Happy St Patricks Day!
Yass Valley Wind Farm Activity
Wind Prospect is investigating the Yass Valley region and has submitted a preliminary application in to the Department of Land and Planning for at Bango near Bowning. The company installed a monitoring mast near Wargeila Road in July 2009.
Once the full development application is lodged for the Bango wind farm, the state government will assess if the specific wind farm is to be considered a major project. The WindProspect also have the approved 122 turbines Boco Rock wind farm near Nimmitabel south of Cooma.
Locals councils in the Yass Valley are concerned on their lack of influence during the planning process of a large wind farm project. Yass Valley Council’s General Manager David Rowe said there needed to be some changes to the way these significant developments are administered. “There are no requirements to listen to local government at all,” Mr Rowe said. “Council can lodge a submission in relation to state significant development however there is no guarantee it will be listened to.”
Incumbent member for Burrinjuck Katrina Hodgkinson said Part 3A of the planning legislation has been grossly misused and that applications, especially in relation to wind farms, should be put on hold until after the election. “It is very important that local communities be given a say about what is to be built in their area,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Other proposed projects in the Yass area are:
- Epuron’s Birrema wind farm, 60 - 80 turbines, 30km west of Yass, near Bookham between the Benangaroo and Childowla Raods,
- Epuron’s Yass Valley wind farm, up to 200 turbines, 2okm south west of Yass on the Coppabella & Marilba hills and Carrolls Ridge,
- Suzlon/Windlab Rugby wind farm, up to 90 turbines 40km north of Yass,
- Epuron’s Rye Park wind farm, 80 - 100 turbines, near Rye Park running south east to the north of Yass.
Wind turbine installations may rise 20 percent this year worldwide and double by 2015, the Global Wind Energy Council said in a statement today.
Capacity to produce electricity from the wind may rise by 40 gigawatts in 2011 from 294.4 gigawatts at the end of last year, the lobby group said in a statement from Brussels. By 2015, it forecasts 450 gigawatts.
“2010 was a tough year for our industry, but 2011 is looking up,” said Steve Sawyer, secretary general for GWEC. “We’ve paid the price for the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis. Now we’re back on track.”
GE has unveiled a 4.1MW wind turbine specifically designed for offshore applications, which the company said will improve reliability and efficiency. The new turbine is a direct drive model, in which the blades directly drive a generator, in contrast to the gearboxes used in most other turbines.
GE said this design, which cuts the number of moving parts in the turbine, minimises the need for maintenance, which is costly and complicated for offshore turbines. It is based on the company’s 3.5MW onshore direct drive model, and will be installed in the harbour at Gothenburg in Sweden in the second half of 2011 through a contract with Göteborg Energi.
ABB Ltd.has agreed to buy 35 percent of the concentrated sun-power technology developer Novatec Solar, which is a subsidiary of Transfield Holdings. ABB also has an option to acquire the rest of the German company.
ABB also agreed to cooperate with Novatec on solar power projects, the Zurich-based company said today in a statement. It did not give a price. Concentrated solar systems reflect sunlight, usually with mirrors, to heat liquids and produce steam to generate electricity.
ABB’s acquisition “comes at the tail end of a couple of years of strategic consolidation in the solar thermal industry through acquisitions by major power equipment companies. Recent solar thermal acquisitions:
- Siemens AG acquired Israeli parabolic trough leader Solel Solar Systems and a 45 percent stake in Italian receiver maker Archimede Solar Energy in 2009,
- Areva SA (CEI) bought the U.S. Linear Fresnel CSP firm Ausra Inc. in 2010, and
- Alstom SA (ALO) took a stake in the tower and heliostat technology and project developer BrightSource Energy Inc. in 2010, Chase said from Zurich.
Novatec, of Karlsruhe, is currently building the world’s first commercial 30-megawatt Linear Fresnel power plant in Spain.
NextEra the largest U.S. operator of wind power, is in discussions with a utility to build a solar-thermal plant at an existing natural gas generator to reduce fuel costs and pollution, said Chief Executive Officer Lew Hay. He declined to name the utility.
NextEra’s Florida Power & Light utility last year completed a 75-megawatt solar steam system to feed its Martin natural gas plant, part of a plan to add 110 megawatts of solar energy to the utility’s supply in the state. That plant was completed under budget and ahead of schedule, he said.
Solar thermal technology could also be added to coal plants as a way to reduce pollution and fuel costs when the sun shines, without the loss of reliability that can come from intermittent sources of energy.