A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
>Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
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February 23, 2005
News and Events
* DOE Project Leads to New Hydrogen Fueling Station in California
* DOE Awards $87.5 Million to 12 Vehicle Efficiency Projects
* EPA Launches Clean Energy Partnerships with 12 States and D.C.
* Massachusetts Offers $25 Million for Renewable Energy Credits
* First Hybrid SUV Makes List of Top Twelve Green Vehicles
* DOE Offers $1 Million to Help Industries Save Energy
* LNG Terminals Move Ahead in the Gulf of Mexico
News and Events
DOE Project Leads to New Hydrogen Fueling Station in California
Photo of an SUV at a hydrogen fuel pump.
A fuel-cell-powered Hyundai Tuscon pulls up to the new hydrogen fueling
ChevronTexaco opened its first hydrogen fueling station in Chino,
California, last week, joined by Assistant Secretary of Energy David Garman
and representatives of Hyundai-Kia and UTC Fuel Cells. The station is a
major part of the DOE's Hydrogen "Learning Demonstration," which brings
together automobile makers and energy companies to test fuel cell vehicles
and hydrogen fueling systems in real-world conditions. Hyundai Tucson and
Kia Sportage SUVs, powered by fuel cells manufactured by UTC Fuel Cells,
will operate throughout Southern California and refuel at the ChevronTexaco
hydrogen station. The hydrogen is produced on-site from natural gas, but
the station will also have the future capability to convert other renewable
fuel sources, such as ethanol, into hydrogen for refueling fuel cell vehicles.
"On a day-to-day basis, [these projects] will give our researchers and
scientists on-the-road experience with hydrogen fuel vehicles and
demonstrate what we need to do to make these technologies even better,"
said Assistant Secretary Garman. "By doing so, it is our hope that these
clean, zero-emission vehicles will become as common as the cars we know
today." See the press releases from
While the Chino project is part of President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel
Initiative, his brotherâFlorida Governor Jeb Bushâhas his own hydrogen
energy initiative, called "H2 Florida." Last week, Governor Bush attended
the groundbreaking in Orlando for another ChevronTexaco hydrogen fueling
station, which will be Florida's first, and announced plans for new
legislation to move the H2 Florida initiative forward. Under the proposed
Hydrogen Energy Technologies Act, Florida will set aside $12.9 million to
test and demonstrate the cutting-edge hydrogen technology and provide $2.1
million in new tax incentives for businesses that invest in hydrogen
technologies. Participants in the groundbreaking included Ford Motor
Company and Progress Energy. See the press releases from the
Energy Office and
DOE Awards $87.5 Million to 12 Vehicle Efficiency Projects
DOE announced last week that it will award $87.5 million to 12 projects
that will develop more fuel-efficient passenger and commercial vehicles.
Seven of the 12 projects will involve research in advanced combustion
technologies, and three of those seven relate to homogeneous charge
compression ignition (HCCI). In HCCI engines, fuel is pre-mixed with air,
as in spark-ignition engines, but the engine combusts the mixture using
compression, like a diesel engine. HCCI engines burn with high efficiency
and low emissions, but the combustion process is difficult to control. The
seven advanced-combustion projects will also explore such technologies as
premixed charge compression ignition (like HCCI, but with a non-homogeneous
mixture of fuel and air), variable valve timing, variable compression
ratios, variable nozzle turbocharging, and low-pressure loop-cooled exhaust
gas recirculation (EGR). In addition, Mack Trucks, Inc will develop and
demonstrate an air-power-assist system that works with a commercial diesel
The remaining five projects relate to technologies that convert waste heat
from engines into useful electrical or mechanical energy. One promising
technologyunder examination by three of the five projectsis
"turbocompounding," in which exhaust gas from a conventional turbocharger
is passed through a second turbocharger to provide more torque and energy
to the engine's crankshaft.
>FreedomCAR and Vehicle
Technologies Program is providing funding for the 12 projects. See the
press release, and for more information about HCCI engines, see
National Laboratories' Combustion Research Facility Web site. A
diagram of a turbocompound system is also available on the Web site from
Scania, a Swedish manufacturer of heavy vehicles and engines.
EPA Launches Clean Energy Partnerships with 12 States and D.C.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched two new clean
energy partnerships with states last week. EPA and the National Association
of Regulatory Utility Commissioners announced their formation of the
EPA-State Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Projects on February 16th.
Utility commissioners from five statesâArkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii,
Minnesota and New Mexicoâplus the District of Columbia are participating
in the projects, which will explore cost-effective energy efficiency,
renewable energy, and clean distributed generation. See the
press release and fact sheet
>PDF 42 KB).
>Download Acrobat Reader.
On Friday, EPA launched the new Clean Energy-Environment State Partnership
Program with 10 states: California, Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas (three
statesâConnecticut, Minnesota, and New Mexicoâare participating in both
partnerships). Under the voluntary program, the EPA will assist states as
they develop and implement action plans to improve air quality, decrease
energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance economic
development. See the
press release and
Energy-Environment State Partnership Program Web site.
Massachusetts Offers $25 Million for Renewable Energy Credits
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) announced in late January
that its Renewable Energy Trust is offering $25 million to support
renewable energy projects that will generate up to 50 megawatts of clean
power for the New England electric grid. The trust's Massachusetts Green
Power Partnership provides long-term funding commitments to purchase
renewable energy certificates (RECs) and other price supports for clean
energy projects. The new request for proposals (RFP) starts the second
round of awards; the first round led to $32 million in funding commitments
for six projects that will generate close to 100 megawatts of clean energy,
including two large wind power plants (covered in last week's newsletter),
a 50-megawatt biomass power plant, and small installations of landfill gas,
hydropower, and solar energy systems. Proposals for the new RFP are due on
March 18th. See the
the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
Although most of MTC's commitments to purchase RECs are for future
projects, the agency is already buying RECs from a landfill gas project.
