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EERE Network News -- 09/03/03

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  • Tom Gray
    ====================================================================== EERE NETWORK NEWS -- September 3, 2003 A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2003
      EERE NETWORK NEWS -- September 3, 2003
      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE)
      Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

      *News and Events
      California Utility Exceeds 20 Percent Renewable Energy Use
      USDA Awards $21 Million for Efficiency and Renewable Energy
      New York Provides $14.5 Million for Clean Energy Projects
      Cielo to Build 80-Megawatt Wind Plant in New Mexico
      First Solar Adds 240 Kilowatts to Arizona Solar Project
      DOE Project to Use Superconductors to Protect the Power Grid

      *Energy Connections
      U.S. Renewable Energy Use Increases 11 Percent in 2002

      *About this Newsletter

      California Utility Exceeds 20 Percent Renewable Energy Use

      Southern California Edison (SCE) drew on renewable energy resources
      for 23 percent of its power in June and 22 percent of its power in
      May, achieving the state's 20-percent renewable energy requirement
      14 years early. Approximately 150 independent power producers now
      supply the utility with more than 13 billion kilowatt-hours of
      electricity each year. But SCE is not stopping there: the utility also
      released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking new contracts for up to
      20 years of power from renewable energy sources. See the press release
      from SCE's parent company, Edison International, at:

      Responses to SCE's RFP are due on September 23rd. SCE aims to obtain
      final approval for any power agreements by the end of April, 2004.
      See the SCE RFP at: <www.sce.com/renewablerfo>.

      According to the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy
      (DSIRE), 14 states now have rules requiring that a certain percentage
      the state's electricity come from renewable energy sources -- an
      approach called a renewable portfolio standard. California enacted its
      law in September 2002, and the law became effective at the start of
      this year. See the DSIRE Web site at: <http://www.dsireusa.org/>.

      The news from SCE appears to verify a California Energy Commission
      (CEC) statement that the state will have no problem meeting its
      20-percent standard by 2017. According to the CEC, the 20-percent
      standard could be largely achieved by projects that have already been
      proposed. As one example, in early August the CEC staff released the
      first part of its final staff assessment for a new 185-megawatt
      geothermal power plant. So far, the CEC staff's assessment of the
      project, called Salton Sea Unit 6, is favorable. If approved and
      built, the Salton Sea plant will be the largest geothermal power plant
      in the United States. See the July 10th and August 5th press releases
      from the CEC at: <http://www.energy.ca.gov/releases/index.html>.

      USDA Awards $21 Million for Efficiency and Renewable Energy

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded $21,207,233 in
      grants last week for rural renewable energy systems and energy
      efficiency improvements. The grants will go to 113 projects in
      24 states. Among the projects that won grants, 35 wind power projects
      won a total of $7.4 million, 30 projects to generate methane via
      anaerobic digestion won a total of $7 million, and 6 solar energy
      projects won a total of $1.1 million. The grants were authorized under
      Title IX of the 2002 Farm Bill, which addresses rural energy
      production. See the USDA press release and the full list of recipients
      at: <http://www.usda.gov/news/releases/2003/08/0295.htm> and

      For more information on the 2002 Farm Bill, see the USDA Web site at:

      New York Provides $14.5 Million for Clean Energy Projects

      New York Governor George E. Pataki announced in late July the award of
      $14.5 million to support 36 distributed generation and combined heat
      and power (CHP) projects. The New York State Energy Research and
      Development Authority (NYSERDA) selected the projects, which total
      $90.5 million in investments when all funding sources are included.
      The projects include a 200-kilowatt natural gas-powered fuel cell at
      the Old Lion House in the Bronx Zoo, a new CHP system at New York
      University, and five Plug Power fuel cell installations. Among the
      other technologies included in the awards are a flywheel energy
      storage system, biomass- and biogas-fueled engines, microturbines, a
      hydropower system, a tidal power system, and a variety of fuel cell
      technologies. See the governor's press release at:

      In early August, NYSERDA added to its support for CHP by providing
      $352,000 to the historic Chautauqua Institution. The first phase of
      the project involves installing one microturbine at the institution
      and using its exhaust heat to heat and cool several campus buildings.
      In addition, the institution has elected to become an Energy Target
      Zone, which will allow it to receive enhanced energy-efficiency
      services and training from NYSERDA for its campus, private residences,
      and local community. See the NYSERDA press release at:

      The Chautauqua Institution is a not-for-profit, 783-acre educational
      and arts center beside Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State.
      About 7,500 people live on campus during its nine-week season, during
      which more than 170,000 people attend public events. The Institution
      was founded in 1874 as an educational experiment. See the Chautauqua
      Institution Web site at: <http://www.chautauqua-inst.org/>.

