Posts Tagged ‘project’

NorthWestern says changes would nix $900M dam deal – Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Montana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A NorthWestern Energy executive says the utility would have to walk away from a $900 million deal to buy 11 hydroelectric dams in Montana if forced to make changes recommended by the state Consumer Counsel.

NorthWestern vice president John Hines said Thursday the company would go to the open market to get more power if the deal with PPL Montana falls through,which could drive up rates.

The Montana Consumer Counsel is a state agency that represents consumers in utility hearings. It says the deal would increase electricity bills more than twice as much as South Dakota-based NorthWestern claims.

The Public Service Commission must approve the dam sale. Commissioners on Thursday in Billings held one of a series of listening sessions on the proposal.

A public hearing is planned in July.

via NorthWestern says changes would nix $900M dam deal – Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Montana.

Wind Resource Assessment » WINData LLC

WINData conducts wind resource assessments to determine the meteorological and climactic characteristics of a site and from this analysis can estimate the potential power production and the impact to the project’s bottom line.

WINData provides met program design, data collection, data summaries, wind power output summaries, wind site analysis and professional meteorological certified reporting as per client requirements. Preliminarily, WINData can often determine a site’s seasonality and wind quality through a combination of a site visit, maps, and any existing site or regional data.

WINData site analysis is conducted using wind speed, wind direction, temperature, pressure and regional air density data gathered at or near the site’s location. Typically, wind flows vary over the complex terrain in a project area and it is crucial to have an experienced analyst conduct a topographically appropriate site study.

WINData wind site assessments provide project owners and designers with:

The average wind speed over all the turbine locations for the project

The maximum mean wind speed at the turbine location

Mean Wind Speed

Weibull Parameters and

Turbulence Intensity

Other factors examined to determine the environmental conditions at the site include:

Annual average ambient temperature

Extreme minimum ambient temperature

Extreme maximum ambient temperature

Days of temperature below –17° C

Days of temperature above 30° C

Average relative humidity

Height above sea level

The Weibull scale parameter and mean wind speed are used to determine the IEC Classification of the site and the subsequent classes of turbines that are suitable. The lower Weibull shape parameter indicates a large mean wind speed. The air density at the site is lower than at sea level, which will reduce the fatigue caused by the large mean wind speed.

If the temperatures on-site are very low, Low Temperature Option package are required from the turbine manufacturer and will be necessary for the best performance of the wind turbines at the project site. WINData uses the met data analysis to determine the size, number and manufacturer of wind turbines that will be used.

For each turbine, the following information is considered:

Power Curve

Technical specifications

Tower type and proposed hub height

Design life

Level of certification achieved

IEC design wind class (I, II or III)

Summary of performance guarantees and warranty provided

WINData can lead the process for final wind turbine selection and generate turbine recommendations for the project site. As the turbine selection process proceeds, WINData can go out to the list the potential turbine vendors to determine the availability and delivery schedule and other aspect of the turbine supply process, and further, obtain firm pricing bids and negotiate TSA’s and MRO’s for equipment and for warranty, service, and maintenance agreements with the manufacturer.

via Wind Resource Assessment » WINData LLC.

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com

Groundbreaking has begun on a new wind farm that will soon rise above the wheat fields of Teton County.

When completed, the $19 million Fairfield Wind project will include six utility scale turbines standing 398-feet tall, with a combined total of 10 mega watts of generating capacity.

“It has broken ground, and we expect to complete commissioning by June of 2014,” said John Pimental, president of Foundation Windpower, a wind energy engineering and development company based in the San Francisco Bay area.

The Fairfield Wind project is jointly owned by Foundation Windpower and WINData, a wind energy consulting and project management firm located in Great Falls. The general construction contractor for the project is Dick Anderson Construction, also of Great Falls.

During construction, the project is expected to employ 50 to 60 workers. Foundation Windpower has already inked a power purchase agreement with NorthWestern Energy, which will begin accepting electricity from the turbines in 2014.

Fairfield Wind may have the distinction of being one of the last wind energy projects initiated in Montana under the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) program. Enacted in 1992, the PTC program encourages investment in renewable energy by lowering an energy development company’s overall tax liability.

As currently structured, the PTC offers 2.3 cents in tax offsets per kilowatt of electricity generated to owners of new wind energy facilities. Credits are offered for the first 10 years that a wind energy facility is in operation. Proponents of the program argue that investment in renewable energy would be negligible without these types of government incentives.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, wind energy now constitutes 3.91 percent of total energy generation in the United States, up from 0.27 percent 10 years earlier.

