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EERE Network News -- 05/04/05

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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 , May 4, 2005
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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:

      May 04, 2005

      News and Events

      * Oregon and California Students Win Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge
      * State Collaborative Offers $4.95 Million for Efficiency, Distributed
      * Long Island Power, FPL Energy Apply to Build an Offshore Wind Plant
      * California Continues to Lead the Way with Large Solar Projects
      * Arizona Passes, Colorado Vetoes Appliance Efficiency Standards
      * Portland Aims for Gold with Revised Green Building Policy

      Energy Connections

      * DOE: Liquefied Natural Gas Imports Increased 29 Percent in 2004

      News and Events

      Oregon and California Students Win Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge

      High school students from Portland, Oregon, and San Jose, California, took
      top honors on Saturday at the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge, part
      of DOE's National Science Bowl competition. The team from the Woodrow
      Wilson High School of Portland took first place in the Grand Prix speed
      race, and the team from the Harker School of San Jose won the "King of the
      Hill" award by conquering a 20-degree incline with their hydrogen-powered
      model car. The two first-place teams will each receive $1,750 for their
      schools' science departments. The Model Car Challenge is one of several
      hands-on activities in which the 63 National Science Bowl teams took part
      on Saturday. Eighteen teams, selected by lottery, used model car kit
      components provided by General Motors Corporation to design and build
      hydrogen-powered race cars measuring at most one foot wide by two feet
      long. See the
      press release.

      While West Coast schools dominated the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car
      Challenge, on Monday an East Coast school won the main event: the 2005
      National Science Bowl championship. The team from the Thomas Jefferson High
      School for Science & Technology, located in Alexandria, Virginia, earned
      first place for the fourth consecutive year. Clinching the top spot by
      answering a question about mathematician Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness
      Theorem, the team earned its fourth trophy as well as a research trip to
      Alaska, three computer-based laboratories, and $1,000 for its school's
      science department. See the
      press release.

      DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage high school
      students to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in these
      fields. The 63 National Science Bowl teams had to first win regional
      competitions before congregating in Washington, D.C., for this weekend's
      competition. See the <http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/nsb/>National
      Science Bowl Web site.

      State Collaborative Offers $4.95 Million for Efficiency, Distributed Energy

      The State Technologies Advancement Collaborative (STAC) announced Monday a
      $4.95-million solicitation for distributed energy and energy efficiency
      projects. The solicitation is open to state entities for multi-state
      projects involving distributed energy and energy efficiency in industry,
      transportation, and buildings, including projects relating to the Rebuild
      America Program (DOE recently transferred the management of that program to
      STAC). Formed in November 2002, STAC is a five-year pilot project
      comprising DOE, the National Association of State Energy Officials, and the
      Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions.
      See the STAC press release
      (<http://www.stacenergy.org/news/2005_05_02.pdf>PDF 108 KB). The full
      solicitation is linked to from the <http://www.stacenergy.org/>STAC home
      page. <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Acrobat Reader.

      Long Island Power, FPL Energy Apply to Build an Offshore Wind Plant


      Photo of a string of large offshore wind turbines.

      The proposed Long Island facility will use GE Energy's 3.6-megawatt wind
      turbine, shown here installed off the coast of Ireland.
      Credit: GE Energy ©2004, General Electric Company

      The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and FPL Energy are moving ahead with
      their plans to build a 140-megawatt wind power facility off the south shore
      of Long Island. The two companies announced last week that they were
      jointly filing an application with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,
      thereby starting an extensive state and federal review of the project. The
      project will consist of 40 3.6-megawatt wind turbines clustered in an
      eight-square-mile area about 4.1 miles south of Cedar Beach, with a 10-mile
      transmission cable to connect the facility to an existing substation in
      West Amityville. See the
      <http://www.lipower.org/newscenter/pr/2005/apr26.wind.html>LIPA press release.

