Minnesota to install another 200 MW Wind Farm.
Posted 22 April 2012 - 01:58 PM
Written by Ned Haluzan for renewable info.com
Minnesota already has some of the nation's largest wind farms, for instance the Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm (225 MW), the Fenton Wind Farm (205.5 MW), the Nobles Wind Farm (201 MW) and the Bent Tree Wind Farm (201 MW).
The latest in line is 200-megawatt Prairie Rose Wind Farm project in Rock County that will begin with the construction in May.
The Prairie Rose Wind Farm will consist of 119 1.68mw GE wind turbines and the total costs of this project are estimated to be at $350 million.
Lease payments to project landowners in the Prairie Rose Wind Farm will amount to approximately $1.1 million annually or $22 million over the 20-year contract. This project, once the construction work begins, will account for 200-300 new jobs.
Wind power is the most important renewable energy source in Minnesota. Wind power now accounts for more than 10% of total electricity in Minnesota and the state is aware that without the strong wind power sector it won't be able to reach its renewable energy goal of 25 percent of state's electricity coming from renewable energy sources by 2025.
Increasing wind power capacity does not only mean more clean energy and diversified energy portfolio. It also means new clean energy jobs. According to American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) wind energy sector in Minnesota provides around 3,000 jobs annually
Posted 22 April 2012 - 05:18 PM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:02 AM
Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:07 PM
Solar and Wind form a great starting point, biofuels such as lawn, farm and agricultural waste help also, then there are things like landfill gas or cow power that rely on methane from sources other than underground or Fracked sources ( a big source of concern today). Add in Hydro, tidal and biofuels and it gets even easier.
Next include other sources like hydrogen for storage and transportation and you see that what is needed is a rethinking of how we produce, use and store energy.
Lastly what about conservation, almost 70 % of the homes and buildings in America are under insulated meaning that literally decades worth of possible energy are lost each year through our ceilings, windows and doors. Want to help the environment and save money insulate, insulate, insulate. On average a $800- $1000 investment in your home could save up to 45 % of the energy we all use and pay for itself in less than 18 months to 2 years.
So you are right solar and wind provide a great starting point for making the Alt. Energy Shift in America, add a little education and a broad approach and its not nearly as difficult as those big fossil fuel companies make it sound.
Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:43 AM
Since I have 10KW on my roof, it's clearly feasable.
Hydrogen is not an energy source but an energy transport. Since it takes more energy to produce than it can carry, it doesn't make sense to use it at the pump, but it would be perfect for a grid battery. Convert a coal plant do generate hydrogen from excess solar during the day and burn it to generate power at night.
I think hydro and nat gas could pick up the rest with bio fuels accounting for perhaps another 5%. I really don't like nuclear so I'd scratch that.
I agree, better insulation as well as conversion to LED lighting could also go a long way. One interesting fact, electricity consumption has actually been falling in the US the last few years, indicating that we are getting more efficient.
Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:25 PM
Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:37 PM
Posted 28 April 2012 - 09:25 PM
My point about hydrogen is it would likely not be viable as a car fuel, since it couldn't compete with natural gas. In fact the bulk of it now is manufactured from natural gas so it would definitely be cheaper to just us the nat gas directly.
The idea of using it locally is what I referred to as a grid battery. If the technology for making hydrogen that can be generated on an individual home basis can be obtained economically that would be great! In fact I wouldn't mind trying it for my home if it's not too outlandish. Any links? I'd love to eliminate my propane if possible.
I was high on bio fuels until I saw the Planet Green program on energy sources. It just isn't a dense enough energy source to be viable except for niche markets. Reminds me of an old engineering joke showing a bunch of equations on the board then in the middle of all that is "then a miracle occurs" and the equations carry on. Perhaps a miracle will occur and they can up the density.
So I guess where I see the future is predominately wind, solar, hydro, nat gas, some geo thermal, less biofuel, hydrogen used as either grid battery or as home battery replacement. Even though I don't like nuclear, my guess is that will be with us as well.
As far as tidal power goes, I think that's problematic. If it is done on a widespread basis, what is the environmental impact? Are there unintended consequences? What about maintenance? My guess is it would be a headache and would make it not viable.
Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:23 PM
Because our company is a member of the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, I have had a lot of experience with Fuel Cell Cars; last year in Washington DC I drove 8 different manufacture models. My personal favorites where the Chevy Equinox FCV, Honda Clarity FCV, and Toyota AFCV, runners up were the Nissan and Kia models.
