BEST PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR ENERGY CROP DEVELOPMENTS
A novel approach to generating best practice guidelines is being
developed for the emerging biomass industry. The guidelines are being
developed by a whole range of organisations and individuals who have
an interest in the development of short rotation coppice (SRC) biomass
schemes. These include developers, environmental NGO's farmers and
planners. A steering group made up of British Biogen2, Friends of
the Earth, Environmental Resolve1 (the project managers) and ETSU
(Energy Technology Support Unit) have designed the process and are
guiding the project.
A workshop in early January attended by over 30 people agreed the
target audience, and focus the guidelines should take. The group
also developed the sections and broad contents of the document.
The workshop agreed that a smaller sub-group should meet to develop in
more detail the structure of the document. This sub-group will
divide up the document and for each section set up small drafting
groups made up of a series of experts in relevant fields. A team of
editors will work with the drafting groups to ensure that the final
document is consistent and accessible. Final drafts will be ready in
A much wider list of individuals and organisations who have an
interest in bio-mass developments has been developed This group will
be kept in touch with the project and the draft circulated to them
prior to finalisation.
Renewable energy developments have long been considered as
environmentally sensitive, providing us with clean electricity.
However in recent years renewable projects have been subject to
considerable environmental scrutiny and a number of developments
(particularly in the wind sector) have come under attack by
environmentalists and local communities.
Renewable energy projects have to justify their appropriateness just
like any other form of development.
The cumulative effect of a number of developments being campaigned
against on environmental grounds can only have a bad effect on the
industry as a whole. A poorly designed project may have no chance of
being built, but the press coverage around that proposal could have a
major impact on another much stronger proposal.
These best practice guidelines, being developed by industry and
environmentalists alike at the start of the commercialisation process,
aim to address potential stakeholder concerns in order that
developments can proceed in a sensitive manner. The guidelines will be
available for anybody to use as a yard stick to assess the
appropriateness of a particular plan or proposal.
The success of this project depends on ensuring that a broad breadth
of concerns are considered and that as many people and organisations
as possible feel their priorities and concerns have been addressed.
For more information please contact Jennifer Marusiak at Environmental
Resolve on 0171 824 8411 or Pippa Hyam on 0171 404 3454. Please provide
postal address & phone number if e-mailing.
This project is funded by the DTI through ETSU.
1. Environmental Resolve is a professional service provided by
The Environment Council, an independent charity. It aims to realise a
sustainable future through helping different interest groups, often
with conflicting views, to find and implement practical and positive
ways to address environmental problems and opportunities.
2. British Biogen is the Trade Association for the biomass
industry in the UK, and brings together all the organisations,
companies and individuals that have a commercial interest in biomass.
U.S. FIRMS SEE SALES GAINS
FROM ADVANCED TURBINES
U.S. wind turbine manufacturers are projecting total sales
of $330 million by the end of 1996 of models designed and built
under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Turbine Development
Program, according to Brian Smith of the National Renewable
Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Turbines developed with the assistance of the program, their
manufacturers, and sales estimates, Smith said, include:
The success of U.S. firms in selling the new machines
appears to result in large part from their arriving on the
commercial market at a time when international sales of wind
equipment are growing rapidly. For example, 222 units of the R.
Lynette turbine are being shipped to India for wind farm projects
in that country, according to Smith. Overall, he added, "It
seems to us like a pretty good return on a $12 million research
- AOC 15/50 (50 kW), Atlantic Orient Corp., Norwich, Vt., $5.2
- EHD vertical-axis (300 kW), FloWind Corp., San Rafael,
Calif., no estimate.
- 500 XST (500 kW), New World Grid Power Co., Palm Springs,
Calif., $42 million.
- AWT-26/27 (275 kW), R. Lynette & Associates, Redmond, Wash.,
- North Wind 250 (250 kW), New World Power Technology Co.,
Moretown, Vt., $10 million.
