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EERE Network News -- 04/14/04

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  • by way of Tom Gray
    6c35d3.jpg 6c3691.jpg A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2004

      A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).

      April 14, 2004

      News and Events

      Site News

      • DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Upgrades Its Web Site

      Energy Connections

      • EIA: Gasoline Prices to Remain High All Summer

      News and Events

      Assistant Secretary Garman Dedicates Fuel Cell at Florida School

      Assistant Secretary of Energy David Garman dedicated the nation's first joint hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen curriculum project last week at a high school in North Port, Florida. The dedication marks the culmination of a cooperative effort between DOE and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

      North Point High School's 5-kilowatt fuel cell installed through a partnership between the Florida DEP, Florida Power and Light, and Sarasota County gives students the opportunity to see this new technology in operation. The accompanying hydrogen energy curriculum, designed by DOE, provides a hands-on educational experience for students interested in energy science. North Port High School is one of ten pilot schools implementing the hydrogen energy curriculum.
      See the DOE press release.

      State Energy Collaboration Funds Hydrogen Learning Centers

      The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) announced in March its award of nearly $447,000 to three projects that will establish hydrogen technology learning centers. STAC anticipates awarding the projects an additional $1.15 million in coming years. The learning centers are intended to educate students, potential hydrogen users, and the public about the envisioned hydrogen economy and the technologies needed to support it. The projects will create learning centers in California, Florida, and New York; establish a learning center to serve Maryland and Virginia; and develop a regional center to serve the Southeast. See the STAC press release (PDF 13 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

      As interest in hydrogen energy technologies increases, the 15th Annual Hydrogen Conference and Hydrogen Expo USA is sure to draw a crowd. The National Hydrogen Association is sponsoring the event in Los Angeles, California, from April 26th through the 30th. See the conference Web site.

      Ford Announces Plans for Third Hybrid Vehicle as Hybrid Escape Debuts

      Ford Motor Company officially debuted its Hybrid Escape sport utility vehicle (SUV) at the New York International Auto Show last week, and announced plans to build a hybrid-electric version of its Mercury Mariner compact SUV in late 2006. The
      2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV is the third hybrid vehicle planned by Ford: The company has previously announced plans to build a hybrid electric midsize sedan. Ford has also created a new company group to develop hybrid electric and fuel cell vehicles. See the Ford press release.
      6c3777.jpg 6c37c7.jpg

      The new Ford Hybrid Escape takes on the streets of Manhattan.
      Credit: Ford Motor Company

      Ford took advantage of the New York City location to demonstrate the range of its new Hybrid Escape, driving it non-stop around Manhattan. The vehicle traveled 576 miles on one tank of gasoline, averaging more than 38 miles per gallon in the dense city driving conditions. With several celebrity drivers taking turns at the wheel, the trip lasted 37 hours, which makes the average speed about 15 miles per hour. See the
      Ford press release.

      The New York International Auto Show opened to the public last Friday and continues through April 18th.

      California County to Add 1.11 Megawatts of Solar Power

      California's Alameda County home to the city of Oakland has committed to installing six new solar power arrays that will total 1.11 megawatts in capacity. PowerLight Corporation announced in late March that the County Board of Supervisors had approved the plan and commissioned PowerLight to install the six solar energy systems. PowerLight will install the systems on six county buildings starting in late spring, and anticipates completing all the projects this year. According to PowerLight, the new systems will boost Alameda County's total solar generating capacity to 2.19 megawatts, allowing the county to draw on solar energy to meet 6 percent of its energy needs. See the PowerLight press release.

      Southern California will gain more solar energy capacity by September of this year, when Kyocera Solar, Inc. intends to complete a 251-kilowatt system in the parking lot of its North American headquarters and manufacturing plant, which are collocated in San Diego. Kyocera also draws on a 3.2-megawatt natural-gas-fired cogeneration facility for its power. See the Kyocera press release.

      PG&E to Launch Clean Energy Business Incubator in California

      California's Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, and as part of the company's settlement agreement, it will establish and fund a non-profit corporation to encourage businesses involved in clean energy technologies. The so-called business "incubator" will be dedicated to supporting research and investment in clean energy technologies, primarily in the PG&E service territory. PG&E will provide $15 million over five years and will work with the California Energy Commission to attract additional funding. See the
      PG&E press release, and for additional information, see page 16 of PG&E Corporation's settlement agreement, which is posted on the company's Web site.

