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December 2014

Electrical Acceptance Testing for Wind Energy Sites

Good design and good construction means reduced maintenance costs

The wind industry in North America is booming. Yes, it always seems like it’s on a roller coaster, but 2015 looks to be the best year ever. The USA already has over 62GW on-line, but a further 14GW are under construction with completion expected by the end of 2105. An additional 5 GW are in […]
Paul Idziak

BASF Receives Type Certification for Offshore Grout

High-strength, fast curing compound deemed suitable for offshore concrete structures

MasterFlow 9500 from Master Builders Solutions by BASF is the first product of its kind to receive a DNV GL (Det Norske Veritas Germanischer Lloyd) certificate for Offshore Concrete Structures. The Type Approval Certificate issued by the internationally acknowledged test and certification body, which specializes in oil, gas and maritime services as well as in […]

November 2014

NREL’s SOWFA Wind Farm Simulation Software Offers Holistic View of All Turbines on a Wind Farm

Wind energy is blowing away skeptics — it’s so close to achieving cost parity with fossil fuels that just a little extra efficiency is all that is likely needed to push it into the mainstream and past the Energy Department’s goal of 20 percent wind energy by 2030. That extra efficiency may be realized with […]
Bill Scanlon

Ecotech Releases Ebooks for the Renewable Energy Workforce

Ecotech Institute has announced the release of two free comprehensive e-book guides to starting a wind or solar energy career. These guides cover everything from a day in the life of renewable energy technicians and potential salary earnings to required skills and advice from professional solar and wind technicians. The wind and solar energy renewable […]

Yahoo! and OwnEnergy Enter 15-year Power Purchase Agreement for Kansas Wind Energy Project

OwnEnergy, a national leader in the development of mid-sized wind farms, announced that it has entered into a long-term Power Purchase Agreement with Yahoo!, Inc. Under the terms of the 15-year PPA, Yahoo will purchase wind power, expected to reach 100,000 MWh annually, which will be used to offset much of Yahoo’s energy usage in […]

October 2014

European Offshore Wind Power: A World Leader

Wind turbines have been turning in European seas since 1991, when the first offshore turbines were grid connected off the coast of Denmark. That was 23 years ago, and since then incredible progress has been made across the continent. At the end of June 2014, 7,343 MW of offshore wind power capacity was providing power […]

Report: U.S. Offshore Wind Market Gaining Traction

DOE/Navigant study shows that 14 projects are in advanced stages of development, representing a potential 4.9 GW of capacity

The Energy Department has released a report showing progress for the U.S. offshore wind energy market over the past year, including two projects that have moved into the initial stages of construction, and 14 projects that are in the advanced stages of development– together representing nearly 4,900 MW of potential offshore wind energy capacity for […]

Research Buoys To Gather Vital Data At Offshore Demo Sites

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory launches meterological and oceanographic equipment to gain a better understanding of power generation potential off the coasts of Oregon and Virginia

Two massive, 20,000-pound buoys decked out with the latest in meteorological and oceanographic equipment will enable more accurate predictions of the power-producing potential of winds that blow off U.S. shores. The bright yellow buoys — each worth $1.3 million — are being commissioned by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Washington state’s […]

DNV GL And Partners Issue Recommended Practice For Offshore HVDC Projects

DNV GL, together with STRI (the Swedish Transmission Research Institute) and ten industry players developed a methodology for technology qualification of offshore HVDC technologies through a joint industry project. As offshore wind farms are being built farther from the coast and more offshore oil and gas installations are powered from shore, there will be an […]

September 2014

Avoiding An Ill Wind

Anticipating and meeting the site challenges that arise on wind projects

After a lackluster 2013 for wind power development, the wind market is once again growing. According to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report, installations this year could reach 6.5 GW and grow to 8.5 GW in 2015. As wind development continues on its upturn, the focus is moving from “whether” to invest in wind power […]
M Michael Callahan, PE, Andrew Zlotnick, LEP, LEED AP

EDF EN Canada Aligns With McLeod Lake Indian Band For Three Possible Wind Farms In British Columbia

