EREN Network News
September 26, 2001
News and Events
- A Message from the Assistant Secretary
- Seattle City Council Approves 50-Megawatt Wind Purchase
- BEF and The Climate Trust Buy A Decade of Green Power
- Vermont Energy Plan Commits to Efficiency, Renewables
- General Motors Produces Powerful New Fuel Cell
- Fuel Cell Project Rejected in Connecticut, but Europe Buys
- DOE Funds Seven Teams to Build Superconducting Equipment
Energy Facts and Tips
- Launch of New Office of Transportation Technologies Web Site
About this Newsletter
- EIA Releases the Electric Power Annual 2000
News and Events
A Message from the Assistant Secretary
David Garman, DOE's Assistant Secretary for Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), has prepared a
special message in response to the terrorist attack on
September 11th. See Assistant Secretary Garman's
message on the EERE page of the EREN Web site.
Seattle City Council Approves 50-Megawatt Wind Purchase
The Seattle City Council last week approved a purchase of
50 megawatts of wind power enough to power about
16,500 homes which will be the nation's largest purchase
of wind power by a public utility to date. The city's municipal
utility, Seattle City Light, will purchase the power from the
Stateline Wind Project, now under construction on the
Oregon-Washington border. The utility will buy the output
from 50 megawatts of installed wind capacity starting on
January 1st of next year. The utility will double its purchase
to 100 megawatts in August 2002, and may increase it to
175 megawatts in August 2004.
See the press release about the proposal on the Seattle City Light Web site.
See also the full text of the ordinance from the City of Seattle Legislative Information Service.
As noted in the city's news release, the Stateline Wind Project
will now have a total capacity of 262 megawatts instead of
the 300 megawatts originally planned. Environmental
considerations caused some of the planned turbine sites in
Oregon to be eliminated from the project. See last week's
EREN Network News.
BEF and The Climate Trust Buy A Decade of Green Power
The Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) and The
Climate Trust agreed early this month to jointly buy $200,000
worth of green power over the next ten years an amount
totaling 36,500 megawatt-hours. The organizations will
actually buy "green tags" from DOE's Bonneville Power
Administration (BPA), which serves the Pacific Northwest.
BPA will produce the power at a wind project in Oregon, then
will sell the electricity as part of its standard electricity
supply. The green tag purchase will cover the added cost of
producing the power from wind energy, and the two organizations
will end up owning the environmental attributes of that clean
power: credits for avoiding the production of carbon dioxide,
nitrogen oxide, and other pollutants. Those credits, which
could potentially be sold to a power plant to offset its
emissions, will instead be retired by the two organizations.
See the BEF press release.
BEF has been selling green tags itself through its Web site.
Over the past 18 months, BEF has sold green tags for more
than 11,700 megawatt-hours of green power. To help
individuals and small businesses figure out how many green
tags they need to purchase to offset their own energy use,
BEF has created an online carbon dioxide calculator. See
the BEF press release.
Or jump straight to the carbon dioxide calculator.
Vermont Energy Plan Commits to Efficiency, Renewables
Vermont Governor Howard Dean unveiled last week a long-
term energy plan for the state that relies on energy efficiency
and renewable energy to meet any growth in the state's
demand for electricity. Vermont's electricity use is currently
increasing by 100,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per
year. The plan also diversifies the state's energy sources by
drawing on efficient, small-scale, onsite power generation.
To help achieve the plan's goals, the governor is proposing
to allocate $750,000 in 2002 toward subsidies for small-
scale renewable energy installations. See the announcement (PDF 23 KB)
on the Vermont Department of Public Service Web site.(Download Acrobat Reader)
General Motors Produces Powerful New Fuel Cell
A fuel cell with a small size that produces a lot of power is
critical for the success of fuel-cell-powered vehicles. Early
prototypes filled entire vans full of fuel cell components, but
recent advances have brought fuel cell power densities the
amount of power produced per volume occupied by the fuel
cell high enough to create practical vehicles. And
according to a mid-September announcement from General
Motors Corporation (GM), that company's fuel cell is now the
top performer in terms of power density. GM says its latest
fuel cell achieves 1.75 kilowatts per liter, which is 60 percent
higher than any other power density announced to date. The
closest competitor, according to GM, is Canada's Ballard
Power Systems, which has achieved a power density of
1.1 kilowatts per liter. See the GM press release.
While Ballard may be unhappy with the GM news, it recently
received much better news from Ford Motor Company.
Ballard announced last week that it has signed a three-year
agreement worth $22 million (in U.S. dollars) to supply Ford
with its Mark 900 Series fuel cell power modules and related
engineering and support services. "We intend to launch our
first commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2004, and this agreement
with Ballard will enable us to achieve that goal," said John
Wallace, executive director of Ford's TH!NK brand. See the
Ballard press release.
Fuel Cell Project Rejected in Connecticut, but Europe Buys
A proposal to install 26 megawatts worth of fuel cells
throughout Connecticut, and to fund them through the state's
Conservation and Load Management Fund, was rejected
two weeks ago in a draft decision by the Connecticut
Department of Public Utility Control. FuelCell Energy, Inc.
had planned to produce the fuel cells for the project. See the
FuelCell Energy press release.
The news hasn't been all bad for FuelCell Energy, however.
The company announced last week that it is sending seven
250-kilowatt fuel cell plants to Europe under an agreement
with a division of DaimlerChrysler. See the FuelCell Energy
DOE Funds Seven Teams to Build Superconducting Equipment
DOE announced on Monday that seven teams will receive a
total of $57 million to advance high-temperature superconductivity
(HTS) technologies. Superconductivity is the ability of certain
materials to carry electrical current without resistance, which
causes most of the energy losses in wires. Electrical
equipment that uses superconductors can operate at high
efficiencies, but most superconductors require cooling to
cryogenic temperatures. HTS materials offer the advantages
of other superconductors but at higher temperatures, which
allow liquid nitrogen to be used as a coolant. This makes
HTS technologies much more practical for use in common
To advance the use of HTS technologies, the seven teams
will design and develop an electrical generator, a utility-scale
transformer, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system,
bearings for a flywheel energy storage system, and a
magnetic separator for industry all using HTS components.
In addition, two HTS cables will be installed in utility
substations: a high-power-capacity cable in a congested
urban substation on Long Island in New York, and a three-
phase, 1000-foot cable in a substation in Columbus, Ohio.
See the DOE press release.
Launch of New Office of Transportation Technologies Web Site
DOE's Office of Transportation Technologies (OTT) Web site
has a new look and feel, thanks to a major redesign that was
completed in mid-September. The redesigned Web site has
a simpler home page that provides a more intuitive
organization of the large amount of work done by OTT. In
addition to three main categories About Us, Technologies,
and Partnerships the site provides information crafted
specifically for drivers and operators, fleet managers,
students, and people interested in funding opportunities. The
site also packages a variety of tools into five simple
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site.
Energy Facts and Tips
EIA Releases the Electric Power Annual 2000
DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its
Electric Power Annual 2000 early this month. The publication
provides a review of the year 2000 for the electric power
industry, and features the beginning of the electrical crisis in
California while electric industry restructuring continued in
other states. Hydropower, the primary source of renewable
electricity in the United States, suffered from drought
conditions that lowered output by about 13 percent
compared to 1999. The other renewable energy sources
including solar, wind, geothermal energy, and biomass
power remained lost in the "other" category, producing
only 2.2 percent of the United States' electricity. See the
report on the EIA Web site.
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