Library filed under Technology from USA

Windmill OK'd for Stuarts Draft

STUARTS DRAFT — When the sun goes down, the homemade passive solar heater for Richard Murphy's tractor barn shuts off. He's confident that his 1.8 kilowatt wind turbine will pick up the slack. Thursday afternoon, the Augusta County Board of Zoning Appeals granted Murphy a special use permit for a 35-foot tower at his aptly named Windy Hill Lane residence. But Murphy doesn't plan to leave the grid. In fact, his three-blade, 220-volt alternator will feed directly into his breaker box, easing the draw of his all-electric house on his utility meter. When he generates more than he uses, state law insists that the utility buys his surplus. "I estimate I can cut my electrical bill between 20 and 30 percent," he said. "Payback will happen in about 12 years."
7 Oct 2006

Arizona utility seeks investors to reopen Mohave coal plant

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A publicly owned Arizona utility is on the hunt for investors who will share its dream of restarting a shuttered coal-fired power plant in the Nevada desert that was abandoned by its other owners. Phoenix-based Salt River Project is working to build a new ownership group to buy and upgrade the 1,580-megawatt Mohave Generating Station. The plant, in Laughlin, Nev. near the Arizona border, was shut in December because its owners hadn't installed pollution control equipment required under a court-approved consent decree. The plant also faced other problems, including expiring coal and water supply contracts. To resolve a lawsuit by environmentalists concerned about the harmful effects of pollution from Mohave on wildlife at the nearby Grand Canyon National Park, the plant's owners agreed to either install pollution-control equipment or shut the plant by the end of 2005.
6 Oct 2006

Energy Choices for Hawaii

Both senatorial candidates as did many other candidates used the same talking points for Hawaii’s energy future. Many uniformly supported and promoted wind, solar, and ethanol, as the road to energy nirvana. The politics of Hawaii demands an absolute deference to these energy sources or risk political oblivion. But it needs to be said that a state or nation heavily dependent upon these future energy sources is in serious trouble. Yet this is where the political forces of Hawaii are leading.
4 Oct 2006

A powerful feeling

Tim and Robyn Wood don't have to sweat over the electric bills for their Oregon home. More often than not, their utility company - Wisconsin Power & Light of Madison - pays them for electricity. With a 24-panel solar array for electricity, a separate solar panel system for the water heater and a small wind turbine, the Woods' home is still connected to the state's grid of electric transmission lines. But for the most part, the Woods power their own lights, laundry machines, computers, television and other household appliances. "I use power whenever it's cloudy out and there's no wind. But when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, I make enough power that I can turn my meter backward," Tim Wood said.
4 Oct 2006

Plant would boost energy in Hayward

When peak demand hits, as it did during this year's sweltering July, the center would be called into action, the company said. The plant, planned to be built on Clawiter Road near PG&E's Eastshore substation, would only operate during peak demand periods, according to the company...... The Eastshore plant would use less water annually than five residences, the company said, with its engines cooled by a closed-water system. It would be built using state-of-the-art air emissions control technology.
27 Sep 2006

The questions are blowin' in the wind

The land around him stretches open and bare except for the single wind-reading tower. But the accumulated data has confirmed the area's potential, and, soon, PPM Energy, Baker's boss and one of the nation's largest wind developers, plans to erect 147 turbines, each 30 stories high, a massive project by industry standards. His job isn't just about the wind. It's about converting wind speeds into kilowatt-hours. It's about pricing each of those units of energy. It's about the money. "We sell electricity, not miles per hour," Baker explains.
25 Sep 2006

The power of wind

DENVER — Mercury Cafe owner Marilyn Megenity, a self-styled energy activist, drives a biodiesel-fueled car, conserves electricity at her business and voluntarily buys wind power. But by the end of this month, she expects to have something rarely seen in Denver: two power-generating windmills atop her popular downtown restaurant. "I'm very concerned about our nation's energy use, and I want to do something about it," Megenity said. Not yet a trend, not even a fledgling movement, small-scale wind power in urban areas is beginning to grab the attention of a handful of committed energy-efficiency enthusiasts and environmentalists. Last year, 8,400 small wind-powered structures were sold, compared with 4,700 in 2004, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
23 Sep 2006

Renewable Energy Funding To Be Removed in 2007

Critics argue that the cuts will hurt the country’s renewable energy initiative. Although geothermal plants produce less than 1 percent of nation’s electricity, experts believe there is significant potential to expand geothermal production. However, President Bush cut the research because he believes that private industry should take on the role of investing in geothermal and hydropower plants.
22 Sep 2006

