Hydroelectric Storage Facility Planned for Hawaii

Posted on December 21st, 2010 by

Gridflex proposes a hydroelectric storage facility in Hawaii, the Solar Alliance benefits from Canada’s Green Acts, and renewable auctions have been approved in California.

Gridflex Proposes Hydroelectric Storage Facility in Hawaii

An energy company has proposed the development of a pumped storage hydroelectric project using the ocean as a reservoir in Hawaii. Gridflex Energy LLC, manager of bulk energy storage facilities, has proposed the Lanai Pumped Storage Project to provide renewable power for Hawaii. The 300-megawatt project consists of two reservoirs; when energy is in lower demand, wind energy can be used to pump water uphill and when there is increased demand, that water is released through turbines. In this case, the ocean can be used as the lower reservoir, a cost effective choice that could save contractors millions of dollars. The plant is expected to produce 919,800-MWh of energy annually.

Solar Alliance Benefits from Canada’s Green Acts

Solar Power Partners Inc. and JCM Capital announced their new joint venture, the Ontario Solar Fund. The fund will finance, develop, own and operate 200-megawatts of solar panels in Ontario, Canada. Ontario passed the Green Energy and Green Economy Act in May to create clean electricity and more green jobs. There are also more opportunities for education and awareness such as solar panel installation classes. The investments are beneficial to Ontario’s economy, which is still recovering from the recent recession.

Renewable Auctions Approved in California

The California Public Utilities Commission approved a program to support small and mid-sized renewable energy projects. The “Renewable Auction Mechanism” is the replacement for the feed-in tariff program and will require state utilities to purchase electricity from renewable energy systems. The Commission’s vote also established a pilot program, a 1-gigwatt initiative for power from mid-sized renewable plants. The program requires California’s investor-owned utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric, to hold auctions and renewable developers can bid to these events. Utilities will then be required to award contracts with the lowest cost project until the megawatt requirement is reached for that round. The program is scheduled to begin spring 2011.

One of the Nation’s Oldest Hydroelectric Projects under Renovation

Puget Sound Energy’s Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Project, a 44.4-MW endeavor, is ready for upgrades on its two powerhouses. Plant 1 began operations in 1898 and Plant 2 followed suit a little over a decade later in 1910. The project is one of this year’s Hydro Hall of Fame inductees. Renovation efforts are scheduled to reach completion in 2013 and will add 10-megawatts of capacity to the powerhouses. Plant 2 is undergoing much of the reconstruction. The expected cost for all the improvements are expected to cost $240 million. Companies included in construction include Klohn Crippen Berger, Barnard Construction of Bozeman, Mont., GeoEngineers and Kleinfelder.

Turbine Manufacturer Closes $5 Million Investment

ReDriven Power Inc., a veteran wind-turbine manufacturer, has closed a $5 million investment that is expected to augment its sales expansion globally. The company uses a patent pending hydraulic tower and controller system that enables users to generate electricity through their turbines. The investor is a retired lawyer and businessman, alumnus of Princeton, Harvard Law School, and Loyola University XMBA. In addition to both parties involved, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also welcomed the news. The NYSERDA is a state organization that uses ReDriven’s turbines in its incentive programs. Their goal is to help New York meet its energy goals by promoting the use of renewable power.


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One Person has left comments on this post

» Tony said: { Dec 23, 2010 - 08:12:55 }

Its great to see this, hawaii is making a lot of advances in new sustainable energy these days with solar and wind. I remember only a few years ago when it seemed like ideas like this would never materialize. keep it up!

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