Weekly Clean Energy Roundup:May 7, 2003

*News and Events

FPL to Install 135 Megawatts of Wind Power in Three States
EPA Buys 100 Percent Wind Power for Its New York City Office
DOE Funds HTS Transmission Cable Project on Long Island
Trees and Green Roofs Hold Promise for Urban Energy Savings
Six High Schools Win the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Challenge

*Site News

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association

*Energy Connections
World Renewable Energy Use to Keep Pace with Energy Growth
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NEWS AND EVENTS

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FPL to Install 135 Megawatts of Wind Power in Three States

FPL Energy, LLC announced last week that it will install new wind power plants in North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania by the end of this year. The three wind plants will have a total capacity of 135 megawatts: the company will build a 21-megawatt wind plant near Kulm, in southeast North Dakota; a 51-megawatt wind plant near Woodward, in northwest Oklahoma; and a 63-megawatt wind plant spanning Clinton and Canaan townships in northeast Pennsylvania.

GE Wind Energy will deliver more than 300 1.5-megawatt wind turbines to FPL Energy this year to support the company’s wind projects, including previously-announced projects in California, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota. See the FPL Energy press release at:
http://www.fplenergy.com/news/2003/contents/03044.shtml

In addition to the FPL Energy projects, PPM Energy, Inc. announced in mid-April that it will build a 44-megawatt wind plant in northwest Iowa. Called the Flying Cloud project, it will be located only 80 miles from the 50-megawatt Moraine Wind Power Project, which the company is currently building in southwest Minnesota. Both projects also use GE Wind Energy’s 1.5-megawatt wind turbine, and both will be operating by year-end. See the PPM Energy press release at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

The new batch of wind power projects will surely be a topic of discussion at the WINDPOWER 2003 Conference and Exhibition, which takes place in Austin, Texas, from May 18th through the 21st. This year’s annual meeting of the U.S. wind industry is expected to be its largest ever. See the conference announcement on the American Wind Energy Association Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]


EPA Buys 100 Percent Wind Power for Its New York City Office

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Earth Day, April 23rd, that its Region 2 office in New York City is switching to 100 percent wind power. For the next year, the EPA office is buying 6.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity from the Fenner Wind Power Project in New York’s Madison County. That’s the largest federal purchase of wind power in New York State. Nationally, 10 percent of the electricity used by EPA comes from renewable sources. See the EPA press release at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

The EPA even has a new way to find out the benefit of its purchase in terms of power-plant emissions, thanks to…well, the EPA. The EPA’s new “Power Profiler” uses your area code to zero in on your likely power supplier, and then graphically displays your region’s fuel mix and resultant emissions, compared to U.S. national averages. Based on your actual electricity use, it will then calculate the emissions due to your electricity use — or, if you switch to a clean energy source, the emissions avoided by doing so. See the EPA’s Power Profiler at: www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/powerprofiler

Federal agencies in much of the West may find it easier to purchase green power, thanks to a new program offered by the Western Area Power Administration. Western can now buy renewable energy for federal agencies within its 15-state service area, whether the agency is an existing power customer for Western or not. See the Western press release and Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]

Green power continues to make news around the country. Moab, Utah, is very near to becoming a “Blue Sky Community” by signing up 5 percent of its customers to PacifiCorp’s “Blue Sky” renewable power program. PacifiCorp recently cut its green power premium from $2.95 per 100 kilowatt-hours down to just $1.95, thanks in part to the reduced cost of renewable power. In Texas, 57 Kinko’s locations signed up with Strategic Energy for a total of 1.6 million kilowatt-hours of green power each year. See the PacifiCorp and Strategic Energy press releases at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]


DOE Funds HTS Transmission Cable Project on Long Island

DOE recently selected American Superconductor Corporation to install a half-mile of high temperature superconductor (HTS) cable in the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) power grid. Expected to be operating by the end of 2005, the cable will be the first installation of superconductor cable in an actual power grid at transmission voltages. The 2,000-foot cable will be installed underground in East Garden City and will carry 600 megawatts of power at 138,000 volts. Nexans will manufacture the cable from HTS wire supplied by American Superconductor, and Air Liquide will provide refrigeration equipment and oversee operation of the cryogenic cooling system for the cable. DOE will cover roughly half the cost of the $30 million project.

