Senvion Canada Produces Longest Turbine Blade

Senvion Canada has begun the production of the longest blade in Canada: the 55.8 metre blade that is destined for the Senvion 3.2M114 Cold Climate Version (CCV) 3 MW turbine. LM Wind Power will produce 45 sets of blades all equipped with Senvion’s anti-icing system, adapted for harsh winter climates, such as that in Quebec.

csm_2012_32M114_StMichaelisdonn_397_7a1085d078All blades will be delivered to the the Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n (MU) wind farm, a project that involves a 50-50 partnership of the three Mi’gmaq Nations of Quebec (Gesgapegiag, Gespeg et Listuguj) and developer Innergex. The project includes installation of 150 MW of the 3.2M114 type turbine with 100 metre towers. Official construction of the project has begun, and the wind farm will be operational by December 2016.

At the occasion of the inaugural ceremony, Helmut Herold, CEO of Senvion in North America said, “For me, it is always impressive to see this technology up close. The serial production of the 55.8 metre blade with the anti-icing hot air system, is of tremendous significance for the advancement of turbine technology in Quebec’s wind industry. Not only are we seeing shifts in the cost competitiveness of wind, in comparison to any new hydro installation in the province, but with such a shift comes the ability to technologically innovate,”

“Furthermore, said Herold, “blades with the anti-icing system are perfect for communities, such as the three Mi’gmaq Nations, who want to benefit from wind energy but have to work through Quebec’s cold climate. In short, what we are producing here is community friendly technology.”

Troy Jerome, the executive director of the Mi’gmawei Maiwomi Business Corporation added, “The Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n Wind Farm project is a testament of how the Mi’gmaq people and our Mi’gmaq government can contribute to the greater Quebec economy and more specifically to the economy of the Gaspésie region. Through our partnership with Innergex and Senvion, we are pleased that LM Wind Power can deliver on the latest technology required to meet the extreme weather conditions of the Gaspésie region. This project is one great historic achievement, both for being able to achieve an agreement with the Quebec government on a large energy project and also for bringing together our Nation, the people of Gaspésie, German technology and of course LM Wind Power with this huge sweeping blade which will help us create beautiful clean green energy.”

UPM BioVerno Diesel Reduces Tailpipe Emissions

Studies have found that wood-based UPM BioVerno significantly reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. Several engine and vehicle tests were conducted by a number of research institutes including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, University of Vaasa in Finland and at FEV, an internationally recognized vehicle engineering company based in Germany.

UPM BiofuelsThe Finnish company’s renewable diesel functions just like conventional diesel in all diesel engines yet it generates up to 80 percent less greenhouse gas emissions during its lifecycle compared to conventional fossil diesel fuels, as found by the research.

According to the study, the renewable diesel also reduces harmful tailpipe emissions including particle mass, hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide, nitrogeous oxide and carbon monoxide emissions, but the percentage of reduction varied based on vehicle technology and blend. However, all tests demonstrated similar or improved efficiency of the engine, without compromising the engine power, when UPM BioVerno was introduced to the fuel blend. In addition, it was found that by using 100 percent UPM BioVerno diesel fuel consumption decreased.

FEV Germany carried out a series of tests on UPM BioVerno’s effect on engine functionality and emissions with both a diesel blend containing 30 percent UPM BioVerno and 100 percent UPM BioVerno diesel. In addition to measuring engine output and fuel consumption, the tests focused on tailpipe emissions and the performance of UPM BioVerno compared with conventional diesel.

“UPM BioVerno renewable diesel was investigated in a screening campaign at FEV Germany. The results showed that even as a 30% blending component, the accumulated HC emissions were reduced by more than 50% and the CO emissions by more than 40% compared to reference fossil diesel. Our tests also showed good results in NOx emissions and efficiency,” said Dr. Ing Thorsten Schnorbus, manager passenger car diesel, FEV.

