Posts Tagged ‘Wind Energy’
WINData Services « WINData LLC
- Published on Sunday, 08 December 2013 19:56
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WINData offers a full range of wind energy consulting services for resource selection, siting and analysis of site potential.Our wind energy consultants have been in the siting business since 1991 and have been involved in every aspect of the business from initial land owner relations to negotiations with power off-takers.
WINData stresses project suitability, comprehensive site analysis, investment quality proposals, community acceptance and an environmentally benign design approach. Our clients include landowners, investors, large-scale wind developers, real estate developers, law firms, utilities, federal, tribal and state governmental agencies and other clients across the nation and worldwide.
From project conceptualization, feasibility assessments and initial development work to investment finance due diligence and construction project management, WINData provides deep domain experience and crucial expertise in the development of superior wind projects, wind portfolios and project pipelines.
WINData LLC | wind project development
- Published on Sunday, 08 December 2013 19:53
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Wind Project Development
WINData, LLC is a veteran engineering company providing professional wind project development services to the wind industry. WINData’s wind project work comprises over 15 GW of wind farms and conceptual developments ranging from pre-developed to late stage developed sites across the western US.
WINData’s pioneering work in the 1990’s and early 2000’s contributed significantly to the wind energy projects on the Blackfeet reservation, Cut Bank/Ethridge and Judith Gap in Montana; the Columbia River Gorge in Washington and Oregon and in Casper Wyoming
WINData offers a full range of wind energy consulting services for resource selection, siting and analysis of site potential. Our wind energy consultants have been in the siting business since 1991 and have been involved in every aspect of the business from initial land owner relations to negotiations with power off-takers.
Comprehensive professional services
WINData offers the following comprehensive professional services to clients on an “out-sourced” basis:
Utility and energy business technical team leadership
Identification and origination of wind development opportunities
Project scoping, development strategy and bid formulation
Technical team assembly, leadership and management
Wind resource assessment and meteorological science
Wind project micro-siting, project design and output modeling
Conducting meetings with land owners, communities, Utilities, stakeholders, governmental agencies and tribes
Contract and agreement formulation, negotiation and execution
Technical writing and presentations
Possibly the most crucial step in the development of a potential wind site is the collection of accurate and verifiable wind data. WINData professional services comprise meteorological (“met”) tower design, installation and data integration to support end user requirements and forecasting data services.
WINData met towers and WINData professional installation services insure collection of “bankable” on-site wind data at hub heights up to 110 meters. Each met tower system installation is planned, specified and supervised by company engineers in conjunction with our clients’ in-house specialists. On-going support is available throughout the entire data collection period.
WINData sells and installs tilt-up, guyed lattice and SSV met towers to suit each customer specification – met towers up to 100 meters are available for either permanent or temporary installation.
WINData’s “WINDataNOW! SuperDuty® data collection towers” are available for sale, delivery and installation throughout continental North America. WINDataNOW!® towers are manufactured using high strength galvanized steel and are available in heights up to 60-meters.
windata_logoWINData LLC, Great Falls, MT Phone: 406-209-8111, http://windatallc.wordpress.com/
North American Windpower: Congress Wades Into Alphabet Soup Of Wind Tax Incentives
- Published on Wednesday, 04 December 2013 06:17
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Congress recently provided the wind industry fodder for speculation regarding the future of renewable energy tax incentives. Below is a discussion of the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) depreciation news, followed by a discussion of the future of production tax credits (PTCs) and the possibility of extending master limited partnership (MLP) status to renewable energy projects.
First, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Finance Committee, released his outline of corporate tax reform. His proposal is intended to achieve a lower corporate tax rate (the exact rate remains to be specified) but sacrifice MACRS.
Under the proposal, a wind farm would be depreciated 5% a year using a declining balance calculation, meaning 5% in the first year, 4.75% (i.e., 5% of 95%) in the second, and so on. This is drastically less accelerated than the current depreciation over five years, using a 200% declining balance. Further, as compared to the 50% “bonus” depreciation that is available for projects in service this year, it is a drop in the bucket.
