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POWER PROFILES: Solar Industry Leaders Shine




JULY 2010 VOLUME 1, NO. 2



German PV Maker Expands into the U.S. to Capitalize on Growing Market BY LORRIE BAUMANN

MAGE SOLAR Gmbh, a division of the MAGE Group, has selected Dublin, Ga. as the site of its new corporate headquarters and production facility for MAGE POWERTEC PLUS mono- and polycrystalline photovoltaic modules. Production of the PV modules is scheduled to begin around the end of this year. Over the next five years, MAGE SOLAR

will invest $30 million to create 350 jobs and the production capacity to make PV modules that will generate a total of 800 MW, after the final stage of expansion currently planned for the plant. MAGE SOLAR also plans to build an academy for solar education as part of the Dublin complex and will relocate the company headquarters from its temporary location in Alpharetta, Ga.

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“We are certain that we have found the perfect home for our company based on the excellent infrastructure, impressive workforce known for its productivity, integrity and skill,” said MAGE SOLAR CEO Norbert Philipp. Dublin, Ga. is located about halfway between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Port of Savannah, a Continued on Page 14


Intersolar North America will host its 2010 exhibition July 1315 at the Moscone Center West Hall in San Francisco, Calif. Presented by Solar Promotion International, the event expects roughly 550 U.S.-based and international exhibitors and 20,000 trade visitors to flood the 130,000 net-square-feet of floor space. The annual conference held in

conjunction with Intersolar 2010 will involve more than 30 tracks and well over 150 speakers for the 1,600 expected attendees. Intersolar already has three global events in place around the world and expects to add a fourth event next year. Taking into account the current series spanning three continents, Intersolar has 2,250 exhibitors and 80,000-plus Continued on Page 24

New Community Wind Project Offers Texas Landowners a Share of Ownership BY DANIELLE D’ADAMO

As one of the biggest contributors of wind energy in the United States, Texas continues to play host to a growing number of manufacturing facilities and wind companies that are creating jobs and business opportunities in the local market. According to a 2009 market report by the American Wind Energy Association, Texas’ wind energy installation

capacity outranked Iowa and California at 9,410 MW, and once again, the state gained the largest amount of new capacity. “When it comes to wind, Texas is a natural,” said National Wind Co-Chair and Co-Founder Patrick Pelstring. “There have actually been more megawatts generated in Texas in the last two years than anywhere else in the Continued on Page 22


WINDPOWER Concludes in Texas GE and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation Announce Partnership


Intersolar North America Returns to Moscone Center in San Francisco


Eco-Friendly Solar Gallery Premieres ASES Solar Conference Serves as Catalyst for Important Questions


Schools of Fish Offer New Ideas for Wind Farming The new SunMizer from Xandex Solar



DOE and USDA Partner, Provide Funding Wainwright Bank Supports Development of Solar Energy for Nonprofits

Next Issue: Cutting-edge Battery and Fuel Cell Technologies from MER Corporation in Tucson, Arizona

from the publisher

Technology for a Brave New World As the July issue of Alternative Energy News goes to press, the magazine’s editorial staff has just returned from a visit to the research facilities of MER Corporation. The “MER” stands for Materials & Electrochemical Research, and scientists there are busy inventing new batteries, safer components for fuel cells and even an automobile engine powered by compressed air. We’ll be writing much more about those technologies for our August issue, but at the moment, we’re overwhelmed by the vision for our energy future that the scientists conjured up for us. They are imagining and inventing the technology for a brave new world in which our homes and factories might be powered by some combination of sun, wind, fuel cells and electricity produced at generating stations far enough away from our homes to minimize our exposure to pollution from coal-fired plants and the potential radiation hazards of nuclear reactors. Imagine for yourself that you might someday wake up in a home with a solar array mounted on its metal roof (see page 12 for a story about why the metal roof is important and where you can learn more about how and why to put a metal roof on a conventional structure), eat your breakfast in a kitchen equipped with energy-efficient appliances, and then go out to your garage to change the hydrogen cylinder on the fuel cell that powers your home’s heating and cooling system and, incidentally, provides your drinking water, and drive off to work in a car fueled by compressed air. We are on the cusp of a future in which all of these things are possible and even probable. What we’ll need to make it happen is better batteries to safely and efficiently store energy produced by solar arrays and wind turbines, safer means of storing hydrogen, better methods of monitoring and regulating our energy production and usage, and, of course, the intelligence and imagination that are being brought to bear at research facilities like MER Corp. all across our country and around the world. What we’ll also need is our own intelligence and the vision to see not just the price tag associated with these technologies, but also to acknowledge the price for ignoring the depletion of the world’s oil reserves, the vulnerability of our dependence on foreign oil, and the environmental and public health costs of continuing along the path that took us through the 20th century and into the 21st.

Lee M. Oser Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Steve Cox Senior Associate Publisher and Director of Media Lorrie Baumann Editorial Director Danielle D’Adamo Editor Carrie Bui Justyn Dillingham JoEllen Lowry Associate Editors Valerie Wilson Art Director Yasmine Brown Graphic Designer Selene Pinuelas Traffic Manager Michelle Ward Circulation Manager

Alternative Energy News is published by Oser Communications Group ©Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. BPA Worldwide membership applied for February 11, 2010.

Lee M. Oser Publisher

Executive and editorial offices located at: 1877 N. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85715 T 520-721-1300, F 520-721-6300

European offices located at: Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 11 50125 Florence, Italy T 055.657.5629, F 055.657.5631


Alternative Energy News

July 2010


new eco-friendly

solar gallery AT THE arizona science center BY DANIELLE D’ADAMO


Alternative Energy News

July 2010


“It really drives the message home when people can literally see energy working right before their eyes. They may think twice the next time they want to flip on a switch.” Chevy Humphrey, President and CEO of the Arizona Science Center


he Arizona Science Center, a Phoenix museum, recently unveiled a new, eco-friendly gallery that presents solar energy in a whole new light. The new exhibit aims to translate technical aspects of solar energy generation into layman’s terms in order to meet the growing demand from the public on how solar energy works. After visiting the gallery, the hope is that people will have a better understanding of their own energy consumption so that they will more likely become advocates for renewable energy. “Arizona is very unique in regards to the sun and exactly how much sun we get,” explained Chevy Humphrey, President and CEO of the Arizona Science Center. “I believe our state can play a very special role in the sustainable energy landscape, especially with this new gallery. We wanted to implement a fun way to show how everyone can be eco-friendly, and ultimately have a better understanding of the cutting-edge technologies used around the world.” Located in the Arizona Public Service (APS) Gallery on Level 4 of the Science Center, Solarville is an interactive learning environment unlike any other. As guests step off the elevator, they enter the “town” of Solarville and stroll through a transit station, industrial park, retail store, school, recreational area and a home while learning about solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. The unique exhibit helps break down the dry, technical side of renewables by making the experience entertaining and educational. The idea for the solar gallery stems from a longstanding relationship between the Arizona Science Center and APS dating back to when the Science Center first opened its doors in 1984. But it wasn’t until a 2008 meeting held on the fourth floor at the Science Center to announce the building of the APS Solana Generating Station—the world’s largest solar plant— when people started noticing the potential of the space. “At that time, the Science Center had a little solar exhibit in the hallway during the announcement, but we all realized that we could do so much better with the potential to create a true educational show piece,” said Dan Wool, Spokesman for APS. “We are very committed to solar and renewable energy in Arizona, and APS wanted to partner with the Science Center to send the message that this state is very serious about solar energy.” Solarville opened to the public on May 23 after an extensive test run prior to its main opening. The Science Center invited people inside the solar gallery to check all the exhibits and make sure they understood what was trying to be presented. There were actually some legitimate questions raised, such as how the exhibits would explain plugging and unplugging an outlet if parents constantly tell kids not to play with outlets. “These prototypes and focus groups are essential to ensuring a successful new exhibit,”

Alternative Energy News

July 2010

said Humphrey. “We want to make sure that the displays actually work, but more importantly, we want our messages to be impactful. We discussed these few concerns with Valley moms and families to see how we could help align those same safety messages with energy to find a good balance.” Once all the kinks were worked out, Solarville was well received by kids and adults alike. The brightly-colored gallery offered interactive learning kiosks where people could learn how they can harness and distribute sustainable green energy from algae, to alternative fuels to fecal matter. A unique solar panel muscle match demonstrated how kids can compete with how much energy the sun creates. There was also “Pedal Power,” an exhibit that had bikes designed to show human power and the efficiency difference of LED vs. CFL vs. incandescent lighting. “This exhibit is a personal favorite of mine,” said Humphrey. “Kids can either compete with friends or try it on their own to see exactly how much energy it takes to power different light bulbs. It really drives the message home when people can literally see energy working right before their eyes. They may think twice the next time they want to flip on a switch.” There were also plenty of exhibits for other renewable energy sources. A do-it-yourself wind power display demonstrated how a simple turbine motorized by a giant fan could transform wind energy into power. People could also learn how businesses and cities around the world are implementing new technologies to address sustainable energy by inventing things, such as new garbage waste systems. And, perhaps more importantly, the public could learn simple ways to use sustainable energy in their everyday lives. “No matter what display you are at, there are little lessons woven throughout the entire gallery,” explained Wool. “A simple thing like putting sunscreen on solar beads to see how that protects your skin really makes an impact on kids. These children are the next generation of scientists and technical workers, and the Science Center has a unique way of bringing out that passion and education in them to want to pursue those careers.” And while solar energy continues to remain a hot topic throughout Arizona, the Science Center also hopes to expand upcoming exhibits to nana technology and basic principles of physics. Humphrey said there will be more engaging speakers for their adult night series and more hands-on opportunities for children with field trips. “We treat the solar topic like any other topic here because kids need to truly understand this,” she explained. “We will always make the effort to listen to our audience on what they want to know and continue to instill the wonder of education through entertaining people of all ages about science.” AEN



ASES Solar Conference Serves as Catalyst for Important Questions BY JUSTYN DILLINGHAM


An image of the exhibit hall from the 2009 American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Conference in Buffalo, N.Y.

