University of Maryland wins DOE Solar Decathlon 2011
The University of Maryland has won the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 in Washington, D.C. The university claimed top honors by designing, building, and operating the most cost effective, energy efficient and attractive solar powered house. Purdue University grabbed second place followed by New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington. Maryland earned 951.151 points out of a possible 1,000 to win the competition, followed by Purdue with 931.390 points, and New Zealand with 919.058 points.
NRG Energy acquires 250-MW Calif. solar facility
NRG Energy Inc. has completed its acquisition of the 250-MW California Valley Solar Ranch project from SunPower Corp. Once completed, the California Valley Solar Ranch will be one of the largest photovoltaic solar power plants in the world.
The project is expected to begin partial operations by early 2012, with the balance of the project coming online later in 2012 and 2013. SunPower will complete the project’s design and construction.
Washington State University gets $40M grant from DOE for biofuels initiative
Washington State University will receive a five-year, $40 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop alternatives to petroleum-based fuels and chemicals. About two-thirds of the funding is directed to research, with the remaining targeted to education and outreach/public awareness. The WSU-led grant aims to address the urgent national need for a domestic biofuel alternative for U.S. commercial and military air fleets.
In addition, the project will focus on increasing the profitability of wood-based fuels through development of high-value, bio-based co-products to replace petrochemicals that are used in products such as plastics.
ET Solar completes solar system in Germany
China-based ET Solar Group Corp. has completed a 280 kWp roofing photovoltaic project in Schifferstadt, Rheinland Pfalz, Germany. The system was installed on the roofs of a juvenile prison. Grid connected in this summer, the project was developed and installed by sinoPARTNER Technologie AG.