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This is the largest wind-related item I find in the Appropriations Committee Report on the stimulus bill:
Section 5006 provides the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) increased borrowing authority in the amount of $3.25 billion to assist in building critical infrastructure to facilitate renewable and energy efficiency projects. Of the 6,417 megawatts of transmission requests pending before BPA, 4,700 megawatts are for interconnecting wind projects. This effort should complement, and not diminish, significant private sector transmission construction efforts currently contemplated in the service territory of BPA. (pp.33-4)

Our physical ability to build transmission interconnects is part of the productive resources left idle in the collapse of the construction sector.

There's also:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Construction
Recovery funding: $300 million
The backlog of deferred maintenance and construction needs at the National Wildlife Refuges and National Fish Hatcheries is well documented and tracked and prioritized in the Service Asset and Maintenance Management System (SAMMS). The current backlogged needs identified in the SAMMS total more than $3 billion. These projects are typically accomplished with local  contractors and it is estimated that this funding will generate 11,000 jobs, primarily in local, rural communities that are near national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries. These funds will allow the completion of deferred maintenance and capital improvement plan projects, focusing on critical assets, safety issues, energy efficiency, and habitat infrastructure. New construction and major rehabilitation will emphasize cost-effective, renewable energy principles and construction such as solar photovoltaic systems, geothermal energy, wind energy and efficiency
improvements. (p. 39)

However, as far as I am aware, this is more off-the-grid remote power applications than utility grade windpower, so would not stress existing wind-power capacity ...

And there is also this:

Department of Defense Energy Research Recovery funding: $350 million
$350 million is provided to the Department of Defense only for the funding of research, development, test and evaluation projects, including pilot projects, for improvements in energy generation, transmission, regulation, storage, and use on military installations to include research and development of energy from fuel cells, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources to include biofuels and bioenergy. (pp. 26-7)

So it sounds to me more like the present Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt strategy of the Republicans spreading misleading interpretation of the recent CBO report and attaching it to whatever targets of opportunity present themselves.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Jan 21st, 2009 at 10:16:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
on devices is a minor point at present. Jerome's point about government policy viz. tariff and tax is more important. The spending for machines is exploding in all of the high-value resource areas, such as the Oregon/Washington border, east of the Cascades. The banks may be constipated, but energy, manufacturing, and newly-formed operating companies are making deals and finding funds at boom rates out here.

I was in a meeting two weeks ago, where the discussion was focused on: 1) a new grid system to handle 'green' energy for certification and transmission efficiency purposes; and 2) off-peak pumping of water into uphill storage for peak-hour generation via hydro-turbines. (Turns out that Sherman County, OR ran a geological/geographical survey in 1961 to map likely storage areas. The rep from there had to search the archives in the basement of his county's courthouse to find the records.)

Vestas is on a fast-track to build manufacturing capacity here. In addition our community college in The Dalles, OR has a three-year-old Renewable Energy Technician program (concentration is wind energy) which Vestas and Ibendrola (sp?) is raiding for employees after they've taken just the introductory courses.

Oregon and WA both have initiative-inspired legislation on the books requiring something like 20% of well-defined renewable-energy-sourced generation by 2020. It is, as we say, 'balls to the wall'.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 11:34:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I would rank feed-in tariffs as more effective than a minimum portfolio standard, it does seem that we are going to be able to get a minimum portfolio standard through, and given the abundance of the resource and direct federal support for transmission capacity, then a minimum portfolio standard ought to be "good enough" to keep expansion of capaciy on track.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 01:21:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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