Salazar Approves Solar Farm for Nevada
Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, has given federal approval for the Amargosa Farm Road Solar Project. The project is the second such large-scale solar energy undertaking approved for public lands in Nevada. Solar Millennium will build the 500-MW facility; the company is eligible for loans from the DOE’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The farm will use two 250-MW parabolic troughs to collect sunlight and dry-cooled power plants to store the energy.
San Francisco Opens Publicly Accessible EV Charging Stations
San Francisco is now home to the first publically accessible, commercially owned charging station for electric vehicles. The two ChargePoint stations are the first of a project that intends to install 12 throughout the Priority Parking facilities. Consumers merely swipe their credit cards for access to the charging stations making the ChargePoints accessible to out-of-town drivers. The two stations are a part of the company’s Priority GreenPark initiative. Ultimately, the ChargePoint America program will give 4.600 free public and home charging stations.
Nations Find it Difficult to Meet Energy Targets
Climate talks begin in a fortnight in Cancun, Mexico. However, even with the recent growth in the areas of alternative energy, many researchers still doubt that the original goals for sustainability will be met. The target was to transfer 20 percent of energy use to alternative sources; this is tougher than it seems. Not only are alternative energy investments such as offshore wind farms expensive, finance capital is hard to come by with stagnating world economies. Additionally, cheaper gas prices have deterred consumers from using renewable energy sources such as wind power that is costly to maintain. Many await the results of the Cancun talks in earnest.
World’s Largest Biodiesel Plant under Construction in Singapore
Neste Oil has begun producing the world’s largest biodiesel plant in Singapore. The plant can produce up to 800,000 metric tons of fuel derived from vegetable oils or a combination of oil and animal fat annually. The renewable diesel is compatible with the existing diesel engines and fuel distribution centers. Using the biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent to improve air quality. The plant uses a Finnish based technology, NExBTL renewable diesel that is known to perform well in low temperature conditions. The plant is estimated to cost 550 million euros to build.
GE Chooses Winners for Ecomagination Challenge
Winners for GE’s Ecomagination Challenge ranged from New York and New Hampshire to Ireland and Sweden. The project was launched 10 weeks ago as the company sought entrepreneurs who had innovative ideas regarding the next-generation power grid. Proposals were submitted under three categories: Renewables, Grid and Eco Homes/Eco Buildings. Representatives from GE businesses and partner firms judged the entries and sought out the winners for the first $55 million in funding. Winners included companies such as ClimateWell of Stockholm, Sweden who submitted entries for efficient appliances and Consert, a North Carolina company that provided Energy Management Systems and Software innovations.
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