Connecticut OKs wind power rules, ends moratorium

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers broke an impasse over energy policy on Tuesday, approving wind power regulations that end a moratorium on new turbines producing clean energy.

The legislature's Regulation Review Committee approved rules that require setbacks, address concerns over noise and shadows created by spinning turbine blades, stipulate how siting officials may measure the height of wind turbines and provide other technical details. For example, a wind power developer must submit a visual impact report that analyzes how each of the proposed wind turbines sites is visible along with any alternative locations.

Rock Island Clean Line could bring Chicago cheaper electricity

Chicago Sun-Times

The company behind the proposed $2 billion Rock Island Clean Line, the transmission line which would bring 3,500 megawatts of wind energy from Iowa to Illinois, claims the project could bring Chicago residents electricity savings, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Missouri Farm Bureau opposing wind energy transmission line


The Missouri Farm Bureau has filed with the state Public Utilities Commission opposing Clean Line Energy's application to be granted eminent domain status for a proposed route for its Grain Belt Express transmission line, which would bring wind-generated electricity from Kansas to Illinois, KQTV reports.

Texas rushing to install wind projects

The Dallas Morning News

Texas on track to build more than 7,000 megawatts of new wind projects in 2014, although not all will be completed, The Dallas Morning New reports, noting that interest has been boosted by the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone project. 


Tax credit uncertainty drove boom-bust cycle for wind power in 2013

A sharp drop in wind farm installations last year, followed by a surge of new construction heading into 2014, sprang from uncertainties surrounding the federal tax treatment of wind power, the American Wind Energy Association said Thursday.

Installations last year fell 92 percent and sector employment fell by 30,000 jobs because the renewable energy Production Tax Credit was not extended into 2013 until Jan. 2, as part of the fiscal cliff deal that included numerous short-term tax break renewals. AWEA said in its annual report, also issued Thursday, that the renewal "came too late to avoid damage to our industry."

The Dec. 31 deadline to qualify for the credit before it ran out again caused a huge surge in activity, however. Some 95 projects were underway with a capacity of more than 12,000 megawatts by year's end, nearly all of it starting in the fourth quarter.

IKEA buying Illinois wind-energy project

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. subsidiary of Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced Thursday that it is buying a long-planned wind-energy project in eastern Illinois as part of the company's initiative to offset its energy use with renewable energy generation.

And IKEA insists the project, which has not yet been built, is more than public relations. The company believes that, long term, wind energy will help the company's bottom line, Chief Financial Officer Rob Olson said.

But right now wind power is a struggling business. Cheap natural gas and the end of a federal tax break for wind-power producers have left wind generation unprofitable.

After First Wind loses court ruling, Maine DEP asks for fresh funding proof

Portland Press Herald

After the Maine Supreme Court ruled against a joint venture between First Wind and Canadian firm Emera Inc., the state's Department of Environmental protection has asked the wind developer for fresh guarantees that it can fund the projects it has started, the Portland Press Herald reports.

Fishing concerns at meeting over Long Island offshore wind lease plans


Officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management got an earful about possible effects of offshore wind turbines on fishing, at a meeting Tuesday on Long Island to discuss possible lease sales for wind farms in the region, Newsday reports.

Firm appeals denial of wind farm off Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey company is appealing the state's rejection of its plan to build a wind farm off the coast of Atlantic City.

Fishermen's Energy filed an appeal Monday with the state Board of Public Utilities, saying the agency erred when it rejected the plan last month.

O'Malley: not convinced on wind turbine moratorium

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Martin O'Malley says he still has misgivings about a bill to set a 13-month moratorium on the development of tall wind turbines within 56 miles of the U.S. Naval Air Station Patuxent River base in southern Maryland.

O'Malley wouldn't say Monday if he would veto legislation that has been sent to his desk. But the governor, who is a strong supporter of wind energy, says, "I have yet to conclude that windmills are quite the threat to Naval air radar that those advocating for this ban have concluded."


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