In the news: Ski Resort Wind Turbine, US Climate Bill Passes House and a $100M Geothermal IPO


Lots of renewable energy news this past week. Here’s what I find interesting:

1. Vancouver Wind Turbine: Grouse Mountain Ski Resort situated high above the City of Vancouver will soon be home to a single 1.5 MW wind turbine which will be used to provide the busy ski hill (and local hiking hotspot) with approximately 20% of its energy.  The 65 metre wind tower which be built at the very top of the mountain and be visible from places across the lower mainland, will also accept visitors who will be able to ride an elevator to a viewing area 58 metres up. Now that’s very cool. Commercial operation is expected right around the time of the Olympics, in early 2010.  You can read more about the details in the Vancouver Sun’s recent article and commentary.  Well done, Grouse Mountain on your green energy project. This will be a great chance for people to appreciate the opportunity in British Columbia to harness the wind for our electricity.

2. US Climate Change Bill Passes:  The US Clean Energy Act (Waxman-Markey Bill) was approved by a House vote of 219-212. The current version of the bill would mandate that 15% of the US electricity come from renewable sources by 2020.  It also sets the framework for a cap and trade system with the goal of reducing overall US greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by the year 202, and 83% by 2050. The potential impact of this legislation is monumental. However, before you get too excited about it, remember the bill now goes on to be voted on in the Senate, where anything and everything can happen. For some great commentary on the bill, check out Alan Durning’s post on Sightline. As for Canada’s climate bill? Well, sadly, there is nothing to report. Canada is waiting it out and will piggy back on the American climate bill.  Interesting policy.

3. Geothermal Energy Company IPO: Vancouver based, Magma Energy Corp. a geothermal energy company with operations in the United States and South America, this past week reportedly raised $100 million in an initial public offering of the company’s shares, which are expected to begin trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on July 7 (MXY.TO).  This is great news for the geothermal energy industry, which is truly one of the best renewable energy resources available on account of its reliability and base load capability but has always been under appreciated, until now perhaps. For more information on Canada’s geothermal potential, check out CanGEA.

FYI – You can now follow Megawatt on Twitter.