Thursday, September 30, 2010

Renewable Energy News, September 30, 2010


On September 28, 2010, Vermont's own Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the "Let the States Innovate on Sustainable Energy Act of 2010." The bill would explicitly allow states to develop their own feed-in tariff programs, like the SPEED program here in Vermont, to encourage the development of renewable energy resources.

Sanders' bill comes in response to a decision by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July that has caused uncertainty for such programs, especially for those that have already been implemented by several states.

Follow the links to view Senator Sanders' letter of introduction for the bill, as well as the "Let the States Innovate on Sustainable Energy Act of 2010" itself.

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Construction to begin on 80-megawatt Broken Bow Nebraska wind farm
Nebraska Public Power District and several private companies have signed a 20-year agreement paving the way for construction of an 80-megawatt wind farm near Broken Bow.

The agreement on the Broken Bow farm brings NPPD half way to its goal of having 10 percent of its energy come from new renewable energy resources by the end of 2020, said Dave Rich, NPPD renewable energy development manager.

Midwest Wind Energy, Edison Mission Group and its affiliate, Broken Bow Wind, said construction of the wind farm will begin in October 2011 and the facility should be in operation by the end of 2012.
Arizona outlines plans for algae-fuels production
Arizona took a $4 million step toward creating a new industry Tuesday as state officials announced a new algae-fuels center at Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus in Mesa.

Gov. Jan Brewer and Science Foundation Arizona Director William Harris on Tuesday told scientists from around the world that Arizona will become a global center for research and production of algae fuels.

In announcing $4 million in grants and matching funds from government and industry, Brewer and Harris said the investment could produce billions of dollars for the state and millions of gallons of fuel for aircraft and vehicles.
Thinking Small, and Still Smaller, on Wind Power
In fact, many of the recent renewable plants in Italy are small in scale — a turbine or two in a village — not those immense wind parks that dominate a landscape. That is partly the because the permitting process for large-scale installation is so complicated in Italy.

Still, across the globe, there are signs that wind energy innovators are trying to go smaller still. Just as there are rooftop solar panels, so, too, engineers have designed rooftop turbines.

Swift turbines, designed by the British company Renewable Devices, are pole-mounted rooftop wind turbines that can generate as many as 1,900-kilowatt hours of energy a year, supplementing the supply of energy-poor households at a time of high electricity rates.

This summer, the French designer Philippe Starck unveiled his own chic version of a rooftop turbine, a sculptural gizmo called the Revolutionair, which comes in quadrangular or helicoidal shapes and costs about $3,500.
DOE Announces Dates for the Solar Decathlon 2011
DOE announced on September 23 that the Solar Decathlon 2011 will hold its opening ceremony on September 22, 2011, and will be open to the public from Friday, September 23, through Sunday, October 2. The DOE Solar Decathlon is a competition that challenges collegiate students from across the globe to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. Student teams generally spend nearly two years designing and partially building their solar homes on or near their campuses. The teams then transport their homes to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they complete construction of the homes and then operate them for more than a week while competing in ten contests.
Google Hires Solar Vet To Build Internal Solar Tech
Google’s clean power ambitions are ramping up. The company has hired Philip Gleckman, former chief scientist at solar thermal startup eSolar, to work on solar tech internally for Google, Green Energy Reporter first reported, and we’ve confirmed with Google.

Google’s Parag Chokshi, who heads up Clean Energy Public Affairs, told me in an email that Gleckman “has a wealth of experience in this sector and his expertise will obviously add to our research and development work..."

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