he atmosphere was lively at this year’s American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Conference, which attracted an estimated 6,000 people May 20-22. Students in search of thesis material bumped tote bags with manufacturers in search of new contacts, and physics professors chatted with adventurers who’d driven across the frozen Arctic Ocean on solar-powered wheels. But for many attendees, the conference served as a reminder of the seriousness and renewed sense of purpose of the rising solar industry. “I get more optimistic every time I come to one of these shows,” said Jim Bristow of Seattle-based Bristow Enterprises. “Just the fact that solar is becoming more mainstream—30 years after it should have.” “We should have done this 20 years ago,” said William Haley, a resident of Green Valley, Ariz., who was at the conference doing research for a solar hot-water-heating package he plans to offer his community. “We’re slow to react. We need instant gratification as a society, but this won’t give it to us.” Attendees and exhibitors alike said they relished the chance to mingle with other solar-minded people, whether they were closely involved in the nuts and bolts of the business, more geared toward the theoretical side, or simply interested in learning more about the industry. “You’re getting people all the way from the folks that produce cells to the folks that are putting modules on the roofs,” said Gerd Van Antwerp, of Reis Robotics USA. On the show’s last day, doors were opened to the public, and between two and three thousand people of varying degrees of interest strolled from booth to booth. “The people are very helpful and knowledgeable,” said Haley. According to Brad Collins, Executive Director of ASES, that’s no accident; the confer-

ence is aimed at a wide audience. “It’s much more of an educational conference than other shows,” he said. Collins said the show was seeing many more aspiring job-seekers than in the past. “We’re seeing a lot of people that are looking for their second or third career.” The show aims, Collins said, to create a sense of “a community of like-minded people” to meet, talk and work together. “We have found it very beneficial to have in the same room the policy wonk, the educator and the engineer,” Collins said. “By having that mix of attendees, marvelous things happen.” Collins said he was hopeful that the many segments of the renewable energy industry were beginning to work together toward common goals, instead of staying in their own niches. “From our perspective, it’s vitally important that we understand that there is plenty of bandwidth for renewable energy of all kinds. They all have roles to play in this economy. There is room at this table for all of us,” he said. Collins said he was heartened that more students than ever before had attended the show to get a feel for the future of energy. “It’s good for the industry, it’s good for the green economy and it’s good for us,” he said. Ron Jones, Owner and Creative Director of The Strategic Word, an advertising agency that specializes in renewable energy, attended the show for the first time this year. As with other conferences he’s attended, Jones said, he found that making connections and throwing around ideas with fellow attendees proved the most valuable aspect of the experience. “What happens after hours is just as important as what happens on the show floor,” Jones said. The show’s setting could scarcely have seemed more apt. Not only was Phoenix the site of the first solar convention in 1955 (The National Renewable Energy Lab’s Larry Kazmerski showed a home video of that conference during the awards banquet on May 19), but the Phoenix Convention Center is one of the country’s few city-owned convention centers with its own solar array. Arizona’s strong track record in the solar industry played a role in the decision to schedule the show there, Collins said. “We move the conference around the country to leave a legacy of education in a community or in a region, or we use it to apply progress in a region,” he said. The 2011 conference is set for Raleigh, N.C., which Collins said has made “amazing progress” in the world of renewable energy. When ASES chose Phoenix for its 2010 conference, however, it had not anticipated that Arizona would be attracting nationwide attention for a very different reason. Session moderator Steve Heckeroth opened a sparsely attended May 20 session by noting that the nationwide boycotts of Arizona following the passage of controversial immigration bill SB 1070 may have had some effect on the show’s attendance. Collins said that he thought the bill had had “some” impact, with some attendees deciding to cancel as a protest statement, but that its impact should not be judged from the Continued on Page 14


Alternative Energy News

July 2010


Solar Rooftop Solutions Highlighted in Las Vegas this October BY LORRIE BAUMANN


ow in its 20th year, the METALCON International trade show is offering Solar Bay, a unique forum in which builders who may not be familiar with metal roof construction can learn the benefits and compatibility of metal roofing and solar technology. That’s a critical skill for contractors as more business and residential owners look to reduce their energy costs by including a solar rooftop installation to their new or existing buildings. In the past, many of these owners may have dismissed metal roofing because its cost exceeds that of traditional asphalt roofing materials, but renewed interest in using rooftop solar panels is forcing them to take another look. Solar panels with the newest technology are likely to outlast conventional roofing materials and uninstalling and reinstalling a solar application to allow for replacement of the existing roof adds significant expense to the project. A metal roof, by contrast, can last for up to 50 years, and even outlast solar energy equipment, giving building professionals a reason to rethink using metal instead of conventional roofing materials. “Both commercial and residential building and roofing professionals need to weigh all their options while they’re considering a solar


installation,” said Paula Parker, National Sales Manager for METALCON International. “In some instances, a metal roof will outlast the building.” In addition to presenting conference sessions that include a panel discussion on the largest solar installation in the U.S., METALCON is offering seminars titled, “Solar Technology and Metal – a Mix of High Energy and Hot Opportunity,” “PV 101 - How to Design Solar Systems for Metal Roofs,” “Providing Alternative Energy with Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) and Standing Seam Roofing,” and “Solar and Renewable Energy Initiatives.” The sessions are all designed to offer those who are interested in metal roofing a tutorial in how to combine them with solar installations. In the exhibit hall, though, the learning goes both ways, and METALCON is offering for the second year a Solar Bay pavilion on the show floor where exhibiting manufacturers of solar panels, accessories and technologies can both educate and learn from the metal roofing experts in attendance at the conference. “There’s a whole educational loop that needs to take place,” Parker observes. “Whether you sell solar photovoltaic crystalline panels, thermal systems, energy

efficient products or any other solar rooftop solution—Solar Bay at METALCON is the single place to learn the newest in metal roofing and solar technology.” Launched in 1991, METALCON International is the only annual trade show and conference focused on the application of metal in industrial, institutional, light commercial and residential construction. Solar Bay is another aspect of the show that delivers the newest technology, education and product information to metal building and roofing professionals worldwide. The event is sponsored by the Glenview,

Ill.-based Metal Construction Association (MCA) and supported by 60 participating associations representing various industry segments and 25 industry publications. METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources, Inc., a widely recognized information resource for the A/E design industry. METALCON International will be held October 20-22, 2010 at The Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information, visit For information about exhibiting, call Paula Parker at 800-537-7765. AEN

Alternative Energy News

July 2010

Intertek Awarded CBTL Accreditation For Photovoltaic Panels A

ccreditation provides manufacturers faster access to global markets and reduces certification costs.

Intertek, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification services, has announced that its Lake Forest, Calif. facility has successfully expanded its IECEE CB Scheme Testing Laboratory (CBTL) capabilities. The new capabilities include testing Photovoltaic (PV) modules to IEC Standards. This accreditation allows Intertek to conduct one set of tests that will provide manufacturers with market access to more than 40 countries that participate in the IECEE’s CB Scheme, saving manufacturers money and reducing their overall time-to-market. Intertek now delivers the broadest scope of testing and certification services to the PV industry. The IECEE CB Scheme is an international system for mutual acceptance of test reports and certificates based on the use of international (IEC) standards. The main objective of the Scheme is to facilitate trade. A manufacturer utilizing a CB test certificate issued by one of the accepted National Certification

Bodies (NCBs) can obtain certification marks of the latter in the countries where the accepted NCBs are located. The new accreditation allows Intertek to test and issue IECEE CB Scheme Test Certificates to IEC 61730, 61215, 61646, 60891 and 60904 standards for Mono & Poly Crystalline and Thin Film Photovoltaic modules. Certification to these standards demonstrates acceptable safety and performance levels for long-term use of the modules. Intertek’s state-of-the-art testing laboratory in Lake Forest is equipped with Solar Simulator, Environmental Chambers, Rain & Hail Testers, Impact and Mechanical Loading apparatus, among other equipment. The laboratory is also accredited by the State of California, Energy Commission (CEC) for the Solar Home Program, CEC certifications and has mutual agreements with Florida State Energy Centre for data acceptance. Intertek has more than 1,000 laboratories and offices and over 24,000 people in more than 100 countries around the world. For further information on Intertek’s solar testing services, visit AEN

State Workforce Training Brought to Light through Amonix Expansion into Nevada


he approximate 300 jobs that will be created through the expansion of a major solar panel manufacturer into Nevada is bringing to light Nevada’s ability to successfully attract highly sought businesses and its ability to facilitate the specialized training necessary for Nevada’s workforce to be properly prepared for these new employment opportunities. The recent announcement by Amonix to move to Nevada comes at a time when the Nevada Commission on Economic Development continues to avidly seek out companies desiring to relocate to the state to take advantage of Nevada’s favorable business climate. This effort coincides with the state’s paramount goal of stimulating job growth and assisting its residents to get back to work as quickly as possible. “These few hundred jobs are the direct result of a concerted effort by our team, and additional jobs will evolve as similar industries follow suit in relocating to Nevada,” said Nev. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who chairs the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. “Much of the thrust of our economic model is to focus on renewable energy projects suitable for development in the Western United States. This success with Amonix is another important step in helping us achieve the critical mass necessary for the establishment of a solar cluster here.” Frank Woodbeck, Director of Las Vegas Operations & Workforce Solutions for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, said the state will be investing funds along with Amonix to train the workforce for the solar plant. Other job training funds will be provided by the Alternative Energy News

July 2010

federal government. He expects a late September timeframe for hiring Amonix employees. Woodbeck noted this is the first company of its kind to open in Nevada, and that its expansion here will help put Nevada at the forefront of diversification and developing its renewable energy industry base. Amonix is a cutting edge innovator in solar panel technology, and a leader in its field. “We have a strong focus on manufacturing in the renewable energy sector,” Woodbeck said. “That’s where job creation will be.” Founded in 1989, Amonix designs and manufactures concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power systems, which require no water, use land more efficiently and produce more energy per acre than any other solar technology. With 20 years in business, 15 years of real-world CPV deployments and seven generations of system development, Amonix is the proven best choice for utility-scale solar in sunny and dry climates. The Nevada Commission on Economic Development is a state agency that provides services, support and assistance to Nevada communities to help them diversify and develop their economies. The NCED is also responsible for the Nevada Film Office, the Office of Protocol, the Procurement Outreach Program, the Nevada Economic Development Fund and the Nevada Community Development Block Grant program. NCED has offices at 808 W. Nye Lane in Carson City and at 555 E. Washington Ave., Suite 5400 in Las Vegas. More information can be accessed at AEN 13