UPM BioVerno was also tested in University of Vaasa, Finland using a heavy duty engine. These experiments were performed in the Technobothnia Education and Research Centre in Vaasa.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives has voted to remove the ethanol-blending mandate for gas sold in the state. In 2008, Pennsylvania set a requirement for sold petrol to be blended with a minimum of 10% ethanol whenever in-state ethanol production exceeded 350 million gallons. The bill will now be considered in the state Senate.
  • Energy companies from 26 countries have been selected as Finalists for the Platts Global Energy Awards, an annual program recognizing exemplary leadership, performance and innovation. The 2015 finalists, chosen from nearly 200 nominees from nearly three dozen nominating countries and representing 4 continents, were announced by program host Platts.
  • The current national offers of climate action submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would reduce projected warming by approximately 1°C, according to a new analysis released from Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan. A Paris agreement based on these offers would put the world on track for a global temperature increase of 3.5°C (6.3°F), with a range of uncertainty from 2.1 to 4.7°C (3.7 to 8.4°F), down from the 4.5°C (8.1°F) of warming above pre-industrial levels if nations continue on the business-as-usual track.
  • Inventure Renewables, Inc. has announced construction of a commercial scale plant for Wilmar (China) Oleochemicals Co., Ltd. The commercial scale plant will be used to convert a waste vegetable oil byproduct into intermediate materials, which can be further processed into higher value food, feed and industrial products, including biodiesel.

Study: 15B Gallon RFS Can Happen in 2016

According to new research from the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD), the 15 billion gallons per year of ethanol set in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is currently achievable. With infrastructure in place, what is needed, say the Iowa State University (ISU) economists, is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adhere to the law.

“Our results show that meeting the original 15 billion gallon RFS ethanol target in 2016 is feasible,” write ISU Profs. Bruce Babcock and Sebastien Pouliot. “The two key conditions needed to meet this consumption level are to allow the market for RINs [Renewable Identification Numbers] to work as intended, which will allow the price of E85 to fall to induce consumers to buy the fuel, and for EPA to set a consistent policy signal to industry that they will indeed have to meet this target. A clear and consistent message from EPA is needed to foster investment in fueling stations that will allow enough consumers to access E85.”

E85 pump in Des Moines IA

Photo Credit: Joanna Schroeder

The data used was from actual daily fuel sales and volume prices from a major Midwest retail chain and demonstrates that E85 is a viable means to meet renewable fuel mandates. The study also reviewed the willingness of flex fuel vehicle (FFV) drivers to purchase E85 at various price points.

According to the report, “Using these new direct estimates of consumer demand, we find that owners of current flex vehicles in all US metro areas would consume 250 million gallons of E85 if it was priced at parity on a cost per mile basis with E10, and one billion gallons of ethanol if E85 were priced to save drivers 23% on a cost per mile basis. These estimates assume that no new E85 stations are installed,” write the authors. The study shows that in one metro area, the market share of E85 exceeded 15 percent when E85 saved FFV owners money on a cost-per-mile basis.

The authors also demonstrate how a strong and consistent enforcement signal from the EPA — transmitted through the market for RIN credits — can quickly transform the market for E85. They write, “Our finding that owners of FFVs like to save money on their fuel purchases is not too surprising: all of us do. Perhaps what is surprising is that EPA’s proposed decision to cut ethanol mandates reveals so little faith in their own compliance mechanism—the RIN trading system. …EPA set up the RIN trading system to create the incentive to invest in the infrastructure that is needed to expand the consumption of biofuels which, in turn, lowers RIN price. Using the power of the marketplace has proved to be an efficient method of achieving policy objectives.”

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen commented on the study’s findings, stating, “This report confirms that if EPA and the Administration would just let the RFS and its RIN mechanism work as intended, we would obliterate the so-called ‘blend wall’ and increase consumer access to lower-cost, lower-carbon renewable fuels that are made right here in America. The authors show that Congress’ original vision for conventional biofuels under the RFS is indeed achievable in 2016 with existing infrastructure, and that the only thing missing is the resolve and commitment from EPA and the Administration to continue building upon the remarkable success story that is the RFS.”

Germany Drives Demands for Renewable Electricity

Renewable electricity demand in Europe is on the rise with businesses and consumers voluntarily purchasing renewable electricity with Guarantees of Origin. According to data published by the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), the European market is expected to reach a total market volume of 400 Terrawatt hour (TWh) in 2015 with Germany playing a dominating role.

In 2014 Germany reached a volume of 80 TWh, and is on track to reach a volume of 100 TWh in 2015, accounting for 25 percent of the European volume. The German figures as of Q2 in 2015 already Market demand for renewable electricity in Europeshow a market demand of 69 TWh, an increase of 11 TWh, 19 percent higher than the 2nd quarter last year. Germany, with a total power consumption of 580 TWh, is now close to having 20 percent of all consumption documented as renewable.

