Renewable Energy: Tax Credits for Windspire

27 Jul

Windspire renewable energy - tax credits and incentivesClearly, tax incentives are necessary to motivate the public to invest in renewable energy sources. The capital expenditures for renewable energy are still high but we’re gaining ground.

The following includes tax credit information for Windspire products. We’ll continue to publish information on tax incentives and rebates as we find them. Please let us know if you know of any so we can help spread the word!

U.S. Federal Small Wind Tax Credit

U.S. home owners and businesses can save 30% off the total cost of their Windspires by applying for a 30% tax credit on their federal income taxes.  The credit applies to the total cost of the project, including the turbines and installation.

U.S. Businesses are also eligible to take their 30% tax credit as cash.  Under a new program introduced by the U.S. Treasury and Department of Energy, businesses may now collect their credit in cash within sixty days of completing an installation instead of waiting for an end of year tax credit.

To learn more about the program visit the U.S. Treasury website.

Local Rebates for Windspire Products

Local rebates are also available from state renewable energy funds and local power companies. In some states the rebates can be as high as $4,800 per Windspire.  Your local Windspire dealer can also help you understand your local and state rebates. You can also visit DSIRE, a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

From the Windspire blog: 9 Things to Know About Small Wind Power

Used to be if you wanted to put a wind turbine up at your house you either had to live on a remote farm, or grow your hair long and pledge allegiance to an aging group of touring musicians. Thanks to major improvements in technology and a general awareness of the benefits of making your own energy from clean and free wind, small wind power is going mainstream. According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the US small wind market grew by 78% last year with many new turbines hitting the market. But more options don’t make finding the right wind power solution easy. If you are interested but not sure how to even get started, here are 9 things to know as you consider wind power. (Continue reading on the Windspire blog here)

I found the Windspire website while reading a HubSpot eBook about developing better B2B Facebook pages. The company’s Facebook page was one of the examples in the eBook; how to do a Facebook page right:

Windspire: www.windspireenergy.com
Employees: 11 to 25
Industry: Business Products
Facebook Fans: 2,7865
Page Features: Wall, Photos
Go to Facebook Page

Solar: Federal Incentives Grow Local Businesses

12 Jun

Will Federal incentive programs help change the agriculture industry by encouraging more farms to install solar energy systems? Reports suggest they will for some firms in Virginia.

A federal incentive program could forever change the face of Virginia’s agriculture industry by encouraging more farms to install solar energy systems.

That’s the hope of Blue Crump, owner of Fan-based Cityspace Construction and Cityspace Solar. Crump recently started pitching solar installations to local farms using government grants and credits as a tasty carrot.

Cityspace’s first agricultural project is the new wine-tasting room at Cooper Vineyards in Louisa County. Fifty-five percent of the cost for the facility’s 5.8 kilowatt solar array will be covered by federal incentives.

That’s because the federal stimulus bill extended a renewable energy incentive program to businesses and provides a 30 percent grant or tax credit toward the cost of wind, solar or other systems. In addition, a grant offered by the USDA through the Rural Energy for America Program offers agriculture-based business a 25 percent credit.

“The idea of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture just go hand in hand,” Crump said, adding that the investment pays off in seven to 10 years. (Read Al Harris’ full article at Richmond Biz Sense here)

The U.S. Dept. of Energy is another resource for funds and the Virginia Department of Mines Minerals and Energy is seeking $15 million plus in stimulus funds for renewable energy grants and rebates for both households and businesses.

BMW Aggressively Evaluates Alternative Energy – Spartanburg

11 Apr

Since February, BMW has been evaluating wind speeds at their Spartanburg, SC, manufacturing plant to determine the feasibility of using wind power at the site. Gold Ring Power, LLC, is working with the automobile manufacturer to determine the viability of adding wind to the list of alternative energy sources used to power the facility. Currently, recycled methane gas from a nearby landfill provides over 60 percent of the plant’s power, which saves the automaker over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."

 

Full Press Release:
BMW MANUFACTURING LAUNCHES WIND POWER STUDY
BMW News/Press Release/Spartanburg, S.C. – Feb., 2009: BMW Manufacturing Co. announced that it has begun a study into the feasibility of using wind energy on the plant site. BMW will partner with Gold Ring Power, LLC to conduct an energy audit to gather data on wind speed and patterns throughout the site. The results of the test will reveal the viability for BMW to add wind to the list of alternative energy resources used to power the facility.

