EREN Network News
April 19, 2000
News and Events
- Largest Eastern U.S. Wind Plant Being Built in New York
- Seattle to Meet Future Electricity Needs Without
- Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
- Green Power Brings New Solar Installation to California
- PacifiCorp Initiates Green Power Project for Western States
- First Hybrid Fuel-Cell/Microturbine Power Plant to be Tested
- Report Ranks States on Utility Energy Efficiency Programs
Energy Facts and Tips
- Renewable Northwest Project
- EIA Publishes "Primer on Gasoline Prices"
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Largest Eastern U.S. Wind Plant Being Built in New York
Ground was broken last week for the construction of a new
11.5-megawatt wind power plant in Madison, New York,
which will be the largest wind power plant in the eastern
United States. PG&E Corporation is building the facility with
partial funding from the New York State Energy Research
and Development Authority. The plant will produce
approximately 24 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each
year, to be sold to directly to large organizations and to
consumers and smaller organizations through green power
marketing companies. See the PG&E Corporation press release.
Seattle to Meet Future Electricity Needs Without
Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Seattle City Council unanimously adopted a proposal
last week to meet Seattle's future electricity needs with no
net emissions of greenhouse gases. Seattle City Light, the
city's municipal utility, will meet the goal by encouraging
energy efficiency, relying on existing hydropower, and
developing new renewables such as wind, geothermal, solar
and landfill gas. If new fossil fuel use is necessary, the city
will offset the emissions through other measures such as
forest protection. See the Seattle City Council press release.
Seattle adopted the proposal in recognition of Earth Day
2000, which has the theme of "Clean Energy Now!" For
information about the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, coming
up this Saturday, April 22nd, see the Earth Day Network.
Green Power Brings New Solar Installation to California
A new 100-kilowatt solar electric system is coming to
California's Bay Area, thanks to consumers who have
chosen to buy green power. The photovoltaic system will be
installed on the roof of the PowerLight Corporation's new
photovoltaic manufacturing plant, located in Berkeley. The
new system, to be installed this summer, will be funded by
customers who are buying the trademarked "Solar for the
Future" energy brand from GreenMountain.com. See the
GreenMountain.com press release.
The "Solar for the Future" energy product is the newest
power product from GreenMountain.com, and is the first
U.S. green power product to specifically support the
construction of new solar energy facilities. For every
1,000 customers that purchase the product, another
10 kilowatts of photovoltaic power will be installed. The
product received the "Green-e" certification from the
non-profit Center for Resource Solutions just last week.
See the Green-e press release.
PowerLight's new facility will produce up to 15 megawatts
per year of the company's PowerGuard tiles, a roofing tile
that generates electricity while protecting and insulating the
roofs of buildings. The production plant already features a
15-kilowatt PowerGuard system as part of its roof, and the
remainder of the facility's power is being provided from the
"Solar for the Future" energy product. The plant was funded
in part by DOE, the California Energy Commission, and the
California Trade and Commerce Agency. See the
PowerLight Web site.
In related news, Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (ECD),
United Solar Systems Corporation, and N.V. Bekaert S.A.
have agreed to expand United Solar's photovoltaic
manufacturing capacity fivefold with the construction of a
new facility. The new plant will be capable of producing
25 megawatts of thin-film photovoltaic devices each year.
See the press release on the ECD Web site.
PacifiCorp Initiates Green Power Project for Western States
PacifiCorp announced last week the start of their new "Blue
Sky" program to sell wind-generated electricity in the
western United States. The company is currently accepting
customer sign-ups for the program, which will sell
100-kilowatt-hour monthly blocks of wind power for $4.75 per
month. The program is currently available to customers of
Pacific Power & Light in Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming
and to customers of Utah Power & Light in Utah. PacifiCorp
is currently negotiating on the actual wind site. The company
plans to choose the location by fall 2000, with operation
beginning by the end of 2001. See the "Blue Sky" page on
the PacifiCorp Web site.
First Hybrid Fuel-Cell/Microturbine Power Plant to be Tested
DOE announced on Monday the completion of the world's
first hybrid combination of a fuel cell and a microturbine in a
power plant. Manufactured by Northern Research and
Engineering Corporation as part of DOE's advanced fuel cell
program, the power plant uses tubular ceramic fuel cells that
operate under high pressure. The hot, pressurized exhaust
gas is then used to power the microturbine. The 220-kilowatt
power plant operates at 55 percent efficiency and can power
more than 200 homes.
Siemens Westinghouse performed critical factory
acceptance testing on the power plant. It is now being
shipped to the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the
University of California-Irvine, where it will be tested for a
year in a commercial setting by Southern California Edison.
See the DOE press release.
In related news, the New York Power Authority (NYPA)
announced Monday that it is installing a microturbine
generator for testing in its White Plains headquarters
building. Testing of the 30-kilowatt microturbine,
manufactured by Capstone Turbine Corporation, will begin in
June and extend for at least six months. See the NYPA
Report Ranks States on Utility Energy Efficiency Programs
A new report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient
Economy (ACEEE) ranks all 50 U.S. states in terms of the
effectiveness of their utility-run energy efficiency programs.
Washington tops the list and West Virginia lands at the
bottom. See the ACEEE press release.
In related news, a recent report by the Rand Corporation for
the California Energy Commission finds that California
consumers are making a good investment in energy
efficiency. According to the report, the energy efficiency
benefit in 1995 to the California economy ranges from $875
to $1,300 per capita. This benefit derives from energy
efficiency improvements enacted since 1977. See the report
on the Rand Web site.
Renewable Northwest Project
This broad coalition of public-interest organizations and
energy companies promotes renewable energy development
in the northwestern region of the United States. The site
covers the basics of wind, solar, and geothermal energy, as
well as their potential for use, cost, economic and
environmental impact, and any available incentive programs.
Northwestern renewable energy news and statistics are also
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
EIA Publishes "Primer on Gasoline Prices"
Have you been trying to figure out what's happening with
gasoline prices? A new publication from DOE's Energy
Information Administration (EIA) might help. EIA's "Primer on
Gasoline Prices" is a short pamphlet that explains the cost
components in gasoline prices and discusses factors that
cause gasoline prices to fluctuate. See the Primer and other
related information about gasoline prices by selecting
"Gasoline and Diesel Update" on the EIA's Petroleum page.
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