EREN Network News
October 24, 2001
News and Events
- Nike to Use Energy Efficiency, Green Power to Cut Emissions
- New Solar Power Sites Installed in Chicago, Coming to Texas
- Xcel Energy Debuts Colorado's Second Commercial Wind Plant
- Conservation Helps Northwest Power Outlook, But at a Price
- White House, DOE Honor Federal Energy Savers
- Alliance to Save Energy Hosts Energy Summit Tomorrow
Energy Facts and Tips
- Improved Electricity Restructuring Web Site
About this Newsletter
- IPCC Releases Synthesis Report on Climate Change
News and Events
Nike to Use Energy Efficiency, Green Power to Cut Emissions
Nike Inc. has committed to work with the World Wildlife Fund
(WWF) and the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions to
reduce its worldwide emissions of greenhouse gas
emissions. As announced by WWF early this month, Nike
plans to use energy efficiency and green power purchases to
reduce greenhouse emissions from Nike-owned facilities and
services. The company aims to reduce the carbon dioxide
emissions caused by its owned facilities and services and
from its business travel to 13 percent below 1998 levels by
2005. See the WWF press release.
New Solar Power Sites Installed in Chicago, Coming to Texas
Spire Corporation announced early this month the
installation of three 50-kilowatt solar power systems in
Chicago. Spire installed the systems on the roofs of three
major Chicago museums the Art Institute of Chicago, the
Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, and the Chicago
Historical Society as part of a commitment by a number of
organizations to produce clean energy in Chicago. According
to Spire, each system can produce enough electricity to
power up to 10 homes. See the Spire press release.
Texas will also be graced with two new 50-kilowatt solar
electric systems by year end. Green Mountain Energy
Company (GMEC) announced last week that it will install
one 50-kilowatt system on the roof of the Winston School in
Dallas, and a second at an undisclosed location in Houston.
The systems will be supported by customers through
membership in the company's "Big Texas Sun Club." See
the GMEC press release.
See also the Big Texas Sun Club page on the GMEC Web
A solar electric system was also installed in Lime Village,
Alaska, last month. The 106-panel system works in
conjunction with a diesel generator to provide power to the
remote rural village. The photovoltaic system is expected to
displace more than 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year.
See the Alaska Energy Authority press release (PDF 85 KB) Download Acrobat Reader.
And finally, ten high schools in Wisconsin will each receive a
2.5-kilowatt solar electric system in the near future. The
Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE) Foundation is
donating more than $300,000 to purchase, install and
maintain the photovoltaic electric systems. See the MGE
If the environmental group Greenpeace is correct, these
installations are just the beginning of something much
bigger. According to a report released last week by
Greenpeace and the European Photovoltaic Industry
Association, solar energy could meet 26 percent of global
energy needs by 2040. See the Greenpeace press release.
Xcel Energy Debuts Colorado's Second Commercial Wind Plant
Xcel Energy announced last week that a new 30-megawatt
wind power plant is now generating electricity near the town
of Peetz in northeastern Colorado. The new Peetz Table
Wind Power Plant the second commercial wind facility in
Colorado is owned by Cinergy Global Power and was
developed by enXco Inc. It features 33 NEG Micon turbines,
each capable of generating 900 kilowatts of electricity.
Xcel Energy is buying the power from the project through a
15-year contract in support of its customer-supported
Windsource program. Participants in the program purchase
wind power in 100-kilowatt-hour blocks each month, at a
premium of $2.50 per block. Xcel Energy now has more than
17,000 customers participating in its Windsource program in
Colorado, including more than 400 businesses and four
wholesale customers. See the Xcel Energy press release.
Wind power is experiencing somewhat of a boom in the
West, particularly in Oregon and Washington, where
developers are currently negotiating with DOE's Bonneville
Power Administration (BPA) to provide up to 2,600 megawatts
of wind power. BPA recently warned landowners to be sure
they're getting a good deal before they sign contracts
allowing developers to install wind turbines on their land.
See the BPA press release.
Conservation Helps Northwest Power Outlook, But at a Price
The Pacific Northwest has sufficient power supplies this winter,
according to the Northwest Power Planning Council (NWPPC),
and actions to reduce electrical demand are largely
responsible. However, some of those actions came at a high
price. Although the region reduced electricity demand by
roughly 20 percent about 4,000 megawatts since last year,
the council estimates that 60 percent of that reduction is due to
the idling of the Northwest aluminum industry, resulting in
layoffs. The council also credits consumer energy efficiency for
contributing to the reduced energy demand, although the
extent of that contribution is not known.
On the supply side, more than 900 megawatts of new
generating capacity have been added, and hydroelectric
storage reservoirs have been filled to normal levels. But that
reservoir filling came at the cost of lost water for irrigation and
reduced water spills for fish migration. Temporary power
generators also helped boost the energy supply over the
summer, but most of them burned diesel fuel and contributed
to air pollution in the region. Yet because of these combined
efforts, the NWPPC predicts less than a 1 percent probability
of power deficits this winter. See the NWPPC press release.
