2015 a Record Year for Wind Energy Production in United States

A_close_shot_of_wind_turbines_wind_farm

The AWEA Recently announced that in November of 2015, the United States reached the 70 gigawatts production milestone for the first time in its history.  This is great news for an industry that had plateaued over the last couple years with the uncertainty created by the government and clean energy tax credits.  The 50 and 60 gigawatt levels were achieved back in 2012.   2013 proved to be slower year for new wind energy projects, but that has changed in 2014, with over 8.3 billion dollars  invested.

Better Times Ahead

The momentum for 2015 and beyond is increasing for many reasons.  The first is the extensions of the Production Tax Credit and alternate Investment Tax Credit by Congress, which gives stability and predictability to the industry through at least 2019.  These credits make new wind energy projects more affordable, encouraging investment.

Another big reason is that wind energy prices have reached all time lows.  In order to be competitive in the energy market, wind energy has to make financial sense for the organizations buying and investing in energy.  With wind energy prices the lowest they have ever been, they are very competitive economically on the market.

More Progress to be Made

While 70 gigawatts of energy production is a great milestone for a budding industry, there is still a long way to go before wind energy is a viable alternative for U.S. residents.  At this point, energy produced by wind makes up only 5% of total U.S. energy consumption – meaning there is still great long-term potential for increases in wind energy production.

Additional Information

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/23/3734678/wind-energy-reaches-new-record/

http://www.awea.org/MediaCenter/pressrelease.aspx?ItemNumber=8255

http://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/08/10/study-finds-that-the-price-of-wind-energy-in-the-united-states-is-at-an-all-time-low-averaging-under-2-5%C2%A2kwh/

Wind Turbine Technician – One of the Fastest Growing Careers

If you are considering a career as a Wind Turbine Technician, you are in luck, because this career path is projected to be the fastest growing job through 2024.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number Wind Turbine Technician jobs will more than double over the next 8-10 years:

There are only about 4,400 such workers now, and the federal agency expects the jobs to increase 108 percent, to 9,200 workers.

The growth is largely due to the expansion of wind energy through new installations of wind turbines, but also the ongoing maintenance needed for these machines as they are installed.

Additional Information

http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/ohio-energy-inc/2015/12/wind-turbine-jobs-expected-to-double-leading-the-u.html

Congress Extends Renewable Energy Tax Credit through 2021

In a surprising bit of news this week, the United States Congress has extended the Renewable Energy Tax Credit through 2021.  Officially called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), these credits were set to expire at the end of 2016, at which point the 30% tax credit would drop down to 10%.  This looming deadline had been creating a lot of uncertainty in the solar and wind industries as companies rushed to complete as many projects as possible before the deadline.  This extension adds some much needed stability to a growing industry.

Additional Information

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3016680/sustainable-it/in-surprise-move-congress-extends-renewable-energy-tax-credit.html

 

World’s Largest Floating Wind Farm Coming to Scotland

A conceptual drawing of a floating wind farm
A conceptual drawing of a floating wind farm

Recently the Scottish Government announced its latest plans to harness the great power potential of the wind around the United Kingdom.  Scotland plans to build the world’s largest floating wind farm off the coast of Peterhead, which will harness an impressive 135 Gigawatt hours of electricity per year.  This work will be completed by Norway’s Statoil, and will make it the largest floating wind farm on earth!   Why are floating wind farms gaining popularity?  Because of their cheaper installation and maintenance costs, while still harnessing immense amounts of wind power.

Additional Information

http://www.engadget.com/2015/11/02/worlds-biggest-floating-wind-farm/?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000595

 

Ingeteam is Hiring!

Ingeteam

Travelling Wind Turbine Technician – Ingeteam Inc.

Responsible for the operations, maintenance, QA/QC Inspections, commissioning and/or repair of wind turbine generators.

Description of Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be responsible for the operations, maintenance, QA/QC Inspections, commissioning and/or repair of wind turbine generators
  • Troubleshoot complicated mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical problems including repair or replacement of parts to correct malfunctions
  • Help in all areas of maintenance as directed by manager with minimal supervision
  • Carry out any other tasks delegated by the company
  • In the performance of your duties, use equipment and resources in accordance with instructions provided by the company
  • Follow procedures, instructions and work orders as part of your normal work functions
  • Maintains adherence to Company policies, safety standards and good housekeeping practices.  Identifies gaps in safety standards as well as safety risks in the environment and provides recommendations to higher level technical staff and management

General Job Requirements

  • 6 months experience as O&M, QA/QC Inspector or Commissioning Wind Technician preferred.
  • Must have clean DMV record and ability to operate service trucks as required. No record of DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired), or refusal to test within previous 2 years; no more than 2driving violations or citations of any kind on your motor vehicle record within the previous 3 years; no more than 1 accident (fault or no-fault) within previous 3 years.
  • Perform required travel for extended periods at a time
  • Service-oriented
  • Organization and planning skills
  • Flexibility
  • Self-Control
  • Integrity
  • Motivation
  • Understanding
  • Innovation
  • Oral and written communication
  • Empowerment
  • Initiative
  • Analytic skills
  • Teamwork
  • Results-oriented
  • Honesty

Academic Requirements

  • Associate Degree in Engineering or other relevant technical degree required. 3+ years relevant work experience required, in lieu of degree.
  • Ability to read and comprehend electrical and mechanical schematics, technical manuals, procedures and regulations
  • OSHA-10, NFPA 70E, First Aid/CPR, Climbing and Tower Rescue certificates.

