EREN Network News
September 20, 2000
News and Events
- Olympic Games Feature Renewables, Energy Efficiency
- PG&E Corp. Cuts Ribbon on New York's First Wind Plant
- Capstone Receives Orders for 350 Microturbines
- DOE Garners 20 Top Awards in Research and Development
- New Standards Enacted for Fluorescent Lighting Ballasts
- DOE Awards $6 Million to States for Clean Energy Research
- City of Davis to Acquire PVUSA Solar Electric Plant
Energy Facts and Tips
- Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia
About this Newsletter
- Summer 2000: Hot but not Record-Breaking
News and Events
Olympic Games Feature Renewables, Energy Efficiency
The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, now underway, are
showcasing not only the best in human athletics, but also a
number of energy efficiency and renewable energy
technologies. Most of the new sporting venues include
energy efficient technologies, such as daylighting and
natural ventilation designs, which circulate air without the
use of fans. Green power electricity from renewable
energy sources is providing all the electricity for the
Sydney SuperDome, which also sports a 70-kilowatt solar
electric system on its roof. To further reduce pollution from
the Games, many of the buses that shuttle spectators
among the venues are powered by compressed natural gas.
Even the torch is clean-burning and energy efficient.
At the Olympic Village, energy efficiency and passive cooling
designs cut energy use by 50 percent. Rooftop-mounted
solar photovoltaic panels throughout the Village will generate
a million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year roughly
equal to its energy usage leading some to call it "the
world's largest solar suburb." Nearby, the Novotel and Ibis
Hotel Homebush Bay has Australia's largest solar hot water
system on its roof. The facility supplies 60 per cent of the
Hotel's hot water requirements, reducing the total energy
consumption by 15 per cent. See the Olympics Web site.
See also the "Green Games 2000" Web site, prepared by Australia's Department of Environment and Heritage.
The Department has also published the report "Greening the
Games," which is available online.
PG&E Corp. Cuts Ribbon on New York's First Wind Plant
PG&E Corporation held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week
for the 11.5-megawatt Madison Windpower Project, the first
commercial wind energy facility in New York State. Unlike
many green power projects, the power from the Madison
project will be sold into the electrical grid as regular power,
and the environmental benefits of the power are being sold
separately, as wind energy "certificates." The net result is
the same as buying green power: The consumer pays extra
to assure that more electricity is generated from wind
The company is selling the certificates online at a price of
$40 for 1000 kilowatt-hours, apparently to anyone in the
country. Regular audits will verify that the number of
certificates sold equal the amount of wind energy generated.
See the press release and a streaming video of the ribbon-
cutting ceremony on the company's Pure Wind Web site.
Capstone Receives Orders for 350 Microturbines
Capstone Turbine Corporation announced Monday that it
has received two orders for a total of 350 microturbines.
Hazra Engineering Company, Inc., known for power plant
design and construction, ordered a record 250 microturbines
to be distributed through a new energy services company
called Hazra Energy, LLC. The new company will focus on
power systems and distributed generation.
The Hanover Company ordered 100 microturbines, which
will be used at oil and gas wellheads to convert waste gases
into electricity. The order follows successful oilfield tests
carried out in Canada last year. See the Capstone Web site.
DOE Garners 20 Top Awards in Research and Development
DOE announced Monday that 20 of its research and
development (R&D) projects have won the coveted "R&D
100" award, presented by R&D Magazine for the most
outstanding technology developments with commercial
potential. Among the winners were a process to help recycle
the polyurethane foam in cars, a high-performance cement
for geothermal wells, a quick method of analyzing biomass
materials, a cold-climate wind turbine, and a software
program that may help automakers trim weight from their
vehicles. See the DOE press release.
The full results will also be posted soon on the R&D
Magazine Web site.
New Standards Enacted for Fluorescent Lighting Ballasts
DOE announced on Tuesday the adoption of new standards
to improve the energy efficiency of fluorescent lamp ballasts
in commercial and industrial applications. Ballasts are an
essential component of fluorescent fixtures, increasing the
frequency of the electricity to the higher levels needed to
light the fluorescent tube. Electronic ballasts are far more
efficient than magnetic ballasts because they raise the
electrical frequency to higher levels, which improve the
efficiency of the fluorescent lamp. The greenhouse gas
emissions avoided by the new standards over the next
20 years will be the equivalent of removing 750,000 cars
from the road. See the DOE press release.
DOE Awards $6 Million to States for Clean Energy Research
DOE announced last week that it is providing nearly $6 million
for six state-based research projects. The projects will
examine compact modular fuel cells, solar energy evaluation
techniques, clean energy technologies for schools,
distributed generation for meeting peak power needs, the
use of wheat as a feedstock for producing plastics, and
hybrid energy systems for providing commercial building
energy needs. Five projects will be carried out in Idaho,
Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon; the remaining project will
be led by the National Association of State Energy Officials
in partnership with California, Florida, New York, Ohio, and
Wisconsin. See the DOE press release.
DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
(EERE) frequently solicits proposals for a wide variety of
research projects. DOE's Seattle Regional Office (SRO) is
producing a monthly summary of these and other related
solicitations. See the SRO Web site on EREN.
See also the EERE Solicitations page on EREN.
City of Davis to Acquire PVUSA Solar Electric Plant
The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced last
week that it is NOT selling or decommissioning the PVUSA
solar electric facility in Davis, California. The sale was
originally reported in the September 6th edition of this
newsletter. According to the CEC, last week the Davis City
Council passed a resolution to take over the ownership of
the site within the next six months. See the CEC announcement.
Regional Wood Energy Development Programme in Asia
This site includes the demographics of wood fuel users in
Asia as well as information about wood sources, conversion
processes, and methods of conservation in cooking and
industry. It also summarizes wood energy policies and
planning practices and examines the environmental impacts
of wood energy use and production.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
Summer 2000: Hot but not Record-Breaking
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) released last week the global temperature
summaries for June through August 2000. The average
global temperature was 0.35 degrees Celsius above the
long-term mean. Temperatures above the ocean were the
seventh warmest on record, and temperatures over land
were the ninth warmest on record. Above-average
temperatures were dominant in the middle latitudes of the
Northern Hemisphere, but were offset somewhat by cool
temperatures in the tropics, due to the lingering effects of
For the United States, temperatures were the eleventh
warmest on record. High temperatures in the West and
South were offset by generally cooler temperatures in the
Northeast. See all these results, along with useful graphs
and maps, on the NOAA Web site.
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