Despite seeing the down side to electricity demand reductions,
the NWPPC still advocates energy efficiency as a positive way
to reduce demand. In fact, a new analysis released by the
council last week challenges the region's utilities to implement
new energy-efficiency programs. The council estimates that
such programs could reduce the region's electrical demand by
another 300 megawatts within three years. See the NWPPC
This summer's reduced spills definitely had an impact on fish
populations the Fish Passage Center estimates that
30 percent of the chinook salmon survived their journey down
the Snake and Lower Columbia rivers, compared to 49 percent
in 2000. Steelhead trout had it worse: their survival rate
dropped from 39 percent in 2000 to only 4 percent in 2001.
See the Fish Passage Center's preliminary analysis.
The problem of balancing water spills against the need to
generate power may be alleviated in coming years through
new hydropower turbine technology, according to the
National Hydropower Association (NHA). Testing is now
underway at Alden Research Laboratory, Inc. on a three-
bladed corkscrew-shaped turbine intended to pass more fish
safely. While today's turbines typically pass between 85 to
95 percent of fish, DOE's Advanced Hydropower Turbine
Systems Program seeks to boost that range to at least
98 percent fish survival. See the NHA press release.
See also the DOE Advanced Hydropower Turbine Systems Program Web site.
White House, DOE Honor Federal Energy Savers
Vice President Dick Cheney presented awards last week to
four federal-agency energy management teams whose
projects will result in millions of dollars of energy cost
savings. The ceremony followed similar awards presented
by DOE earlier in the week.
Vice President Cheney presented the Presidential Awards
for Federal Energy Management on Thursday to teams from
the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), the U.S. Marine Corps
(USMC), and the U.S. Department of the Navy. The NASA
Energy Team negotiated six large energy-saving contracts
while pursuing NASA's use of wind, solar, geothermal, and
landfill-gas energy. The USPS Southeast Area instituted a
"Stamp Out Energy Waste" program to encourage
employees to save energy. The USMC Air Station at
Iwakuni, Japan, cycled waste steam through buildings
throughout the station, thereby reducing boiler loads and
saving about $340,000 per year in energy costs. The Navy's
Regional Energy Program Office for the Southwest Region
worked with the local utility, the state of California, and
private sector companies to install a 21.6-kilowatt
photovoltaic system. See the DOE press release.
Last Wednesday, DOE presented the 2001 Federal Energy
and Water Management Awards to 43 groups and individuals
from federal agencies whose efforts during the past fiscal
year saved the federal government more than $33 million in
energy costs. The awards recognize efforts that have
achieved significant progress toward energy efficiency goals
set for the government by the President and Congress.
Preliminary fiscal year (FY) 2000 data indicate that the
federal government exceeded energy reduction goals by
3.1 percent. In real dollars, the government spent $2.4 billion
less for energy used in buildings in FY 2000 than in FY 1985.
See the DOE press release.
DOE also honored its own last week, awarding nine DOE
organizations and two individuals with the DOE Energy
Management Awards. Awardees are named each year by
DOE's Federal Energy Management Program to recognize
outstanding achievements in energy and water management.
Such efforts have helped DOE exceed the federal government's
energy goals, reducing FY 2000 energy use in DOE buildings
by more than 40 percent compared to FY 1985. See the
DOE press release.
Alliance to Save Energy Hosts Energy Summit Tomorrow
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham will be the keynote
speaker at tomorrow's "Summit on Energy Efficiency,"
sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) and held in
Washington, D.C. Secretary Abraham will be joined by
several prominent policymakers and energy experts during
the summit, which will examine energy security, the national
energy policy debate, current trends in energy markets, the
impact of the energy situation in California, and new
challenges in energy supply. The summit will follow tonight's
"Alliance Evening with the Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards
Dinner," which will honor New York Governor George E. Pataki,
the energy service company industry, and Howard S. Geller,
former Executive Director of the American Council for an
Energy Efficient Economy. See the ASE press release.
Improved Electricity Restructuring Web Site
This newly redesigned site includes an in-depth description
of DOE’s Electricity Restructuring Program, an updated
timeline charting each state’s restructuring activities, and
new reports on DOE-funded restructuring projects throughout
the country. These reports address an array of topics related
to electricity restructuring, from creating standard performance
contracts for energy efficiency services to assisting state
legislators on electric restructuring issues.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
IPCC Releases Synthesis Report on Climate Change
In late September, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) approved the final volume of its Third
Assessment Report, which is IPCC's third effort to gather all
known scientific information about climate change and
compile a consensus report about the state of the science.
Previously released are the three main volumes of the
report, which look at the scientific basis for climate change,
the anticipated impacts of climate change, and potential
mitigation strategies. The new Synthesis Report summarizes
the findings of the previous three volumes in a straightforward
question-and-answer format. Although the full report will not
be available until year end, a 26-page Summary for Policymakers
is now available. Accompanying the summary is a set of
11 color figures that illustrate key points from the Synthesis
Report. See the IPCC announcement, the Summary for
Policymakers text and the accompanying illustrations on the
IPCC Web site.
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