For more information on this position, contact Natalie.Chapman@ingeteam.com

Aero Energy Services is Hiring!

aeroAero Energy Services is an emerging, highly customer service driven, maintenance and repair services provider in the wind industry.   With numerous travelling technician opportunities, Aero technicians have the opportunity to gain experience on a variety of equipment and develop their skills with an employee focused company, dedicated to providing exceptional customer service.

Please visit our job board using the link below for current openings, check us out at http://www.aeroenergy.us, or inquire within by emailing bgray@aeroenergy.us.

Aero Energy Services Job Board: http://aeroenergyjobs.applicantstack.com/x/openings

Ingeteam is Hiring!

Ingeteam

 

 

Travelling Wind Turbine Technician – Ingeteam Inc.

Responsible for the operations, maintenance, QA/QC Inspections, commissioning and/or repair of wind turbine generators.

There are currently two assignments available:

1. A 10-12 week project beginning in May performing maintenance on wind turbines. Will have to travel to a couple different locations for the duration of the project.

2. A 16-18 week project beginning in July performing Quality Inspections on new wind turbines in Texas.

Description of Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Be responsible for the operations, maintenance, QA/QC Inspections, commissioning and/or repair of wind turbine generators
  • Troubleshoot complicated mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical problems including repair or replacement of parts to correct malfunctions
  • Help in all areas of maintenance as directed by manager with minimal supervision
  • Carry out any other tasks delegated by the company
  • In the performance of your duties, use equipment and resources in accordance with instructionsprovided by the company
  • Follow procedures, instructions and work orders as part of your normal work functions
  • Maintains adherence to Company policies, safety standards and good housekeeping practices.  Identifies gaps in safety standards as well as safety risks in the environment and   provides recommendations to higher level technical staff and management

General Job Requirements

  • 6 months experience as O&M, QA/QC Inspector or Commissioning Wind Technician preferred.
  • Must have clean DMV record and ability to operate service trucks as required. No record of DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired), or refusal to test within previous 2 years; no more than 2 driving violations or citations of any kind on your motor vehicle record within the previous 3 years; no more than 1 accident (fault or no-fault) within previous 3 years.
  • Perform required travel for extended periods at a time
  • Service-oriented
  • Organization and planning skills
  • Flexibility
  • Self-Control
  • Integrity
  • Motivation
  • Understanding
  • Innovation
  • Oral and written communication
  • Empowerment
  • Initiative
  • Analytic skills
  • Teamwork
  • Results-oriented
  • Honesty
  • Organizational awareness
  • Leadership
  • Professional appearance
  • Be able to adapt to new situations.
  • The candidate needs to have the ability to climb wind turbine towers up to 300 feet in height, up to 3 times a day and ability and willingness to handle repetitive weight (50+ lbs)

Academic Requirements

  • Associate Degree in Engineering or other relevant technical degree required. 3+ years relevant work experience required, in lieu of degree.
  • Ability to read and comprehend electrical and mechanical schematics, technical manuals, procedures and regulations
  • OSHA-10, NFPA 70E, First Aid/CPR, Climbing and Tower Rescue certificates.

For more information on this position, contact angie.andre@ingeteam.com

Employer Spotlight: Ingeteam

IngeteamIngeteam is a global market leader specializing in application engineering, the development of electrical machines, motors, and generators and power and control electronics for four primary industries:  energy, industry, marine and rail traction.  With more than 60 years of experience in the electrical field, 15 years in wind energy, and more than 3,500 professionals dedicated to project engineering, research and development, and management, Ingeteam is strongly committed to innovation as a growth engine and seeks to optimize energy consumption while maximizing generating efficiency.

The North American headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin focuses on renewable energy and manufactures electric motors, generators and power converters.  The Ingeteam Service Business Unit has been providing services related to Operation and Complete Maintenance of Wind Farms since 1995. Currently, Ingeteam provides services in 57 Wind farms all over the world, with a total installed Wind Power Capacity of 2000 MW.  Our Services Team focuses on startup services, providing high voltage services, major components, commissioning and operation & maintenance services.

For more information on this great company, visit http://www.ingeteam.com.

