Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort has distinguished itself as the destination for green lodging and events. Six UGE wind turbines now sit atop the hotel and Hilton couldn’t be more pleased!
“The turbines will help us visualize the hotel as a place to be conscious of energy use… it will help to highlight the importance of conserving electricity, and to start dialogue.”
Randy Gaines, VP of Engineering, Hilton Worldwide “The power generated by the wind turbines is enough to light this building year-round.”
Andreas Ioannou, General Manager, Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Resort
Even the Mayor is thrilled with the addition to Fort Lauderdale’s beach front:
Representatives for Wayne Auto Spa Owner and the township have come to an agreement regarding owner Rob Burke’s application to construct a wind turbine at his business.
The Planning Board is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution amending Burke’s application.
The matter has dragged on for years after Burke applied to construct a turbine with 6-foot long blades on it in 2007. The turbine would generate power for Wayne Auto Spa. Several solar panels are operating on the property
The Planning Board denied Burke’s application in October of 2008 citing a lack of expert testimony and concerns about safety and noise.
State Superior Court Judge Donald Volkert overturned the denial in July 2010. In his decision, Volkert said that the board improperly denied the application due to the concerns.
“The board should have granted minor site plan approval and used its authority to place reasonable conditions to mitigate any noise or safety impacts,” Volkert said in his ruling. “The board did not have the authority to enforce noise or safety ordinances. That is the responsibility of administrative departments.”
The Planning Board unanimously at a meeting in November 2011. The approval is part of a settlement agreement with the town to have the 50-foot tall turbine installed on the property.
The council must approve the agreement before the turbine can be installed. According to Burke, the council has not approved the agreement.
Burke said that the case is not settled and “has no idea when” it will be.
Matthew Giacobbe, the town’s general counsel, could not be reached for comment.
As part of the agreement, the turbine will not have blades on it. Instead, a bladeless version, which is designed to be much quieter than ones with blades, will be installed.
Burke is also looking to recoup between $250,000 and $300,000 in legal fees he claims he is owed.
Burke said he has never met with township officials regarding the application.
The council approved an ordinance in December 2009 permitting wind turbines to be installed in industrial areas in the township but not at the Wayne Auto Spa.
By Michael Copley
Some of the country’s biggest financiers of renewable energy say there is ample debt and equity in the market for qualifying projects.
In 2013, about 25 tax-equity investors completed an estimated $6.5 billion in deals with wind and solar project developers, according to John Eber, managing director of energy investments at J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Keith Martin, a partner at the law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP. During the same period, between 50 and 60 commercial banks committed roughly $29 billion in debt for project finance, said Thomas Emmons, managing director of Rabobank Group’s renewable energy finance Americas division.
Those numbers appear to be trending upward, at least on the equity side. Tax-equity lending increased by about $1 billion in 2013, and Eber forecast “a sizeable pipeline” of wind and solar projects seeking equity lending from a growing number of investors in 2014.
On the debt side, project finance rebounded after falling to between $24 billion and $25 billion in 2012 from $40 billion in 2011, Emmons said. However, financing for oil, gas and conventional power projects appears to have been up in 2013, while investment in renewables was flat or down slightly, Emmons said during a Jan. 21 webinar hosted by Chadbourne & Parke.
Still, about 10 new commercial banks entered the project debt space in 2013, and more are expected in 2014, including regional U.S. banks, smaller banks in Canada and some in Northern Europe, Emmons said.
Tax equity was the subject of considerable debate within the U.S. solar industry in 2013. Some industry advocates, such as Jigar Shah, the founder and former CEO of SunEdison LLC, have argued that tax incentives like the investment tax credit drive up the cost of capital by limiting the pool of potential investors.
Others, though, have hesitated to turn their backs on the ITC, saying the subsidy is cumbersome but workable and a decent tool to help level the energy playing field.
In 2013, roughly 20 tax-equity investors completed 27 solar deals totaling nearly 1,800 MW, Eber said. According to SNL data, 4,114 MW of solar are under construction, with 2,234 MW expected in service in 2014 and 1,561 MW expected in service in 2015.
Meanwhile, 13 tax-equity lenders completed 21 wind deals totaling more than 3,000 MW, Eber said. There are 5,727 MW of wind projects under construction, according to SNL data, with 3,024 MW expected in service in 2014 and 1,759 MW expected in service by 2015.
“Let’s just say we see a sizeable pipeline of opportunities in both solar and wind tax equity that we expect to be in the market in 2014,” Eber said. “The market continues to expand in terms of the number of investors, and the active investors continue to increase the amount of dollars they’re making available,” he added. “So we expect the market to be able to serve the needs.”
Asked what their biggest concerns are moving forward, the speakers cited “transaction quality.”
“We’re seeing in this a wide variety of transactions, some of which are … similar to just a very easy project to get completed and then we’ve seen merchant and all sorts of stuff that people are kind of pushing the envelope” with, said Lance Markowitz, Union Bank’s senior vice president of leasing and asset finance.
