May 17, 2020

NextEra Upgrades Altamont Wind Farm for Birds

Energy
Digital
news
Power
Admin
2 min
In an effort to reduce bird deaths, NextEra Energy will upgrade the Altamont Pass wind farm with Siemens turbines
The AltamontPass Wind Farm serves as a doorway to wind energys past. Located just southeast of San Francisco, California, the wind farm is one of the o...

The Altamont Pass Wind Farm serves as a doorway to wind energy’s past.  Located just southeast of San Francisco, California, the wind farm is one of the oldest and largest in North America.  The unique site features wind turbines ranging in age, with the oldest being nearly 30 years old.  The only problem with these aging turbines, apart from the fact that only about half of the 4,000 featured at the farm actually work, is that they tend to kill birds.  The small multiblade turbines are deadly traps that claim the lives of nearly 2,000 raptors each year along with 8,000 other birds and bats.  NextEra Energy, who owns roughly half of the wind turbines at Altamont seeks to address the growing concern over bird deaths by replacing old dangerous turbines with large-scale Siemens turbines with far less chance of maiming flying animals.

NextEra Energy plans on installing around 100 of Siemens’ 430-foot-tall 2.3-megawatt turbines.  The turbines they will be replacing only stood about 100-feet-tall and generated between 50 and 750 kilowatts of electricity.  A single one of the new Siemens turbines provides enough energy to power 600 to 700 homes each year.

"It's almost a complete revolution in the way that you capture the wind," says Anthony Pedroni of NextEra Energy Resources. "The new turbines are 430 feet tall from the base to the tip of the blade, and the higher you go, the faster the wind speeds are."

Doug Bell, manager of the East Bay Regional Park District’s wildlife program says in regard to the bird deaths, "Any way you look at the mortality data, there's been a tremendous impact on birds.  I've found birds sliced in half. You see all kinds of blunt force trauma."

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Some claim that upgrading to newer turbines at Altamont could reduce the bird mortality rate by as much as 80 percent.  One of the main problems with the older turbines is the latticework that comprised the turbine towers.  Raptors used the lattice to perch from and hunt, putting them in dangerous proximity to the spinning turbine blades. 

NextEra’s upgrade is to be carried out in three phases and fully completed by 2015.  The company is also removing 6.5 miles of overhead electrical lines and eight miles of roads to allow the land to return to its natural state.  The project is also creating union construction jobs.  So far, 135 people have been hired for the upgrade. 

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Jul 22, 2021

Octopus Renewables buys Eclipse Power

OctopusRenewables
Renewables
Acquisitions
UK
Dominic Ellis
3 min
The deal, completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector

Octopus Renewables has strengthened its electricity distribution profile by fully acquiring Eclipse Power for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, which was completed with funds managed by Octopus, furthers Octopus’ involvement in the electricity distribution sector, having worked with Eclipse since 2018. It will allow Eclipse to continue the expansion of its team, while also investing in its systems, technology, and pipeline, with the ambition of making it one of UK’s leading IDNOs.

Eclipse has secured a portfolio of more than 10,000 connections across residential, industrial, commercial, battery storage and electric vehicle charging customers. Given the focus on electrification of heat, transport and industry in the UK, Eclipse is expected to play an important role in facilitating the UK’s energy transition.

Octopus Renewables is the largest investor of utility scale solar power in Europe, as well as a leading investor in onshore wind and biomass, managing a global portfolio valued at more than £3.5 billion. Institutional investor Nest partnered with the company in March.

Peter Dias, Investment Director, Octopus Renewables, said: “Having worked with Eclipse since 2018 and seeing their exciting growth, we’re thrilled to be able to make this acquisition and support the team to maintain this momentum.

“The acquisition of Eclipse is part of our strategy to identify and back great management teams that are supporting the energy transition. With ongoing support and investment, our investee businesses will have access to the expertise, business networks and financing to be able to scale faster and help contribute towards the UK’s net-zero goals.

“High-quality management of the distribution networks is going to be critical for the UK, and we are very pleased to be directly supporting the decarbonisation of heat, transport, and industry through this acquisition of Eclipse.”

Gary Gay, Managing Director, Eclipse, added Octopus shares a clear understanding of the important role that electricity distribution networks will play in the UK’s drive towards net-zero, and importance of a customer-focussed approach for building future smart distribution networks.

“With that, we are excited to now be part of the Octopus Group, with this investment helping us to reach the next stage of our growth journey and contribute to a greener, more efficient electricity network in the UK.”

Global renewables updates

ReNew Power recently won a 200MW/ac Interstate Transmission System (ISTS) solar generation project in an auction conducted by the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. ReNew Power expects to sign a 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement with the utility by the third fiscal quarter of 2022 to supply clean energy to Maharashtra at a tariff of Rs 2.43/ kWh (~US$0.033).

Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, has announced a $20M funding round led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and supported by Chevron Technology Ventures.
The company will use the funding to deploy its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), which enables cost-effective production of distributed reliable renewable energy.

Duke Energy Florida plans to invest an estimated $1 billion in 10 new solar power plants across Florida, including the construction of four new sites, which will begin in early 2022 and will take approximately 9 to 12 months to complete. Construction of all 10 sites is projected to be finished by late 2024.

LG Electronics has made public its commitment to transition completely to renewable energy by 2050 as a key component of its sustainability strategy. 

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