Power & Energy Solutions

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Wind turbines offshore in the Great Lakes have the potential to generate a huge chunk of Ontario's power, but a more streamlined approval process is needed if the offshore industry's potential is to be achieved.That's the conclusion of a report from wind developer Trillium Power Wind Corp., which calculates that the Ontario government has received applications for offshore projects that would generate almost 21,000 megawatts of power, if they all came to fruition.Ontario currently produces about 35,000 MW of electricity, mostly from nuclear plants, natural gas, hydro and coal."The potential for offshore wind development on the Ontario side of the Great Lakes is enormous," the company's report says. The industry could generate more than $250-billion of economic activity over 15 years, it adds.The Ontario government has been so overwhelmed with applications for offshore wind projects that last fall it stopped accepting them. It expects a review to be complete by March, when it will have a plan for releasing sites to developers.Trillium itself has plans to build a 142-turbine, 710-MW project in eastern Lake Ontario, with all the turbines at least 17 kilometres from the shore.The company's report praises Ontario for its new Green Energy Act, which includes a high

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Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors has approved a power purchase agreement expected to substantially increase the district's renewable energy portfolio. Under the agreement the utility plans to purchase up to 40.5 megawatts (MW) of wind energy for twenty years from a wind farm to be built in Boone County near Petersburg, Nebraska. The facility is expected to be in service by the third quarter of 2011.The developer of the wind farm is Third Planet Windpower, LLC, headquartered in Incline Village, Nev., and also with an office in Petersburg. The project is a Community-Based Energy Development (C-BED) project, the first one for OPPD under a law passed by the Nebraska Legislature in 2007 to promote the development of wind energy projects in the state. The power purchase agreement approved by the board is with TPW Petersburg, LLC.As a C-BED project, 33 percent of the revenue payments from the wind farm will go to qualified Nebraska residents or organizations that have invested in the project. The farm will consist of 27 General Electric turbines that will each generate 1.5 MW when the wind is blowing at optimum. Once completed, the project is expected to produce enough electricity to provide the

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In a new twist on opposition to wind farm development, the sector is now experiencing infighting, with the largest owner of wind farms in the U.S. challenging a recent state decision that aids another company.Now, instead of fighting environmentalists or NIMBYs (not in my backyard types), MidAmerican Energy must face off against electricity giant NextEra Energy, which in addition to nuclear plants owns and operates 65 wind projects in 16 states, reports istockanalyst, via the Cedar Rapids Gazette.NextEra, which is based in Florida, has filed a lawsuit seeking a reversal of the Iowa Utilities Board decision that paved the way for MidAmerican to build up to 1,001 megawatts in wind energy, reports the Des Moines Register.MidAmerican already has 1,350 MW of wind capacity in Iowa, compared to NextEra's 640 MW there.Overall, NextEra, a subsidiary of Florida Power & Light, is the largest owner of wind turbines in the U.S., with more than 6,600 MW of capacity.NextEra maintains that MidAmerican's newest project will be an unfair benefit in that it could become a platform for a transmission line from the Dakotas, Minnesota and Iowa into Chicago and other energy hungry cities.NextEra says that the Iowa ruling gives MidAmerican too much market

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Staff members at the Public Utility Commission will get to work today trying to please a district judge who threw a $5 billion wind energy transmission plan back to the agency.The city of Garland's municipally owned utility had objected to losing out on an opportunity to build some lines to take West Texas wind energy, including from the Panhandle, to the state's population centers. The city, near Dallas, argued it could build the lines cheaper than private companies because of its ability to borrow money at lower interest rates and its exemption from property taxes.Judge Stephen Yelenosky of 345th District Court in Austin sent the PUC's order, designating which companies would build which segments of the lines, back for reconsideration Friday, saying the agency exceeded its authority and was "arbitrary and capricious."PUC spokesman Terry Hadley downplayed the ruling."The judge mentioned the commission needs to review a few of the arguments Garland made," he said. "We don't expect any delays."The PUC's stance is that some of the reasons it didn't choose any city-owned utilities has to do with the agency's lack of jurisdiction over them. It has no oversight on issues such as how a municipal utility uses eminent domain to

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BrightView Systems today unveiled the InSight M Series, the world's first in-line process control and optimization tool developed specifically toaddress the challenges faced by thin-film solar cell manufacturers. The Wide Area Metrology (WAM) system provides continuous monitoring and whole-panel mapping of critical material and process parameters at full production throughput and for 100% of manufactured panels. Easily  integrated at key steps in any thin-film production line including single-junction and multi-junction silicon, the system allows panel producers to implement process optimization solutions that enhance average panel efficiency, improve line productivity and verify full compliance with the strictest durability and quality requirements.The system architecture allows for easy integration into the design of new production lines or insertion into existing ones, including Gen 5 and Gen 8.5 lines. With its innovative True CellTM technology, the InSight is able to measure and map critical layers on-the-fly within the actual product stack, providing continuous process fingerprinting that drives production improvement, excursion detection and line productivity.The InSight M Series represents a systems approach to enhancing thin-film production. The BrightView tool is complemented by an intuitive operating interface and state-of-the-art software modules that allow easy implementation and customization of intelligent line monitoring recipes, spanning all production stages,

