Posts Tagged ‘wind energy’

Coastal Wind Conference Highlights Wind Industry in the Southeast

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by shannon No Comments
The N.C. Solar Center is a proud partner of the 2nd Annual Conference


Raleigh, N.C. – The Southeastern states from Virginia to Florida are home to over 65 wind related manufacturing facilities that support thousands of wind energy jobs in the Southeast region. These supply chain facilities could expand significantly as land-based and offshore wind developments begin in the region. Besides having a highly-skilled manufacturing base, the Southeast has several other competitive advantages, including the lowest estimated construction cost for offshore wind projects on the East Coast according to the Energy Information Administration. The region is also home to nearly half of the offshore wind resource and five of the six largest electricity markets on the East Coast.

“The Southeast provides an excellent opportunity to continue growing the land-based wind industry in the U.S. and use those experiences to help build a robust offshore industry,” said the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) CEO, Michael Brower.
The following recent activities and announcements highlight the wind industry’s momentum in the region:


  • The Department of Energy’s 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report released this month found that the turbines installed in 2012 have an increased average hub height and rotor diameter than in years past – these developments in land-based turbine technology benefit development in lower wind speed areas like the Southeast region.
  • A North Carolina wind permitting bill, signed into law this May, provides guidelines for developers to obtain a permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for wind farms in the state and stipulates a schedule for public meetings surrounding projects.
  • Georgia Power announced this April that 250 megawatts of wind energy will be purchased from EDP wind farms in Oklahoma starting in January 2016. The electricity provided will be enough to power over 50,000 homes in Georgia Power’s service territory.
  • A South Carolina Supply Chain Survey and Offshore Wind Economic Impact Study released in 2012 estimates an annual average of 3,329 jobs per year with the installation of 1,000 MW off the coast of South Carolina.
  •  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in July that the competitive lease sale for Virginia’s Wind Energy Area will be held this September. The area, covering over 112,000 acres, will be auctioned as a single lease.
  • The city of Charleston, S.C., recently passed a resolution recognizing the economic benefits of offshore wind energy and welcoming the industry. With world-class ports & transportation infrastructure, highly-skilled, low-cost labor, and some of the most advanced research facilities in the world, Charleston and other Southeastern coastal cities have what it takes to be leaders in the wind industry supply chain.
  • Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina will unveil a state-of-the-art research vessel, called the Coastal Explorer, this winter. The vessel will be similar to those carrying out survey work for offshore wind projects in Europe and will be a great asset for the offshore wind industry on the East Coast.
  • A Department of Energy fact sheet released in July, Potential Economic Impacts from Offshore Wind in the Southeast Region, applied the new offshore wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts (JEDI) model to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The results showed that a “moderate” development scenario would result in over 20,000 construction jobs and 6,700 permanent jobs in the Southeast by 2030.

Industry, policy makers and the public can learn more about wind energy potential and activities in the region during the Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference September 11-12, 2013. The conference, located in North Charleston, S.C., will feature session tracks covering land-based wind, offshore wind and the supply chain. General Sessions will highlight utility involvement in the region and offshore wind strategies from Europe. In addition to educational sessions, attendees will have a chance to view simulations from BOEM’s NC visual simulation study and tour Clemson University’s new Wind Turbine Drive train Testing Facility in North Charleston.

“The conference is a great example of the regional approach that the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition is promoting.” said Brian O’Hara, President of the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition. “By leveraging the strengths of each state, the Southeast is poised to be a major player in the wind energy industry.”  Over 20 organizing partners are engaged in the planning of the conference, including the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “We look forward to coordinating our efforts on behalf of this promising technology,” said Jeff Anthony, Senior Director of Membership and Business Development at AWEA.

To view the complete agenda and register for the event, please visit

About the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition
The Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition works to advance the coastal and offshore wind industry in the Southeast. We focus on supply chain growth, economic development, job growth, and wind energy development in the region with solutions that are beneficial to industry, beneficial to utilities, and result in net economic benefits to citizens and ratepayers. For more information about the Southeastern Coastal Wind Coalition visit

About the American Council On Renewable Energy
ACORE, a 501(c) (3) non-profit membership organization, is dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE seeks to advance renewable energy through finance, policy, technology, and market development and is concentrating its member focus in 2013 on National Defense & Security, Power Generation & Infrastructure, and Transportation. Additional information is available at

About Clemson University
Ranked as the 25th best national public university by U.S. News & World Report, Clemson is a science- and engineering-oriented college dedicated to teaching, research and service while being named among the best values by Kiplinger magazine in 2013, and SmartMoney in 2012 ranked us No. 7 in student return on investment. Clemson University campus sits on 1,400 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along the shores of Hartwell Lake. Research extension facilities and economic development hubs are throughout the state of South Carolina — in Greenville, Greenwood, Columbia and Charleston. The research, outreach and entrepreneurial projects led by faculty and students driving economic development and improving quality of life in South Carolina and beyond. In fact, a recent study determined that Clemson has an annual $1.83 billion economic impact on the state.

