There’s been a lot of interesting wind power news items in the past week or so:
1. An Oregonian article on community wind power investments in smaller-scale projects in rural Oregon: “Although community wind is characterized by its contained scope and local tie-in, it is by no means quaint. The projects use the same high-tech, high-capacity turbines employed by the big boys. And they rely on sophisticated financial arrangements, including outside investors’ ponying up plenty of immediate cash in exchange for federal tax advantages that the projects offer.”
2. Highland County, Virginia, is a new front in the wind power and environmentalism interaction. In this case it’s birds and bats that may be harmed by the installation, especially bats during migratory periods. Here’s a money quote: “Rick Webb of Monterey, a University of Virginia scientist whose Web site lays out potential environmental dangers of turbine development, believes serious conservation could save as much energy as would be generated by wind farms such as the one proposed in Highland.” What is the single policy change that can bring about serious conservation most effectively? Transparent dynamic pricing and the ability of consumers to choose how much price risk to bear over the course of the day/month/year!!!! No mention of that in this article, though.
3. The American Wind Energy Association notes that U.S. wind installations now exceed 10,000 MW of capacity.
4. The demand for new wind turbines is high, leading to tight markets, higher prices, and increased production. High fuel prices, state renewable portfolio standards, and tax incentives have been overcoming the reliability, aesthetic, and wildlife costs of wind power.
5. Chicago’s new 29-story Michigan Avenue Towers condominium building will purchase 100 percent of its power from Midwest Renewable Energy Corp.: “By purchasing the credits for the wind power, the association, in effect, will finance a new wind turbine in Winnebago County …”