Nantucket wind farm: Decision expected this month
The project, if it goes ahead, will place 130 wind-powered turbines in the shallow waters of Nantucket Sound off Massachusetts. President Obama has pledged to double renewable energy from wind, sun and biodegradable waste sources in three years, and the Energy Department has predicted that as much as 20 percent of U.S. power can by generated by wind turbines by 2030- compared to 1.8 percent now.
However, a federal advisory council has said that Salazar should reject the proposal because of its “destructive” effects on historic sites. Leaders of 3,200 Wampanoag Native Americans have said that the Cape Wind project would desecrate the view of the sunrise that is essential to their prayer ceremonies. The project was also opposed by late Senator Edward Kennedy before he died.
Supporters of the wind farm project are claiming the success of this project is essential to the future of wind power in the U.S.
“When we talk about what’s made America’s energy policies so challenging to devise it’s in no small measure this whole not-in-my-backyard sentiment,” former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham has said. “Every time you think you’ve satisfied protest group No. 1, there’s protest group No. 2.”
“Everyone is waiting for Cape Wind to break the ice,” said Jack Clarke, Massachusetts Audubon Society Public Policy Director and Chairman of the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative in Boston. “There would be few investors willing to put themselves at risk if it didn’t look like the U.S. was committed to renewable Senator Edward Kennedy.”
Edited by Jennifer Denby
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.