Thursday, October 28, 2004

Renewable energy notes:

Sharp, PowerLight Team Up for FedEx Solar Project

Just days after a 403 kW solar PV carport project was completed at a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facility in West Sacramento, a FedEx facility in Oakland announced ambitious plans for a solar electric project nearly a MW in size. Just like the USPS project, the FedEx solar installation will be designed and constructed by the Berkeley-based PowerLight company and PV modules will be provided by Sharp. The project will be located on top of the hub of the Oakland, International Airport will be the largest corporate-owned solar project.


World production of solar cells—which convert sunlight directly into electricity—soared to 742 megawatts (MW) in 2003, a jump of 32 percent in just one year. With solar cell production growing by 27 percent annually over the past five years, cumulative world production now stands at 3,145 MW, enough to meet the electricity needs of more than a million homes. This extraordinary growth is driven to some degree by improvements in materials and technology, but primarily by market introduction programs and government incentives.

Geothermal in Harlem Means a Greener City


Full Spectrum developers' $40 million condominium complex at 1400 on 5th in Harlem meets the state's green building criteria because it was constructed with 70 percent recycled and renewable sources, and will use 35 percent less energy because of the geothermal well that will help to heat and cool the building year round. The geothermal well is also known as a geoexchange system that uses the ambient earth temperature to help maintain a level temperature in a building.

Hospital Cures High Electric Bill with Solar Energy


Renewable Technologies, (RTI) of Sutter Creek has completed construction of a 75 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system for Lifetime Health Care Medical Associates' downtown Merced medical facility. RTI deployed a system of 624 solar PV modules, plus inverters, expected to generate an estimated 116,000 kWh a year. The rooftop system also insulates the building, helping to reduce cooling costs, and was fastened to the building using an engineering technique that eliminated the need for any roof penetrations.

California Law Shines on New Solar Energy Projects


ust in time for the solar industry's major conference in San Francisco this week, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that will make it less difficult for homes and businesses hoping to install solar energy systems in towns that tend to find the projects aesthetically unfit for their tastes. Schwarzenegger signed AB 2473 into law, which is a strengthened Solar Rights Act sponsored by California State Assemblywoman Lois Wolk in the 8th Assembly District. The key improvements made to the new Solar Rights Act minimize aesthetic solar restrictions to changes that would cost the developer no more than US$2,000.

A Coalition of Labor and Environmental Advocates Endorse Policy Package for a Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger America

A coalition of labor and environmental advocates are hailing the findings of this new report that clearly demonstrates how smarter environmental policies can lead to significant job creation. The report Smarter, Cleaner, Stronger: Secure Jobs, Clean Environment, and Less Foreign Oil details for the first time on a national and a state-by-state basis, the economic benefits that will result from energy policies that stimulate the development of clean energy technologies.

Manure energy

Amid smiles and handshakes, Lodi dairyman Larry Castelanelli's new methane-powered generator chugged to life last week. California's newest industry - a $7 million plan to make power from manure - finally was rolling. By the end of the year, 12 of 14 state-funded pilot projects on dairy power are expected to be operating, and three more dairy generators are planned next year for southern Sacramento County.

BP Solar Annual Production Boost: 90 to 200 MW

BP Solar announced three projects aimed at strengthening its position in the global solar photovoltaic (PV) market. These projects include doubling the plant capacity at its Frederick, Maryland plant, teaming up with The Home Depot to market BP Solar home systems, and renewing its corporate sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) 2005 Solar Decathlon.

Orange County Builder Goes Solar

With tremendous state rebates and the Governor's talk of a Million Solar Homes Initiative, businesses in California's building trades are becoming increasingly involved with solar energy. And not just on the homes they help build either. Trimco Finish, a large tract finish contractor in Orange County, now has their own commercial scale system on top of their company facility.

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