EREN Network News
August 23, 2000
News and Events
- GSA Installs Large Solar Electric System at Federal Center
- Cinergy Orders 52 Capstone Microturbines at $1.5 Million
- USPS Installs One-Megawatt Fuel Cell System in Alaska
- DOE Awards $8 Million to Advance Biobased Products
- California Approaches Review Date for ZEV Requirements
- Three More States to Receive Efficient Air Conditioners
Energy Facts and Tips
- Irish Energy Centre
- State Energy Program Web Site on EREN Updated
About this Newsletter
- Report: Greenhouse Efforts Should Not Focus on CO²
News and Events
GSA Installs Large Solar Electric System at Federal Center
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has
selected Pepco Energy Services, Inc. and Applied Power
Corp. to install a 100-kilowatt solar electric system at the
Suitland Federal Center in Suitland, Maryland. DOE is
partially funding the installation, which is expected to begin
providing power to the facility's central cooling plant by
September. Ground has already been broken for the system,
which will include 2,800 thin-film photovoltaic modules.
Applied Power recently installed a 22-kilowatt photovoltaic
system for the City of Colton Electric Utility in California. The
solar electric system provides shade for cars parked at a city
building while generating electricity that is fed into the
See both stories on the Applied Power Web site.
Cinergy Orders 52 Capstone Microturbines at $1.5 Million
Capstone Turbine Corporation announced Monday that
Cinergy Corp., a diversified energy company, has ordered
52 of its microturbines at a cost of roughly $1.5 million.
Capstone says the order is part of a distribution agreement
Microturbines are an efficient way to produce electricity
onsite from a variety of fuels, primarily natural gas. They are
one of many technologies that can generate electricity at or
near the customer's locationa concept called distributed
generation. Capstone microturbines were approved earlier
this month for connection to the New York electrical grid as
part of the state's new distributed generation standard.
Capstone is also working with Japan Steel Works (JSW) to
use microturbine exhaust as a heat source to drive a
refrigeration unit. JSW has developed a metal hydride
absorption chilling technology that can use moderate-
temperature heat sources to cool air to as low as 14 degrees
Fahrenheit (minus 10 degrees Centigrade). JSW is carrying
out pre-commercial testing of the system, which uses no
ozone-damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
See the press releases on the Capstone Web site.
USPS Installs One-Megawatt Fuel Cell System in Alaska
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Alaska's largest electric
utility announced earlier this month that the nation's largest
commercial fuel cell system began generating power at the
Anchorage Mail Processing Center. The one-megawatt
system consists of five fuel cells manufactured by
International Fuel Cells. The Chugach Electric Association,
Inc. installed and will operate the system for the USPS. See
the International Fuel Cells press release.
Public Service of Colorado to Nearly Triple Wind Capacity
The Public Service Company of Colorado (PSCo)
announced last week that it will add 36 megawatts of wind
energy capacity over the next five years, thereby nearly
tripling its 20-megawatt wind energy capacity to a total of
56 megawatts. The company will add 10 megawatts to its
Ponnequin Wind Facility in northern Colorado. It will also
purchase 26 megawatts from enXco, Inc., which will build a
new facility in Peetz, Colorado, just west of the Nebraska
state line. The additional capacity will be used to meet
customer demand for PSCo's WindSource product. See the
PSCo press release.
DOE Awards $8 Million to Advance Biobased Products
DOE announced last week that it will award $8 million over
the next three years to advance biobased products such as
plastics, paints, and adhesives. Biobased products are made
from such sources as crops, trees, and agricultural and
forestry wastes. Approximately $6.5 million will go to six
research and development partnerships. The remaining
$1.5 million will go toward a new educational initiative,
providing support for graduate-level programs at six schools.
See the DOE press release.
California Approaches Review Date for ZEV Requirements
California's Air Resources Board (ARB) will meet September 7th
to review the state's requirements for zero emission vehicles
(ZEVs). Reviews of the program are carried out every two
years. Since the program was originally adopted in 1990, the
mandate was scaled back twice, in 1996 and 1998. Due to
lead times in auto production, the 2000 review is the last
significant opportunity to review requirements that
10 percent of new California car sales be ZEVs by 2003.
