Consumers unable to pay energy bills, Kyocera builds 1,200 solar power systems for Japanese schools and Georgia Power selling solar power to Dalton Utilities.
Consumers Unable to Pay Energy Bills
Utility companies are getting more and more requests for aid in heating and energy bills from consumers who simply cannot afford to keep their homes powered. Programs around the nation have received thousands of calls and requests from low-income homes. Energy Outreach Colorado and the Colorado Low-Income Energy Assistance Program are responding to such requests in their state. The two organizations provide aid for low-income families and the elderly who cannot afford their monthly energy bills. The companies report that between October 2010 and now, energy assistance funds have increased 32 percent as compared to the same period in 2009. The number of household approved to participate have increased to by 13 percent to almost 92,000. Energy Outreach Colorado is paying almost $2 million this week to emergency assistance sites statewide. Such programs exist in many states to help families still struggling due to the economy and job problems.
Kyocera Builds 1,200 Solar Power Systems for Japanese Schools
Japan’s “School New Deal” project has encouraged innovative engineering to improve the country’s educational buildings. Specifically, the plan aims to make a suitable, modern learning environment for its students by using earthquake-resistant building standards and using solar power for electricity generation. Acknowledging this need, Kyocera has supplied over 1,200 schools with solar power modules. The company has the number one share in the market for schools, with over 40 percent of school installations. In April 2009, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology set a goal of increasing the number of public schools with solar power installations to 12,000. Kyocera continues to implement clean energy in the schools in an effort to meet national targets.
Georgia Power Selling Solar Power to Dalton Utilities
Georgia Power has acquired several solar projects whose output the company plans to sell to Dalton Utilities. The 1-MW projects are in Murray County, GA and were co-developed by United Renewable Energy and Mack Creek Energy. The 25-year power purchase agreement between Dalton Utilities and Georgia Power ensures that all renewable energy credits are converted to Dalton. The facility is expected to reach commercial operations for its first phase in spring 2011. The entire project is scheduled to reach completion in early 2014 by which time the facility should supply enough energy to power up to 400 homes.
Luxury Brands Carrying Electric Bicycles
Brand names such as Ferrari are beginning to endorse the electric bicycle as a sustainable form of transportation. The bike from Tommy Bahama can speed to 20 mph for up to 40 miles and it has six speeds for optional pedaling. This cycle costs up to $2675. On the other hand, Ferrari produces the E+ 1000 watt electric bicycle for sale at $3,799. Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay Leno and the Jonas Brothers have reportedly embraced the bikes on their blogs and websites.
Elster and Industrial Defender Partner to Increase Smart Grid Security
Elster and Industrial Defender have partnered to provide increased cyber security for the Smart Grid. Improvements include security intrusion detection and prevention as well as new applications for monitoring, analysis, records management and compliance reporting. Utilities can now have a complete source for reliable metering and distribution of power on the Grid. “Cyber security is complex and multifaceted,” said David Hart, Ph.D., senior vice president of systems and products at Elster. “By building individual key management and other security features into EnergyAxis 7.5, and integrating the enhanced applications offered by Industrial Defender, Elster continues to lead the way in creating secure, reliable infrastructure and proven Smart Grid solutions.”
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