About the American Wind Energy Association
AWEA is the national trade association of the U.S. America’s wind energy industry, with over 1,300 member companies, including global leaders in wind power and energy development, wind turbine manufacturing, component and service suppliers, and the world’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, which takes place next in Las Vegas, May 5-8, 2014. AWEA is the voice of wind energy in the U.S., promoting renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. Look up information on wind energy at the AWEA website. Find insight on industry issues at AWEA’s blog Into the Wind. Join AWEA on Facebook. Follow AWEA on Twitter.

Report: Record year for U.S. wind projects in 2012

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


U.S. companies built record 13.2 gigawatts worth of new wind power capacity in the country in 2012, according to a study released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A story in the Charlotte Business Journal’s Jan. 18 print edition talks about the record year for wind construction that Duke Energy Renewables had, completing 770 megawatts worth of projects.

That includes two wind farms totaling 402 megawatts in Texas. That would be more than 26% of the 1.53 gigawatts of new wind capacity that Bloomberg says was built in that state last year.

Duke also completed 299 megawatts of new capacity in two Kansas projects — 18.8% of that state’s new capacity. Duke added 69 megawatts of new wind in Pennsylvania for 12.1% of that state’s total.

Overall, Duke completed about 6% of the new wind capacity in the United States last year. The largest wind developer in the nation last year was NextEra, which built 1.5 gigawatts of new capacity. But after that, the totals fall quickly, with Cathiness Energy and BP building about 800 megawatts each.

Economically competitive

A large factor in the construction record is that companies rushed to complete projects before production tax credits for wind projects were scheduled to expire at the end of 2012.

But that was not the only factor, Bloomberg says. Falling prices for wind projects helped significantly. In the Texas panhandle — one of the nation’s best sites for wind — projects now have a levelized cost of less than $30 per megawatt hour. Natural gas projects — wind’s principal competitor in the current energy economy — have a levelized cost of $25 to $30 per megawatt hour.

Levelized costs calculate the price tag for all the factors going into energy production over the lifetime of a generating project, usually 20 to 40 years. These include the costs of construction, fuel and operations and maintenance.

‘Because they want to’

In an encouraging sign for the industry, Bloomberg notes the vast majority of the construction occurred in states that do not require power companies to use renewable resources.

“It’s clear that the economics, aided by the (production tax credit), drove wind growth in 2012. 11GW of capacity was built in states without any near-term state mandated demand,” says Amy Grace, Bloomberg’s lead analyst for wind in North America. “This means that in most areas, utilities are buying wind power because they want to, not because they have to.”

Annual wind construction in the U.S. proceeds in fits and starts. Bloomberg’s figures show that 2012 construction more than doubled the 6.5 gigawatts completed in 2011. And the previous record of 10 megawatts was set in 2010, Bloomberg reports.

The outlook for 2013 is fairly bleak, the report says. The tax credits were unexpectedly extended for a year during the fiscal-cliff negotiations in late December. But large-scale wind projects typically take close to a year or even longer to complete. The tax-credit extension came too late to encourage deals that could be built by the end of this year.

Surge for 2014?

However, the extension does not require a project to be finished by the end of this year to qualify for the tax credit (which had been the case under the rules that expired in 2012). It requires only that substantial construction of the project occur before the end of the year.

So the incentive for wind developers will be to get a significant number of projects started and well under way. A lot of man-hours will likely be spent in making deals and starting construction rather than finishing. That could mean a bust for new capacity in 2013 but another surge in 2014.

Duke expects a good environment for new power purchase agreements this year, but it does not expect to finish any projects it contracts for until sometime next year, Duke Renewables President Greg Wolf tells the CBJ in the weekly edition.


