Vaisala Launches Nomad 3 for Wind Data

Vaisala has launched the Nomad 3 Data Logger, a flexible and highly portable data management device that makes wind measurement easier and more economical for developers and operators around the globe says the company. With intermittent issues around wind energy, early siting and ongoing investment and operational decisions are based on wind resource data and have a direct link to success of a wind project.

Vaisala wind data loggerAccording to Vaisala, current data loggers on the market are difficult to install and operate. They also cite current data technologies often fall short when it comes to performance in rough, remote locations and cross-compatibility with broad range wind measurement sensors employed throughout the renewable energy industry.

The Nomad 3 Data logger has been widely tested and the company’s first data logger was developed back in 1981. The new device, however, has been completely re-engineered with the current challenges of developers and operators in mind. According to the company, the Nomad 3 offers a Linux operating system, and a smaller, lighter design while remaining incredibly flexible and straightforward to use. It is compatible with all market-leading wind sensors, and is ideally suited for hard to reach regions of emerging markets like South America, Asia, and Africa, since it can be conveniently carried in a backpack to sites without road access.

The Nomad 3 Data logger also features wireless connectivity and Vaisala’s SkyServe wind data management service – a secure web portal that offers a range of fleet management tools. Online operating systems also make it accessible to any web-enabled device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

A number of partners and government laboratories have already started using the Nomad 3 as beta clients at locations around the world. These include: NIWE (India’s National Institute of Wind Energy formerly known as C-WET), Saiwind, and WISE Information Sentinel.

SheerWind Licenses Wind Tech in Denmark

SheerWind Inc. has signed a licensing agreement that will allow its technology to be marketed and deployed in Denmark. The agreement will allow wind-power developer E-Venturi to introduce SheerWind’s INVELOX wind delivery system. The first pilot project is expected to be built in Denmark before the end of the year.

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

INVELOX the New Face of Wind Power (PRNewsFoto/SheerWind)

E-Venturi, based in Slagelse, Denmark, will be the first company to market SheerWind’s technology in Europe. Denmark leads the world in wind energy penetration, with 39.1 percent of its electrical consumption coming from wind power. The Danish government plans to quadruple wind power production by 2050 and is pursuing a goal of complete independence from fossil fuels.

“We are thrilled to have the world’s wind leader distributing our technology. This is incredible validation of our technology and we look forward to a prosperous relationship that benefits both our countries for years to come,” said George Manos, the president of SheerWind.

According to SheerWind, the INVELOX technology is a cost-effective, high-performance alternative to conventional wind technology. The system uses no above-ground propellers. Rather, it employs a funnel-driven system that captures the wind and brings it to ground-level power turbines and rotors for safer, easier and cheaper operation and maintenance. The technology is safe for humans and wildlife, requires less maintenance than conventional wind systems, and produces more electricity per dollar invested than conventional systems, adds SheerWind.

“Denmark has a long history of introducing ground-breaking wind technology, and we are pleased to continue that tradition by making available within our company SheerWind’s better way to harvest wind energy,” added Lars Lindebjerg Peterson, the CEO of E-Venturi. “We plan to market this innovative solution to some of the world’s leaders in renewable and environmental advancements, and expect it to aid Denmark in reaching its renewable energy goals.”

Powerhive Begins Operating MicroGrids in Kenya

Powerhive East Africa has achieved something no other private company has done – been given permission to generate, distribute and sell electricity to the Kenyan public beginning in Kisii and Nymaira counties in Western Kenya. Using microgrids, the company, a subsidiary of Powerhive, Inc., will directly deliver electricity to hundreds of rural communities that are beyond the reach of the national grid.

For more than two years, Powerhive has been operating microgrid pilot projects utilizing 100 percent renewable energy in four villages in Kisii, Kenya. The pilot projects serve approximately 1,500 people and have played a critical role in creating new businesses, enabling the use of productive appliances, powering schools, and displacing kerosene and diesel, which emit toxic pollutants.