 

Duncan Seaman, Facilities Manager for BMW, explains that "globally, wind power is growing at a rate of about 30% annually and is widely used in several European countries. This assessment is an ongoing commitment by BMW to investigate renewable energy options."
To begin this test, two 50-foot towers have been installed on the plant site. Anemometers, similar to measuring devices used by meteorologists, will be attached to each tower to collect data on wind speed and direction. One tower will be located in front of the BMW Zentrum Visitors Center and will be visible from Interstate 85. The towers will stay in place for two weeks and will then be moved to other strategic locations on the plant site to gather additional wind data. After several weeks, the data will be analyzed by Gold Ring Power, LLC and provided to BMW for further evaluation.

"Alternative energy projects such as this are essential to the sustainability of this plant. Following the success of the methane gas project, we continue to look for ways to harness the natural resources available to us. BMW is already a global leader in automotive technology and innovation, so projects like these are a natural outgrowth of our commitment to managing alternative energy resources," said Robert Hitt, manager for Corporate Communications.

Currently 63% of the BMW plant in Spartanburg is powered through recycled methane gas from the local landfill. This Landfill Gas to Energy Project, launched in 2003, has saved the company over $1 million per year in energy costs.

Gold Ring Power, LLC is a California-based company that specializes in efficiently integrating renewable energy systems into manufacturing facilities and industrial plants.

BMW Manufacturing Co. is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X5 Sports Activity Vehicle and X6 Sports Activity Coupe. In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California.

 

For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

Biden’s Middle Class Task Force Meeting Focus Green Jobs

02 Mar

Task Force Focuses on Green Jobs as a Pathway to a Strong Middle Class

The White House Task Force on Middle Class Families, led by Vice President Joe Biden, held its inaugural meeting on February 27 in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. The Task Force has a simple mandate: to find, highlight and implement solutions to the economic challenges facing the American middle class. With President Obama announcing last week more than $20 billion for investment in a cleaner, greener economy – including $500 million for green job training – the Task Force’s first order of business is to evaluate what investing in green jobs will mean for middle class families.

After VP Joe Biden presented at the Middle Class Task Force Meeting and discussed the $19 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment act that is dedicated to renewable energy. Solpower Jobs, a green web recruiter, believes Biden’s plan lacks foresight (Source: PRWEB and Solpower jobs).

Vice President Biden said,

“We all know that the existing electrical grid today is inadequate, insufficient and outdated. For example, of all the wind power that we’re talking about being able to create in the Midwest and North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and other plain states, (has) significant potential. But it cannot carry that energy right now to population centers that need the electricity most without a new transmission superhighway.”

Solpower jobs remarked on Biden’s meeting the next day saying,

“there is no doubt that smart grid technology is an improvement over the current electrical grid but… The current administration has not recognized the self sufficient decentralized energy sector.” Solpower jobs continued to bash the plan and proposed that building self powered homes was a better use of the budgeted funds.

Vice President Biden’s proposal would spend $11 billion of the $19 billion to build “The Transmission Superhighway” which the US Energy Department believes could provide the US with 20% wind energy. Additional information is available at the U.S. Department of energy website.

Additional Background on the Task Force

The Middle Class Task Force, chaired by Vice President Biden, is working with a wide array of federal agencies that have responsibility for key issues facing the middle class to expedite administrative reforms, propose Executive orders, and develop legislative and policy proposals that can be of special importance to working families. One of the things that makes this task force distinctive is it brings together – in one place – those agencies that have the most impact on the well-being of the middle class in our country. For more information, visit www.AStrongMiddleClass.gov.

Who’s right?

Is VP Biden’s focus on the transmission superhighway a wise use of the money? Or, is more critical thinking and brain power needed to address our nation’s power dilemma?

Titan Wind Project to be World’s Largest, Joint Venture

22 Oct

Wind_millWind energy is a clean, renewable and cost competitive practical solution to help eliminate our dependence on foreign and domestic oil. And, today Clipper Windpower and BP Wind Energy announced a joint venture agreement for the “Titan Wind Project.” Clipper Windpower is in the business of providing advanced technologies and services for large-scale expansion of wind energy.  It is anticipated that the growth of the wind energy industry will be substantial given it is clearly a viable alternative to inefficient, costly and polluting carbon-based fuel generation.

