new wind and solar report EERE
- Global Wind Power Capacity Grew 20 Percent in 2004
The global wind power industry installed nearly 8,000 megawatts (MW) of new
wind turbines in 2004, according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC).
The 20 percent growth in global wind power capacity is actually somewhat
lower than in 2002 and 2003, when the world wind capacity grew by 28
percent and 26 percent, respectively. According to GWEC, the slower growth
is largely due to a slowdown in the United States, caused by last year's
expiration of the production tax credit for wind power (the credit was
renewed this year, but will expire again at year's end). With the U.S.
slowdown, Europe continued to dominate the world wind power market,
installing 5,774 MW that accounted for 72.4 percent of the growth in 2004.
Total world wind capacity is now at 47,317 MW, with 16,629 MW in Germany,
8,263 MW in Spain, and 6,740 MW in the United States. See the
<http://www.gwec.net/index.php?id=30&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=1>GWEC press release.
As many wind power developers in the United States rush to take advantage
of the production tax credit, one project was recently completed: Catamount
Energy's 91.5-MW Sweetwater 2 project, located west of Abilene, Texas,
achieved commercial operation in February. Among the many projects underway
is a 151-MW expansion of the 74.25-MW Blue Canyon Wind Farm near Lawton,
Oklahoma. The Vestas Group is providing 84 1.8-MW wind turbines for the
project, which Zilkha Renewable Energy expects to complete in December.
Public Service Company of Oklahoma is buying all the wind power from the
project. Another project aiming for a year-end completion is the 120-MW San
Juan Mesa Wind Project, near Elida, New Mexico, about 65 miles northeast of
Roswell. Xcel Energy recently agreed to buy all the power from the project,
which is being developed by Padoma Wind Power. Xcel Energy also announced
in late February that it will buy all the power from a 12-MW wind project
near Velva in central North Dakota. Construction of that project is
expected to begin this summer. See the press releases from
Service Company of Oklahoma, <http://www.padoma.com/press030505.html>Padoma
Wind Power, and
Taking the longer view, Washington State's Last Mile Electric Cooperative
has submitted the permit application for a 200-MW wind plant in Klickitat
County, just north of the Columbia River near Roosevelt. If the White Creek
Project is approved, the cooperative plans to complete it by the end of
2006. And in New York, plans are underway for the 27-MW Adirondack Wind
Energy Park, slated to be built about 80 miles north of Albany in 2007. See
release and <http://www.lastmile.coop/whitecreek.htm>White Creek Project
description from the Last Mile Electric Cooperative, and visit the
<http://www.adirondackwind.com/>Adirondack Wind Energy Park Web site.
California Utility to Buy Power from Six New Renewable Energy Projects
Southern California Edison (SCE) announced last week that it has signed
long-term contracts with companies developing six new renewable energy
projects. The contracts, which must also be approved by the California
Public Utilities Commission, include three new wind power plants (two at
the Tehachapi Pass and one at the San Gorgonio Pass), two biomass power
plants (one in the Imperial Valley, and one in the Western Sierra), and one
geothermal power plant in western Nevada. According to SCE, the six
projects would have an initial combined capacity of 141.5 megawatts, but
could eventually be expanded to 427.5 megawatts. SCE expects the projects
to be completed between 2006 and 2009. See the
<http://www.edison.com/media/indiv_pr.asp?bu=&year=0&id=5443>SCE press release.