EREN Network News
April 5, 2000
News and Events
- Fuel Cells Help Power Brookhaven National Laboratory
- Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Funds Hit $100 Million
- DOE Study: Tribal Lands Have Renewable Energy Potential
- DuPont Orders HTS Electromagnet for Industrial Separations
- SUNY Buffalo Wins Clean Snowmobile 2000 Challenge
- DOE Provides $6 Million for Petroleum Energy Efficiency
- DOE Produces 20-Year Vision of Lighting Industry's Future
Energy Facts and Tips
- Lightweight Electric Vehicles Project
- "Home Again" Features Thin-Film Photovoltaic Shingles
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Fuel Cells Help Power Brookhaven National Laboratory
DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory on Monday became
the first of several institutions on Long Island to receive a
new fuel cell power system. Three 7-kilowatt fuel cells will
generate on-site power from natural gas, producing minimal
air emissions. The installation is part of a test program
sponsored by New York's Long Island Power Authority, with
the participation of DOE, the New York State Energy
Research and Development Agency, and Plug Power, which
is manufacturing the units. See the DOE press release.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Funds Hit $100 Million
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance announced in
March that electric utilities in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and
Washington will spend $100 million over the next five years
to improve the way Northwest consumers use electricity. The
funds will be administered through the Alliance, a group
comprised of the region's utilities as well as public interest
groups, state governments, and industry representatives.
Formed in 1997, the Alliance has thus far avoided or
eliminated electrical loads that would, on average, equal
16 megawatts of electrical capacity enough to power
10,000 homes. The Alliance hopes to increase that number
to 400 megawatts by 2010. See the Alliance's press release.
In related news, a similar activity is underway in Vermont
under a state-administered "utility" called Efficiency Vermont.
The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation is under a
three-year, $28-million contract to the state to carry out the
energy efficiency programs. Efficiency Vermont replaces the
individual programs that were carried out by the state's
22 electric utilities. See the Efficiency Vermont Web site.
DOE Study: Tribal Lands Have Renewable Energy Potential
DOE last week released the "Indian Energy Study," the first
ever study of energy needs and resources on tribal lands.
The study contains some sobering information, including the
fact that 14.2 percent of all Indian homes on reservations
have no access to electricity, compared to only 1.4 percent
of U.S. households in general. On the plus side, the study
found that 61 Indian reservations have great potential for
renewable energy development, particularly for wind, solar
and biomass energy. Half of all Native Americans living on
Indian lands live on these 61 reservations. See the DOE
press release, with a link to the full report.
DuPont Orders HTS Electromagnet for Industrial Separations
American Superconductor announced last week that DuPont
has ordered an electromagnet made from high-temperature
superconducting (HTS) materials, for use in a prototype
industrial magnetic separator. Magnetic separation units are
most often used to remove contaminants from kaolin clay,
which is used in paints, paper, and plastics. The use of HTS
materials for magnetic separations could cut the
electromagnet's energy consumption by 90 percent. See the
press release on the American Superconductor Web site.
In related news, DOE's Argonne National Laboratory and
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) have signed a
three-year, $2.5-million agreement with Intermagnetics
General Corporation to develop second-generation HTS
tapes. The flexible ribbons of HTS materials can be used in
the same ways an electrical wire would be used. The
collaboration will use less-expensive materials to produce
HTS tapes that are more resistant to strong magnetic fields
than existing HTS tapes. See the LANL news release, which
includes an extensive background on HTS materials.
SUNY Buffalo Wins Clean Snowmobile 2000 Challenge
Seven college teams from the United States and Canada
competed last week in this year's Clean Snowmobile 2000
Challenge, the latest collegiate design competition from the
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The challenge
called on engineering students "to reengineer an existing
snowmobile for improved emissions and noise while
maintaining or improving the performance characteristics of
the original snowmobile." The team from the State University
of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo won with a four-stroke
engine that reduced noise levels from 75 decibels to
66.8 decibels and cut hydrocarbon emissions more than
99.5 percent, while achieving a fuel economy of 27.6 miles
per gallon. The fuel economy of the unmodified snowmobile
was only 12.2 miles per gallon. The competition was held in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming. See the SAE Web site.
Because of snowmobile noise and pollution, the U.S.
National Park Service (NPS) recently proposed a permanent
prohibition of snowmobiles in Alaska's Denali National Park
and is examining snowmobile use in Yellowstone. A recent
NPS report found that air emissions from snowmobiles in
Yellowstone can equal or exceed the emissions from all
other vehicles in the park. See the NPS report.
DOE Provides $6 Million for Petroleum Energy Efficiency
DOE announced last week the availability of $6 million in
funding for research in energy efficiency technologies for the
petroleum industry. The industry is expected to provide
matching funding for the research, which will span the next
three years. The projects will address the areas of energy
and process efficiency, materials and inspection technology,
and environmental performance. See the DOE press
release, including a link to the solicitation.
The solicitation follows February's addition of the petroleum
industry as one of DOE's "Industries of the Future." See the
Petroleum Industry of the Future Web site on EREN.
DOE Produces 20-Year Vision of Lighting Industry's Future
DOE last week released a report detailing the results of a
two-year strategic partnership between DOE and the lighting
industry. Representing the work of hundreds of lighting
industry professionals from more than 180 organizations, the
report, "Vision 2020: The Lighting Technology Roadmap" will
guide the government and the private sector in planning
future investments and initiatives in the field of lighting
technology over the next 20 years. See the DOE press
The Vision 2020 report is posted on EREN.
Lightweight Electric Vehicles Project
This site features the organization and results of a large-
scale fleet test using light electric vehicles in the Swiss city
of Mendrisio. The site includes information on the vehicles
used, cost comparisons, and charging infrastructure. In
addition, the site explains how the Swiss Federal Office of
Energy promoted the pilot including financial measures,
the goals of the pilot, and resulting user experiences.
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
"Home Again" Features Thin-Film Photovoltaic Shingles
Continuing our look at Bob Vila's "Home Again," this week's
show features solar shingles that can generate electricity
while protecting your roof. Representatives of the
Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing and
DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory discuss and
install the shingles, which use thin-film photovoltaic
materials to produce electricity. The show also visits Global
Solar's factory in Tucson, Arizona, where the shingles are
For more details about these technologies and the "Home
Again" show, plus lists of local TV schedules, see Bob Vila's Web site.
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