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By: john heath | July 19, 2020

A 'smart' system that controls the storage and release of energy from wind turbines will reduce the risk of power cuts and support the increase of wind energy use world-wide, say researchers at the University of Birmingham.

The system uses the variable speed of the rotors in wind turbine systems to more closely regulate the supply of power to the grid. This means that when electricity demand is high, stored kinetic energy in the turbines can be used intelligently to keep the grid stable. University of Birmingham Enterprise has applied for a patent to protect the system.

Regulating the supply of electricity to keep pace with demand is a continual challenge. Sudden outage of power generation, such as when a generator gets damaged, can cause a...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

Along a windy stretch of the Rocky Mountain foothills in southern Wyoming, a small army of new turbines has started spinning.

Its main customers: Residents of Fort Collins, Estes Park, Loveland and Longmont.

In late June, developers flipped the switch on the Roundhouse Renewable Energy Project, Northern Colorado’s largest source of wind energy to date. The project comprises 83 new turbines scattered along the state line, as well as a new transmission cable that carries the electricity it produces south.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, a developer for Florida-based...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

A new study by Berkeley Lab, published in the journal Wind Engineering, shows that supersized wind turbines can enhance the value of wind energy to the electricity system and provide other ‘hidden’ benefits. These benefits are in addition to the reduction in levelized costs that such turbines may provide, and illustrate the importance of expanding wind turbine design to focus not only on direct-cost minimization, but also on a broader set of factors that impact the value of wind to the electricity grid.

The significant increases in wind turbine size (nameplate capacity, rotor diameter, and tower height) in recent years have, to date, been driven primarily by a goal of minimizing the levelized cost of wind energy (LCOE). Previous...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

Modern wind turbines would need only small tweaks to supply grid services currently provided by conventional sources, such as natural gas plants, according to a US Department of Energy-led study.

The study was carried out at Avangrid's Tule wind farm in southern California
The study was carried out at Avangrid's Tule wind farm in southern California

Most turbines already have the controls needed to supply a full suite of grid reliability services, including frequency support, ramping and balancing, and voltage control.

But with more advanced inverter functions – which are used to convert direct-current to alternating current – and improved design and operation, turbines can handle grid operational challenges even better and reduce curtailment of renewable generation, the researchers concluded.

A c...

By: john heath | July 19, 2020

Investment in U.S. offshore wind projects are set to hit $78 billion (€69 billion) this decade, in contrast with an estimated $82 billion for U.S. offshore oil and gasoline projects, Wood Mackenzie data shows. This would be a remarkable feat only four years after the first offshore wind plant — the 30 megawatt (MW) Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island — started operating in U.S. waters.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), there are 28 US offshore wind projects in the planning stage, with the biggest clusters along the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia. There are also 15 active commercial leases for offshore wind development in the U.S. and if they are fully built, there is the potential to support approxima...

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