Written by John Downey, Charlotte Business Journal

Prospecting For Wind And Sun On The OBX

Posted on: January 24th, 2013 by shannon No Comments


Dominion North Carolina Power plans to study the prospect of wind and solar energy on the Outer Banks for small-scale power grids.  The utility is launching a three-year research project at its office in Kitty Hawk. The plans include four wind turbines, solar panels and a storage battery that will work to reduce the amount of power the office pulls from the grid.  Project manager Sarah Cosby says that network creates a so-called micro-grid that could be useful for small communities during power outages.

Listen to Sarah Crosby’s comments


Sarah Cosby: If they had a micro-grid, it would allow them to, perhaps, not have to utilize their diesel generator as much, so during an outage at a university or a military base, if they had wind, solar, maybe a fuel cell and a battery, they could conceivably be completely self-sustaining.

The town of Kitty Hawk would have to amend an ordinance that restricts the height of wind turbines in order for the project to move forward.  Cosby says project members are still figuring out a price for the project and how much more it could cost customers in their utility bills.


Offshore Wind Energy Advancing in North Carolina

Posted on: December 13th, 2012 by shannon No Comments
Federal Agency Announces Call for Information and Nominations


RALEIGH, N.C. – The N.C. Solar Center is pleased that the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released the Call for Information and Nominations for potential offshore wind leasing areas offshore from North Carolina.  As a member of BOEM’s North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, the N.C. Solar Center has been involved in advancing these efforts over the last two years.

“The benefits to North Carolina from offshore wind development and the associated economic development from the industry’s supply chain are tremendous,” said Jen Banks, Wind Energy Project Coordinator at the N.C. Solar Center.

With 195 whole and 60 partial lease blocks, North Carolina has the largest Call Area released to date under the Department of the Interior’s Smart from the Start program.  BOEM also announced a Notice of Intent (NOI) for an Environmental Assessment covering these areas, which will provide valuable information for refining the areas to eventually be offered for commercial leasing.

Many coastal communities recognize the potential from such projects.  Vann Rogerson, President and CEO of North Carolina’s Northeast Commission, states “renewable energy developments are a great opportunity for the rural regions of the state – and we are very excited about the opportunities surrounding offshore wind.”

The public comment period for the Call and the NOI will be open for 45 days.  During this time, the Solar Center will host informational sessions on the basics of offshore wind preceding each BOEM public information meeting at the coast.  We will provide all details on these events once the dates are set.

Click here for the full BOEM press release.


About the North Carolina Solar Center

The North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University advances a sustainable energy economy by educating, demonstrating and providing support for clean energy technologies, practices, and policies. It serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through technology demonstration, technical assistance, outreach and training. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center visit:  Twitter: @NCSolarCenter
Media Contact: Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919.423.8340,

Contact: Jen Banks, N.C. Solar Center, 919.515.3799,

Contact: Vann Rogerson, N.C.’s Northeast Commission, 252-482-4333,

Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference Highlights Progress and Potential of Four Southeastern States

Posted on: March 28th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

Onshore wind development and manufacturing, as well as offshore wind planning, are happening on a broad scale in the United States though efforts in the Southern states are often overlooked.  Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia each have great stories to tell in terms of resource potential, supply chain and well-positioned markets, but when all four are considered together a much more compelling story emerges.

The shallow waters of the South Atlantic Bight and high wind speeds make the Southeast’s offshore wind resource the most cost-effective on the East Coast. The Southeast contains 63% of the East Coast shallow offshore wind resource and 45% of the total resource.  Onshore wind development is expanding in the region as well, as new technology allows for development in lower wind speed areas.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and then Virginia represent the four states with the lowest estimated offshore wind construction costs on the East Coast.  In addition, an onshore wind manufacturing base exists despite very little onshore wind development in the region.  These manufacturing facilities can be expanded and their highly skilled workforce can be utilized to serve the offshore wind industry as well.  The region’s five world-class port facilities provide the infrastructure necessary to serve the needs of nearby offshore wind development as well as export components from local manufacturing facilities to neighboring states.

The Southeast’s excellent wind resources and  growing population are a natural fit that offers considerable opportunities to both wind developers and the citizens of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  Over half of the population along the East Coast resides in the Southeast and, including Florida, it represents five of the six largest electricity markets of the eastern coastal states.  Looking into the future, the Southeast is well poised for further population and economic growth that will require new sources of electric generation.

