Weekly Clean Energy Roundup:June 4, 2003

*News and Events

Hawaiian Efforts Support Renewables, Efficiency, Fuel Cells
New One-Megawatt Solar Installations Online on Both Coasts
New Minnesota Law Supports Renewables, Requires Xcel Energy
to Boost Funds and Install 300 Megawatts of Wind Power
Iowa Utilities Propose a Wind-Powered Energy Storage Plant
Efficiency Vermont Wins Award for Excellence in Government
FutureTruck Competition Now Underway Near Detroit

*Site News

Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

*Energy Connections
California Power Outlook Positive Despite First Power Alert
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NEWS AND EVENTS

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Hawaiian Efforts Support Renewables, Efficiency, Fuel Cells

Recent public and private efforts to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fuel cells in Hawaii — including plans to spend up to $10 million in support of renewable power projects — are giving the state a new prominence in the clean energy arena.

The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is involved in many of these actions, including low-interest loans and rebates for solar hot water systems in Honolulu and the opening of the Hawaii Fuel Cell Test Facility, also in Honolulu. And in late May, HECO announced that its subsidiary, Renewable Hawaii, Inc., is requesting proposals for
renewable energy projects on the island of Oahu. The company has approval to invest up to $10 million in grid-connected power projects that draw on renewable energy. See the HECO press releases by selecting “News & Press Info” under the “About HECO” heading on the HECO Web site at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]

See also the Renewable Hawaii Web site at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]
HECO also worked with the State of Hawaii and DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to generate new high-resolution wind resource maps for the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Although the full set of maps is currently being validated by a local meteorologist and by NREL, the 50-meter wind speed maps for each island are available at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

Hawaii is also showing leadership in its State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program, which earned the praise of Deputy Secretary of Energy Kyle McSlarrow during a visit on May 30th. Hawaii’s State Energy Program is seeking to develop wind and solar energy and is working to implement a Model Energy Code for buildings. Hawaii’s Weatherization Assistance Program works in cooperation with community organizations to improve residential energy efficiency for low-income families. The two programs will receive a total of $526,000
from DOE for the 2003 to 2004 fiscal year. See the DOE press release at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

New One-Megawatt Solar Installations Online on Both Coasts

Two large solar power installations, both weighing in at a megawatt in capacity, went online last week in California and on Long Island, New York.

In California, BP Solar installed 9,700 solar panels on the roofs of 11 stables at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near San Diego, providing a combined peak generating capacity of one megawatt. The $4.8 million project will produce enough power each year to equal the annual electrical needs of 300 homes and is expected to save the fairgrounds more than $250,000 per year. The San Diego Regional Energy Office (SDREO) provided an incentive of nearly $2.3 million for the project. See the SDREO press release, in PDF format only, at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

On Long Island, Shell Solar and PowerLight Corporation dedicated a one-megawatt solar power system at Fala Direct Marketing, one of the nation’s leading direct-mail companies. The system, located in Farmingdale, consists of 13,464 solar panels covering nearly 2.4 acres on three buildings. See the press release on the Shell Solar Web site
at: [sorry this link is no longer available]

See also the Long Island Power Authority Web site at:
http://www.lipower.org/features/fala/index.html

New Minnesota Law Supports Renewables, Requires Xcel Energy to Boost Funds & Install 300 Megawatts of Wind Power

A new law in Minnesota requires Xcel Energy, the state’s largest electric utility, to double its contribution to a renewable energy fund, install at least 300 megawatts of new wind power capacity, and install renewable energy technologies whenever they are the most cost-effective resource. The legislation, signed into law last week by Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, affirms a settlement between Xcel Energy and the Prairie Island Indian Community that allows the continued operation of the Prairie Island nuclear plant by approving additional storage of nuclear waste at the plant. As part of the settlement, Xcel Energy will contribute $16 million per year to the state’s Renewable Development Fund for as long as the nuclear plant continues to operate.

The new bill also provides an additional $4.5 million to subsidize small wind turbine installations totaling 100 megawatts in capacity, and provides $1.5 million to subsidize biogas projects on farms. It requires the state’s utilities to develop formal plans to produce 10 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2015. And finally, the bill provides a $10 million grant and $2 million in annual funding to the University of Minnesota for research and development of hydrogen and other renewable energy sources. See Governor Pawlenty’s press release at: http://www.governor.state.mn.us/Tpaw_View_Ar
ticle.asp?artid=340

