Monday, August 09, 2010

Renewable Energy News, August 9, 2010

World’s largest solar project secures second permitting milestone
BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar electric generating system, due to be the world’s largest solar project when complete, has reached its second permitting milestone, securing the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final environmental impact statement for the project.

Last week, the company announced that a California Energy Commission (CEC) siting committee had recommended full approval of the project, which is based in San Bernardino County, California.

BrightSource said it expects to have all of the final permits to commence construction in fall 2010.
Wind Farm Deal Assures Bigger U.S. Role - DealBook Blog -
The United Steelworkers and two Chinese companies announced Friday that they had signed an agreement assuring that major components of machines for a $1.5 billion wind farm in Texas would be made in the United States.

The deal potentially defuses a conflict over American stimulus dollars being used to subsidize foreign companies, Matthew Wald reports in The New York Times.

Without releasing full details, the union said that the steel for the wind towers, enclosures for working parts atop the towers and reinforcing bars for the bases would be sourced in the United States. So will the blades, which are not made of steel but are often made by steelworkers, the union and the two companies said.
Kerry seeks fresh Senate focus on renewable energy incentives |
Work on a comprehensive Senate energy bill may have ground to a halt for the summer, but that hasn’t stopped Massachusetts Senator John Kerry putting forward another set of proposals for clean energy.

This time, the Senator’s bill puts renewable energy center stage, along with energy storage and electric vehicles.

His proposals include $3.5 billion worth of clean energy bonds to support new infrastructure projects, as well as measures to expand tax credit programs for manufacturers, solar energy projects, energy storage systems and electric vehicle batteries.
Renewable energy progress in the UK, with lifting of ban
UK’s energy secretary overturns law banning councils from selling renewable electricity to the national grid, helping to scale up energy targets.

Starting from 18 August, councils across the UK will be able to sell renewable electricity to the grid, the UK’s energy secretary, Chris Huhne, has announced today.

This will open new sources of income such as the full benefit of the feed in tariff which incentivises renewable electricity, with the Department of Energy & Climate Change estimating that it could mean up to £100m sterling a year in income for local authorities across England and Wales.
Nevada's geothermal prospects heat up | | The Reno Gazette-Journal
With an installed capacity of a little more than 400 megawatts, Nevada's ability to take geothermal heat and turn it into electricity is second in the U.S. only to California. In fact, if Nevada was a country, it would be the ninth-largest producer of geothermal energy in the world, just behind Japan, according to the Geothermal Energy Association.

Now, the Silver State is poised to significantly increase its 13 percent share of total U.S. geothermal capacity -- perhaps even overtake California as the nation's top geothermal energy producer.
Wind energy potential tested off S.C. coast
Gauging the potential of new, renewable energy sources is often a problem when establishing them. Scientists from the Savannah River National Laboratory are working toward a solution for that problem.

On a U.S. Coast Guard platform off the coast of Georgetown, SRNL, the Clemson University Restoration Institute (CURI) and their partners have begun testing technology to provide insight into how much energy potential South Carolina's offshore winds offer.

SRNL, CURI and partners - utility provider Santee Cooper, Clemson University's S.C. Institute for Energy Studies, Coastal Carolina University, the Center for Hydrogen Research and the U.S. Coast Guard - make up the South Carolina Consortium for Offshore Wind. This consortium will study South Carolina's coastal winds to determine the viability of developing the state's first offshore wind farm.
Pocono solar farm powers NASCAR green plans
Racing relies on tens of thousands of gallons of fuel each year to power cars, but when Pocono Raceway flipped the switch on its 25-acre solar farm recently for the Pennsylvania 500, a NASCAR track became the world's largest solar-powered sports facility.

"Hopefully we can be the catalyst for something big in American sports," said track president Brandon Igdalsky. "We can show this is the right way to do it, and is a good thing to do."

Sports teams have been pursuing more environmental initiatives in recent years as "going green" becomes a marketing catch phrase — and a way to save on utility bills.
California elections: Jerry Brown emphasizes green energy in jobs plan -
Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jerry Brown quietly unveiled a jobs plan Sunday that calls for creating green-energy jobs, investing in the state's infrastructure and education, increasing manufacturing jobs and improving job-training programs.

"Most new jobs should and will be created in the private sector, but government can play an important role in establishing a favorable climate for job creation," Brown wrote.

The 10-page plan was released with no fanfare on the candidate's website. It details Brown's job-creation achievements while governor and Oakland mayor and as the state's current attorney general.

The bulk of the document and the most detailed proposal is Brown's idea for stimulating the creation of clean-energy jobs, a plan he released earlier this summer. The state should produce 20,000 new megawatts of renewable energy and energy storage while increasing energy efficiency, an effort that will create 500,000 new jobs over the next decade, Brown wrote.
Hawaii sugar grower working to power Navy
The federal government has turned to a 130-year-old Hawaii sugar grower for help in powering the Navy and weaning the nation off a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

It will spend at least $10 million over the next five years to fund research and development at Maui cane fields for crops capable of fueling Navy fighter jets and ships. The project also may provide farmers in other warm climates with a model for harvesting their biofuel crops.

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