SOLAR POWER MAGE SOLAR (Continued from Page 1)

location that will give the company a logistical advantage over competitors, Philipp said. “The primary focus of our U.S. company will be on the domestic market, but long-term, we will certainly also consider serving the international market out of the U.S.,” Philipp said. “We foresee the business volume of MAGE SOLAR in the U.S. to become a substantial and significant percentage of the MAGE SOLAR business volume in total within a rather short amount of time.” That expectation is based on market studies indicating that by 2015, the U.S. will have become either the first- or second-largest market in the world in the near future, with China being the other significant player, according to Philipp. The company is also paying close attention to the results of its participation in last year’s Solar Power International trade show, Philipp said. Solar Power International is produced by Solar Energy Tradeshows Inc., LLC, which is jointly owned by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). Last year’s results showed MAGE SOLAR that the company has a bright future in the American market. “As a result, we are currently undertaking the next steps to positioning ourselves in this important market,” Philipp said. “The response from the U.S. solar market to our products has been fantastic; therefore we are anticipating an immense growth in sales over the coming months.” The MAGE products that have been embraced by the American solar industry were created specifically to fit the needs of the American market and offer top-of-the-line quality and


durability, Philipp said. He noted that the MAGE POWERTEC PLUS solar modules carry UL, IEC, CE, VDE and TüV certifications, and FSEC and CEC listings, and that they come with industry-leading warranty periods designed to give the consumer three full decades of reassurance that they’ve invested wisely in their solar technology. “Our products are built to rigorous North American and international standards and therefore have warranties that are among the best in the industry,” Philipp said. “In specific, our MAGE POWERTEC PLUS modules have -0/+5 W tolerances, which means you are guaranteed to receive the wattage you pay for. We also give a product warranty on our modules for 10 years and a power guarantee for 12 years for 90 percent and for 80 percent at 30 years. MAGE SOLAR is a unit of the MAGE Group, which has operations in Germany, U.S., France, Czech Republic, Turkey and China. “In regards to our entry into the U.S. market, we decided to take an especially tailored approach,” Philipp said. “We do not merely view ourselves as a German corporation with export activities in the U.S., but rather intend to continue our process of internationalization here in the U.S. as an American company doing business on the basis of an experienced international corporation that originated in Germany.” “Our strategy to penetrate the U.S. market will be similar to our European approach,” he continued. “MAGE SOLAR will work closely with system integrators and operate in the wholesale and solar farm segment. We are convinced that our measures will facilitate rapid growth and continue our success story on the American continent.” AEN

ASES (Continued from Page 10)

appearance of sessions which took place in rooms of varying size. He noted that the show’s total attendance had actually increased by 14 percent. “Keep in mind that many times we were running as many as 16 separate events at the same time,” Collins said. “There’s no time when all 3,500 registered attendees are there at the same time.” Another recent event cast a shadow of a different kind over the event. Some attendees pointed to the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as an ominous reminder of the urgency of investing in renewable energy. “It’s really shined a light on the fact that we need to change our energy systems,” said Bruce LaRue, a management consultant from University Place, Wash., who attended the show. “It’s no longer an issue of ‘left vs.

right’—it’s good business, on all fronts. The companies that really invest in this are going to be the ones that will profit in the long run,” he said. Collins said that the disaster served as a catalyst for the country to begin asking itself the question “Do we have the right energy policy for the 21st century in America?” “There are literally hundreds of deepwater wells offshore,” he said. “And even if the chance is one in 10,000, there is a chance that you can have this sort of catastrophe. And we did.” “If we pollute our environment, how can we call that progress?” Marcelo da Luz— who made headlines around the world when he built his own solar car and drove it to the Arctic Circle—wondered out loud at a May 20 presentation. He told the audience that the future lay in their hands: “We’ve been waiting for the government to save the planet. It’s not going to happen.” AEN

Brad Collins, Executive Director of the American Solar Energy Society, is shown at the podium of last year’s SOLAR Conference.

Alternative Energy News

July 2010


MiaSole Sets World Record for Highest Efficiency of Commercial Scale Thin-Film Solar Modules M

modules today is that we are awaiting the completion of our UL certifications.” This new high efficiency will allow MiaSole to offer solar modules with the efficiency of polysilicon and the lower manufacturing costs of thin-film modules. “We are extremely impressed by the recent MiaSole result,” said Dr. Ryne Raffaelle, Director of the National Center for Photovoltaics at NREL. “This demonstration is a tremendous step forward in closing the gap between the potential of CIGS results, and what actually can be achieved in a large area production module.” MiaSole’s unique manufacturing process

lays CIGS on a flexible stainless steel substrate and produces all layers of this highly efficient photovoltaic material in a continuous sputtering process. MiaSole is the only thin-film solar company that uses sputtering every step of the way for coating the solar modules, thereby reducing manufacturing time and costs of production. MiaSole will ship 6.5 MW in the first half of this year and expects to ship 22 MW in 2010. The company’s products are designed for utilities and independent power producers to use in industrial scale deployments, such as large-scale rooftop and ground mount installations. AEN

S-Power High Performance Vacuum Tube Collectors: German Vacuum Technology and Engineering

Advantages and Features of the S-Power Collectors: • Collectors are engineered and manufactured in Germany • Exclusively feature NARVA vacuum tubes • NARVA vacuum tubes awarded the OTTI innovation prize in 2008 • NARVA vacuum tubes exhibit high efficiency due to anti-reflective glass coating and double-sided, highly selective absorption surface (coated using TiNOX®) • Resistant to hail impact and wind-shear • Certified by the TÜV—Rheinland Group according to DIN EN 129775-2 • Patented glass-metal connection from a highly experienced glass manufacturer protects the vacuum long-term • Ten-year manufacturer guarantee on the vacuum tube connection through a plug connection

• Tubes able to be rotated and individually oriented toward the sun • Even tube-spacing with the interconnection of multiple modules • Self-supporting construction • Easy installation (mounting kit included) • Light weight • Low fluid volumes • Low pressure loss • Low zeta values through zeta plus connection technology • Same zeta values at every pipe connection • Quick energy amortization • Return on investment possible in six to eight years

iaSole, the leading manufacturer of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) independently confirmed the 13.8 percent efficiency of its


-Power solar collectors, designed and engineered in Germany and recently introduced to the solar-thermal collector market in the United States and Canada, are rapidly making their presence known. These highly efficient solar-thermal collectors are available in 10-, 20- and 30-tube models and use NARVA High Performance vacuum tubes exclusively. All modes are available using direct-flow vacuum tubes or heat pipe vacuum tubes. The founder of the S-Power company is also the innovator behind the NARVA High Performance vacuum tube.

Alternative Energy News

July 2010

large area production modules (one square meter in size). “We are pleased with our strong continued progress,” said Dr. Joseph Laia, CEO of MiaSole. “The modules that we ship in 2011 will have efficiencies greater than 13 percent. The only reason that we are not shipping these

NARVA vacuum tubes, engineered and manufactured in Germany, use a new and highly robust glass-metal seal. The patented glass-to-metal seal ensures the integrity of the vacuum (warranted for ten years). Additionally, the single-wall tube is manufactured using lead-free soda-lime glass, making the tubes (and, subsequently, the collector) lighter. An anti-reflective nano coating inside and out seals any micro-cracks and contributes to the integrity of the vacuum. The impact-resistant glass has passed rigorous hail-resistance testing.

For more information, visit www.s-power .de./index.html?L=1. In the United States, call 888-781-4545. AEN





he nation’s fastest growing trade show featured the latest wind industry developments and technologies in Dallas, Texas, May 23-26 to roughly 20,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors. According to the American Wind Energy Association, these numbers establish WINDPOWER as the largest energy trade show in America and the world’s largest wind energy conference. And as thousands of companies began tearing down their exhibition booths on the last day at the Dallas Convention Center, the room seemed to echo with AWEA CEO Denise Bode’s words at the opening session: “Wind works.” Did you attend WINDPOWER 2010? Visit to watch clips from the show floor.


Alternative Energy News

July 2010

“The show was a huge success on numerous levels,” said Lori Rugh, Director of Marketing and Sales, AWEA. “The exhibition floor grew by 22 percent and our attendee numbers were consistent with last year’s figures. But these numbers show only part of the show’s success. If one combines all of the experiences, conversations, networking and learning opportunities, WINDPOWER 2010 was a huge success.” American Electric Technologies Inc. (AETI) Vice President of New Market Development John Skibinksi had consistent foot traffic at his booth as people wanted to learn more about AETI’s power delivery systems for renewable energy. “My only regret is that the show was not a day longer so that I could have had more time to spend with all of our customers,” he said.

technologies. The 60 educational sessions also covered extensive market and policy topics regarding the state of wind energy. AWEA even expanded the exhibition venue to include a collection of outdoor exhibits for displays that were too large to fit inside, such as a giant wind blade General Electrics stationed outside the convention center for people to sign. In addition, there was an outdoor KidWind Challenge design competition for middle and high school students to test their wind turbines built out of simple materials. AWEA also launched the Wind Energy Foundation, which is designed to educate the public about the benefits of wind energy, as well as other renewables and efficiency. The foundation will support research, education and communication programs and activities. Inside the convention center, exhibitors

“WINDPOWER 2010 was a success not only from the standpoint of how well it was organized, but from the quality of exhibitions and material presented.” - John Skibinksi, Vice President of New Market Development American Electric Technologies Inc. (AETI) Romano Curti, Director of Sales and Marketing of Walbridge in Detroit, Mich., was very pleased with the turnout this year even though his company did not host a booth. “Our company has been attending WINDPOWER for the last few years consecutively. We exhibited last year in Chicago, and we will obviously consider exhibiting again in the future. I was impressed to see how busy the show floor was and the amount of excitement from everyone.” Part of that excitement may have started with the announcement at the opening of the conference that Texas reached an all-time record high for wind power production. On May 23, Bode reported in her opening speech that the state produced 6,721 MW, which met 14 percent of peak electricity demand that day. It only seemed to reaffirm the location choice for WINDPOWER 2010 as former President George W. Bush talked about Texas’ reasons for wind energy success the following day. “The attendees and exhibitors attended numerous sessions, which were led by seasoned and knowledgeable wind industry leaders,” Rugh said. “The general sessions brought invigorating discussions regarding the current status of the wind industry. We were delighted to bring the most honorable President George W. Bush to our convention, as well as numerous other high-level delegates.” WINDPOWER 2010 welcomed many new elements this year, including conference sessions with more advanced technical details, such as wind forecasting, performance and reliability, and deepwater offshore wind

covered more than 369,000 square feet of the show floor—a length of six football fields— with companies from 48 states and 22 countries, including Germany, Canada, Denmark, China and Spain. As exhibitors traded business cards and informed visitors of their products and services, many saw great potential to establish future partnerships. “We have provided equipment and services to offshore oil and gas companies for more than 60 years,” explained Skibinski. “The discussions I had on international partnerships with AETI for European offshore wind power generator to grid electrical infrastructure solutions were of particular interest. To me, WINDPOWER 2010 was a success not only from the standpoint of how well it was organized, but from the quality of exhibitions and material presented.” “What’s important to remember is whether you come to the show to exhibit or not, you always need to send a small army of people out to meet and greet,” Curti said. “All of these people are relative to the industry and your own business, so you need to make a point to be seen to make exhibitions like this worth it.” Looking ahead, exhibitors already have a jump start on WINDPOWER 2011 as threefourths of the exhibition space has already been sold. Next year’s event will take place in Anaheim, Calif., May 22-25. “Moving forward, we see the same quality of attendees, programs and exhibitors next year, which means more success and growth,” said Rugh. “We’re looking forward to this next adventure in Anaheim.” AEN