Representatives from EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, and McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB) today jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a ceremony conducted at the McLeod Lake Indian Band Annual Meeting. The MOU concerns the potential development of three wind energy projects representing over 500 megawatts (MW) of […]

August 2014

Preserving Electrical Safety

Significant changes to wind farm safety requirements are expected in the near future with the upcoming revisions to the NFPA 70E standard

The 2015 edition of NFPA 70E is due for publication in October, and with it will be many changes that will affect wind farm safety requirements. NFPA 70E forms the basis for most electrical safety programs, but it can be confusing when the standard is updated regarding what has actually changed. There are many more […]
James R. White

Electrically Conductive Paste Provides Life Cycle Cost Savings For Turbine Electrical Connections

Drive down a country road in many states, and you’re likely to see a wind farm on a distant ridge-top sporting a dozen or more wind turbines slowly spinning. Wind farms are becoming ubiquitous, larger, and more complex. Harnessing their power and transferring it to the grid requires this complexity, which now includes power electronics […]
Tom Gibson, P.E.

July 2014

Staying at the Top of Their Game

As the wind energy industry continues to grow, training an adaptable, high-tech labor pool is essential to keep up with rapidly evolving technology

The wind energy industry is the tip of the spear when it comes to fulfilling the societal needs for renewable energy. Wind energy has been a key factor in the United States and European Union’s plans for lower carbon emissions, and will continue to increase in prominence as the latest developments in technology continue to […]
Shawn Lamb

As job growth lags in rural America, some communities see wind energy development as a possible answer

Small towns often see long-term economic benefits of local wind farms

To many in rural communities, clean energy means a clean slate. Here it’s no secret that environmental considerations take a back seat to the enthusiasm surrounding new opportunities for employment. Even the potential for lower electricity rates can’t bump “job creation” from the headlines. Statistics support the sentiment. Nationally the wind industry drives a domestic […]
Johnathan Hladik

CASE STUDY: KVCC Wind Turbine Technician Academy

In 2008, as U.S. wind energy began its trend of exponetial growth, Kalamazoo Valley Community College recognized the need for an industry-responsive education program that would rapidly produce highly trained wind workforce.

Introduction According to data from the American Wind Energy Association, wind energy supplied more than 4 percent of the United States’ electricity in 2013. On the state level, in 2013, wind energy had double-digit percentage shares in nine states. In Iowa and South Dakota, wind energy provided more than 25 percent of those states’ electricity. […]

June 2014

Preserving Integrity in Composite Components

Repairing damage caused by age or environmental factors involves a process that can restore parts manufactured with advanced composites to like-new condition.

Composite repair is an art, relying on high-tech tools and processes—in the hands of skilled technicians—to extend product life. While composites are strong and durable, they are not immune to damage. Composite parts on everything from boat hulls to wind turbines can be impaired through collisions, lightning strikes, environmental exposure and other causes. In addition, […]
Patrice Aylward

Turbine Orders

This section is an overview of Turbine Orders globally.

GE announces 3.9 GW of U.S. orders since ’13 PTC renewal Manufacturer will add 2.8 GW to its U.S. installation tally by the end of 2015, credits advanced technologies and capabilities of latest turbine portfolio GE announced a cumulative 3.9 GW of firm and unconditional wind turbine supply orders in the United States since January […]

May 2014

White Structure Flaking in Rolling Bearings for Wind Turbine Gearboxes

An investigation into the failure modes yielding white structure flaking and axial cracking in wind turbine gearbox rolling bearings

Premature failures of rolling bearings occasionally occur in wind turbine gearboxes [1]. One of the main failure modes is flaking involving a microstructural change. This type of flaking is called white structure flaking (WSF) or white etching crack (WEC) because the area of the microstructural change observed in the flaking cross sections looks white after […]
Hideyuki Uyama, Hiroki Yamada

Selecting the Right Drivetrain Inspection Technology

Vibration frequency analysis can be a powerful tool for diagnosing mechanical and electrical problems in wind turbine drive trains. However, it seems that some people are still skeptical about the accuracy of the technology. Perhaps those people have had bad experiences with vibration analysis in the past. Poor vibration analysis could yield false positives or […]
Andrew Engle, Availon, Inc.

