Renewable Energy Changing America

California Renewable Energy News – China has overtaken the US in renewable energy investments. In a report released by the accounting firm Ernst and Youny, the Chinese goverments has employed the benifits of capital, goverment will and a massive market. Choking on their own air when they come to work each day, do you think the goverment leaders in China might know something we don’t? Truth is we do know it but are afraid to do big things because of the caotic noise on the airwaves created by big oil and wall street.

We think it is great that China is embracing the benifits of solar and wind and other renewable energy technologies, however, it is sad when America is fighting its own pholosopy of capitilism to compete. We continue to allow giant companies like big oil, big banks like Fanny Mae and Freddie Mack to use its “paid for by the people” political influence to stomp on small business which is their competition.

A classic example is prop 23, a ballot iniative that was bought and paid for by big dirty out of state oil and put on the ballet this November under the shameful deceptive disquise of a jobs bill. Prop 23 is more attune to a job killing bill. (vote a resounding NO Prop 23)

Renewable energy has all the chemistry to fuel small business which creates the majority of jobs in this country. Solar, wind, solar thermal and other home grown sustainable clean energy is the future of America.

The formula for jobs in California and the rest of America is; Renewable Energy Technology + Made in California & America = Investment $$ and Jobs which = money in local communities. Read More –

Government Lists Solar, Electric Vehicles, Digital Grid Solar Projects Among 100 Changing America Sunpluggers

The administration of President Obama has released a list of 100 Recovery Act Projects That Are Changing America.
Many of the projects involve solar energy, vehicle electrification and electric grid modernization, as well as wind turbine research and manufacturing. Others benefit the military, police, rural communities and the oil and natural gas industry.

Although expenditures of Recovery Act funds have stirred political debate in this country, nations such as China, Germany, Japan, Spain, Italy, Portugal, India, France, Canada and others have been vigorously developing high-tech solar and electric-vehicle enterprises with funding of their own, and several of them may be ahead of the United States in advancing their future economic prospects in these industries.

About $3 of outside capital on average has been invested for each dollar from the federal government, the administration says. Among the 100 projects highlighted in the list are the following related to solar energy, electric vehicles or digital and networked grid equipment and systems. Many more have received funding, but these are among the 100 projects selected for highlighting:

Manufacturing Electric Car Components – Charlotte, N.C. – $49 million

Celgard, a company that manufactures battery separator materials that are a key component of lithium‐ion batteries for electric-drive vehicles, won a $49 million Recovery Act grant to expand capacity at its manufacturing operations in Charlotte and build a new manufacturing facility in Concord, N.C. According to Celgard, its Recovery Act‐funded project has supported more than 100 jobs already, and will support more than 250 jobs when the project is complete. Building off of the initial Recovery Act investment, Celgard and its project partners are investing private funding to cover more than half the total project cost.

Manufacturing Smart Meters for the Smart Grid – West Union, S.C. – $5.2 million

Headquartered in Washington State, Itron is a manufacturing and information integration company, as well as a leading technology provider to energy and water industries throughout the world. Itron received a $5.2 million 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit under the Recovery Act that will help it re‐equip its West Union, S.C., facility to produce an increased number of OpenWay Centron smart meters for grid projects around the country. The company has reported significant growth recently with more than 200 new jobs coming as a direct result of the Recovery Act funding as well as the expanded demand created by the Recovery Act’s smart-grid investments. Itron estimates that one year’s production of the meters will be able to reduce electricity use by approximately 1.7 million megawatt-hours per year.

Expanding to Manufacture Solar Energy Materials – Circleville, Ohio — $50 million

A $50 million Recovery Act 48c Advanced Energy Manufacturing Credit, along with $6 million in state incentives, is helping DuPont fund a $175 million expansion of its Circleville, Ohio plant as part of a multi‐phase capacity expansion to manufacture Tedlar, a thin‐film solar application. DuPont applied for the 48C tax credit in parallel with working with the Ohio Department of Development. The prospect of combined federal and state incentives supported a decision for domestic U.S. manufacturing and the selection of the Circleville site. DuPont employs 1,300 people across Ohio with operations at 15 sites.

