Alert: Automation World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
Greenfield
Factory Automation
Bassett
Batch Processing
Hand
Process Automation
Reynolds
Packaging Automation
Campbell
On the Edge
Factory & Machine Automation Playbook cover
This one-of-a-kind Factory Automation Playbook is packed with best practices, practical tips and pitfalls to avoid on a wide range of topics, from defining project objectives to selecting components to implementing technologies that can make your automated systems smarter and more productive.

 

Wind Industry: Surviving Earthquakes and Congress

One of renewable energy's big selling point is the minimal impact on the environment to produce energy and another one might be withstanding mother nature's strongest storms and major earthquakes.
print email

In Alaska, the wind blows in the winter time. As reported in a recent article in the Alaska Dispatch, two wind farms came online last fall and have been producing energy at a rate above expectations. Good news and even better news, a 5.9 earthquake near Anchorage, Alaska, did not stop these two wind farms and its turbines from producing energy. The wind farms are designed to withstand earthquakes, but a large earthquake—say more than 8.0—could shut them down. 

I thought it was interesting that the buiding out of the nation's infrastructure has a trickle down effect. Not only are we looking at more energy sources, such as natural gas and solar, but updating and adding new power plants are the benefactor of the latest building specifications for natural disasters and more powerful weather patterns. The earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan in 2011 was a reminder of how old power plants are suseptible to Mother Nature and begs the question whether retrofitting these plants is practical? Last year, the Dept. of Energey granted two new permits for nuclear plant construction and will be built with modern, safety standards for greenfield projects. 

Not only are we looking at more energy sources, such as natural gas and solar, but updating and adding new power plants are the benefactor of the latest building specifications for natural disasters.

Regarding Alaska, the wind farms are part of the energy mix for the state.The state has been hurting due to the rising cost of heating oil and, in general, is looking to more energy alternatives. The big one is  natural gas--a big percentage for some cities in Alaska--and some hydro-power. Wind power is around 2 percent of the mix but could grow more with addition of offshore wind plants. 

In other recent wind power news, the fiscal cliff deal included an extension of the wind power credits for a year. Turbine manufacturers, Siemens Industry and Vestas, began cutting back production of turbines due to a congressional indecision during 2012. The tax credits are for one year and no long-term wind tax credit plan is on the horizon in Washington yet. 

0

Add new comment

 

  NEWSLETTERS
Don’t miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!

News Insights

News & Analysis

Product Insights

Latest Automation Products

Best of Blogs

Industrial Automation Columnists

Automation Focus

Sponsored white papers, videos and products

Continuous Processing

Oil & Gas, Chemical and More

Automation Skills

Improve Industry Skills

Industrial
Ethernet Review

Network Application of IE

On The Edge
Blog

Workforce Development

Factory Automation

Technology for Discrete Manufacturing

Food Bev & Pharma

Automation Applications & Trends

Global Edition

Global automation news

Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.

 

IT Delivers on Automation’s Promise
E-Book Special Report
IT Delivers on Automation’s Promise

Sign up to receive timely updates from the editors at Automation World and download this FREE Special Report on the transformative power of data in manufacturing. By integrating information and automation technologies, manufacturers are finally achieving major gains in productivity from their automated systems.

x