HTS cables can carry three to five times the power that conventional
cables of the same size can carry, so they hold the potential to increase the capacity of our nation’s electrical transmission system. See the American Superconductor press release at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]

Trees and Green Roofs Hold Promise for Urban Energy Savings

Arbor Day was April 25th, and although you might think trees have little to do with energy use, you’d be wrong. In urban areas, the great mass of concrete, steel, asphalt, and other heat-absorbing materials acts as a giant solar collector, typically raising urban temperatures 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit above than surrounding areas. This increases the energy used for cooling homes and businesses in urban areas. Trees can save energy by helping to shade and cool cities, reducing this “urban heat island” effect.

Two new studies on urban heat islands in New Jersey show the situation in Newark to be even worse than usual, achieving temperatures as much as 11 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its suburbs, while Camden yielded a more normal effect of about 6 degrees Fahrenheit. New Jersey aims to start correcting that problem by planting 100,000 new trees in urban and suburban communities. See the press release from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection at: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/newsrel/releases/03_0053.htm

Another approach to cooler cities is the use of so-called “green roofs,” which involve planting gardens on the flat rooftops of buildings. Green roofs can help keep the building underneath cool while also helping to reduce urban heat islands. Although more popular in Europe than in the United States, green roofs have sprouted in recent years on Chicago City Hall and a Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. See the City of Chicago and Ford Motor Company Web sites at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]

This growing interest in green roofs has led to “Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities,” the first North American green roofs infrastructure conference, awards, and trade show, to be held in Chicago on May 29th and 30th. See the conference Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

For more information about urban heat islands, see the Heat Island Group on DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]


Six High Schools Win the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Challenge

You know you’re getting old when there’s some new technology that you’ve heard of but never seen in person, yet high-school students are already toying around with it. Fuel cells are the latest technology to help us older folks feel anachronistic, as ten high school teams from around the country competed last week in the first annual Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge. General Motors Corporation (GM) provided the components for the cars, and GM and DOE engineers gave technical advice to the student teams, who built model cars up to a foot wide and two feet long. The cars used solar power to generate hydrogen, then used miniature fuel cells to convert that hydrogen into electricity to power the cars’ electric motors. Six of the teams won prizes in two races — one for speed, and one for climbing the steepest incline.

The competition was part of the National Science Bowl, an academic competition in which the winners of 66 regional Science Bowl competitions vie to see which team knows the most about science. This year, 13,000 students at 1,800 schools participated in the Science Bowl. The competition reached its climax on Monday, as Thomas Jefferson High School of Alexandria, Virginia, won the national championship. See the DOE press release at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]

Meanwhile, DOE is helping us older folks get involved in fuel cells, too. In late April, DOE announced plans to start two projects, valued at a total of $213 million, to develop solid-state fuel cells. Teams led by FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Acumentrics Corporation will embark on the fuel-cell projects as part of DOE’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance program. See the DOE press release at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]

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SITE NEWS

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Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association

[sorry this link is no longer available]

The Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association (TREIA) is an organization of companies and individuals involved in solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric energy products and services. It works to promote development of renewable energy and policies that will expand markets and allow all Texans access to renewable energy. The TREIA Web site features information on becoming a member, a member directory, the latest news, and upcoming events.

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ENERGY CONNECTIONS

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World Renewable Energy Use to Keep Pace with Energy Growth

Worldwide use of renewable energy will grow 56 percent between 2001 and 2025, according to DOE’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), but world energy use will also grow at the same pace. As a result, renewable energy will maintain the same share of the energy market — 8 percent — for the next 22 years. Those are the conclusions of the EIA’s “International Energy Outlook
2003,” released May 1st, which anticipates rapid energy growth in the developing world, causing the energy use in countries like China, India, and South Korea to increasingly resemble the industrialized world.

To meet the growing needs for energy, the EIA sees natural gas use nearly doubling by 2025 while world oil consumption increases by about 55 percent. The use of coal is also expected to increase, although its share of the total energy supply will decrease from today’s 24 percent to 22 percent in 2025. One projected result of this increase in energy use is a 59 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions by 2025. See the press release and the full report on the EIA Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]

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Kevin Eber is the Editor of EREE Network News, a weekly publication of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

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