Sales of ultra clean vehicles can be used to meet part of the
requirement, but to date only the Nissan Sentra has met the
In preparation for the September review, several public
workshops have been held, and the ARB staff have
prepared a report that summarizes the current standing of
ZEV technologies and vehicles. See the ARB Web site.
Auto makers have argued against the ZEV mandate, largely
based on market considerations. Toyota, for instance,
released a report that says electric vehicles would have to
be $28,000 cheaper than equivalent gasoline-fueled vehicles
for consumers to buy them. In essence, Toyota claims, it
would have to essentially give the cars away. See the
Toyota press release.
In related news, Toyota has announced that as of late July,
online sales of the hybrid-electric Prius had reached nearly
1800. According to the Los Angeles Times, Toyota only
expected to sell 1000 of the cars each month. See the "Prius
Marketing Campaign Launch" on the Toyota Web site.
Three More States to Receive Efficient Air Conditioners
A DOE program to deliver energy-efficient air conditioners to
sweltering southern states, first announced on August 1st,
has been expanded to Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi,
DOE announced last week. DOE is working with major
manufacturers of Energy Star room air conditioners to make
more than 53,000 units available to local Weatherization
Assistance Program agencies at a reduced price. The local
agencies will help install these highly energy efficient units in
eligible low-income homes. See the DOE press release.
Irish Energy Centre
As Ireland's national agency for energy efficiency and
renewable energy information, the Centre's mission is to
promote the development of a sustainable national energy
economy. The site covers energy policy in Ireland,
introduces sustainable energy technologies, and discusses
specific activities of the Irish Energy Centre. Users can view
the Centre's current newsletter on renewable energy and
find out about energy-related news and events. In addition,
users can request documents via e-mail from a large
collection of free publications.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
State Energy Program Web Site on EREN Updated
DOE's State Energy Program (SEP) Web site has been
updated with highlights from a variety of innovative energy
efficiency and renewable energy projects sponsored by the
states. Many of these projects feature local partnerships that
promote energy efficiency in commercial buildings and build
infrastructure for clean, alternative fuel vehicles.
Energy Facts and Tips
Report: Greenhouse Efforts Should Not Focus on CO²
A new report from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies
(GISS)part of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administrationhas attracted significant media attention by
suggesting that efforts to reduce greenhouse gases should
focus on sources other than carbon dioxide (CO²). The
conclusion is based in part on the fact that fossil fuel use is
the main source of both CO2 and aerosolshaze-causing
particles such as sulfates and black carbon. These aerosols
offset the effects of the CO2, leading the authors to conclude
that other greenhouse gases, such as methane and various
refrigerants, are the greatest cause of recent warming. They
also base their conclusion on the recent slow growth in CO²
Based on their analysis, the authors suggest that reducing
methane, refrigerants, and black carbon (from burning coal)
would be a useful strategy for the next 50 years, while other
technologies are being developed. However, "investments in
technology to improve energy efficiency and develop non-
fossil energy sources are also needed to slow the growth of
carbon dioxide emissions and expand future policy options,"
the authors conclude. They also state that it is "unlikely that
a flat growth rate of CO² … can be maintained without a
flattening of the growth rate of fossil fuel emissions."
The report was meant to counter some scientific assertions
that "thirty Kyotos" may be needed to reduce warming to an
acceptable level. "Although this interpretation does not alter
the desirability of slowing CO² emissions," says the report,
"it does suggest that it is more practical to slow global
warming than is sometimes assumed." See the Goddard
About this Newsletter
To subscribe, unsubscribe, or change your e-mail address, please go to the Web
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN)
home page is located at http://www.eren.doe.gov/.
Please contact email@example.com if you have
questions or comments about the EREN Web site.
If you have questions or comments about this
newsletter, please contact the editor.