Colorado is well known as the home of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden. Less well known is the recently unveiled Solar Technology Acceleration Center in Aurora (pictured), thought to be one of the nation's largest test, demonstration and research facilities for solar technologies. Companies with research and investment stakes in the 74-acre (30-hectare) complex near Denver International Airport include Xcel Energy, Amonix, Abengoa Solar and SunEdison. SolarTAC is a public-private venture managed by MRIGlobal. Additional acreage is readily available for future expansion. SolarTAC originated when public and private sector entities joined forces to establish a site where member companies can bring their advanced or near-commercial stage solar technologies for testing, research, and demonstration under actual field conditions.
You can download selected presentations from Europe's premier clean technology conference, Cleantech Forum Amsterdam 2011, held May 9-11.
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) in May celebrated the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the U.S. fed directly from an active industrial hydrogen pipeline. The station is a collaborative effort between Toyota, Air Products, Shell, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The facility will provide hydrogen for the Toyota fuel cell hybrid demonstration program vehicles as well as other manufacturers' fuel cell vehicle fleets in the Los Angeles area. The station is located adjacent to the TMS sales and marketing headquarters campus. As landowner, Toyota leases the land to Shell for a nominal fee. As station owner/operator, Shell works directly with Air Products, which provides on-site equipment and station maintenance. The pipeline gas also is provided by Air Products from its plants in Wilmington and Carson, Calif. SCAQMD and DOE provided project funding assistance.
Argentina's second liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facility (pictured) was inaugurated June 16 with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in attendance. A joint development between YPF S.A., ENARSA and Excelerate Energy, GNL Escobar (GNLE) is located on the Paraná River, about 30 miles (48 km.) outside Buenos Aires. The facility began receiving cargoes on May 24, 2011 and has already offloaded four cargoes of LNG using ship-to-ship transfers. "The facility only took nine months to develop from construction start to in-service - on schedule and just in time for the peak winter months," said an Excelerate press release. "With relatively low capital investment - permit and construct at a fraction of the cost of a traditional onshore LNG terminal - the inherent flexibility of the Excelerate Energy Bridge design allows GNLE to adapt to the high seasonality of Argentina's natural gas market, allowing a fast response to the peak consumption periods."
Think the spinoff effect of shale gas is limited to the Halliburtons of the world? Think again. The national law firm of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC announced in May it is opening an office in the Pittsburgh-area development of Southpointe, in Canonsburg, to accommodate the continued growth of its energy practice, which includes oil and gas (Marcellus shale), coal, renewable energy and environmental sectors. "By effectively being 'on site' with our clients," said Oil and Gas Practice Group Leader Sean Moran, "we'll be able to collaborate and exchange information first-hand, and also more easily stay at the forefront of industry developments." Buchanan's Energy Section includes more than 80 lawyers and government relations professionals. In the past two years, Buchanan's Energy Section has represented clients in more than $12 billion in energy-related transactions. "The firm continues to experience a heavy volume of ongoing transactional and land work," said a release, "and has recently seen an uptick in zoning/land use, environmental regulatory and litigation projects."
In other food firm renewables news, the largest solar farm in Pennsylvania, constructed by Snyder's-Lance across from its Hanover headquarters, was completed earlier this week. Covering 26 acres (10.5 hectares) and comprised of 15,092 solar panels, the solar farm is expected to generate 4,453,136 kilowatt hours (kWH) and save close to 30 percent of the current energy costs for the Hanover facility. The solar farm will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in excess of 230 million pounds of carbon dioxide over a 25-year period. Read our report about the pretzel maker's projects from Site Selection's May 2011 issue.
Lake Mary, Fla.-based Advanced Solar Photonics (ASP), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BlueChip Energy Group and a manufacturer of crystalline silicon solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, announced in May that it is expanding its solar PV module production capacity to 100 megawatts (MW) and adding more than 50 cleantech jobs this year. The company plans to further expand production capacity to 250 MW in the next three years. ASP purchased the solar panel manufacturing facility formerly operated by BP Solar in Maryland, then installed and calibrated the acquired equipment and started production in autumn 2010.
On June 22, residential retail natural gas supplier IGS Energy announced that its new headquarters in Dublin, Ohio (pictured), had earned LEED-Platinum certification for new construction. At 104,500 sq. ft. (9,708 sq. m.), it is the largest LEED NC Platinum office building project in the state and one of only four LEED NC Platinum-certified projects listed by the USGBC in Ohio. IGS Energy earned 10 out of the 10 energy points available. Help came from the City of Dublin, whose Green Incentive program provided $75,000 toward the project.
PPL Montana, a subsidiary of PPL Corp., announced in mid-June that the $230-million expansion of its Rainbow hydroelectric plant, originally built in 1910, is more than 60 percent complete and on schedule despite the record rainfall this spring and continuing high flows on the Missouri River. Having embedded all major turbines in concrete, the crew's next milestone is to complete the powerhouse, said PPL Montana COO and Vice President Pete Simonich. "The new Rainbow hydroelectric plant taking shape on the Missouri River is poised to bring more clean, reliable energy to the region and power the future, just as it helped provide power and fueled economic growth at the dawn of the industrial age in Montana back in 1910," he said.
Biomass is a fancy word for wood chips or pellets. So Ohio-based grinder and wood processing equipment maker Fecon, Inc. was on hand recently at the second annual Southern Utah Biomass Field Day, held in Beaver, Utah, in early June, to demonstrate its RTC22/500-8 Chipper Forwarder in-woods biomass harvesting equipment, along with Bull Hog® mulchers on compact track loaders and PTO tractors. "Representatives from the office of Utah's Governor Herbert, the Bureau of Land Management, the USDA Forest Service, private contractors, land owners and educators were in attendance to share ideas and discuss how Utah's Pinyon-Juniper forest could play a key role in the state's master energy plan," said Fecon, announcing it was proud to support the event, "demonstrating the concept of in-woods chipping and collection at the stump, a process that reduces harvest costs and creates dense chip loads for cost-effective transport."
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"Energy Matters" is compiled, written and edited by Adam Bruns.