      The concept of clean energy business incubators is not new: In fact, DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) established the National Alliance of Clean Energy Business Incubators in 2000. See the NREL and Alliance Web sites.

      Awards Recognize Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies

      6c382c.jpg 6c3872.jpg

      The ventilation system in MIT's new residence hall earned a top engineering award.
      Credit: MIT

      A number of top technology awards in March included energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies among their ranks of winners. The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), for instance, presented seven "Grand Awards" and 16 "Honor Awards" for engineering excellence at an event that ACEC refers to as the "Academy Awards" of engineering. Although its top award went to a study of the World Trade Center's collapse, one of its Grand Awards went to CH2M HILL for a fish bypass at the Rocky Reach Dam in Bellevue, Washington. The bypass reduces fish injury while eliminating intentional spills of water past the dam, saving enough hydroelectric power to supply 8,000 homes, according to ACEC. In addition, Ove Arup and Partners won an Honor Award for engineering Simmons Hall at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). According to ACEC, the new residence hall is the first major U.S. building to combine a low-volume air conditioning system with the natural ventilation of open windows. The 10-story structure has 3,000 operable windows and will require 40 percent less energy than similar buildings in the Northeast. RMT, Inc. also won an Honor Award for a project that uses landfill gas to supply energy to a high school in Illinois. The project uses Capstone microturbines to generate 360 kilowatts of electricity and uses the waste heat to heat the school, saving more than $100,000 in annual energy costs, according to ACEC. See the ACEC press release (PDF 129 KB), the ACEC Grand Award (PDF 226 KB) and Honor Award (PDF 480 KB) descriptions, and the MIT Web site for Simmons Hall. Download Acrobat Reader.

      Biomass products and building cooling technologies took top honors at World's Best Technologies 2004 (WBT04), a conference sponsored by the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. Agro Management Group, Inc. earned a platinum award for developing of an engine lubricant derived from vegetable oil, which Sterling Bio-Technologies Corporation uses as the base oil for its Sterling Grade engine oil products.
      Ice Energy, LLC earned the gold award for a system that uses off-peak ice energy storage to cut energy use for cooling during peak hours, and Featherfiber Corporation earned the silver award for its technology to use poultry feathers in a variety of composite materials. See the Sterling Bio-Technologies press release, as well as the Ice Energy and WBT04 Web sites.

      Site News

      DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Upgrades Its Web Site

      The Geothermal Technologies Program, one of 11 energy programs in the
      DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has generated a new Web site that provides simple, intuitive access to information about the program. The redesigned Web site conveys the new program organization and structure and includes program review and presentation material from the last five years. Its "Deployment" section includes information about DOE's GeoPowering the West initiative. The Web site has an updated look and feel to reflect the look of the
      EERE Web site, and provides the latest news from the program. See the
      DOE Geothermal Technologies Program Web site.

      Energy Connections

      EIA: Gasoline Prices to Remain High All Summer

      If you're sick of high gasoline prices, DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) has some bad news for you: Gasoline prices are expected to remain high through the summer. High crude oil costs, strong gasoline demand, low gasoline inventories, and more stringent gasoline specifications will work together to create average retail prices of about $1.76 per gallon for regular grade, a record high. And the EIA warns that things could get worse if a major refinery or pipeline is unexpectedly shut down.

      The EIA's latest "Short-Term Energy Outlook" projects a 1.4 percent increase in
      U.S. oil demand in 2004 and a 1.9 percent increase in electricity use. To help meet that rising electrical demand, U.S. coal production is expected to increase
      2.8 percent in 2004 and 2.9 percent in 2005. See the EIA press release, the
      "Short-Term Energy Outlook," and the "Summer 2004 Motor Gasoline Outlook"
      (PDF 258 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

      This newsletter is funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the EERE news page. You can subscribe to the EERE Network News using our simple online form, and you can also update your email address or unsubscribe online.

      If you have questions or comments about this newsletter, please contact the editor, Kevin Eber, at kevin_eber@....
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