- Z-40 (550 kW), Zond Systems, Tehachapi, Calif., $182
The machines already in the market, NREL staff said, result
from two parts of the Turbine Development Program, the Near-Term
Product Development (NTPD) project and the Value-Engineered
Turbine (VET) project. To date, Smith said, DOE has spent $6.2
million on the NTDP project (Atlantic Orient, FloWind, and New
World Grid Power machines) and $3 million on the VET project (R.
Lynette, New World Power Technology, and Zond turbines). An
additional $2.7 million is committed to testing, bringing total
federal spending to $11.9 million. Industry subcontractors have
invested $8.7 million in cost-sharing to the programs.
NREL's Hal Link reported on the status of subcontract work
in the NTDP effort, which seeks to develop turbines that can
produce power for 5 cents/kWh in a 5.8 m/s (13 mph) average wind,
Walt Musial of NREL described subcontracts for the VET
project, which aims to support U.S. windfarm developers in bring
new and improved machines to market, as follows:
- Atlantic Orient is conducting tests on several prototype
turbines installed in various locations around the country.
Preliminary structural loads data on the machines looks
promising, and several components, including the tip brakes
and controller have been upgraded.
- New World Power Technology is testing its 250-kW prototype,
which uses ailerons for peak power and overspeed control.
Performance and loads results to date have been good.
- R. Lynette is monitoring its two initial prototype turbines,
and the two machines have produced 1.3 million kWh so far in
9,957 hours of operation. In addition to the large shipment
of turbines to India this year, the company plans to build
91 for a project in Oregon in 1996.
The Turbine Development Program also contains some other
projects, on Next Generation Turbine Development, Small Wind
Turbine Development, Next Generation Innovative Subsystems, and
- Zond Systems has developed the Z-40, a 550-kW machine with a
40-meter diameter rotor using airfoils designed by NREL and
ailerons for power regulation, a fully integrated drive
train and yaw system, and a custom-designed control system.
Prototype turbines have run for 5,072 hours and produced
687,000 kWh, and 12 production units have recently been
installed in Texas.
- New World Grid Power Co.'s 500 XST is a 36-meter, three-
bladed machine similar to the Austrian Floda 500 and Danish
DWT 400 units. The turbine will incorporate "proven off-
the-shelf" variable speed generator and drive train
technology from General Electric Co., and installation of a
prototype is expected this fall.
- FloWind's EHD machine is designed as a Darrieus "egg-beater"
vertical-axis system with a minimum capacity of 300 kW that
will use low-cost pultruded blades and advanced airfoils.
The turbine is currently in the preliminary design phase.
The Next Generation Turbine Development project, Smith said,
will be selecting two to three subcontractors in September to
design, fabricate and test three prototype innovative turbines
each. The winners will be picked from a group of seven teams
currently working on preliminary turbine design concepts. A
total of $30 million in funding is anticipated for this project.
The Small Wind Turbine Development effort aims at the
development of cost-effective, high-reliability machines rated
from 10 kW to 40 kW in capacity. DOE funding for this project is
estimated at $3 million, and selection of up to three
subcontractors is envisioned. A request for proposals (RFP)
which would begin a competitive bidding process for
subcontractors is currently on hold while Congress debates the
size of the federal wind energy research and development budget
(R&D) budget. If the final budget number is too low, Smith said,
the RFP would likely be deferred for a year.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has authorized me to offer
an electronic edition of its newsletter, _Wind Energy Weekly_, from
which the above article is excerpted, at no cost.
For those of you who have not previously seen excerpts from back
issues, the _Weekly_ reports on the outlook for renewable energy,
energy-related environmental issues, and renewable energy
legislation in addition to wind industry trade news. The
electronic edition normally runs about 10kb in length.
The free electronic edition of the _Weekly_ is intended as an educational
publication for those without a commercial interest in the wind energy
industry. If your interest in wind is commercial in nature, please write to
for more information about AWEA membership and
If you would like a free electronic subscription, send me an e-mail
request. Please include information on your position, organization, and
for interest in the publication.
Tom Gray email@example.com
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