Congressman Encourages Long-Term Wind Policy
by Angela Beniwal
North American Windpower, May 23, 2011
During the opening session of the American Wind Energy Association's (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2011 conference on Monday morning, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., spoke about the need for implementing long-term energy policies that will help the wind industry fully come to scale.
"You've heard it on this stage; you'll hear it throughout the conference. We can't repeat it enough: Get the production tax credit extended," he said. "Our goal should not be a short-term extension, but to give you a window of opportunity that's long enough to realize the potential of your industry."
Blumenauer, a member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, said people need to understand the importance of subsidies for the wind industry.
"In the short term, we must make a public investment in terms of tax advantages and other subsidies to bring your industry to scale, and we must have a long-term policy framework," he said.
Developing more wind energy - and cleaner energy, in general - is of vital importance to the country, according to Blumenauer. But he said that transmission and integration issues must first be resolved. He cited the recent example of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) curtailing wind production because of an overabundance of hydropower as an example of an important wind-integration issue.
"I fear one arm of the federal government - the Bonneville Power Administration - really is not acting in the best interest of the administration's policy to try and integrate and build the wind industry," he said.
Blumenauer went on to say that the BPA needs to make changes, no matter how difficult, in order to minimize wind curtailment.
"Their role is going to require some stretching, and there will be a little pinch on the way, but we can't afford to lose this opportunity and put the burden on the wind industry itself," he said. "We've got to fix this integration issue."
The congressman also advocated changing the regulatory process so that developing wind projects is not a cumbersome process.
"If we cannot efficiently and effectively provide environmental regulation, if we've got too many hoops and nonsensical programs that don't really cut to what we're trying to accomplish, we are not serving the environmental interests," he said. "And we're not serving consumer interests. We need your help to work on a new vision for regulation that is performance-driven."
Blumenauer also expressed support for a national renewable electricity standard.
"We ought to get across the finish line on the federal level," he said. "There's nothing partisan about it; there's nothing ideological about it."
Wind Success Comes with Challenges by Staff, BPA Journal, 12/8
How Too Much Wind Power Could Actually Hurt Salmon by Dan Tilkin Video, KATU News, 11/5/8
Managing with Wind and Water by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian, 10/12/8
BPA Sees 'Precarious' NW Energy Picture by Staff, KTVZ, 2/20/7
Energy Supply/Demand Requires Action by Staff, BPA Journal, 3/7
Overgeneration Announcement related to graphic.
To safeguard salmon and steelhead and assure reliable energy delivery during these unusually high seasonal river flows, BPA has taken the following measures, which it took as a last resort and had been working to avoid. BPA will update this site at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
[May 23, 10:30 a.m.] On May 23, BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generation, from midnight until 5 a.m. The output limited ranged from approximately 42 to 650 megawatts per hour, totaling aobut 1,967 megawatt hours.
Over the past weekend, BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generation, as noted below. The total amount of generation impacted was about 18,819 megawatt hours.
[May 22] BPA temporarily limited generation twice: from midnight until 8 a.m. and again from 10 p.m. up to midnight of May 23. The output limited ranged from approximately 150 to 1,160 megawatts per hour, totaling about 7,964 megawatt hours.
[May 21] BPA temporarily limited generation over three periods: from midnight. until 9 a.m. from 5 to 7 p.m., and from 10 p.m. up to midnight of May 22. The output limited ranged from approximately 67 to 1,438 megawatts per hour, totaling about 10,405 megawatt hours.
[May 20] On the evening May 20, BPA limited generation from 10 p.m. up to midnight of May 21, in a range of approximately 50 to 400 megawatts per hour, totaling about 450 megawatt hours.
[May 20, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from 11 p.m. May 19 until 5 a.m. May 20. During that six hour period, approximately 600 to 1,200 megawatts per hour of wind generation, totaling about 5,300 megawatt hours, were impacted.
[May 19, 3 p.m.] No current limits on generation
[May 19, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from 11 p.m. May 18 until 5 a.m. May 19. During that six hour period, slightly less than 1,000 megawatts per hour of wind generation, totaling about 5,700 megawatt hours, were impacted.
[May 18, 3 p.m.] No current limits on generation
[May 18, 9 a.m.] BPA temporarily limited the energy output of regional generators, including wind generators, from midnight until 5 a.m. May 18. Approximately 200-350 megawatts of wind generation per hour, totaling about 1,400 megawatt hours, were impacted.
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