EREN Network News
July 11, 2001
News and Events
- BPA Customers Commit to Save Energy, Avoid Huge Rate Hike
- Montana Power Receives Bids for 1,650 Megawatts of Wind
- Southern California Gas Offers Incentives for On-Site Power
- New Funds Encourage Alternative-Fuel Vehicles in California
- New York Businesses and Building Owners to Conserve Energy
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- World Energy Use Grew 2.1 Percent in 2000
News and Events
BPA Customers Commit to Save Energy, Avoid Huge Rate Hike
DOE's Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announced in late June
that the Pacific Northwest's utilities and industries had committed
to reduce their collective electrical demand by 2,277 megawatts,
thereby avoiding a threatened 250 percent rate hike. The demand
reduction is within 5 percent of BPA's goal of 2,400 megawatts.
Because of the commitments to reduce demand, BPA will only increase
rates by 46 percent on October 1st. BPA estimates that the load
reduction will save its customers a total of $4 billion. See the BPA
Despite the demand reductions, BPA is still doing everything it can
to maximize power production from this year's limited hydropower
resources. BPA announced in late June that it cannot spill water
from its reservoirs to help migrating salmon this summer, stating
that the loss in power generation would lower the power system's
reliability to an unacceptably low level. See the BPA press release.
Just how bad is the drought in the Pacific Northwest? A new Web site
from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), part of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, sheds some light on that
question. The site shows current U.S. conditions in terms of the
Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI), which becomes more
negative as conditions deteriorate: a PHDI of -3 or more is a severe
drought, and a PHDI of -4 is an extreme drought. The site then looks
at the probability, based on weather statistics, of receiving enough
precipitation to ameliorate the drought (increase the PHDI to -2)
and to end it (increase the PHDI to -0.5). Based on data from May,
the probability of ending the drought by August is less than
1 percent for most of the region, but by November the likelihood of
rainier weather improves the odds dramatically. See the NCDC Web
Montana Power Receives Bids for 1,650 Megawatts of Wind
Montana Power Company announced last week that wind energy
developers responded strongly to its recent request for wind power
proposals intending to install 150 megawatts of wind power, the
company received 23 proposals that total 1,650 megawatts. Montana
Power will select among the projects this summer and expects
construction to be complete by July 2002. See the Montana Power
Southern California Gas Offers Incentives for On-Site Power
Southern California Gas Company announced Monday that it has
launched a $13.6-million-per-year rebate program for customers
that install on-site power generators. Aimed at businesses and
large residential complexes, the program offers an incentive of
$4.50 per watt (up to half the project cost) for large renewable
power installations, $2.50 per watt for fuel cells and $1.00 per
watt for microturbines, gas turbines, and internal combustion
engines. See the company's press release.
The company also broke ground in late June on a new Central
Energy Plant that will provide electricity, heating, and cooling at
its three-building Pico Rivera site. A microturbine will generate
75 kilowatts of electricity for the site, and the waste heat from
the microturbine will be used to help drive a super-efficient
natural gas absorption chiller. The chiller will use no ozone-
damaging chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and will produce hot water for
space heating and chilled water for cooling. See the company's press
New Funds Encourage Alternative-Fuel Vehicles in California
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is providing more than
$10 million in funds to buy alternative-fuel buses and to install
natural-gas refueling stations throughout the state. The CEC
announced in late June that it was distributing nearly $3 million in
grants to 16 public agencies in California to help with the cost of
installing refueling stations for natural-gas-powered public fleets,
including fleets of garbage trucks and buses. The CEC announced in early July that at least 52 school districts in the state will
receive new low-emissions school buses. CEC will spend $7.5 million
to buy 66 new buses 37 powered by compressed natural gas (CNG),
3 by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and 26 by low-sulfur diesel. The
bus purchase is part of a larger $50 million California program to
reduce emissions from buses.
Natural-gas powered buses are also now serving Hearst Castle,
located in southern California. Sixteen new buses started service in
late June to take visitors on the 10-mile round trip between the
visitor center and the castle. See the press release from the
Southern California Gas Company.
Alternative-fuel buses are also coming to Glacier National Park in
Montana. Ford Motor Company, in partnership with the National Park
Service and the National Park Foundation, is refurbishing the park's
historic Red Buses to run on propane the first was completed in
June. See the U.S. Department of Interior announcement.
See also the National Park Foundation Web site.
New York Businesses and Building Owners to Conserve Energy
Lest we give the impression that all the news is happening out
West, let's turn our attention to New York City, which is also facing
tight electricity supplies this summer. To help avoid any power
outages, the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce
(NYCP) and the Real Estate Board of New York are leading a voluntary
energy conservation program among major New York City businesses
and building owners. Participants in the program will raise building
temperatures by two degrees Fahrenheit, turn off unnecessary lights,
and activate energy management features on their computer equipment.
The participants expect to reduce their electricity demand by 25 to
30 megawatts through these simple measures. In case of power
emergencies, the participants will take additional actions to reduce
their demand by as much as 160 megawatts enough to power
160,000 homes. See the press release on the NYCP Web site.
The program leaders already have commitments that represent
more than 300 million square feet of office space in the city. See
the Summer Energy Program page on the NYCP Web site.
The Independent Power Producers of New York (IPPNY) have announced
their five-point program to address the state's long- and short-term
energy needs. The program includes increased energy conservation and
accelerating the siting of new, cleaner, diverse power sources. See
the IPPNY press release.
This site, sponsored by the Tucson Citizen newspaper in Tucson,
Arizona, provides a weekly wrap-up of solar articles from the paper,
as well as solar facts, photos, and a glossary of terms. The site is
powered solely by solar power.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
World Energy Use Grew 2.1 Percent in 2000
BP released its respected "Statistical Review of World Energy"
for 2000 in late June. The report finds that after two years of
essentially no growth, world energy use grew 2.1 percent in 2000.
Natural gas was the most rapidly growing fossil fuel, experiencing
4.8 percent growth in 2000. Oil prices averaged 58 percent higher
than in 1999, holding growth in that fuel to only 1.0 percent. The
use of coal also increased, with a decreased use in China offset by
rapid growth in the rest of Asia, Europe, and the United States. The
report is compiled annually by the company, using government and
public sources of data.
For the first time, BP also prepared a "Statistical Review of U.S.
Energy" for the year 2000. U.S. energy consumption also grew at a
faster pace than in recent years 2.3 percent growth for the year
due in large part to colder weather. See the BP press release or go directly to the two reports.
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