Power & Energy Solutions

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Intel has contracted for new solar electric installations at its sites in Oregon, Arizona, California and New Mexico. The new installations will generate approximately 2.5 megawatts of clean solar energy.About 800 kilowatts of the total will be generated at Intel in Oregon, adding to a 100 kilowatt electric photovoltaic system at Intel's Jones Farm campus energized in December 2008.The new installations are planned to be completed over the next seven months. Specific locations at Intel's campuses in Oregon will depend on engineering studies. All the installations will use the power generated on their respective site, making them a more efficient source and saving distribution transmission losses.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over 25 years the new solar installations in Oregon will offset an estimated:32.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide,94,576 pounds of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, and6,432 pounds of particulates, which can cause asthma.Intel has also renewed and increased by 10 percent its purchase commitments for renewable energy credits to more than 1.43 billion kilowatt hours. This is more than 51 percent of the company's estimated 2010 U.S. electricity use.Intel's purchase commitments correspond to the carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity use of nearly 134,000 average American homes

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Data released Tuesday by the American Wind Energy Association show that Michigan's efforts to diversify into wind energy face some significant headwindsOrders for new wind turbines have slowed dramatically and the state lagged far behind others last year in the installation of wind turbines, the association's report shows. And any hope that production of wind turbines and parts will pick up this year largely depends on what happens in Washington."The manufacturers are not at all that optimistic," said Kathy Belyeu, AWEA's manager of industry information services. "There's a possibility 2010 could be a good year, but it could also be a slow year."Though installation of wind-generating capacity hit a record in 2009, Michigan only added 14 megawatts of capacity last year, ranking 26th out of 28 states.Michigan has only 143 megawatts of total wind-generating capacity, compared with 1,809 megawatts in Minnesota.This year, the state is supposed to gain 20.2 megawatts of capacity.Nationwide, the number of jobs associated with wind power remained flat last year, at 85,000. In 2009, 38 new wind-power manufacturing facilities came online, were announced or were expanded, one-third fewer than in 2008. 

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Intel Corp.'s Folsom campus is targeted to have the largest of eight new solar power systems the company plans to install in four states.Intel announced Monday that it has new contracts for generating approximately 2.5 megawatts of solar energy at new solar power projects in California, Oregon, Arizona, and New Mexico.Intel spokesman Mark Pettinger said the approximately 1-megawatt-plus solar field to be built in Folsom will cover about six acres of ground on the southwest portion of Intel's property between Highway 50 and Iron Point Road.The solar field will provide up to 7 percent of the Folsom campus' overall power supply.Intel said the Folsom site will be one of the largest non-utility ground-mounts in California. It's the only one of the planned Intel installations that does not involve solar panels installed on rooftops.Intel's Folsom campus employs nearly 6,000.The Santa Clara-based chip maker said the announcement is part of a larger commitment to green, efficient energy use on its campuses."Intel is committed to renewable energy to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as to spur the market and make renewables more economically feasible for individuals and businesses to deploy," said Brian Krzanich, vice president and general manager of Intel's manufacturing

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Q-Cells SE, Solarworld AG and competing solar-energy companies face a dimmer outlook for investment and jobs as the German government considers cutting subsidized power prices.Lower rates may reduce profit for panel makers and strip Germany of its title as the largest market for photovoltaic panels, said Karl Kuhlmann, chief executive officer of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG, a builder and operator of solar power plants.Government officials debated rate reductions in meetings yesterday without making a final decision. Any reduction will have to be debated in parliament and may happen as early as April, lawmakers said.At stake are about 10 billion euros ($14.1 billion) of investments in new factories and research through 2013 and an industry employing about 50,000 people, according to the Germany solar industry lobby group."The German panel producers will be hit hard," Kuhlmann said. "The result of such a strong decline will lead extremely quickly to job losses in Germany."S.A.G. will likely reduce its investment this year in Germany when lower rates come into force and expand in other markets, the chief executive said. Banks will also demand that capital be invested in solar plants, slowing growth, and there will be a "massive" decline in ground-mounted systems compared with rooftop

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Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister is eyeing the potential for wind power along Haiti's coastline as part of the effort to improve the earthquake ravaged country's capacity for power production.Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Monday technology will be an important element of rebuilding in Haiti after its infrastructure was devastated in the Jan. 12 earthquake that has left most of the Caribbean country in ruins.Wind power could reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels, the minister said before a conference on Haitian reconstruction in Montreal.But experts say that while wind energy should be part of a long-term energy strategy for Haiti, it is too expensive and unreliable as a short-term source of power to fuel reconstruction.Andrew Thompson, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation,who specializes in Haiti, said Cannon was not the first person to raise wind power as an option for Haiti.The island's geography and a strong air stream makes wind power a viable possibility, he said. But he added, it requires a massive capital investment and a tremendous amount of infrastructure."There's no silver bullet for Haiti's energy needs. Wind would be one of a series of different options, I think its worth considering solar power