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New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced $10 million in federal stimulus funds for solar-energy installations.The funding pays for seven solar-energy companies to install solar photovoltaic systems (PV) on homes and businesses statewide. The companies include Alteris Renewables, Inc. in Ballston Spa; Hudson Valley Clean Energy, Inc. in Rhinebeck, Global Resource Options, (groSolar), in Albany, and Solar Energy Systems in Brooklyn.More than 600 homes and businesses will have PV installed over the next two years, through the plan. The project helps meet Gov. David Paterson's goal of achieving 45 percent of the state's energy needs through renewable energy and improved energy efficiency by 2015, according to NYSERDA.More information at www.nyserda.org/

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In 2009, a total of eight new wind farms consisting of 199 offshore wind turbines, with a combined power generating capacity of 577 MW, were connected to the grid in Europe. This represents a growth rate of 54% compared to the 373 MW installed during 2008. For 2010, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) expects the completion of 10 additional European offshore wind farms, adding 1,000 MW and equivalent to market growth of 75% compared to 2009."This is an incredibly good result considering the continued difficulties of obtaining project finance for large projects", said Christian Kjaer, EWEA Chief Executive. "Independent project developers, in particular, are still struggling. For the offshore wind power industry to continue its development, it is vital that governments and the European Commission provide policy frameworks that stimulate investor interest and allow project developers to move their plans forward," said Kjaer. Currently, 17 offshore wind farms are under construction in Europe, totaling more than 3,500 MW, with just under half being constructed in UK waters. In addition, a further 52 offshore wind farms have won full consent in European waters, totaling more than 16,000 MW, with just over half of this capacity planned in Germany. In 2009,

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Ferrostaal AG will present its activities in the field of solar power at the World Future Energy Summit, which will take place in Abu Dhabi from January 18 to 21. At the same time the company will announce the order intake which it has received to construct the parabolic trough power plant Andasol 3 in southern Spain.One prerequisite for the order to build Andasol 3 was the pre-registration by Minister Miguel Sebastián, which the Spanish cabinet has in the meantime confirmed. At the same time the legally guaranteed feed-in tariffs have thus been ensured.The pre-registration of another planned solar power plant has now also been obtained: the parabolic trough power plant Ibersol in the Spanish region of Extremadura is, like Andasol 3, scheduled to have a capacity of 50 megawatts and to be completed in 2013.Andasol 3 is slated to begin supplying power in 2011, and together with Andasol 1 and 2 to supply up to 500,000 consumers with environmentally-friendly electricity. Both Andasol 1 and Andasol 2, each of which has an output of around 50 megawatts, have already been connected to the power grid and started test operation.Like Andasol 1 and 2, Andasol 3 will have a thermal storage

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Germany's photovoltaic-solar-energy industry faces a reduction in state subsidies that could be close to 30%, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen next week plans to present a proposal that foresees cutting solar subsidies by a double-digit percentage, the people within the industry told Dow Jones newsletter Energy Daily.The cuts could take effect as early as April, or July at the latest, they said.There could be further cuts from the beginning of next year if installations of new photovoltaic facilities in 2010 exceed last year's expansion, the people added.Combined with annual cuts for photovoltaic-solar facilities of between 8% and 10% that already have been agree to under existing legislation, the additional cuts could amount to a reduction of 20% to nearly 30%, the people said.Germany subsidizes photovoltaic-solar-energy facilities--such as rooftop installations--with so-called feed-in rates that guarantee minimum prices for the electricity they generate.Market observers estimate that a total photovoltaic-power-generation capacity of up to 3 gigawatts will be newly installed in 2009. However, final figures for last year's new installations haven't yet been published.In 2008, new photovoltaic installations in Germany added a generation capacity of around 1.5 GW.German economic research institute RWI last year projected that the costs

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Gazoo Energy Group (OTCBB:GAZU) (www.GazooEnergyGroup.com) announced today that it has entered into discussions with several solar energy companies regarding new investment opportunities. Gazoo Energy Group is exploring the potential for extensive growth in advancing technologies capable of maximizing energy production, while utilizing smaller footprints of land. The company also believes it can maximize the land connected with its proposed wind turbine projects by adding solar panel access.For more information on Gazoo Energy Group visit www.GazooEnergyGroup.com.About the company -- Gazoo Energy Group aggregates a variety of green products for mass distribution worldwide. It is engaging in acquisitions and developments of green energy companies. Gazoo Energy Group's immediate goal is to raise awareness and locate inventors with the desire and potential to make a difference in the green energy industry. Gazoo Energy Group, "Together, we can change the energy industry while simultaneously making a positive contribution to our planet." Please visit www.GazooEnergyGroup.com for more information.Forward Looking Statement -- Certain statements contained herein are "forward-looking'' statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). Because such statements include risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that

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