      Cielo to Build 80-Megawatt Wind Plant in New Mexico

      Cielo Wind Power announced last week that one of its affiliates,
      Caprock Wind LP, plans to build an 80-megawatt wind energy facility in
      eastern New Mexico. The new wind plant, called the Caprock Wind Ranch,
      will be located about 20 miles southeast of Tucumcari. Xcel Energy
      will buy all the power from the plant and sell it to its customers in
      parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The plant should
      start operating in August 2004, producing enough power to meet the
      annual needs of 26,600 homes in the four-state area. See the Cielo
      Wind Power press release at:

      A recent surge in wind project announcements has prompted the American
      Wind Energy Association (AWEA) to increase its forecast for 2003. AWEA
      now expects between 1,400 and 1,600 megawatts of new wind power
      capacity to be installed in 2003, increasing the total U.S. wind power
      capacity to more than 6,000 megawatts. According to AWEA, the
      projected growth beyond this year (including the Caprock Wind Ranch)
      depends heavily on an extension of the wind production tax credit,
      which is due to expire at year's end. See the AWEA press release at:

      First Solar Adds 240 Kilowatts to Arizona Solar Project

      First Solar, LLC announced in late August that it has supplied another
      240 kilowatts to Tucson Electric Power's Springerville Generating
      Station in eastern Arizona. The Springerville solar power installation
      now totals 3.5 megawatts in direct-current generating capacity,
      including more than 1 megawatt in thin-film solar modules. First Solar
      has provided about half of the thin-film module capacity at the site.
      See the August 27th press release from First Solar at:

      PowerLight Corporation has also been busy in recent months, installing
      a 120-kilowatt solar power system at the Domaine Carneros winery in
      Napa, California, as well as a 53-kilowatt system on a municipal
      building in San Diego, California, and a 22-kilowatt system on a
      public school in Allston, Massachusetts. See the PowerLight press
      releases at:

      DOE Project to Use Superconductors to Protect the Power Grid

      Intermagnetics General Corporation (IGC) announced on August 14th that
      DOE will fund half the cost of a $12 million project to develop a
      fault-current limiter for power transmission systems. The device will
      draw on high-temperature superconductor (HTS) technology developed by
      SuperPower, Inc. (an IGC subsidiary) to help protect high-voltage
      utility grids from damaging surges in current. The company hopes to
      install a prototype 138-kilovolt system at a utility transmission
      substation by 2006. SuperPower is also leading another DOE project to
      install an HTS cable in an electrical distribution system in Albany,
      New York. See the IGC press release at:

      Meanwhile, General Electric (GE) is putting HTS technology to work at
      the generation end of the power supply by developing an HTS generator.
      GE tested a 1.8-megavolt-ampere (MVA) proof-of-concept generator that
      uses a coil of HTS cables for its rotor, the part of the generator
      that spins inside a fixed magnetic field in order to generate
      electricity. The 1.8-MVA generator is one step on the way to producing
      a utility-scale 100-MVA generator by 2005. See the July 23rd press
      release from GE at:

      HTS cables can carry high currents with low energy losses. When
      applied to electrical machinery, HTS technology can increase the
      machinery's energy efficiency and reduce the size and weight of the
      equipment. For more information, see the project fact sheets on the
      DOE Superconductivity for Electric Systems Web site at:

      U.S. Renewable Energy Use Increases 11 Percent in 2002

      The use of renewable energy increased 11 percent in 2002, according to
      preliminary data from DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
      Most of the increase is due to increased hydropower production
      following a drought-induced slump in 2001. However, nearly all forms
      of renewable energy registered increases in their use, including a
      56 percent increase in wind power, a 17 percent increase in alcohol
      fuels, and a 15 percent increase in the use of municipal solid waste
      and landfill gas (which the EIA combined together). The largest
      percentage drop was in residential use of biomass (in other words,
      firewood), which fell by 14 percent. To see the report, click on
      "Renewables jumped 11 percent in 2002" on the EIA Renewables Web page
      at: <http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelrenewable.html>.

      Although the EIA figures show the use of solar energy declining
      slightly (by about 3 percent), new figures from the International
      Energy Agency (IEA) seem to dispute that finding. According to the
      IEA, the total solar power capacity installed in the United States
      increased by 44.4 megawatts in 2002, an increase of nearly 21 percent.
      The total U.S. solar power capacity of 212.2 megawatts places the
      United States in third place worldwide, behind Germany, with
      277.3 megawatts, and Japan, with nearly 637 megawatts. Japan added
      184 megawatts of solar power capacity in 2002, more than all other
      countries combined. The IEA report also shows an interesting trend:
      although nearly all solar power capacity was off-grid a decade ago,
      customer-located grid-connected systems now dominate. See the "Total
      Photovoltaic Power Installed" section of the IEA report, "Trends in
      Photovoltaic Applications" at:

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