Pushing Innovation in Photovoltaic Solar Panels – Longmont, Colo., and Tipton, Ind. – $400 million

The Department of Energy has conditionally committed to provide a $400 million loan guarantee to Abound Solar Manufacturing to manufacture state‐of‐the‐art, cadmium-telluride thin‐film solar panels. The project includes two facilities: the capacity expansion of an existing facility in Longmont, Colo., and the construction of a new facility in Tipton, Ind. When fully operational, the company is expected to produce millions of solar panels annually at a lower cost than some competing technologies due to the use of cutting‐edge solar manufacturing technologies. The company anticipates that the project will create approximately 2,000 jobs during construction and 1,500 permanent jobs.

Battery Manufacturing and Electric Drive Component Grants – Livonia, Mich. – $249 million

A123 is using its $249 million Recovery Act award to screen and build battery factories in Livonia, Romulus, and Brownstown, Mich. The factories will help America become a leader in battery manufacturing technology while also providing a critical link in the supply chain for other clean energy technologies and products. The company, which received its award on Dec. 3, 2009, has already reported the creation of 90 new jobs, and expects to hire more than 3,000 people by 2012. A123 has signed contracts with Navistar and Fisker, and is actively working with several well‐known carmakers. The company plans to ship the first battery from its high‐volume production line in Livonia this September.

Keeping Clean Energy Jobs of the Future in America – Holland, Mich. — $299 million

Johnson Controls won a $299 million grant to build a battery manufacturing facility in Holland, Mich. Johnson Controls is matching the investment dollar‐for‐dollar, and will be creating new high-tech jobs in the automotive industry. The project is already bringing jobs to Holland. Johnson Controls has created or saved at least 100 jobs so far, and expects to create 500 permanent positions when the project is complete. Before the Recovery Act grant, Johnson Controls had considered Asian locations for its first high‐volume advanced lithium‐ion battery factory. The Recovery Act allowed the company to build in Holland, hire local construction and manufacturing workers, and help create a domestic advanced battery industry. Johnson Controls has already signed contracts with Ford and Azure dynamics, and plans to ship its first battery in September of 2010, 10 months after receiving their grant.

Transforming the Future of Electric Distribution and Energy Consumption – Houston, Texas – $200 million
CenterPoint Energy will accelerate the completion of its current smart meter system by the end of 2012 and install the first phase of its grid hardening and automation called the Intelligent Grid “IG.” The project in Houston includes two distinct but interdependent parts, including accelerating and completing the installation of 2.2 million smart meters and associated equipment that make up CenterPoint Energy’s advanced metering system. These smart meters will enable residential and commercial customers to more effectively manage and control their electricity usage. The project will also install distribution grid automation equipment and technology, allowing CenterPoint Energy to operate the distribution grid more efficiently, improve system reliability, and create the capability for the grid to “self‐heal.” Once completed, CenterPoint Energy’s smart grid will serve as an example of an integrated, cyber‐secure, scalable, and replicable smart grid. CenterPoint reported supporting nearly 300 jobs last quarter. CenterPoint estimates nearly 2,500 total direct and indirect jobs will be created as part of its grid project.

American Batteries for America’s New Electric Vehicles — Holland, Mich. — $151 million

Compact Power received a grant of over $150 million from the Department of Energy to build a battery cell manufacturing factory in Holland, Michigan. The factory will produce battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt, among other vehicles. According to Compact, approximately 70 construction jobs have been created or saved and the company is on track to hire 300 workers at the peak of construction. In addition, by 2013, Compact estimates 300 workers will be permanently employed at the facility.

Charging Up America’s Clean Energy Industry at ECOtality – Phoenix, Ariz., and San Francisco – $114 million
ECOtality, which has moved its headquarters from the Phoenix area to San Francisco, is helping bring the first electric‐drive vehicles and charging stations to cities around the country. The company received a $114 million grant through the Recovery Act Transportation Electrification program. ECOtality and its project partners are matching the federal investment dollar‐for‐dollar. The award is putting 8,500 electric‐drive vehicles on the road, both Nissan Leafs and Chevrolet Volts, and more than 14,000 chargers in 16 cities around the country. ECOtality reported supporting 50 jobs last quarter, and because of the Recovery Act, the company expects to hire 75 more workers. ECOtality also estimates an additional 750 indirect jobs will be created over the course of the project.