The following is the press release for the joint venture:

CLIPPER WINDPOWER AND BP WIND ENERGY COMPLETE JOINT VENTURE AGREEMENT FOR TITAN WIND PROJECT

Master Turbine Supply Agreement Provides Opportunity To Supply Up To 2,020 Turbines

London (UK), Carpinteria, CA (USA) – October 22, 2008 Clipper Windpower Plc (“Clipper”) today announced that it has completed its 50:50 joint venture (“JV”) agreement with BP Wind Energy for the development of the Titan wind project, a 5,050 megawatt (MW) wind energy development located in South Dakota. The project is expected to be constructed in multiple phases and, when completed, will be the world’s largest wind farm.

The new venture has signed a Master Turbine Supply Agreement for the purchase of up to 2,020 Liberty wind turbines [if the project is fully built] from Clipper for the Titan wind project subject to pre-agreed conditions.

Under the terms of this agreement, in addition to wind turbine supply, Clipper would provide operations and maintenance services for the Titan Project for a period of five years.

Clipper’s Liberty 2.5 MW wind turbine is designed to minimize unscheduled maintenance events over its 20-year life through a highly efficient, patented Quantum Drive® distributed generation power train and proprietary permanent magnet generator technology. Variable speed operation is achieved in a simpler and more efficient manner than standard wind turbines. The Liberty wind turbine was tested at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and in 2007, Clipper was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its “outstanding contribution toward industry advancements” through an Outstanding Research and Development Partnership Award which recognizes the Liberty wind turbine for attaining “unparalleled levels of efficiency and reliability and reduced cost of energy.”

About Clipper Windpower
Clipper Windpower, www.clipperwind.com, is a rapidly growing company engaged in wind energy technology, turbine manufacturing, and wind project development. With offices in the USA (California, Colorado, Iowa and Maryland), Mexico, Denmark and the United Kingdom, and a ISO9001:2000 QMS Certified 330,000 square foot manufacturing and assembly facility located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the company designs advanced wind turbines, manufactures its 2.5-MW Liberty wind turbine and actively develops wind power generating projects in the Americas and Europe. Clipper is a public company listed on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM). Clipper’s ticker symbol is CWP.

The ordinary shares of Clipper Windpower Plc are traded on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange and are not registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Such shares may not be offered or sold to residents of the United States or to persons acting on their behalf, or to other persons who are “United States Persons” within the meaning of Regulation S as promulgated under the Securities Act of 1933, unless such shares have been registered under the Securities Act or there is an available exemption from registration.

Bailout Bill Big Win For Wind, Hybrids and Solar

07 Oct

Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush, the bailout legislation includes a $17 billion energy tax package; a big win for solar, wind and hybrids.

Here’s a summary of articles on the topic with links to the publishers and their full stories:

Wired.com: Bailout Bill Benefits Wind and Solar Power Companies.

The general public may not be thrilled with the $700 billion “financial rescue” package that the House approved and President Bush signed Friday, but the alternative energy industry cheered its passage because the legislation includes renewals of tax breaks that company executives had worried would expire at the end of the year.

ClimateProgress.com: The biggest winner is certainly solar. As Scott Sklar, former head of the Solar Energy Industries Association and now President of the Stella Group summarizes:

This package extends the 30-percent federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial solar, small wind, ground-coupled heat pumps installations from 4 – 8 years. This bill also completely eliminates the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations. This bill also provides a incentive tax credit (ITC) for water energy applications
(tidal, wave, and ocean currents and thermal) and combined heat and power. The federal production tax credit was extened for biomass power, geothermal and wind energy as well.

Also according to ClimateProgress.com, the 8-year extension of the ITC is a crucial step in ensuring the success in this country of one of the most critical climate solutions – solar baseload or concentrated stored thermal electric, which the solar industry considers one of the single most important issues the federal government needs to address for stable growth.

Plug in hybrids also benefit from the bailout package as reported by the Green Car Congress:

The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds.

Phaseout of the credit is to begin after the total number of qualified PHEVs in the US sold after 31 December 2008 is at least 250,000.