Hydrogen gives us the ability to use simple electrolyses to produce fuel from alternative energy, today as you point out that mainly comes from Natural gas because it’s so cheap, but as it rises and I think it will, hydrogen from renewable like wind especially will drop.
In February we were at the NREL’s week long workshops for Wind to Hydrogen and Solar to Hydrogen programs which we work with as peer review participants.
Currently the amount of energy loss by wind energy not being able to be used by the grid is estimated at 600,000 fill up a day- yes I said a day. Solar is less at about 56.000 a day. As you said for grid storage that’s a lot of potential power, but factor in that the average mileage gasoline equivalent for FCV’s is 60-76 miles per gallon and that’s a lot of driving.
The current cost projection is $ 2.35- $2.75 per liter which is equivalent to a gallon but with much better range. Meaning that it’s cheaper than gasoline today. Because it is an electric car there is no pollution and fill up takes 3 minutes.
What this means is that energy and transportation could be meet by renewable and oil and Natural Gas could be used for the many other products that are needed.
Now I am biased because I am on the waiting list for those top three FCV’s I named, but the real reason why I am so sold is that it eliminates pollution form energy and transportation and provides a way to mitigate climate change and save this planet.
Just so you know Platinum, which is the most expensive part of a fuel cell has been greatly decreased or in some cases eliminated completely from the fuel cells used by car manufactures, meaning the cost is coming way down.
I have solar here at home and the idea of being able to use that to fuel my car is one of the things I am looking forward too. I know the car will cost around $36,000 for first generation but Kia is saying that by third generation production that cost could be as low as $25,000.
As far as fueling several companies like Sun Hydro have a drop and go solar system that can fuel 50-100 cars a day from renewable, it is a modular, plug and play system that will integrate into any current gas station, with minimal retrofit, and get this the cost is 20% cheaper than current gasoline tank and pump technology and that’s before mass market adoption.
Germany, Japan and the EU are convinced hydrogen will change transportation and are already integrating the technology into existing infrastructures for the 2015 rollouts of FCV’s my only hope is that we will not be left behind.
Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:29 PM
The picture above shows the pump infront of the car and the solar array at the back under the bushes. Honda has their own solar line so that is another big reason for their integration.
Also here is my second choice the Chevy Equinox FCV- all these can be powered by renewables easily and efficently.
Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:55 PM
If FCV's are truly rolling out in 2015 I doubt we'd be left out, particularly if Chevy is building one. The thing is a web search doesn't bring up much, that's a little troubling for something that's only three years out. They keep saying fusion is only a decade away but they've been saying that for half a century! (Personally, considering all other sources coming on line, I think Fusion has missed it's window.)
How much solar do you have? I have 42 230W panels myself.
Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:15 AM
At that time the technology was way too expensive and some technology had not even been developed beyond the concept phase. I drove my first fuel cell concept car in 1998; it was clunky, loud and had a lot of issues. I asked the representative how much the car would cost today, the answer 5 million dollars.
Today there are a total of 14 major cars manufactures preparing for fuel cell cars; I have driven 10 of them. The cost for leasing the Clarity in California, if you can get one is $600 a month, but this includes all fuel, maintenance and insurance costs. Believe it or not the insurance because they are so new is $225.00 of this cost.
Chevy in 2009 had racked up over 1 million miles with their project driveway program, which let average people drive the car for a few days in many different locations all over the country. A good friend of mine got two days and I went to visit while they had the SUV, it was great and very nimble. The pick up getting on the highway was very quick and silent, which took some getting used to. Today because most of these vehicles are being used by the military the mileage is over 2 million for the fleet and Chevy is starting a new program in Hawaii with the military, which I posted a few months ago, here on Alt Energy Shift.
My point is that this time around car companies are not pushing as hard, they realize that the manufacture market will be above the standard car prices in the US for phase 1 and phase 2- around 35,000 to 40,000 dollars, which prices it out of most American consumers.
In Europe and Japan however where the cost of fuel can be three to four times here in the US, the market for this cost is much higher and that is where they will be putting on the big push, by phase 3 costs will have dropped to more in line with American pocket books. The cutting of platinum from the catalyst is a big factor, second is the size reduction which has been cut by half.
Mercedes Benz is designing their midsize line to be able to use either electric plug in, compressed Natural Gas, Gasoline, diesel or Fuel Cell on the same under carriage, this allows the flexibility to use the same car design for 5 different fuels, depending on what is available in that sales location.