MARK YOUR CALENDAR WHAT: WINDPOWER 2011 The world’s largest and most anticipated annual event for wind energy Alternative Energy News

July 2010

WHEN: May 22-25, 2011 WHERE: Anaheim, California, USA 17

WIND POWER GE and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation Announce Great Lakes Offshore Wind Partnership G E and Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) of Northern Ohio announced a long-term partnership beginning with the development of the first freshwater offshore wind farm in the United States and involving a broad range of other initiatives. Under the new partnership, GE will provide direct-drive wind turbines to LEEDCo’s 20-MW offshore wind project in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The partnership and project is a significant step towards accelerating the deployment of offshore wind in the Great Lakes. The announcement was made at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference in Dallas. “Ohio’s greatest potential for creating wind energy is offshore in Lake Erie, and this partnership marks a significant step forward,” said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. “In Ohio, we have all the right assets to make offshore wind energy successful, including an innovative workforce and the manufacturing strengths that would allow us to build all the component parts for wind turbines. This partnership will not only advance offshore wind technologies, it will also advance Ohio’s economy. We are


eager to continue the state’s strong collaboration with GE and LEEDCo as we pursue this exciting, first-of-its-kind initiative for Lake Erie.” The LEEDCo-GE partnership builds on the momentum of a four-year effort by The Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force and other partners in Ohio to establish an offshore wind industry on Lake Erie, leveraging the region’s strong manufacturing base. To kick off the collaboration with LEEDCo, GE has committed to providing offshore wind turbines and maintenance services for an initial 20-MW wind farm. Upon its completion, targeted for late 2012, this project would be located off the shores of Lake Erie, near Cleveland, Ohio. This would be followed by subsequent projects with a long-term goal of 1,000 MW in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie by 2020. At the core of the Lake Erie Project is GE’s next generation wind turbine, a 4-MW machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. As the largest wind turbine in GE’s


fleet, it will incorporate direct-drive technology gained through GE’s acquisition of ScanWind. The 4-MW wind turbine will feature GE’s innovative advanced loads controls and aeroelastically tailored blade technology. In addition to collaborating on the initial 20-MW project, GE and LEEDCo will create a strategic plan to identify opportunities for cost reduction to make offshore wind energy in the Great Lakes economically viable. GE and LEEDCo will also work jointly on advocacy and public policy issues to increase support for offshore wind energy, and accelerate the growth of America’s offshore wind industry.

“Offshore wind has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in Ohio and become a major source of economic growth. Working with LEEDCo we have made significant progress to make offshore wind in Lake Erie a reality,” said Vic Abate, Vice President of GE’s Renewable Energy business, and also President of AWEA’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to installing our next generation offshore, direct drive wind technology in Lake Erie. GE is committed to working with LEEDCo to achieve its vision of creating an offshore wind sector in Northern Ohio and the Great Lakes region.” “LEEDCo is pleased to be working with GE and we value the equipment efficiency, product innovation and commercial acumen they bring to the partnership,” said Dr. Lorry Wagner, President of LEEDCo. “Together, we aim to develop a cost-effective approach for installing and maintaining offshore wind turbines with the highest possible availability. We are confident that as the GE product line develops and our methodologies mature, the combination will promote a selfsustaining and growing market for offshore wind in Lake Erie and the Great Lakes, providing economic opportunity and emissionsfree energy for Northern Ohio.” AEN

Alternative Energy News

July 2010


Chinese Wind Company Embarks on Global Expansion Program; Opens Dallas Office


ingyang Wind Power Industry Group Co. Ltd., the third largest wind energy company in China, announced the opening of its new Dallas-based operations office as part of its global expansion program. Of the top turbine manufacturers in China, Mingyang is the only one that’s not government owned, and now one of its major shareholders and also strategic partner is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, which has just become the largest bank in the world. Mingyang’s newly opened Dallas office is located at 4144 North Central Expressway 555, Dallas, Texas, will serve customers in North and South America for the foreseeable future. Mingyang is a total solutions provider, offering what is believed to be the mosttechnically advanced wind turbines and equipment, engineering services and financing through a seamless contractual relationship to its clients. From its inception, the company has focused on adapting its designs and engineering to meet different climatic conditions. For example, its blades are resilient to freezing temperatures and typhoon winds. Currently, Mingyang’s 2,000 employees operate from five locations in China. As the company rolls out its plans for becoming the most affordable provider of wind energy services, Mingyang can be expected to build and operate manufacturing centers in cities like Dallas.


“Mingyang is dedicated to a global green economy in which it is a good corporate citizen,” said Wang Song, Senior Vice President, Managing Director and one of two founders of Mingyang. “We are focused on working with local officials and business leaders to improve the quality of life for the communities which we serve.” “Mingyang chose Dallas for our first operations center outside of China because of its strategic location, employment base and probusiness environment,” Song said. The City of Dallas is welcoming Mingyang to Texas. On the first day of the conference, Mayor Tom Leppert visited two exhibitors, one being a U.S. company and one being Mingyang. “Mingyang’s new operations in Dallas create a win-win relationship,” said Mayor Leppert. “Its investment over the long term means local jobs, development of more renewable power, and another step toward national security. We are excited about supporting the company’s leadership team. We want Dallas to be Mingyang’s U.S. home.” On May 25, Dallas Council Members Ron Natinsky and Linda Koop formally inked a memorandum of understanding with Mingyang. Both the city and Mingyang have agreed to work closely together toward identifying a location as its manufacturing facility to be constructed as Mingyang penetrates the market. AEN Alternative Energy News

July 2010

WIND POWER TEXAS WIND (Continued from Page 1)

country. In particular, the Panhandle has the best wind in the state.” The enormous capacity to generate electricity in West Texas and the Panhandle is a well-known fact not only to developers, but to the farmers and ranchers living in the remote areas as well. The high wind speeds produce substantial amounts of energy, but the current transmission lines are inadequate and therefore, cannot effectively transfer the electricity. The dilemma makes it difficult for wind farm developers to gain local support from landowners and electric utility companies. “Timing is everything,” explained Pelstring. “We were waiting for the perfect opportunity to take the lead on the great wind potential that we knew existed.” In April, National Wind and KRS Energy announced the launch of Buffalo Wind Energy, a utility-scale community wind project in west central Randall County, Texas. Based around a model of community ownership, where local landowners can become project owners, Buffalo Wind Energy has leased 14,500 acres between the towns of Amarillo and Umbarger, and expects to develop up to 300 MW of wind energy. The idea for a new community wind project started with John Kellogg and Paul Seby, Principals at KRS Energy, after discussing a number of projects with National Wind. And while it will be the first Texas wind project for National Wind, the two companies had already been involved a few years before, according to Pelstring. It was then when Todd Vincent, a Texas landowner and one of the original Buffalo Wind Energy Board of Advisors, attended a meeting at KRS Energy. “We had already been looking into a new community wind project for roughly three years,” said Vincent. “But in September of 2008, my brother and I met with KRS Energy, and they presented us with the idea of a special community-owned wind project where we (the landowners) would be actively involved in the process.” The project seemed like a good fit because although Texas has more installed wind projects than any other state, it has little community wind development. From there, Buffalo Wind Energy was created with the direct participation of 12 area families who would have a chance to invest in and reap a share of the profits—a concept very different from traditional development methods. Most corporate wind farm developers focus on projects that they own entirely and in turn, take on a more passive role. “Our process is flip-flopped,” Pelstring said. “National Wind’s goal with these utility-scale community wind energy projects is to create a partnership with the landowners and encourage feedback. They are the ones in the position to know which location has the best wind. They also want a bigger piece of the pie, and we make it our business to give it to them.” Todd Vincent, David Christian, Randy Darnell and Casey Fox were appointed to represent the project’s development as the Board of Advisors. National Wind conducted a full feasibility study of the area including wind data, transmission issues and more. After presenting their findings, they waited on the Board’s approval to 22

move forward, which is a key component of National Wind’s community-owned business structure: decisions on approving project development are in the hands of the landowners. “That’s the most important thing about our model,” explained Pelstring. “We are the managing partner who is there to handle all the day-to-day managing decisions and stay in the background, for the most part. Otherwise, it’s the landowners’ opportunity to be in the driver’s seat and have a good sense of what’s going on.” The local involvement aspect was important to Vincent and the other founding members of Buffalo Wind Energy. To them, more jobs would be created to help grow the economy, and a locally-elected Board of Advisors would ensure that the wind project would truly benefit their community and proceeds be kept local. With everyone in agreement, the Board was able to stir up local support throughout last year with little resistance to the project. In most cases, large corporate wind developments are delayed because of community opposition. The fear of unbearable noise, property devaluation and a corporate developer holding all the cards can plague many rural communities into lobbying against future development. However, one of the main benefits of Buffalo Wind Energy’s location in a sparsely populated rural area is the lack of development “near our footprint,” as Vincent said. The wind project “footprint” currently covers 14,500 acres with 12 landowners and only four home sites sitting on one edge, which are all part of the lease agreement. “If you lived here all your life, then you know this is a great place,” explained Vincent. “But when the wind blows you wonder why you put up with it for so long. Now, we have an answer, and we can’t wait to see it all come together.” The Electric Reliability Council of Texas operates the electric grid and manages the deregulated market for 75 percent of the state. While the market in Texas has been going up and down due to a lot of development and consequently, a lot of transmission constraints, ERCOT has taken an active stance on solving the transmission problems in these outer areas; the council currently has a transmission plan expecting to be built by 2013 to serve the proposed Buffalo Wind area. Buffalo Wind Energy anticipates building to begin in late 2013 or early 2014. AEN Alternative Energy News

July 2010


Two team members are pictured assembling one of the vertical turbines at the location north of Los Angeles, Calif.


