Power & Energy Solutions

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International Battery, a U.S. manufacturer and developer of large-format lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, is partnering with system integrator HNU Energy to assess the effectiveness of storing solar energy using new, more-efficient battery technology.If successful, the solar power generation and energy storage project in Maui, Hawaii, could pave the way for small businesses and others that have adopted renewable energy to store the energy they generate.International Battery says storing energy from renewable sources is critical for managing variations in electricity production, improving power quality and stabilizing the power grid.HNU Energy provided the solar system, which is comprised of sixty 224-watt photovoltaic panels, a bi-directional 3-phase inverter system, and a state-of-the-art charge controller network. International Battery supplied a 48-V, 16.4 kWh lithium-ion based energy storage system with battery management and controls to store the energy generated from the solar array.The energy storage system includes four battery modules totaling 32 160-Ah lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells and a battery management system (BMS) that is integrated into a standard Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) style 19-inch portable rack mount chassis and enclosure. The overall system performance will be measured by the charge state of the individual battery cells as well as understanding the temperature, depth of

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Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world\'s biggest maker of wind turbines, lowered its full-year forecast after wind park developers delayed or canceled orders because of a lack of financing.Vestas expects 2010 sales of 7 billion euros ($9.6 billion), compared with a previous range of 7 billion to 8 billion euros, the Randers, Denmark-based company said in statement today. It reduced its margin for earnings before interest and tax to between 10 percent and 11 percent, from as much as 12 percent.The global wind turbine market probably grew a little more than 8 percent last year and may expand about 10 percent in 2010 as tighter financing limits growth, according to researcher BTM Consult APS. It grew between 30 percent and 40 percent a year from 2004 to 2008, according to BTM.\"The wind turbine market has changed character, and the question is whether it\'s temporary or permanent,\" Stig Nymann, chief share analyst at Copenhagen-based Laan & Spar Bank A/S, said before today\'s statement. \"Financing is the key problem.\"Order intake has been \"late\" and Vestas expects to book most of its 2010 revenue in the second half of the year.Net income in the fourth quarter was almost unchanged at 315 million euros

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The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved two grants totaling about $1.7 million for studying the development of offshore wind technologies in the state.Grand Valley State University\'s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center and the University of Michigan\'s Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute are getting $1.3 million for jointly researching offshore wind and ice data on Lake Michigan.The Superior Watershed Partnership is to receive $350,000 for researching sites\' wind energy potential on Lake Michigan. The organization also will assess public opinion on offshore wind development.The commission is an agency within the state\'s Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. 

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Ten years ago energy pundits said Portugal was wasting its rich renewable energy sources; now, the country generates 35.9% of its electricity from wind and solar energy.Portugal\'s wind energy industry has led the country\'s shift away from fossil fuels. Recently, the Portuguese wind industry displaced Spain as the wind industry that provides the second-largest amount of wind power to its electric grid in the world--following only Denmark. 15% of Portugal\'s energy is derived from wind power, while Denmark generates 20% and Spain 14.3%.In 2009, Portugal\'s wind capacity grew over 30%, and the government is pushing for this growth trend to continue. Currently, the federal government is making a promotional push for the adoption of private, small wind turbines at businesses and homes.Not to be forgotten in Portugal\'s renewable energy story is solar power. In the last three years solar power has grown an astounding 315%. Although the country\'s capacity is still relatively low, this is a phenomenal growth spurt, and one that does not look to be eased any time soon.Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates wants 45% of the country\'s power to come from renewable energy sources in 2010; this will require continued growth in

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It started as just an idea, but now the thought of a wind farm in mid-Missouri could become a reality.Mark Chamberlin is a chicken and dairy farmer who originally had the idea to put a wind turbine on his property.\"You always have a lot of time to think when you\'re in tractors,\" Chamberlin said. \"The wind is always blowing here.\"Chamberlin operates a farm in northern Benton County, atop a ridge that sits above the rest of Missouri. In fact, the top of one of his silos is the tallest point in Benton County. It was this elevation combined with the windy climate that made him think he could make some extra money. Since then, Chamberlin\'s plan has expanded into a possible 3,000-megawatt wind farm spanning 20,000 acres.\"We stand a good chance and the better job we do putting this together, I think we can bring [a wind farm] to central Missouri,\" Chamberlin said.So far, about 60 farmers have agreed to take part in the wind farm, committing 16,000 acres of the group\'s goal - 20,000 acres. Last week, the community met in the town of Cole Camp to discuss the possibility of a wind farm. Chamberlin says they had a