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The price of new power purchase agreements for wind farms and new solar projects in the US continue to defy all expectations, making some energy experts wonder why anyone would contemplate a new fossil-fuel plant. A new report by UBS analysts in the US has crossed our desk. It is basically a write-up from a webinar hosted by UBS and Declan Flanagan, head of local renewable energy group Lincoln Energy, but it provides some fascinating insight into what is happening in that market.
The first notable conclusion is the declining cost of wind energy. Contracts in Texas, which accounts for around one quarter of all US installations, are regularly below $30/MWh, and some are at $25/MWh. Even with a tax incentive, this still put wind well below $50/MWh.
Why is this happening? New equipment is lifting capacity factors by 5 percentage points, and Texas’ excellent wind conditions mean that wind farms are getting capacity factors in the high 40s or low 50’s (per cent). Nearly half of this occurs during peak load, defying most characterizations of wind as essentially an off-peak power source.
What does this mean? Greentech Media recently quoted Stephen Byrd, Morgan Stanley’s Head of North American Equity Research for Power & Utilities and Clean Energy, speaking at the Columbia Energy Symposium in late November: “Compare that to the variable cost of a gas plant at $30 per megawatt-hour. The all-in cost to justify the construction of a new gas plant would be above $60 per megawatt-hour.” So who would build gas?
Not as many people. Citigroup recently reported that some peaking gas plants were already being replaced by solar PV plants.
Why is this so? The UBS research note says that in Colorado, local utility Xcel has just announced new contracts for solar PV plants below 6c/kWh ($60/MWh). This, UBS said, was the lowest reported solar pricing it had seen in the US, although it confirms a recent survey by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which found pricing in that range and with no inflation kicker, meaning that the solar plants would be producing for an effective $40/MWh by the end of their contracts.
That would match even depreciated fossil fuel plants. The variable costs of gas fired plants are likely to be at least $30/MWh, and that does not include their capital costs.
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/09/us-fossil-fuels-losing-wind-solar/#5xRR4FLUdshpeL32.99
The Big Wind LLC benefits from the Twp of Wayne NJ settelment, and will install an EDDY windturbine at the Wayne Auto Spa.
The Twp of Wayne will pay $220,000 to settle a zoning and discrimination lawsuit.
On August 23, 2013, the Township of Wayne (Passaic County) agreed to pay $220,000 to a local car wash/quick lube center and its owner. In its lawsuit, the car wash, Wayne Auto Spa, which advertises itself as being “environmentally responsible” claimed that the Township “unlawfully targeted [its] efforts to install a wind powered electric system on its premises. The Auto Spa’s owner, Robert Burke of Morristown, alleged that Wayne officials subjected him to “invidious discrimination” because of “his outspoken advocacy for the wind energy system.”
Burke alleged that he was the campaign manager for William Brennan, who challenged Council incumbent and Planning Board member Paul Margiotta in an election. He claimed that his support of Brennan resulted in the Council and Planning Board taking action to “impede, frustrate and prohibit the Wayne Auto Spa application for approval of a proposed wind energy system.”
Burke claimed that Joseph Connolly of Wayne, who is a retired Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer, opposed his wind energy proposal and threatened him. Specifically, Burke claimed that Connolly e-mailed him that “I will come back and see you about this. I expect you to get the point this time around.”
Burke also claimed that Connolly came to the Auto Spa, flashed his Sheriff’s badge and told him “I will kick your ass” unless he stopped pursuing his wind energy application. The threats, he claimed, were not investigated by the Wayne Police Department or the Passaic County Prosecutors’s Office despite his repeated requests.
Burke further claimed that the Wayne Police Department “began stopping patrons of Wayne Auto Spa who were making or attempting to make left turns,” which Burke said are legal, into his business. This, according to Burke, was the police department’s attempt to intimidate and harass his customers.
During an October 20, 2011, “sealed settlement conference” before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson, Burke and Wayne Auto Spa agreed to a) accept $220,000 as a settlement amount, b) not disclose the amount of the settlement to anyone, c) not disparage Wayne or its officials and d) to not file any more Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests regarding any matters relating to his lawsuit. The settlement was made contingent upon the failure of a legal challenge to Burke’s application to the Planning Board for permission to install his wind turbine system. The transcript from the October 20, 2011 conference, together with a transcript of another conference held on October 24, 2011, are on-line here.
Fortunately, however, confidentiality provisions, such as the one agreed to in this case, do not trump the public’s right to obtain copies of settlement agreements that arise out of lawsuits in which a government agency or official is a defendant.
The case is captioned Burke v. Wayne, Federal Case No. 11-cv-1066 and Burke’s attorney was, at least initially, R. William Potter of Princeton. The lawsuit is on-line here and the settlement agreement is here. The resolution under which the Township Council accepted the settlement is on-line here.
