Google Announces $200 M Investment in Texas Wind Farm
Google announced substantial equity investment in the 161 megawatt Spinning Spur wind farm in Oldham County, Texas yesterday. This investment is the first that Google has made in Texas renewable energy but follows a long history of energy investments, especially in wind. The Spinning Spur project joins ten other renewable energy projects in Google's portfolio, which together are capable of producing up to 2 gigawatts of power.
Jeff Clark, Executive Director of The Wind Coalition applauded Google’s decision to invest in Texas wind saying, “Google has been a leader in revolutionizing technologies to improve the products and industries that touch people’s lives. In the field of energy Google has led by example, seeking out ways to improve energy efficiency and by harnessing renewable power to meet their energy needs while reducing their environmental impact.”
“This first investment in Texas follows Google’s incredible track record of wind energy investments across the nation. Google knows that wind is a mainstream, reliable, and affordable source of energy and we welcome their investment and commitment here,” said Clark. “This investment is a testament to the incredible wind energy resources found in Texas and the visionary state policies that have made Texas the nation’s wind power leader.”
The Spinning Spur project is located roughly 35 miles from Amarillo and was developed by EDF Renewable Energy, a member of The Wind Coalition. EDF Renewable Energy is an integrated energy company active in all areas of the energy market including generation, transmission, distribution, energy supply, and trading. The project will utilize 70 Siemens 2.3 megawatt turbines. The electricity produced has been contracted to SPS, a utility that primarily serves Texas and New Mexico. Spinning Spur is expected to produce enough energy to power over 60,000 average US homes.
The Wind Coalition is a non-profit association formed to encourage the development of the vast wind energy resources of the south central United States. The Wind Coalition is active in the Southwest Power Pool (“SPP”) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid systems, which cover all or part of eight states (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, and Louisiana). The Wind Coalition’s members include developers, owners and operators of wind farms, turbine and component part manufacturers, law and engineering firms and public interest advocates.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.