April 2014

Rethinking The ‘Reactive’ Paradigm

Global wind power operators draw from “InSight” in growing industry shift toward optimized predictive maintenance.

As in other heavy industries that utilize rotating machinery, wind turbine operators have come to realize that effective monitoring of critical drive train components can enable proactive maintenance and ultimately reduce operations cost over the long-term life of the producing asset. Some have characterized this as the evolution of the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) service […]
Phil Hatch

Las Vegas & Mandalay Bay To Host WINDPOWER 2014

As the industry’s foremost event heads to the desert.

In less than a month, much of the wind energy industry will converge on Las Vegas, Nevada for the industry’s premier event, WINDPOWER 2014, hosted by the American Wind Energy Association. For the first time, the event will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Exhibitors and attendees from around […]
From Staff and Press Reports

March 2014

AWEA 4Q Market Report: Record Construction Numbers To Keep Industry Busy

The fourth quarter numbers are in, and they tell of an industry on the move. For American wind energy, 2013 turned out to be a year characterized by industry ramp up.

The big story of 2012 was a record number of megawatts installed—over 13,000, in fact. Meanwhile, the American Wind Energy Association’s recently released Fourth Quarter Market Report showed that 2013 ended with a bang of another kind—in the area of construction starts. At the end of 2013 there were more U.S. wind power megawatts under […]
Carl Levesque

Third-Party Certification Helps Harvest Wind Power’s Full Potential

The global demand for energy, coupled with the desire for more sustainable energy options, has generated increased interest and investment in wind power projects.  From 2002 to 2012, global annual installed wind capacity increased from 7,270 MW to nearly 45,000 MW.   The vast majority of new wind farm capacity is being built in Europe (largely […]
Kevin Wedman, Shannon Hunter

Bureau Of Ocean Energy Management Clears Path For First Offshore Wind Project On West Coast

Principle Power to use floating turbine design for project off the coast of Oregon

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced it will allow Principle Power, Inc. to submit a formal plan to build a 30 MW pilot project using floating wind turbine technology offshore Coos Bay, Oregon. “This pioneering project would demonstrate floating wind turbine technology capable of tapping the rich wind energy resources in deep […]
Casey Gilliam, Kevin Alewine

February 2014

Harvard Scientists Develop Organic Renewable Energy Storage

Metal-free flow battery could prove to be an economical solution to intermittent generation in renewable energy plants

A team of Harvard scientists and engineers has demonstrated a new type of battery that could fundamentally transform the way electricity is stored on the grid, making power from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar far more economical and reliable. The novel battery technology was reported in a paper published in Nature on […]

NWTC Broadens Drivetrain Research with New 5-Megawatt Dynamometer Test Facility

Test rig aims to lower wind energy costs by analyzing turbine reliability and performance in precise, “real world” scenarios

Premature failures of mechanical systems have a significant impact on the cost of wind turbine operations and thus the total cost of wind energy. Recently, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) took a giant step forward in the quest for more reliable, lower-cost wind power with the addition of the new 5 MW […]
David Glickson

January 2014

Up-Tower Electrical Testing

A comprehensive approach to maximizing generator and component lifespan, dependability, and performance through periodic electrical testing and fault analysis.

Premature failures of mechanical systems have a significant impact on the cost of wind turbine operations and thus the total cost of wind energy. Recently, the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) took a giant step forward in the quest for more reliable, lower-cost wind power with the addition of the new 5 MW […]
Kevin Alewine, Casey Gilliam

Turbines Directory 2014

Wind turbines are the one component that wind farms simply cannot do without. More than 100 wind turbine manufacturers exist globally, offering as many 1,000 turbine models. No single turbine is the right fit for every application. In the following pages, Wind Systems has compiled news, turbine models, and general specifications from common utility-scale wind […]