Tag Archive for 'Wind'

FERC: Renewables account for over 60% of new generation in 2015

Multirenewables250Renewables accounted for 60.2 percent of the new U.S. electricity generation capacity for the first three quarters of 2015, according to the “Energy Infrastructure Update” from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

The cumulative installed capacity of biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30 was 7,276 megawatts. It included 2,966 megawatts of new wind capacity, 40.76 percent of the total, as well as 1,137 megawatts of solar, 205 megawatts of biomass, 45 megawatts of geothermal steam and 27 megawatts of hydropower. Natural gas generation capacity grew by 2,884 megawatts in the same period.

In the month of September, wind topped the new generation capacity list with 448 megawatts, natural gas was second at 346 megawatts and solar was third with 20 megawatts of new capacity.

FERC puts renewables at 17.4 percent of total installed U.S. generating capacity, including 8.59 percent hydro, 5.91 percent wind, 1.43 percent biomass, 1.13 percent solar and 0.34 percent geothermal steam generation. No new nuclear capacity was added in 2015 and only 9 megawatts of oil and 3 megawatts of coal-fired capacity.

Critics point out the renewable numbers – especially those for solar – are underestimated because FERC does not fully account for distributed generation in its reports.


Kit Carson Windpower Project operational

On Nov. 29th the Kit Carson Windpower Project, a 51-megawatt wind farm located in east-central Colorado was completed. The wholesale power supplier is purchasing the output of the facility through a 20-year agreement with a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corp.

“The Kit Carson Windpower Project is another component in the continuing diversification of Tri-State’s resource portfolio to meet the power requirements of our 44 member distribution cooperatives,” said Ken Anderson, Tri-State’s executive vice president and general manager. “This project serves as a good example of our ability to harness one of the abundant renewable energy resources that exist in our member system service territory.”

The Kit Carson Windpower Project, the latest utility-scale renewable project to come online in Colorado, was named for the county in which it is located. The facility is comprised of 34, 1.5-megawatt General Electric turbines situated on a 6,000-acre site northwest of Burlington, Colo. — within the service territory of Tri-State member co-op K.C. Electric Association.

Kit Carson Windpower construction wrapping up

Duke Energy’s Kit Carson Windpower project, from which Tri-State will receive the generation output, is now in the last stages of major construction, according to Scott Fernau, senior transmission project manager.

All 34 turbines are in place and are undergoing testing procedures. Tri-State’s adjacent Landsman Creek Substation, which will put the wind generated-electrons on Tri-State’s Burlington to Big Sandy 230 kV transmission line, in now under construction. It is scheduled for completion in October.

According to Fernau, this two-month window between October and December will mainly serve as a testing period for Duke to conduct final testing of their system using the back-fed power from Tri-State’s substation. The Kit Carson Windpower project is scheduled to begin commercial operation by year-end, producing up to 51 megawatts under optimal conditions.

Local community leaders tour inner workings of Kit Carson wind turbines

Tri-State and Duke Energy hosted local officials at the Kit Carson Windpower site near Burlington, Colo., on Friday, June 25 and provided a tour of the project area, which included a rare opportunity to climb inside one of the 265 ft.-high, General Electric turbines. Among the attendees were representatives from Colorado’s Office of Economic Development and local media outlets, as well Kit Carson county commissioners and land commissioners.

All 34 turbines have been erected and are scattered throughout the 6,000-acre site. Roads connect each turbine location and the visitors were able drive through the site while crews were completing some of the remaining activities. The project required nearly 150 construction personnel.

Duke Energy has completed its operations and maintenance building and is nearing completion of its substation. Tri-State recently broke ground on its adjacent Landsman Creek switching station that will interconnect the project to its transmission system.

Tri-State hosts Kit Carson Windpower update meeting

Tri-State staff and representatives of Duke Energy hosted an update on the Kit Carson Windpower project this week (May 19) in Burlington, Colo., to apprise the local community on construction progress of the nearby 51-megawatt wind farm that will supply renewable power to Tri-State’s co-ops beginning in 2011.

Although a planned tour of the site was postponed due to poor weather, approximately 35 people, including county commissioners, K.C. Electric board members, local government representatives and media were briefed on the project by both Duke Energy (the builders of the project) and Tri-State.

Jim Van Someren, communications manager, gave an overview of Tri-State’s role in the project, as well as some details on other renewable activities that are in the works. Brad Jones, public affairs manager, updated the group on transmission projects and Duke Energy’s Tom Marra provided a detailed presentation on construction activities at the wind site.

Tri-State Co-ops Bring Renewable Energy to Their Communities

Recently, Tri-State announced two utility-scale renewable energy projects to further diversify its energy resource portfolio. One – a 51-megawatt wind project to be located just north of Burlington, Colorado; and a 30-megwatt photovoltaic solar project to be located in northern New Mexico.

Both will bring clean power to the 1.4 million consumers Tri-State serves through its 44 member cooperatives.

But many of Tri-State’s member cooperatives have taken the opportunity to invest in renewable energy a step further.

Just last year, Tri-State launched a “Member Local Renewable Project” program.

The program provides its member owners with financial assistance to facilitate the development of local renewable energy projects that ultimately qualify in meeting Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) that have been established in Colorado and New Mexico.

Under the program, Tri-State’s financial support of local renewable projects take form of performance payments based on the output of the project or attributes generated by the project for which the member can claim ownership.

Since its inception, the program has gotten off to a great start.

Recently, Durango, Colorado-based La Plata Electric Association launched a recovered heat project that captures heat generated from gas turbines to produce electricity. Holyoke, Colorado-based Highline Electric Association also launched a similar project in the northeast corner of the state. Now operation, Highline expects to save about $10 million in power costs over the 20-year life of the contract. The waste-heat generator will produce 27,600 megawatt-hours of energy annually.

In addition, three schools in New Mexico and Colorado have installed geothermal heating and cooling systems to help them use energy more efficiently and save money.

Last year alone, Tri-State distributed more than $1.8 million in 2008 to home owners and business operators for their installation of more efficient lighting, appliances, heating and cooling systems.

Moving forward, energy efficiency will play a key role in Tri-State’s continued effort to provide affordable and reliable electricity.