Annual Michigan Energy Fair will be held June 7 & 8 at the Mason County Fairgrounds in Ludington. Friday will be workshops and exhibits for energy professionals and businesses and Saturday will be a free expo and workshops for the general public. Sponsorship information has been posted on our web site at www.glrea.org. Exhibitor information and a call for presenters will be coming soon.
GLREA Member Highlight
Power Panel is manufacturing a revolutionary hybrid electric and thermal solar energy system that is up to 80% efficient and promises to provide better returns than PV-only systems. By developing an integrated PVT system, Power Panel delivers a better return for customers with a smaller footprint. Payback times are half or less of conventional PV only systems. Power Panel is manufacturing its products in Detroit. For investors, Power Panel has in place a capital efficient manufacturing plant with the capability to scale operations to meet global demand. www.powerpanel.com
Michigan NewsDow Solar has announced a major expansion of the availability of POWERHOUSE™ Solar Shingles. Homeowners can purchase POWERHOUSE through Kearns Brothers, Inc. (based in Dearborn, Kearns Brothers Roofing will service the re-roof market) and Cobblestone Homes (POWERHOUSE will be
featured on their new models in the mid-Michigan region). http://www.dowpowerhouse.com/news/2012/20121204b.htm
Annual Report on Utility Energy Optimization (EO) programs was released by the MPSC. The report shows that overall, 2011 EO electric program savings was 116% of the target, and the natural gas program savings was 134% of the target. EO resources were obtained at a statewide average levelized cost of $20 per MWH – significantly cheaper than new electric generation. Statewide funding for EO programs was $205.8 million in 2011, which will result in $709 million of savings to customers over the lifetime of the measures installed. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/2012_EO_Report_404891_7.pdf
Research Hub for Advanced Batteries created by the U.S. Dept. of Energy will take a “five times five times five” approach to improving battery-powered cars. The $120 million program will focus on making batteries five times more powerful, five times cheaper and five times longer-lasting. Headed by the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, the program will bring two new advanced battery research facilities to Michigan – one at MSU’s Bioeconomics Institute in Holland and one on the University of Michigan’s campus in Ann Arbor.
Grid Logic has received a $3.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a low-cost superconducting wire for use by electric utilities. It is one 66 projects getting a share of $130 million in competitive funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy. Using a new manufacturing technique, the company will embed very fine superconducting particles in a combination of metals to induce superconductivity. The wire would reduce the cost of transmission lines, motors for wind turbines, and other electric devices. www.grid-logic.com
$750 Million Natural Gas-Fired Power Plant will be built by Consumers Energy on 272 acres in northern Genesee County. Construction on the 700 MW combined cycle power plant in Thetford Township is slated to start in 2015 and finish in 2017. The construction will create an estimated 600 jobs for workers, including skilled trades, and another 30 permanent jobs once the facility is up and running. http://www.mlive.com/business/mid-michigan/index.ssf/2012/12/consumers_energy_announces_pla.html#incart_river_default
Ann Arbor City Council has adopted a Climate Action Plan, a 188-page document that outlines dozens of ways to reduce the community’s carbon footprint. Building on previous environmental goals set by the City Council, the new plan recommends three targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades. That includes a goal of reducing the entire community’s emissions by 8% by 2015, 25% by 2025, and 90% by 2050 — all relative to 2000 baseline levels. http://annarbor.com/news/ann-arbor-adopts-climate-action-plan-with-goal-of-reducing-greenhouse-gas-emissions-by-90-by-2050/
Beyond MichiganCongress has passed a fiscal cliff deal that includes a one year extension of the wind energy production tax credit until January 1, 2014. The American Wind Energy Association says that the extension will save 37,000 jobs and revive business at 500 wind factories.
First Offshore Wind Farms in the U.S. will be expedited by up to $168 million over six years from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. Each of the seven projects will receive up to $4 million to complete engineering, site evaluation and planning. The department will then select up to three of the projects, offering each up to $47 million, to abet their commercial operation by 2017. The 7 projects are in 6 states: Baryonyx Corp. (Texas), Fishermen’s Atlantic City Windfarm (NJ), Lake
Erie Development Corp. (Cleveland), Principle Power (Oregon), Statoil (Gulf of Maine), University of Maine (Monhegan Island), and Dominion Virginia Power (Virginia Beach). The Lake Erie proposal has nine 3-MW turbines seven miles off the shore. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/12/12/obama-offshore-wind-projects/1765029/
Green Roofs can improve the performance of PV has been shown by two recent studies. By absorbing rainwater and enhancing water evaporation, a green roof can reduce the ambient air temperature and improve the performance of solar cells. According to preliminary research being conducted by the Bronx Design and Construction Academy, the efficiency rates for a solar array on a green roof are 3% higher than a solar array on a conventional roof. Meanwhile, a separate study by American Solar Energy Society suggests an even more synergistic relationship between green roofs and solar panels. Living roofs, the ASES researchers found, can also improve performance by filtering out pollutants and dust from the surrounding air that can interfere in the photovoltaic process. Operating a green roof in conjunction with a solar array, the study found, can boost solar performance by as much as 16%. The wide variation in the results of the two studies has to do with differences in the types of solar cells being used, the plants that are included in the green roof and the materials in the rooftops. http://www.tgdaily.com/sustainability-features/67943-solar-panels-efficiency-bolstered-by-green-roofs
Japanese government is throwing its strong support behind renewable energy power generation, not only through the FIT system but also with various new subsidies and reductions of regulatory barriers. As of September 2012, a total generation capacity of 1,780 MW had already been certified since the FIT scheme was started in July. This amount is already more than 70% of the entire 2,500 MW projected for the end of this fiscal year (March 2013). Among those certified, the largest amount (1,040 MW) is from non-residential PV, followed by residential PV (440 MW) and wind power (290 MW). http://www.japanfs.org/en/mailmagazine/newsletter/pages/032133.html
GE has partnered with Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to rethink the way wind blades are designed, manufactured, and installed. GE’s research will focus on the use of architectural fabrics, which would be wrapped around a metal space frame, resembling a fishbone. http://cleantechnica.com/2012/12/05/ge-developing-wind-blades-that-could-be-the-fabric-of-our-clean-energy-future/
Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has selected three new suppliers of regulation service, a grid-balancing function traditionally provided by generators. Through a request for proposals issued earlier this year, the IESO sought to procure up to 10 MW of regulation from alternative sources. The IESO has now entered contract negotiations with ENBALA Power Networks Inc., a provider of demand-side management, NRStor Inc., an energy-storage provider, and Renewable Energy Systems Canada Inc., a developer of wind, solar, storage and transmission projects.
Apple has a new patent for an on-demand system to harness stored wind energy. Apple’s patent relates to techniques for storing rotational energy from a wind turbine as heat and using the stored heat to subsequently generate electricity on demand. http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/12/apple-to-harness-stored-wind-energy-via-new-on-demand-system.html
EventsWest Michigan Bio-Energy Consortium will meet on Thursday January 3, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. at Varnum Law Offices, 333 Bridge Street, Grand Rapids. Please confirm attendance by Jan 2 with Rick Chapla at email@example.com
Midwest Energy Solutions Conference will be held Jan 16-18 in Chicago. Presented by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the conference is the largest energy efficiency event in the region. www.meeaconference.org
American Solar Energy Society annual conference will be in Baltimore on April 16-20. www.ases.org
American Wind Energy Assoc. annual conference will be in Chicago on May 5-8. http://www.windpowerexpo.org/2013/
Michigan Energy Fair will be in Ludington on June 7-8. www.glrea.org
Source/Prepared by: John Sarver for Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association (GLREA)