EREN Network News
June 27, 2001
News and Events
- BPA Pursuing 830 Megawatts of Wind Power in Northwest
- US Home Plans 1,000 Solar Homes in Lincoln, California
- DOE Awards $17.9 Million for Fuel Cell Research
- Wisconsin Facility Generates Power from Cow Manure
- SCE Reaches Deal with Renewable Power Generators
- Marquette University Wins Solar Boat Race
Energy Facts and Tips
About this Newsletter
- EIA Provides Information on Summer Gasoline Prices
News and Events
BPA Pursuing 830 Megawatts of Wind Power in Northwest
DOE announced Monday that the Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA) intends to sign pre-development
agreements for seven new wind power projects in the Pacific
Northwest that will total 830 megawatts in capacity. Five of
the proposed projects are located in Washington and two are
located in Oregon. The projects will produce enough
electricity to power nearly 270,000 homes and, if built,
should be complete by late 2003.
BPA will negotiate pre-development agreements with four
companies SeaWest WindPower, Inc.; Zilkha Renewable
Energy; Columbia Wind Power; and Pacific Winds and will
perform environmental and technical assessments before
signing power purchase agreements for the projects. See
the DOE press release.
BPA had requested wind energy proposals in February of
this year, and by late April had received 25 proposals that
totaled 2,600 megawatts. See the May 2nd edition of EREN
BPA has also agreed on Monday to help Golden Northwest
Aluminum Inc. develop new wind generating resources. BPA
says its support will be limited to 200 megawatts of capacity.
The agreement is part of a load-reduction agreement made
by Golden Northwest, which will delay the restart of its
smelters for an additional six months.
BPA announced six new load-reduction agreements with
utilities and municipalities in the past week. The Okanogan
County Public Utility District (PUD), the Kittitas PUD, and the
cities of Ellensburg and Bonners Ferry all agreed to
10 percent load reductions for one year, starting in October.
The Springfield Utility Board agreed to a two-year reduction
of 20 percent. More agreements are in the works, and the
final outcome will be announced by BPA on Friday. See the
BPA press releases.
US Home Plans 1,000 Solar Homes in Lincoln, California
US Home, a division of Lennar Corporation, announced last
week that it plans to build 1,000 solar-powered homes in its
Bickford Ranch community, located in Lincoln, California.
AstroPower, Inc. has been selected to provide at least 500 of
the solar electric systems beginning in 2003. US Home will
install 917 grid-connected systems on new homes as a
standard feature, and will make 83 systems available to
existing homes in the community. See the AstroPower press release.
DOE Awards $17.9 Million for Fuel Cell Research
DOE announced Monday that it is awarding $17.9 million for
cost-shared research in fuel cells. Nuvera Fuel Cells will
develop an advanced high-efficiency fuel processor with a
quick startup time for use in automobiles. Mechanology LLC
will develop an efficient air compressor for fuel cells. Arthur
D. Little will also develop an air compressor and will analyze
the use of fuel cells for auxiliary power units for vehicles. The
company will also analyze the risks associated with the
variety of fuels that may be used to power fuel cells and will
evaluate the impact of fuel-cell commercialization on the
supplies and markets for platinum-group metals. Platinum
group metals are used as catalysts in fuel cells. See the
DOE press release.
Fuel cells have been making news in the transportation
world lately: General Motors achieved a 24-hour endurance
record in its fuel-cell-powered HydroGen1 minivan, Fuel Cell
Technologies Corporation achieved a successful sea trial of
a system meant to power a submarine under the Arctic ice
cap, and Millennium Cell successfully tested a system that
produces hydrogen from sodium borohydride, a derivative of
the mineral borax. Electric vehicle maker ZAP even
announced plans to market a fuel-cell-powered bicycle by
2002. See the companies' respective press releases:
GM May 2, 2001,
Millennium Cell May 3, 2001
Fuel Cell Technologies May 14, 2001,
Zap World May 14, 2001.
Are you left wondering how fuel-cell-powered vehicles will
work? Fear not DOE's Office of Transportation
Technologies (OTT) recently published a fact sheet called
"Just the Basics: Fuel Cells" that will tell you all about it. See
the OTT "Just the Basics" Web page.
Wisconsin Facility Generates Power from Cow Manure
A new 750-kilowatt power plant at Tinesdale Farms in
Wrightstown, Wisconsin, is the first in the state to be
powered by cow manure. The facility uses a "digester" to
convert the manure to methane, which is then burned to
generate electricity. Ag Environmental Solutions, LLC owns
and operates the facility, and Wisconsin Gas/Wisconsin
Electric is buying the power and selling it to its customers.
The manure comes from 1,800 milk cows at Tinesdale
Farms, and generates enough electricity to power
250 homes. The facility will burn about 300,000 cubic feet of
methane gas each day, reducing the odors from the farm by
more than 90 percent. See the Wisconsin Energy Web
For researchers at DOE's Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory (PNNL) and Washington State University,
manure may be too valuable to burn. The researchers are
starting a two-year joint research project that will examine
processes to convert manure into commodity chemicals and
other high-value products. Such "biobased" products and
chemicals could replace products that are currently
produced from petroleum. See the PNNL press release.
SCE Reaches Deal with Renewable Power Generators
Southern California Edison (SCE) announced last week that
it had reached an agreement with most of its renewable
power generators, settling overdue payments and
establishing a long-term power agreement. The generators
will be paid a fixed rate of 5.37 cents per kilowatt-hour over
the next five years. According to SCE, 95 percent of the
generators have signed on to the agreement, which also
requires that they halt legal action against the company. See
the SCE press release.
Marquette University Wins Solar Boat Race
Marquette University took top honors this week at the eighth
annual Solar Splash, an international collegiate solar-
powered boat race. Held in Buffalo, New York, the race
featured two days of technical inspections and qualifying
rounds, followed by three days of water competitions.
Marquette clinched the title by winning the endurance event
on Sunday, besting 19 other college teams. See the
complete race results on the Solar Splash Web site.
This site gives Colorado residents one-stop access to
energy information in their state. The site includes building
codes and other laws, energy consumption data, and
energy-saving tips and green energy information for
consumers, businesses, builders, and architects. Also
included are news and features on the hottest energy topics
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
EIA Provides Information on Summer Gasoline Prices
Summer is here, and for people throughout the United
States, it brings with it plans for road trips and concerns
about the price of gasoline. To help you keep track of what's
happening with gasoline prices, DOE's Energy Information
Administration (EIA) has started posting weekly updates on
gasoline prices in cities and states throughout the country.
See the "U.S. Retail Gasoline Prices".
If you need a more comprehensive look at the petroleum
situation, you might want to look through the "Petroleum
Supply Annual 2000," Volume 1 and Volume 2, which were just
released by EIA last week. The reports include everything
from petroleum production and shipping to detailed
information about petroleum refineries.
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