      Meanwhile, the developers of two other North American offshore wind
      projects are planning to work together to cut costs. Cape Wind Associates,
      LLC plans to build a 420-megawatt wind project on Horseshoe Shoal, five
      miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Nai Kun Wind
      Development Inc. plans to build a 700-megawatt wind project off the north
      coast of British Columbia. Under a collaboration agreement announced
      Monday, the companies will jointly procure the foundations, towers,
      turbines, blades, and power cables for both projects. The companies also
      plan to pool their skills and experience on other aspects of the projects,
      such as maintenance regimes, marine service vessels and best practices. See
      Kun press release.

      While offshore wind projects remain in the planning stages, wind projects
      on land continue to charge ahead. Last week, the American Wind Energy
      Association (AWEA) increased its forecast for new wind power capacity this
      year. AWEA now expects up to 2,500 megawatts of new U.S. wind power
      capacity this year, a record growth that could exceed the previous record
      by 50 percent. See the <http://www.awea.org/news/news050426qmk.html>AWEA
      press release.

      California Continues to Lead the Way with Large Solar Projects


      Photo of a large array of solar panels reflecting the setting s

      Shell Solar's 980-kilowatt solar power installation at the Semitropic Water
      Storage District in Wasco, California.
      Credit: Shell Solar

      An increasing number of solar energy projects are now being installed
      across the United States, but California is still king when it comes to
      really large solar power installations. Shell Solar provides the best
      proof: last week alone, the company powered up a 350-kilowatt solar power
      system at the Desert Water Agency in Palm Springs, then dedicated a
      980-kilowatt system at the Semitropic Water Storage District in Wasco,
      about 25 miles northwest of Bakersfield. The Palm Springs system was
      assembled into large panels at the Shell Solar plant, allowing for easier
      installation at the site. The Semitropic system, which covers an area equal
      to about four football fields, employs a unique single-axis tracking system
      to maximize its power production. See the Shell Solar press releases from
      26th and

      California universities and local governments are also leaders in solar
      power. Cal State Northridge recently dedicated a 467-kilowatt system that
      also provides shade in one of its parking lots. The campus already has a
      225-kilowatt solar power system, making it a leader among California
      universities. And Alameda County marked Earth Day by dedicating 1.1
      megawatts of new solar arrays, located at seven sites across the county.
      The county now has a total of 2.3 megawatts of solar power projects, all of
      which were installed by PowerLight Corporation. See the press releases from
      State Northridge and

      All of the new solar power systems earned hefty checks from local
      utilities, thanks to the state's Self-Generation Incentive Program, which
      continues to drive new solar power investments in the state. But while
      those utilities encourage their customers to invest in solar power, they
      are also investing directly in solar power. For instance, the San Francisco
      Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) approved last week the installation of
      a 300-kilowatt solar power system on the roof of the city's Northpoint
      Wastewater Treatment Plant, noting that the system would pay for itself
      over the life of the project. In addition, San Diego Gas &

      Electric (SDG&E) announced plans to install as much as 3 megawatts of solar
      power in its service area. See the press releases from

      Arizona Passes, Colorado Vetoes Appliance Efficiency Standards

      Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano signed a bill last week that sets minimum
      energy efficiency standards for 12 products not covered by current federal
      standards. Starting in 2008, the law will apply to the following products
      sold in Arizona: torchiere light fixtures, exit signs, commercial
      refrigerators and freezers, commercial clothes washers, large commercial
      air conditioning equipment, icemakers, spray nozzles used in commercial
      kitchens, low-voltage distribution transformers, metal-halide lamp
      fixtures, power supplies for electronic devices, unit heaters, and traffic
      signals. According to the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), the
      standards will save Arizona consumers and business a total of $650 million
      on energy bills by 2030. California, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey
      have already adopted efficiency standards on these products. See the
      of House Bill 2390 and the SWEEP press release
      (<http://www.swenergy.org/media/pr2005_0426.pdf>PDF 136 KB).
      <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download Acrobat Reader.