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The world\'s largest nuclear plant builder, Areva SA, is diversifying into solar power with the aim of becoming an industry leader, as it acquires U.S.-based solar thermal player Ausra, the company said on Monday.\"This market is set to have 20 gigawatts by the year 2020. Areva has an objective to be a world leader in solar energy\" by 2012, said Anil Srivastava, senior executive vice president of Areva\'s renewable energies business group.Financial details were not disclosed in the purchase of Ausra, a Silicon Valley company which had raised $130 million in venture capital from high-profile firms including Kleiner Perkins and Khosla Ventures.The purchase marks Areva\'s first foray into solar energy.Areva chose solar thermal technology -- which uses the sun\'s heat to create steam to run turbines for electricity -- over other solar power options because it is \"the closest\" to nuclear plants, Srivastava told Reuters in an interview.The solar power industry has started to consolidate after struggling in 2009 with a dearth of financing for new projects and a steep fall in prices. Other solar thermal players include Spain\'s Abengoa SA and privately held U.S.-based BrightSource Energy Inc.Still, companies such as U.S.-based First Solar Inc and China\'s Suntech Power this

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Massive renewable energy projects undertaken by the UAE and other Middle Eastern countries could turn them into solar energy exporters along with their large hydrocarbon exports, according to a veteran Arab energy analyst.\"After oil, Arab countries could start exporting solar energy,\" said Nicolas Sarkis, Director of the Paris-based Arab Petroleum Research Centre (APRC), which acts as an adviser to the 10-nation Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries.\"The development of solar energy is rapidly becoming a priority of energy policies pursued by most countries in the Middle East and North Africa, whether oil and natural gas producers or not,\" Sarkis wrote in the APRC\'s monthly magazine, Arab Petroleum and Gas.He said that in non-oil Arab countries, the growing interest being shown in solar power and other renewable energy sources is dictated not only by the deterioration in their energy deficits and the insufficiency of their indigenous fossil fuel resources but also by environmental imperatives and the technological progress that characterises the development of renewable energies.As for the large hydrocarbon exporting countries in the Arab World, the exploitation of their huge potential in the area of solar energy reflects a dual concern to protect the environment and prepare the post-oil era, he

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Israeli solar energy developer Arava Power said on Sunday it signed long-term contracts with 15 agricultural cooperatives to build mid-size solar fields at an investment of 2 billion shekels ($533 million).The fields will produce a total of 100 megawatts of solar energy using photovoltaics, for an average of 6.5 megawatts per field.Arava said it is advancing rooftop solar installations on cowsheds and factories in the signatory cooperatives.Last year German conglomerate Siemens invested $15 million in Arava Power to build 10 five-megawatt solar fields.In December the Public Utilities Authority decided to allow mid-size solar fields at a nationwide capacity of 300 megawatts but many in the industry believe this cap will be filled quickly.\"The goal to produce 300 solar megawatts is an important step toward implementing the government\'s decision to produce 5 percent of Israel\'s energy consumption from renewable sources by 2014, but it\'s not enough,\" Arava Power Chief Executive Jon Cohen said.\"In order to achieve this goal, at least 1,000 megawatts are needed, and the market indicates that

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A special three-part series in last week\'s San Jose Mercury News, entitled \"The Cleantech Revolution,\" highlighted the enormous economic opportunity in the clean-tech sector and warned that the U.S. is quickly falling behind while Asia seeks to gain global market dominance.In its analysis of the clean technology market, the Mercury\'s rhetoric is grand and its data convincing. The first part of the series begins:\"Cleantech is poised to be the valley\'s third great wave of innovation - not just the next big thing, but perhaps the biggest thing ever. Confronting the peril of greenhouse gases and climate change happens to be a multi-trillion-dollar business opportunity.\"The numbers provided support this claim: U.S. yearly utility bills exceed $1 trillion annually and the global energy and transportation market is estimated at $7 trillion. The wind and solar industries - valued at $80 billion in 2008 - are projected to triple in 10 years and employ 2.6 million people. Smart-grid technology, according to Morgan Stanley, will grow to $100 billion by 2030 and Cisco Systems believes smart-grid communications infrastructure could be worth $20 billion in the next 5 years.In a nod to its geographic location, the paper focuses primarily on Silicon Valley\'s

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Interior Secretary Ken Salazar journeyed out into Nantucket Sound on a Coast Guard vessel last week to signal the Obama administration\'s readiness to put some muscle behind wind energy. To do that, Salazar has to resolve a battle over building a wind farm on 25 square miles of open water that has driven a rift between environmentalists, infuriated local Native Americans and threatened one of the administration\'s cherished priorities.The nearly decade-long fight over whether to construct a 130-turbine offshore wind farm near Martha\'s Vineyard has spurred numerous state and federal regulatory reviews. It has cost millions in lobbying fees and has prompted an intense political debate on Cape Cod and in Washington, setting those who back renewable energy against those who want to preserve the natural beauty of Nantucket Sound.\"The worst thing we can do for the country is to be in a state of indecision, and this application has been in a state of indecision for a very long time,\" said Salazar, who came to see the proposed site of the Cape Wind project and to meet with tribes that oppose it.With many other obstacles resolved, including the wind farm\'s potential hindrance to navigation and fishing and harm to

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