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In Madison County, Iowa, the facility of the individuals has prevailed over the cash and political affect of Large Wind.

On Saturday, landowners within the county who had leased their property for a wind venture being pushed by MidAmerican Energy Firm, received letters informing them that the corporate was abandoning plans so as to add 30 wind generators to the controversial Arbor Hill wind venture. The cancellation seems to finish a multi-year battle between the corporate, a subsidiary of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, and offended county residents who united to oppose the landscape-blighting venture.

The battle included a court docket battle during which the corporate sued the county as a part of an effort to pressure it to just accept extra wind generators. Had MidAmerican chosen to construct these 30 generators, it could have been entitled to tax credit price about $81 million.

MidAmerican’s cancellation of Arbor Hill is the primary giant wind venture to be scuttled since Sen. Joe Manchin pulled his assist earlier this month for a invoice that contained $300 billion in energy-related subsidies, together with multi-year extensions of the tax credit for wind and {solar} energy, in addition to billions extra for EVs.

Large Wind has lengthy relied on the manufacturing tax credit score (PTC) to gasoline its enlargement. However the PTC, which is the second-most-expensive energy-related provision within the federal tax code, and has been prolonged 13 instances, expired in the beginning of this yr. That expiration, together with Manchin’s refusal to increase it, has put your entire wind sector right into a tailspin. (The funding tax credit score for {solar} energy is the most costly energy-related provision within the federal tax code.) Iowa has performed a central position in MidAmerican’s subsidy-mining technique. In 2018, the Des Moines Register reported that the corporate had spent about $12.3 billion on wind tasks within the state and that it “will obtain about $10 billion in federal manufacturing tax credit for the funding, protecting the capital prices wanted to construct the wind farms.”

MidAmerican’s withdrawal from Madison County is the most recent instance of the agricultural backlash towards the encroachment of large-scale renewable tasks. It additionally exhibits how tough it has develop into for builders to web site wind (and {solar}) tasks in areas the place residents are united of their opposition. That was the case in Madison County, a province famend for its picturesque picket bridges.

Roy and Mary Jobst, residents of Earlham, Iowa, in a current photograph with their grandchildren. The Jobsts had been among the many many residents of Madison County who opposed MidAmerican Energy Firm’s plans to place 30 extra wind generators within the county. Roy and Mary Jobst

Mary Jobst, a resident of Earlham, and an ardent opponent of the Arbor Hill venture, was exultant about MidAmerican’s cancellation. “I’m celebrating. How superior,” she informed me on Saturday afternoon. “It’s a day I’ll keep in mind for a very long time: July 23, 2022. It’s a vital day. Quite a lot of work went into this. What made the distinction in Madison County is that we’re a group that has integrity and we assist one another and we simply weren’t going to face for this.”

Jobst and quite a few different residents of Madison County have been preventing MidAmerican’s venture for greater than three years. I first interviewed Jobst on September 30, 2019. She and her husband, Roy, signed a lease in 2017 that allowed the corporate to place generators on their property. The couple farm on land that has been in Roy’s household since 1909. However after studying extra concerning the venture, the Jobsts, who’ve been working Roy’s Auto Restore in Earlham since 1976, turned ardent opponents and requested the corporate to launch them from the deal.

On Saturday, they acquired their want.

Within the cancellation letter, dated July 21, MidAmerican says that the corporate “has been evaluating this web site since 2017 however has been unable to proceed with building as a consequence of quite a few challenges that the venture has confronted in Madison County…Sadly, after a radical evaluation, as a consequence of quite a few excellent points – together with some dedicated landowners wishing to be launched from their casement [sic] agreements – MidAmerican has decided that we’re unable to proceed the development of Arbor Hill.”

The battle between the corporate and the county started in 2019 after the Madison County Board of Public Well being authorized a decision that stated there may be “potential for unfavorable well being results related to industrial wind generators” as a result of noise produced by the enormous machines. The board additionally stated that the prevailing setbacks between generators and residences had been “insufficient to guard the general public well being” and it really helpful that every one future wind generators within the county be positioned 1.5 miles from properties. (As I defined in my “Not In Our Yard” report, quite a few research by well being professionals from everywhere in the world have acknowledged the deleterious well being results, together with sleep disruption, that may happen when close by residents are uncovered to noise air pollution from wind generators.)

