Green pickups to patrol the Daytona 500, Ford plants to adopt energy efficient lighting and the DOE Giving $5 Million to GATE Centers.
Not only will NASCAR drivers support clean energy with their E15 vehicles, but there will also be two environmentally friendly service trucks patrolling the track during the 2011 season opener at Daytona. Ford f-250 Super Duty pickup trucks, equipped with ROUSH CleanTech liquid propane autogas will be used as the emergency vehicles through the remainder of the 2011 race season. The propane autogas vehicles lower fuel costs and decrease harmful emissions by up to 24 percent. In addition to such clean energy measures, NASCAR is also recycling all tires, oils, fluids and batteries used in the competition. They have also earned LEED certification for the new office buildings in Daytona Beach and Charlotte.
15 Companies Protest E15
NASCAR may have accepted the controversial E15 ethanol blend, but the National Petrochemical Refiners Association continues to battle the EPA regarding the fuel. The NPRA was one of 15 companies that signed a letter to the House of Representatives supported a measure to bar the EPA from using federal funding for costs associated with increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline. Representative John Sullivan (R-Okla.) put forth the proposal. Other signers for the proposal include various companies such as the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the American Petroleum Institute. “Our organizations rarely agree on any public policy issue, but we are united in opposing the premature introduction of E15,” the letter read. “Simply stated, this amendment will call a halt to EPA’s headlong rush to introduce E15 at least until unbiased and independent testing on the impact of E15 on vehicle and off-road engines and the environment can be completed.”
DOE Giving $5 Million to GATE Centers
Energy Secretary Steven Chu is giving $5 million in funding to support Graduate Automotive Technology Education (GATE) Centers. GATE Centers aim to educate the future workforce of automotive engineers to work with changing technologies. The funding is another step toward achieving President Obama’s goal of having one million EVs on the roads by 2015 in an effort to reduce American dependence on foreign oil. GATE Centers provide graduate level education on subjects such as lightweight materials, advanced energy storage and advanced combustion engines.
Ford Plants to Adopt Energy Efficient Lighting
Ford’s Dearborn, Mich. location is adopting a new lighting project to reduce their energy consumption and save over $1 million. Using the new efficient lighting, the plant will reduce its electricity consumption by 18.2 million kWh, enough to power almost 1,650 homes for a year. The Ford land Energy Efficiency and Supply Office will switch out and retrofit existing fixtures, increase the use of natural daylight and replace incandescent signs such as exit markers with LED signs.
US Wind Industry Rejuvenated through Transmission Lines
The US Wind industry nearly bucked by 2008 as the country’s electric grid became overwhelmed by the numerous wind projects that resulted from the boom in early 2000s. One major project was T. Boone Pickens’ $10 billion endeavor in Pampa, TX. This year, with improvements and transmission updates, the electric grid is now more capable. Southern California Edison’s high voltage line connects Tehachapi Pass to LA, reinvigorating the country’s oldest area of wind turbines. This has led to the construction of California’s largest wind park in Kern County. Another line connects North Dakota to Chicago, enabling hundreds of megawatts of new wind power such as the Crownbutte project.
Tags: autogas, crownbutte wind, doe, E15, energy efficiency lighting, epa, federal funding, Ford, Gate Center, green pickups, John Sullivan proposal, kern county, LED lights, LEED certification, NASCAR, NPRA, propane, ROUSH CleanTech, southern california edison, Steven Chu, Sunoco E15, super duty pickup trucks, tehachapi pass, transmission lines, us wind industry