he quest to derive energy from wind may soon be getting some help from California Institute of Technology (Caltech) fluid-dynamics expert John Dabiri and a school of fish. As head of Caltech’s Biological Propulsion Laboratory, Dabiri studies water- and wind-energy concepts that share the theme of bioinspiration: that is, identifying energy-related processes in biological systems that may provide insight into new approaches to—in this case—wind energy. “I became inspired by observations of schooling fish, and the suggestion that there is constructive hydrodynamic interference between the wakes of neighboring fish,” said Dabiri, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering at Caltech. “It turns out that many of the same physical principles can be applied to the interaction of vertical-axis wind turbines.” The biggest challenge with current wind farms is lack of space. The horizontal-axis wind turbines most commonly seen—those with large propellers—require a substantial amount of land to perform properly. “Propeller-style wind turbines suffer in performance as they come in proximity to one another,” said Dabiri. In the Los Angeles basin, the challenge of finding suitable space for such large wind farms has prevented further progress in the use of wind energy. But with help from the principles supplied by schooling fish, and the use of vertical-axis turbines, that may change. Alternative Energy News

July 2010

Schools of Fish Offer New Ideas for Wind Farming

Vertical turbines, which are relatively new additions to the wind-energy landscape, have no propellers; instead, they use a vertical rotor. Because of this, the devices can be placed on smaller plots of land in a denser pattern. Caltech graduate students Robert Whittlesey and Sebastian Liska researched the use of verticalaxis turbines on small plots during a class research project supervised by Dabiri. Their results suggest that there may be substantial benefits to placing vertical-axis turbines in a strategic array, and that some configurations may allow the turbines to work more efficiently as a result of their relationship to others around them—a concept first triggered by examining schools of fish. In current wind farms, all of the turbines rotate in the same direction. But while studying the vortices left behind by fish swimming in a school, Dabiri noticed that some vortices rotated clockwise, while others rotated counter-clockwise. Dabiri therefore wants to examine whether alternating the rotation of vertical-axis turbines in close proximity will help improve efficiency. The second observation he made studying fish—and seen in Whittlesey and Liska’s simulation—was that the vortices formed a “staircase” pattern, which contrasts with current wind farms that place turbines neatly in rows. Whittlesey and Liska’s computer models predicted that the wind energy extracted from a parcel of land using this staggered placement approach would be several times that of conventional wind farms using horizontal-axis

turbines. Once they’ve identified the optimal placement, Dabiri believes it may be possible to produce more than 10 times the amount of energy currently provided by a farm of horizontal turbines. The results are sufficiently compelling that the Caltech group is pursuing a field demonstration of the idea. Dabiri has purchased two acres of land north of Los Angeles, where he is establishing the Caltech Field Laboratory for Optimized Wind Energy (FLOWE). The pilot program at the site will feature six vertical turbines on mobile platforms. Dabiri and his team will systematically move the turbines around, testing various configurations to find the most efficient patterns. “Our goal is to demonstrate a new technology that enables us to extract significantly more wind energy from a given parcel of land than is currently possible using existing methods,” said Dabiri. “We want to take advantage of constructive aerodynamic interference between closely spaced vertical-axis wind turbines. Our results can potentially make better use of existing wind farms, allow for wind farms to be located closer to urban centers—reducing power transmission costs—and reduce the size of offshore installations.” Three of Dabiri’s turbines are being provided in partnership with Windspire Energy. In exchange for the use of the turbines, Dabiri will share his research results with the company. Each Windspire turbine stands approximately 30 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and can

generate up to 1.2 kW of power. “This leading-edge project is a great example of how thinking differently can drive meaningful innovation,” said Windspire Energy President and CEO Walt Borland. “We are very excited to be able to work with Dr. Dabiri and Caltech to better leverage the unique attributes of vertical-axis technology in harvesting wind energy.” Three turbines from another manufacturer have been purchased; the six turbines give the pilot facility a total power capacity of 15 kW, enough to power several homes. “This project is unique in that we are conducting these experiments in real-world conditions, as opposed to on the computer or in a laboratory wind tunnel,” said Dabiri. “We have intentionally focused on a field demonstration because this can more easily facilitate a future expansion of the project from basic science research into a power-generating facility. Our ability to make that transition will depend on the results of the pilot program.” The initial phase of the study will attempt to demonstrate which configuration of units will improve power output and performance relative to a horizontal-axis wind turbine farm with a similar sized plot of land. “In the future, we hope to transition to power-generation experiments in which the generated power can be put to use either locally or via a grid connection,” Dabiri said. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided partial funding for this project. AEN 23

EMERGING teCHNOLOGIES Nevada Continues to Show Strengths as Prime Home for Renewable Energy Projects


he state of Nevada continues to make its mark as an ideal place for renewable energy-related businesses to call home. “Because we’re rich in energy resources, such as geothermal, solar, wind and biomass, renewable energy is a natural fit for Nevada,” said Mike Skaggs, Executive Director of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. “Our state has a unique opportunity to reduce energy costs and grow its economy while achieving energy independence.” Nevada is extremely fortunate to possess abundant renewable resources that can accommodate the development of new technologies. Recently, the Geothermal Energy Association ranked Reno as one of the leading geothermal cities in the world. The great development potential positions Nevada as one of the top states for pursuing alternative energy. Skaggs noted that Nevada not only leads the nation in geothermal and solar power potential but that much of the state is suitable for wind power development. The Colorado River, which forms Nevada’s southern border, is also a powerful hydroelectric power resource. The Silver State is already leading in per capita solar energy production. The federal government has shown commitment to the development of renewable energy and created solar investment tax credits that will continue to stimulate investment and job creation in the solar industry. The state of Nevada has taken a leadership role in the nation’s effort to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and foreign oil by becoming one of the first states in the nation to adopt a renewable portfolio standard (RPS). To help facilitate the renewable projects required by the RPS, the 2009 legislature renewed and improved its financial incentive program for renewable energy generators. Projects are

eligible for significant sales and payroll tax abatements. In addition, they are eligible for 55 percent property tax abatements for 20 years. With rising energy prices, there’s renewed interest in renewable energy sources for electricity production, home heating and home cooling. Also, with the falling cost of generating renewable energy and the rising costs of conventional energy sources, the stage is being set for developing some of the state’s renewable resources. To help develop these renewable energy resources, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons issued an Executive Order forming the Renewable Energy Transmission Access Advisory Committee (RETAAC) to advise on the most efficient means to access a transmission system grid that would enable transfer of energy across the state. One encouraging development is the investment in a 250-mile transmission line that will connect NV Energy in Reno and Las Vegas. The transmission line will allow the companies to add new renewable resources to their portfolio. “Those in the renewable energy industry are showing continued interest in our state due to the plethora of opportunities that exist here for them,” Skaggs said. “Bringing solar power companies to the state will also create jobs, not only in the development and maintenance of the plants, but also in the manufacturing areas that will support the renewable energy industry.” The Nevada Commission on Economic Development is a state agency that provides services, support and assistance to Nevada communities to help them diversify and develop their economies so they remain viable. More information can be accessed at AEN

TEC: Improve Efficiency, Lower Costs & Improve Power Quality


he devices which take the raw energy from renewable energy systems, such as solar photovoltaic panels and fuel cells, and convert it to usable power rely on power electronics switches. These switches are packaged with a digital signal processor to achieve worldrecord efficiency and market disruptive pricing for converters and inverters. The market is experiencing double-digit growth. The vast majority of converters and inverters in service today are based on 19th and 20th-century technology. Total Energy Company develops future energy power electronic designs and products to improve efficiency, lower costs, improve power quality and allow distributive energy to become grid parity ahead of all conventional estimates. TEC holds the license for worldwide alternative energy applications of intellectual property developed by Dr. Jason Lai (VaTech), including residential, commercial, utility company converter and inverter applications, battery, fuel cells and far-ranging distributive and renewable energy system components. TEC’s disruptive 21st-century designs will provide the infrastructure the world needs as it evolves to a renewable energy based economy. The disruptive attributes of this technology apply to inverters, converters, rectifiers and all other power electronics: • Solves up to 40 percent energy losses currently in existing solutions. • 1/4 to 1/20 the weight of existing solutions 24

(1/4 : 5kW; 1/20 : 100kW). Up to 50 percent lower cost than existing solutions. • Has a 20-year service life—twice that of existing solutions. • Near-theoretical efficiency: 99 percent inverter efficiency at 5kW. • Modularity for maximum applications and minimum re-design. • Intentional-islanding: the ability for a system to remain on even when the grid goes off. • Less than one percent harmonic distortion, active ripple current reduction, active phase cancellation and on-demand reactive power in the intelligent inverter design maximizes significantly lower parts cost; designed for mass manufacturing. For example, if someone has solar power, current 5kW inverters which change the DC solar power into AC power for the house may have a 10-year life span, weigh up to 180 pounds and use large amounts of copper and iron, have around 95 percent efficiency, and use limitedlifespan electrolytic capacitors. TEC equivalent 5kW products have a 20-year life span, efficiency near theoretical limits (98.5 percent at $30/kW for 5kW converter and 99 percent at $30/kW for 5kW inverter), weigh less than 45 pounds, cost 1/3 less, contain near zero electrolytic capacitors and minimal copper and iron. For more information, call 865-357-4710 or visit AEN

SunMizer Recovers 54 Percent of Power Loss from Shade


andex Solar has released a residential case study showing that the new SunMizer DC power optimizer is recovering 54 percent of the power that was being lost due to shade. The case study describes a 6.4 kW residential installation in Sonoma, Calif., that was losing nearly 30 percent of its potential power output due to shade. In this installation, the designer and system owner faced limited roof space and a complex multi-tiered roof, which is typical for residential applications. CSI residential program rules allow for state funded rebates only on the amount of installed solar capacity that does not exceed the annual electric consumption of the residence. When roof space is limited or sub-optimal, it is not uncommon to accept a certain amount of shade in order to achieve the highest system output possible and still qualify for the rebate. In this case, the installation consisted of thirty-two (32) 200-W panels, connected in two 16-panel strings to a single 6,000-W inverter. Xandex Solar applications engineers conducted a system energy production analysis using both PVWatts and PV*Sol® simulation tools and shade data using a SolMetric

SunEye™ shade analysis tool. The system energy loss due to shade was calculated to determine the amount of energy that could be recaptured by selectively installing SunMizer on the shaded panels. The difference between predicted output with and without shade indicated that 29 percent of potential power was being lost due to shade. Environmental and power monitoring equipment was then installed and system output was monitored for the month of June, 2009. The actual output of the system very closely matched the output calculations predicted by the analysis tools. SunMizer was installed selectively: five units on one string and three units on the second string. After an additional 30 days of monitoring, power output data was normalized for daily insolation and compared. The results showed that eight SunMizer units, selectively deployed on the two strings, were recovering 54 percent of the power that was being lost without SunMizer. The improvement in this case equates to over 1,000 kWh of recovered power annually, which means SunMizer will pay for itself in less than five years at current energy prices. AEN

