The Department of Energy’s Loan Programs Office announced a $117 million loan guarantee through the Recovery Act for the Kahuku Wind Power Project in Hawaii. A project Secretary Chu calls “another example of America’s leadership in the global clean energy economy.”
While Hawaii has been harnessing wind power for years, Kahuku Wind is expected to be the first project to meet wind and solar energy reliability requirements set by the Hawaiian Electric Company; currently the only electric utility operating on the island of Oahu. Development of this innovative 30 megawatt (MW) wind power plant is expected to create over 200 jobs and supply clean electricity to roughly 7,700 Ohau households per year – a huge impact on an area that relies heavily on imported fossil fuels for power – and help pave the way for future clean energy projects in Hawaii.
“There is an urgent need to establish renewable energy sources in Hawaii and the state has mapped an ambitious plan to achieve this. The federal loan guarantee announced today boosts this effort,” said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono. “The Kahuku Wind Project is the type of project that Hawaii needs to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and keep billions of dollars in our economy.”
In order to meet energy demands, the Kahuku Wind Project will combine two innovative technologies: the Clipper Liberty wind turbine system – the largest wind turbine manufactured in the U.S. – and a new battery system designed to help smooth out changes in power output caused by varying wind levels. This first of its kind installation will allow Kahuku to store energy generated on windy days for later delivery and could become an example for wind developers across the country to follow. Turbine blades being delivered to Kahuku. Photo credit First Wind.
Kahuku Wind is expected to begin generating energy for Oahu as early as the end of this year and has already sold the future electricity to the Hawaiian Electric Company. Upon completion, the wind power plant will have the capacity to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 96 million pounds per year.
Kahuku Wind is just one of 13 clean energy projects supported by loan guarantees through the Department’s Loan Programs Office. For more information, please visit www.lgprogram.energy.gov. Liz Meckes is a New Media Specialist with the Office of Public Affairs at the Department of Energy.
FREEDOM TO ROAM
Ecotourism Conference Keynote Speaker Rick Ridgeway to Address Climate Change and Wildlife
Rick Ridgeway is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, photographer and environmentalist. Ridgeway has achieved many adventures in his life including being a member of the first American team to summit K2. His international reputation as one of the world’s foremost mountaineers and adventurers prompted Rolling Stone magazine to call him “the real Indiana Jones.” Ridgeway has also been honored with National Geographic’s “Lifetime Achievement in Adventure” award. Rick Ridgeway, Board Chairman of Freedom to Roam Coalition, and Vice President of Environmental Initiatives and Special Media Projects for Patagonia, Inc.
San Francisco Solar Power Plant
Recurrent Energy, an independent power producer and a leading developer of solar power projects, today announced that it has closed long term debt financing for its 5 megawatt (MW) solar power system located at the Sunset Reservoir in San Francisco. The company secured approximately $18 million for the project from Prudential Capital Group, which provided 24-year term debt financing.
The solar power system located atop the Sunset Reservoir, San Francisco’s largest water reservoir, will be one of the largest municipal solar power systems in the United States and will more than triple San Francisco’s total municipal solar energy output. The solar power system is expected to be fully operational by early Fall of 2010.
“As the Sunset Reservoir solar power project nears completion, this financing from Prudential Capital Group marks another major milestone for Recurrent Energy,” said Arno Harris, CEO of Recurrent Energy. “We have more than 330 megawatts of distributed-scale projects in our contracted portfolio across North America and Europe and financing from Prudential, a leader in the energy project finance market, further demonstrates our ability to raise capital and construct our pipeline.”
“We believe in Recurrent Energy’s management group and the five megawatt solar power system at the Sunset Reservoir,” said Ric Abel, Managing Director of Prudential Capital Group’s Electric Finance group. “By providing long term debt financing, Prudential recognizes the value of the Recurrent Energy team and quality of their development process.”
The 25-year contract between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and Recurrent Energy will supply clean, renewable solar power for City municipal services and facilities, such as public schools, San Francisco International Airport, SF General Hospital, Muni and more. The Sunset Reservoir solar power system has 24,000 solar panels installed covering an area the size of about 10 football fields.
