EREN Network News
February 16, 2000
News and Events
- Plug Power Achieves Fuel Cell Milestone, Opens New Facility
- New York City Transit, New York State Buy Clean Buses
- Green Pricing Certification Comes to Wisconsin
- Petroleum Industry Joins DOE's Industries of the Future
- Tennessee Valley Authority Opens New Research Institute
- Valvoline Installs Energy-Efficient Lighting, Saves Money
Energy Facts and Tips
- U.S. Green Building Council Online
- Get an Overview of the Electric Power Industry
About this Newsletter
News and Events
Plug Power Achieves Fuel Cell Milestone, Opens New Facility
Plug Power Inc. announced Monday that it has operated a
hydrogen-powered fuel cell for more than 10,000 hours a
significant milestone. The company also opened a new
50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility adjacent to its
existing research and development facility in Latham, New
York. The facility will begin producing Proton Exchange
Membrane (PEM) fuel cells for field testing later this year.
Plug Power plans to begin commercial sales in 2001.
See the Plug Power news releases.
In related news, FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced plans to
construct a 250-kilowatt fuel-cell power plant within the next
year at a Mercedes-Benz production facility in Tuscaloosa,
Alabama. Southern Company, Alabama Municipal Electric
Authority, and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. are
contributing to the pilot project. See FuelCell Energy's press
New York City Transit, New York State Buy Clean Buses
Lockheed Martin Control Systems (LMCS) announced last
month that New York City Transit has ordered 125 buses
equipped with a hybrid diesel-electric drive system developed
by the company. The drive system is more fuel efficient than
standard buses, while also emitting less pollution and noise.
The buses will use "regenerative" braking to recharge the
buses' batteries when stopping. Orion Bus Systems will build
the buses, which will hit the New York City streets in early
2001. See the press release on the LMCS Web site.
Ithaca, New York, will also receive two of the hybrid electric
buses, according to an announcement earlier this month by
New York Governor George Pataki. In addition, New York
State is purchasing 70 compressed natural gas buses to
service New York City, Long Island, and Rochester. See the
governor's press release.
Green Pricing Certification Comes to Wisconsin
A coalition of utilities and environmental groups announced
Monday a new effort to accredit utility green power programs
in Wisconsin. Green power electricity produced from
renewable energy sources is becoming available to
consumers throughout the country. In states like Wisconsin
that have not deregulated their electric utilities, green power
is often offered through utilities at a premium price, an
approach called green pricing. To receive accreditation, the
Wisconsin utility programs will have to meet a series of
stringent environmental and customer protection criteria,
including use of new renewable resources.
The Wisconsin accreditation group will work under the
auspices of the national Accreditation Initiative for Green
Pricing Programs, sponsored by the non-profit Center for
Resource Solutions (CRS). Since 1997, CRS has
administered the "Green-e" certification for green power
programs in states with competitive markets for electricity.
The Wisconsin initiative will be the first case of extending
that approach to utility green pricing programs. See the CRS
In related news, Wisconsin Electric has donated two wind
turbines and three solar photovoltaic systems to the
Milwaukee County Zoo and three metro Milwaukee-area
environmental centers. The renewable energy systems are
accompanied by exhibits as part of the utility's renewable
energy education program. See the News section of the
Wisconsin Electric Web site.
Petroleum Industry Joins DOE's Industries of the Future
Officials from the petroleum industry last week signed an
agreement with DOE to jointly develop technologies that
increase the energy efficiency of petroleum operations while
protecting the environment. Executives from Marathon-
Ashland Petroleum, Sunoco Inc., the American Petroleum
Institute, and the National Petrochemical & Refiners
Association signed a compact with Secretary of Energy Bill
Richardson. See the DOE news release.
The pact is part of DOE's Industries of the Future initiative,
which creates partnerships with the most energy- and waste-
intensive industries to accelerate research, development and
deployment of cleaner and more energy-efficient technologies.
See the Industries of the Future Web site.
Tennessee Valley Authority Opens New Research Institute
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) opened its new
Public Power Institute late last month. TVA says the
research institute will place special emphasis on renewable
energy supply and efficient energy production and use. TVA
has provided $8 million in funding for the institute's first year,
with intentions to form partnerships with DOE, local power
distributors, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and
the Electric Power Research Institute. See the TVA press
See also the Public Power Institute page on the TVA Web
Valvoline Installs Energy-Efficient Lighting, Saves Money
The Valvoline Company, a division of Ashland Inc.,
announced early this month that it has installed energy-
efficient lighting that will reduce electricity use by more than
50 percent, saving the company more than $180,000
annually. The company reduced its energy use for lighting in
398 corporate-owned oil change service centers and
11 manufacturing and distributing facilities nationwide. See
the press release on the Ashland Web site.
Valvoline upgraded its energy efficiency as part of its
voluntary commitment to the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) Energy Star Buildings and Green Lights
Partnership. For more information on these programs, see
the EPA Web site.
U.S. Green Building Council Online
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which is
275 members strong, accelerates the adoption of green
building practices, technologies, policies, and standards.
USGBC Online, the Council's digital resource center and
clearinghouse of green building information, features
comprehensive green building case studies and a monthly
newsletter. Information on joining the council is also
For this and other recent additions see the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
Get an Overview of the Electric Power Industry
DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) has drawn
on its extensive statistics to provide an effective overview of
the electric power industry. Recently updated to include
1998 data, the overview presents information on how
electricity is generated in the United States and how it is
used, as well as a close look at many of the issues now
facing the industry. See the Electric Power Industry
The overview also effectively combines information about
both utility and nonutility sources of electricity a difference
that can be as stark as night and day. See one comparison as an example:
About this Newsletter
To subscribe to this newsletter, 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.
EERE News Home |