10. Wind

L. Wind Power Milestones

Early 1900s to 1950 Early wind power in the United States Windmills were used to pump water and were also used for remote electricity generation.
1941 First grid-connected electricity On a hilltop in Rutland, Vermont, "Grandpa's Knob" wind generator supplied power to the local grid for several months during World War II. The Smith- Putnam machine was rated at 1.25 megawatts in winds of about 30 miles per hour. It was removed fromservice in 1945.
1973 OPEC oil embargo Oil and gas prices rose, increasing interest in alternative energy sources.
1974-1975 NASA's MOD-0 developed The MOD-0, a horizontal axis wind turbine was developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.
1977-1981 MOD-0, MOD-1, and MOD-2 developed and tested Four MOD-0As, rated at 200 kilowatts each, were placed at utility sites around the country for tests between 1977 and 1980. The MOD-1, with a 2-megawatt capacity rating, the first wind turbine rated over 1 megawatt, began operating in 1979.
1978 Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA) enacted PURPA mandated the purchase of electricity from qualifying facilities (QFs) meeting certain technical standards regarding energy source and efficiency. PURPA also exempted QFs from both State and Federal regulation under the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Holding Company Act.
1979 Federal funding for wind power research and development (R&D) exceeds $50 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding for wind power R&D was $59.6 million in fiscal year 1978 (current year dollars), marking the first time the funding level surpassed $50 million. It remained above $50 million until fiscal year 1982, when it was reduced to $16.6 million (current year dollars).
1980 Crude Oil WindfallProfits Tax Act The Act increased the business energy tax credit to 15 percent. Combined with an investment tax credit passed earlier, the total Federal tax credit for a wind turbine was 25 percent. In addition, California had a 25- percent State tax credit in the early 1980s, bringing the effective tax credit to nearly 50 percent.
1983 Interim Standard Offer Number 4 (ISO4) contracts in California Because of a projected capacity shortfall, California utilities contracted with facilities that qualified under PURPA to generate electricity independently. The ISO4 contracts set a price based on long-run costs avoided by not building the coal plants that had been planned. The contracts, combined with favorable tax incentives mentioned above, encouraged the installation of many hastily designed wind turbines in California in the early 1980s.
1985 California wind capacity at 1 gigawatt Most of California's wind capacity, which totaled more than 1,000 megawatts in 1985, was installed on the Tehachapi and Altamont Passes.
1988 Decline in cumulative wind capacity Many of the hastily installed turbines of the early 1980s were removed and later replaced with more reliable models.
1989 Low point in Federal funding for wind power Throughout the 1980s, DOE funding for wind power R&D declined, reaching its low point in fiscal year 1989.
1990 California wind capacity in excess of 2 gigawatts In 1990, more than 2,200 megawatts of wind energy capacity was installed in Californiažmore than half of the worldžs capacity at the time.
1992 Energy Policy Act The Act reformed the Public Utility Holding Company Act and many other laws dealing with the electric utility industry. It also authorized a performance tax credit of 1.5 cents per kilowatthour for wind-generated electricity.
1993 33M-VS commercially available The 33M-VS was one of the first commercially available, variable-speed wind turbines. U.S. Windpower developed the 33M-VS over a period of 5 years, with final prototype tests completed in 1992. The $20 million project was funded mostly by U.S. Windpower, but also involved Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Pacific Gas & Electric, and Niagara Mohawk Power Company.
1995 FERC prohibition on QF contracts above avoided cost In a ruling against the California Public Utility Commission, FERC refused to allow a bidding procedure that would have the effect of allowing rates above avoided cost from renewable QFs.
Mid-1990s ISO4 contract rollover in California at lower rates Ten-year QF contracts written during the mid-1980s at rates of 6 cents per kilowatthour and higher began rolling over at mid-1990s avoided costs of about 3 cents per kilowatthour. This " 11th-year cliff" creates financial hardship for most QFs on ISO4 contracts.
1995 DOE wind program lowers technology costs DOE's advanced turbine program, funded at $49 million, has led to new turbines with energy costs of 5 cents per kilowatthour of electricity generated.

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