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December 2012

December 2012 - Volume 9, Number 11

Cover Story

New York Wind Development At A Crossroads

New York has laid out a plan to tackle its inconsistent approach to siting wind energy projects. But will it help?

Project Profile

Patience Is Everpower’s New York State Of Mind

After plodding through the state’s rigorous environmental studies, Everpower completed the 51.25 MW Howard Wind Project, located in Steuben County, N.Y.


No Doubt About Grout: Visual Inspections Needed

The grout used in your foundation system will degrade over time, and, if left unchecked, could become problematic.

Industry At Large

Can Latest Effort Solve Transmission Quandary?

The latest effort to address the challenges in siting electric transmission lines across multiple states is promising, but obstacles remain.

Industry At Large

Preparing For When OSHA Comes Calling

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s increased focus on wind farm safety can also include site inspections. Here’s what you can do now to ensure the visit is mutually beneficial.

November 2012

November 2012 - Volume 9, Number 10

Cover Story

Technology Propels Indiana, But Can It Sustain Its Growth?

Once overlooked by wind developers, Indiana has become a hot location, thanks, in part, to improved turbine technology that makes development possible in parts of the state that were once less viable. However, given the policy uncertainty at the federal level, can state initiatives sustain continued development?

Project Profile

With PTC Deadline Approaching, E.ON Leaves ‘Nothing To Chance’

To ensure its project would be completed on time, the developer of the 200 MW Wildcat 1 Wind Farm, which is currently being built in Indiana’s Madison and Tipton counties, pulled out all the stops.


Find Faults Faster: FCIs Reduce Outage Time

Collector-system faults can lead to turbine downtime and, in turn, reduce profitability. Therefore, identifying faults faster can yield significant benefits.

Remote Sensing Equipment Comes Of Age

Remote sensing units can properly address the uncertainty associated with wind energy assessment.

Industry At Large

Predictive Maintenance: Part Science, Part Art

The cost and inconvenience associated with turbine downtime almost always exceeds the cost of a good strategic maintenance program. However, predicting failures – and scheduling the required maintenance – can be tricky.

After The Warranty: How To Prevent Downtime

Regular maintenance and testing can help wind farm owners and operators save money while extending the life of the turbine components.

October 2012

October 2012 - Volume 9, Number 9

Cover Story

Beyond FIT 2.0: What’s In Store For Wind In Ontario

If Ontario’s feed-in-tariff program had a political risk meter, the needle would be hovering around the red zone.

Industry At Large

Establishing A Common Wind Turbine Communication Standard

A wind turbine user group is advocating for a central wind turbine communication standard that could help overcome many operational difficulties.

Blocker Corporations Present Opportunities For Foreign Entities

Some foreign wind energy firms may look to the U.S., thanks to an accounting method that shields corporations from some tax-liability exposure.

Market Factors, Regulators Slow Pace Of Utility Ownership

Several market factors have led to a slowdown in utility ownership of wind farms. What will reverse the trend?

The Essential Components Of A Fall-Protection Plan

A comprehensive fall-protection safety program should be a top priority for any company involved in wind turbine installation and maintenance.

Project Profile

Developer Completes Comber Wind Farm Amid Uncertain Times

With the completion of the Comber Wind Farm, Brookfield Renewable Energy added to its considerable portfolio in Ontario.


Using The Proper Grid Gear Ensures Nothing To Fear

A well-designed wind farm with quality balance-of-plant equipment can maximize power production while fulfilling utility interconnection requirements

Research, Technology Pushing Blade Evolution

The wind industry continues to employ longer and lighter blades and rotors, helping to increase output and lower the cost of energy.

Offshore WInd

Working Jointly To Develop Offshore Wind

East Coast states will likely compete to attract offshore wind manufacturing and assembly plants, with the winner claiming the spoils in terms of employment and tax revenues.

September 2012

September 2012 - Volume 9, Number 8

Cover Story

How Turbulence Can Impact Power Performance

Atmospheric turbulence can significantly impact power performance, turbine loads and fatigue, wake effects and noise propagation.