The value of MACRS in a wind tax equity transaction varies between 10% and 30% of the tax equity investor’s economics. (The range is due to the varying cost of funds of different investors and varying tax appetite assumptions.) Sen. Baucus’ proposed depreciation methodology would wipe out that benefit.
In an apparent effort to avoid triggering heart attacks throughout the industry, the senator’s proposal has a reference to “considering improving and making permanent the energy tax credits set to expire in 2013.” The statement appears to be referring to the PTC. (The 30% investment tax credit (ITC) for solar does not expire until the end of 2016, but it would be surprising if the proposal only addressed PTCs.)
The wind industry must wait until Baucus releases the summary of tax reform provisions related to energy to know what the senator has in store for the PTC.
The likelihood that the proposal to expand MLP rules to include renewable energy projects as part of tax reform increased when the Joint Committee on Taxation “scored” the proposal in the Master Limited Partnership Parity Act (S.795) as costing a modest $1.3 billion over the 10-year scoring period.
In the context of tax reform, $1.3 billion is a low amount. For instance, replacing MACRS raises an estimated $500 billion. Further, the last time the PTC was extended for just one more year, it was scored as costing $12 billion. Thus, the MLP expansion is little more than a rounding error in tax reform.
The benefit of MLP status is being able to raise equity from the public while only incurring a single layer of tax. That tax is imposed at the unit holder level only. Under current law, MLPs cannot effectively pass-through tax credits or tax deductions (e.g., depreciation) in excess of their income to individual investors, and no proposal has been introduced to modify those limitations.
Therefore, the proposed MLP change does not eliminate the need for tax equity investors or address the shortage thereof. What the MLP change would do is permit “sponsor” equity to be raised from retail investors and create a secondary market for projects that are beyond the tax credit period.
The MLP legislation has bi-partisan support. Besides Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who reintroduced the bill in April, supporters include Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. On the Republican side, supporters include Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
A similar bill was introduced in the House in August by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., and was co-sponsored by 18 other Democratic House members. In addition, the White House appears to support the proposal.
The MLP expansion also has some odd allies when it comes to trade associations. For example, the proposal has been endorsed by the American Petroleum Institute (API). There are two potential rationales for that support. The first is that API may believe that the MLP rules are less likely to be a sacrificial lamb in the tax reform process if the renewables industry is also a beneficiary of the rules. The second is that API may hope to couch the expansion of the MLP rules as a trade for allowing the PTC and ITC to expire.
For that reason, the support from the renewable energy trade associations has been somewhat tepid. They would like to see the MLP rules expanded but not at the expense of tax credits. The financial benefit of the MLP rule expansion is a fraction of the value of the tax credits.
There has not been an analysis prepared yet that compares the value of the MLP expansion to the value of MACRS.
However, if Baucus carries through on the suggestion that he would improve and make permanent the PTC and that is combined with an expansion of the MLP rules, it would constitute a proposal that would merit careful analysis by the wind industry. It would be a novel experience for wind developers to be able to make long-term plans that do not have to account for the possibility that the PTC may lapse.
David K. Burton is partner at law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He can be reached at (212) 872-1068 or dburton©akingump.com
Wind Resource Assessment » WINData LLC
- Published on Sunday, 01 December 2013 13:22
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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
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:
Tower type and proposed hub height
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.
Site Prospecting « WINData LLC
- Published on Sunday, 01 December 2013 13:15
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As a wind energy development company, WINData has focused for over 22 years on wind energy site prospecting throughout the US. The company creates value by conducting detailed site identification and resource analysis, securing development rights and demonstrating project viability.
WINData’s wind site prospecting personnel have long term expertise in desktop level studies, site topographical explorations and met program design of prospective windy real estate parcels. WINData provides project management for installation of met towers and instrumentation of a prospect site.
As part of the prospecting process, WINData experts explore the complexities or hidden attributes of the site to determine early critical path issues. WINData works with local entities, future power off-takers, and development entities from the outset to streamline the development process and build appropriate levels of awareness about a site’s potential.
Once site prospect is leased, met towers are installed and data is flowing into WINData’s servers, we continuously monitor and analyze data as a precursor to a full site assessment study which usually occurs after a year or more of data is collected.