BP Wind Energy, Sempra U.S. Gas and Power and state and local officials led a dedication ceremony last week for the Auwahi wind farm in Maui, Hawaii. The $140 million facility was completed and started generating power in December. The eight-turbine wind farm has the capacity to power 10,000 homes.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the Bonneville Power Administration additional time to come up with a method for allocating the cost of handling oversupply of resources during periods of abundant spring runoff and wind generation in the Pacific Northwest. "We continue to encourage Bonneville and its stakeholders to develop mutually agreeable long term solutions to address the oversupply problems during high water seasons," FERC said in its order issued Feb. 19.
Vestas Wind Systems plans to hire 100 new workers at its tower facility in Pueblo, Colo., before the end of the first quarter, the company said. The news comes after the company announced layoffs of 10% of its 1,100-person workforce in the state. Vestas said its move to add and eliminate jobs is in line with its strategy to increase or decrease its workforce to respond to market demands. The company said it plans to provide 4 to 5 gigawatts of wind generation capacity worldwide and employ 16,000 around the world by the end of the year.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 697 is planning to install a 160-foot-tall wind turbine near its main office in Merrillville, Ind. The wind turbine would supply electricity to the union's headquarters and serve as a teaching aid to union members. Construction could start in the summer, said Ray Kasmark, the union's business manager.
More Pennsylvania residents are opting for wind-generated electricity, which was used in at least 350,000 households in the state last year, industry observers said. Concerns about the environment and energy costs are the two main drivers of demand for wind power, said Titus North, executive director of Citizen Power, which partnered with TriEagle Energy in 2011 to offer wind energy to residential ratepayers in the state.