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JANUARY 2011 VOLUME 2, NO. 1 w w w. A l t e r n a t i v e E n e r g y N e w s O n l i n e . c o m

SOLAR SEE PAGE 4 ■

City of Madera Activates Solar Project at Water Treatment Facility MassMutual Completes Rooftop Solar Project

WIND POWER Solar panels being installed at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Ohio Providing Lavish Incentives to Attract Solar Manufacturers BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Ohio is marketing its workforce, proximity to major urban populations and a favorable tax climate as assets to be considered by alternative energy companies looking for a place to locate new facilities. The state is already home to a number of renewable energy companies and research institutions, including First Solar, the world’s largest

manufacturer of thin film solar panels; Glasstech, a developer and manufacturer of processing systems used in making glass; DuPont, which produces Tedlar film that’s used to increase the durability and performance of solar panels; Battelle Memorial Institute, which manages or co-manages seven national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy; and the Wright Center for Photovoltaics

BY DANIELLE D’ADAMO

“Even though the U.S. market is larger in terms of MW constructed per year, there is no clear RES policy happening in the U.S., so that wind market is far less certain at the moment,” said Brent Bergland, Construction Executive for Mortenson Canada Corporation, an affiliate of M.A. Mortenson Company, one of the largest renewable

energy construction companies in North America. He was explaining his company’s decision to diversify out wind business into Canada. “There is great potential in Canada for a strong renewable energy sector in wind, solar and other alternatives.” Although Canada also does not have a national Renewable Continued on Page 7

Nordex Opens Wind Turbine Plant in Arkansas First Wind Breaks Ground on Milford II

Innovation and Commercialization. “First Solar was born in Ohio and does all their major manufacturing in Ohio,” said Matt McQuade, Sales Manager for the Ohio Business Development Coalition. To join them, Ohio is looking particularly for companies seeking locations in which to Continued on Page 5

EMERGING TECH ■

Lack of U.S. RES Drives Wind Developer to Canada

SEE PAGE 6

San Antonio’s First and State’s Largest Solar Project Completed BY DANIELLE D’ADAMO

Texas has made huge strides in the solar industry after the 2010 National Solar Jobs Census ranked it third among states with an estimated 6,400 solar jobs at 170 companies. The city of San Antonio in particular, is positioning itself as one of the top solar markets in the country after the completion of its first—and the state’s

largest—solar project. Located in southeast San Antonio on a 113-acre site, the 14-MW Blue Wing Solar Project is home to 214,500 solar PV modules, making it the largest commercial PV solar project in Texas and third largest in the nation. Juwi solar Inc., a developer Continued on Page 5

SEE PAGE 8

Envision Solar Selects MAGE SOLAR to Power Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Unique Furnace from Renewable Resources

MONEY MATTERS ■

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New Jersey Nonprofits Find New Funding for Renewable Energy Energy Infrastructure REIT Launched

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DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory Developing Fuel From Algae


FROM THE PUBLISHER w w w. A l t e r n a t i v e E n e r g y N e w s O n l i n e . c o m

It’s Blowin’ in the Wind

Lee M. Oser

It is indisputable that alternative energy advocates didn’t quite have the power they needed to muster to pass a federal Renewable Energy Stan-

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dard before the November elections, and it sent a clear message about where the American public places its priorities right now. And, obviously enough, that clear message included no rebuke to Congress for its disregard of the alternative energy industry associations’ intense

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lobbying for an RES. Despite that, we have very little doubt that the American public clearly recognizes that we cannot continue to rely so heavily on foreign oil or on American coal to fuel our future. The times, they are very definitely a-changing.

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Here in Tucson, where we publish Alternative Energy News, it’s just impossible to ignore the sun’s energy. The problem for many years was that, although the sun’s energy couldn’t be ignored, it couldn’t be captured for a price most homeowners or businesses could afford. Now,

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the technology has advanced, our government is cooperating by offering tax incentives and over the past couple of years, we’ve seen solar

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panels sprouting from rooftops and racks all over the place. The local demand for solar equipment has just gone through the roof, so to speak.

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If we had as much wind as sunshine here in the Sonoran Desert, we’d be seeing wind turbines out among the saguaros, too. Tucson is not alone in this. Over the past few months of our reporting on projects in the U.S. and Canada, we’ve been surprised to hear that folks are seeing the same excitement about renewable energy everywhere the sun shines or the wind blows. In Canada, the CanSIA folks say their winters are cold, but that just makes their PV panels more efficient, and in Ohio, they’re very proud to be the home of a First Solar manufacturing facility. Out in California, multiple solar facilities are being developed in the Mojave Desert and there’s a new wind farm on

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Hatchet Ridge, not terribly far from the redwood forests. On the New York Island side of the country, they’re studying the potential for tidal power and offshore wind in New Jersey, and the Cape Wind offshore project has secured Massachusetts’ approval for a 15-year power

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purchase agreement with National Grid. To be sure, a good deal of the enthusiasm behind these projects comes from federal money invested in tax incentives, grants and research

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support at national laboratories. But we’re sensing that the majority of it comes from the grass-roots. People tell us that they’re investing in alternative energy projects not because it makes immediate financial sense, but because they’re making decisions for the future and it’s just

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the right thing to do.

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Across the U.S., we’re doing a lot of squabbling right now about our different visions for the future of our country, as we do every couple

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of years around election time. But as we watch the bickering and power struggles ‘round the banks of the Potomac, it’s good to be able to see another kind of power struggle going on, too—struggles taking place across the country to invent new technology and get it engineered, manufactured and in service fast enough to meet our sense of what Americans can do when we want it enough. It gives us a warm feeling to know that as a society, we’ve come around to wanting this enough.

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Alternative Energy News

January 2011


SOLAR POWER

City of Madera Officials Commission 1.1-MW Solar Array at Waste Water Treatment Facility Installation Required No Upfront Costs and Will Meet an Estimated 62 Percent of the Facility’s Power Needs. Madera Mayor Gary Svanda and city council members, along with REC Solar, a leading solar electric system provider in the U.S., and SunEdison, a leading worldwide solar energy services provider and subsidiary of MEMC Electronic Materials Inc., celebrated the activation of a 1.1-MW solar deployment at that city’s waste water treatment facility. Ranking as one of the largest of its kind in California, the project required no upfront costs from the city and is expected to meet an estimated 62 percent of the facility’s power needs. The project was jointly developed by REC Solar and SunEdison. REC Solar managed design and construction of the solar power system that covers more than nine acres of land and utilizes cutting-edge dual-axis system trackers along with REC Group solar panels. The trackers allow the mounted panels to follow the sun throughout the day, improving output by more than 35 percent compared to a traditional ground mount system. Under a strategic power purchase agreement (PPA) between SunEdison and the city of Madera, SunEdison will finance, operate and maintain the solar power plant, and the city will purchase the energy produced to offset demand from the grid at predictable energy rates for 20 years. “This is another important step for the city of Madera,” said Mayor Svanda. “Finding ways to reduce costs for taxpayers while reducing our carbon footprint for our children and grandchildren should be a goal of

responsible government at all levels. I’m very proud that Madera is leading the way in that transformation.” “The city of Madera will truly benefit from this investment, by achieving a lower cost of electricity for at least the next 20 years,” stated Keith Helmuth, Madera’s city engineer who oversaw the project. CEO of REC Solar Angiolo Laviziano stated, “REC Solar is excited to have participated in the Madera project. The project’s size and technical complexity required critical advanced design and planning to ensure its economic success. We are pleased to see the tangible benefits of our expertise in engineering, design and construction delivered to the city of Madera.” “SunEdison brings all the pieces together,” commented Jaime A. Smith, V.P. of Sales for SunEdison. “Having deployed more than 340 sites worldwide since 2004, SunEdison has the experience and leverage needed to make affordable solar solutions a reality for government clients like the city of Madera.” The system is expected to produce an estimated 2.4 million kWh of energy annually and more than 45 million kWh over 20 years. That is enough energy to power more than 4,200 average U.S. homes for one year. The city estimates the power system will meet 62 percent of the waste water treatment facility’s power needs. The environmental assets associated with the system will offset an estimated 47 million pounds of CO² over 20 years, the equivalent of removing an estimated 4,600 cars off the road for one year. AEN

Photo courtesy of REC Solar

MassMutual Completes Rooftop Solar Project Company Launches Renewable Energy Initiative with more than 600 Solar Panels.

Newly installed solar panels on the roof of MassMutual’s headquarters.

