2666EERE Network News -- 08/25/04
- Aug 26, 2004
A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
<http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at:
August 25, 2004
News and Events
* California Plans to Install Solar Power on One Million Homes
* PowerLight Continues to Install Large Solar Power Systems
* Wave Energy Device Provides Power to U.K. Grid
* GM Provides Hybrid Vehicles to the Republican National Convention
* Northwest Alliance Devotes $14 Million to Energy Efficiency
* Building Technologies Program Constructs a New Web Site
* EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Use Up 3 Percent in 2003
News and Events
California Plans to Install Solar Power on One Million Homes
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a plan last week to
install solar power systems on one million homes by 2017. The Million Homes
Plan initially starts with the state's current incentives for solar power,
but beginning in 2008, home builders will offer solar power as an option in
any subdivision that has 25 houses or more. Customers who install solar
power systems will pay a time-of-use rate, which can result in added
savings, and will also be able to sell excess power back to the utility at
the retail rate, a process known as net metering. See the governor's
Solar power is already proving popular in San Diego County, where 1,500
customers have connected renewable energy systems to the power grid.
According to San Diego Electric and Gas (SDG&E), only 11 customers applied
for net-metering connections in 1999, but by 2003, that number grew to 535.
More than 450 net metering applications have been filed so far this year.
If the concept of a million solar homes sounds familiar, you're probably
thinking of the DOE-led Million Solar Roofs Initiative. Announced in June
1997, that initiative aims to install either solar power or solar thermal
systems on one million U.S. roofs by 2010. As of last year, the initiative
had yielded at least 200 megawatts of solar energy installations, including
40 megawatts of solar power, with 822 partners throughout the country
helping to advance the initiative's goals. See the
<http://www.millionsolarroofs.org/>Million Solar Roofs Web site.
PowerLight Continues to Install Large Solar Power Systems
Bird's eye view of the winery shows an extensive red roof, abou
Blue solar panels now cover much of the roof at the St. Francis Winery.
Credit: PowerLight Corp.
PowerLight Corporation continues to benefit from California's favorable
solar power incentives: the company recently installed a 457-kilowatt solar
power system at the St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
near Santa Rosa. PowerLight also upgraded the lighting in the winemaking
and refrigerated barrel storage areas to reduce the winery's electrical
load for lighting by 48 percent. Completed in June, the solar power system
was dedicated on August 10th.
But PowerLight is not limiting its installations to California, or even the
United States: the company is currently helping to construct the world's
largest photovoltaic power installation, a 10-megawatt system, in the
German state of Bavaria. The record-breaking system is about one-third
complete. See the PowerLight press releases from
Wave Energy Device Provides Power to U.K. Grid
Ocean Power Delivery, Inc., (OPD) announced Monday that its Pelamis wave
energy converter has been successfully installed at the new European Marine
Energy Center (EMEC), and has been providing power to the U.K. power grid
since the evening of August 15th. The 750-kilowatt device is a full-scale
prototype consisting of a series of floating cylinders, each about 11.5
feet in diameter, stretching out over a length of about 130 yards. The
device is moored perpendicular to oncoming waves, and three hinges along
its length allow the segments to move up and down as waves pass. As each
hinge pivots up and down, it pumps high-pressure oil, which is used to
drive a generator to produce power. See the OPD press release
(<http://www.oceanpd.com/PDFS/OPD%20EMEC%20PR%2023-AUG-2004.pdf>PDF 50 KB)
as well as the company's
<http://www.oceanpd.com/Pelamis/default.html>description of the Pelamis.
<http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.
The Pelamis is the first device installed at the EMEC, located near
Stromness on the northern Scotland island of Orkney. The new facility
officially opened on August 8th, and includes four test berths for wave
energy devices, located about a mile and a quarter from shore. The EMEC was
constructed at a cost of about $9 million (5 million pounds), and plans are
already underway to expand the facility to test tidal energy technologies.
from the Scottish Executive, as well as the <http://www.emec.org.uk/>EMEC
GM Provides Hybrid Vehicles to the Republican National Convention
The 2004 Republican National Convention announced Monday that General
Motors Corporation (GM) will provide a fleet of hybrid-electric buses,
hybrid pickup trucks, and several other highly efficient vehicles to
support the convention. Nearly 50,000 visitors are expected at the
convention, which will be held in New York City from August 30th through
September 2nd. See the
release from the Republican National Convention.
GM previously provided hybrid-electric vehicles at the Democratic National
Convention, held in Boston in late July. See the
the July 14th edition of this newsletter.
GM's hybrid technology will soon help to keep the air clean in a much more
pristine setting: Yosemite National Park in California. GM announced last
week that it will supply the propulsion systems for 18 new 40-foot hybrid
electric buses, which are scheduled to go in service in Yosemite by next
May. Gillig Corporation manufactures the hybrid buses. GM-hybrid-equipped
buses are currently in service in Philadelphia and Seattle. See the
Northwest Alliance Devotes $14 Million to Energy Efficiency
A man attends to a large piece of machinery at a paper producti
The Alliance is committing $11 million to improve energy efficiency in
industrial plants, such as this paper production facility.
Credit: Voith Sulzer Paper Technology
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance allocated $11 million in late July
for an initiative that will encourage energy efficiency in industries
throughout the region. The Alliance will target food processing and pulp
and paper plants in the Northwest, as well as the corporations that own and
operate them. The Alliance will also work with industrial equipment and
service suppliers, encouraging them to market systems optimization services
and higher efficiency equipment to their customers.
In addition to the industrial energy efficiency initiative, the Alliance
will spend $2.2 million on energy efficiency information projects and
$925,000 on an effort to improve the efficiency of computer power-supply
The Alliance is a non-profit corporation supported by electric utilities,
public benefits administrators, state governments, consumer groups and
efficiency industry representatives. The $14-million energy efficiency
initiative is expected to save nearly 130 megawatts of electricity by 2015.
The funds cover the first four years of the six- year initiative. See the
<http://www.nwalliance.org/news/press/pr200408.asp>Alliance press release.
<http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/>Building Technologies Program
Constructs a New Web Site
The Building Technologies Program, one of 11 energy programs in the DOE
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has constructed a
new Web site that provides easy access to the research and regulatory
activities of the program. The Building Technologies Program works to
improve the energy efficiency of our nation's buildings through innovative
new technologies and better building practices. See the new
<http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/>Building Technologies Program Web site.
The new site also reflects the look and feel of the EERE Web site, and is
the last of the 11 programs to convert to the new design. Visit all 11
program Web sites from the <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>EERE home page.
EIA: U.S. Renewable Energy Use Up 3 Percent in 2003
The U.S. consumption of renewable energy increased 3 percent in 2003,
according to preliminary data released last week by DOE's Energy
Information Administration (EIA). The EIA's "Renewable Energy Trends 2003"
found that more than half the increase came from a 4 percent increase in
hydropower production, while a 3 percent increase in biomass use provided
most of the remaining growth. Although U.S. wind energy capacity grew
significantly in 2003, most of the growth was toward the end of the year,
so energy production from wind power only grew by about 3 percent,
providing little contribution to the overall growth in renewable energy
use. According to the EIA, solar energy use stayed about even, as solar
thermal energy consumption declined while solar power production increased.
The EIA data will eventually be incorporated into its "Renewable Energy
Annual 2003," slated for release in November. See the EIA's
Energy Trends 2003."
This newsletter is funded by DOE's <http://www.eere.energy.gov/>Office of
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the
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