EREN Network News
March 28, 2001
News and Events
- World's Largest Solar and Wind Hybrid System Online
- DaimlerChrysler to Deliver 30 Fuel Cell Buses to Europe
- Ohio Green Power Deal Finalized; Wind, Solar Plants Planned
- Energy Star Recognizes 39 Energy-Saving Trendsetters
- "Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2001" Under Way in Wyoming
Energy Facts and Tips
- International Cogeneration Alliance
About this Newsletter
- Power Supply Problems Threaten Pacific Northwest
- Study Provides Direct Confirmation of Greenhouse Effects
News and Events
World's Largest Solar and Wind Hybrid System Online
PowerLight Corporation placed online in mid-March the
world's largest system that combines the power from both
wind and solar energy. The new grid-connected system at
Parker Ranch, near Waimea on the Big Island of Hawaii, is
unusual in that its solar energy capacity 175 kilowatts of
solar photovoltaic panels is actually larger than its wind
energy capacity of 50 kilowatts. Such hybrid power systems
combine the strengths of both energy systems to maximize
the available power for instance, the wind might be most
likely to blow on non-sunny days. According to PowerLight,
the system is large enough to meet the water pumping
needs for the entire 225,000-acre cattle ranch. See the
PowerLight press release.
PowerLight also announced that it is installing a 23-kilowatt
solar electric system at the new headquarters of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local
332 in San Jose, California. PowerLight's insulating solar
roof tiles will reduce heating and air conditioning needs in
the building while generating about 30,000 kilowatt-hours of
electricity each year. IBEW will also use their building as a
training facility for union workers interested in learning how
to install solar electric systems. See the PowerLight press
The new IBEW headquarters has been designated a "green
building" model by San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales and the
city's City Council. It will serve as a showcase illustrating
environmentally responsible technologies that can be
incorporated into future construction projects, as well as
retrofits to existing buildings. The green building concept is
gaining the interest of many builders, as illustrated by the
Third National Green Building Conference, held in Seattle
last week. News from this conference is available on the
Web site of the National Association of Home Builders
DaimlerChrysler to Deliver 30 Fuel Cell Buses to Europe
Up to 30 fuel-cell-powered buses will be delivered to
European bus operators beginning in late 2002,
DaimlerChrysler announced last week. The Mercedes-Benz
Citaro buses will be 12 meters (about 40 feet) long, carrying
70 passengers with a range of up to 250 kilometers (155 miles).
The maximum speed is 80 kilometers (50 miles) per hour.
See the press release.
The agreement marks the first commercial sale of fuel-cell-
powered vehicles, and meets a commitment the company
made roughly one year ago. See the April 12, 2000, edition
of the EREN Network News.
Fuel-cell vehicles have been making news in recent weeks,
with Toyota Motor Corporation introducing its latest
prototype, the FCHV-3, and BMW and Delphi Automotive
Systems unveiling a vehicle that uses a solid oxide fuel cell.
See the Toyota press release.
See the Delphi Automotive press release.
Need to know more about how fuel-cell-powered vehicles
work? The U.S. Fuel Cell Council has posted an excellent
primer, "Fuel Cell Power for Transportation Systems" (PDF 1.3 MB).
Ohio Green Power Deal Finalized; Wind, Solar Plants Planned
An agreement for 400,000 residences in Ohio to buy green
power was finalized in mid-March. Green Mountain Energy
Company was able to meet the terms of the agreement
made in February with the Northeast Ohio Public Energy
Council (NOPEC). NOPEC brought together the residents of
more than 100 Ohio communities to form the agreement as
a group a process known as "aggregation." By doing this,
NOPEC was able to achieve discounted power for the group,
even though 98 percent of the power will come from natural
gas and 2 percent will come from renewable energy sources.
As part of the agreement, Green Mountain Energy Company
will establish a wind power facility and a commercial solar
facility to service the NOPEC customers. See the NOPEC
Green Mountain Energy Company has also received
approval to supply green power to 50,000 households in the
Philadelphia area. See the company's press release.
Energy Star Recognizes 39 Energy-Saving Trendsetters
The Energy Star program recognized 39 corporate, non-
profit, and governmental leaders for their contributions to
energy-saving technologies in an award ceremony last
week. Christie Whitman, Administrator for the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), presented the
awards. Among the recipients was IBM Corporation, which
won the "Excellence in Corporate Commitment" award for
both developing energy-efficient products and committing to
energy performance in its manufacturing facilities worldwide.
The annual award program, sponsored by DOE and EPA, is
in its ninth year. See the Energy Star Web site.
"Clean Snowmobile Challenge 2001" Under Way in Wyoming
Is it possible to build a cleaner, quieter snowmobile that still
performs up to expectations? An answer may come from the
"Clean Snowmobile Challenge," an annual collegiate design
competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive
Engineers (SAE). Fourteen student teams have designed
and built cleaner, quieter snowmobiles, which will be run
through a series of competitions to test their emissions, fuel
economy, acceleration, cold-start ability, hill climbing and
handling. This year's competition is now under way in
Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and results will be posted daily on
the SAE Web site.
Cleaner and quieter snowmobiles may be on the minds of
many snowmobile enthusiasts, as noise and pollution
concerns have recently led the U.S. National Park Service
(NPS) to propose bans or restrictions on the use of
snowmobiles in several national parks, including
Yellowstone and Grand Teton. See, for instance, the
following NPS press release from January of this year.
International Cogeneration Alliance
The International Cogeneration Alliance (ICA) is an industry
federation working to promote sustainable economic
development and energy market modernization through the
wider use of high-efficiency cogeneration systems. The site
publicizes upcoming conferences, provides an overview of
cogeneration and its benefits, and makes available papers,
articles and essays on the subject.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
Power Supply Problems Threaten Pacific Northwest
The Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC) announced
yesterday that the continuing dry spell in the Pacific
Northwest is leading to a bleak outlook for hydropower
production in 2001. In what is "shaping up as the driest or
second-driest (year) on record in the region," the NPPC
concludes that a reduction in the amount of water spilled
over the Columbia and Snake river dams this spring and
summer is necessary to ease potential power supply
problems. The council acknowledges that this action will
make it more difficult for threatened and endangered species
of salmon and steelhead to migrate to the ocean this year.
Along with making it through the summer, the council is
concerned about the ability to refill the reservoirs in time to
meet peak power needs next winter. To avoid power
shortages, the council says the changes in hydropower
operations need to be combined with a number of other
actions, including accelerated energy conservation, demand-
reduction efforts, and installation of emergency generators.
See the NPPC press release.
Study Provides Direct Confirmation of Greenhouse Effect
A study published in the March 15th edition of Nature claims
to provide the first direct, observational evidence that the
Earth's greenhouse effect increased in the past 30 years. The
study compared satellite measurements of infrared radiation
from 1970 with similar measurements made in 1997 and
showed that the amount of outgoing radiation has changed.
According to the researchers, the change in outgoing
radiation implies a change in the way greenhouse gases are
trapping heat within the atmosphere. The study also showed
that changes could be correlated with the spectra of known
greenhouse gases. The study was performed at the Imperial
College in London. See the Imperial College press release.
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.