The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved a proposed wind farm and long-distance power line in Aroostook County in northern Maine.
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Researchers examined how much more expensive electricity would have been if the Texas grid did not use wind and solar power.
The Supreme Court of Ohio Wednesday upheld a permit for the 20.7-MW Icebreaker wind farm, a demonstration project that is poised to be the first freshwater wind farm in the United States.
In a 6-1 decision, the court rejected arguments the Ohio Power Siting Board in May 2020 improperly issued a siting permit for the proposed project in Lake Erie. The permit was challenged by two people who were concerned the Icebreaker project would lead to more wind farms on Lake Erie, according to the decision.
“Instead of the grid operator telling the power plant when to run and how much, the power plant gets to tell the grid operator, ‘We’re going to run this much,’” Gomberg says. “So there’s some legacy contract issues in place that don’t give the grid operator as much control over coal power plants as they do over wind power plants.”
Repowering of power generation facilities can provide an aging plant with a new lease on life. But there’s more to it than just extending an installation’s operational lifecycle; repowering can increase power generation capacity, the efficiency of electricity output, and can enable an existing facility to take advantage of new technologies, without the need to construct an entirely new power plant. Such an effort also enables a power plant to continue to benefit a community by creating jobs, bringing in tax revenue and other funds—and of course providing even more needed electricity.
A race to meet state climate goals — and to get expiring federal tax credits along the way — has led to a flurry of wind and solar activity.
One of the many complaints we hear about wind turbines from fossil fuel fans is that turbines have a high carbon footprint—thanks in part to the steel in their towers—so it is counterintuitive to invest in them. U.S. President Joe Biden’s notorious predecessor once complained, “The fumes coming up, if you are a believer in carbon emission, the fumes coming up to make these massive windmills is more than anything we are talking about with natural gas, which is very clean.” In fact, life cycle analyses give wind turbines a carbon footprint averaging 11 grams per kilowatt-hour—30% of which comes from the steel tower. (Natural gas is 450 grams per kilowatt-hour just from combustion.)
The Biden administration on Thursday gave final approval to a 416-mile electric transmission line that will help connect more wind and solar energy to the Western U.S. grid.
In his series, “Repowering the West,” L.A. Times’ Sammy Roth is taking us on a road trip through the western U.S. to explore the transition to clean energy.