NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, 7-22: GOOGLE’S BIG WIND BUY; BIG SUN BUILD FOR TENNESSEE; VIRGINIA IS FOR OFFSHORE WIND LOVERS; SUNRISE FOR SOCAL GRID

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    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT WEDNESDAY,:

  • TTTA Wednesday-ORIGINAL REPORTING: California’s Rooftop Solar Supports Questioned
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  • FRIDAY WORLD, May 27:
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    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    QUICK NEWS, 7-22: GOOGLE’S BIG WIND BUY; BIG SUN BUILD FOR TENNESSEE; VIRGINIA IS FOR OFFSHORE WIND LOVERS; SUNRISE FOR SOCAL GRID

    GOOGLE’S BIG WIND BUY
    Google Energy's big green power purchase; Google backs wind energy with 20-year renewable power purchase
    Todd Woody, 21 July 2010 (UK Guardian)

    "Google is officially in the green energy business…[I]ts Google Energy subsidiary signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy. Google will begin buying 114 megawatts of electricity from an Iowa wind farm on July 30.

    "Google, of course, cannot directly use the clean green energy generated by the wind farm; that power goes into the local grid. So Google Energy will sell the power on the regional spot market, where utilities and electricity retailers go to buy power when demand spikes and they have a shortfall. Google will use the revenue from spot market sales to buy renewable energy certificates (RECs) which will offset its greenhouse gas emissions."


    click to enlarge

    "Many companies buy RECs in an attempt to be carbon neutral, obtaining them from third-party brokers. But by purchasing RECs directly tied to the renewable energy it is also buying, Google is getting a bigger bang for its buck."

    [Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president for operations, Google:] "By contracting to purchase so much energy for so long, we're giving the developer of the wind farm financial certainty to build additional clean energy projects…The inability of renewable energy developers to obtain financing has been a significant inhibitor to the expansion of renewable energy…[T]aking 114 megawatts of wind power off the market for so long means producers have the incentive and means to build more renewable energy capacity for other customers."

    click to enlarge

    "In a statement on its site, Google also noted that its motivations for signing long-term renewable energy contracts are not entirely altruistic…[explaining it is protecting itself] against future increases in power prices…[because] buying green makes business sense…

    "It remains to be seen how big a green power purchaser Google will become…[It] has also invested directly in a wind project built by NextEra Energy, the biggest American wind power producer…But Dan Reicher, Google.org director of climate change and energy programs…[has said] that finding clean ways of powering Google's massive data centers led in part to the establishment of Google Energy…"



    BIG SUN BUILD FOR TENNESSEE
    West TN solar farm contractor announced
    July 21, 2010 (NWTN Today)

    "The State Building Commission last week approved Chattanooga-based Signal Energy as the design/build contractor for the West Tennessee Solar Farm…

    "The proposed five-megawatt, 30-acre power generation facility is part of Governor Phil Bredesen’s
    Volunteer State Solar Initiative, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and will be one of the largest solar installations in the Southeast…The Department of Economic and Community Development has contracted with the University of Tennessee [UT] to oversee planning, operation and management…"

    click to enlarge

    "The Farm will consist of over 20,000 high efficiency silicon-based photovoltaic modules in a 5 MW configuration, expected to produce more than 7,000 megawatt hours of electricity annually…[Installation] is expected to begin in October 2010 with completion the following spring.

    "UT selected Signal Energy following a competitive request-for-proposal process…As a subsidiary of EMJ corporation, Signal Energy is the renewable energy arm of one of the nation’s largest general contractors…The Tennessee Department of Transportation will also build an education and welcome center at the Solar Farm which will serve as an educational facility for the public and students…"


    click to enlarge

    "The Solar Farm will utilize commercially available power generation technology, but may also test new technology under real world conditions.

    "The Volunteer State Solar Initiative is a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program focusing on job creation, education, renewable power production and technology commercialization and is being established using $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding received by ECD…The Initiative consists of two components, the West Tennessee Solar Farm and the Tennessee Solar Institute at UT."



    VIRGINIA IS FOR OFFSHORE WIND LOVERS
    A Good Case for Offshore Wind Farms
    July 21, 2010 (The Lynchburg News & Advance)

    "…[A] demonstration center [for offshore wind turbines] could pave the way toward making [Virginia] a leader in the production of electricity from wind…Any move toward wind energy could lessen the demand for oil — whether is comes from overseas or off U.S. shores.

    "The state made a pitch to the U.S. Department of Energy last week to develop a $60 million to $80 million demonstration center [in the Hampton Roads area] where wind turbines would undergo engineering and operational tests…[The project] would place fixed offshore wind turbines in three locations ranging from shallow to intermediate depth waters…[The Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium] promoting offshore wind energy…has found that Virginia has 'strong potential with Class 6 winds, water depths under 30 meters, and ready access to the high-voltage electric transmission grid.'"


    Virginia's richest wind assets are offshore. (click to enlarge)

    "…The project would assess how fixed wind turbines would withstand tropical storms, their impact on birds in the busy Atlantic flyway and their compatibility with the large military presence in the Hampton Roads area…The military is seeking to achieve by 2025 a goal of using 25 percent renewable energy. An even more ambitious plan has been launched by the Navy to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2020 for its land-based operations.

    "…[T]he demonstration would be an important part of attracting investors…[ahead of] a long [and costly] regulatory process…While the state is pursuing the offshore wind farm project, construction of the state’s first commercial wind farm continues in Highland County. The first 400-foot tall windmill will soon be visible atop Allegheny Mountain. Plans call for 19 turbines that will produce enough electricity to power 12,000 homes."


    The Consortium has carefully categorized Virginia's offshore resources. (click to enlarge)

    "Opponents of the project have forced developer Tal McBride into sticking with the wind farm proposal for 10 years — a period he said is way too long for an alternative source that is well-established in other states…Opponents deserve to be heard, but not to the point where they are simply dragging out a foregone conclusion.

    "Virginia is making a good case to the federal government for a wind project that would test turbines in a variety of settings. It could be a good step toward the production of electricity from wind power…It could also be a better substitute for the now suspect drilling of oil and natural gas off the Virginia coast line..."



    SUNRISE FOR SOCAL GRID
    U.S. Forest Service Approves SDG&E's Sunrise Powerlink
    15 July 2010 (Renew Grid)

    "San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has received approval from the Department of Agriculture's United States Forest Service (USFS) to move forward with construction of the approximately $1.9 billion, 120-mile Sunrise Powerlink transmission line…[It] is expected to increase the reliability… and transport renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal power, from remote areas in southern California's Imperial Valley to residences and businesses in the San Diego region.

    "The USFS issued a record of decision approving the construction, operation and maintenance of a 19-mile segment of the transmission line through the Cleveland National Forest..."


    click thru for more detail

    "When completed in 2012, the 500 kV Sunrise Powerlink electric 'superhighway' is expected to have the capacity to carry at least 1,000 MW of renewable power. In addition, the project will create 400 to 500 direct construction jobs and provide more than $100 million in annual energy savings.

    "SDG&E is currently working with the California Public Utilities Commission to finalize…[and] proceed…[N]on-transmission construction activities are expected to begin later this summer, while construction of the transmission line is expected to start this fall…"

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