INTERSOLAR (Continued from Page 1)

North America puts both photovoltaics and solar thermal technology on display. “We are able to combine everything under the solar industry umbrella at Intersolar North America from production equipment to planning and implementation,” said Elsässer. “And despite the struggling economy, attendance has continued to rise. Last year the event nearly doubled in terms of exhibitors and floor space.” New to this year’s conference program is the Concentrating Solar Thermal Energy field, which will explore the industrial use of process heat from concentrated sunlight, such as in solar thermal power stations. With U.S.-based and international speakers, the program will offer unique insights into the economic, technological and legal context of the solar market. Also new to Intersolar North America this year is a special program called the Intersolar AWARD, a technology award honoring outstanding innovations by companies and institutions within the solar industry. The competition is open to exhibitors participating at Intersolar Europe or Intersolar North America. The categories this year include products and services in PV and solar thermal technologies and PV production technologies. In addition to the Intersolar AWARD, Intersolar North America will also host the global initiative Solar for All design award. The competition is open to any participants across the PV supply chain who can demonstrate improved strategies for market implementation. The winner will be awarded a $250,000 investment by Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “We are very excited to honor these innovative companies who went above and beyond in creating cutting edge products to improve the solar industry,” said Elsässer. “It’s very important to support emerging markets and promote future development of solar business throughout North America. We are just glad to do our part.” AEN

visitors combined. And while the event debuted in Europe where solar experienced its first spark of activity, CEO Markus Elsässer believes that the United States is a strong market and has a very promising future in the solar industry. “The purpose of Intersolar is to support the needs of the solar industry not only in Europe, but around the world,” said Elsässer. “We specialize in merging the global solar worlds together to exchange information and ideas because in order for this industry to grow, there needs to be excellent framework in place. The United States is well on its way to making huge contributions.” That’s where Intersolar comes in. An event that started 20 years ago in Pforzheim, Germany as a specialist conference grew so rapidly that it moved twice around exhibition spaces in Germany. Staging the conference as a local event no longer made sense, and the conference expanded to a national level in order to encompass the amount of growing interest. Not long after, organizers realized that the solar industry was evolving into a global market that reached beyond Europe. It was time to expand overseas. “We saw such exponential growth on a local sense that after the second move to Munich, it was time to make some changes to address the needs of the industry on an international scale,” explained Elsässer. “It was clear that the United States was making the initial changes needed to break into the solar market, and we wanted to be a part of that growth.” Intersolar North America debuted in San Francisco, Calif. in 2008 to wide acceptance by U.S. solar manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and service providers. The event was designed to be the premier meeting point for industry leaders to promote business opportunities throughout the United States. Colocating with SEMICON West, an annual event for global microelectronics, Intersolar

Alternative Energy News

July 2010

OTHER alternatives U.S. Clean Energy Mission Helps Bring Tidal Energy to China


he China Energy Conservation Environment Protection Group (CECEP), China’s leading renewable energy company, and Verdant Power, Inc., the leading U.S. tidal power developer, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop tidal energy power projects in China. The MOU is the first of its kind between China and the U.S. involving marine and hydrokinetic power projects. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, were on hand to witness the signing. The MOU marked a stop on Secretary Locke’s three-day clean energy trade mission

in China. Secretary Locke traveled with several U.S. businesses to focus on opportunities for U.S. renewable energy technology developers in China’s growing energy market. “Marine kinetic hydropower is an energy resource that is greatly underused—but which must play a greater role in the future if ‘sustainable hydropower’ is to be achieved,” stated Ronald Smith, CEO of Verdant Power. “This historic signing is a significant first step for both countries in the collaborative development of this type of renewable energy.” The MOU establishes tidal and river power devices as a new stream of U.S. exports to international markets. It will also spur

Geothermal Power Project to Create More than 200 Jobs in Imperial County, Calif.


nergySource LLC, an independent power producer that develops renewable energy resources, announced the commencement of construction of its Hudson Ranch I project, a 49-MW high-temperature geothermal power generation project in Imperial County, Calif. The project has been under development since 2006 by Catalyst Renewables and Hannon Armstrong, the majority owners of EnergySource (formerly CHAR). “We are very encouraged by the response of the project finance market to a new generation of high temperature flash-technology geothermal

Alternative Energy News

July 2010

power projects that will serve utility customers with base load renewable energy,” remarked Dave Watson, President of EnergySource. “The Hudson Ranch Power I project will commence construction in one of the best geothermal resources in North America, as well as create much-needed employment opportunities in Imperial County.” Debt financing for the nearly $400 million project was raised by an eight-member bank syndicate led by ING Capital, Societe Generale and West LB, and included Union Bank, MetLife, CIBC, Siemens Financial and

economic development and job growth in the U.S. and build momentum for a domestic tidal energy market. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the undeveloped hydropower potential of the U.S. is more than 250,000 megawatts. China’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power estimates that the undeveloped hydropower potential of China is nearly double that of the U.S. at more than 475,000 megawatts. “Compared to fossil fuel plants, hydropower is clean and the ‘fuel’ is free,” said Trey Taylor, President of Verdant Power. “When people hear hydropower, they immediately think of large dams and other impoundments. Sustainable hydropower or marine hydrokinetics (MHK) is based on technologies now entering both the U.S. and Chinese markets that do not require dams.”

Verdant Power is currently developing sustainable tidal power projects in the U.S. and Canada. In New York City’s East River, the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project will be the first grid-connected project that will provide New York City and the metropolitan area with up to 500 megawatts of pollution-free electricity from a field of underwater MHK turbines. The RITE Project is the first-of-its-kind tidal energy project in the world and is being deployed as an urban distributed generation clean energy solution. Unlike other renewable energy resources, underwater tidal turbines are a predictable source of power with 24/7 availability. The CECEP-Verdant Power MOU will provide a framework for the effective collaboration of siting and operating the aforementioned tidal and river power systems on an international scale. AEN

Investec. Additional equity was raised from GeoGlobal Energy LLC (GGE), a privately held geothermal energy-focused investment firm backed by Mighty River Power, a stateowned New Zealand utility. Hannon Armstrong represented EnergySource in raising both the debt and equity. Eric Spomer, President of Catalyst Renewables and an EnergySource Director said, “We have enjoyed tremendous local support in the Imperial Valley for this project from the Imperial Irrigation District, the Imperial County government and from the quality local contractors who will make this project a success.” Spomer also cited Salt River Project, the purchaser of the plant’s power for “extraordinary

cooperation and faith in the project’s ultimate success.” Sarah Slusser, a GGE partner, which invested $90 million in the project, expressed confidence in the investment by saying, “Hudson Ranch is exactly the kind of geothermal opportunity GGE is looking for and we are delighted to have the opportunity to bring our financial and technical resources to help make the project a success.” The project will take 21 months to build and will create 200 full-time equivalent construction jobs. Once completed, it will employ 35 full-time plant operations employees. The project will benefit from Federal tax incentives contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“ARRA”). AEN



Solar Industry Leaders Shine Neshama Abraham

Ron Kenedi

Director of Marketing & Communications for American Solar Energy Society

Vice President of Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group

AEN: Please tell our readers how you became involved with the American Solar Energy Society. NA: On April 22, 2010, the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, I joined the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) as the Director of Marketing and Communications. For the past 15 years, I was President of Abraham Paiss & Associates, Inc., which is my own public relations and marketing communications firm based in Boulder, Colo., dedicated to sustainable solutions. My client base included companies in renewable energy, low carbon transportation, energy-efficient housing, organic food and body products, and urban agriculture. I was ready to apply my professional skills and passion full-time toward the advancement of solar energy in the United States at what I believe is a crucial time in our society and environment. AEN: How did you become involved in the alternative energy industry? NA: I first became involved in the renewable energy industry in 1996 when my firm represented the Cohousing Network, a national nonprofit composed of environmentally and socially sustainable planned neighborhoods created by the future residents and their professional development team. We worked with green builders and developers incorporating solar PV, solar thermal and geo-exchange heat pumps into the homes and the shared clubhouse. In 2008, I helped launch the first factory built near net-zero solar home for Solar Village Homes. From 2009 to 2010, I represented SolSource Inc., a Denver, Colo. solar engineering, procurement and construction firm. In 2010, I managed the launch of the first modular solar home in the United States where people can order from a catalogue for the Real Goods Division of Gaiam. As you can see, my experience includes translating the technical side of solar and renewable energy to a broadbased consumer audience. AEN: Please tell our readers about your company and any new projects you are currently working on. NA: ASES recently hosted SOLAR 2010, the 39th annual National Solar Conference in May. Next, we are focusing on the National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event where homeowners and businesses open their doors to show their solar electric and solar thermal installations. This 26

year’s ASES Solar Tour will take place on October 2, 2010, and will include a large commercial solar array in Canada and possibly homes in Mexico to make it an America Solar Tour. AEN: What main challenge is facing our industry today? NA: We now face a challenge as a nation to gracefully and quickly transition to a renewable energy economy. ASES is poised to lend our support to this transition through a national energy literacy educational campaign to help the American people understand that solar energy has the ability now to contribute a significant percentage of solar energy to power our country. Our challenge is to continue to serve our constituency of solar educators, researchers, professionals and solar advocates, while expanding our efforts to reach a broader general public audience to convey the applicability of solar power to the American people. AEN: Where do you see the industry headed in the next five to 10 years? NA: A few years ago the American Solar Energy Society commissioned an original research paper led by Dr. Chuck Kutschner of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Leading U.S. renewable energy scientists each contributed a piece from their area of expertise on the scale of deployment necessary to mitigate climate change from dramatically altering our environment. They reported the necessity to use renewable energy for at least 50 percent of our electricity in the United States by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. If we follow this path, renewable energy will be the leading source of employment, providing 37 million new jobs by 2030. For us to achieve this goal we must use the next five to 10 years to educate the American people that our current carbon consuming lifestyle is no longer sustainable. Second, we need to actively adopt green building techniques in new construction and renovations and replace our lighting fixtures with CFLs. There also needs to be a shift to a much more local lifestyle where food is again grown close to where people live and build year-round solarpowered greenhouses for urban areas. Lastly, we need to work with legislators, decision makers at our utilities and the American citizens to create a fast track plan to adopt and implement a national renewable energy standard using a variety of renewable energy technologies as best suited for each region of the United States. If we reach the American public in the next couple of years we can lay a foundation to implement a well-conceived plan for broad-based renewable energy deployment to power our nation. AEN

AEN: Please tell our readers a little about yourself and how you became involved in the solar industry.

staff. As a result, Sharp built the first U.S. solar panel manufacturing factory in Memphis, Tenn. The whole process was very exciting because the factory created so many green jobs, especially during the last few years when any job was coveted. Today, I’m proud to say that we’ve produced more than a million solar modules in Memphis.