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Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual) announced the completion of a $2.4 million solar construction project at its headquarters in Springfield, Mass., reaffirming its commitment to increasing earth-friendly “green” standards in its operations by reducing its environmental impact and improving sustainability. “By installing more than 600 solar panels on the roof of our headquarters, MassMutual has made great strides at adopting earth-friendly operations, reducing our carbon footprint, and providing a sustainable and renewable source of energy for our campus,” said Roger Crandall, President and CEO, MassMutual. “We are very pleased and excited about our renewable energy initiative.” The entire system, which includes 528 PV and 96 thermal solar panels, was installed on a 40,000-square-foot parcel of MassMutual’s 9.6 acres of roof on its main campus and has a life expectancy of more than 20 years. The thermal panels will provide 50 percent of campus hot water needs while the PV system will provide 111 kW of electricity, enough to power 22 average

Massachusetts homes annually. The panels will also cut MassMutual’s carbon emissions by 1,830 metric tons of CO² over the life of the system. The overall project took nearly five months to complete. Various state-of-the-art technologies were used in the project, including a white roof, which is a proven tool for reducing roof temperatures and internal air conditioning expenses, while also increasing the operating efficiency of the solar panels. “Not only will this solar system reduce our operating costs and fuel consumption, it will also provide an opportunity for other area businesses and organizations to learn about renewable energy technology,” said Crandall. The project also provided the opportunity to recycle and donate materials that would otherwise go unused. More than 2,000 boards of foam insulation removed from the company’s roof were donated to the ReStore, a nonprofit home improvement center that sells leftover or unwanted building materials from construction projects at a discounted price. In addition, more than 250 tons of stone ballast were removed from MassMutual’s roof prior to the start of the project and will be reused around the company’s main campus for drainage and landscaping. AEN Alternative Energy News

January 2011


SOLAR POWER

Rosendin Electric Awarded Grand Prize in “Win with Canadian Solar” Contest Rosendin Electric Selected as the Winner for its Mineta San Jose International Airport Solar Array Installation. Canadian Solar, a leading vertically integrated provider of ingot, wafer, solar cell, solar module and other solar applications, announced that Rosendin Electric, the nation’s largest private electrical contractor and a 100-percent employee-owned company, was selected as the grand prize winner of the Win with Canadian Solar Contest for its installation of a solar array at Mineta San Jose International Airport. Rosendin Electric completed installation of the new 1.12-MW PV solar electric system on the roof of the airport public parking garage in May. The solar array features 4,680 of Canadian Solar’s high-performance CS5P-240 monocrystalline solar modules and is part of a $1.3 billion initiative by the city of San Jose to modernize the airport. The installation is

OHIO (Continued from Page 1)

build components for solar equipment. To lure those companies into the state, Ohio is offering a number of incentives, including a certainty of demand for renewable energy, a workforce that has industrial skills and needs jobs, and tax benefits. The state is guaranteeing demand through a renewable energy standard that calls for 25 percent of the state’s energy to come from alternative energy sources by 2025. Of that, half must be produced from renewable sources in Ohio. The standard requires 6,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity and is expected to create more than 30,000 jobs by 2030. The specific carve-out for solar within the state’s Advanced Energy Portfolio Standard includes a 0.5 percent solar requirement, an estimated 825 MW deployed or delivered to the state by 2025. Ohio’s nearby states as well as Ohio itself have solar set-asides requiring a combined total of 4,000 MW of solar energy, according to the state’s Energy Resources Division. The state is in a good position to supply energy to neighboring states as well. Central Ohio is within a day’s drive of New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Toronto, Chicago and St. Louis. Ohio’s workers are an additional incentive to solar manufacturers. The state’s unemployment rate is slightly above the national average—at 10.3 percent in October 2010— and many of its workers have industrial skills Alternative Energy News

January 2011

expected to deliver a projected annual output of 1.7 million kWh—enough to offset at least 20 percent of the garage’s electricity needs. “The San Jose Airport solar installation serves as a wonderful showcase for our solar engineering capabilities,” said Todd Mazza, Division Manager for Rosendin Electric. “Recognition for this project reflects the ongoing success of Rosendin Electric’s Solar Division in designing and installing sustainable power solutions for a wide variety of public facilities. In the past 18 months, we have delivered 10 MW of solar power in the state of California alone.” As recipient of the Win with Canadian Solar grand prize, Rosendin Electric will receive $3,000 and a profile of the airport solar installation project submission in SolarPro magazine. Rosendin Electric’s submission was chosen as the grand prize winner based on engineering skill, environmental impact, creativity and aesthetics. AEN

SAN ANTONIO (Continued from Page 1)

of solar power plants throughout North America, designed, developed and built Blue Wing. The project is owned by Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), part of Duke Energy’s Commercial Businesses, and the power is purchased by CPS Energy, the largest municipallyowned energy company in the nation, under a 30-year PPA. With a goal of obtaining 100 MW of non-wind generation by 2020, Blue Wing was CPS’ first effort to meet that goal and represented the company’s start into utility-scale solar projects. “The completion of the Blue Wing Solar Project just goes to show that we can build utility-scale solar here in Texas,” said Chris Eugster, Executive Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer for CPS Energy. “We are helping to lay out a strategy for San Antonio to become a true sustainable city. CPS Energy sees this as a long-term solution, and hopes to bring more renewable energy online in Texas and even more energy efficiency programs.” The ground-mounted thin film panels are expected to produce more than 26,570 MWh of electricity per year—enough to power 1,800 average households. Blue Wing even includes a 500-kW demonstration area that is being used to test the efficiency of eight different PV technologies, including a 50-foot tall concentrating PV unit that tracks the sun’s movement. “It’s a very exciting project for Texas, which already has such a great renewable

energy market,” said Greg Efthimiou, Corporate Communications Manager for Duke Energy. “Since Duke already has three large commercial wind power projects in operation throughout the state, working on Blue Wing was a natural extension of our renewable energy growth plan. We were delighted to work with CPS Energy and juwi solar on a project of this magnitude.” Representatives at juwi solar were unavailable for comment. Construction started in April and the installation began full operations in early November, nearly two months ahead of schedule. During construction, hundreds of people were employed to help build the enormous facility. Close to $2 million were spent in local purchases and more than 100,000 labor hours were generated, which shows great promise for contractors looking for work in future solar projects, according to Efthimiou. “In the U.S., developers need to set realistic goals in dealing with wind or solar projects because the reality is that they don’t create hundreds of ongoing jobs,” he said. “However, during the construction phase, the industry puts a lot of hard-working people to work and connections are made for future contractors. With Blue Wing, we had roughly 115 workers on site at the peak of construction.” Even though Blue Wing is the first solar project of its size in Texas, there are a number of future solar farms in the works, including six additional statewide projects in the early stages of development. AEN

developed in Ohio’s historic industries. Ohio is the third-largest manufacturing state in the country, as measured by gross state product. These workers have skills that are related to those needed by the solar industry and are thus easily transferable, according to McQuade. The state is assisting them in transferring their skills to jobs in the solar industry through a vigorous training program. “Workforce is one of the largest cost inputs that a company faces—oftentimes it is the largest,” said Christina Panoska, Advanced Energy Development Manager for the Ohio Energy Office. “Incentives provided by the state allow companies to hire the workers and offer the training to get them up to speed.” In addition, Ohio has passed a package of tax incentives that make the state the lowest business-tax state in the Midwest. Six years ago, Ohio eliminated its corporate income tax, and more recently, it has eliminated real and personal property taxes for all renewable and alternative energy equipment, including those used in energy production from wind, solar, advanced nuclear, and clean coal sources. These tax incentives are not a means of compensating for poor tax policy, McQuade insists—aside from the incentives, Ohio industry bears a comparatively low tax burden, but the special incentives for renewable energy assets help to attract companies that are being pursued by many other states. “If we were not able to make these claims, we’d be noncompetitive,” he said. AEN 5