Iowa Utilities Propose a Wind-Powered Energy Storage Plant

A group of municipal utilities in Iowa are proposing to build a unique power plant that will combine wind power with a compressed-air energy storage (CAES) facility. The proposed Iowa Stored Energy Plant (ISEP) will use a 100-megawatt wind power facility to pump air into an underground aquifer, compressing the air. During times of peak power demand, the compressed air will be supplied to 200 megawatts of combustion turbines that are fired with natural gas, allowing the turbines to operate at high efficiencies. The group places the cost of the ISEP at $215 million and hopes to launch the project this fall, with a startup date in mid-2006. See the ISEP Web site and Background page at: [sorry this link is no longer available] [sorry this link is no longer available]

CAES plants work by replacing a combustion turbine’s compressor with a source of compressed air. Nearly two-thirds of the natural gas supplied to a conventional combustion turbine is used to drive the compressor, so a CAES plant burns much less natural gas than a conventional combustion-turbine plant. Currently, two CAES plants
exist: a 290-megawatt plant in Germany and a 110-megawatt plant in Alabama. A 2,700-megawatt CAES plant has also been proposed by CAES Development Company, LLC for construction in Norton, Ohio. See DOE’s Distributed Energy Resources Web site and the CAES Development Company Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]
[sorry this link is no longer available]

Efficiency Vermont Wins Award for Excellence in Government

Efficiency Vermont — the nation’s first independent, ratepayer-funded “utility” dedicated to delivering energy efficiency rather than power — was awarded the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award in May. Efficiency Vermont was one of five awardees among nearly 1,000 applicants, and will receive a $100,000 grant.

In 1999, Vermont’s Public Service Board contracted with the private, nonprofit Vermont Energy Investment Corporation to deliver energy efficiency services throughout the state. In its first three years, the program generated over 99,000 megawatt-hours of electricity savings and is also saving 109,000 gallons of propane, 29 million
cubic feet of gas, 123,000 gallons of oil, and 50 million gallons of water annually. See the press release from the Council for Excellence in Government at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]

According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), energy efficiency is a resource that can help electric utilities maintain reliability, defer distribution system investments, and reduce peak demand. You can learn more by attending ACEEE’s “National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource,” to be held June 9th and 10th in Berkeley, California. See the ACEEE conference Web site:
[sorry this link is no longer available]


FutureTruck Competition Now Underway Near Detroit

Teams of students from 15 top universities converged near Detroit on Monday to demonstrate how the Ford Explorer can achieve low air emissions while boosting fuel economy by at least 25 percent. No, this was not some form of environmental protest, but rather a competition by engineering students to find the best way to save fuel and cut
emissions for Ford Motor Company’s sport utility vehicle. The re-engineered Ford Explorers include such features as hybrid electric drives, lightweight components, and hydrogen-fueled engines.

The FutureTruck competition, sponsored by Ford and DOE, takes place from June 2nd through the 12th at Ford’s Michigan Proving Ground in Romeo, Michigan, and at the Allen Park Testing Lab in Allen Park. The vehicles are judged in a number of events that evaluate their technical performance and design. DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory is managing the competition, which concludes with a press conference on June 13th. The team will then display their vehicles at the Ford headquarters through June 16th. See the FutureTruck Web site at:
[sorry this link is no longer available]

Throughout the competition, you can follow the progress of the teams on the FutureTruck Competition 2003 Web site at: [sorry this link is no longer available]


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SITE NEWS
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Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides economic analyses and technological innovations relating to energy and the environment. The CEERE research program draws on teams that specialize in renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings, industrial energy efficiency, and environmental technologies.


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ENERGY CONNECTIONS
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California Power Outlook Positive Despite First Power Alert

The California Energy Commission (CEC) released its summer power forecast on May 25th, indicating that the state’s power supplies should be adequate to meet summer peak demand, even with a hotter- than-normal summer. The CEC credited 7,730 megawatts of new generation added since the power crisis of 2000 and 2001. See the May 25th press release on
the CEC Web site at:

Following the CEC announcement, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) — the organization responsible for operating the state’s power grid — joined a number of California utilities and state agencies on May 27th to launch this summer’s energy conservation campaign. Despite the CEC’s forecast, the group still emphasized the importance of energy conservation, noting that high electricity use could draw down the state’s stores of natural gas, potentially impacting this summer’s and next winter’s natural gas prices.
Ironically, the state’s conservation message was driven home the very next day, when the California ISO declared a Stage One electrical emergency due to unseasonably high temperatures in the state. At 3 p.m., the ISO asked consumers to avoid using large electrical appliances until after 7 p.m. Although a dip in operating reserves led
to the power emergency, the state did not reach the higher alert levels associated with possible power blackouts. See the California ISO press releases at: http://www.caiso.com/newsroom/releases/
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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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