In late 2020, by a 2-1 margin, the Madison County Board of Supervisors handed an ordinance that prohibited the set up of wind tasks inside 1.5 miles of non-participating landowners, restricted the peak of generators to lower than 500 toes, imposed strict noise limits, and eradicated property-tax breaks for wind tasks. The deciding votes had been forged by supervisors who had been elected on anti-wind platforms: Diane Fitch and Heather Stancil. (Each Fitch and Stancil, have appeared on the Energy Hungry Podcast.) In passing the measure, Madison County turned the second Iowa county to ban wind tasks. (Adair County was the primary.)

In response to the brand new ordinance, MidAmerican sued the county as a part of an effort to pressure the county to just accept wind generators it didn’t need. The county later agreed to settle the lawsuit after Fitch switched her place. Thus, although MidAmerican intimidated the county into agreeing to a deal that allowed extra generators, the corporate is dropping out.

The cancellation comes on the identical time that MidAmerican is selling a large enlargement of its wind and {solar} operations in Iowa. Moreover, the cancellation of Arbor Hill is occurring on the identical time the wind sector is shuttering manufacturing crops in Iowa and different states. Two months in the past, wind-turbine producer Siemens Gamesa introduced it will shutter manufacturing crops in Hutchinson, Kansas, and Fort Madison, Iowa. The Iowa plant had 171 workers. The Kansas plant, slated to shut this month, has 92 employees. As well as, TPI Composites closed its turbine-blade manufacturing plant in Newton, Iowa final yr.

In an e-mail assertion on Saturday evening, MidAmerican’s vp of company communications, Tina Hoffman, informed me “After evaluating the altering parameters in Madison County, together with the discount within the variety of generators we may assemble as a part of the settlement, MidAmerican has decided that we’re unable to maneuver ahead with the venture.”

Whereas MidAmerican can blame the cancellation on “altering parameters,” the arduous actuality is that the corporate’s scorched-earth authorized marketing campaign towards Madison County was a public-relations catastrophe, each for the corporate and the wind business as a complete. The swimsuit proved, but once more, that land-use conflicts are the binding constraint on the enlargement of the wind business. As well as, by suing the county, MidAmerican proved simply how unpopular wind energy has develop into in rural America. In spite of everything, if wind energy is “green” why would the corporate must sue?

For now, the final phrase on this story goes to Jobst, who informed me she is “thrilled” that MidAmerican is leaving Madison County. “Each one of many generators they wished to construct was proper subsequent to a landowner who hadn’t consented. That’s not proper. You may’t simply construct a 500-foot-high turbine with out permission.” She then repeated what she had informed me a couple of minutes earlier: “We weren’t going to face for it … Our property rights should not going to be violated right here.”

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Barge Master Assigns OSI as North American Distributor, Manufacturer



Barge Master Assigns OSI as North American Distributor, Manufacturer

OSI Renewables, a lately launched product providing of Oil States Industries Inc. (OSI) leveraging greater than 4 a long time of marine business deck tools manufacturing and aftermarket companies experience, has entered into an settlement with Barge Grasp BV primarily based in Rotterdam, Netherlands to be the unique distributor of the Barge Grasp Subsequent Era Gangway in North America. The settlement additionally grants OSI Renewables the chance to fabricate Barge Grasp motion-compensated gangways in the USA. Barge Grasp is a developer of motion-compensated options that present steady entry to offshore constructions whereas offering for the secure and environment friendly switch of crew and cargo regardless of climate.

The collaboration allows OSI Renewables to increase its rising portfolio of revolutionary options for the offshore wind business and provides American-based offshore wind service suppliers and vessel builders the chance to cost-effectively incorporate European applied sciences constructed and serviced in the USA by a U.S. producer and aftermarket service supplier. This facilitates vessel operators constructing Jones Act-compliant vessels, that are required to be constructed and flagged within the U.S. OSI Renewables may also present engineering-driven aftermarket service and assist for Barge Grasp’s motion-compensated Subsequent Era Gangway.

“Our rising relationship and enlargement of the Barge Grasp expertise into these markets demonstrates our mutual dedication to the secure improvement of offshore wind sources as a key a part of the worldwide energy combine,” says Brian Mizell, vice chairman of enterprise improvement and advertising for OSI. “Collectively, we’re well-positioned to equip Jones Act-compliant vessels to assist offshore wind discipline companies. We’re excited to collaborate with Barge Grasp and leverage our international sources to supply localized manufacturing and repair assist of the confirmed Subsequent Era Gangway.”

By means of a worldwide footprint spanning 14 nations and greater than 1,300 workers, OSI applies its engineering and evaluation, manufacturing, testing and offshore operational expertise to supply built-in methods and companies.

