Friday, October 01, 2010

Renewable Energy News, October 1, 2010


Wind will power fossil fuel-free Denmark in 2050, report predicts
The falling cost of renewable energy and rising cost of oil and gas will allow Denmark to develop an energy network entirely free of fossil fuels by 2050, according to a report published by the government's climate commission.

The committee predicted that wind and biomass energy could meet the bulk of the country's energy requirements.

It also argued that switching to renewables would be cheaper than continuing to use fossil fuels, particularly if predictions of soaring oil and gas prices are borne out.
In California, a Grid Storage Mandate
It’s no news to most people that renewable energy sources like wind and solar power have their off-moments, or off-days.

A potential remedy was just signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, whose governorship has long had a greenish tinge. The state will now require utilities (first, investor-owned utilities, and later, publicly owned ones) to have storage capacity on hand that can quickly be put into use when the wind dies down.

As a technological and engineering concept, energy storage is as old as the concept of having two reservoirs at different altitudes (more about this in a minute) and as new as the lithium-ion battery. Like California’s renewable energy mandates, the requirement is designed to jump-start new battery and storage technologies by guaranteeing them a broader market.
Oregon wins electric car stimulus funds
Oregon has won $700,000 in federal stimulus dollars to install as many as eight fast-charging stations for electric cars along Interstate 5 from Eugene to the California border.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski announced the grant Wednesday. He says the money will complement the plan to install fast-charging stations along I-5 from Portland to Eugene.

The stations provide a recharge of as much as 80 percent for vehicles in 20 minutes to 30 minutes, compared to the four hours to eight hours standard rechargers can take.
Montana seeks wind developers for land near Cut Bank
Montana officials are seeking proposals from renewable power companies to develop wind farms on state-owned land between Conrad and Cut Bank.

Mike Sullivan with the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says Chicago-based wind developer Invenergy had expressed interest in developing the area.

The requests for proposals issued Tuesday covered two areas — one with 1,280 acres split into two sections in Glacier County and another with 4,900 acres spread over 17 parcels in Glacier and Toole counties.
Solar energy a rising power source in New York
When Shawn Lessord started installing solar panels around 2003, he averaged about a project a year. Last year, the number jumped to 70.

"I used to get 20 to 30 inquiries about solar in a year," said Lessord, senior project manager for eVANHEE Clean Energy. "Now I probably get one a day."

The popularity of harvesting solar energy hasn't been contained to just the Ontario, Wayne County, company, but is a trend experienced throughout the state, where public demand and government incentives are growing while production costs continue to decrease. In fact, the solar capacity of state-funded projects has increased by more than 20 times since '05, enough to power about 4,300 homes.
Ohio Unveils State’s Largest Rooftop Solar Array
The Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority (RTA) unveiled the largest solar rooftop array in the state of Ohio today. RTA’s new solar rooftop on the RTA bus garages at METRO’s headquarters is rated at 488 kilowatts DC, and is expected to produce around 486,760 kilowatt hours of solar power a year. The $2.5 million project was installed by Ohio-based Third Sun Solar of Ohio and the array is comprised of 2076 of Sharp 235-watt solar modules. A portion of the cost of the project was provided by funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Wind blowing in right direction as Ireland's clean energy drive remains on target
Ireland is still on target to meet 40% of its electricity production through renewable energy in the next decade, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan insisted yesterday.

A report on renewable energy launched yesterday noted that a massive increase in winds at 6am on April 5 this year had managed to generate some 50% of Ireland’s electricity demand at one moment. This was a world record, the report said.

The record power generated has attracted international attention, so much so that US secretary of energy Steven Chu has asked to meet wind energy engineers here when he visits Ireland next month, the minister revealed.
Vermont Gubernatorial Candidates Shumlin and Dubie to Debate Environment, Energy Policy
Vermont's two leading gubernatorial candidates are to face one another in debate before environmental and alternative energy groups.

Democrat Peter Shumlin and Republican Brian Dubie are set to debate Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Sheraton in South Burlington. The event is being hosted by Renewable Energy Vermont and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
Burlington Electric Department to buy power from Georgia Mountain wind project
Burlington Electric Department said this week it will buy all of Georgia Mountain Community Wind's output from its four, 2.75 MW wind turbines. The turbines are expected to provide enough electricity of more than 4,200 average households, according to the department.

The Burlington City Council approved the department's contract with GMCW on Monday. The power purchase agreement is subject to Public Service Board approval.

GMCW turbines will be constructed in Georgia and Milton. It earned its Certificate of Public Good from the state in June, with the condition it sells stably priced power to a Vermont utility. It is expected to come online in 2012, according to a statement from BED.


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