WIND POWER

Nordex Celebrates Grand Opening of Wind Turbine Plant in Arkansas

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ordex USA celebrated the official opening of its flagship wind turbine manufacturing plant in the U.S. Representing a $40 million investment, the 150,000-square-foot plant is one of the most modern production facilities in the wind industry, optimized for lean flow and reduced lead times for customers. It positions Nordex as a domestic manufacturer of the highest caliber in one of the biggest wind energy markets in the world. “There’s no way around it,” said Thomas Richterich, CEO of parent company Nordex SE. “To play in the U.S. wind market, you need a made-in-theUSA strategy. Our turbines are some of the most powerful and reliable on the global market, and now we can get them to U.S. wind farms quickly and costeffectively.” Gov. Mike Beebe and Arkansas Senior Sen. Blanche Lincoln, joined with state and community leaders for the event, following a tour of the plant. The total planned investment for the site is $100 million, with further manufacturing capacity to be added in a second phase in line with market conditions. The Nordex plant will build nacelles for 2.5-MW turbines that belong to Nordex’s new third generation efficiency class—the Gamma generation. Production began in early October, and the first assembled nacelle was on display. Nacelles house the engine and other key turbine components, and sit high atop the turbine tower. The assembly time for a nacelle is about two weeks, and the Nordex plant has the capacity to produce 300 per year. One Nordex turbine can power about 700 American homes. “Energy is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, including the U.S.,” said Ralf Sigrist, President and CEO of Nordex USA. “These turbines will help America secure a new domestic energy supply without compromising

national security or the environment.” Since breaking ground on the plant last September, Nordex has hired 54 employees, about 80 percent locals, including the first production crew. Job functions range from production assembly, process engineering, supply chain management, facilities management, training, quality assurance, safety, administration and management. Gov. Beebe, who has led Arkansas’ bid to become a wind turbine manufacturing hub, addressed the audience. “The cleanenergy sector has great potential for creating high-quality jobs in Arkansas and across the United States,” he said. “Nordex has recognized that Arkansas has the right location and workforce to produce American-made components for the North American wind industry.” The Jonesboro production crew is undergoing extensive practical training. The team spent 10 weeks at Nordex’s German factory in Rostock, and now their German counterparts have set up residence in Jonesboro for four months to work side-by-side with the crew on their home turf. Sen. Lincoln also shared remarks: “I am proud that Nordex is helping make Arkansas a leader in wind manufacturing, and they chose well in selecting Jonesboro,” she said. “I know that the hardworking people of this community are ready to get to work, and I look forward to the job creation and economic growth that are sure to result from Nordex’s investment.” Nordex has also built a 10,000-squarefoot training academy on site, and has a partnership in place with Arkansas State University to teach “mechatronic” skills, which combine mechanical and electrical know-how and are specific to wind-turbine manufacturing. “We’re making a long-term investment in our workforce,” said Joe Brenner, Vice President of Production. “These are not just jobs, they are careers.” AEN

Nordex USA opens wind turbine manufacturing plant in Arkansas.

First Wind Marks the Start of Construction on Milford II Project F

irst Wind, an independent U.S.based wind energy company, held a ceremony to commemorate the start of construction of the 102-MW expansion of the company’s Utah-based Milford Wind project. As part of the ceremony, local and community leaders joined First Wind at the project site in Milford, Utah, to recognize the economic and environmental benefits of the project along with the significance of recent project milestones that include a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) and construction financing, both of which were critical in spurring the current construction activity. Milford Mayor Bryan Sherwood and Millard County Commission Chair Daron Smith joined with First Wind 6

officials and others in signing their names to a turbine blade that will be erected on the wind project. The Milford Wind Phase II Project will have the capacity to generate up to 102 MW of clean energy upon its completion, enough to power about 22,000 homes. Located in Millard and Beaver County, Utah, the construction associated with the installation of 68 additional 1.5-MW GE turbines for the second phase of the project began in July, with foundations being poured in October. The construction will be a source of revenue and new jobs to the surrounding area. For example, the 204-MW Milford I project, which went online in November 2009, supported more than 300 development and

construction jobs, and First Wind directly spent about $30 million with Utah-based businesses developing and building the first phase of the project and another $50 million in statewide spending on items such as wages, taxes and more. “We are very pleased to accelerate our construction activities for the second phase of the Milford Wind project,” said David Hastings, Vice President of Western Development for First Wind. “The expansion and continued success of Milford Wind is a testament to the project and the commitment of our stakeholders, the state of Utah, our host counties of Beaver and Millard, our PPA partners—SCPPA, LADWP and Glendale, our landowner group including the federal Bureau of Land Management,

our contractor and subcontractors, and of course, our lenders.” RMT, which led the construction for the Milford I project and is currently building First Wind’s Kahuku project in Oahu, Hawaii, and the Sheffield Wind project in Vermont, is again leading construction activities for the Milford II project. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with First Wind to expand the Milford Wind project,” said Frank Greb, Vice President and General Manager for RMT. “As with the first phase of the project, RMT will hire local workers and subcontractors whenever possible to ensure that the construction of this expansion maximizes the economic benefits for the surrounding community and Utah.” AEN

Alternative Energy News

January 2011


WIND POWER

Duke Energy Completes Colorado Wind Farm Company Finishes 2010 with Nearly 1,000 MW of Wind Power. With Duke Energy’s Kit Carson Windpower Project in eastern Colorado now online and producing electricity, the company has nearly 1,000 MW of wind generation capacity in operation at nine U.S. wind farms. All of the output from the Kit Carson site will serve customers of Tri-State Generation and Transmission’s member electric cooperatives and public power districts through a 20-year power purchase agreement. Kit Carson consists of 34 General Electric wind turbines capable of producing 1.5 MW each, for a total of 51 MW. Construction at the 6,000-acre wind farm northwest of Burlington, Colo., began in early 2010, and the facility achieved commercial operation on Nov. 19. Kit Carson is the second commercial wind project Duke Energy brought online in 2010. The company’s 110-turbine, 200-MW Top of the World Windpower Project near Casper, Wyo., reached commercial operation in October. Duke Energy has invested more than $1 billion to grow its commercial wind power business over the last three years. The company brought the following wind

farms online prior to 2010: • The 283-MW (net Duke capacity) Sweetwater Windpower Project in Nolan County, Texas • The 29-MW Happy Jack Windpower Project in Laramie County, Wyo. • The 59-MW Ocotillo Windpower Project in Howard County, Texas • The 153-MW Notrees Windpower Project in Ector and Winkler counties, Texas • The 70-MW North Allegheny Windpower Project in Blair and Cambria counties, Pa. • The 42-MW Silver Sage Windpower Project in Laramie County, Wyo. • The 99-MW Campbell Hill Windpower Project in Converse County, Wyo. Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS) is a leader in developing innovative renewable energy solutions, including wind, solar and biopower projects. DEGS builds, owns and operates electric generation for large energy consumers, municipalities, utilities and industrial facilities. DEGS is also working to build commercial transmission capacity to help the U.S. meet its energy needs of the future. AEN

Duke Energy’s Kit Carson Windpower Project in Kit Carson County, Colo.

Onsemble Completes Real-Time Wind Data Network in Texas Onsemble, leading provider of real-time renewable energy data, announced the completion of the company’s hub-height wind data network throughout the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) region. With the new Texas locations, Onsemble will offer realtime, hub-height wind data near 95 percent of the state’s wind farms. The completion and launch of the Onsemble Network in ERCOT makes it the first independent source of hub-height wind observations in the region. The new network equates to more than 100 hub-height observation points from towers strategically located in close proximity to the wind farms in Texas. Onsemble sensors measure wind speed, direction and temperature, and provide high-resolution data reports in 10-minute intervals to strengthen wind energy forecasts critical to

grid operators, utilities, power traders and wind farm operators. Internal studies show that Onsemble’s real-time data could potentially provide double-digit reductions in forecast error from short-term out to 24-hour lead times. These improvements to forecasting accuracy are achieved via better data—captured at hub-height and other levels throughout the rotor plane. “The electrical grid in Texas, where wind represents approximately 10 percent of the state’s energy, has already experienced grid reliability threats as a result of quick changes in the wind. These events could become even more dangerous as wind energy grows and becomes a larger piece of the energy mix,” said Jon Kilberg, Onsemble Founder and President of Torch Renewable Energy. “For wind energy to prosper, the industry needs localized, hubheight data to improve wind forecasts. With better forecasts, grid operators can better manage energy loads and market participants can

better anticipate price changes.” In addition to ERCOT, Onsemble is currently operating its real-time data network in the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), the Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCCo.) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) utility markets, with a nationwide build-out planned through 2012. “With our proprietary network of highquality, localized data inputs, wind energy forecasters for the first time have consistent access to the real-time information they need to produce the most accurate wind forecasts possible,” said Anish Parikh, Co-Founder and Vice President of Onsemble. “The industry has long contemplated the possibility of improving forecast accuracy with a network of real-time hub-height observations. I am proud to say that, with the support of our investors and partners, Onsemble has completed the first such network in ERCOT and is delivering those observations today.” AEN