Iowa Wind, PTC Thrust Into Presidential Race

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney told an Iowa newspaper he was against extending the production tax credit, fueling a heated response in the state.


How To Maximize Performance Between Service Visits

Choosing the right lubricants can go a long way toward improving turbine performance and reliability.

Geotechnical Investigations: Walking The Tightrope

The sooner geotechnical investigations are performed, the sooner they can be incorporated into the wind farm’s design.

Project Profile

Small Project Portends Big Things For Acciona

When completed, Iowa’s 6 MW Pioneer Grove Wind Farm will feature a 100-meter concrete tower supporting Acciona’s 3 MW turbine.

Industry At Large

No Longer An Afterthought: Industry Focuses On Logistics

A consortium of logistics professionals is working to improve the wind industry’s ability to transport larger volumes of wind turbine components to all areas of North America.

Regulations To Complicate Permitting In California

California wind energy developers could be facing potentially onerous regulations under the Clean Water Act.

August 2012

August 2012 - Volume 9, Number 7

Cover Story

Making A Secure Connection From Tower To Foundation

Anchor bolts are a critical component to ensuring the long-term stability of a wind turbine generator. Proper design, installation, tensioning and quality-control testing of bolts will help ensure that the turbine and its foundation have a solid-performing connection.


Is Trouble Brewing For Colorado’s Wind Industry?

Colorado may lose its largest manufacturer if the production tax credit is not extended beyond this year.

Project Profile

Cedar Point Epitomizes Local Colorado Angle

RES Americas and Enbridge partner again to complete the 250.2 MW Cedar Point wind project.

Industry At Large

The Evolving Supply Chain: What You Can Expect

Significant innovation and technological advances within the wind industry will help contribute to lowering the cost of energy.


Ports Investing To Keep Pace With Larger Turbine Components

As wind turbine components grow wider and heavier, port operators are making significant investments to service the load.

July 2012

July 2012 - Volume 9, Number 6

Cover Story

Renewables Landscape Shifts To State Mandates

Aided by renewable portfolio standards, the wind industry has contributed to much of the growth in clean energy. However, saturation in key states and a flattening out of demand and electricity prices have created concern.

Project Profile

Duke Energy Continues South Texas Trend

The two phases that comprise Duke Energy Renewables’ Los Vientos Windpower Project are being constructed simultaneously and will be operational by the end of this year.


Challenges Plague The Wind Leader

Political and economic pressures continue to mount in Texas, making uncertain the future of wind development in the state.


U.S. Slaps Duties On Asian Tower Suppliers

The U.S. Department of Commerce has issued a preliminary determination that the Chinese government provided massive subsidies to Chinese producers of utility-scale wind turbine towers.

Wanted: Cranes Needed For Project Completion

From the biggest lifters to the ones needed for the smallest tasks, cranes used in wind farm construction are a hot commodity this year.

Offshore Wind

Why Not To Wrong Endangered Right Whales

Marine mammals, such as the endangered North Atlantic right whale, are vulnerable to disturbances and potential injuries from a broad range of offshore wind project-related activities.

Is The Timing Right To Expedite Offshore Wind?

The U.S. needs to begin tackling a laundry list of todo items if wind development is to take hold off the country’s shores.

June 2012

June 2012 - Volume 9, Number 5

Cover Story

Contemplating A PTC-Less Era: Prudent Or Insane?

Wind energy has made remarkable strides in a short amount of time. However, some suggest that to fully achieve price parity, the wind industry should begin to prepare for life without the production tax credit.


Can Alberta Break Free From Its Dirty Past?

Over the next 20 years, more than 4,000 MW of coal-fired generation will be retired in the province. Can Alberta wind energy make up the majority of the shortfall?

Project Profile

Major Oil And Gas Player Unveils Alberta Wind Project

Suncor Energy’s Wintering Hills Wind Farm, an 88 MW project that came online earlier this year, is a welcome addition in the land of oil and gas.


