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EERE Network News -- 09/01/04

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  • EERE Network News by way of Tom Gray
    [] [] A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 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:

      September 01, 2004

      News and Events

      * Colorado Utility Seeks 500 Megawatts of Renewable Energy
      * After 20 Years, California Solar Project Reaches 3.2 Megawatts
      * Arizona Utilities Expand Solar Energy Incentives
      * Solar Car Sets Record Distance, but Tragedy Mars Related Tour
      * UPS Deploys Three Fuel-Cell-Powered Delivery Trucks
      * California Hydrogen Highway Network Gains Momentum

      Energy Connections

      * EIA Examines the Long-Term Longevity of Petroleum


      News and Events

      Colorado Utility Seeks 500 Megawatts of Renewable Energy

      Xcel Energy announced in mid-August that it intends to add up to 500
      megawatts of renewable energy to its energy supply in Colorado. The utility
      earned approval for the plan from the Colorado Public Utility Commission on
      August 11th, and issued a request for proposals on August 17th. The utility
      seeks power generated from wind, solar, biomass, or geothermal energy, as
      well as from waste sources or from hydropower plants that are 20 megawatts
      or less in capacity. Xcel Energy will accept bids for power purchase
      contracts extending between 5 and 30 years. Proposals are due on November
      23rd for the renewable power facilities, which must be in operation by the
      end of 2006. See the Xcel Energy
      release, or go directly to the
      for proposals.

      After 20 Years, California Solar Project Reaches 3.2 Megawatts

      California's Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) dedicated new
      solar power arrays last week at the site of one of its first major solar
      installations, located about 25 miles southeast of Sacramento, near the
      now-closed Rancho Seco nuclear power plant. The new arrays increase the
      solar power capacity at the site to 3.2 megawatts. The site's first solar
      project­a one-megawatt system called PV1­was installed 20 years ago, and
      those solar arrays are still operating at about 80 percent of their
      original performance.

      Including the solar panels that SMUD has installed on parking structures,
      homes, and other buildings, the utility now has a total installed solar
      power capacity of 8.3 megawatts. In the past year, the utility has drawn on
      renewable energy sources for 9 percent of its electricity supply, and the
      utility has committed to increase that percentage to 20 percent by 2011.
      See the SMUD press release
      (<http://www.smud.org/news/releases/04archive/08_24solar.pdf>PDF 98 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      Arizona Utilities Expand Solar Energy Incentives

      Two Arizona utilities are offering new or expanded incentives for their
      customers to install solar power systems. Following approval by the Arizona
      Corporation Commissioners in early August, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) has
      expanded its solar power incentives to provide a subsidy of up to $3,000
      per kilowatt of rated direct-current capacity for a limited number of solar
      power systems, and $2,000 per kilowatt of rated alternating-current
      capacity. TEP will not provide maintenance for systems earning the higher
      subsidy. According to TEP, solar power systems could also qualify for up to
      $1,000 in state tax credits. UniSource Energy Services (UES), TEP's sister
      company, is offering the same incentives. UES has also started a voluntary
      program for customers to add $2 to their monthly electric bill to support
      solar power projects in the UES service territory. See the press releases
      <http://ir.ccbn.com/ir.zhtml?t=UNS&s=410&item_id=605143>UES and the

      Solar Car Sets Record Distance, but Tragedy Mars Related Tour



      Three young men install a small lid over the helmeted head of t

      Members of the Midnight Sun team install the car's canopy as driver Silvia
      Pascual prepares to depart.
      Credit: Midnight Sun Solar Car Team, University of Waterloo

      An intrepid team of solar car enthusiasts from Canada's University of
      Waterloo has set a world record for the longest journey by a solar-powered
      car. Called the Midnight Sun North American tour, the trip started from the
      campus in Waterloo, Ontario, crossed Canada to Vancouver, then headed down
      through Seattle and down the length of California. On August 26th, the team
      crossed the border into Arizona, surpassing the world-record distance of
      7,043.5 kilometers (4,376.6 miles) set by Queen's University in July 2000.
      The team is now setting its sights on an unofficial record of 13,054
      kilometers (8,111 miles) set in Australia. See the
      <http://newsrelease.uwaterloo.ca/news.php?id=4136>University of Waterloo
      press release.

      As of Monday, the team had left Terrell, Texas, heading for Little Rock,
      Arkansas, and had traveled more than 10,000 kilometers (6,214 miles).
      Although the team originally planned to travel a total of 19,336
      kilometers, or just over 12,000 miles, they have decided to bypass the
      Southeast, since Hurricane Frances is expected to bring unfavorable weather
      into the region by this weekend. See the
      "<http://www.midsun.uwaterloo.ca/tour/tour_news/>Tour News" section of the
      <http://www.midsun.uwaterloo.ca/tour/>Midnight Sun North American tour Web
      site, and check on the
      of Frances from the National Hurricane Center.

