WHAT’S THE OPPOSITE OF A HOG?: If you're looking to deploy and accelerate an electric motorcycle, southern Oregon may be your parking spot. It's working for Brammo, located in Ashland since 2002, which this month is rolling out its first electric plug-in motorcycle (pictured), called the Enertia. Brammo is expected to add 60 additional employees by the end of 2009. Currently, Brammo employs about 40 people, but projects that within a few years the company could grow to several hundred. The Enertia, priced to sell at $11,995, but subject to a 10-percent federal tax credit for plug-ins vehicles, will roll out via a test program with selected Best Buy stores on the West Coast. "Brammo is the type of innovative and sustainable manufacturer that is continually attracted to the region for both the quality of life and business-friendly attitude," said Ron Fox, executive director of Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc (SOREDI) in early June.
A new Household Electricity Price Index for Europe report from the VassaETT Global Energy Think Tank in collaboration with the Austrian Energy Regulator (E-Control) offers what it says are "startling differences" in prices paid for electricity and gas, with gas customers in Stockholm paying 322 percent more than gas customers in London, and Copenhagen power customers paying 270 percent more than Athens customers. However, end user prices for the EU15 member states have fallen steadily since January 2009.
On May 27, the Obama administration announced that $467 million from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act would go toward expanding and accelerating the development, deployment, and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the United States, with $350 million slated for geothermal. Get the details here.
Which utilities have most integrated solar power into their generation portfolio thus far? Think "West Coast." Also think "25-percent rise in capacity in one year." Find out more here, in a report issued at the end of May by the Solar Electric Power Association.
One place finding solar integration is the Eos Estate Winery in Paso Robles, Calif., where Conergy has installed a 504 kWp photovoltaic (PV) tracking system, a 36 kWp, 204-panel fixed-tilt PV system to power the winery’s popular visitor center and a 100-panel roof-mounted solar thermal system. "Our primary motivator was to produce wines in a way that honors this beautiful coastal area and respects the environment," said Eos Estates Winery owner Jeff Hopmayer. "Conergy’s solutions enable Eos to optimize power generation throughout the day, avoiding the hours of shading confronted by standard systems set to peak hour production," he noted. "These efficiencies -- coupled with the government incentives associated with this project -- made the economics of installing these remarkable earth-friendly systems viable," Hopmayer said. According to Conergy, Eos’s solar initiatives will reduce CO2 emissions by over 21,000 tons – the equivalent of eliminating 68 million car miles from California’s freeways.
|The Eos Estate Winery knows how to get the most out of the sun. (Eos is Greek for "goddess of the dawn.")
Green jobs may be all the rage, but actually getting hired for one may be tougher than it appears, as this piece about FPL’s new solar-power plant from The Palm Beach Post illustrates.
Electric engineering was one strength of Clemson University that helped attract American Titanium Works to South Carolina. Now it’s also attracted the Energy Providers Coalition for Education, which will offer the school’s Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, including its Power Systems specialization, to its members. “By partnering with EPCE, we can offer this degree to an industry that is vital to our nation’s security and lifestyle and that also has a significant need for new engineers,” said Randy Collins, associate dean for Undergraduate and International Studies in the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University.
- The host of useful presentations issuing from the recent Council of Development Finance Agencies Summit in Pittsburgh include a perspective from Stern Brothers & Co. on financing options for renewable energy projects
- If you thought the sum total of Nigeria’s energy picture amounted to oil and more oil, think again. The country is offering new incentives related to all aspects of biofuel production.
- Those connected to the ethanol business may want to bone up on the fine print of new EPA regulations issued in May. North Dakota State University Extension Service biofuels economist Cole Gustafson offers his gloss in a recent piece published by SeedQuest.
GRID UNLOCK: In a big step forward for New England, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on May 21 approved the funding arrangement for a major transmission project linking Hydro-Quebec with ISO New England that would deliver low-cost hydropower to consumers in the New England region. FERC announced other transmission approvals that same day for plans submitted by multiple providers across the country, and said it would convene regional conferences later this year “to determine whether transmission providers’ planning efforts can meet the challenges posed by wider integration of regional energy resources into the nation’s power grid for the benefit of consumers.”
There’s plenty of good information to digest from the Reuters Global Energy Summit, a closed-door series of roundtable interviews with industry leaders held simultaneously in London, Houston and Singapore June 1-4. (Those in the corporate real estate field will want to mark their calendars for the Reuters Global Real Estate Summit June 22-24, to be held in New York, London and Singapore.)