Qualifying vehicles must have a battery pack with at least 4 kWh of capacity–a provision that will preclude the inclusion of the first generation of Toyota PHEVs as well, potentially, as other lower all-electric range plug-ins.

ClimateProgress.com: This is a heck of a kickstart for plug-in hybrids, especially since $1 billion has been set aside for this tax credit. The Electric Drive Transportation Association also reports “The credit is available against the alternative minimum tax,” which is very good news. That means the upscale first buyers of this $45,000 car will actually be able to take advantage of this credit (see here).

Lots of other clean technologies benefited. For instance, “The measure increases the tax credit limitation for fuel cells from $500 to $1,500 per half kilowatt of capacity.” Frankly, $500 was the equivalent of doing nothing, whereas $1,500 may actually make some stationary fuel cells competitive. Geothermal
heat pumps
and cogeneration systems both get a well-deserved new 10% ITC.

DailyKos: A comprehensive article on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the “Bailout Plan”).

Bottom Line “Green” Strategies for Businesses

19 Sep

Everyday business owners and managers are meeting to discuss operating expenses and profits. But how often do you see “Green Strategies” as a line item on the agenda? Not often enough but more often now than in the past for a good reason; green business strategies increase profitability.

When a business implements green strategies they reduce waste, increase efficiency and lower their operating costs. Not only do you help improve the environment, you profit by doing so. Where do you start?

There are a significant amount of resources available from organizations, companies and government agencies.

Industrial Technologies Program (ITP): Leads national efforts to improve industrial energy efficiency and environmental performance. ITP is part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and contributes to its efforts by partnering with U.S. industry in a coordinated program of research and development, validation, and dissemination of energy efficiency technologies and operating practices. There is a wealth of information available on their website including additional details concerning the Industrial Assessment Centers (more info below).

Industrial Assessment Centers: The Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs), sponsored by EERE’s Industrial Technologies Program, provide eligible small- and medium-sized manufacturers with no-cost energy assessments. Additionally, the IACs serve as a training ground for the next-generation of energy savvy engineers. Manufacturers can request an energy audit from IACS. A team of energy specialists will visit your facility, perform an energy audit and help you identify projects that conserve energy and reduce waste.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE): DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have conducted dozens of environmental audits in North Carolina. The state does a fabulous job providing information to businesses, consultants and the public. If you can’t find what you need on their website, give them a call – they are very helpful.

Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program: Partnership of environmental agencies, utilities and nonprofit organizations that assist, recognize and promote businesses and government agencies that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified “green,” participants must be in compliance with all regulations and meet program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution and minimizing waste; all of which result in lowering costs and increasing profits. The program was initially developed by local governments in the San Francisco Bay Area in collaboration with US EPA, Cal EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control and the business community. Although the program is focused on the Northern California area, they offer a variety of business resources you can use to reduce waste including “Green Business Checklists” such as the following for:

Buying Green Power in Your State – Green Power Network: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Green Power Network provides news and information on green power markets and related activities. This site provides state-by-state information on Green Power Marketing in Competitive Electricity Markets and Utility Green Pricing Programs. In addition, the site lists marketers of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) (also known as green tags or tradable renewable certificates), which represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from a renewable energy project. Whether or not consumers have access to green power through their local utility or a competitive electricity marketer, consumers can purchase RECs without having to switch electricity suppliers.

Wind Powering America: The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America site provides state-by-state wind project information, including validated wind maps, anemometer loan programs, small wind guides, legislative briefings, wind working groups, and state-specific news.

Profitable Green Solutions: More and more focus is being placed on total carbon emissions; your carbon “footprint” so to speak. First, you must accurately measure your carbon emissions using global standards. There are numerous ways to measure and subsequently reduce carbon emissions that result in cost-savings. Profitable Green Solutions, a private consulting firm, solicites new business by offering free carbon audits.

Oil Obit Energy Environment

21 Aug

Oil Obit – help us write the obituary for our dependence on foreign energy supplies. Here you will find hard-core, high-level information pertaining to energy alternatives, renewable energy, solar, wind, geothermal and related solutions. You can also follow the money – venture capital, mergers and acquisitions in the energy and environmental fields.

Feel free to register and leave your comments, papers and topics for discussion.