My point is that in Europe and Japan the technology and infrastructure is already being integrated into fuel stations which is the last hurdle here in the United States and so that is where everyone is looking. I believe California and a couple of northern states will get some of the 2015 roll out with places like Florida being a few years behind, Kind of like what is happening with plug in electrics now, but as someone who has been working with this technology for over a decade now, I think the time is coming.
I strongly suggest you go to You Tube and watch the Top Gear-James May review of the Clarity to see why they and many others agree. .youtube.com/watch?v=4AUurBnLbJw
Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:05 PM
When do you think we'll be in the early adopter stage for FCV's? I don't think CA counts, it has to be nation wide. When do you think they will be viable, by the above definition?
I was one that bought the hype of fuel cells early on and you are right, once I did a little research I realized it was all BS and that soured me.
It will be interesting to see the battle between FCV's and BEV's. I've heard they can get charge times down to 5 min with hybrid ultracapacitor designs so the performance may be rather close between the two. I know both CA and WA where I live are building out electric charging stations in perperation for BEV rollouts but haven't heard a peep on hydrogen. The CA hydrogen project is about the only activity I have heard of in this country. I did see a program on Planet Green about Norway's "hydrogen highway", that was some time ago.
What job do you have that you can play with all these fun toys?
Posted 29 April 2012 - 05:27 PM
I am the President and Co- Founder of Environmental Power & Water Generation. We specialize
in designing and integrating alternative energy instillations for commercial, industrial and utility applications. We started out designing wind farms in West Texas in the early 1990’s in 1994 we began working with the NREL’s wind to hydrogen program in 1998 and the solar to hydrogen program in 2001.
In 2006 we were asked to participate as peer reviewers for these two programs as integration stake holders. Because we are members of several alternative energy professional organizations for wind, solar, geothermal. bio-fuels, and hydrogen we attend a lot of conferences. After years around these organizations, we have earned a reputation for honest evaluation of both positive and negative issues to be solved.
We were members of the National Hydrogen Association since 2002 until it merged with the National Fuel Cell Association to form the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA). This and our work with the NREL have given us the ability to participate in Fuel Cell Cars drive and rides and public informational forums. We filmed a couple of years and posted them on You Tube.
E3Wise is our educational and informational segment. We participate as E3wise in the forum to maintain neutrality, to avoid any type of favoritism toward any particular companies. You will notice that we do not discuss any projects we are working on as E3Wise for the same reason. Our focus in this forum is to educate people about environmental energy and water solutions. E3Wise is an acronym for Economic Environmental Energy & Water IS Essential because water and energy are tied together like few other commodities. Fresh water is our most threatened natural resource and its use in energy is an aspect most people overlook. We try to maximize both, our mantra is waste nothing. What I mean is like the American Indian used every part of the buffalo to meet their needs; we design and integrate solutions that use every bi-product to meet a need. An example is that we have used brackish water resources as part of several of our designs, instead of throwing that concentrated brine away we make sea salt and caustic from it. That’s just one example- Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is not just a slogan for us- once again waste nothing.
Now back to your first question. I see both Plug in Electric and Fuel Cell Cars as being essential to moving beyond fossil fuels. Each has a commercial base that will fit people’s needs differently. FCV’s roll out in 2015 the Obama administration pushed it back three years from 2012 to allow Electric Cars to be rolled out by themselves and because the costs of FCV’s was projected to drop by 45% by 2015. As far as your comment about California I look at it in two ways.
First it was the adoption of Clean Air Standards that brought about the Clean Air Act of 1972; they were first which is why they are able to set standards for pollution control aside from the federal governments. In fact it is because of them that we have electric cars today, even if they are not yet available everywhere. I see the same for fuel cell cars; they will start in California and move from there.
Second I think the early adoption of FCV’s will be between 2016 and 2020 for the rest of the United States with 2025 being the time when FCV’s become true mass market items, which is the same for BEV’s PEV’s and Fuel Cells. Most of all its important to remember that people need choices that fit their lives, once again take a look at the TOP Gear spot by James May on the Honda Clarity.
Last factoid Kia is projecting that their FCV in 2016 will cost $25,000 which is in the mass market range of Americans- well see, as I said before we don’t need any more hype, just facts that allow people to make intelligent decisions regarding their needs.
Thanks for the questions, I have really enjoyed reading your postings and we love new member participation.
Health, Happiness and Success
Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:30 PM
I guess I'll have to put FCV's on my list of things to keep track of.
Posted 30 April 2012 - 02:55 PM
Keep looking up and we will all get there together.
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