The US is going to build its biggest wind farm ever
The state of Iowa is perhaps best known for being the largest corn producer in the US, but it could soon be renowned for producing a very different kind of resource: wind energy.
A US $3.6 billion project, called Wind XI, was approved by the Iowa Utilities Board earlier this week. The project’s multiple sites will include 1,000 turbines capable of generating up to 2,000MW of electricity — enough energy to power some 800,000 Iowan homes. The precise location of the new wind farms has yet to be determined.
Des Moines-headquartered utility MidAmerican Energy is behind the Wind XI project, which is due to be completed in 2019.
“Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone,” said Bill Fehrman, MidAmerican's CEO and President.
Wind XI will generate more than $1.2 billion in landowner easement and property tax payments over the course of the next four decades. During the construction phase of the project, it’s expected that thousands of jobs will be made available in the state, with hundreds to be added once the wind farms are complete.
MidAmerican has said that it hopes to one day power Iowa on 100 percent renewable energy. Wind XI is going to help it meet 85 percent of its customers’ energy requirements using wind by 2020.
At present, the USA's largest wind farm is the 1548MW Alta Wind Energy Centre, also known as Mojave Wind Farm, in California.
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.