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Senate Passes Inflation Reduction Act to Advance Clean Energy Deployment



Ørsted Partners with Spoor on Bird Monitoring Tech for Offshore Wind Farms

The U.S. Senate has handed the Inflation Discount Act – a bit of laws that may, partially, foster progress for the clear energy business.

“It’s going to shore up the U.S.’ place as a clear energy producer and cut back our greenhouse emissions by 40 p.c by 2030, whereas investing within the coal communities that powered our nation for generations,” states U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. “Higher but, we’re going to create 9 million well-paying jobs within the subsequent decade to get this accomplished. I efficiently fought to incorporate a provision that may promote the creation of family-supporting clear manufacturing jobs right here within the U.S. relatively than in opponents like China, as a result of we don’t have to decide on between green energy and our staff.

Casey helped handed a provision to incentivize clear energy deployment and manufacturing in “energy communities” – areas whose economies and jobs are or had been depending on the coal, oil or pure fuel energy sectors. A tax credit score will present a bridge for energy staff and communities because the U.S. transitions to a clear energy financial system in addition to prioritize workforce growth.

This invoice invests in American-made energy and manufacturing. The IRA consists of amendments that may require some clear energy initiatives to fulfill strict home content material requirements to obtain tax credit. Additional, all clear energy initiatives will obtain a ten% bonus tax credit score for assembly home content material requirements.

The IRA consists of tax credit to speed up U.S. manufacturing of {solar} panels, wind generators, batteries and demanding minerals processing, in addition to a $7,500 credit score for buying a brand new electric or hydrogen automobile that was made in North America. The invoice will develop a talented workforce that gives good-paying union jobs because the clear energy business grows. The IRA gives $9 billion in shopper house energy rebate packages to impress house home equipment and for energy environment friendly retrofits, in addition to 10 or extra years of shopper tax credit to make houses energy environment friendly and make warmth pumps, rooftop {solar} and electric HVAC extra reasonably priced.

“With the passage of the Inflation Discount Act within the Senate, {solar} and storage firms are one step nearer to having the enterprise certainty they should make the long-term investments that decarbonize the electrical grid and create tens of millions of recent profession alternatives in cities and cities throughout the nation,” says Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the {Solar} Energy Industries Affiliation (SEIA).

“This laws is probably the most transformational funding America has ever made in our local weather future, and we’re grateful to our members, the clear energy group and each considered one of our {solar} champions in Congress for his or her work to get us to this historic second. The {solar} business has set a aim to account for 30% of all U.S. electrical energy technology by 2030, and this laws might be a catalyst for reaching that focus on. Now the work can start to construct out America’s clear energy financial system with historic deployment, home manufacturing, investments in low-income communities, energy storage, smoother interconnection, and a lot extra.

“America is poised to steer the world’s clear energy transformation whereas decreasing prices for households. We look ahead to seeing President Biden signal this invoice and kick off this new period of American management.”

Picture: “A black streak in the sea off the North Norfolk coast – Common and Velvet Scoters taking a break” by Ian-S is licensed beneath CC BY-NC 2.0 .

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Improving offshore weather forecasting with machine learning



Improving offshore weather forecasting with machine learning

By Intissar Keghouche, DELFI lead, StormGeo

“All fashions are incorrect, however some are helpful,” the statistician George Field wrote in 1976. This acquainted aphorism sheds gentle on the truth that fashions can not seize the complexities of the actual world. Whether or not we use fashions to review monetary market mechanisms, predict optimum healthcare methods or, for every other use case, they are often helpful however by no means really correct.

The identical goes for numerical climate prediction. As most of us have skilled watching the climate on TV, climate forecasts are not often good. Like all forecast fashions, climate fashions are solely an approximation of the world that tries to foretell the situations of the ambiance by gathering quantitative information and counting on superior calculation strategies.

Current technological developments, nonetheless, promise to enhance the accuracy of climate forecasting. At this time, superior machine studying methods and elevated computing energy can scale back climate forecast errors, finally serving to meteorologists develop higher predictions.

That is excellent news for the offshore wind trade, because the climate performs a vital function within the building, upkeep, and productiveness of offshore wind farms. Wave peak determines the working home windows of wind farm set up vessels and limits the accessibility of wind generators for upkeep. Lightning and thunderstorms can endanger the protection of upkeep crews engaged on the generators. And robust winds can scale back the operability of cranes and thereby restrict the working home windows throughout set up.

With extra correct climate forecasts at hand, offshore wind gamers can effectively scale back downtime and prices whereas concurrently rising the protection of personnel and upkeep crews.

