Wireless Technology for a Secure Smart Grid

As the need for reliable, real-time data communication in mission-critical SCADA systems continues to increase for monitoring and control distribution automation as part of the "Smart Grid," electric power utilities are looking for new and better ways to improve their communication infrastructure, making it more reliable and secure.

Case Study-The Town of Hopkinton

The Town of Hopkinton became the first town in Massachusetts to install solar panels on multiple municipal buildings. The 1,832 solar panel installation, completed by Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., sits atop Hopkinton's High School, Middle School, Police Station, and Fire Department and helped them satisfy the need to compile energy use from all municipal buildings and pledge to have them reduce energy consumption by 20 percent.

Residential Geothermal Install Case Study

Given the rural location of Peter's Durksen's 25-year-old, 1,800 square foot bungalow, he didn't have access to natural gas and was tired of paying the rising costs for fuel oil to power his forced air oil-fired furnace and hot water tank.

Is Ontario's Solar Sector Growing too Fast ?

What Solar Energy Developers Need to Know

Solar Pricing At Historical Lows

Last January saw solar panel pricing hit historical lows worldwide. As a result and despite the economy, the solar photovoltaic industry is having a pretty good year both at the commercial and residential levels.

Cannon Power Group Closes $547 Mill Power Sales Transaction With So. California Public Power Authority

Del Mar-based Cannon Power Group announced today the closing of the sale of a 20-year block of renewable power to Southern California Public Power Authority (SCPPA) for $547 million. This is believed to be the largest transaction of its kind in the power industry. The power will be provided from Cannon Power Group's 262-megawatt (MW) Windy Flats wind project in Goldendale, Washington under a long-term power purchase agreement entered into last year by the parties. "This uniquely structured transaction is a true win-win for both parties," said Gary Hardke, president of Cannon Power Group. "It combined SCPPA's low-cost, tax exempt bond financing with the federal stimulus grant program to produce a very attractive long-term cost of renewable power." SCPPA reportedly closed its 20-year bond financing at the end of August at pricing of less than four percent, according to Bloomberg News. Cannon Power Group received total federal stimulus grants of $220 million in connection with the project. "This was really a remarkable and innovative transaction," said attorney Tom Trimble, partner and co-head of the Renewable Energy Practice at Washington D.C.-based Hunton & Williams, who represented Cannon Power Group in the transaction. "It allowed the parties to navigate the credit crisis and take advantage of the low interest rate environment." Cannon Power Group's Windy Flats project went on line earlier in 2010. It is part of the company's 500 MW Windy Point/Windy Flats project. The project, one of the largest wind projects in the United States, and representing an investment of over $1.2 billion, spans over 26 miles along the Columbia River. It is expected to be completed in 2011 and has provided over 350 new jobs to the local area. Cannon Power developed and constructed the project.

Scientists develop self-healing solar cells

Over time, most solar cells degrade due to prolonged exposure to the sun's scathing rays and are rendered useless. But with a little inspiration from nature, researchers have now created a new solar material that regenerates its damaged energy-capturing packets on-demand. A small prototype solar cell built from the self-healing material can continuously produce electricity for an entire week without losing any efficiency, the scientists report. The team was inspired by plants in nature. The ingredients within a plant’s leaves that turn sunlight into energy aren't actually immune to the sun’s damage. Instead, the molecules do their job (pump out sugar), get destroyed, and in less than an hour they regenerate. This process happens over and over again – enabling the leaves to produce energy at the same efficiency as they did on day one of their operation. Read the full article by Michelle Bryner here.

Call for Solutions!: Downeast Launches $5 million Biomass Engineering Competition

The DownEast 2010 Biomass Engineering Prize Competition seeks innovative solutions and technologies capable of transforming an underperforming biomass-fueled electricity generating facility in Maine into a vibrant part of the green energy grid. A recent operations audit concluded that available conventional retro-fitting options were uninspiring. This challenge has two simple goals: return the facility to profitability and utilize new and disruptive biomass-fueled electricity generation technologies that do not require massive capital investments and that can achieve sustained profitable operations. All manners of solutions will be considered, including new technologies and novel applications of existing technologies, process improvements and site re-use. In short, DownEast is seeking creative ingenuity from innovators across the globe.

San Diego gym turns spin bike into a power source

The Greenasium really wants to be green. To do it, the new gym in San Diego is turning its customers into real gym rats. The Greenasium , which opened Wednesday, has three specialty spin bikes straight out of Gilligans Island that push electricity back into the grid, helping provide power to the gym and other electricity customers. Its the first human-powered fitness studio in San Diego, according to its owners. "The bike's are retrofitted by a company up in Seattle that we work with called Resource Fitness ," said Greenasium's co-owner Byron Spratt. "As the bike (spins), the wheel creates DC power, converts it to AC power, which is plugged back into the wall, which puts energy back into the grid." Spratt expects to add elliptical bikes in October to help offset their carbon footprint to an even greater extent.

Case Study: Lockheed Martin Facility Roadways

Outdoor lighting systems for a main entrance roadway and the main loop road serving the facility Lockheed Martin, Lake Underhill Facility.

Altenergymag Interview With AMtec Solar

AMtec Solar has applied its 25 years of experience in the Semiconductor, HVAC, Pharmaceutical, Alternative Energy, and Industrial Control markets to the solar industry. The produce solar combiner boxes, re-combiner boxes, tracker panels, MET stations and DAS boxes for some of the biggest names in the solar industry.

A Vision of the New Environmentalist

The new post-BP environmentalist, I predict, will stand taller than those from Earth Day and from Yale and Harvard. They will be more immediate and less technical. They will be pumped up on the steroids of Hollywood, mass media, and Twitter more than the schooling of MBAs. And they will attract massive audiences, with their green eyes and softer training on behalf of the Earth.

Fuel Additives and the Environment

Largest Solar Rooftop Project in U.S. to be Built in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake County and its project partners, NexGen Energy and Bella Energy, announced the construction in downtown Salt Lake City of one of the largest roof-top solar panel installations in the United States. The estimated 600,000 square-foot system will be built atop the Calvin L. Rampton – Salt Palace Convention Center. When completed, the system will produce 2.6 megawatts of electricity, one-quarter of the annual needs of the convention center. The team presented a plan to install up to 2.6 megawatts of solar modules on the structure. If built to that capacity, the Salt Palace will host the largest rooftop solar facility in the United States, generating more than 3,330,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year while reducing the building’s consumption by 25%.

Deere & Co. sells its wind unit to Exelon for $900 million

Deere & Co. said Tuesday it would sell its John Deere Renewables unit, including wind farms, to Exelon Corp. in a deal valued at $900 million. Exelon said it's expanding its role in the wind generation business by adding 735 megawatts of wind energy, plus 230 megawatts under development, via the deal. Deere plans to take an after-tax charge of approximately $25 million in its fourth quarter results as part of the sale. Exelon said it would use debt to pay for the deal. Source: Steve Gelsi of Market Watch.

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