RK: Well, I won’t bore you with my life story because then we’ll be here all day, but long before my time at Sharp Solar, I actually owned an energy company and developed the first mail-order catalog in the U.S. photovoltaic industry. While I was there, I helped establish a wholesale network of resellers and started a training program designed to educate resellers and end-users. Then, in 1985, I merged the business with Photocomm. Inc./Kyocera Solar and became Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Fortunately, I gained years of corporate experience in the Japanese market, and helped expand Kyocera’s U.S. market share significantly in two years.

We also opened a new thin-film solar plant in Japan in March of this year. The solar cells are actually comprised of thin silicon layers on a glass substrate, which enables a substantial reduction in the use of silicon. Since we’ve seen a demand for these thin-film solar cells across the world, Sharp will be able to utilize this new technology for large-scale utility projects.

AEN: So what brought you to Sharp? RK: One of the main reasons I came to Sharp in the first place was because the company shared my own personal vision of moving solar into the mainstream market. I really see it happening in the coming years: people who buy a new home are going to make a conscious effort to use green power, and they can do that with solar panels. Sharp has that same vision, and more importantly, the will to make it a reality. In 2000, Sharp became the No. 1 producer of solar modules in the world. The company was making and selling the modules in Japan, and I was asked to start outreach in the Americas with Sharp Electronics in New Jersey. I accepted and wrote the business plan to make it happen. In May 2002, we started the Sharp Solar Energy Solutions group in Huntington Beach, Calif. where Sharp had a western area distribution center. This location was important—because California was and is the largest solar market in the United States. Up until then, Sharp served markets mostly in Japan, so it was a great opportunity to open up in the United States and start a standard customer base at home. AEN: How have you seen the company grow its solar business? RK: Even though Sharp Manufacturing Company of America was known for producing color TVs back in the late ‘70s, it wasn’t until 2003 when Sharp started producing solar panels in the United States. We received such a huge response that we recently started round-the-clock manufacturing and increased

AEN: What recent challenges have you faced in the industry? RK: The 2008-2009 recession posed challenges for many businesses, including the solar industry. For the solar industry, silicon constraints were a concern in 2005 and early 2006. There was such an explosive growth in the solar industry that it was challenging keeping up with the increased demand; it was tough delivering modules in a timely manner. This affected everyone in the industry. However, we’re very resilient, and as demand grew, Sharp stepped up manufacturing and delivery to meet this increased demand. We’ve solidly bounced back from the silicon constraints of 2006. Now, the United States is poised to become one of the largest—if not the largest—solar market in the world. AEN: Where do you see the industry headed in the next five to 10 years, and how will Sharp play an active role? RK: I believe that solar will be used increasingly by utilities, companies, government agencies and homeowners. Solar is safe, reliable, renewable and economical. We’ve seen the damage and danger that comes with coal and fossil fuel extraction. People are realizing the importance of investing in the development of renewable power plants, whether they’re solar, wind or biomass. As to Sharp’s role, we value education as the most effective way to get the message out on the importance of renewable energy. Not only have we trained more than 4,000 solar installation contractors in the United States, but we also created an educational program for fourth graders on renewables called the Solar Academy. Now in its third year, the Solar Academy has expanded in the United States. We truly believe that the young people who learn about renewable energy and solar power today will ultimately become better-informed consumers, and responsible stewards of the planet. AEN Alternative Energy News

July 2010

PA Sunshine Program Pays Out 1,000th Rebate After Only First Year After a little more than a year, the PA Sunshine Solar Rebate Program has proved immensely successful and popular, having enabled thousands of Pennsylvania homeowners and small businesses to lower their energy bills with the help of the sun’s power. Those projects are paying dividends for the state’s economy and putting people to work at the same time, according to Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, who today presented the 1,000th rebate check to Montgomery County homeowner Sally Kauffman. Kauffman received a $10,800 rebate for the 4.8-kilowatt solar system she installed that is expected to generate more than 5,500 kilowatt hours of electricity, saving her nearly $800 each year. “The PA Sunshine Program that began just over a year ago has created tremendous results and a number of opportunities for our economy and environment,” said Hanger. “Not only has the program helped to lower the price of solar energy here in Pennsylvania, but it also provides clean energy at a fixed price to our businesses and homeowners for the next 25 years. “Ms. Kauffman is one of the Pennsylvanians who has taken advantage of the benefits that PA Sunshine has to offer. She recently took action with an eye on the future. Since the cost of the sunshine is free and the solar equipment requires little maintenance, Sally is locking in the cost of a portion of her home energy bill for the next couple of decades.” All told, he said, Pennsylvania has added approximately 10 MW of installed solar capacity in just over one year as a result of the PA Sunshine Program. More than 790 residential solar electric and 137 solar thermal projects have been completed with another 895 solar projects approved for construction. Among small businesses, another 108 solar electric and ten solar thermal projects have been completed with another 318 solar technology projects approved for construction. In total, the secretary added, the $100 million PA Sunshine Program has provided more than $72 million in rebates to fund more than 2,300 solar electric and hot water projects that are either completed or already under construction. Rebates for the remaining projects are being processed timely in the order they were received. “In addition to creating hundreds of new jobs, these projects will be responsible for infusing more than $252 million of private matching funds into Pennsylvania’s economy when completed,” said Hanger. Mercury Solar Systems of Philadelphia installed Kauffman’s system and is one of more than 500 approved solar installers in the state. In the past year, the company has installed more than 50 solar projects and has dozens more scheduled to be installed in the coming weeks. That new demand has allowed the company to expand its workforce from three employees prior to the opening of the program, to 15 today. For more information, visit www or call the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Energy and Technology Deployment at 717-783-8411. AEN Alternative Energy News

July 2010


AWEA Supports National RES with Senate Recess Tour he American Wind Energy Association is lobbying U.S. senators for strong national Renewable Energy Standard legislation. The Senate has postponed action on the RES measure, and AWEA is launching a Senate Recess Tour campaign to educate the senators about new wind facilities and projects in their home states.


While AWEA isn’t sure when Congress will pick up the energy package, July seems to be a strong possibility, said Brad Lystra, Manager of Economic Development Partnerships at AWEA. “When we look at the road map to passing a strong RES, we are looking to target specific leaders on the hill who might be able to help influence the passage of a strong RES energy bill,” Lystra said. “Our biggest strength in this effort is to simply invite members of the Senate and U.S. Congress to come out to new project sites to see firsthand the economic development capacity of this industry. It’s a way for them to see what makes the wind industry so special.” Lystra noted that even with the wind industry breaking previous records by installing nearly 10,000 MW of new generating capacity in 2009, construction and manufacturing facilities for wind equipment are still lagging. They have

been hit the hardest due to all the on-again, off-again tax incentives policies, Lystra said. He hopes that passage of the RES will spur growth in those sectors. “This is a critical time for our construction and manufacturing facilities because even though the industry is seeing massive growth, nothing can really move forward until we have an RES in place,” he said. “Policy is becoming more and more significant by the day, and if we don’t have an RES in place, we’re leaving jobs on the table. We’re not putting forth our best effort to help.” AWEA is inviting senators in the following 15 states to tour facilities and farms in their states: Maine Michigan Virginia Iowa Pennsylvania Kansas Missouri Nebraska North Carolina Florida Arkansas Indiana Massachusetts South Carolina Connecticut These are the states that AWEA considers to be showing emerging potential in the wind energy industry, as well as states that have already solidly established themselves in wind energy production. Michigan wind farm

NYSERDA Awards $11.3 Million for Innovative Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Projects


he New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced the award of $11.3 million to help develop and commercialize 25 innovative renewable energy and energy storage projects. These next generation power technologies will advance progress toward a clean energy economy in New York. The NYSERDA funding supports technological advances that could benefit a variety of applications including mass transit, farming, small- and large-scale electric generators, handheld electric devices and others. To finance the projects, NYSERDA will use $4 million of funds from proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas cap and trade auctions, and $7 million of Systems Benefit Charge funds. These resources will leverage $11 million of private sector investment to bring total funding for these projects to $22 million. “The projects announced will embody New York’s continued leadership in the clean energy economy and demonstrate the innovative approaches needed for us to achieve dramatic increases in our energy efficiency,” said Governor David Paterson. “The products that emerge from these initiatives will help create jobs and develop the tools needed to help us

mitigate our impact on the environment for the next generation.” “The extraordinary quality of the proposals submitted for this program signals exciting progress in the development of New York’s clean energy economy,” said Francis J. Murray, President and CEO of NYSERDA. “The public private partnerships we are forming and strengthening with these funds will help create jobs, solidify New York’s standing as an energy leader, and develop the tools New York will need to achieve the ambitious energy-reduction goals set by Governor David Paterson.” The funds will support demonstration projects, new product development and feasibility studies. Funded initiatives include seven photovoltaic and solar projects, seven electric storage projects, five wind power projects, two waste-heat reuse projects and one project each in fuel cell and kinetic hydropower. The 25 proposals were selected from 71 proposals submitted. Co-funding is required of each of the participants, with specific funding for each project to be determined in the coming months through final contract negotiations with each partner. AEN

developers and turbine manufacturers were particularly eager to invite their senators to visit facilities in their state. “We are committed to giving any state the opportunity to host an event,” explained Lystra. “As long as the project is unique and stands out in some way, we are confident it will help secure critical votes in the upcoming energy bill. The point is to show that there is a large group of economic development interest.” These 15 states are among the 29 states that have already adopted their own state RES standards. Ohio passed in 2008 a statewide RES that requires the state to provide at least 25 percent of its retail electricity supply from alternative energy resources by 2025. With such an aggressive local RES, developers began putting in job proposals and negotiating with outside companies to enter the Ohio market, Lystra said. “It’s clear that as soon as an RES is established on the state level, there is business at the door,” he said. “Why can’t we do that for the whole nation? The power of this type of policy is significant and provides amazing opportunities. The bottom line is that in order for the renewable energy industry to gain any progress on the competitive front for the U.S., federal action needs to be made, and together we can make it a reality.” AWEA is currently seeking additional wind facilities that want to host tours. Dates are open from July 3 to July 31 and August 7 to September 12. For more information on how to participate, visit or e-mail Brad Lystra at AEN

Once contracted, most projects will be reporting on progress during this year and into 2011. All contracts feature milestone payments and many seek recoupment by NYSERDA if and when products developed with funding are sold on the open market. All benefit New York by having the potential to create new research, industry and jobs within the state. Demonstration Projects, $4.7 million NYSERDA funds: Electrical storage Kinetic hydro energy Biogas New Product Development, $4.1 million NYSERDA funds: Waste heat to electricity Photovoltaics (PV) Electrical storage Fuel cells Wind Feasibility Studies, $2.6 million NYSERDA funds: PV Solar thermal Electrical storage Fuel cells and electrical storage fabrication Wind Biomass To view the complete list of NYSERDA project funds, visit or call 866-NYSERDA. AEN 27


DOE and USDA Partner to Provide Funding for Renewable Fuels “Supporting the development of sustainable and renewable biofuels is key to improving our energy security and addressing climate change.”

he U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and


Agriculture (USDA) jointly announced up to $33 million in funding for

research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bio-energy and high-value biobased products, subject to

- Cathy Zoi, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

annual appropriations.