For Europe in total, the 2015 2nd quarter numbers show an increase of 25 TWh compared to Q2 in 2014 – an increase of 11 percent. The total demand for Q2 reached a record volume of 255 TWh.

The development in 2015 follows a record-breaking 2014, during which the market experienced a 27.6 percent growth and an all-time high of 314 TWh in renewable electricity demand. Moreover, for the first time since 2011, there was a real balance between supply and demand.

The European demand for renewable electricity documented by Guarantees of Origin now constitute more than 10 percent of all electricity consumption in Europe (ca. 3,300 TWh) and more than one third of all electricity from renewable sources in Europe (ca. 900 TWh).


BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. will supply TSK Electrónica y Electricidad, S.A. (“TSK”) with 49.8MW of PV solar modules for the largest solar PV plant in Mexico. Located in the State of Durgango, the solar PV plant is the first PV solar plant in Mexico to be connected to the National Power System. Durango TAI is currently in the second stage of construction of phase one. The total five phases of 49.8 MW is expected to be completed this year.
  • NorthWestern Energy has completed its previously announced acquisition of the 80-megawatt Beethoven wind project located near Tripp, South Dakota from BayWa r.e. Wind LLC for $143 million.
  • Dominion Foundation has presented the University of Maryland with a $50,000 educational grant. The grant, part of Dominion’s Higher Educational Partnership, was one of 40 awarded to colleges and post-secondary schools to fund projects in energy, environmental studies, engineering and workforce development.
  • Voya Financial has announced that it has joined the RE100, a global list of prominent companies that have pledged to source 100 percent of their electricity from renewable energy in an effort to reduce CO2 emissions and advance environmentally responsible business practices. Voya has purchased clean, emission-free wind energy credits equal to 100 percent of its electricity usage since 2007.

Logan’s Gap Wind Farm Up & Running

The Logan’s Gap Wind facility located in Comanche County, Texas is up and running. A majority of the power created from the 200 MW wind farm will be sold to Walmart via a long-term power purchase agreement.

Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines“Logan’s Gap Wind is our fourth operational wind power facility in Texas and we are now serving three different regions throughout the state,” noted Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy, who built the wind farm. “We continue to bring new facilities online both on time and on budget, demonstrating our ability to execute on our growth strategy. We are pleased to be working with one of the leading corporations in the world as it acquires renewable energy and lowers its carbon footprint. We are increasingly partnering with America’s leading companies as they recognize that wind power, which continues to decline in cost, is both good for the environment and good for business.”

The facility will sell 75 percent of the electricity produced to Walmart and a financial institution. Walmart has a 10-year power purchase agreement to acquire 58% of the expected output from the facility. Seventeen percent of the expected output will be sold under a 13-year fixed price agreement with a A-/Baa2-rated financial institution. The remaining 25 percent of expected output will be sold at ERCOT spot market prices.

“Walmart has a goal to be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy, and sourcing from wind energy projects — like the Logan’s Gap Wind Facility — is a core component in the mix,” added Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart. “The energy we’ll procure from this facility represents nearly one-fifth of the U.S. portion of our goal to source seven billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy by 2020. That’s a significant leap forward on our renewable energy journey.”

Fuel Cell Tax Extenders Act Introduced

Congressman John LarsonThere are a few in Washington, D.C. who have not forgotten about fuel cell technology. The Fuel Cell Tax Extenders Act of 2015 has been introduced by Representative John Larson (D-CT) with co-sponsors Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Chris Gibson (R-NY). If passed, the bi-partisan bill would extend federal incentives for residential, commercial and vehicular fuel cell use as well as extend and expand credits for hydrogen infrastructure. In response, companies like Plug Power have come out in support of the bill and stressed that the passage will provide certainty for fuel cell manufactures and investors.

“Fuel cell technology continues to grow and improve, supporting thousands of jobs and supplying clean energy to more and more Americans,” said Larson in a press statement. “Extending incentives for businesses, homeowners, or those purchasing new cars will make it easier to develop and use fuel cell and hydrogen technology—and provide the certainty that such investments remain affordable and accessible for all. These incentives are already in place. As the technology continues to improve, it just makes sense to ensure more Americans have access to this clean, affordable energy.”