project in Canada in 2006, with the Prince 1 Wind Power Project near Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Developed and owned by Canadianbased developer Brooksfield Renewable Power Inc., the company handled the site selection, land monitoring and up-front planning for past and future Mortenson projects. Mortenson is responsible for engineering and construction of the access roads, foundations, collection systems, substation and erection of the turbines. Construction of the Gosfield project began in January 2010 and was completed in September. The wind farm provided approximately $25 million in economic support within a 75-kilometer region of the

site. Resources such as labor, supplies, equipment rental, hotels and food were all supplied through the local community. “One of the most important aspects of constructing wind farms is embracing the community in the area,” Bergland said. “With so much potential in Ontario, we plan on staying here for multiple wind opportunities and to do that, we hope to continue to stir job growth with upcoming projects. The Gosfield project had roughly 200-250 employees during the time of construction, not including the handful of full-time operational employees brought on by Brooksfield.” Mortenson’s latest wind power project is the 166-MW Comber Wind Project, which is

currently under construction near Lakeshore, Ont., located south of Lake St. Clair. The wind farm broke ground in November and will be completed in the fall of 2011. The sister project to Gosfield, Comber is expected to bring an even greater economic impact to the area since it is nearly three times the size of Gosfield. Comber will consist of 72 Siemens 2.3MW turbines and is expected to provide electricity to more than 21,500 households annually. In total, Mortenson has erected— including wind projects currently under construction—328 wind turbines, generating 687.2 MW of clean, natural wind power in Canada. AEN

Network to Result in Improvement to Forecast Accuracy.

MORTENSON WIND FARM (Continued from Page 1)

Energy Standard, Ontario has an aggressive provincial standard that includes strong incentives for alternative energy development. Mortenson Canada recently opened an office in Mississauga, Ont., dedicated to renewable energy construction projects and services in Canada. The new office, which opened in December, comes on the heels of Mortenson’s completion of its Gosfield Wind Farm near Kingsville, Ont. The 51-MW wind farm consists of 22 Siemens 2.3-MW turbines with 101 meter rotors—the largest rotors available in the North American market. Mortenson completed its first wind power Alternative Energy News

January 2011

7


EMERGING teCHNOLOGIES

Envision Solar Selects MAGE SOLAR to Power Electric Vehicle Charging Stations M

AGE SOLAR, part of the globally operating MAGE SOLAR GROUP entered into a partnership with Envision Solar International Inc., a leading sustainable infrastructure designer and developer, to provide panels for its new EnvisionTrak™ tracking Solar Trees®, incorporating CleanCharge™ solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations that have been selected by General Motors. “Envision Solar is one of the most innovative solar designer and developers in the world today, and is constantly ahead of the curve in the products that it brings to the market,” said MAGE SOLAR GROUP CEO, Norbert Philipp. “We’re thrilled that Envision Solar has chosen our modules to power some of its most prestigious projects, including supplying General Motors with CleanCharge electric vehicle charging stations for its new line of Chevy Volt vehicles. We look forward to continuing this relationship and are excited about the possibilities that it will bring.” Envision Solar’s Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak is a highly engineered parking lot solar array, which is 20 to 25 percent more productive than conventional fixed solar arrays due to the incorporation of dual access tracking that enables the canopy to follow the sun throughout the day. In addition, MAGE POWERTEC® PLUS modules, also tested for salt and ammonia resistance, offer high efficiency and are proven to maintain high performance even when continuously exposed to aggressive substances in the air. “MAGE SOLAR’s modules offer a best-inclass warranty and allowable tolerances from zero to +5 watts, which lowers the total cost

of ownership for Envision Solar’s customers. As a result, Envision Solar is able to maintain the lowest warranty and service costs in the industry. We couldn’t ask for a better partner for this implementation,” said Bob Noble, CEO of Envision Solar International Inc. and Chairman of the Board for California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). Envision’s CleanCharge solar powered electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations will enable cars like the Chevy Volt to leverage clean solar power to recharge their batteries without relying on carbon fuel generated electricity. The Chevy Volt extended-range electric car is expected to hit showrooms in the next couple months and will be rolled out initially in California, Michigan, Washington D.C., Texas and New York. “Envision Solar has moved into an exciting phase of its evolution, and as we continue to work with some of the most recognized brands in the country, we need to ensure that our partners are of the highest possible quality,” said Desmond Wheatley, Envision Solar’s President and COO. “In MAGE SOLAR, we have found just that. Its solar modules are well-known as being among the best on the market, and their reliability and warranty ensure that we can count on MAGE SOLAR’s products when implementing highprofile installations.” Pike Research forecasts that the market for plug-in hybrid and battery electric passenger cars and light duty trucks will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 106 percent between 2010 and 2015, resulting in sales of more than 3.24 million vehicles during that period. AEN

Photo courtesy of MAGE SOLAR

Harper Designs Unique Furnace System with Carbon-Related Products from Renewable Resources H

arper International Corp. recently developed a unique furnace system with dual functionality for a national laboratory engaged in research, development and commercialization of new advanced materials. Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) is researching the development of a wide range of carbon materials from renewable resources. Advanced carbon materials derived from renewable sources would replace products currently derived from petroleum. The objective is to provide products with similar functional quality at a lower cost thereby increasing the applications for these advanced carbon materials. To simulate commercial production of carbon materials, a continuous thermal processing system was selected by the ORNL research team. Precursor materials planned for this development project have a wide variation in both particle sizes and particle shapes. These variations in precursor materials would require two distinctive types of furnace systems: a rotary furnace for one type of material and a mesh belt furnace system for other materials. ORNL contacted Harper International for 8

assistance in designing a single continuous thermal processing system that could satisfy both requirements. Harper’s engineering team developed the dual functionality furnace due to limited space within the lab, and the need for flexibility in processing a wide variety of materials in both rotary and mesh belt furnace systems. The Harper team designed a multi-functional thermal processing system that can be transformed from a rotary tube furnace to a mesh belt furnace while utilizing a single thermal platform. “The design of this custom furnace system demonstrates the commitment Harper makes to provide solutions, investments and new concepts to achieve the needs of our valued customers,” said Rick Rehrig, Harper Vice President of Sales. “The world of advanced materials continues to change at an accelerated pace. The engineers and scientists here at Harper International provide custom solutions and technical assistance for the economical commercialization for the advanced materials industry.” The single thermal processing system features a clamshell design that allows the top half

of the furnace to open, exposing the internal section of the furnace. The rotary tube may be removed from the system, allowing for the installation of a mesh belt within the same thermal section of the furnace. Both furnace systems have been designed to be gas tight and operate with a variety of atmospheric gases including reactive and corrosive gases. The systems have been designed to operate in the 1,000°C range with thermal processing cycles variations from 30 minutes up to 10 hours. ORNL will have the flexibility to test and develop new carbon materials from a variety of sources, including renewables. Advanced technology due to the research and development of advanced materials is now considered the norm. Cell phones,

solar cells, nano materials, flat-screen displays, lithium ion batteries, advanced catalysts and carbon fiber are all fairly standard items in today’s world. Harper International has played an important role in assisting companies with the development and commercialization of many of these advanced materials with their highly engineered thermal processing systems. AEN

Harper Furnace System Alternative Energy News

January 2011


OTHER alternatives

Liquid Fuel Technology Enables Clean and Green Power L PP Combustion LLC, a Columbia, Md-.based innovator in liquid fuel technology, has successfully demonstrated clean and green generation of renewable electric power using both bio-ethanol and bio-diesel. LPP Combustion has developed a Lean, Premixed, Prevaporized (LPP) combustion technology that converts liquid fuels, including bio-ethanol and biodiesel, into a substitute natural gas called LPP Gas™. The LPP Gas has been used to fuel a commercial Capstone 30-kW gas turbine designed for operation on natural gas, allowing the gas turbine to burn these liquid bio-fuels with natural gas level performance and emissions. The LPP Combustion fuel processing skid is designed to enable real-time operation of gas turbines on liquid fuels without requiring any modifications of the combustion system. Currently, combustion of bio-fuels in gas turbines is accomplished by burning these liquids as a spray. This spray flame mode of combustion generates much higher emissions of pollutants, such as NOx, CO and particulates than the burning of natural gas. However, the LPP Combustion system allows these bio-fuels to be burned in the same lean, premixed combustion system that provides extremely low emissions from