Seeking Common Ground In Global Gearbox Standards

An industry working group maintains that commonality among global gearbox reliability standards can benefit the wind industry.

What To Do When Lightning Strikes

Lightning strikes can rob you of output and disrupt your operations. How can owners and operators be prepared in the event of a lightning strike?

Industry At Large

How Selection Bias Models Can Improve Certainty

By creating a program to identify and address sources of energy estimate uncertainty, project developers and investors can make more informed decisions.

Wind Shear And Why It Matters

When it comes to wind resource assessment, an incorrect wind shear estimate could send erroneous data about your proposed wind farm location downstream.

Pending Legislation Could Benefit Community Wind Projects

The Community Wind Act would expand the existing Section 48 investment tax credit to projects with a nameplate capacity of up to 20 MW through 2016.

May 2012

May 2012 - Volume 9, Number 4

Cover Story

Pressure Applied In States To Widen RPS Allowances

The renewable portfolio standards in several key wind states are coming under increased scrutiny. Could wind energy survive if the mandates were weakened or, even worse, terminated?


California Wind Market Is ‘Not For The Faint Of Heart’

Several potential market factors may crimp wind development in California.

Canada Pushes Further Collaboration With First Nations

Canada’s success in siting wind energy projects can be traced back to the First Nations Land Management Act of 1999, which gave aboriginal communities greater control over projects sited on their land.

Navigating California’s Regulatory Maze

Building a unified team of consultants, engineers and contractors is mission-critical for pursuing successful wind projects in California.

Project Profile

Iberdrola’s Manzana Project Is Chock-Full Of Local Flavor

Iberdrola Renewables’ 189 MW Manzana Wind Farm, which is currently under construction, is slated for completion by the end of the year.


Global Wind Market Demands Industry Evolution

In the current market, turbine manufacturers that are able to acquire, implement and defend innovative technologies will be better positioned for the future.

Identifying And Forecasting Ramp Events

More geographic diversity in the distribution of wind farms can help grid operators begin to mitigate ramp events.

Industry At Large

Evaluating Emerging Capital Sources For Wind

Regulatory uncertainty, constrained credit markets and continued low natural-gas prices combine to make renewable energy investments appear riskier. This perception of increased risk has made capital harder to find and more costly. When and where will new capital sources be found?

Five Key Considerations For Turbine Supply Agreements

Wind developers and turbine manufacturers must each contend with the same market pressures, such as low power prices and limited demand for new wind projects, which only exacerbates the need to structure the best deal possible.

Emerging Methods To Keep Bats Out Of Wind Farms

As science catches up with the wind industry, emerging research shows that ultrasonic sound pulses may be more effective than the traditional methods used by the sector for bat mitigation.

April 2012

April 2012 - Volume 9, Number 3

Cover Story

Despite Uncertainty, Foreign Investors Eye U.S. Market

If the U.S. wind market slows as expected, will foreign investors see it as a time to retrench or recognize it as a buying opportunity?

Project Profile

Aptly Named Project Producing Power

Undeterred by heavy rainfall, enXco’s 205.5 MW Lakefield Wind Project in southeastern Minnesota is grid-connected and producing power.


Wind-Friendly State Facing Several Challenges

Minnesota has a strong wind resource, a robust renewable portfolio standard and a state government widely viewed as pro-wind. So why are developers struggling?

Industry At Large

Transport Sector Strained By Larger Blades

The cost of shipping longer blades is beginning to impact turbine manufacturers’ profitability, and the equipment can’t fit into existing trucks.

How Wind Energy Reduces Power’s Overall Cost

The increased emphasis on reliability, cost and efficiency is likely to change the factors that wind farm operators use to manage and measure their output.

Industry Awaits FWS Decision On First Eagle Take Permit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is close to approving the first eagle take permit in the country, which could have far-reaching implications for all future wind energy projects.


Understanding Grid Connection Through Underground Cabling

A well-designed, -installed and -maintained underground collector system should safely and efficiently deliver electricity to the transmission grid for 20 years.