Critics of the PTC argue the federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the energy industry, and that wind energy is less economical than other sources of electricity.

The PTC was scheduled to expire at the end of 2012, but Congress extended the tax credits for another year as part of the fiscal cliff legislation.

The program is expected to hand out $12.1 billion in tax credits to the wind industry over the next 10 years.

Foundation Windpower and WINData will be able to take advantage of PTC because construction on the project began prior to the Dec. 31 program deadline.

“The rules require construction to start in 2013, but the project can be completed in 2014 and perhaps later,” Pimental said. “We organized the construction schedule to allow us to start this year.”

Pimental said selection of the wind farm site on the Bole Bench, east of Freezeout Lake between Fairfield and Choteau, was based upon several factors including the wind resource, proximity to existing transmission lines and the ability to minimize the biological and habitat impacts.

“Every wind project looks at those three factors,” he said.

Teton County Commissioner Joe Dellwo said the county wholeheartedly endorses the Fairfield Wind project. On Oct. 3, commissioners granted three county road encroachment permits to allow the general construction contractor to improve road access to the development site.

“It’s a no-brainer for us because it’s going to increase the tax base,” Dellwo said. “They’re moving dirt as we speak. I think their plan is to begin pouring cement in November. They’re going to be well underway by next month.”

According to Pimental, similar wind power production products could become a rarity if Congress declines to extend the PTC beyond the 2013 deadline.

“We certainly think it would be wise public policy to extend those tax credits,” Pimental said. “They are an important consideration for developers who put time, money and risk into trying to develop these projects. Without those supporting subsidies, renewable energy project development would come to a grinding halt in America.”

via Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com.

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com

Wind farm breaks ground: Completion of $19M project near Choteau expected in June of 2014 | Great Falls Tribune | greatfallstribune.com.

Wind Resource Assessment

Wind resource map of site

WINData conducts wind resource assessments to determine the meteorological and climactic characteristics of a site and from this analysis can estimate the potential power production and the impact to the project’s bottom line.

WINData provides  met program design, data collection, data summaries, wind power output summaries, wind site analysis and professional meteorological certified reporting as per client requirements. Preliminarily, WINData can often determine a site’s seasonality and wind quality through a combination of a site visit, maps, and any existing site or regional data.

WINData site analysis is conducted using wind speed, wind direction, temperature, pressure and regional air density data gathered at or near the site’s location. Typically, wind flows vary over the complex terrain in a project area and it is crucial to have an experienced analyst conduct a topographically appropriate site study.

WINData wind site assessments provide project owners and designers with:

  • The average wind speed over all the turbine locations for the project
  • The maximum mean wind speed at the turbine location
  • Mean Wind Speed
  • Weibull Parameters and
  • Turbulence Intensity

Other factors examined to determine the environmental conditions at the site include:

  • Annual average ambient temperature
  • Extreme minimum ambient temperature
  • Extreme maximum ambient temperature
  • Days of temperature below –17° C
  • Days of temperature above 30° C
  • Average relative humidity
  • Height above sea level

The Weibull scale parameter and mean wind speed are used to determine the IEC Classification of the site and the subsequent classes of turbines that are suitable. The lower Weibull shape parameter indicates a large mean wind speed. The air density at the site is lower than at sea level, which will reduce the fatigue caused by the large mean wind speed.

If the temperatures on-site are very low, Low Temperature Option package are required from the turbine manufacturer and will be necessary for the best performance of the wind turbines at the project site. WINData uses the met data analysis to determine the size, number and manufacturer of wind turbines that will be used.

For each turbine, the following information is considered:

  • Power Curve
  • Technical specifications
  • Tower type and proposed hub height
  • Design life
  • Level of certification achieved
  • IEC design wind class (I, II or III)
  • Summary of performance guarantees and warranty provided

WINData can lead the process for final wind turbine selection and generate turbine recommendations for the project site. As the turbine selection process proceeds, WINData can go out to the list the potential turbine vendors to determine the availability and delivery schedule and other aspect of the turbine supply process, and further, obtain firm pricing bids and negotiate TSA’s and MRO’s for equipment and for warranty, service, and maintenance agreements with the manufacturer.

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