natural gas operation. Emissions from the Capstone gas turbine, operating in low-emissions mode at 25 kW on LPP Gas derived from these bio-fuels, are less than 5 ppm NOx and less than 20 ppm CO, at 15 percent O2, with no observable particulate emissions. These emissions were lower than those obtained during operation of the gas turbine on natural gas. In addition, no problems with combustion instabilities, flashback, or autoignition have been observed. The bio-ethanol fuels tested range from pure alcohol with no water to ethanol containing more than 30 percent water. Although the presence of even small amounts of water in ethanol used for blending with gasoline causes problems for automotive engines, the presence of up to 30 percent water mixed with the ethanol had no significant effects on performance or emissions from the gas turbine. The bio-ethanol was provided by Dubay Biofuels, a Stratford, Wis. company. Dubay has developed a proprietary process to create ethanol from waste streams of food manufacturers. The biodiesel fuels tested in the 30-kW gas turbine included both a canola-based diesel fuel that meets the ASTM specification for biodiesel and a less expensive to produce, off-spec form of biodiesel not suitable for use

in diesel engines. Both biodiesel formulations also provided performance and emissions in the gas turbine similar to natural gas, with less than 5 ppm NOx and less than 20 ppm CO, at 15 percent O2, and with no observable particulate emissions. These biodiesel fuels were provided by Northern Biodiesel, an Ontario, N.Y. company. According to Northern Biodiesel, the off-spec biodiesel can be produced at a substantially lower cost than traditional biodiesel since the off-spec fuel can be made from a wider variety of feedstocks, including beef tallow and chicken waste. Clean operation of gas turbines on biofuels provides a reliable alternative to wind or solar power for renewable electric power generation. Gas turbines equipped with LPP Combustion fuel skids can provide “dispatchable” (available on demand) renewable power to complement new or existing wind or solar farms. LPP Combustion enables the cleanest use of renewable fuels by using existing or new gas turbine infrastructure while providing dispatchable, green energy. The LPP Combustion system allows for fuel flexibility, improved heat rate and reduced maintenance for gas turbine operation on liquid fuels without the usual 80 percent

increase in emissions associated with conventional burning of liquid fuels. The LPP System can be integrated into new combustion systems or deployed as a self-contained hardware skid that can be easily retrofitted into existing natural gas-fired equipment without modification of the combustion hardware. This ease of installation makes LPP Systems using liquid bio-fuels an exciting option for industrial and utility scale power markets. AEN

Southern Nevada’s First Non-Solar Renewable Energy Project Completed E

xecutives from NV Energy Ormat Technologies Inc. and Kern River Gas Transmission Company dedicated southern Nevada’s first non-solar renewable energy project, the Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station. Located 35 miles south of Las Vegas, the Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station is the first renewable energy project owned by NV Energy. The project is rated at 7.5 MW, enough to supply approximately 4,500 homes in southern Nevada. Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station was built in partnership with Kern River Gas Transmission Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, and by Ormat Nevada Inc., a

wholly-owned subsidiary of Ormat Technologies Inc. “Our Goodsprings project provides a reliable and consistent renewable energy resource for our customers in southern Nevada,” said NV Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Yackira. “We are proud of the innovative nature of this project as well as our company’s growing presence in the renewable energy arena. Additionally, we appreciate our partnership with Kern River and the great work Ormat has done in developing this project.” The waste-heat-recovery project is adjacent to the Kern River Goodsprings compressor station. The project will use a process to capture the heat from Kern River’s

natural gas-fueled compressors, and then use that heat to turn a separate generator to produce electricity. To save water, the project will use a dry-cooling system. “Kern River is an advocate of increasing energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kern River President Gary Hoogeveen. “We have been happy to collaborate with NV Energy and Ormat to recover the heat from our compressors and turn it into energy to be used by NV Energy’s customers.” Ormat provided the project technology and served as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction contractor. During construction the project employed approximately 30 workers during peak

construction activity. “We are pleased to have partnered with NV Energy in the design, supply and construction of the first recovered energy generation facility in Nevada,” said Ormat Technologies Inc. President and COO Yoram Bronicki. “This innovative, cost-effective project will contribute to the success of Nevada’s renewable energy economy.” The Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station is one of NV Energy’s 44 separate geothermal, solar, biomass, small hydro, wind and waste-heat recovery projects under contract that are either in commercial operation or the project-development stage. The company’s renewable energy portfolio is more than 1,200 MW. AEN

The Goodsprings Energy Recovery Station located in southern Nevada. Photo courtesy of NV Energy. Alternative Energy News

January 2011

9


POWER PROFILES

Rise of Canadian Wind Industry Frédéric Côté

Cynthia Johnston

General Manager of TechnoCentre éolien (Wind Energy TechnoCentre)

Vice President of Renewable Operations for TransAlta Corporation

AEN: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you became involved in the alternative energy industry. FC: I have been the General Manager of the TechnoCentre éolien since March 2009. I have more than 10 years of experience in human resources management, business reorganization and change management, both in the private and public sectors. As a certified human resources professional (CHRP), I hold a double MBA from University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada and from Paris-Dauphine University in France. Born in Gaspé, I have returned to live in my native region to contribute to its economic development. As the General Manager of the TechnoCentre éolien, I worked on the construction of a $16 million-dollar wind farm in Gaspé dedicated to research and development in northern conditions and complex terrains. Indeed, the TechnoCentre éolien owns and operates the site nordique expérimental en éolien CORUS (SNEEC), which features two 2.05-MW Repower wind turbines. We offer different services throughout the SNEEC, such as technical validation, technological showcase, certification assistance and development of products and services. Last November, the TechnoCentre éolien won the Canadian Group Leadership Award presented during the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) 26th annual Conference and Exhibition held in Montréal. This award pays tribute to the government, company or nonprofit organization that has contributed significantly to the advancement of wind energy in Canada. AEN: What can you tell us about your company and its commitment to wind energy? FC: The TechnoCentre éolien is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to contribute to the development of a made-in-Quebec industrial wind energy network that can compete on North American and world stages while promoting the Gaspésie-Iles-de-laMadeleine region. The TechnoCentre éolien was founded in 2000 to support the development of Quebec know-how in wind energy while contributing to the economic growth and industrial renewal by developing a windrelated industrial network. Back in the 1990s, the Gaspé Peninsula’s main economic drivers (fishing, forestry and 10

mining) were in bad shape. Hundreds of jobs were lost and the unemployment rate was just under 30 percent. However, the region has a great wind potential. Local entrepreneurs and key stakeholders founded the TechnoCentre éolien to promote the wind energy development in Québec with a commitment to assure local content for wind in the Gaspé Peninsula. Our requests have been heard. Since 2003, the Québec government and the national utility have launched three requests for proposals totaling 3,500 MW of wind power who brought fresh air to the region’s economy. Right now, 1,000 people work in the wind energy industry in the Gaspé Peninsula and County of Matane. AEN: Are there any new projects your company is currently working on? FC: The TechnoCentre éolien works day after day to continue the development of wind power in Québec. We are currently working on a variety of projects involving technical assistance for businesses, such as technical validation of a new generation of a red flashing beacon in the northern climate with Technostrobe, and technical validation of a 25-kW wind turbine with a permanent magnet alternator with Éocycle Technologies. In addition, we are also doing applied research focusing on northern environments and complex terrain, such as the Nacelle anemometry project and testing a new generation of anemometer with WESNet, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Counsil of Canada (NSERC) Wind Energy Strategic Network. We are also developing a test bench for a trial hybrid wind-diesel micro-system with compressed air storage, and re-powering wind turbines with new power train. AEN: What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wind industry? FC: In Québec, we are facing a number of challenges, including delivering the selected number of projects, speeding up home-grown spin-offs creation, continuing to support companies’ financing and trade and export capabilities, optimizing the supply chain, and the domestic content requirements in other jurisdictions, such as the U.S. and Ontario. AEN: Where do you see the wind industry headed in the next five to 10 years? FC: I see the growth of the wind industry continue to mature, especially with other mergers and acquisitions. I also believe the wind industry will focus more and more on costs. As an industry, we will push the frontiers: There will be more offshore development and more wind farms will be installed in very cold climates. We can also expect that the smart grids will somehow have an impact on the wind industry. AEN

