President Obama discusses his administration’s approach to the current oil prices, new clean energy program launched by DOE, and Michigan’s largest solar installations atop Ford Assembly plant.
President Obama Addresses Oil Prices
President Obama’s press conference touched on the major news of the week including the earthquake in Japan, the crisis in Libya and the effect of it on the infamous rising oil prices. The higher gas prices are mainly caused by the increased demand and the unrest in the Middle East and Libya. He made sure to mention that his Administration has not halted oil production. In fact, the oil production is at the highest level in seven years, namely from federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. The President also noted that America is less sensitive to shocks in oil prices and one reason for that is that he has encouraged the transition away from oil with investments in clean energy.
DOE Launches i6 Green Challenge
True to his word, President Obama has invested in yet another clean energy project. The DOE joined the EPA, the Dept. of Agriculture, the National Science Foundation and the Commerce Department to launch the $12 million i6 Green Challenge. Six teams around the country will have to develop innovations to create a greener economy through ideas for energy efficiency, green building technology or uses of renewable energy. Proof of Concept Centers will be used to promote the technologies and commercialize them so that new ideas can find a place in the market and become businesses.
Phase 1 of Michigan’s Largest Solar Plant Complete
Phase one of the solar power system at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant has reached commercial operation and is now delivering renewable energy to power the production of the C-MAX Hybrid, Ford Focus and the Focus Electric. The 500-kW installation is the largest solar power generation system in Michigan, the result of a collaboration between Ford, DTE Energy, Xtreme Power, the city of Wayne and the state of Michigan. There will also be a 750-kW energy storage facility.
Concentrated PV Plant Commissioned in Southern Cali.
San Diego Gas & Electric has commissioned a new concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant, dubbed Imperial Solar Energy Center West. The 150-MW plant will be constructed in Imperial county and is expected to be operational by 2015. Tenaska Solar Ventures will develop and operate the plant using Soitec’s CPV panels. The project is expected to produce enough electricity to power 55,000 California homes. CPV systems are more efficient than conventional solar installations in areas of hot and dry weather because of the low temperature coefficient of their multijunction solar cells.
Hawaiian Solar Firm Recognized as Best Small Business
Hawaiians pay the most for electricity in the U.S., according to RevoluSun, a Hawaii-based solar energy company. The company has grown quickly since its inception in July 2009 due to the demands for cheaper energy. RevoluSun was recognized as the Best New Business at the Hawaii Business Small Business Awards. The PV systems range from $15,000 to $70,000 of which about two-thirds is covered by state and federal tax incentives. The company offers open houses and seminars to encourage consumers to invest in solar energy and also provides renewable energy education in schools.
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