Solar Lab on Bean Federal Center ‐Indianapolis, Ind. — $35.5 million

The Emmet J. Bean Solar Lab is one of more than 50 federal building rooftops across the country upon which the General Services Administration is installing solar arrays using Recovery Act funds. In addition to generating clean, renewable energy, GSA’s Recovery Act projects are putting people to work in construction and emerging green industries. Indianapolis construction company Shiel Sexton has put more than 60 people to work with GSA’s Recovery Act funds to convert the roof of the Emmet J. Bean Federal Center into a proving ground for solar power technology. Workers are installing approximately 6,000 solar panels on the roof that will generate 1.8 megawatts of renewable energy. A portion of the panels will serve as a “Solar Lab,” where the performance of four different types of solar technology will be researched by GSA and the Department of Energy’s Sandia National Lab to determine which solar panels work best in the Midwestern climate.

Energy Efficient Federal Center – Denver, Colo. – $39.4 million

A team of Colorado small businesses has put nearly 40 people to work so far installing 35 acres of solar panels on the roofs and grounds of the Denver Federal Center. The 7-megawatt solar Recovery Act project will provide clean, renewable energy to help power the offices of the nearly 6,000 people who work on the campus, saving thousands of dollars in energy costs and preventing thousands of tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere every year. The Denver solar project is the largest single part of the General Services Administration’s effort to add 12 megawatts of solar power generation capacity at federal buildings nationwide – increasing solar power capacity by nearly 600 percent while generating enough renewable electricity to power 1,600 homes.

Manufacturing Batteries to Power 60,000 vehicles – Midland, Mich. — $161 million

In June, Dow Kokam broke ground on a brand new advanced, large‐format battery production facility in Midland, Michigan. According to Dow Kokam, they have already supported more than 100 construction jobs, a figure which is expected to rise to 1,000 at the peak of construction. Dow Kokam estimates that the 800,000 square‐foot facility will permanently employ nearly 800 workers when complete, and will be able to produce enough affordable lithium‐ion batteries to power 60,000 vehicles per year. Dow Kokam and its project partners are matching the grant dollar for dollar.

New Instruments Aid Creation of Materials for Energy Efficiency – New Brunswick, N.J. – $2 million

The National Science Foundation has awarded Rutgers University approximately $2 million to develop a new kind of scanning transmission electron microscope. Rutgers is collaborating with Nion, a small U.S. commercial business, to develop an electron microscope that is optimized for investigation of materials that are important to energy related applications: more efficient batteries, conversion of light to electricity or to chemical reactions that produce hydrogen, and nanostructured materials that have new properties. The research has supported four jobs for technical personnel at Rutgers and Nion Co. Commercialization of this technology will lead to many important new nano‐materials research applications, and produce valuable, high‐technology jobs. It will also serve as a tool for educating the public about science and associated issues and help prepare the next generation of advanced materials scientists and engineers to make additional discoveries.

Dynamic Energy Pricing Through Smart Meter Deployment – Chattanooga, Tenn. — $111 million

The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga is upgrading the current electric system with digital grid technology, which will enable more efficient energy use and better service for customers, including reducing the length of outages. The project will put a smart meter in all 170,000 households in the Tennessee network, in addition to completing fiber extension construction throughout the service area, automating subtransmission and distribution systems, and enabling customer systems that will provide consumers additional information about their energy use. The Electric Power Board has supported more than 80 jobs with Recovery Act funds.

Electric Vehicles Made in the U.S. – Kansas City, Mo. – $32 million

As part of the Recovery Act’s commitment to helping American companies develop the best vehicle technologies in the world, Smith Electric in Kansas City, Mo., received a $32 million grant to build and deploy up to 510 all‐electric trucks. Smith is selling trucks to Coca Cola Enterprises, AT&T, Frito Lay and Staples, plus utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Kansas City Power & Light. Smith and its customers will test vehicle performance in California, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New York, North Carolina and Texas. According to Smith, they recently hired their 50th worker at the Kansas City facility, with plans to expand to 70 workers. At the project’s peak, Smith estimates it will support more than 220 direct and indirect jobs.

Fueling America’s Exports: Lithium‐Ion Battery Manufacturing – Indiana – $118 million

EnerDel makes advanced lithium‐ion batteries for electric vehicles in Indiana. A $118 million Recovery Act grant is helping the company expand production at its current facilities in Noblesville and Indianapolis –as well as build a new facility in Mt. Comfort. The grant has helped EnerDel support nearly 80 jobs through July 2010, and the company expects to grow from roughly 150 workers in the state today to over 1,400 by 2014. The company forecasts that exports will represent as much as 75 percent of near‐term sales. EnerDel has signed a contract with Norwegian carmaker Think and will be shipping batteries produced in Indiana to Europe within the month.