AEN: Please tell our readers a little bit about yourself and how you became involved in the wind energy industry. CJ: Over the last two decades, I have had the pleasure of working in all aspects of the power industry. After five years with FortisAlberta Inc., where I held several vicepresidential roles overseeing regulatory and legal affairs, as well as customer and corporate services, I returned to TransAlta just last year. I had originally spent 15 years at TransAlta in a variety of senior roles, including Vice President of Fuel Supply and Hydro Operations and Vice President of Transmission. The main reason for returning to TransAlta was because I saw an opportunity to join a strong leadership team committed to growing its renewable energy portfolio with a proven track record of operational excellence. I currently oversee TransAlta’s wind and hydro operations. AEN: What can you tell us about your company and its commitment to wind energy? CJ: Reliably, affordability, safely and responsibly, TransAlta is helping meet the growing appetite for electrical power while minimizing the environmental impact of doing so. With facilities from Alberta to New Brunswick, TransAlta is Canada’s largest producer of wind power, operating more than a third of Canada’s 3,549 MW of installed wind capacity. Over the last two years TransAlta has successfully installed three new wind facilities and completed expansions of two existing facilities. TransAlta has been growing its renewable energy portfolio for 10 years and is the leading publicly traded provider of electricity and renewable energy in Canada. Our renewable generation portfolio now totals 2,101 MW; including 1,162 of wind, 893 MW of hydroelectric, 25 MW of biomass and 164 MW of geothermal energy in California through a partnership with CE Generation LLC. We currently generate more than 1,000 MW of installed wind capacity at 16 facilities across Canada. We have facilities in four provinces, and our portfolio includes the two longest-running wind farms in the country and two of the largest wind facilities in Canada. TransAlta is proud of our history and leadership in the Canadian

wind power industry and in the years to come we plan to dedicate the majority of our planned growth to renewable power sources including wind. AEN: What areas of the wind industry do you focus on? CJ: In renewable operations, we are focused on two main priorities that will positively affect our business. The first priority is all about optimizing our existing wind assets by developing “the TransAlta Way” for operating them. TransAlta’s wind business has more than doubled in the last year as a result of greenfield additions and the acquisition of Canadian Hydro Developers. Combining the experience of our people in wind with the overall operational expertise within other fuel types across TransAlta will enable us to strengthen our competitive advantage in the operation of our wind facilities. This will also provide us with the blueprint to quickly and effectively integrate new wind assets into our portfolio as we continue to grow our renewables business. The other priority is to support the company’s broader plan in the near term to dedicate the majority of our planned growth to renewable power sources including wind. This growth will be achieved through some project development and through acquisition opportunities in Canada as well as the western U.S. AEN: What are the biggest challenges facing the Canadian wind industry? CJ: Transmission infrastructure, system integration and management will always be a challenge. And more recently, public perception of wind facilities has been a challenge for us in certain jurisdictions. Our approach to facing these challenges is simple. We have a long standing commitment to building and maintaining collaborative working relationships with all of our stakeholders. By listening to and learning from our customers, landowners and regulators, and taking the time to educate them about the benefits of wind energy, we are contributing to a strong and sustainable wind industry in Canada. AEN: Where do you see the wind industry headed in the next five to 10 years? CJ: Globally, wind power is the fastest growing form of new generation, and we do not see a tangible reason for this to change in the years to come. Demand for power is going to continue to increase, and customers will continue to expect reliable power grids. Only through a diverse mix of sources, including renewables, will this expectation be met. AEN Alternative Energy News

January 2011


LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

POLICY PERSPECTIVES

How the Law Can Save the World BY JACK JACOBS

I recently spoke with a client about his new 5-kW photovoltaic solar system that he had just installed on the roof of his house. He told me that in less than two weeks, the array had already generated enough electricity to power all of his family’s needs for the entire month. The 75-year old retiree didn’t exactly seem like the quintessential solar consumer, so I asked him why he decided to install the system. He said, “It’s just the right thing to do.” After that conversation, it became clear to me that society can only really change for one of two reasons: (1) people are motivated by their own internal ideologies, or (2) they are forced to change by a variety of external forces. My client clearly fell into the first category. He believed that protecting the environment was a moral imperative, and therefore must install solar panels because he had a moral obligation to do so. For the rest of the population that relies more on external pressures than internal convictions, peer pressure, economic incentives, social norms and the law play an extremely important role in encouraging social change. The law, in particular, has historically been used as a powerful tool to transform entire nations almost overnight. Even when the path of change was unpopular or didn’t seem to make economic sense, the law has been able to force progress upon us. Such was the case with ending slavery, mandating civil rights, allowing women the right to vote and prohibiting child labor. If clean air and water are important national goals, and if climate change is something that we have an obligation to reverse, then making electricity from renewable sources of energy is nothing short of a duty. And so if all other forms of motivation are failing to help us move away from an oil-based economy and toward renewable energy, then the law must intercede and demand change. With a few strokes of a pen, legislatures could take small actions to amend laws and end the status quo. For example, they could revise the building code to require the installation of solar systems on all new buildings and replacement rooftops. As a result, the solar energy industry would grow, carbon emissions would slowly drop off and thousands of new jobs would be created. The time has come for change. The stagnation that accompanies status quo is taking its toll on the economy and the environment. If ideology, peer pressure and social norms are not enough to encourage the widespread adoption of clean energy technology, then the law must be called in to impose the “right thing to do” upon society. Jack Jacobs is the Founder and Managing Partner of Cleantech Law Partners, a boutique law firm that represents renewable energy project developers and cleantech companies. A special thanks to Rachel McClure for her help in preparing this article. Jacobs can be reached at jjacobs@cleantechlawpartners.com. AEN

Could 135,000 Laptops Help Solve the Energy Challenge? Department of Energy Supercomputers to Pursue Breakthroughs in Biofuels, Nuclear Power, Medicine, Climate Change and Fundamental Research. U.S Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the largest-ever awards of the Department’s supercomputing time to 57 innovative research projects—using computer simulations to perform virtual experiments that in most cases would be impossible or impractical in the natural world. Utilizing two world-leading supercomputers with a computational capacity roughly equal to 135,000 quad-core laptops, the research could, for example, help speed the development of more efficient solar cells, improvements in biofuel production, or more effective medications to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. “The Department of Energy’s supercomputers provide an enormous competitive advantage for the United States,” said Secretary Chu. “This is a great example of how investments in innovation can help lead the way to new industries, new jobs and new opportunities for America to succeed in the global marketplace.” The projects include both academic and commercial research, including partnerships with companies such as GE and Boeing to use sophisticated computer modeling in the development of better wind turbines and jet engines. Specifically, the department is awarding time on two of the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers—the Cray XT5 (“Jaguar”) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the IBM Blue Gene/P (“Intrepid”) at Argonne National Laboratory. Jaguar’s computational capacity is roughly equivalent to 109,000 laptops all working together to solve the same problem. Intrepid is roughly equivalent to 26,000 laptops.

The awards include nearly 1.7 billion processor hours on the Department of Energy’s advanced supercomputers—the largest total ever—reflecting both the growing sophistication of the field of computer modeling and simulation and the rapid expansion of supercomputing capabilities at DOE National Laboratories in recent years. Awarded under the Department’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) program, many of the new and continuing INCITE projects aim to further renewable energy solutions and understand of the environmental impacts of energy use. The program, open to all scientists, is supported by the Department’s Office of Science and managed by the DOE Leadership Computing Facilities at the Department’s Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories, which host some of the world’s fastest supercomputers. INCITE program goals include: • Illuminating the roles of ocean, atmosphere, land and ice in climate change • Advancing materials for lithium air batteries, solar cells and superconductors • Understanding how turbulence affects the efficiency of aircraft and other transportation systems

• Designing next-generation nuclear reactors and fuels and extending the life of aging reactors • Developing fusion energy systems • Improving combustion in fuelefficient, near-zero-emissions systems • Exploring carbon sequestration Projects were selected on a competitive, peer review basis and evaluated for computational readiness. Selected projects were chosen for their potential to advance scientific discoveries, speed technological innovations and strengthen industrial competitiveness, and for their ability to make use of hundreds of thousands of processors to work in concert to do so. More than half of the projects are led by university researchers, with the remainder of the awards going to government and industry scientists and engineers. AEN

Senate EPW Committee Passage of Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Applauded by Diesel Technology Forum

T

he passage of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) is being hailed as a major step in continuing “a vital clean air program that has benefited communities in every single state in the nation,” according to Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF). DERA (S. 3973) is a five-year reauthorization of the highly-successful program created in 2005 to establish voluntary national and state-level grant and Alternative Energy News

October 2010

loan programs to reduce diesel emissions by upgrading and modernizing older diesel engines and equipment. The bipartisan legislation was introduced on November 18 by U.S. Senators George Voinovich (ROhio) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and cosponsored by several of their colleagues including EPW Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.). “Chairwoman Boxer and Ranking Member Inhofe are to be commended for their bipartisan work on DERA to help modernize older diesel engines and

improve America’s air quality,” Schaeffer said. DERA has helped clean up tens of thousands of diesel engines. It’s been incredibly cost-effective—EPA estimates that every federal dollar invested in DERA translates into at least $13 in health benefits. This cost-effectiveness is actually higher thanks to state and local matches that stretch the federal DERA dollars. DERA funds also support new and existing jobs in clean diesel manufacturing, as well as local jobs in installing and maintaining the new diesel technologies. AEN 11