The technical areas are: • Feedstocks development • Biofuels and biobased products development • Biofuels development analysis

“These projects will help advance the production of biofuels and related products. Supporting the development of sustainable and renewable biofuels is key to improving our energy security and addressing climate change,” said DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Cathy Zoi. USDA and DOE are issuing this joint funding announcement for several types of projects aimed at increasing the availability of alternative renewable fuels and biobased products. The projects will aim to create a diverse group of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. Advanced biofuels produced from these projects are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent, as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency. Section 9008(e)(3) of the Food Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 provides direction and guidance on the technical areas addressed by the Biomass Research and Development Initiative (BRDI).

BRDI requires that each proposed project integrate all three of the technical areas. The intent of requiring integration is to encourage a collaborative problem-solving approach to all studies funded under BRDI, to facilitate formation of consortia, identify and address knowledge gaps, and accelerate the application of science and engineering for the production of sustainable biofuels, bioenergy and biobased products. The funding opportunity is available online at Pre-applications are due July 13, 2010, and must be submitted electronically. Applicants who are encouraged to submit full applications will be notified by September 9, 2010. AEN

Wainwright Bank Supports Development of Solar Energy for Nonprofits through Credit Facility Extended to GreenBridge Energy W

ainwright Bank & Trust Company (Nasdaq: WAIN), a leading socially progressive bank headquartered in Boston, announced it has provided financing in the form of a construction and term debt facility to GreenBridge Energy Consortium, a leading energy conservation and sustainability solutions provider.


The financing from Wainwright Bank will allow nonprofit organizations to benefit from clean energy generation without the risks of ownership or maintenance. Traditionally, upfront costs have been among the greatest barriers for solar projects. This hurdle is overcome through GreenBridge Energy’s turnkey solar installation program. The credit facility provides the equivalent debt to complete an estimated 2 MW of projects which will produce enough electricity to power more than 250 Massachusetts homes per year and is estimated to yield air quality benefits and annual greenhouse gas reductions equal to taking over 300 cars off the road or planting more than 700 trees.

“Wainwright Bank is pleased to provide financing that will not only benefit nonprofits across the state, but help reduce general energy consumption,” said Stephen Pratt-Otto, Vice President, Community Development Lending, Wainwright Bank. GreenBridge Energy’s program is designed especially for nonprofits, which are not eligible for the federal incentives for solar energy systems under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. For the nonprofit client that is interested in renewable energy, GreenBridge Energy is able to provide financing through its funding programs with investors who can take advantage of these federal incentives. GreenBridge Energy’s first project was completed in March at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, Mass. A number of other projects are moving forward including a system on the roof of the gymnasium at The Governor’s Academy in Byfield. “We are excited to bring all of the benefits of clean energy to nonprofits, especially since

the current incentives restrict them from directly taking advantage of renewable energy like solar,” said Greg Bowden, Chief Operating Officer at GreenBridge Energy. “Although nonprofits may be eligible for some state incentive and grant programs, by themselves these funds are generally not enough to make projects work financially. This is what makes our turnkey solar installation program so attractive to nonprofits throughout Massachusetts.” A majority of GreenBridge Energy’s nonprofit solar photovoltaic projects are in the range of 25kW to 250kW. GreenBridge Energy provides the electricity to its nonprofit clients under Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), through which it is responsible for the design, engineering, installation, maintenance and ownership of the systems. The host nonprofit pays a discounted rate for the power generated by the system and such rate increases each year at a slower fixed rate than has historically been experienced over the long-term contract. “The ability to gain consistency for budgeting purposes has been very attractive to our nonprofit project partners,” added Bowden. “Plus, we’ve seen where the on-site presence of ‘green’ energy provides the nonprofit host with outstanding educational opportunities, as well as tremendous PR and additional resource for fundraising.” AEN Alternative Energy News

July 2010


New Bolt Tensioning Tools for Wind Generation

Pipe Flashing Products for Solar Applications

New Control System for Solar PV Applications

New Support Beam on Roof Mounting System

TorcUP, a designer and manufacturer of bolt torque and tension equipment, has launched a new series of bolt tensioning tools for the wind power generation industry. The tool range is suitable for complete wind turbine erection or maintenance programs on a variety of wind turbine models. The products feature quick-release swivel fittings, automatic piston reset and hands-free operation.

Solar Flash is the newest flashing from the Master Flash line at Aztec Washer Company. The simple round-base flashing is available in EPDM and silicone with a pre-cut hole for pipe sizes ¾’’ to 7/8’’, allowing for minimal on-site preparation and assembly. The pitch canal allows for maximum flexibility and accommodates up to a 60 degree pitch without affecting performance.

The Eos-Array is a Photovoltaic Plant/Farm Monitoring System comprised of individual modules that interact with one another to provide remote monitoring and efficient local control. It can interface to a web-server, which supervises and controls the whole installation, acquiring information from EosArray groups, PV inverters, energy meters and/or interface protection.

Schletter, Inc., introduced FlexConsole, a new KlickTop support beam as a standard component on their WindSafe© ballasted roof mounting system. The WindSafe© is a minimally attached commercial flat roof racking system, which includes a rear-wind deflector to minimize wind uplift and down pressure loads. This will decrease the installation time in the field by almost 50 percent.

TorcUP (tel) 610-250-5800

Aztech Washer Company (tel) 800-927-4375

Carlo Gavazzi Automation Components (tel) +39 02 931 76 1

Schletter, Inc. (tel) 520-289-8700

Aluminum Solutions for Renewable Energy

Cost-effective Ground Mount Systems from Patriot Solar

AETI Launches New Solar Stations

Hydro is the leading supplier of extruded aluminum structural components for utility-scale CSP and commercial PV installations. With a dedicated Solar Solutions Team that works exclusively with renewable energy companies, 300 MW of CSP experience and the resources of a global aluminum network, Hydro can provide a full range of products and services. The aluminum material averages 75 percent recycled content, with no loss in properties.

Patriot Solar Group is your source for solar power. Manufactured in the U.S., Patriot’s ground mounts are perfect for any size systems. The cost-effective systems are comprised of a three-piece design, making for quick assembly. Patriot Solar Group (tel) 517-629-9292

The 1 MW Power Inversion Station and Modular 5 MW per bay 13.8 kV Arc Flash Mitigation Switchgear Substation has a 20-year life operation in severe climates from -40°C to 50°C without de-powering. The station uses liquid cooled power modules, redundant cooling fans and inverter redundancy for continued operation if one of the inverters fails. American Electric Technologies, Inc. (tel) 412-478-4792

Hydro (tel) +47 22 53 81 00

Trina Solar Introduces Powerful Utility Scale Solar Module

National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:NSM), introduced the solar industry’s first in-panel SolarMagic™ chipset, marking the advent of a new category of solar systems: “smart panels.” The SM3320 provides solar system owners a high-performance solution at the lowest cost per kilowatt-hour. The SM3320 includes a highly integrated, 99.5 percent efficient, 350 watt tri-mode power converter. The model can either boost, pass-through or lower the voltage of each panel.

Trina Solar Limited unveiled a new utility-scale solar module: the TSM-PC14. With expected power output targets ranging from 265 to 290 watts, a positive power tolerance of 0/+3 percent and with a 72 cell arrangement, the large high-wattage modules are designed specifically for utility-scale installations and large scale, ground mounted systems. Equipped with high-efficiency multicrystalline cells, the module is easy to handle and install.

National Semiconductor Corp. (tel) 877-765-6244

Trina Solar Limited (tel) 760-632-8427

SolarMagic Chipset Makes Solar Panels “Smarter”

Are you launching a new product? Alternative Energy News

July 2010

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


upcoming events

INDUSTRY calendar • 2010 WHEN




June 30-July 2

PV Japan 2010

Pacifico Yokohama, Japan

July 7-8

Renewables 2010

London, UK

July 12-15

Green Investments Summit Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia

July 13-15

Intersolar North America

San Francisco, California, USA

July 14-15

The Smart Grid Reality and Innovation Forum

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

July 15-17

The Second IASTED International Conference on Solar Energy

Banff, Alberta, Canada

July 22-25

Solar Heating and Natural Building Design Workshop

Crestone, Colorado, USA

July 28-30


Hyderabad, India

August 3-5

2010 Ethanol Conference & Trade Show

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

August 3-5

Southeast Bioenergy Conference 2010

Tifton, Georgia, USA

August 3-5


Amman, Jordan

August 4-7

Appropriate Technology Retailers Association of Australia Conference

Alice Springs, Australia

e-mail or +61 3 9929 4114

August 4-6

Northeast Biomass Conference & Expo

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

August 10-13

Fifth Congresso International de Bioenergia

Curitiba, Parana, Brazil

August 11-13

Farm to Fuel Summit

Orlando, Florida, USA

August 19-22

Natural Building technologies and Solar Heating Options for Sustainable Home Design Workshop

Crestone, Colorado, USA

August 24-26

BioPro Expo 2010

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

August 31-September 2

Brazil Windpower 2010 Conference & Exhibition

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

September 1-2

Women in Green Forum

Pasadena, California, USA

September 1-4

Environment & Energy Tech 2010

Busan, Korea

September 6-8

The Third IASTED African Conference on Power and Energy Systems

Gaborone, Botswana

September 6-10

25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Conversion

Valencia, Spain

September 7-8

First CSP Today Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Summit India

New Delhi, India

September 30-Oct. 1

XVII Border Energy Forum

Chihuahua, Mexico





Alternative Energy News


July 2010

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Alternative Energy News v1i2