Friday, May 07, 2010

Renewable Energy News, May 7, 2010


VPR News: Welch Energy Efficiency Bill Passes House
An initiative by Congressman Peter Welch to reduce energy consumption and create jobs has passed the U.S. House. VPR's Ross Sneyd reports.
Vermont Senate backs Hydro-Quebec renewable-energy status | The Burlington Free Press
The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to back a bill that grants Hydro-Quebec status as a renewable-energy source, a move supporters say will give Vermonters a better deal on power but that environmentalists contend will discourage creation of new renewable energy.
The bill will also consolidate permit appeals for renewable energy facilities and extend important Vermont state solar tax credits. The text of the Senate amendments to House Bill H.781 are available here (scroll to page 32 of the pdf).

National Grid & Cape Wind Sign 15-Year PPA | Renewable Energy World
On Friday, National Grid and Cape Wind announced that they will file a contract with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) on Monday under which National Grid will buy power from the nation's first large-scale, offshore wind farm, which is expected to come online by the end of 2012. This follows the recent decision from U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to approve the project.

Under the terms of the contract, which must be approved by the DPU, beginning in 2013, National Grid would purchase from Cape Wind 50 percent of the wind farm’s output including electricity, renewable energy certificates (RECs), and other potential market attributes for US $0.207 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
'I'm in This to Win,' Graham Says of Senate Climate Bill - NYTimes.com
Sen. Lindsey Graham doesn't sound like someone who's abandoned the push to pass a global warming bill.
Standing in the Senate's historic Kennedy Caucus Room, the site of hearings on the sinking of the Titanic and Watergate, the South Carolina Republican told a room full of environmentalists and Obama administration officials Tuesday night that he is still in the fight to enact legislation that caps greenhouse gases and expands domestic energy production. "I'm not playing the game to win 43 [votes]," he said, referring to the high-water mark of past Senate climate bill roll calls. "I'm not in this to make a statement. I'm in this to win."
Cape Wind decision propels other offshore projects | Stateline.org
Last week’s approval of a wind farm off the Massachusetts shore has wind energy developers in other states riding a wave of new momentum, even as the Gulf Coast oil spill casts doubt on the future of drilling. From Maine to North Carolina, efforts to plant enormous wind turbines on the ocean floor got a boost when the U.S. Interior Department signed off on 130 wind turbines five miles off the coast of Cape Cod, the first time an offshore wind project has passed federal muster.

The next day, in New Jersey, a company called Fishermen’s Energy launched a buoy to measure wind speed and temperatures to determine the best location to site turbines. If all goes as the company hopes, construction on up to 100 offshore turbines could begin next year, says spokeswoman Rhonda Jackson.
Leases sought to test wind turbines off Ga. coast | The Augusta Chronicle
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - Southern Co. has asked the U.S. Department of the Interior for ocean leases off the coasts of Jekyll Island and Savannah to erect research towers to determine the feasibility of constructing offshore wind turbines. The Atlanta-based company wants to construct towers to support equipment to measure wind speeds and directions, hurricane resistance and to gather other data determine if wind turbines may be viable as an alternative energy source in Georgia.
Patent Pending: The Fast Track - Green Blog - NYTimes.com
My first job after college was as a patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. I spent my days evaluating stacks of patent applications, most of them three to four years old because of the immense backlog the office faced. Today the office still struggles with a major backlog.

But inventors of green technology may have a leg up. Under a program that started in December, they can request that their patents be put through an accelerated queue. The purpose of the program is to help them raise money, start up businesses and bring products to the market more rapidly.
PUC vote blocks 'renewable energy credits' - SignOnSanDiego.com
Faced with intense lobbying, California regulators Thursday backtracked on a decision that limits how big utilities account for green power they purchase outside the state. The Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 to stop utilities from using “renewable energy credits,” most of which come from outside California, until it figures out a different way to deal with the issue. Utilities have been using those credits to meet requirements that they provide 20 percent of their power from sources like the sun and wind by the end of the year. The decision was a reversal from the PUC’s decision eight weeks ago setting up how the purchase of such credits would work.

The Wall Street Journal also has a story on this issue (subscription required)

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