Wind power is widely recognized as an important alternative energy source, as it generates emission-free energy without using fuel, mining, or drilling. Over the past four years, the U.S. wind industry has added more than 35 percent of all new generating capacity, and now represents more than 20 percent of the world's installed wind power.
Adding wind to the sails of this growing industry, two American National Standards Institute (ANSI) members and accredited standards developers, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), joined forces today to work toward more efficient permitting for wind turbine equipment.
At ANSI’s Washington, DC, headquarters today, AWEA and ASCE signed a joint agreement establishing a framework for the two organizations to administer recommended permitting practices and still-to-be-developed standards for wind turbine structures including towers and foundations.
Did You Know?
The U.S. wind industry is a growing market for American manufacturing too. Today over 400 manufacturing plants across the U.S. build major components such as towers, blades, and assembled nacelles.
Wind power accounted for 40% of all new energy chosen by electric utilities in 2008 and 2009.
The U.S. wind industry now totals 43,461 megawatts of cumulative wind capacity through the end of September 2011.
Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), AWEA and ASCE plan to jointly issue recommended procedures for issuing permits for large wind turbine structures in the United States. The agreement will also cover the management and release of new wind turbine structural standards that may be developed. The consensus standards process would follow the ASCE standards development procedures and tap both wind energy and structural expert volunteers in the development of new wind turbine structural standards. Both the recommended practices and any new standards are expected to increase efficiencies in the permitting of large, land-based wind turbines, reducing time and costs associated with the process.
“AWEA is excited to work with ASCE in advancing our evolving and growing industry,” said AWEA CEO Denise Bode. “Through this agreement, the two organizations will engage wind and structural technical experts to develop permitting recommended guidelines and new standards to help drive our dynamic industry forward. This is just one more indication of how wind power is a mature and mainstream technology.”
“ASCE is committed through policy and actions to engineering and development that leads to environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable natural and built environment,” said Patrick Natale, P.E., F.ASCE, ASCE executive director. “By working together, we know we can increase efficiencies in the turbine permitting process and further advance this exciting industry in order to meet future energy needs.”
AWEA is the national trade association of America’s wind industry, working to promote renewable energy to power a cleaner, stronger America. For more information, visit www.awea.org.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.