      Colorado Governor Bill Owens vetoed a similar bill last week. House Bill
      1162 aimed to set minimum energy efficiency standards on 14 products not
      currently covered by federal energy efficiency standards. According to the
      governor's veto message, Governor Owens prefers to let market forces
      generate energy efficiency, with the concern that standards could increase
      costs. The governor is also opposed to state-by-state legislation, arguing
      that the federal government should set uniform standards. See the
      <http://www.colorado.gov/governor/press/april05/hb1162.html>governor's veto

      Meanwhile, New York Governor George E. Pataki has proposed similar
      legislation in his state. The governor's proposed legislation would set
      energy efficiency standards for 14 products not currently covered by
      federal efficiency standards. Governor Pataki estimates that the
      legislation could save New York consumers $284 million annually when fully
      implemented. See the
      press release.

      Portland Aims for Gold with Revised Green Building Policy

      Portland, Oregon, has updated its four-year-old Green Building Policy and
      now requires all municipal buildings to obtain LEED Gold certification from
      the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Gold certification is the
      second-highest rating under the USGBC LEED (Leadership in Energy and
      Environmental Design) certification system. Portland and Scottsdale,
      Arizona, are now the only two U.S. cities that require municipal buildings
      to acquire LEED Gold certification. The new policy also requires new
      city-funded private sector buildings and major retrofits of city-owned
      buildings to achieve LEED Silver certification, and provides for city
      support of new private building projects to help them achieve LEED Silver
      certification. See the press release from the City of Portland Office of
      Sustainable Development
      89 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Acrobat Reader.

      Green building continues to gain momentum in the United States. In
      Tennessee, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has built a joint
      institute building with the University of Tennessee that is expected to
      receive LEED certification. The joint institute uses 25 percent less energy
      than comparable buildings. In Maryland, the Maryland Energy Administration
      has set its own green building standards, and has recently awarded tax
      credits to both a 65-unit residential building and an office building. Both
      buildings will be 35 percent more efficient than comparable buildings, and
      the office building will also generate 200 kilowatts of power from a wind
      turbine and building-integrated solar power panels. See the
      press release and the Maryland Energy Administration press releases for the
      residential building (<http://www.energy.state.md.us/press/050421.pdf>PDF
      61 KB) and the office building
      (<http://www.energy.state.md.us/press/2005_04_29.pdf>PDF 65 KB).

      Building designers that aim to save energy rely heavily on building energy
      simulation software such as DOE's EnergyPlus program. Those designers now
      have more computing power to draw on, as the latest version of EnergyPlus
      is now available for Windows and Linux operating systems. The new version
      includes more weather files, the ability to model more complex ventilation
      schemes, and many other new features. See the
      <http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/>EnergyPlus Web page and
      the <http://www.eere.energy.gov/buildings/energyplus/features.html>full
      list of new features on DOE's Building Technologies Program Web site.

      Energy Connections

      DOE: Liquefied Natural Gas Imports Increased 29 Percent in 2004

      Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) increased 28.7 percent in 2004,
      according to a report issued in mid-April by the Natural Gas Regulatory
      Program, part of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy. DOE's fourth quarter
      report on natural gas imports and exports says that LNG imports equaled
      about 3 percent of U.S. natural gas consumption in 2004, with 71 percent of
      the imports coming from Trinidad. Maryland's Cove Point receiving terminal,
      which reopened in late August 2003, became the most active LNG receiving
      terminal in 2004. See the 2004 fourth quarter report
      413 KB). <http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/alternate.html>Download
      Acrobat Reader.

      According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), there are now
      five operating LNG terminals in the United States, the latest consisting of
      a submerged buoy in the Gulf of Mexico that is connected to an undersea
      natural gas pipeline. As of Monday, FERC has approved an additional eight
      U.S. LNG terminals, and the U.S. Coast Guard has approved two. Another 23
      terminals have been proposed to either FERC or the Coast Guard, and 10
      potential sites have been identified by developers. Meanwhile, seven new
      terminals have been proposed for Canada, and five new terminals have been
      proposed for Mexico. See the FERC list and map of "Existing, Proposed and
      Potential North American LNG Terminals"
      (<http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/gen-info/horizon-lng.pdf>PDF 160 KB).

      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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