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In This Issue
News
Interconnection and Net Metering
Small Wind in the News
About the Small Wind Newsletter

 

 

 



 
Bryce Boggs / Nlagara Wind & Sol.

 

Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of IREC's   
Small Wind Newsletter! 

 

Larry Sherwood

The small wind industry is going through a time when state money is far less available than it once was. It is no secret to installers and manufacturers that the number of turbines installed with the support of state incentives decreased dramatically in 2013. Jennifer Jenkins of DWEA points out some of the reasons for this in her interview this issue, and suggests that competition from solar is affecting the small wind market, as well.

 

In light of this, it is good to focus on the support that still is available. Remember that incentives for small wind turbines remain through federal tax credits and in some states, and small wind projects are eligible for funding through many state programs that are designed for multiple technologies. As we go forward, new policies and programs are more likely to be part of a broader renewable energy policy than specific to small wind installations.

 

While not a lot is happening at the state level, there is some good news at the federal level. The new USDA farm bill includes a streamlined application process for small projects to get grants and loans. This will make it easier for qualifying entities to fund smaller energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available for everything from house-sized turbine installation to wind farms. This is especially good for rural small wind projects.

 

As always, if you find this issue has useful information that helps you better understand the changing world of small wind, please forward it to others who might be interested. Details on subscribing can be found at the end of the newsletter.
Sherwood Signature
Larry Sherwood
Editor
NEWS

OHIO:  Green Energy Center Replaces Damaged Aging Turbines and Reaps Big Efficiency Rewards

The Green Energy Center, near Brookeville, Ohio, is used to dealing with electricity, but a recent electrical storm was a bit more than they could handle.  Two of their six nine-year old Bergey wind turbines were hit by lightning.  When they looked into the cost to repair them, they came to a surprising realization: they would save more money by selling the four good ones and replacing them with newer, more efficient turbines, than just repairing the two that were hit.   The installer, Bruce Hatchett of Energy Options, says, "It sounds odd, but it works on paper."  Read on

 

Farm Bill Passed - Implications for Small Wind Funding

The Agricultural Act of 2014, commonly known as the Farm Bill, received the approval of both houses of the U.S. Congress and was signed by President Obama on February 7, 2014.  Although the bill largely deals with agricultural subsidies and nutrition assistance ("food stamps"), it contains $881 million for continuing funding of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) rural renewable energy and biofuels programs.

The section on energy (Title IX) specifies how the funds will be used to encourage investments in alternative energy technology and production of renewable biomass for biofuels through education, research, and financial assistance programs.  It also encourages the manufacture and production of other renewable biochemical and bio-based products through federal procurement and financial assistance programs. Read on. 

  

DOE to Host Webinar on Implications of Farm Bill for REAP Funding

The Department of Energy (DOE) Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach initiative will host a webinar on May 21, providing an overview of the new Farm Bill and how rural stakeholders can submit successful applications for REAP funding. Environmental Law and Policy Center Senior Policy Advocate Andy Olsen will describe the funding allocated to REAP in 2014, eligible recipients and technologies, and application deadlines. Charles Newcomb, director of technical strategy for Endurance Wind Power, will provide an industry perspective on the Farm Bill. Read on.

Small Wind Conference Organizers Urge: Go With the Flow!
This June 16 - 18, Stevens Point Wisconsin will host the 10th annual gathering of Small Wind industry
"insiders."  Participants at the Small Wind Conference will discuss issues such as Operations andManufacturing trends and warranties, innovation and change for manufacturers, cutting edge innovations in towers, certification updates, testing from the trenches, and off-grid issues. A new session, "EngineersGone Wild," is sure to go viral!  Topics will include the most up-to-date information on the RenewableEnergy Assistance Program (REAP) changes in the Farm Bill. Read on 

Jennifer Jenkins 

THE IREC INTERVIEW: Jennifer Jenkins of DWEA

Jennifer Jenkins is the executive director of the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), where she works directly with members, stakeholders, and policy makers to find opportunities to grow the distributed wind market.  In this interview, she talks about her career in the wind industry and the issues that DWEA is working on currently. 

DOE issues Guidance on Quality Assurance through Wind Turbine Certification Requirements

Within the DOE Wind and Water Power Technology Office (WWPTO) mission to lead the nation's efforts to accelerate deployment of wind power technologies, Director Jose Zayas has issued a memorandum recommending certification as a means of consumer and stakeholder protection.

The memo states that WWPTO encourages that public funds be provided only for wind turbines that have been tested and certified for safety, function, performance, and durability. Certification requirements ensure taxpayer funds are only made available to products with dependable performance estimates and demonstrated compliance with nationally recognized standards. Read on.

 

Upcoming Small Wind Events

For a list of upcoming small wind events, click here.    

INTERCONNECTION AND NET METERING

Check the Interstate Renewable Energy Council's Regulatory Reform web site for the latest interconnection and net metering news.   

  

VERMONT Raises Net Metering Cap to 15 Percent

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed self-generation and net-energy metering (NEM) legislation (H.702) into law. The new law raises the 4 percent cap utilities had been using as the limit on their NEM programs to 15 percent of peak load. Read on

 

UTAH Enacts Net Metering Legislation, Avoiding Customer Penalties

On March 25th, Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed Senate Bill 208 into law, which makes minimal changes to Utah's net metering policy. As originally introduced, the bill contained language referencing cost-shifting among customer classes and mandated a fee for net metering customers. The amended bill simply allows the commission to determine a fee, credit, or other ratemaking structure after conducting a cost-benefit analysis of net-metered systems. Read on

SMALL WIND ENERGY IN THE NEWS

These articles from around the U.S. give examples of how small wind is covered today,  good or bad.

OKLAHOMA: Oklahoma May Charge Customers Who Install Wind Turbines

Oklahoma residents trying to go green by producing energy through solar panels or small turbines may soon be forced to pay an additional monthly fee to energy companies. The new measure, which passed the state legislature and is expected to be signed into law soon by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, charges residents who install energy-saving devices on their property an additional monthly fee. Read on

 

UTAH:  Small-scale Wind Turbine Experiment at Weber Canyon

Standard-Examiner, April 19, 2014
Engineering technology students at Weber State University have designed and developed a portable trailer for five wind turbines that will sit at the mouth of Weber Canyon for the next year in an effort to prove that it is cost effective to capture energy from canyon winds using residential-scale wind turbines. Read on.

PENNSYLVANIA: Panel Discussion Attempts to Shine Light on Wind Energy Issue

Bradford Era, March 29, 2014

The idea of using wind power as a green alternative to burning coal to make electricity has been a controversial topic in the region. Attempts in recent years to install wind turbines in Ulysses and Allegany, N.Y., have shown that, in addition to those who feel there is an environmental benefit to wind power, there is a strong group which has questioned its impact on neighboring residents and wildlife. Read on.

  

ABOUT THE SMALL WIND NEWSLETTER

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If you have comments or news items, please send them to Larry Sherwood at [email protected] .

Disclaimer: The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) does not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product or process that is referred to or linked to in this newsletter. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply IREC's endorsement or recommendation.

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