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EERE Network News -- 12/01/04

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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 , Dec 1 6:01 AM
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      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:

      December 01, 2004

      News and Events

      * Dow and GM to Build One-Megawatt Fuel Cell Installation
      * Universities and Companies Aim to Convert Biomass to Energy
      * Kansas Governor Halts Wind Power in Tallgrass Prairies
      * West Coast States Strengthen Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts
      * FedEx Uses Hybrid Trucks for Holiday Charity Deliveries
      * Car-Sharing Company Plans Nationwide Expansion

      Site News

      * State Technologies Advancement Collaborative Launches New Site

      Energy Connections

      * New Technology Uses Nuclear Power to Produce Hydrogen


      News and Events

      Dow and GM to Build One-Megawatt Fuel Cell Installation

      Dow Chemical Company and the General Motors Corporation launched the second
      phase of their joint fuel cell demonstration project on Monday. The
      companies will now build a one-megawatt fuel cell pilot plant and integrate
      it into Dow's Texas Operations facility in Freeport, Texas. The system will
      be fueled with hydrogen that is produced as a byproduct at the chemical
      plant, and will feed power into the plant's power distribution grid.
      According to GM, the new facility will provide valuable experience in
      "learning to work with real-world hydrogen that has some impurities in it,
      and not the pure hydrogen you get in a lab setting." See the Dow
      <http://www.dow.com/dow_news/corporate/2004/20041129b.htm>press release and
      <http://www.dow.com/commitments/studies/fuelcell/index.htm>Web site.

      Photo of a large metal box containing the fuel cell system, wit

      The new 250-kilowatt fuel cell system in Westerville, Ohio.
      Credit: FuelCell Energy, Inc.

      Another one-megawatt fuel cell installation is in the works for California:
      FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced in late October that it will team with
      Chevron Energy Solutions to provide a fuel cell system to the Santa Rita
      Jail in Alameda County. That jail already features a 1.18-megawatt solar
      power system. See the
      <http://ir.ccbn.com/ir.zhtml?t=FCEL&s=412&item_id=635083>FuelCell Energy
      press release.

      FuelCell Energy also worked with Caterpillar Inc. to install a 250-kilowatt
      fuel cell system at an electrical substation in Westerville, Ohio. The
      companies brought the fuel-cell power plant online in mid-November, fueling
      it with hydrogen produced from natural gas. Ohio Governor Bob Taft hailed
      the achievement and used the occasion to announce nearly $3.5 million in
      grants to five Ohio companies involved in fuel cell development. See the
      press releases from
      <http://ir.ccbn.com/ir.zhtml?t=FCEL&s=412&item_id=644578>FuelCell Energy
      and the <http://www.odod.state.oh.us/newsroom/releases/1108.asp>Ohio
      Department of Development.

      Universities and Companies Aim to Convert Biomass to Energy

      Universities and companies throughout the United States have been pursuing
      new ways to convert biomass­plant-derived materials­into energy.
      Researchers at the University of North Dakota's Energy &

      Environmental Research Center (EERC) have developed a biomass gasifier that
      successfully turns wood chips into a gas that fuels a diesel engine. At the
      University of California at Davis (UC Davis), researchers are preparing to
      fire up an anaerobic digester to convert three tons of organic waste into
      about 600 kilowatt-hours of electricity each day. But you don't need to be
      a researcher to use biomass energy: the National Biodiesel Board (NBB)
      notes that two companies in the Northeast are blending biodiesel with their
      heating oil this year, and the State of Maine is using biodiesel blends to
      heat several government buildings, including the State House. See the press
      releases from <http://www.undeerc.org/newsroom/newsitem.asp?id=200>EERC,
      <http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7168>UC Davis, and
      the NBB
      19 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Acrobat Reader.

      On a larger scale, a project in New Jersey will soon convert waste oil and
      byproducts from a vegetable oil processing plant into heat and electricity.
      Northern Power Systems won a $1.7 million contract from Aarhus United USA
      Inc. to develop a system that will meet 12 percent of the heating
      requirements and 65 percent of the electrical needs at Aarhus United's
      facility in Port Newark, New Jersey. The system will produce power using a
      Stirling engine from STM Power, Inc. See the STM Power press release
      (<http://www.stmpower.com/Press/pr_Aarhus_final.pdf>PDF 16 KB).

      The Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) is carrying out the largest
      project of all: an effort to convert a coal-fired power plant into a power
      plant fueled with wood chips. The Northern Wood Power Project will produce
      50 megawatts of power, with much lower emissions than the coal plant, when
      it is complete in 2006. See the
      press release.

      Kansas Governor Halts Wind Power in Tallgrass Prairies

      Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius called last week on wind energy
      developers to hold off on projects in the Flint Hills area in order to
      preserve the tallgrass prairie ecosystem there. The temporary moratorium is
      meant to allow counties in the area time to develop local guidelines for
      wind energy development and to evaluate the role of wind energy development
      in the Flint Hills. The governor designated a protected area of land called
      the "Heart of the Flint Hills," a 60-mile-wide swath of land just east of
      Wichita, running from the state's southern border, through Manhattan, and
      ending about 25 miles south of the Nebraska border. Governor Sebelius also
      encouraged wind developers to move ahead on projects outside the designated
      area, and is expected to draw on recommendations from the Kansas Energy
      Council to establish a package of wind energy incentives within the state.
      See the governor's
      <http://www.ksgovernor.org/news/docs/news_rel112204.html>press release and
      <http://www.kansasenergy.org/KEC/FHmaps.html>maps of the Heart of the Flint
      Hills from the Kansas Energy Council.