MONEY MATTERS

New Jersey Nonprofits Find New Funding Source While Helping to Green the Environment Environment Education Group and Viridian Promote Renewable Energy. The Environment Education Group has recently discovered a new way to address their mission of promoting the use of renewable energy sources throughout New Jersey. The EEG has seen a new way for Viridian, a third-party energy-provider, to raise money for nonprofit organizations while helping their members save money and green the environment. According to Louis Paulucci, an EEG Trustee, New Jersey’s nonprofit service, religious and educational organizations can sign up as Associates with Viridian. The nonprofit shares information with their members and for every member who chooses Viridian for their basic generation service, the nonprofit receives $2 per month residual income, as long as the member remains a Viridian customer. EEG will help the nonprofit with information and choices to educate members. There are additional cash bonuses of $250 to $4,500 available to nonprofits depending on how many of their members switch to Viridian. “Nonprofits are always looking for new resources and all of us are interested in reducing our negative impact on the

environment,” said Paulucci. “Our relationship with Viridian offers the triple benefit of supporting community nonprofits, saving people money and reducing dependence on polluting energy sources.” Since 1999 when the New Jersey Energy Choice program was initiated, New Jersey residents and organizations have had the right to choose their electricity generation supplier—just as they have the right to choose a telephone service provider. However, up until April of 2010, only 625 residential customers took advantage of the opportunity. The turning point came when Viridian entered the New Jersey marketplace offering an alternative source of electricity that includes 20 percent or 100 percent renewable sources, such as wind and solar. In New Jersey, customer service is still provided by your current energy company (PSE&G, JCP&L, Atlantic City Electric), with only the “basic generation service” line on the bill changing to Viridian when the switch is made. Since April, more than 65,000 environmentally-conscious New Jersey residents have made the switch, saving on their electric bills. In addition, more than 160 nonprofits have signed up as Associates to promote the program and generate residual income.

Before the program launched in New Jersey, the first nonprofit to sign up in Connecticut was the University of Connecticut’s athletic scholarship fund. Tickets to UConn athletic events carried information encouraging fans to go green, save money and support the school’s fundraising by switching their electricity generation supplier to Viridian. The monthly residual income generated by the promotion resulted in a new altruistic scholarship fund at the school which otherwise would not have been possible. Currently UConn has a base of more than 2,700 customers and each month $2 goes to the scholarship fund for each customer. Paulucci envisions similar success stories as more nonprofits participate in the program in New Jersey. “This is an innovative way for individuals and the organizations they’re affiliated with to benefit while helping the environment,” he said. “It takes less than five minutes to sign up online, there’s no contract, no credit check, no hidden charges, all rate tax is included and there is no additional cost to make the switch. Unlike other third-party electric suppliers who charge a premium for clean energy, Viridian supplies it at a discount. Their 20 percent renewable energy is almost three times the state mandate.” AEN

Innovative $2.1 Billion Energy Infrastructure REIT Launched First-of-its-Kind Investment Vehicle for Energy Infrastructure Sector. Hunt Power, Marubeni Corporation, John Hancock Life Insurance (USA), TIAA-CREF and OPTrust Private Markets Group announced they have agreed to form Electric Infrastructure Alliance of America (EIAA) and Gas Infrastructure Alliance of America (GIAA) as real estate investment trusts (REITs) to invest in the energy infrastructure and gas storage and delivery sectors in the U.S. These alliance members will invest up to $2.1 billion to develop and acquire electricity and gas transmission and distribution assets, primarily in Texas, the Great Plains and the desert Southwest. These will be the first REITs of their kind in the electricity and gas transmission and distribution sector. “This is an innovative direct investment alliance, leveraging the expertise and active participation of the members, within a new REIT structure that will help to mobilize capital to invest in the electricity and gas transmission and distribution sectors,” said Kirk Baker, Chairman and President of both EIAA and GIAA, and Senior Vice President of Hunt Power. Subsidiaries of Hunt Power will manage the REITs and will invest up to $322.5 million in cash and assets in the alliance, Marubeni will invest up to $500 million, John Hancock will invest up to $450 million, TIAA-CREF will invest up to $450 million, 12

and OPTrust will invest up to $400 million. “Marubeni, as a leading Japanese investor in the global electric power market, is pleased to join with other world-class investors to look for potential opportunities in the U.S. electric power transmission and distribution sector,” said Toshi Fukumura, Senior Vice President at Marubeni Power International Inc. “This investment provides a strong platform for growth in the U.S. transmission and distribution sector.” “EIAA and GIAA are actively seeking to partner with utilities, co-ops, municipalities and local distribution companies seeking expertise and capital to upgrade and expand their infrastructure systems,” said Jerry Hanrahan, Managing Director, John Hancock Power and Project Finance. He added, “EIAA and GIAA will have the financial strength, broad industry expertise and the ability to transact as opportunities are identified.” “TIAA views energy infrastructure services in the U.S. southwest as a good addition to our growing portfolio in infrastructure,” said Lisa Ferraro, Managing Director, Energy & Infrastructure, TIAA-CREF. “This alliance unites a strong developer and manager with substantial investors so that all can participate in the growth of the region for the long term benefit of our respective clients.” “We are all pleased to be investing in a new and innovative REIT investment vehicle that represents a transformative means of mobilizing capital in the

electricity infrastructure sector. As a group of active investors in this alliance, we all look forward to unlocking the operational and financial potential this transaction provides,” said Kevin Warn-Schindel, Group Head & Managing Director of OPTrust Private Markets Group. As part of this transaction, EIAA will acquire an interest in Sharyland Distribution and Transmission Services (SDTS), an affiliate of Hunt Power. SDTS will own five line segments and four substations that have been proposed as part of the Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission build out in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The facilities will be built by Sharyland Utilities, L.P., and once completed, will form a loop in the Texas Panhandle and South Plains that will bring wind power to major load centers in Texas while enhancing reliability. Applications for regulatory approval have been filed with the Public Utility Commission of Texas for all five segments, with final decisions expected by May 2011. Construction is expected to be completed in 2013. There will be no changes from an operational perspective, as Sharyland Utilities will continue to operate the assets as a regulated utility and will continue its activities under the jurisdiction of the Public Utilities Commission of Texas. Possible future acquisitions by EIAA could significantly expand the group’s activities into other regions of the U.S. AEN

James Hardie Awarded Stimulus Funds for Fiber Cement Recycling James Hardie Building Products Inc. announced the receipt of a federal grant worth $756,000 to help offset the cost of updating its fiber cement recycling operations in Peru, Ill. James Hardie was awarded the grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) as part of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) administers a portfolio of programs under the State Energy Plan that is designed to invest in the development of Illinois’ green economy including renewable energy resources, energy efficiency, green buildings, biofuels and more. The money received through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allowed DCEO’s State Energy Office to develop new programs and expand current programs in order to fund cost-effective energy projects that create and retain Illinois jobs, reduce energy consumption and costs, increase renewable energy capacity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The grant money will offset the cost of equipping James Hardie’s trim manufacturing plant in Peru, Ill., with new, more efficient fiber cement recycling machines. The hi-tech new equipment will collect and reclaim off-specification HardieTrim® XLD® boards and fiber cement dust for use in James Hardie’s new line of crown mouldings: HardieTrim Crown Mouldings. “It’s a great example of how sustainability can be good for business,” said Tom Jagiella, Trim Engineering Manager at James Hardie. “Sometimes errors occur during the manufacturing process, which result in boards that don’t measure up to James Hardie’s quality standards. The standard practice within the industry is that off-spec boards are sent to a landfill. With this equipment we’re able to convert them into high-quality marketable products.” The new equipment will allow James Hardie to improve this process. As a new addition to James Hardie’s line-up of fiber cement products, HardieTrim Crown Mouldings represent less than one percent of the output of the Peru, Ill., facility and are currently produced using only recycled materials. The project qualified for DCEO/ARRA funding in the category of “Recycled Content Products,” which is considered part of “Green Industry.” The $756,000 grant will cover 50 percent of the $1.5 million projected cost of equipping the facility. The remaining 50 percent will be covered by James Hardie. The State Energy Plan is providing more than $100 million in grants statewide, resulting in more than 12,000 green sector jobs being created over the next two years and leveraging almost $1 billion in investment. AEN Alternative Energy News

January 2011


NEW PRODUCTS

First Dual-Certified PV Cable from a U.S. Manufacturer AmerCable, the industry leader in photovoltaic cable manufacturing, has announced their new AmerSol cable–the first dual-certified (TÜV and UL) PV cable from a U.S. manufacturer. AmerSol is a versatile single-conductor PV cable that is designed to meet the varying needs of the solar industry. Applications include connection to module junction boxes and required cable routing in balance of system (BOS) integration. The cable is rated 600V UL and 1000V TÜV, featuring two-layer construction utilizing a low smoke halogen-free, flame-retardant and sunlightresistant cross-linked compound outer layer and halogen-free thermoset polyolefin inner layer.

