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Fortnightly Magazine - May 2011
Energetix Pnu Power developed a range of compressed air batteries as direct replacements for conventional battery and flywheel power backup systems. Supplied as plug-and-play units from 3 kW to 200 kW, the batteries have been deployed by National Grid in the U.K. and United States. Energetix says the systems can be driven from industry standard compressed air cylinders with an auto compressor for recharging, or plant mains air supplies. Pnu Power has also developed a containerized backup power system using a compressed air battery and a diesel generator.

$42 million Adams Wind Project in Meeker County in west-central Minnesota. The project, which was announced in December 2009, includes 12 Alstom Eco 86 wind turbines, to provide about 20 MW of wind capacity. Xcel Energy will buy energy produced by the Juhl Wind project under a 20-year agreement. The wind farm is owned by local residents and farmers.

WindTamer Corp.’s board of directors approved changing the name of the company to Arista Power, Inc. The name change is subject to stockholder approval at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 18, 2011. The company will continue to use the “WindTamer” brand name on its wind turbines. The company intends to apply for a change in its ticker symbol immediately following stockholder approval of the name change.

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu offered a conditional $102 million loan guarantee to support the Record Hill wind project, which includes a 50.6-MW wind farm and an eight-mile transmission line and associated interconnection equipment near the town of Roxbury, Maine. Developed and managed by Wagner Wind Energy of New Hampshire and Independence Wind of Maine, Record Hill is sponsored by the Yale University Endowment fund. The facility will consist of 22 Siemens SWT-2.3-93 turbines and new transmission lines to interconnect with Central Maine Power. The turbines will be installed with turbine load control (TLC) technology, a system of sensors and processing software that allows the turbines to continue to generate electricity under turbulent conditions, rather than be shut down completely. TLC is also expected to reduce wear-and-tear on the turbines, reduce operation and management costs, and preserve the lifetime of the turbine components.

Prudent Energy received a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) toward construction and operation of a Vanadium Redox battery energy storage system (VRB-ESS) with SunPower’s PV systems. The grant and construction of the system will be completed in cooperation with SunPower, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), KEMA and Sandia National Laboratories. Prudent’s VRB-ESS energy storage system works similarly to a rechargeable fuel cell, where chemical energy is converted into electrical energy in a quick manner.

GE introduced its 4.1-113 wind turbine, a 4-MW-class machine designed for offshore use. GE signed a contract to supply a 4.1-113 wind turbine, along with associated services, to Göteborg Energi for installation in the Gothenburg, Sweden, harbor in the second half of 2011. The project is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency. GE says the direct-drive technology provides a simple, reliable design with built-in redundancy to ensure reliability at sea. Also the modular design is intended to simplify in-situ repair and reduce the need for large repair vessels. The new turbine builds on GE’s 3.5 MW direct-drive design.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released its first call for proposals from wind industry companies interested in forming a partnership with NREL to test a multi-megawatt wind turbine drivetrain. The drivetrain will be tested in NREL’s new 5-MW drivetrain test facility, scheduled for completion by the end of June 2012.

Siemens Energy’s Instrumentation , Controls & Electrical (IC&E) Business Unit signed two new contracts for its plant-wide distributed control systems. Siemens will upgrade the existing control systems of five Oglethorpe Power Corp. (OPC) power plants in Georgia with the Siemens Power Plant Automation T3000 (SPPA-T3000) system. Additionally, Voith Hydro, Inc., sub-contractor for American Municipal Power (AMP), contracted Siemens to install and test its SPPA-E3000 electrical system at four new power houses of AMP’s 313-MW Ohio River project. The upgrades are scheduled to be implemented between March

The new 480 VAC Magnalight substation from Larson Electronics is designed for installations where native distribution power supply isn’t available.