US House committee calls for rapid wind build; Europe's largest community wind project closes financing

Our pick of the latest wind power news you need to know.

Rapid buildout of wind and solar and new carbon emissions targets are required, a U.S. House select committee said. (Image credit: REUTERS/Stevo Vaseljevic)

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US House committee backs wind, solar in new climate plan

A U.S. House select committee has called on Congress to enact a range of long-term measures to reduce emissions and improve the health of US citizens.

The U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis called for the US to reach net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and to establish interim targets to assess progress. Greenhouse gas emissions must fall to 37% below 2010 levels by 2030 and 88% below 2010 levels by 2050, it said.

Congress must support the "rapid deployment" of wind, solar, energy efficiency and other low carbon measures, as well as new transmission infrastructure, the committee said.

Measures that incentivize domestic manufacturing of clean technology must be implemented, including clean vehicles, it said.

             Wind power penetration by country

                                    (Click image to enlarge)

Source: US DOE's 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report 

New laws must also be put in place by 2030 to protect at least 30% of all US land and ocean areas, prioritizing areas with high ecological and carbon sequestration value, the committee said.

Limits on fossil fuel extraction must be implemented on onshore and offshore areas, it said.

The committee also called for the launch of new economic sectors such as direct air capture and low carbon building materials.

Further measures are required to protect US citizens from high pollution areas and the effects of climate change, it said.

Dutch co-op to build Europe's largest community wind farm

Windpark Zeewolde, a Dutch cooperative of 200 local farmers, residents and investors, has closed the financing and turbine supply contracts for its 322 MW wind repowering project near Amsterdam, project partners said in a joint statement June 26.

Due online in 2021-2022, Zeewolde will be the largest onshore wind farm in the Netherlands and the largest community-owned wind farm in Europe.

Rabobank has agreed to provide 500 million euros ($561.5 million) of junior and senior debt to the project and Denmark's Vestas will supply 83 turbines. The site currently hosts over 200 turbines which will be replaced by higher capacity 2 MW and 4 MW models. The new turbines will triple energy output using less than half the number of turbines and Vestas has signed a 20-year service agreement.

"Rabobank was keen to support the financing of this project, due to its cooperative structure comprising of a large client base of the bank in addition to supporting the energy transition," the bank said.

Construction of the substation and infrastructure began in October 2019, supported by financing from local project stakeholders, Sjoerd Sieburgh Sjoerdsma, Managing Director of Windpark Zeewolde, said.

"Now, with Vestas and Rabobank we can start the construction of the turbines,” Sjoerdsma said.

Siemens Gamesa to supply 14 MW turbines to giant UK offshore project

Siemens Gamesa is to supply its new 14 MW offshore wind turbines, the largest currently available, to Innogy's 1.4 GW Sofia offshore wind farm in the UK, the companies said in a joint statement June 22.

The deal represents the first European order for the turbines, which Siemens Gamesa unveiled last month. The company has already signed conditional supply deals for projects in the US and Taiwan and Sofia raises total orders to 4.3 GW.

Siemens Gamesa will supply 100 turbines to Sofia pending a final investment decision expected in the second quarter of 2021. The turbines will feature a rotor diameter of 222 meters and 108-m blades.

The Sofia site spans a gigantic area of 593 km² and will be located on the Dogger Bank shelf some 195 km north-east of the UK.

"This turbine embodies the impressive technology we need to build our ground-breaking project, that is further from shore and more technically challenging than any of its predecessors,” Sven Utermohlen, Senior Vice President, Renewables Operations Offshore at Innogy, said.

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