      Sadly, another Canadian solar car tour ended in tragedy on August 12th. The
      Canadian Solar Tour featured solar cars from six universities in Ontario
      and Quebec and was meant to travel from Windsor, Ontario, to Quebec City,
      Quebec. Near Waterloo, Andrew Frow, a University of Toronto student, was
      involved in a two-car crash and was killed. The tour was cancelled, and a
      memorial service was held on August 19th in honor of the 21-year-old
      engineering student. A memorial scholarship has also been established in
      Andrew Frow's name. The accident remains under investigation. See the
      <http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin6/040812-349.asp>August 12th and
      <http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bin6/040823-375.asp>August 23rd announcements
      from the University of Toronto.

      UPS Deploys Three Fuel-Cell-Powered Delivery Trucks



      A brown UPS van emblazoned with H2 on its doors sits parked in

      UPS is using three fuel-cell-powered Dodge Sprinters as delivery vehicles.
      Credit: UPS

      UPS announced last week that it will place three fuel-cell-powered delivery
      trucks in service in California and Michigan. DaimlerChrysler is providing
      the vehicles, which are a fuel-cell version of the Dodge Sprinter delivery
      truck. The new vehicles have a range of about 155 miles and accelerate as
      well as current UPS vehicles. And thanks to housing the fuel-cell system in
      the floor, the vehicles also boast a 10 percent increase in cargo capacity
      compared to the diesel-powered version of the Sprinter. The UPS
      announcement was made in Los Angeles, where the first vehicle was deployed;
      the other two vehicles will be placed into service in Sacramento,
      California, and Ann Arbor, Michigan. See the
      press release.

      The new delivery vehicles are a step up in size for UPS, which has been
      using a DaimlerChrysler "F-Cell" vehicle on a daily express-delivery route
      in Ann Arbor, Michigan, since February. See the
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/news/news_detail.cfm/news_id=6943>story from
      the June 23rd edition of this newsletter.

      California Hydrogen Highway Network Gains Momentum

      California's Hydrogen Highway Network is moving ahead with the opening of a
      new hydrogen fueling station in southern California and plans for three
      more fueling stations underway. In mid-August, the South Coast Air Quality
      Management District (AQMD) opened one of southern California's first
      hydrogen fueling stations at its headquarters in Diamond Bar, east of Los
      Angeles. The publicly available station, built by Stuart Energy, is among
      the first of 13 hydrogen fueling stations slated for construction in four
      southern California counties. To help implement that plan, Air Products
      announced in mid-August that it will build three fueling stations for AQMD,
      collaborating with Proton Energy Systems, Inc. on two of the stations. The
      new fueling stations will be located in Burbank, Riverside, and Santa Ana,
      and should be completed in 2005. See the press releases from
      <http://www.aqmd.gov/news1/2004/HydrogenStationGrandOpeningPR.html>AQMD and

      According to Texaco Ovonic Hydrogen Storage Systems LLC (TOHS), the AQMD is
      also looking ahead to the vehicles that will fuel up at those stations. By
      next spring, the AQMD will add five hybrid sedans with hydrogen fuel tanks
      using TOHS' solid hydrogen storage system, which works by absorbing
      hydrogen in a metal powder. The California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) is
      also looking ahead, and released a study in mid-August on the safety of
      parking hydrogen vehicles in garages. The study found that even
      non-ventilated garages can safely house hydrogen vehicles, so long as the
      vehicles are equipped with hydrogen leak detectors and automated hydrogen
      shut-off valves. See the press releases from
      <http://www.txohydrogen.com/news/20040816.htm>TOHS and

      The California Hydrogen Highway Network initiative, established in April by
      executive order of Governor Schwarzenegger, aims to install a network of
      150 to 200 hydrogen fueling stations throughout California by 2010. See the
      Hydrogen Highway Network Web site.


      Energy Connections

      EIA Examines the Long-Term Longevity of Petroleum

      In the wake of recent high oil prices, DOE's Energy Information
      Administration (EIA) has re-released a July 2000 study that examined the
      long-term prospects for world petroleum supplies. As noted in that study,
      the critical event in world oil production will be when it hits its peak,
      since any decline in oil production would leave some oil demand
      unsatisfied, and would likely lead to significant price increases. Drawing
      on oil resource estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey (which the
      authors believe to be conservative), the study finds a wide range of
      potential dates for the peak in oil production, ranging from 2021 to 2112,
      although either extreme is unlikely. Using a demand growth of 2 percent per
      year (the EIA currently projects a growth of
      <http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/highlights.html>1.9 percent per year
      through 2025), and using the mean value for the amount of oil reserves, the
      study predicts petroleum production will hit its peak in 2037.

      The authors point out, however, that the study examines only conventional
      crude oil resources, and does not consider unconventional sources such as
      tar sands and very heavy oils. The authors also note that a greater use of
      gasoline-saving technologies, such as hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, could
      significantly extend the worldwide production of crude oil. See the EIA
      World Oil Supply Scenarios."

      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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