Thursday, July 01, 2010

Renewable Energy News, July 1, 2010

Solar power: New plant in West Pullman is nation's largest urban solar plant -
At a former industrial site on Chicago's South Side, more than 32,000 solar panels slowly tilt every few minutes, following the sun as it moves across the sky.

Operated by Exelon Corp., the 40 acres of panels in West Pullman is the nation's largest urban solar plant, generating 10 megawatts of clean power and hope for an Illinois industry that has long waited for its moment in the sun.

"We have been frustrated over the years that solar has not become more mainstream," said Kevin Lynch, who trains electricians to install solar panels for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. "We understand it's still a relatively expensive technology, but the cost is much less than it was a few years ago."
Carter, King clash over Maine wind project
PORTLAND, Maine -- A former Green Independent Party candidate for governor exchanged charges of greed and hypocrisy Wednesday with a former governor who's promoting a 128-megawatt wind power project in Somerset County.

Building 48 wind turbines in Highland Plantation would require blasting of 1.6 million cubic yards of rock and dirt, decimate fragile alpine terrain and generate visual and noise pollution all while failing to reduce greenhouse emissions, said Jonathan Carter, director of the Forest Ecology Network.

Former independent Maine Gov. Angus King, one of the Highland Wind LLC business partners, said the project carries an environmental impact but that it's more benign than oil, gas, coal or nuclear power. It would create enough clean energy for about 54,000 homes, or all the homes in Franklin, Piscataquis and Somerset counties.
Strickland hails region as solar hub, unlocking aid for investment, jobs -- The Blade ~ Toledo Ohio
Gov. Ted Strickland christened northwest Ohio on Wednesday as an official hub of solar energy research and innovation, a type of economic-development coming-out party meant to boost investment and create local jobs in alternative energy.

Northwest Ohio became the state's third Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity, behind Cleveland for health care and Dayton for aerospace.

Mr. Strickland, a Democrat, announced the designation yesterday at the University of Toledo's Scott Park campus, home to alternative energy research, a solar energy field, and a windmill.
Stability and utility of floating wind turbines shown in new study
Wind turbines may be one of the best renewable energy solutions, but as turbines get larger they also get noisier, become more of an eyesore, and require increasingly larger expanses of land. One solution: ocean-based wind turbines. While offshore turbines already have been constructed, they've traditionally been situated in shallow waters, where the tower extends directly into the seabed. That restricts the turbines to near-shore waters with depths no greater than 50 meters -- and precludes their use in deeper waters, where winds generally gust at higher speeds.

An alternative is placing turbines on floating platforms, says naval architect Dominique Roddier of Berkeley, California-based Marine Innovation & Technology. He and his and colleagues have published a feasibility study of one platform design -- dubbed "WindFloat" -- in the latest issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, which is published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP).
State board takes comments on Pownal solar proposal: Rutland Herald Online
POWNAL – While a number of issues were raised at a meeting hosted by the Public Service Board on Tuesday about the proposed solar farm, there was little sign of the kind of organized resistance or rejection which has hampered other Vermont renewable energy project proposals like those involving windmills.

About 30 people attended the meeting at the Pownal Elementary School to hear about the plans to place solar panels at the Southern Vermont Energy Park. The park is on privately-owned land and the solar farm is being proposed by a private developer.

Because it’s an energy-generation project, it must be approved by Vermont’s Public Service Board but doesn’t need local approval.

Disclosure: SDRS represents EOS Ventures, LLC in this matter.

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