School Spotlight: Northeastern Junior College

Northeastern Junior CollegeNortheastern Junior College located in Sterling, Colorado has been training wind technicians since 2009 and is leading the way in wind industry learning.  Northeastern’s wind program is continuing to grow and advance the training to match the changing wind industry.  The college has a strong relationship with industry partners and meets with them regularly to discuss and improve the program to meet the needs of the industry.  Northeastern’s wind program is result driven.  In the last two years Northeastern has maintained a 96% placement rate, these students are going to O&M sites and not temporary placement agencies.  What is even more impressive is that once the Northeastern students get jobs they retain those jobs and put themselves into positions to succeed with their employer.

Northeastern’s wind department consists of two instructors, Jason Hazlet and Jim Lenzen, both former wind technicians with a combined seven years field experience in both technical and managerial work.   The instructors are dedicated to building the best technicians in the industry by bringing a strong work ethic and maintaining high expectations of themselves and their learners.  When a new student chooses the Northeastern wind program he or she is making a decision to enter a program that will take dedication and focus on their part to be successful.  Expectations are spelled out to the new student the first time instructors meet with them and re-emphasized throughout the two years they are at Northeastern.

Student Focused Learning

With only 22 students allowed per class, Northeastern is giving each student the unique opportunity to have valued one on one instructor time.  The small class size is what allows Northeastern to advance their students so much further than other programs.  As the students move into the industry they are expected to be able to step up and contribute for their new employer beginning day one.

NJC Intern
An NJC Wind Energy Technology student on the job at an internship.

The end reward for the student is getting and keeping a job in the industry.  Jim Lenzen said, “We talk about this daily and we treat every day in the program as if the students were on the job, we hold our students accountable not only for grades but being on time and coming in ready to work each and every day.”

“Our philosophy is simple,” Lenzen notes. “Do the right thing on and off the work site, build a strong safety culture, and hold each other accountable.  We take great pride in the safety culture at Northeastern and understand that it has to be demonstrated and practiced by everyone daily so it becomes habit forming.”  Lenzen notes that Northeastern’s students are willing to hold their peers and instructors accountable and pass this mindset to the work site on day one.  Safety should be the number one priority for both employee and employer.  Inconsistency in safety practices end up injuring employees and costing employers money. “When our students graduate we can honestly say they believe that safety is the most important part of every day at home or at work.”

The Associate of Applied Science in Wind Energy Technology degree was created with the help of an advisory committee that consists of wind industry, utility, and Department of Labor representatives. The foundation consists of electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic fundamentals that allow students to understand, maintain, and repair a variety of systems found in a wind turbine.  Students spend three quarters of their time in lab where they can get their hands on the equipment and tools and apply what they are learning.  Electricity fundamentals are among the first courses taken by the students. Each successive semester builds on this knowledge. Students will progress into motors and controls, PLC applications and programing, hydraulics, and electrical troubleshooting.  Students learn to understand, read, and use a variety of electrical and hydraulic schematics easing the transition into the life of an everyday technician.

Excellent Training Facilities

Northeastern has both built and purchased trainers and simulators.  This allows instructors the flexibility to duplicate the various operating systems that the students will see in the field.  Most trainers are PLC controlled and combine both relay logic and solid state components.  Sophomore students help build and design trainers and then later use them for advanced electrical troubleshooting classes.

One of the biggest drawing cards to Northeastern is its location.  The campus is located in Northeastern Colorado, surrounded by 11 different wind companies operating over 1000 MW within a 100 hundred mile radius.  A member of each of these companies sits on the advisory committee and supports continued improvements to the wind program.

Northeastern is a residential college. Students have the option to stay in the dorms and eat in the cafeteria. This can reduce stress on younger students who don’t want to worry about maintaining an apartment or house while attending college. Northeastern offers the small university experience without the large costs. Northeastern has the lowest cost and best value out of all the wind training programs offered in Colorado.

Find out more

To learn more about the Wind Energy Technology program at NJC visit http://www.njc.edu/Academics/Wind-Technology, or check them out on Facebook.

Find the Right Wind Energy School

In a lot of ways, deciding on a career as a wind turbine technician is an easy decision.  Wind Energy is an industry that is growing rapidly, and qualified technicians are in short supply.  Technician jobs pays well, and they require only a small amount of education to get started.  Unfortunately, choosing a school to get training is not such an easy decision.  The wind industry is a relatively new thing here in the United States, and educational institutions are just starting to catch up.  So, with all of the variety in programs and certifications out there, how does one know where to start?  The answer is the American Wind Energy Association.  The AWEA is beginning to standardize the Wind Energy industry, so that people receive a consistent level of training and have a certain level of expertise to be considered a technician.  This is much like many of the older, more established occupations out there, such as a Dental Hygienist, Massage Therapist, etc.

Continue reading Find the Right Wind Energy School

Everything you Need to Know About Getting Started in Wind Energy