The Southeastern US has the potential to be a long-term leader in East Coast wind energy supply chain and development. The region’s offshore wind resource is second to none, its electricity markets are some of largest and fastest growing on the East Coast, and the region boasts existing world-class supply chain infrastructure and highly-skilled, low-cost labor markets.  Each of these strengths and more were showcased at the Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference at the Charlotte Convention Center on March 8-9, 2012.



 Reposted from AWEA Wind Energy Weekly

Guidebook and Web-Based Tool Released to Aid in Best Use of Incentive Dollars for On-site Wind

Posted on: January 24th, 2012 by shannon No Comments

January 24, 2012


State and utility policy makers, county officials, and other interested stakeholders can now explore the best ways to improve the bottom line of consumer-owned wind turbines with a new Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool and accompanying Guidebook, available at The Guidebook is also available through the U.S. Department of Energy Wind and Water Power Program online library at

As part of a project funded by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Policy Tool uses a dashboard-interfaced pro forma financial model to calculate the impacts that rebates, tax credits, feed-in tariffs (FITs) and other incentives and policies have on project economics. The project helps address market challenges for distributed wind identified in the U.S. DOE “20% Wind Energy by 2030” report, available at, as part of a diverse clean energy portfolio.

Users will learn what policy improvements – including overcoming zoning and interconnection hurdles, as well as rebates and tax incentives driving sales – are most needed for wind turbines up to 100 kW, and in which states. The Policy Tool allows sensitivity analyses to be conducted on various policy options and assumptions to determine impacts and optimal combinations to help guide efficient use of public and ratepayer funds.

The Guidebook highlights attractive markets and policy targets that offer the quickest returns on investment, by providing case studies, encouraging policy makers to build on lessons learned with best practices to sustain and improve support for on-site wind generation. Case studies are included to compare and contrast the existing policy landscape. One case study evaluates all states based on their current incentives and market environments for distributed wind.

Led by eFormative Options, experts from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the North Carolina Solar Center all played key roles in the project. “With increasing use of electric vehicles, wind turbines sited near the point of end use, such as at parking lots and truck stops, can quickly ramp-up to meet local demand,” said eFormative’s Principal Heather Rhoads-Weaver. “Our project helps ensure public dollars supporting this valuable technology are spent wisely.”

While rebates and incentives have been important drivers for the adoption of distributed wind technology, other policies have hindered market growth. With the wide variety of policies and regulations across various jurisdictional levels, utilities and policy makers wanting to support small wind projects have needed the clear roadmap that the Policy Tool and Guidebook provide.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, the market for small wind systems grew 26% in 2010. “Small wind turbines are poised to become an important piece of our country’s energy puzzle,” said Rhoads-Weaver. “Strategic policy support can enable this emerging technology to more effectively contribute to the national economy.”



eFormative Options offers expertise in forming and advancing sustainable endeavors, evaluating economic development impacts, and siting, zoning and policy recommendations. Launched in 2005, eFormative consults on project and organizational development, grant writing, creating funding and resource plans, market analysis, public affairs, communications, consensus-building and strengthening relationships with stakeholders.



National Renewable Energy Laboratory develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. NREL has forged a focused strategic direction to increase its impact on the U.S. Department of Energy’s and our nation’s energy goals by accelerating the research path from scientific innovations to market-viable energy solutions. NREL began operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute, and is managed for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.



Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is a Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory where interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America’s most intractable problems in energy, the environment and national security. PNNL employs 4,800 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle since the lab’s inception in 1965. Follow PNNL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.



Created in 1988, the North Carolina Solar Center, as part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), works closely with state and local government and the renewable energy industry. It manages and maintains the NCSU Solar House and serves as a resource for innovative, green energy technologies through research and demonstration, technical assistance, education, outreach and training. It also administers the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), a resource providing financial incentives and policies.



In order to promote national security, economic vitality, and environmental quality, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy works to enable rapid expansion of clean, affordable, reliable, domestic wind power through its Wind and Water Power Program. This program works with national laboratories, industry, universities, and other federal agencies to conduct research and development activities through competitively selected, cost-shared projects. and


Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,
Heather Rhoads-Weaver, 206-755-2064,
Franny White, PNNL, 509-375-6904,

Save-the-date! Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference, March 8th-9th, 2012

Posted on: December 20th, 2011 by shannon No Comments

The 2012 Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference is a first-of-its-kind event that highlights Southeastern assets for wind energy deployment within the region. The conference is a collaborative effort involving more than 40 regional stakeholders from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Topics will include the region’s supply chain, resource, and market strengths to educate decision makers about costs, benefits, and policy options for wind energy. Offshore and coastal onshore wind energy will be discussed at this conference with a concentration on offshore wind energy.