As a world accomplice for the offshore wind trade, StormGeo strives to enhance its climate forecasts to assist offshore wind builders and operators guarantee safer and extra environment friendly wind farm installations and upkeep. That’s the reason StormGeo has developed DELFI, a climate forecasting algorithm that leverages the facility of machine studying to enhance offshore wind operations and upkeep worldwide.

DELFI: Machine studying for offshore climate forecasting

DELFI (deep studying forecast enchancment) is StormGeo’s machine studying system, elevating the standard of climate forecasts by correcting forecast errors adaptively. It leverages a broad vary of superior machine studying methods, from linear fashions to deep neural networks, to mechanically enhance forecast high quality by studying the error patterns from the forecast techniques.

Each week, DELFI compares the forecasts produced by the completely different strategies with all accessible remark information and chooses the strategy with the best rating. That methodology is then used within the forecasting for the subsequent week. The method is repeated each week, at all times including final week’s observations to its verification course of.

DELFI differs from conventional climate forecasting in that it reduces the necessity for handbook intervention in position-based forecasts. The place we regularly wanted to depend on forecasters to study, bear in mind and act on the mannequin’s weaknesses up to now, DELFI now learns these weaknesses and mechanically reduces most of those errors. DELFI, then, offers a extra correct start line than any of the enter forecasts.

Machine learning-based forecast enchancment strategies, equivalent to DELFI, are, in precept, not that completely different from standard climate forecasting. In each circumstances, someone or one thing should perceive and study the forecasting system weaknesses and leverage this data to enhance the accuracy. The principle distinction, nonetheless, is that the machine studying system extra effectively identifies errors in comparison with a standard climate forecaster. DELFI, then, offers a extra correct forecast baseline that helps the forecaster work extra effectively and make higher selections.

DELFI, and machine studying generally, not solely improves the accuracy of climate forecasts but additionally improves effectivity by automating duties historically carried out by human climate forecasters. The forecaster’s function will change accordingly, shifting away from detailed intervention of position-based forecasts to focus extra on determination help for offshore wind shoppers, optimizing the forecasts, figuring out doubtlessly breaching thresholds and offering recommendation when observations don’t match the forecasts.

In different phrases, DELFI reduces the subjective factor of climate forecasting, which in flip creates extra constant and environment friendly predictions which are much less depending on the inclinations of particular person forecasters. For some offshore wind builders and operators, a extra goal forecast might yield extra confidence throughout decision-making processes.

DELFI will increase forecast accuracy

StormGeo has efficiently used DELFI to enhance climate forecasts for a number of offshore areas – though the machine studying system remains to be in its early improvement phases.

For instance, a multinational energy firm just lately leveraged DELFI to enhance its understanding of metocean traits on one among its offshore areas within the North Sea. By counting on DELFI’s machine studying capabilities, the offshore web site improved its outcomes considerably in comparison with conventional climate forecasting strategies.

The determine under reveals an improved forecast accuracy on the offshore location (determine 1). The blue curve signifies observations, exhibiting measured wave peak for 9 days throughout Autumn 2021. The orange line represents the numerical climate prediction mannequin. The green line represents the DELFI forecast – and catches the variability appropriately.

Determine 1: Time collection of serious wave peak forecast from 2021-10-30 to 2021-11-07. The time collection of mannequin and DELFI forecasts proven listed below are based mostly on a 0 to 12 hours lead time.

For some offshore shoppers, the distinction between 1.9 and a pair of.2 meters of wave peak is vital to their operations and their capacity to make sure security and effectivity and scale back operational downtime. And offshore operators, generally, more and more deal with the cost-benefit of getting extra correct forecasts. Leveraging machine studying methods helps us adapt to those altering enterprise wants by rising climate forecasts’ high quality, accuracy, and effectivity.

A vibrant future for offshore climate forecasting with machine studying

The primary use circumstances for DELFI are promising, and the system will carry on bettering and increasing to enhance forecast high quality in much more industries and for extra superior conditions. And DELFI will solely improve its accuracy because it will get extra use circumstances to study from. StormGeo at the moment trains DELFI to enhance the forecasts weekly, utilizing a full vary of machine studying methods, as new and up to date remark information from offshore wind farms and different offshore installations are available.

As soon as carried out, DELFI can lead to important climate forecast accuracy enchancment, finally serving to offshore wind builders and operators safely plan their operations and enhance operational spending.

Dr. Intissar Keghouche is a senior scientist with experience in operational oceanography, metocean forecasting, and statistics. She holds a Ph.D. in bodily oceanography from the College of Bergen. Presently, she leads DELFI, a undertaking which mixes observations and numerical climate predictions to boost the abilities of climate forecasts utilizing ML methods.


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