EIA Report: United States approaching 1 GW in cumulative wind power capacity
Wind power is a rising force in the United States’ energy sector—and the numbers are in to suggest that production is only increasing. This week the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a new report asserting that over the course of the year 2014, 74,000 small wind turbines (generating no more than one MW each) across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have contributed to distributed wind power in the country reaching a cumulative capacity of 906 MW or almost one full GW.
That is a lot of wind turbines spread across the United States and its surrounding territories, and they did not all appear overnight. But the past year saw a significant boost with 63.6 MW of distributed wind capacity added on throughout 2014. According to the EIA report, this extra wattage comes from 1,700 wind turbine units installed across 24 states, representing a $170 million investment in wind power.
Some additional interesting insights gleaned from the EIA report include:
- The top five small wind turbine manufacturers and suppliers in the United States in 2014 in terms of capacity, a list consisting of: Northern Power Systems of Vermont, Bergey WindPower of Oklahoma, PowerWorks of California, Primus Wind Power of Colorado and Ventera Wind of Minnesota;
- New Mexico, Texas and California as the top three states increasing their wind capacity, with New Mexico in particular accounting for a 55 percent majority of the United States’ annual wind power capacity;
- The average capacity-weighted average install cost of wind power, which has decreased from $6,940/kW in 2013 to $6,230/kW in 2014, proving that wind power is becoming increasingly affordable as the years progress.
This data is invaluable, not only showing that wind power is gaining traction but also showing where in the United States it is picking up speed. The data was compiled by the EIA, the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
[SOURCE: Renewables Biz]
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.