Smart Meters Aid Residents in Adjusting Energy Usage – Naperville, Ill. – $11 million

The City of Naperville, Ill., was awarded an $11 million Smart Grid Investment Grant from the Department of Energy to deploy more than 57,000 smart meters and install the infrastructure and software necessary to support and integrate various smart grid functions and the two‐way flow of information between the utility and its customers. The project will complete the automation of the city’s electric grid, providing automatic, computerized meter readings in real‐time, enabling streamlined customer billing and increased billing accuracy. The smart meters will provide residents and businesses more information about their energy use, allowing them to analyze and adjust their energy use patterns, save energy and manage their electric bills. The city estimates it will create over 70 jobs over the life of the project.

Electric Vehicle Component Supplier Gets Boost from Recovery Act – Longmont, Colo. – $45 million UQM Technologies, a developer of electric vehicle propulsion systems, is building a new electric vehicle propulsion plant that will be four times the size of their original facility. UQM used a portion of its $45 million Recovery Act grant through the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Program to pay for the $7.5 million facility in Longmont, Colo.

When the new facility is fully operational, it is expected to produce 80 propulsion systems a day. UQM will also be using Recovery Act funding to advance research and production of electric and hybrid‐electric vehicle propulsion systems. The company expects to add 230 jobs by next year, growing its workforce from 70 to 300. Recently underway, the project reported supporting 9 jobs last quarter.

Deploying Electric Vehicle Stations in Eight States – San Jose, California. — $15 million

Coulomb Technologies is a California‐based company that manufactures electric vehicle charging stations. Based in the Bay Area in Campbell, Calif., the company manufactures the charging stations at CTS in San Jose, Calif. Coulomb is launching ChargePoint America, a $37 million investment in the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations. This nationwide program covers nine cities in six states and the District of Columbia and will install 4,600 stations in total.
Enabling Customers to Manage their Energy Use – Las Vegas, Nev. – $137.9 million

The Department of Energy awarded a Smart Grid Investment Grant to NV Energy for a comprehensive smart grid project that will integrate multiple smart-grid technologies, including 1.3 million smart meters, dynamic pricing, customer communications and in‐home networks, grid monitoring, distribution automation, distributed renewables, and electric vehicles. This will help NV Energy manage its electric system more efficiently and enable customers to more actively manage their energy use. Headquartered in Las Vegas, NV Energy serves 2.4 million Nevadans ‐‐as well as a state tourist population of approximately 40 million annually. Additionally, the company serves more than 46,000 electric customers in the Lake Tahoe area of California. Fifteen Nevadans have been employed by this grant and NV Energy estimates that the project will create 400 to 500 temporary and 45 permanent jobs.

Flywheel Project Will Improve the Stability and Reliability of New York Electric Grid – Stephentown, N.Y., and Tyngsboro, Mass. – $43 million loan guarantee

The Department of Energy has finalized a $43 million loan guarantee for Beacon Power Corp.’s 20-megawatt innovative flywheel energy storage plant in Stephentown, N.Y. The plant will help improve the stability and reliability of the state’s electric grid and Beacon estimates it will create 20 construction jobs in New York and 40 permanent jobs in Massachusetts. Beacon Power is an energy storage company headquartered in Tyngsboro, Mass. Having already broken ground on the project, Beacon estimates that a 20-megawatt flywheel‐based frequency regulation plant will reduce carbon dioxide emissions up to 82 percent over its 20‐year life compared to a coal, gas or pumped hydro plant. The flywheel plant also does not emit air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide or sulfur dioxide.

New Facilities for High Concentrating Solar Panels – Las Vegas and Phoenix — $9 million

Amonix makes large, high‐concentrating solar panels the size of tractors. The company says its systems use less water, utilize land better, and produce more energy per acre than some other solar technologies. The company is commercializing solar technologies first developed for space. Amonix is receiving more than $9.5 million under the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit program. Amonix high‐efficiency panels have the potential to achieve 30 percent system efficiency, compared to 20 percent or less for most of today’s non-concentrating solar panels. Amonix has a small manufacturing facility at its headquarters in Seal Beach, California. The Recovery Act is supporting two new Amonix factories in Las Vegas and Phoenix. When completed in the first half of 2011, the Nevada facility is expected to create about 270 new jobs.

In Category: Grid-tie solar, Solar Commentary, Solar News


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