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A Texas-based wind energy company has chosen Clovis for its venture into wind farm operation and turbine manufacturing.Officials at Vert-I-Go, a subsidiary of Plano, Texas-based Abundant Energy, say they expect the New Mexico plant to produce 60 jobs by 2013.Vert-I-Go has reached a preliminary agreement with Clovis officials to purchase six acres south of the city's landfill, with an option for an additional 34 acres later, for a five-megawatt wind farm and manufacturing plant.Clovis Industrial Development Corporation executive director Chase Gentry says the company will bring six local jobs to Clovis in its first year. Gentry says Vert-I-Go picked Clovis because of high wind patterns and easy access to rail lines.

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On a mountain top 80 miles northeast of Bangor, Maine, in country where houses and gravel pits are mere pinpricks on a map green with forest, Paul Gaynor is making stimulus work.Gaynor, chief executive of First Wind, is using $40 million in federal funds to help build a wind farm that will produce enough power for 13,000 homes and has created 200 construction jobs.Without stimulus, First Wind's project -- and most renewable energy projects across the country -- may not have happened."To us, it's been essential to get through the nuclear winter of financing ability," Gaynor said, referring to the dark days of early 2009 right after the financial collapse. "The recovery act was the bridge that got us from a broken market to one where projects actually get done."Because of the way tax incentives worked prior to stimulus, few industries were more dependent on Wall Street profits than renewable energy.Pre-stimulus, renewable energy developments were funded largely by big banks. As an incentive to expand clean, homegrown power, the government offered generous tax credits.The credit wasn't limited to just big banks, said Ethan Zindler, head of North American research at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a firm that tracks renewable energy

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The King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology (KACST) on Sunday launched a major national initiative to produce desalinated water and electricity at a much cheaper rate - less than a riyal for a cubic meter of water and 30 halalas per kilowatt/hour.Prince Turki bin Saud bin Muhammad, vice president of KACST for research institutes, said the initiative would reduce the cost of water and electricity production by 40 percent. He said the first solar-powered desalination plant with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters would be established in Al-Khafji to serve 100,000 people.The project will reduce dependence on oil and gas to operate desalination plants. At present desalination plants on the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf consume a total of 1.5 million barrels per day. The new nanotechnology for using solar energy to operate desalination plants was developed by KACST in association with IBM."Desalination is our strategic choice to supply adequate amount of drinking water to people across the Kingdom," said Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, while addressing the launching ceremony. Saudi Arabia supplies more than 18 percent of the world's total desalinated water, he said."We want to make the Kingdom a major source of solar energy in the world," Al-Assaf

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Think of it as the shrinking American dream.What's out: Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, two-story foyers and deluxe bathroom features like multiple showerheads in the master bathroom.What's in: Smaller homes with lots of natural light, storage and energy efficiency features that save money and don't cost too much."There's no more 'la-dee-da, green is wonderful," said Calli Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the National Association of Home Builders.According to recent surveys by the Washington-based trade association and Better Homes and Gardens, there's less appetite than in recent years for big homes with high-end amenities.Now, the mantra for many homebuyers reflects a desire to keep costs down. They want to reduce wasted space like high ceilings that drive up energy bills. They favor features like smart appliances that help cut household energy costs.The average size of an American house shrank about 100 square feet last year to about 2,400 square feet, according to the NAHB survey. The percentage of homes with three or more bathrooms fell for the first time since 1992, while homes with four or more bedrooms declined for the third year in a row.Builders said they're less likely to build homes this year with outdoor kitchens, media rooms and sunrooms. The

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After eight years of review, the future of a controversial wind farm off Cape Cod now rests in what would seem to be friendly hands - an Obama administration that's pledged to make the U.S. "the world's leading exporter of clean energy."But it's tough to tell if Cape Wind's prospects just got better or worse.Obama has never mentioned the project while talking publicly about renewable energy, despite his enthusiasm for the topic and the fact Cape Wind would be the nation's first offshore wind farm.Some Cape Wind advocates have chalked up Obama's silence to respect for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, an early and influential Obama backer. Kennedy battled the project fiercely, writing Obama of his opposition the month before he died in August from brain cancer.To add to the uncertainty, Obama's Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who pledged this month to decide whether to approve Cape Wind by the end of April, has called it "a good project." But two Obama appointees to agencies connected to the project's review have links to its chief opposition, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.U.S. National Park Service head Jonathan Jarvis is the brother of alliance consultant Destry Jarvis. And Federal Aviation Administration chief

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