According to Powerfhive, the Kenya Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) decision to provide a concession to an off-grid utility company reflects the beginning of a global transformation in the energy sector. “The Powerhive permit was granted in recognition of the fact that grid expansion is not always the most economical choice to expand energy access; off-grid alternatives have a role to play,” wrote Dr. Frederick Nyang, director of economic regulation for the Kenya ERC, in a letter. “[Powerhive has demonstrated] that its microgrids are capable of operating in compliance with the prescribed standards for residential and commercial electricity service provision.”

Powerhive microgrid in KenyaHistorically, explains Powerhive, governments have pursued rural electrification almost exclusively through major public investments in grid expansion. Through its distributed energy delivery solutions, Powerhive aims to complement such government and utility efforts by focusing on areas that are too costly for grid extension. Powerhive East Africa’s concession, and the resulting deployment of microgrid projects, will set the stage for rapid global expansion and support Kenya’s goal of electrifying 100 percent of the population by 2030.

“The government of Kenya recognizes that the fastest and least expensive approach to reach 100% electricity access is to allow private investment in distributed generation infrastructure,” said Powerhive East Africa’s Managing Director Zachary Ayieko. “Other national governments aggressively pursuing rural electrification targets can also benefit greatly by using Powerhive’s energy access solution.”

NY-Sun MW Block Incentive Program Kicks Offs

New York is set to launch its NY-Sun Commercial/Industrial MW Block Incentive Program that is designed to create new jobs and improve economic development throughout the state. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is calling the program a “key step” in expanding the use of solar.

“Once again, New York is showing how effective public policies can pay big dividends for the state’s economy and its environment,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “We applaud Gov. Cuomo, his administration, legislative leaders and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for the successful launch of the MW Block Incentive Program and for their commitment to New York’s clean energy future. We also want to give a ‘shout-out’ to Con Edison, PSEG and the other utilities which are taking part in this exciting new program.”

Dykes Lumber Company solar power project with assistance from the NY-Sun program.

Dykes Lumber Company solar power project completed with assistance from the NY-Sun program.

NYSERDA says the $1 billion program is designed to expand solar deployment through public-private partnerships, as well as training programs for installers and public officials, standardized permitting, customer aggregation, consumer education and systems development.

Resch said the NY-Sun Initiative is clearly working. Growing by 105 percent, New York had the seventh most new solar capacity added last year in the nation, according to a recent report. The state also maintained its Top 10 ranking in total installed capacity, finishing the year behind only New Jersey and Massachusetts among Northeastern states. In 2014, New York added 147 megawatts (MW) of solar electric capacity, bringing its total to 397 MW.

“To put the state’s remarkable progress in some context, the 397 MW of solar installed today in New York is more than our entire country had installed by 2007. That’s an amazing achievement,” Resch added. “What’s more, we expect 2015 to be New York’s best year ever for new PV installations, with more than 250 MW on new capacity projected to come online.”

Vattenfall’s DanTysk Offshore Wind Project Online

Vattenfall has officially begun operations of its DanTysk offshore wind farm. Located 70 kilometers west of Sylt Island, the project is the first infrastructure project jointly implemented by Vattenfall and SWM. DanTysk is comprised of 80 Siemens wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 288 MW.

globalassets-cision-images-20150430-en-1881382-1The event was celebrated by several key energy players in Europe including: German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel; Swedish Minister for Enterprise and Innovation Mikael Damberg; Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz and Torsten Albig; Prime Minister of the State of Schleswig-Holstein; Magnus Hall, President and CEO of Vattenfall; and Dr Florian Bieberbach, CEO of SWM.

Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs said during the event, “Last year we created the necessary investment security with EEC 2014, which led to a real breakthrough in the development of offshore wind power. By 2030 there should be 15 gigawatts of installed capacity, amounting to a capital investment of several billion Euros in wind farms and infrastructure, with high added value for Germany. Together with the DanTysk wind farm, by the end of this year Germany will generate green power from more than 3,000 megawatts of installed offshore capacity. That is a real boost for the energy transition.” Continue reading

Black & Veatch Commission Microgrid

Black & Veatch has commissioned its new microgrid system that provides power to the Rodman Innovation Pavilion located at the company’s Kansas World Headquarters. The microgrid uses a combination of natural gas, solar energy, geothermal and battery storage, and is the first of its kind in the state. It can operate as an independent power source or in support of the utility electric grid adding resiliency to the building and lowering energy costs. The microgrid provides enough clean energy to run the entire Innovation Pavilion.

“We are excited to launch this new technology that highlights the broad range of expertise we have within Black & Veatch,” said Steve Edwards, president and CEO. “It also demonstrates the strong level of support and interest in the design from our professionals who are working on sustainable solutions around the world.”

Black & Veatch’s system includes two natural gas-fired microturbines that deliver onsite electrical power generation. During winter months, heat is recovered from the microturbines to support heating. A geothermal heat pump system with 15 wells drilled 500 feet deep helps heat and cool the Pavilion. The microgrid system also uses battery energy storage to capture energy from generation resources and deliver electricity to the World Headquarters during times of high electric demand, such as in the summer months.

To learn more about the complex interactions of the different energy technologies, Black & Veatch guests can interact with a large screen display that shows the microgrid operations in real time. The microgrid is continually monitored by Black & Veatch’s cloud based analytics platform, ASSET360. It collects data from the system and monitors the performance of each component based on factors like solar radiation, cloud cover, outside temperature and more. It calculates how much energy is being generated and used in the building, providing the company’s energy experts with insights on ways to improve system operations.

Kyocera Dedicates Floating Mega Solar Plants

1.7MW floating solar power plant at Nishihira Pond 1Kyocera Corporation and Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation’s joint venture Kyocera TCL Solar has completed construction of two floating mega-solar power plants at Nishihira Pond and Higashihira Pond in Kato City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. The plants will generate an estimated 3,300 megawatt hours (MWh) per year.

The solar modules are 255-watt Kyocera modules with 11,256 used in total for the project that began in September 2014 and was officially completed in March 2015. The electricity generated will be sold to the local utility, The Kansai Electric Power Company through Japan’s feed-in tariff system.

1.7MW floating solar power plant at Nishihira Pond 2According to Kyocera TCL Solar, there are several benefits of the floating mega solar power plants:

  1. Floating solar power generating systems typically generate more electricity than ground-mount and rooftop systems due to the cooling effect of the water.
  2. They reduce reservoir water evaporation and algae growth by shading the water.
  3. Floating platforms are 100% recyclable, utilizing high-density polyethylene, which can withstand ultraviolet rays and resists corrosion.
  4. The floating platforms are designed and engineered to withstand extreme physical stress, including typhoon conditions.

DOE Releases 2014 Hydropower Market Report

The Department of Energy has released its 2014 Hydropower Market Report. The study quantifies the current size, scope and variability of U.S. hydropower supplies. Today, the renewable energy source provides nearly 7 percent of the U.S. electricity supply – enough to power more than 20 million homes – and its growing with federal support. The report also highlights how hydropower can be rapidly integrated with other renewable energy sources into the electric grid.

“This report outlines the diversity of our nation’s hydropower fleet, shows its tremendous contribution to the U.S. clean energy mix, and points to promising future growth,” said Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 2014 Hydropower Market reportDavid Danielson. “With an expanding industry and continued investment, hydropower remains one of our nation’s most cost-effective and reliable sources of renewable energy and provides an important tool for boosting our clean energy supply.”

The 2014 Hydropower Market Report also highlights the critical investment of more than $6 billion throughout the last decade to strengthen the existing hydropower fleet and the economic benefits that have resulted from support of the industry. Today, the hydropower manufacturing supply chain spreads across 38 states, with more than 170 companies producing one or more of six major hydropower components: turbines, generators, transformers, penstocks, gates, and valves according to the study.