MTC buys the RECs and then auctions them off to electricity providers,
which can either use them to meet the requirements of the Massachusetts
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) or to meet the needs of any voluntary
green power program. In early February, MTC had Evolution Markets LLC
auction off 5,011 RECs, which sold to two successful bidders at an average
price of $51.12. Some companies are also bypassing the MTC, selling RECs
directly into the Massachusetts power market, as Conservation Resources
Group did for a New York landfill project in 2004. See the press releases
and the Conservation Resources Group
>PDF 53 KB).
>Download Acrobat Reader.
RECs represent the attributes of electricity generated from renewable
energy sources, and are usually sold separately from the actual
electricity. According to a new DOE report, an estimated 3 million
megawatt-hours (MWh) of RECs were sold in 2003. Fourteen of the 18 states
with RPS policies use RECs, creating an annual potential market of about 13
million MWh. According to the report, the REC market could reach 65 million
MWh by 2010. See the report, "Emerging Markets for Renewable Energy
Certificates: Opportunities and Challenges"
>PDF 2.0 MB).
First Hybrid SUV Makes List of Top Twelve Green Vehicles
The world's first hybrid-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Ford
Escape Hybrid, is also the first gasoline-powered SUV to make the list of
12 "greenest" vehicles. The American Council for an Energy Efficient
Economy (ACEEE) issued its eighth annual environmental guide to cars and
trucks, "ACEEE's Green Book Online," last week, including its list of the
greenest vehicles of 2005. The Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, and Honda Civic
Hybrid again hold top spots on the list, although the number one green
vehicle is still the natural-gas-powered Honda Civic GX. But your car
doesn't have to be a hybrid or alternative-fuel model to make the list:
other top green cars include the Toyota Corolla and Echo; the Toyota Matrix
and its twin, the Pontiac Vibe; the Nissan Sentra; the Mazda 3; and the
Ford Focus and Ford Focus Wagon. ACEEE ranks vehicles based on their levels
of noxious emissions, fuel economy, and greenhouse gas emissions. See the
>ACEEE press release and
>list of the top twelve greenest
Photo of the Hyundai Portico.
Hyundai's Portico concept vehicle is designed to accept a hybrid drive.
Hyundai may be the next car company to join the ranks of hybrid vehicle
producers: at the Chicago Car Show in early February, the company unveiled
its "Portico" concept vehicle, a six-seat vehicle that it bills as
"designed to accept Hyundai's hybrid drive system." The hybrid Portico
would feature two electric motors: a 100-kilowatt motor driving the front
wheels and a 60-kilowatt motor driving the rear wheels, providing efficient
all-wheel-drive capability. According to Hyundai, a lithium-ion battery
would power the motors. See the
>Hyundai press release.
DOE Offers $1 Million to Help Industries Save Energy
DOE announced last week that $1 million in new funds are available to help
industrial plants find ways to save energy. The new solicitation offers up
to $100,000 per facility to carry out a "Plant-Wide Assessment" to examine
energy-intensive processes, determine which plant systems offer the
greatest energy savings potential, and identify specific actions to achieve
those savings. Proposals are due by May 3rd. See the
Assessment Web page on DOE's Industrial Technologies Program Web site.
One company that may be interested in carrying out some plant-wide
assessments is Modine Manufacturing Company, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer
of heating and cooling equipment. In late January, the company launched an
initiative to cut energy use at its 35 worldwide manufacturing facilities
by 12 percent. See the
release from Modine.
LNG Terminals Move Ahead in the Gulf of Mexico
Companies continue to make progress developing new terminals for importing
liquefied natural gas (LNG) into the United States. Shell announced last
week that it has received regulatory approval to build an offshore LNG
terminal in the Gulf of Mexico, 38 miles from Cameron, Louisiana. The Shell
terminal will have the ability to gasify one billion cubic feet per day of
natural gas for use in the United States. ConocoPhilips has also proposed
building an LNG terminal in the Gulf, about 56 miles south of Louisiana,
with a capacity of 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. Another
project in the Gulf, under design by Tidelands Oil and Gas Corporation,
will be located off the coast of Mexico to supply natural gas to Mexico.
See the press releases from
In terms of on-shore LNG terminals in the Gulf area, Cheniere Energy, Inc.
is now spearheading four LNG projects. Its proposed LNG terminal in
Freeport, Texas, won approval in early January and is now under
construction. In late January, the company applied to build a second LNG
terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, called "Creole Trail"; the company
has already earned approval to build the "Sabine Pass" LNG terminal there,
and plans to start construction in late March. The company has also applied
to build an LNG terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas. See the Cheniere Energy
press releases from
Other plans for North American LNG terminals include a ChevronTexaco
proposal for a terminal eight miles off the coast of Baja California,
Mexico, which earned approval in early January; a planned expansion of the
Dominion Cove Point LNG terminal in Maryland; and a proposed LNG terminal
off the coast of Massachusetts. Tractebel LNG North American LLC is
proposing to build the Massachusetts LNG terminal about 10 miles south of
Gloucester. See the
press release, the
Cove Point Web site, and the Tractebel press release
This newsletter is funded by DOE's <http://www.eere.energy.gov/
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the
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