Windustry's August 2016 Newsletter
- Spotlight on CEG, one of our State Fair partners -
- Volunteer with us at the Minnesota State Fair! -
- Report from the Maker Faire Detroit -
Spotlight on CEG: Advancing Solar & Wind
Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels and summer Intern Rishab Turakhia recently had the chance to speak with Vince Granquist, President of the Minnesota-based Consulting Engineers Group (CEG). CEG works with both wind and solar, providing high-tech substation, transmission, and distribution engineering services. CEG offers a wide range of services for wind and solar, including interconnection, SCADA and automation, substation work, transmission and distribution line planning, design, project management, and installation services for projects ranging in size from one commercial scale turbine to 200MW of solar.
Windustry is pleased that CEG has not missed a year being one of our partners at the Minnesota State Fair! CEG started as an engineering subsidiary of Dakota Electric Association in 1998, later splitting off and becoming a private consulting group. “Our early interests were fostered by Windustry wind energy conferences I attended back in 2002 and 2004,” stated Granquist. Now with work from coast to coast, licensed in 25 states, and with six Professional Engineers on staff, Granquist says, “Windustry gets more than partial credit for running conferences on the subject in Minnesota at the time when we were looking for something fun to do." Currently, CEG is involved with over a dozen solar projects in central Minnesota and on the Delmarva Peninsula, as well as wind projects in Minnesota, Wyoming, Oregon, and southern New Mexico.
Much of the discussion was focused on the topic of SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition), a highly advanced computer system capable of gathering and analyzing real-time data pertaining to various wind turbine parameters, such as turbine availability, wind speed, air temperature, and pressure. SCADA technology has experienced a series of advancements making it easier to manage and make adjustments to the turbine. “The whole SCADA system has increased in sophistication,” reported Granquist.
Telecommunications between the turbine and those on the other end, such as CEG, has seen the most development. Given the latest advances, CEG has the ability to assist with SCADA programming and testing from remote locations. Granquist, stationed at the CEG headquarters in Farmington, Minnesota, recently participated in a voltage control test for a wind farm in Utah, working with manufacturers and technicians in Utah and a SCADA engineer operating out of Kansas. “If someone wants a program change to be made to a project in Texas, we are now capable of doing it from here, rather than flying out there. A 20-hour problem has turned into a two-hour project,” Granquist explained. In other words, it is now possible for an off-taker, a grid operator, the interconnecting utility, a remote owner, and 4-5 data users to simultaneously access data while off-site.
While CEG got its start performing smaller community-scale wind projects, and that work still keeps them busy, the scale of CEG’s work has greatly expanded and the size of the projects have grown to be transmission level. With today’s tremendous telecommunications capabilities, the programming design and implementation is a core piece of their constantly increasing scope of work. CEG is committed to advancing the development of clean energy systems that capitalize on the available technologies, grid modernization, and other improvements taking place across the renewable energy industry.
CEG wind project at Pioneer Wind Farm in Glenrock, Wyoming
Volunteer with Windustry at the MN State Fair!
Volunteers will support Windustry in our efforts to share information pertaining to wind energy, particularly community wind, through our interactive booth in the EcoExperience building. It is easy and fun, and we offer a sneak preview and training session before the official opening of the State Fair. All volunteers receive free State Fair entry and a 2016 Windustry State Fair t-shirt!
If you would like to participate as a volunteer or if you have any questions regarding the opportunity, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Jake at [email protected]. If you would like sign up directly, please fill out the sign-up form. We look forward to welcoming you to the Windustry team and invite all to stop by our exhibit in the EcoExperience building!
Windustry Tables at the Maker Faire Detroit
This past weekend (July 30-31), Windustry worked with the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum to present a wind energy center at the annual Maker Faire in Detroit, Michigan. The Faire features “makers” from a variety of disciplines and industries with the goal of showcasing innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness in the community.
Windustry Executive Director Lisa Daniels gearing up for a custom-constructed aerodynamic hat to be blown off by a wind cannon at the Wind Energy section.
Summer intern Rishab Turakhia engaging with interested attendees about the current and potential installed wind power capacity in Michigan and the US.
Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA) Executive Director John Sarver participating in the #StickWindHere campaign designed by Windustry to showcase the versatility and potential ubiquity of harnessing wind energy.