In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The US now has nearly 60,000 wind turbines spinning across 41 states and two US territories.
  • Some New York City councillors want to turn Rikers Island jail complex into a green energy hub.
  • The College of William & Mary will source nearly 50% of the university’s electricity from solar.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Wind power is growing in the US

The American Wind Energy Association has released their fourth-quarter 2019 market report, and the numbers are going in the right direction. The wind industry is on the rise in the US, with installations for the year at 9,143MW.

There is now 105,583MW of wind energy operating in the US, with nearly 60,000 wind turbines spinning across 41 states and two US territories.

Here are the takeaways, for those of you who love stats:

  • 2019 was the third strongest year ever for new wind addition, and a 20% increase over 2018.
  • Nearly 200 new wind projects are in the works.
  • The US now has enough installed wind to power over 32 million homes.
  • Fourth quarter 2019 was the fourth-strongest quarter on record.
  • Texas (3,936MW) and Iowa (1,737MW) are the country’s leaders in wind energy.
  • Illinois (541 MW), South Dakota (506MW), and Kansas (475MW) came in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.
  • Utilities and corporate customers signed a record 8,726MW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) in 2019.
  • Walmart and AT&T were two of the top three wind buyers in 2019.
  • Baker Hughes, Estee Lauder, and McDonald’s bought wind for the first time.
  • The pipeline of new wind projects under construction or in advanced development is 24% larger than it was in January 2019.
  • 191 wind projects across 33 states are now in the works, or 44 gigawatts of capacity, which will be able to power another 15 million American homes.
  • Offshore wind projects now account for 17% of the development pipeline, totaling 7,483MW.
  • Virginia now has more advanced projects than any other state, due to Dominion Energy’s 2.6GW offshore project.

Rikers Island may go green

New York City’s notorious Rikers Island has been the city’s main jail complex since 1932, and it’s closing in 2026. Queens councilman Costa Constantinides has put forward a proposal to turn the complex into a green energy hub, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is enthusiastically backing it.

Johnson says the plan would help New York City reach its goal of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050.

Crains’ New York Business writes:

Constantinides’ bills would obligate the city to conduct feasibility studies on placing renewable energy arrays, battery storage, and a wastewater plant on the 413-acre isle, which the councilman — himself currently running for Queens borough president — hopes would allow the closure of existing power and sewage facilities near residential neighborhoods. Another of his proposals would require the city Department of Corrections to remand the 413-acre isle to the Department of Environmental Protection by 2026.

William & Mary gets solar

The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was founded in 1693. The historic college is forward-thinking: The college has signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy that will source nearly 50% of the university’s electricity from solar. It will save the college money after around six years.

A 20MW solar farm will be installed by Strata Solar on a farm in nearby James City County.

The college explains:

At that rate, W&M will be sourcing a greater percentage of renewable energy than any other public university in the state. With electricity being the largest part of W&M’s carbon footprint, the agreement gets the university one step closer to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 — a goal it announced last fall in partnership with the University of Virginia.

Initial work on the project will begin in the next couple of months, and solar production is expected to begin next year.

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