A new solar panel manufacturing plant to be built in South Carolina, Lake Erie possibly receiving offshore wind power and Kaiser Permanente adds solar power to its facilities.
South Carolina will be home to a giant solar facility constructed by a photovoltaic cell maker from California. AQT Solar will install the plant in Blythewood, SC. The factory is expected to have a 1,000-megawatt capacity annually after its completion in 2014 and to employ up to 1,000 workers. The plant is slotted to be one of a handful of large solar factories in the U.S. recently without a federal
loan guarantee. AQT has raised $15 million from investors and it can also cut its capital costs by manufacturing only solar cells that can be sold to other companies to be made into panels or modules.
Offshore wind farms, such as the Cape Wind project are the latest investments in the wind industry. Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) and Freshwater Wind, LLC have teamed up to lease submerged land for an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie. The lease option with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources gives both companies the four years to apply for and negotiate a land lease for the site of the project, a few miles from Cleveland. Five turbines are scheduled for installment in late 2012. This initial development is expected to yield 20-MW of electricity. By 2020, LEEDCo has projected 1,000-MW of offshore energy to be harvested from the lake.
Last week, St.Joseph’s Hospital campus in Florida adopted renewable energy to power its facility. Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Medical Center has also embraced clean energy in the form of solar power. The company installed solar power systems at 15 of its facilities in the state of California by the end of 2011. Recurrent Energy is the solar developer for the project that aims to produce 8.5 percent of Santa Clara’s electricity. The 15 facilities are expected to generate 15-megawatts of energy, enough to sustain 10 percent of the electricity needed at each facility. The installment will save Kaiser over $10 million annually.
Three prominent corporations are to collaborate in an effort to design, install and operate a 3.24 megawatt rooftop solar project in New Jersey. KDC Solar, The Sudler Companies and the United Stationers Supply Co. have teamed up to install the panels on the final company’s distribution center in New Jersey. The facility is expected to generate about 3.45 million kilowatt-hours of solar electricity annually. Construction should begin early this year so that the project can reach an operational stage by the end of 2011.
A new residential smart electricity meter will soon be available in the European market. Elster announced the launch of its new AS300 meter for interior residential use. The meter will be used by European utilities who aim to install Smart Meters in 80 percent of homes by 2020. The new model allows utilities to exchange technologies multiple times so that their investment remains secure even as technology changes. The AS300 also has features that can help protect the consumer against fraud and tampering.