Integrys Energy Services Teams With Duke Energy & Smart Energy Capital To Build And Finance Solar Projects
Integrys Energy Services, a natural gas and electricity provider, recently concentrated on expanding its renewable energy business by teaming up with Duke Energy Generation Services and Smart Energy Capital. The company will build and finance solar projects nationwide. Their work involves distributed solar power, small-scale generators that power individual consumers and establishments. Leading Greentech Media research company, GMT issued a report in 2009 saying the United States will nearly double its growth in the solar panel market by 2011. Integrys is on its way to meeting that goal and its partnerships will help the company increase the distributed solar energy project, which currently has about 20 working facilities.
Nine communities in the East Bay area of Rhode Island have grouped together work on a plan to build a wind farm that could power up to 7,500 homes. The consortium has grants from the Renewable Energy Fund and the Rhode Island Foundation to put up almost ten wind turbines. The group’s consultant has tentatively chosen land around Tiverton Industrial Park as the site for their project
Rhode Island is not alone in harnessing wind power; internet search giant, Google has promised to lead investment in a five billion dollar project to power the East Coast. The project aims to build offshore wind turbines spanning 350 miles from New Jersey to Virginia. Google plans to provide 37.5 percent of the initial funding for the turbines. Other investors include Good Energies and a Japanese company by the name of Marubeni. Companies will begin work on the project, christened Atlantic Wind Connection, by 2013 and hope to finish by 2020.
Geologists are using their federal funding to search for areas around the country that would be suitable to provide geothermal energy. The Department of Energy granted $22 million to the Association of American State Geologists earlier this year. Some of these funds are being used for research in New Hampshire. Geothermal energy plants require building a well that is up to 3,000 feet deep into which water is then pumped. As the water passes through the well, it is heated by the Earth at about 302 degrees. The Granite state’s picturesque White Mountain range could potentially become a site for geothermal power plants. Geologists are still in the beginning stages of research; however, it remains to be seen if the site can support such a plant.
It seems the East coast is the only one taking an active stance for alternative energy. That is not the case, as the University of Iowa announces their newest sustainability initiative. Already a committed institution with its Biomass Fuel Project and Carbon Emission Reduction plans, the University now looks to limit coal usage in the campus power plant. Burning paper sludge wood chips, and corn stover pellets are being examined as potential replacements. UI is also dedicated to adopting a new 10-year energy plan by October that will specifies new benchmarks for carbon emissions, renewable energy, and guidelines for student involvement. UI, which already uses 17 percent renewable energy to power its campus, aims to have 40 percent alternative energy usage by the next decade. To do so, they have already begun purchasing wind power and plan to invest in more turbines. Their “green fleet” of electrical vehicles already roams the campus and use sustainable design to construct all new campus facilities. University of Iowa has embraced the call for alternative energy and is setting an example for college campuses nationwide.
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