Thirty-one leading wind energy companies, through the Wind Wildlife Research Fund, have announced their 2020 research projects. Wind energy is already the most environmentally friendly way to generate large amounts of electricity, and the US wind industry is striving to improve on its already-strong record of good stewardship.
The Virginia Clean Energy Act would make the state more attractive for wind investments because it calls for 5,200 megawatts of installed offshore wind capacity, encourages power purchase agreements and would ensure Dominion Energy can develop offshore wind affordably, says American Wind Energy Association Eastern Region Director of State Affairs Andrew Gohn. Another provision the sets aside 35% of renewable energy development for non-utility entities gives companies the opportunity "to construct really large important offshore wind projects," he says.
Xcel Energy currently has nearly 200 people working on the Sagamore wind farm in New Mexico, the development of which requires tons of concrete and hundreds of miles of transmission line, says Project Manager Brian Hudson. Xcel expects to have more than 400 people on site when the turbine installation phase begins.
Global Fiberglass Solutions is preparing to launch a project in Iowa later this year that will convert recycled turbine blades into pellets for applications such as flooring and furniture. Decommissioned blades don't pose an environmental threat, but increasing recyclability is important to the industry, says American Wind Energy Association Spokesperson Greg Alvarez.
WEC Energy has reached deals to increase its interest in three wind farms -- the Blooming Grove Wind Farm in Illinois and the Thunderhead Wind Energy Center and Upstream Wind Energy Center in Nebraska. The arrangement will increase WEC's ownership capacity by 75 megawatts.
SSE Renewables has agreed to sell the 18.8-megawatt Slieve Divena II in Ireland to Greencoat UK Wind for about $66 million. Greencoat's wind portfolio includes 36 operational projects with a combined capacity of nearly 1 gigawatt.
Orsted and Eversource seeking approval to connect a transmission cable for its proposed South Fork offshore wind farm in New York to an area in East Hampton, but local opposition continues to escalate. Two communities and the state Public Service Commission must sign off on the proposal, which the state Public Service Commission says is still under review.
Clean energy investment is an effective way to drive job creation in Pennsylvania, versus potential chemical projects that require fewer permanent employees, writes Nora Johnson of Squirrel Hill, Pa. "These clean energy sectors are growing and have plenty of room for further growth all across the state," she writes, adding the sector recently account for 90,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.
Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics has signed onto DTE Energy's MIGreenPower initiative, agreeing to completely power its headquarters with clean energy. DTE Energy plans to add at least 3,000 megawatts of installed wind and solar capacity over the next 20 years and says it's using subscription fees from the MIGreenPower program to help fund the development of the Pinnebog Wind Park and other projects.
General Mills plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 28% by 2025 while putting regenerative farming practices to use on at least 1 million acres of land by 2030. Other companies supporting regenerative agriculture include Danone, which is helping farmers invest in the necessary equipment and seeds for sustainable farming while teaming with 23 dairies for soil health research.
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