None of Burke’s or Wayne Auto Spa’s allegations have been proven or disproven in court. The settlement agreement resolution expressly states that the $220,000 payment does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing by Wayne or any of its officials. All that is known for sure is that Wayne or its insurer, for whatever reason, decided that it would rather pay Burke and Wayne Auto Spa $220,000 than take the matter to trial. Perhaps the defendants’ decision to settle was done to save further legal expense and the costs of trying what were in fact exaggerated or meritless claims. Or, perhaps the claims were true and the defendants wanted to avoid being embarrassed at trial. This is the problem when cases settle before trial–it is impossible to know the truth of what really happened.
The Big Wind LLC has become the first Wind Turbine Company to install an Eddy GT off grid vertical axis wind turbine and Solar panel system on a public school in NYC. The High Bridge Gardens Middle School,in the Bronx, will be the first “Totally Green” public school in NYC. The Big Wind LLC will lead the team that is installing the 1000k Wind Turbine and 2k Solar panels and will help the school become a “one of a kind” totally renewable , low carbon emission generating public school. The Big Wind LLC will continue to help the NYC School Construction Authority with all of it’s new construction projects. The Big Wind LLC President and CEO Gregory Hart was quoted as saying “this is a great day for the NYC public school system, we are now on the verge of bringing the NYC Public school system into the 21st century and the reality that we must change the way we build our public buildings. Wether you believe in “Globel warming or not” , by reducing our carbon foot print we will be saving the tax payers of NYC on their energy costs, this is a positve step forward. We at The Big Wind LLC look forward to this partnership with the city of NY and are excited to help “green” other schools.” To learn more visit www.thebigwind.com or call 609-902-0157
THE BIG WIND LLC AND NYC BOARD OF EDUCATION TEAM UP ON “FIRST GREEN’ SCHOOL IN NYC
The Big Wind, A Sea Girt NJ based company will oversee the installation of a UGE EDDY GT Wind Turbine and 2kw Solar Panel renewable energy package on the Highbridge Middle School in the Bronx. The Big Wind President Gregory Hart said that this will be the second installation of a vertical axis wind turbine in New York City, the first being install by The Big Wind at The Town School on east 76th St and FDR Drive.
For years, Highbridge middle schoolers have had to trek across town to get to class.
Some kids would have to take the subway or as many as three buses because the neighborhood lacked its own middle school.
But Allan Gonzalez probably won’t have to do that. The 11-year-old is among local fifth graders who applied for one of the 130 slots at the new Highbridge Green School, a “green” school set to open in the gritty neighborhood this fall.
“I’m very happy about the school and I want to graduate and go to that school,” Allan said. “And it’s more safer.”
The principal of the new school, Kyle Brilliante, agreed, saying the purpose of the “green” school was not just environmental sustainability , but cultivating good students .
“We’re going to hold them to high, rigorous college-ready academic expectations,” he said.
“We’re going to nurture them, make them feel safe and supported.”
Constructed with regionally produced, sustainable materials, the $34 million Highbridge Green (or I.S. 285X) will boast environmentally sound features like a roof garden, wind turbine, solar panels, a greenhouse and a rainwater collection system.
Parents hope the sixth through eighth grade school on 167th St. between University and Sedgwick Aves. will be the first Green LEED Platinum School in New York.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/new-school-rooftop-garden-greenhouse-wind-turbine-article-1.1277147#ixzz2Q59OAayr
“We live in a concrete jungle,” said Ocynthia Williams, a founding member of United Parents of Highbridge, which pushed for the school’s creation. “They don’t know where food comes from. For them to know how to grow their own food, I think it helps with obesity. It teaches our kids the truth about food – that food does not come in a can, its not frozen.”
The school is the result of parents’ nearly decade-long campaign for a dedicated middle school.
Highbridge has four elementary schools, but no middle school. That meant children had to slog long distances to get to junior high.
“At 10 years old, or nine, it was a big concern,” said Allan’s father, Jose Gonzalez, the chairman of the school’s parent advisory board. “I think the most important thing in this fight was the safety of the child. That’s why we said ‘Lets keep those children here.’”
Highbridge Green will admit 130 students for sixth grade, then add one grade a year until it reaches its capacity for 390 students in grades six through eight.
Enrollment for the incoming class ends Wednesday. Current fifth grade students zoned to attend PS 11, PS 114, PS 73 and PS 126 will be given priority. The Department of Education will decide who will be admitted.
Students in Districts 9 and 10 are also eligible – parents can pick up applications at the Bronx Borough Office of Enrollment at 1 Fordham Plaza, 7th Floor.
Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson, who worked with United Parents of Highbridge to create the school, said Highbridge Green would serve as a model to others – not just because it’s environmentally friendly, but because the community came together to make it a reality.
“This is an investment that’s going to transform lives and build our community for many years to come,” she said.
Brilliante said, “In some ways, the building is a testament to the way the neighborhood is heading.”