The current tax iScreen Shot 2015-09-24 at 4.26.18 PMncentives for fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure are set to expire at the end of this year, while the fuel cell investment tax credit for material handling and stationary fuel cells will end on December 31, 2016. This legislation will extend all of the credits through the year 2021. And, said Plug Power, The Fuel Cell Extenders Act of 2015 helps to level the playing field, enabling customers of all sizes to invest in new business-improving technology like hydrogen fuel cells.

“The existing tax credits have been very successful in sparking great interest and demand for hydrogen and fuel cell solutions, thus passing this bill now will help keep that momentum strong,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “I commend Representatives Larson, Tonko and Gibson for their steadfast support for hydrogen fuel cell technology adoption and for Plug Power’s continued growth.”

Congressman Tonko, one of the bill’s co-sponsors said of the proposed bill, “Fuel cell technology has gained widespread traction because of the efficiency and productivity gains that are realized. This is something everyone can get on board with,” said Congressman Tonko. “This legislation extends a critical and robust tax credit that will provide the incentive for large-scale conversions to this clean technology at manufacturing and distribution centers across the country, which will ultimately lead to new jobs. I thank Congressman Larson for his commitment to encouraging innovation and making energy efficiency our fuel of choice.”

Algenol to Aid China in CO2 Reductions

Algenol is partnering with South China’s Fujian Zhongyuan New Energy Company (ZYNE) to solve three major problems: lack of clean air, clean water and the needs for sustainable, low carbon fuels. The two companies will work together on an exploration project where Algenol will take ZYNE’s captured CO2 and covert it to ethanol. Algenol’s technology, Direct to Ethanol, uses the CO2 as the feedstock for algae to produce ethanol, gas, diesel and biojet fuel.


Algenol’s CEO and Founder Paul Woods and Wang Suwei, ZYNE’s Chairman of the Board in Seattle, WA

“We all share one atmosphere. Clean air has no borders,” said Algenol CEO Paul Woods during a ceremony to solidify the partnership. “We are eager to bring our technology to China because we know that our process can remove health-damaging pollution straight from its source and turn it into renewable fuel and clean water.”

According to an Algenol press statement, this partnership unites the economic and environmental benefits of their technologies with ZYNE’s existing expertise in delivering renewable fuels in China. The companies will identify and evaluate the utilization of CO2 emissions from industrial sources such as power plants, steel mills, cement and chemical factories in the Fujian province, and other parts of Southern China. Once the CO2 sources are identified, the process will begin to incorporate Algenol’s technology solution of carbon capture and utilization and renewable fuel production. An added benefit of Algenol’s technology is the primary by-product of clean water, which is valuable to many communities in Southern China.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1DuPont Microcircuit Materials (DuPont) was granted the 2015 Solar Industry Award in the photovoltaic (PV) Materials category for its DuPont Solamet PV19x series of PV metallization pastes, designed to help boost the power output of solar panels, lower overall system costs and improve the return on investments in solar energy systems. The company accepted the award during a ceremony held at the European PV Solar Energy Conference in Hamburg, Germany.
  • New York State Senator Catharine Young (R) recently announced $1million in state aid to help establish the Bio-refinery Development and Commercialization Center (BDCC) on Alfred State’s School of Applied Technology campus in Wellsville, New York. The proposed center will be used to further advance research of the Hot Water Extraction (HWE) process, which extracts useful chemicals from natural products, and take the current successful HWE process, developed in the laboratory at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), to a commercial level.
  • Edison Electric Institute (EEI) President Tom Kuhn was recognized as the 2015 Trade Association CEO of the Year during the Association Leadership Awards luncheon held in Washington, D.C. Presented by CEO Update, the award recognizes excellence in trade associations and professional societies.
  • The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region will overtake Europe to become the largest contributor to global solar Photovoltaic (PV) installed capacity, increasing its cumulative installed capacity from 63.3 Gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to 345.33 GW by 2025, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. The report states that this increase, which will occur at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 16.7%, follows a period of highly positive growth, when the region’s capacity rocketed from 1.94 GW in 2006 to 63.33 GW in 2014, at an impressive CAGR of 54.6%.