Power & Energy Solutions

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The Falkland Islands are the focus of a double energy drive this weekend as explorers begin drilling for oil and three giant wind turbines start generating electricity.The Ocean Guardian rig begins drilling today off the north coast, amid hopes that reserves in the region could yield up to 60bn barrels of oil.At the same time, the three wind turbines being started up this weekend will bring a more immediate benefit. With the three already there, they will provide on average 40% of the islands' power and are likely to help slash electricity bills for the 3,140 residents.The hunt for oil has again strained diplomatic relations between Britain and Argentina, which still claims sovereignty of the islands.The City, however, has shrugged this off and shares in Desire Petroleum, the main operator of Ocean Guardian, rose 13 per cent last week.Shares in other oil groups with interests in the Falklands have also risen steadily over the past few weeks as drilling has drawn closer.But some islanders are sceptical about the promised oil boom. Glenn Ross, manager of the Falklands' power station in the capital Port Stanley and a member of the islands' Legislative Assembly, said: 'We are all pretty cynical about the

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Dr. Schenk GmbH, leading supplier of inspection and measurement solutions for the thin-film solar module production, proudly announces its participation in a trend-setting research project supported by the European Commission. The "HIFLEX" project aims to jointly develop a technology for highly flexible Organic Photovoltaics (OPV) modules. Due to the use of commercially viable printing and coating techniques on roll-to-roll material, this new PV generation can be produced even more cost-effective than today's solar modules. Therefore, organic photovoltaic is one of the most promising business areas, as interest in clean energy technology continuously grows.The research consortium has selected Dr. Schenk as industrial partner for the HIFLEX project. Dr. Schenk contributes its highly recognized and valuable know-how in the production processes of thin-film PV modules as well as roll-to-roll material and their quality requirements.Schenk's fundamental comprehension of inspection and measurement technology is a result of 25 years industry experience in the development and world-wide delivery of in-line metrology solutions to manufacturers of PV modules and web materials such as film, foil and non-wovens. For further information on the HIFLEX research project, please refer to the official press release from the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN).With the optical vision systems, SolarInspect for solar applications and EasyInspect for web applications, local material defects can reliably be detected along the production lines.

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The Wyoming House has approved a state excise tax on commercial wind energy generation and sent the measure to the Senate.House Bill 101 would impose a $1 per megawatt hour tax, generating an estimated $3.8 million annually under current production rates. The House approved the bill Thursday with two-thirds support.Representatives opposed to the bill argued that the tax is ill-conceived and premature. Supporters say the state should pass the tax and then work to refine the tax structure for wind energy in coming years.The latest version of the bill includes an amendment giving counties a majority of the tax revenue in a 60-40 split with the state.The bill calls for the state to start collecting the tax in 2012. Turbines would be subject to the tax after being in operation for three years. 

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The Utility Solar Assessment Study estimates that solar energy will account for 10 percent of electricity use in the U.S. by 2025.But like any other consumer product, solar panels have a limited shelf life and disposing of old panels will eventually come into play.So what do you do when you need to get rid of an obsolete panel? With a life expectancy of more than 25 years, even the trailblazers of solar power panels should have several years before they really need to worry, in theory. But some companies are wisely anticipating the demand ahead of time.First Solar operates solar module recycling plants in the U.S. and Europe. According to spokesperson Melanie Friedman, the company estimates that 90 percent of the material recovered from solar panels can be recycled into useful products."Our Extended Producer Responsibility program allows anyone in possession of First Solar modules to request collection and recycling at anytime, free of charge," says Friedman. "This includes packing materials, transportation and recycling services."In the U.S., the modules are shipped to its Perrysburg, Ohio facility, where they undergo several stages in order to break down material. Much of this involves the glass components, which are crushed small enough to remove

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Northern New Brunswick's cold, icy weather is causing wind turbines to freeze and stop producing power at the Caribou Wind Park near Bathurst.The new wind farm's 33 turbines have been generating power since November, but they have been forced to shut down for the past two days due to ice forming on some of the blades.The wind farm has been battling ice problems all winter.David Cousins, the Caribou Wind Park's site manager, said when ice starts forming on the turbines' blades, they can't operate."As soon as there is ice rain or rime ice, which is fairly common in this area, the performance of the blades of the wind turbine diminishes significantly," Cousins said."Just like how an airplane won't fly with ice on it, wind turbines won't generate electricity with ice

