BREAKING NEWS NEWS ARCHIVE
KIRKWOOD TO INSTALL WIND FARM
July 17, 2008
Be the first to post a comment.
POST A COMMENT NOW
SAM Magazine — Kirkwood, Ca., July 17, 2008 — Kirkwood ski resort is partnering with its utility provider, Mountain Utilities, to build a 20-turbine wind energy farm for the resort and local residents.
“Our goal is for Kirkwood to become the renewable energy leader in the ski resort industry,” said Tim Cohee, Chief Marketing Officer of Mountainsprings Kirkwood, the parent company of both Kirkwood Mountain Resort and Mountain Utilities. “It will take a significant commitment not only from the resort and power companies, but from our residents, guests and regulatory partners including the Forest Service. That said, I cannot imagine anything more important for us as an industry at this point.”
Kirkwood has signed a letter of intent with Synergy Power Corporation to install 20 wind turbines (S-300 Model Synergy Wind Turbines) capable of generating 600 kW of instantaneous delivery and a total daily delivery of 6,000 kWh – over 20 percent of the total demand from both the commercial and residential operations. Synergy Power is a Reno, Nevada-based company that provides wind power systems in remote locations.
In addition to the wind turbine project, the partnership aims to establish the Synergy Sustainability Institute at Kirkwood, a global high altitude renewable energy research campus. Synergy is partnered with both University of Nevada Reno and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in ongoing research into improvements in wind power efficiency.
The United States Forest Service has shown interest in Synergy’s proposed project as the federal government has been working with other agencies and enterprises to help with the energy crisis. That said, any project involving federal lands requires extensive permitting and project proponents must be sensitive to any impacts, including visual impacts that might be involved. While Synergy was initially hoping for a 2008 installation, those plans have been moved to 2009 to allow for additional permitting work.
The ski resort has also entered into an agreement with True Energy of Carlsbad, Calif. to install an innovative waste heat generation and conservation program that utilizes retro-fitted electricity generators to capture heat that typically escapes from normal machinery operation. The process uses an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) with a patented, environmentally sound refrigerant mixture that converts heat to electricity at temperatures as low as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The process is essentially using waste heat from mountain utilities’ current exhaust stack to generate steam-based electricity to improve the electrical efficiency of the current carbon-based generation by 20 percent.
Wayne Amer, President of Mountain Utilities commented, “True Energy’s waste heat recovery technology is incredibly simple in its application and yet it provides significant benefits to our system and customers. The microturbine technology is a critical ingredient to making the other renewable technologies work with the system. This is very exciting.”
When combined with a series of propane or natural gas based microturbines, the True Energy process may potentially provide 1.2 Megawatts of additional power at a fraction of the current system costs – all while producing exhaust with less than 4 parts per million – an almost pure exhaust by comparison of fossil fuel standards. The proposed partnership would be a Power Purchase Agreement where MU acquires power from True Energy at a fixed cost.