Duke Energy’s New Solar Farm on Elementary School
Duke Energy has acquired a one-megawatt solar farm on the grounds of Martins Creek Elementary School in Murphy, North Carolina. Over 4,000 ground-mounted solar panels are expected to generate 1.3 million kWh of electricity annually. That is enough to power 150 average-sized homes. The installation is the third-largest solar farm on a school property in the U.S.
DOE Funds Solar Ranch Project in California
The DOE is offering $1.2 billion to support the California Valley Solar Ranch project by SunPower Corp. The 250-megawatt project will be built in San Luis Obispo County, California. It will produce sufficient electricity to power up to 60,000 average sized homes, offsetting nearly 430,000 tons of CO2. The ranch will be among the largest utility-scale PV projects to use tracking technology combined with a new tracking system.
One Million Euros Raised for Biomass
BIOeCON has raised one million Euros from existing shareholders to build a prototype of a fuel cell to convert cellulosic biomass into electricity. Dubbed, BiCEPS (Biomass Conversion to Electrical Power Systems), the project is being developed in cooperation with Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. The goal is to turn the waste into power that can be used as a transportation fuel.
Nation’s First LEED Platinum Certified Plant at OSU
Jacobs Engineering has built the first LEED-Platinum certified power plant for Oregon State University’s heat plant. This is the highest possible level of LEED awarded by the Green Building Council. The council is a third-party evaluator of sustainable designs. The new heat plant reduces CO2 emissions by 38 percent compared to the old plant built in 1923. The Energy Center’s green features include natural lighting, a white reflective roof, and hot water generated using heat recovery.
No New Hydropower Plants Planned
Hydropower may have gotten some attention from the Interior Department, but there have not been plans to build new hydroelectric dams. Instead, the agency wants to generate additional electricity by adding to the hydropower capacity at 70 of its existing dams. Although new dams will generate electricity, there is a great deal of unnecessary environmental damage when water flow is disrupted. The Department of Interior wants to generate up to one million megawatt hours of electricity annually.
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