Florida Innovates; To Use Eucalyptus and Citrus for Biomass Production
U.S. EcoGen (Ecogen), a Florida- and Maryland-based bioenergy company, has made a deal with Florida Power and Light (FPL) to provide 180 MW of electricity generated from the conversion of Eucalyptus biomass via synchronous steam turbine generators. FPL says such woody biomass should provide enough power for as many as 50,000 of its residential customers beginning in 2019. Pending approval by the Florida Public Service Commission, Ecogen plans on building three power plants at a cost of $900 Billion. On another note, Renewable Spirits, LLC, of Delray Beach, has found a more efficient way to convert citrus waste into ethanol. Renewable Spirits now has an economically-viable pilot plant currently processing some two tons of citrus waste into 10,000 gallon ethanol fermenters. The company believes that using citrus to produce ethanol is more economical than using corn.
China Working to Revive Idled Wind Farms
China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, is making progress in connecting idled wind farms to the electricity grid, helping to address a problem that is slowing the development of wind power. The adoption of wind power in China has been impaired by the electricity grid’s ability to handle the influx of energy, forcing the government to impose stricter approval measures on new projects. The rate of wind capacity sitting idle could be reduced to as low as 10 percent this year, compared with 25 percent at the end of 2011.
NREL and Stanford Collaborates on Peel-and-Stick Solar Cells
It may soon be possible to charge electronic equipments with peel-and-stick solar cells, thanks to a partnership between Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The Stanford group provides the peel-and-stick transfer printing technology while NREL provides the solar cell technology. NREL’s amorphous silicon cells were fabricated on nickel-coated Si/SiO2 wafers. A thermal release tape attached to the top of the solar cell serves as a temporary transfer holder. An optional transparent protection layer is spin-casted in between the thermal tape and the solar cell to prevent contamination when the device is dipped in water. The result is a thin strip much like a regular sticker. The user can peel off and apply the solar cell directly to a surface.
Solar City Signs Backup Service Agreement to Raise Funds
SolarCity has signed a backup service deal that should pave the way for it to issue securities backed by its solar assets in the future.The company announced the agreement but did not name the company. The backup service provider would take over the billing, maintenance and other tasks if SolarCity loses its ability to perform them. Issuing the securities, like mortgage-backed securities, will enable SoalrCity to raise money. Doing so also will reduce their dependence on tax equity funds, which so far have enabled SolarCity to expand quickly.