW due to colder weather, and lower-than scheduled production from other power suppliers, led ERCOT, the Texas grid operator to cut 1100 MW of power to interruptible customers for about 90 minutes.   Misconceptions All these facts come from a Reuters article misleadingly titled "Loss of wind causes Texas power grid emergency."  I was dismayed a few weeks ago when this misleading reporting led the generally insightful Master Resource Report to conclude "This is a clear...

11 Wind Energy Stocks for 2015

By Jeff Siegel Something doesn't add up here... A recent Energy Department report has suggested that wind power will be cheaper than natural gas-generated power within 10 years. And that's without a federal tax incentive. Sounds good. Certainly I love hearing about renewable energy competing with fossil fuels in the absence of subsidies. Yet here's the weird thing... While the DOE report states that wind can be the cheapest, cleanest power option in all 50 states by 2050, the Obama administration is pushing to not just renew the wind energy production tax credit but actually make it permanent. That's...

Dark Clouds Threaten German Clean Energy Ambitions

John Petersen During the fourteen years that I've lived in Switzerland, the Germans have been the world's staunchest supporters of green power and alternative energy. Their aggressive development of wind power was breathtaking, as was their warm embrace of photovoltaic power. Over the last few weeks, however, there has been an ominous change in the mainstream German media's tone as the political class finally comes to grips with the unpleasant reality that rooftop solar panels are worthless on short, grey winter days and "For weeks now, the 1.1 million solar power systems in Germany have generated almost no...

What A Portfolio Approach To Climate Policy Means for Your Stock Portfolio

Portfolio theory can lend insights into which carbon abatement strategies policymakers should pursue.  If policymakers listen, what will it mean for green investors? Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Good Info, Not Enough Analysis I've now read most of my review copy of Investment Opportunities for a Low Carbon World.  The quality of the information is generally excellent, as Charles has described in his reviews of the Wind and Solar and Efficiency and Geothermal chapters.  As a resource on the state of Cleantech industries, it's generally excellent.  As an investing resource, however, it leaves something to be desired.  Each chapter is written...

Wind and Heat Pumps: A Winning Combination

This article has been cross-posted on The Oil Drum. Last month, I brought you some nice maps showing when and where good wind resources are found in the US.  Now I've found something better: a visual comparison of electrical load with wind farm production, published by the Western Area Power Administration in 2006.  The study compared electricity production from five wind farms in Northern Colorado, Southwestern Nebraska, and Central Wyoming in 2004, 2005, and the start of 2006, compared with electricity consumption in the same area over the same time period. Comparison of Wind Production to...

The Best Offshore Wind Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA In my recent article on investing in offshore wind, I suggested that the market for offshore wind turbines was too competitive for turbine manufacturers to be a good investment at this time, but that companies which supply the power conversion and connection to the grid might be better.  I listed the following companies: Prysmian (PRYMF.PK) and General Cable (BGC), which supply power cables. ABB Group (ABB), and Alstom (AOMFF.PK) which supply many aspects of the power conversion and interconnection hardware needed...

Northern Power Systems to Supply Northwind(R) 100 Wind Turbines to Alaska Village Electric Cooperative

Northern Power Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been awarded a $1.9 million contract from Anchorage-based Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) for seven of Northern's NorthWind® 100 wind turbines. The advanced-design 100 kW wind turbines will generate renewable electric power for 3 remote communities, in western Alaska, served by AVEC. As part of the contract award, Northern will provide on-site installation and commissioning services of the turbines in the harsh Alaskan environment. It is the first stage in a broader effort through which AVEC will be integrating wind into more of the 51...

Epic Changes Are Coming in the Electric Power, Transportation and Energy Storage Sectors

John Petersen Epic is the only word I can use to describe an evolving tragedy that killed tens of thousands of people, inflicted hundreds of billions in property damage, destroyed 3.5% of Japan's base-load power generating capacity in a heartbeat and will cause recurring aftershocks in the global electric power, transportation and energy storage sectors for decades. While I'd love to believe the worst is behind us, I fear the times of trouble have just begun. Since it's clear that Japan will have to turn inward and serve the urgent needs of its own population first, the...
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