Presenting a unique analysis of the current project development pipeline in the hydropower sector, this report shows that America has more than 77 GW of untapped hydropower resource potential. By making use of existing water resources and infrastructure, the vast majority of new hydropower projects built over the last decade have added electric generating equipment to dams that were previously not powered. The current hydropower development pipeline contains a diverse mixture of projects proposed at non-powered dams, conduits, and previously undeveloped rivers and streams.

Pattern Energy Kicks off Amazon Wind Farm Project

Pattern Energy Group has announced the closing of financing on the 150 MW Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) and construction is in full swing. The project is located in Benton County, Indiana and has entered into a 13-year PPA with Amazon to supply electricity to the grids that service Amazon Web Services datacenters. Upon completion, the Amazon Wind Farm project is expected to generate approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually.

“The Amazon Wind Farm project has successfully closed financing and is moving ahead on schedule,” said President and CEO of Pattern Development, Mike Garland. “We look forward to helping Amazon power its customers’ businesses with domestic clean energy harnessed from the winds of Indiana. We are now working with Amazon, Google and Walmart, demonstrating that America’s leading corporations are increasingly investing in, or buying power from, non-polluting energy sources like wind power. We see this growing trend driving the development of more new projects.”

AmazonPatternThe Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) project will be comprised of 65 Siemens 2.3 MW turbines with ‘Made in America’ components. The turbine blades are being manufactured at the Siemens factory in Ft. Madison, Iowa and the nacelles are being assembled at the Siemens facility in Hutchinson, Kansas. The turbine towers will be sourced from Michigan and Wisconsin. Transformers for the project will be manufactured at the Siemens facility in Richland, Mississippi.

“Siemens is proud that our ‘Made in America’ wind components will be used at the Amazon Wind Farm. Wind power is an increasingly important part of our nation’s energy mix, and this project is part of a growing trend we see in the U.S. of technology companies and leading corporations investing in wind power,” said Jacob Andersen, CEO Onshore Americas, Siemens Wind Power and Renewables Division. “Our goal is to provide the most efficient and reliable equipment to ensure that wind energy is both sustainable and affordable. We’re pleased to continue our long relationship with Pattern Development and Pattern Energy, and Siemens technicians will work to ensure optimal performance of this equipment.”

Caterpillar & First Solar Enter Into Partnership

Caterpillar and First Solar, Inc. have announced a joint partnership to develop an integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar solution for microgrid applications. First Solar will design and manufacture a pre-engineered turnkey package for use in remote microgrid applications, such as for small communities. The package will feature Cat-branded solar panels manufactured by First Solar and will include a balance of system components.

“This strategic alliance provides yet more evidence of a global energy transition, where solar energy’s reliability and cost competitiveness with traditional fuels effectively allows it to complement conventional generation. It is also Catepillar Microgrid Solutionsevidence of the role that solar can play in enabling the local generation and distribution of energy to address specific needs,” said Marc van Gerven, First Solar’s vice president for Global Marketing. “By entering into this alliance with Caterpillar, with its extensive experience and reach, we’re establishing an important new precedent for the commercialization and scaling of microgrid-based distributed generation solutions.”

Caterpillar will exclusively sell and support the integrated solution featuring Cat-branded solar panels through its worldwide Cat dealer network, along with its current offerings of generator sets and energy storage. As noted by Caterpillar, microgrids provide value to prime power diesel and gas customers by integrating renewable energy, such as solar power, with generator sets. This technology can help to provide reliable, affordable clean energy.

“We are excited to announce this alliance, underpinned by First Solar’s 10 gigawatts of global experience in solar energy, and coupled with Caterpillar’s knowledge of generator sets and distributed power, and the strength of our unmatched dealer network,” said Steve Niehaus, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Electric Power Division. “By working with First Solar, we will optimize the efficiency and integration of solar power with our offerings.”

Caterpillar expects to first market the new microgrid solution in the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Latin America regions, with the integrated PV solution, including Cat-branded solar panels, available for customers in that region in the second half of 2015.