Learn about the region with:

  • The largest offshore wind resource on the East Coast
  • The lowest cost wind energy supply chain solution
  • Over half of the East Coast’s electricity demand


Network with developers, policymakers, manufacturers, and industry leaders to envision and plan for the future of wind energy in the Southeast.


Location: Charlotte Convention Center

Dates: March 8th-9th, 2012

Join the conference mailing list  to stay up-to-date on all of the details!

Public Forums: Offshore Wind in North Carolina: The Basics, Government Perspectives and Utility Perspectives

Posted on: December 12th, 2011 by shannon No Comments

North Carolina has the #1 offshore wind resource on the East Coast and efforts are underway to bring offshore wind energy development to the state.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s North Carolina Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force is identifying suitable lease sites in federal waters with the input of local, state and federal stakeholders.  Forum attendees will learn about the basics of offshore wind energy and the benefits for North Carolina, the political support for offshore wind in North Carolina, the potential for interconnecting offshore wind into North Carolina’s electricity grid and the ongoing utility studies for offshore wind.


Brunswick County Public Forum

December 12, 2011

7:00pm – 9:00pm

South Brunswick Islands Center

9400 Ocean Highway West

Calabash, NC 28467



Tate Johnson, Governor’s Eastern Office

Larry Shirley, NC Department of Commerce

Jen Banks, NC Solar Center

Mark Byrd, Progress Energy

Christopher Fallon, Duke Energy


Onslow County Public Forum

December 13, 2011

7:00pm – 9:00pm

Jacksonville City Hall Council Chambers

815 New Bridge Street

Jacksonville, NC 28540



Tate Johnson, Governor’s Eastern Office

Brian O’Hara, NC Offshore Wind Coalition

Larry Shirley, NC Department of Commerce

Jen Banks, NC Solar Center

Mark Byrd, Progress Energy

Christopher Fallon, Duke Energy





N.C. Solar Center staff presenting at the NC Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association’s annual conference

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by shannon

The North Carolina Solar Center is participating in the North Carolina Beach, Inlet and Waterway Association’s annual conference November 14th in Wrightsville Beach. The offshore wind panel will be moderated by the Sierra Club’s Sarah King and speakers will be Brian O’Hara with the North Carolina Offshore Wind Coalition, Jen Banks with the North Carolina Solar Center and Jim Leutze, Chancellor Emeritus of UNC Wilmington and a member of the Governor’s Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy.

Offshore Wind

Posted on: April 17th, 2011 by shannonhelm

The United States does not currently have any offshore wind projects in place, but approximately 5,000 megawatts (MW) are proposed in the oceans and in the Great Lakes.  Nearly 78 percent of the U.S. population lives in the 28 coastal states, so the proximity to this demand makes offshore wind an excellent option for these states.  With the sea breeze effect, in which the winds over the ocean blow during the daytime, offshore wind can line up with daytime peak electricity demands.  The U.S. can learn from the European experience of installing over 2900 MW of offshore wind in the last 20 years.  In February 2011, the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior announced a National Offshore Wind Strategy, which is designed to support offshore wind deployment of 10 gigawatts (GW) by 2020 and 54 GW by 2030.  Of that 54 GW, 10 GW is projected to be offshore from North Carolina.

North Carolina has exceptional offshore wind resources – in fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates show that N.C.’s offshore wind potential is higher than any other East Coast state.  North Carolina is moving forward with efforts to bring offshore wind to the state through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s North Carolina Offshore Renewable Energy Task Force.  The Task Force consists of state, federal, local and tribal government representatives coordinating efforts to facilitate commercial leasing for renewable energy on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore from North Carolina.  Three meetings of the Task Force have taken place in 2011 to identify suitable lease sites and efforts are underway to prepare a Call for Interest for selected leasing sites.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: NC offshore wind resource map at 90 meters height

National Renewable Energy Laboratory: NC offshore wind resource map at 90 meters height


Learn More

European Wind Energy Association EWEA Data Sheet Offshore Wind Energy

DOI and DOE National Offshore Wind Strategy

National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Assessment of offshore wind energy resources for the United States, June 2010

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management State Activities