      Among the projects affected by the governor's request is the Munkers Creek
      wind project, a proposed 100- to 200-megawatt wind power project that would
      have been located southeast of Manhattan. The project was being developed
      by JW Prairie Windpower LLC, a subsidiary of juwi international. See the
      <http://www.juwi.de/international/c2.htm>juwi Web site.

      Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has extended the public comment
      period for another controversial wind energy project, the proposed Cape
      Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, to February 24th, 2005. See
      the <http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/news/2004-109.htm>Corps press release.

      West Coast States Strengthen Greenhouse Gas Reduction Efforts

      The governors of the three West Coast states­California, Oregon, and
      Washington­announced in mid-November that they had approved 36 actions to
      reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The actions were jointly developed by the
      three states, and include setting new targets for annual greenhouse gas
      emissions from state-owned fleets of vehicles; collaborating on the
      purchase of hybrid vehicles; establishing a plan for truck stop
      electrification (to avoid unnecessary truck idling) along Interstate 5, on
      the outskirts of major urban areas, and on other major interstate routes;
      setting goals and implementing strategies and incentives to increase green
      power sales by one percent or more per year in each state through 2015;
      adopting energy efficiency standards for up to 14 products not regulated by
      the federal government; and incorporating aggressive energy efficiency
      measures into state building energy codes, with a goal of achieving at
      least 15 percent cumulative energy savings by 2015 in each state. The new
      actions are part of the West Coast Governors' Global Warming Initiative,
      launched by the governors in September 2003. See the
      release on the Oregon Department of Energy Web site.

      FedEx Uses Hybrid Trucks for Holiday Charity Deliveries



      Photo of men unloading presents from a FedEx truck painted with

      The hybrid-electric FedEx trucks helped kicked off a Toys for Tots charity
      drive in Chicago. Credit: FedEx

      The holiday season is undeniably underway, and that means not only personal
      efforts to bring joy to others, but also corporate efforts. FedEx
      Corporation is pitching in this year with an added environmental message:
      two hybrid-electric trucks are traveling around the country, helping local
      charities along the way. The "FedEx Special Delivery" trucks are helping in
      drives to collect toys, food, and clothing that will be distributed by
      local agencies and charitable organizations. See the
      <http://www.caredeliveryvan.com/press_release.cfm>FedEx press release and
      the <http://www.caredeliveryvan.com/>FedEx Special Delivery Web site.

      Car-Sharing Company Plans Nationwide Expansion

      Zipcar, a car-sharing company located in seven states and 21 cities,
      announced plans in mid-November to become the first nationwide car-sharing
      service in the United States. Car-sharing services allow their members to
      use a variety of vehicles at hourly or daily rates. Although the main
      intent is to help people get by without owning a vehicle, car-sharing
      services also encourage greater use of transit services and provide
      alternatives to owning a large fuel-guzzling vehicle that may rarely be
      used for hauling large items. Zipcar offers 20 different makes and models,
      including the Toyota Prius. See the
      <http://www.zipcar.com/press/releases/press-18>Zipcar press release.

      Another car-sharing service that has seen rapid expansion recently is
      Flexcar. In the past year, the company has offered new car-sharing services
      in Denver and Vancouver while expanding its services in Los Angeles,
      Seattle, and the Washington, D.C., area. See the
      <http://www.flexcar.com/company/releases.asp>Flexcar press releases.

      A number of communities are also running their own car-sharing services. To
      learn more about car sharing, and to find services in your area, see the
      <http://www.carsharing.net/>Car Sharing Network.


      Site News

      <http://www.stacenergy.org>State Technologies Advancement Collaborative
      Launches New Site

      The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC), a five-year pilot
      program funded by DOE, has launched a new Web site. Formed in late 2002 by
      DOE, the National Association of State Energy Offices (NASEO), and the
      Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions,
      STAC is meant to allow states and territories and the federal government to
      collaborate better on energy research, development, demonstration, and
      deployment projects. Since its inception, STAC has issued two
      solicitations, and expects to announce awards from the second round of
      solicitations sometime this month. The former STAC Web site was part of the
      NASEO Web site; see the new <http://www.stacenergy.org/>STAC Web site.

      Energy Connections

      New Technology Uses Nuclear Power to Produce Hydrogen

      Will nuclear power fuel a future "hydrogen economy"? Researchers at DOE's
      Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) think so,
      as they have demonstrated how nuclear power could be used to efficiently
      produce large quantities of hydrogen. The INEEL researchers have teamed
      with Ceramatec, Inc. to produce hydrogen using high-temperature electrolysis.

      While conventional electrolysis involves running an electrical current
      through water to produce hydrogen and oxygen­typically at conversion
      efficiencies of about 30 percent­high-temperature electrolysis is able to
      achieve substantially higher conversion efficiencies. INEEL researchers
      announced on Monday that they've been able to convert 45 to 50 percent of
      the input energy into hydrogen using their high-temperature electrolysis
      process, which produces 50 liters of hydrogen per hour. Since the process
      requires both electricity and a high-temperature heat source, nuclear
      reactors are ideal for the task. See the
      press release.

      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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