Strategies For An Effective Predictive Maintenance Program

Employing a predictive maintenance program can go a long way toward helping owners and operators identify maintenance needs before emergencies arise.

March 2012

March 2012 - Volume 9, Number 2

Cover Story

Flurry Of Activity Marks Near-Term Wind Development

The near-term prognosis for Quebec wind projects appears robust until 2015, when the last of the projects resulting from three earlier RFPs will be completed.

Project Profile

EDF And REpower Team Up In Quebec

EDF EN Canada and REpower have started construction on St. Robert Bellarmin, an 80 MW wind farm located near the Canadian border.

Industry At Large

Workforce Development: A Bright Future Ahead

The U.S. Department of Energy has developed a framework that aims to identify what is needed to create a strong wind workforce.

Market Uncertainty Leaves Little Margin For Error

With the PTC set to expire at the end of this year, developers planning to use the incentive are rushing to get their projects placed in service before the deadline.


Test Your Generator Before It Tests You

Given the variety of generator types and sizes, it is difficult to establish predictable failure modes across the industry. However, certain tests can be done to uncover looming danger.

Keeping The Insurance Agent I n The Knowledge Loop

In the aftermath of equipment damage, contacting the insurance carrier is typically not high on the list of priorities. Here is how that rationale can work against owners and operators.

Offshore Wind

N.J. Proposal Lays Out Needed Framework

New Jersey understands the energy and economic development potential of offshore wind and how it could transform the state into a market leader.

Delaware Distress Call Means Bad News For Industry

NRG Bluewater’s suspension of all offshore wind energy development in December underscores the harsh realities of the current offshore wind market.

February 2012

February 2012 - Volume 9, Number 1

Cover Story

LOTO Becomes Wind Industry’s Next Hot Topic

With the formation of a task force, the industry sharpens its focus on lockout/tagout procedures.

Project Profile

Lower Snake River Project Benefits Struggling Community

Puget Sound Energy developed its Lower Snake River wind project, located in southeastern Washington, in order to fulfill the state’s renewable portfolio standard.


Challenges Persist For Pioneering Wind State

Washington was once a thriving state in which to build wind projects. However, its productivity has slowed due to several factors.

Industry At Large

How To Avoid Gridlock When Integrating Wind Generation

Traditionally, utility-scale electric power systems were designed to accommodate active power generation at the transmission level, not the distribution level. In essence, the one-way load flow is becoming a two-way street.

Connect Data Points To Gain Increased Reliability

By connecting data points already being collected by turbines, owners and operators can get a greater understanding of real wind turbine reliability.


Reducing Liability Risk During Transportation

As the overall size of turbines increases, so does the likelihood of an accident. If a mishap occurs, how protected is your business against loss?

January 2012

January 2012 - Volume 8, Number 12

Cover Story

How Municipal Utilities Can Use Federal Incentives

Thanks to new financing methods, municipal utilities no longer have to sit on the sidelines when it comes to benefiting from federal incentives.


Maine Quietly Prepares To Change Wind Power

Maine ranks near the bottom when it comes to installed capacity. However, the state is at the forefront of extensive research and development efforts, particularly regarding offshore wind.

Project Profile

Developer’s Maine Experience Helps Expedite Rollins Project

First Wind applied the lessons learned from its other Maine wind projects to its most recent development in Penobscot County.

Industry At Large

Removing Reliability Risk From Renewables

A federal decision last year puts much-needed focus on the issue of wind farm reliability.


How To Guard Against Tool Shrinkage

When tools suddenly disappear, developers suffer more than just replacement costs. A variety of methods can go a long way toward ensuring a well-stocked and organized tool crib.

Close Encounters Put Met Towers In A New Light

Sixty-meter met towers fall below the Federal Aviation Administration’s threshold for obstruction lighting requirements. However, following a plane’s recent collision with such a tower that resulted in a fatality, some say full lighting standards should apply.

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