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by MARK HENRICKS

Food processing facilities are beginning to look like potential early adopters of waste-to-energy recycling.

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Double-digit growth continued in the global wind market in 2013. Of today’s 318 gigawatts (GW) total generating capacity, 35 GW was added in 2013 alone.

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Renewable Energy Systems Americas Inc. (RES Americas) has received notice to proceed for construction of the Pleasant Valley Wind Project in Mower and Dodge Counties in southeast Minnesota.

RES Americas is the developer and engineering, procurement and construction contractor of Pleasant Valley. The company successfully developed the project over a number of years in coordination with county and state officials and through the assembly of a landowner stakeholder committee to represent the community. Upon completion, RES Americas will transfer the project to Xcel Energy which will own and operate Pleasant Valley.

The 200 MW project is comprised of 100 V100-2.0 MW Vestas turbines, 88 of which will be in Mower County and 12 of which will be in Dodge County. During the planning phase, RES Americas selected the turbine locations so as to preserve the site’s wetlands and other biological, natural and cultural resources. Construction of Pleasant Valley began in July 2014, with projected commercial operation in October 2015. The project is expected to employ up to 250 workers during peak construction.

The project is expected to qualify for the Federal Production Tax Credit, and it is anticipated that it will generate nearly $950,000 in annual local tax revenue that will be split pro rata between the counties and townships.

Xcel Energy estimates that Pleasant Valley will avoid up to 419,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The Vestas V100-2.0 MW turbine, launched in 2013, generates approximately 13 percent more energy than earlier models at medium wind speeds. It is expected that the cost of energy generated by the project will be competitive with or below wholesale power prices in the region.

“The Pleasant Valley project is 1 of 4 new wind projects under development that will add 750 MW of clean wind energy to our Upper Midwest system,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO of Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “These projects will lower our customers’ bills, offer protection from rising fuel costs, and provide significant environmental benefits.”

RES Americas currently has more than 770 MW of wind and solar power under construction in the United States and Canada. The company recently completed construction on Canada’s largest wind project, the 270 MW South Kent Wind Project in Ontario, and Texas’ largest solar photovoltaic project, the 41 MW Alamo 1 facility in San Antonio.

Published in the August 2014 Edition of American Recycler News

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SunEdison, Inc., a solar technology manufacturer and provider of solar energy services, announced a new project that will install 159 kilowatts (kW) of solar PV micro-grids with battery storage in six remote Indian villages, which will bring electricity to, and thereby improve health and education for, 4,875 off-grid people.

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Bluesphere Corp. has been issued an air emissions permit by Mecklenburg County for its 5.2 MW waste-to-energy project in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Every year, Intersolar Europe, the world’s largest exhibition for the solar industry and its partners, pays tribute to  the most innovative developments in solar technology.

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