14 year old converts VW to electric vehicle
Ashton Stark shows off the rear compartment of his grandfather’s 1972 Volkswagen, which he and his father have converted to an electric vehicle. The car is now driven by a single motorized shaft and powered by nine golf cart batteries. The Starks estimate the vehicle can travel up to 45 miles on a single charge which would cost about 10 cents in electricity.
Ontario — After almost a year of building a fully operational electric vehicle, and after all of the study and implementation of electrical and mechanical engineering involved, one important element of the project is still missing for Ashton Stark.
That would be reaching the age where he can drive it.
Stark, who is 14 and will be a sophomore at Ontario High School in the fall, said he will be old enough for a learner’s permit in a few weeks. He said he is excited about getting behind the wheel and showing it to more of his friends.
He conceded that, in the meantime, there still are many points of enjoyment and pride associated with the car.
He said one of the main points of pride is the vehicle’s connection with the past.
“It is my grandpa’s 72 Super Beetle,” he said. “I think he would love it and be incredibly proud of it.” He said the bond with the past did not keep him and his father from designing the vehicle with an eye toward the future. “It is also good for the earth and the community,” he said. Stark pointed out the vehicle does not use oil or gas and is
good for the environment in other ways. The vehicle is driven by a single cylindrical drive shaft connected to the original shaft of the Volkswagens transmission. It is powered by nine separate 8 volt golf cart batteries, with five in the rear and four in the front of the vehicle. “We are running 72 volt through it,” Stark said. “Interstate battery made a deal with us to test their new line of golf cart batteries and collect data on the batteries.” Noel Stark, Ashton’s father, said he has driven the vehicle many times, and he believes it is not only green conscious, it is also inexpensive and practical to operate.
“We have not done a full run on it, but we estimate it can travel somewhere between 45 and 50 miles on a full charge,” Noel Stark said. “You could drive every day to and from work for less than 10 cents a day, and that would be if the batteries were dead when you came home. It would probably be more like two to three cents a day.” Noel Stark said the vehicle has a top speed of 45 miles per hour, and said it runs in complete silence. Noel Stark said the project, which cost around $4,000, is one more drivers should consider. “I think any vehicle can be converted to electricity,” he said. “It is so simple to get one I don’t know why more people don’t own one. It doesn’t have to be a Bug, it can be any light weight vehicle: a Porsche, a Toyota or a Honda. It would be a great neighborhood or commuter vehicle and would save a fortune on gas.” Ashton Stark said he plans to use the vehicle for his senior class project. He said he will collect data through an onboard computer port as to range, efficiency and other elements of performance. He said working on the vehicle with his father has opened the doors of opportunity in other areas, also. He said might consider building electric cars for others. “I think if more people had them, it would help the community a lot,” he said.
When Van Jones speaks, people…
GREEN FOR ALL ANNOUNCES
Green jobs are a reality, and now is the time to honor the innovative companies that are creating them. With support from the Citi Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, SJF Advisory Services and Green For All have partnered to launch a Green Jobs Award Program, which seeks to identify, recognize, and promote private companies that are leaders in quality green job creation.
MOBILE SOLAR PHONES SPREADING IN INDIA
The phone, known as the VF 247 is targeted at India’s huge rural mobile phone market. The solar powered device would be a boon to many users who face shortage of electricity in the villages of India. They will no longer be required to be near an electrical outlet to charge their phones. The VF 247′s launch comes almost a year after Samsung launched its first Solar powered phone in India the Guru 1107. According to Vodafone, the VF 247 solar powered phone charges by itself, by exposure to ambient light.
Sun Boost, the special inbuilt hardware and software ensures that the phone charges also in a room, under normal daylight. This means one doesn’t require exposure to direct sunlight. Normal ambient light should be enough to power this one. The phone requires eight hours of direct sunlight to be fully charged. Once charged it will last for more than eight days and offers about four hours of talk time. As for the features, it boasts of an FM radio, color screen and a powerful torch light. More details are yet to be unveiled by Vodafone.
The phone is expected to be priced at around the Rs.1500 mark ($32 us) and would be available across India starting next month.
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