EERE Network News
March 03, 2004
News and Events
Arizona will get its first commercial wind power plant this year, as APS and Western Wind Energy Corporation are teaming up to build a 15-megawatt wind energy facility near the state's east-central border. The project will help APS meet the state's Environmental Portfolio Standard.
The largest utility in Kansas wants to buy up to 200 megawatts of electricity from new power plants that draw on wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, or hydroelectric energy sources. The utility, Westar Energy, prefers to buy from facilities at least 50 megawatts in capacity.
A number of photovoltaic manufacturers have achieved new records in conversion efficiency: SunPower has manufactured a crystalline silicon solar cell with 21.5 percent efficiency, while Global Solar has manufactured a thin-film module with a 10.7 percent efficiency, a goal Konarka also hopes to achieve.
Honda Motor Company has passed a hurdle with its new fuel cell stack, which successfully started after the vehicle was left out overnight in below-freezing conditions. Meanwhile, the U.S. military is aiming to try out fuel cells in a locomotive, a naval warship, and (on a smaller scale) a Segway tranporter.
New York City has completed the installation of eight 200-kilowatt fuel cells at four wastewater treatment plants, converting biogas into power. Meanwhile, Penn State aims to simplify the process using microbial fuel cells, and five Wisconsin farms plan to use manure to produce power.
Scotland's Ocean Power Delivery Limited is preparing for sea trials of its newly constructed 750-kilowatt wave energy converter, while the United Kingdom contemplates an offshore power link for wave power devices. Denmark's Wave Dragon is also prepared for full power production.
Though its focus is on low-income housing, HUD also aims to increase the energy efficiency of housing for low-income familiies. The HUD Energy Web site currently includes information about two combined heat and power installations in Connecticut and New Jersey.
In 2002, slightly less than 500,000 U.S. vehicles were fueled with something other than gasoline or diesel fuel, and the country replaced the equivalent to nearly 379 million gallons of gasoline with alternative fuels. This year, those numbers should increase to 547,000 vehicles and 447 million gallons.