Commercial Disconnect Combiners SolarBOS is pleased to announce the addition of 100 and 200 amp disconnects to their popular Disconnect Combiner box product line. The complete range of solutions now includes 55, 100, 150, 200 and 245 amp disconnects, and these can be specified with up to 36 input circuits in NEMA-3, 3R, 4 and 4X enclosures. SolarBOS Disconnect Combiners incorporate an integrated 600 VDC load-break switch into the combiner box, allowing system integrators to greatly simplify the design and installation of a PV system. SolarBOS (tel) 925-456-7744 www.solarbos.com

AmerCable (tel) 800-643-1516 www.amercable.com

Fastest and Easiest-to-Install Rooftop Solar System

New Helio Protection Brand of Products for Solar Industry

Solyndra Inc., an American manufacturer of cylindrical PV systems for large commercial rooftops, introduced the Solyndra 200 Series. The new product offers fast, simple installation, a low distributed load and low overall installed cost. Building owners with older or “value engineered” rooftops benefit from the lightweight panels (roof load of 2.8 lbs/ft2) that have no need for penetrations or ballasting, and can be installed significantly faster than flat panels on a typical roof. This minimizes business disruption during installation and dramatically reduces labor costs.

Mersen (formerly Ferraz Shawmut) announced the release of the industry’s first UL 2579 listed range of dedicated photovoltaic fuses, Helio Protection fuses. Within the Helio Protection brand, Mersen introduces three new fuse lines: HP6M, HP10M and HP6J. Designed to provide superior overcurrent protection at the combiner box and inverter levels, the new series covers applications ranging from 1 to 400A, 600VDC and 1000VDC. The enhanced fuse construction of the Helio Protection series makes it ideal for continuous temperature and current cycling withstand, adding to system longevity.

Solyndra Inc. (tel) 877-511-8436 www.solyndra.com

Mersen (tel) 978-462-6662 www.mersen.com

New Dry Pump for Solar Crystal Puller and Laminator Applications

New Cost-Effective Materials for Photovoltaics

Solar Thermal Water Heating Innovations

Surge Protection Device for Solar Applications

Edwards, a leading global supplier of vacuum and abatement equipment and services, introduced a new GXS dry pump designed to support pumping requirements for silicon ingot manufacturing and laminator applications in the solar industry. The GXS provides the optimized thermal control and dust handling capability needed to meet the pumping challenges encountered in these processes. The high atmospheric pumping speed capability of the GXS also enables faster chamber pump down, reducing cycle times and improving throughput. The GXS pump is compatible with Edwards Fabworks data monitoring system so that pump parameters can be monitored and trended in real-time via a central computer.

Drawn from its portfolio of high-performance polymers, UV-resistant DuPont™ Rynite® PET resins offer an excellent balance of properties which makes them an ideal candidate for the cost-effective manufacturing of photovoltaic module frames and components. Two specific grades are currently available from DuPont for these applications: Rynite® 935SUV is a 35 percent glass-fiber/mineral reinforced, UV stabilized grade of polyethylene terephtalate (PET) suitable for injection molding; Rynite® 540SUV is a 40 percent glass-fiber reinforced, UV stabilized grade of PET suitable for extrusion and injection molding. Both grades combine high stiffness with low warpage and have been specifically developed for long-term outdoor applications.

A. O. Smith is taking energy efficiency to new heights with the CIRREX™ Solar Thermal Water Heating System. This all-in-one solution makes specification and installation simple. Solar thermal collectors provide up to 70 percent of the energy needed for water heating from the sun, and they are only a fraction of the cost of photovoltaic solar panels. Available in 80- and 120-gallon models, A. O. Smith calls CIRREX one of the ‘greenest’ solutions available to homeowners today. With a Solar Energy Factor (SEF) of 2.5, the CIRREX system is ENERGY STAR qualified and eligible for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the total installation cost without a cap.

Color coded, modular plug-in and DIN-rail mounted design with voltage rejection feature and easyID™ visual indication makes the new Cooper Bussmann® Surge Protective Device (SPD) simple to identify, install and maintain. As the first UL1449 3rd Edition recognized SPD for DC photovoltaic applications, in addition to IEC61643-11 compliance, it is simple to specify for solar power applications globally. Built-in, fast-acting short-circuit interruption (SCI) technology for 600Vdc, 1000Vdc and 1200Vdc systems safely shunts damaging surges and over-voltages to ground. This high-performance capability also eliminates the need for additional fuses or over-current protection and associated panel space, providing PV users complete protection at substantial cost savings.

Edwards (tel) 800-848-9800 www.edwardsvacuum.com

DuPont (tel) 800-441-7515 www.dupont.com

Are you launching a new product? Alternative Energy News

January 2011

A.O. Smith (tel) 866-362-9898 www.hotwater.com

Cooper Bussmann (tel) 636-527-3877 www.cooperbussmann.com/surge

Let us know about it! E-mail AENeditor@oser.com with “AEN: New Product” in the subject line for a list of what to include and deadlines.

13


UPCOMING EVENTS

INDUSTRY calendar • 2011 WHEN

WHAT

WHERE

WEBSITE

January 17-20

World Future Energy Summit 2011

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

www.worldfutureenergysummit.com

January 18-19

Wind Power Romania

Bucharest, Romania

www.greenpowerconferences.com/general/event_listings.html

January 19-21

Synergistic SuperGrid for Transmitting Energy Overseas 2011

London, United Kingdom

www.worldconferences.co.uk/conferences

January 24-25

Inverter and PV System Technology

Berlin, Germany

www.solarpraxis.de/en/conferences

January 24-26

Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer

Austin, Texas, USA

www.parksassociates.com/events/energysummit2011

January 25-26

Solar Power Generation USA

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

www.greenpowerconferences.com/general/event_listings.html

January 27-28

5th Annual Central and Eastern European Power

Prague, Czech Republic

www.platts.com/ConferenceDetail/2011

January 31-February 2

14th Annual EUEC-Energy and Environment Conference

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

www.euec.com

February 1-2

Offshore Wind Power

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

www.greenpowerconferences.com/general/event_listings.html

February 8-9

Offshore Wind Farms: Construction & Installation 2011

Copenhagen, Denmark

www.offshorewindconstruction.com

February 17-19

International Conference on Energy Systems and Technologies

Cairo, Egypt

www.ourglocal.com/event/?eventid=4135

February 19-20

International Conference on Product Development and Renewable Energy Resources 2011

Hyderabad, India

www.iacsit.org/icpdre

February 22-23

Solar Power Australia 2011

Melbourne, VIC, Australia

www.solarpoweraus.com.au

February 22-24

Eilat-Eilot 4th International Renewable Energy Conference

Eilat, Israel

www.eilatenergy.org

February 24-25

GeoPower Americas

San Francisco, California, USA

www.greenpowerconferences.com/general/event_listings.html

February 28-March 1

Green California Summit

Sacramento, California, USA

www.green-technology.org/gcsummit/index.html

March 1

Deep Water Offshore Wind

London, England

www.offshorewindconference.com

March 1-3

Energy Indaba 2011

Johannesburg, South Africa

www.energyindaba.co.za

March 8-10

Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo

Tampa, Florida, USA

www.renewableenergyworld-events.com/index.html

March 14-17

EWEA 2011

Brussels, Belgium

www.ewec2011.info

March 15-17

SOLARCON China 2011

Shanghai, China

www.semi.org.cn/solarconchina/en

March 23-24

Offshore Wind Power Development 2011

Shanghai, China

www.offshorewindpowerasia.com

March 23-26

Energising South East Asia

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

www.energisingsea.com.au

March 31-April 2

Sustainable Environment Technologies SET2011

Los Angeles, California, USA

www.set2011.com

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

MARCH

FEBRUARY

14

MARCH

APRIL

Alternative Energy News

January 2011



Alternative Energy News January 2011