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eSolar, a leading producer of modular, scalable concentrating solar thermal power technology, and Ferrostaal AG, one of the world's largest power plant developers, announced today a partnership to deploy turnkey solar power plants in countries including Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. Under the agreement, eSolar will provide solar field and receiver technology, while Ferrostaal will provide the power block as well as manage the overall realization as general contractor, including financing activities."This partnership with Ferrostaal is a real coup for eSolar," said John Van Scoter, CEO of eSolar. "Ferrostaal's extensive construction capacity and expertise - particularly in the concentrated solar thermal field - together with eSolar's award-winning technology, offers us the opportunity to rapidly construct solar power projects across the globe in coming years."eSolar unveiled Sierra SunTower, a 5 MW commercial-scale solar power plant, in the summer of 2009. Located in Lancaster, California, Sierra SunTower is the only power tower facility currently operating in North America. eSolar has continued the momentum of its international development with three licensing partnerships across three continents.In eSolar's tower technology, mirrors reflect sunlight onto a receiver mounted atop of a tower. The focused heat boils water within the receiver and generates high-temperature

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The world's largest producer of crystalline silicon photovoltaic modules has supplied almost 20 Lebanese schools with supplies to let them utilize solar energy through the sponsorship of the Country Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Demonstration Project for the Recovery of Lebanon.Suntech Power Holdings provided the solar panels for 19 remote schools in the country that had been working with Asaco General Trade & Contracting, a local renewable energy company. After previously having to deal with regular blackouts, the schools will now have their classroom and library lit by solar energy developed through the panels.Each panel will range in solar energy output from 1.2 to 1.8 kilowatt hours."Suntech is proud to support this initiative," said Nader Jandaghi, Suntech's Director of Middle East. "CEDRO's adoption of solar power for these schools will brighten the lives and enhance the learning of children who will define Lebanon's future. Together, we want to power a world where everyone has direct and dependable access to nature's most abundant energy resource."Ramzi AbuSaid, CEO of Asaco, added that the solar panel installations would be the "largest set of solar projects" ever seen in Lebanon and would help to guarantee that the schools have "dependable power at all times." 

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AltaTerra Research is pleased to announce the web conference, "Heating Up in 2010?: The Outlook for U.S. Commercial and Industrial Solar Water Heating Markets," to be held Wednesday, March 24th at 11:00 am Pacific / 2:00 pm Eastern.Participants will hear from Sue Kateley, Executive Director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), Les Nelson, Chair of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) Solar Thermal Division, and Jon Guice, Managing Director of Research at AltaTerra Research."Right now, solar water heating systems are not widely used by North American businesses," said Guice. "However, new regulations and legislation in California, Hawaii and other states, combined with changing economics, mean that trend may change this year."Featuring the latest information on incentives, legislation, and regulations affecting the solar water heating (SWH) market, this web conference will address key questions facing SWH product and services companies, such as whether the non-residential market is poised for take-off, what the value proposition is of commercial, institutional and industrial SWH, what incentives are currently available, which industries and sites are best suited for the application of SWH, and what challenges to widespread adoption remain.Further information and registration are available online at www.altaterra.net/event/swh. A limited number of press

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The port at Quonset Point will receive more than $22 million to improve its dock and buy cranes so it can accommodate a wind turbine developer, serve container cargo ships and create jobs in a state with nearly 13 percent unemployment, officials said Wednesday.The federal stimulus money is meant to support Deepwater Wind LLC, which hopes to build a massive wind farm off the coast, and increase the cargo freight business, said Steven King, managing director of Quonset Development Corp.Although the U.S. Department of Transportation said it approved the money for renewable energy and shipping projects at the port, it has not made clear exactly which funding requests were accepted, King said. The port originally requested about $45 million in assistance.One major project is buying a large, mobile crane that can lift up to 200 tons, King said. The pier will have to reinforced to accommodate the heavy loads.That crane is especially important to wind energy developer Deepwater Wind LLC, which signed an agreement with Gov. Don Carcieri's administration to build a wind farm miles off the Rhode Island coast. As part of the deal, Deepwater agreed to create a manufacturing hub at Quonset that officials hope will eventually employ

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Annual wind power contribution in the Falkland Islands is set to rise to 40 per cent of total energy generated with the installation of three new wind turbines, which started going online on 15 February. The installation of the first three wind turbines in 2007 has resulted in the displacement of 26% of annual fuel consumption and the aim with the three new turbines is to reach 40% fuel displacement.This figure compares favourably to the UK Government's goal for 20 per cent of electricity produced in the UK to be renewable by 2020, proving the Islanders' commitment to renewable energy. As well as reducing their carbon footprint in order to protect the pristine environment of the Islands, the increase in renewable energy has meant that the cost of electricity has been reduced by six pence per unit for Islanders.The turbines arrived on the Ministry of Defence charter ship, Hurst Point, in September 2009. They are the same type and make as the first three turbines: 330 kilo-watt synchronous variable speed and variable pitch turbines manufactured by Enercon (Germany).The turbines have been installed at Sand Bay Wind Farm, six miles from the Islands' capital Stanley and approximately one kilometre across the

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