Medford dump transformed into energy farm

The largest landfill in Jackson County is transforming itself into an alternative energy farm that will burn waste methane to produce a steady 3.2 megawatts of power for the next century. The Dry Creek landfill takes in 900 tons of municipal garbage a day. But construction has just started on a powerhouse, which will go online next spring with two large, 20-cylinder Caterpillar engines, to use that decomposing garbage from Jackson and Josephine counties to convert into energy. A third engine may be added later. It's the first green landfill in Southern Oregon. Burning 1,040 cubic feet of methane per minute, its output would continually power about 3,000 homes, said Dry Creek General Manager Lee Fortier, a civil engineer who designed the landfill. Similar green energy farms are in Eugene and Corvallis. Energy will be sold to Pacific Power and fed into the grid.
21 Sep 2006

Warren, Tourister developer explores tidal energy

WARREN - John Rosenthal has his eyes on the heavy current pulling hard underneath the Warren River Bridge. The president of Meredith Management — the company planning to develop the 14-acre former American Tourister property into hundreds of condominiums — wants to harness the river's tidal energy and use it to supply electricity to the proposed residential complex. The state's Office of Energy Resources is already on board with Mr. Rosenthal's idea. In late August, the agency awarded a $20,000 grant to Meredith Management to fund a feasibility study. On Thursday, Sept. 14, the same day Mr. Rosenthal formally submitted the plan for the redeveloped Tourister property, the company president said work had begun on the tidal energy study, and that he was optimistic about its potential. "We hope it will be fiscally feasible," he said. "This is better than wind energy ... water is denser than air, and it is invisible to the public."
21 Sep 2006

DTE orders Lakers to shut down turbines

PIGEON — Just as the three wind turbines by Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Elementary School only recently started spinning after a long wait, those involved with the turbine project are facing difficulties with DTE Energy — and it’s making their heads spin. “DTE personnel have demanded that these turbines be shut down immediately and not restarted until (a) seven-week study is completed, the school district pays for the upgrading of DTE equipment, and that equipment is installed by DTE personnel,” said Laker Interim Superintendent Bob Drury in a press release. Les Singer, DTE Energy spokesman, said there are requirements for any customer that interconnects with the company’s system to ensure that their equipment can safely and compatibly work with the system.
21 Sep 2006

MIT designs 'invisible,' floating wind turbines

An MIT researcher has a vision: Four hundred huge offshore wind turbines are providing onshore customers with enough electricity to power several hundred thousand homes, and nobody standing onshore can see them. The trick? The wind turbines are floating on platforms a hundred miles out to sea, where the winds are strong and steady.
18 Sep 2006

Firm applies to build Kalama power plant

Energy Northwest this week submitted an application to build a $1 billion coal gasification power plant at the Port of Kalama, kicking off a review by state regulators that could take more than a year. "This is a new technology," Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council manager Allen Fiksdal said Wednesday. "It's a big project, and it's complex." The 600-megawatt Pacific Mountain Energy Center would be the first power plant of its kind in Washington and the first required to comply with a state law that calls on new power plants that use fossil fuels to curb greenhouse gases.
15 Sep 2006

FPL plans coal plant

Ten months after the St. Lucie County Commission denied Florida Power & Light an opportunity to build a coal power plant, the Glades County Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the project. If the state signs off on the deal, the coal power plant would be the first of its kind in the country, FPL said, because it would use new, more environmentally friendly technology that would emit fewer pollutants......FPL said the plant is needed in a state where almost 1,000 new residents move in every day, and where the cost of natural gas, another source of electricity, continues to rise. The plant would also make service more reliable, FPL officials said.
15 Sep 2006

Wind testing plant to be built outside state

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden is planning to build a multimillion-dollar wind- blade testing plant. But it won’t be in Colorado. Plans for the nation’s second wind research center include testing wind blades as long as 230 feet. Lack of adequate federal dollars and the difficulty of transporting long wind blades to an inland region such as Colorado are prompting NREL to build the plant somewhere else, possibly along the coasts or the Great Lakes easily accessed by ships and barges.
12 Sep 2006

U.S. Department of Energy Funding More Research at Northern Power on Modular Technology for Large Wind Turbines

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Northern Power, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp. (Nasdaq: DESC - News), a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to continue development of key modular construction technologies necessary to build 5-megawatt to 8-megawatt wind turbines. In announcing the $750,000 award, Northern Power said the project builds on a Phase 1 SBIR design study recently completed by the company, which confirmed the viability of these enabling, modular construction approaches.
12 Sep 2006

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