Agility Fuel Systems Supplies CNG to UPS

UPS has ordered 445 new 160 DGE Behind-the-Cab compressed natural gas (CNG) systems from Agility Fuel Systems. Once the order is delivered, UPS will be operating nearly 1,600 heavy duty trucks equipped with CNG or LNG fuel systems UPS CNG trucksupplied by Agility. The trucks, once fully deployed, says Agility, are projected to run more than 230 million miles annually and with Agility’s comprehensive field support, are achieving up-time results that are comparable to diesel trucks.

The company has worked closely with UPS to develop and engineer custom specifications for their applications and has provided installation, training and in-servicing support to enable successful deployment and rapid expansion of natural gas in their heavy duty truck fleet. Agility has also supported the UPS natural gas rollout with its portable fueling solution, enabling new LNG trucks to be fueled at the production plant where they are built and quickly placed into service.

“As an early adopter, UPS has been a role model for trucking fleets introducing natural gas into their operations. We are proud to have worked with UPS over the last several years to support their natural gas rollout. Today’s announcement is further validation of our technological leadership, innovative and space saving fuel system designs, reliability and industry-leading field support,” said Chief Executive Officer of Agility Fuel Systems Barry Engle.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/GTM Research in partnership with Meister Consultants Group has released a new white paper: Solar PV in ​the Caribbean: Opportunities and Challenges. The free​ white paper identifies the opportunities and challenges in the Caribbean solar market. The report features an overview of installed costs, module pricing, equipment brands, customer financing, and policy driving that’s the Caribbean solar market.
  • Focused Energy LLC changed its name to BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC. In so doing, the company adopted the name of the BayWa r.e. renewable energy family of which it has been a part for four years. BayWa r.e. Solar Systems LLC, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will continue to be the PV wholesale company representing BayWa r.e. in the US. Apart from solar distribution, the business of BayWa r.e. in the US comprises wind and solar project development, with subsidiaries in San Diego, California (wind business) and Irvine, California (solar project business).
  • Speaking of BayWa r.e., the company has successfully brought four solar farms online in England. The plants have a combined output of 85 MW and are located near Northampton, Aylesbury, Oxford and Reading. Construction of all four plants was achieved by BayWa r.e. in just twelve weeks. Commissioning of the solar farms, which took place according to schedule in March, enables the projects to be accredited under the RO (Renewables Obligation) scheme in the UK.
  • The Global Wind Energy Council launched its flagship publication the Global Wind Report: Annual Market update today in Istanbul. The report details wind power’s remarkable growth in 2014, as well as updating GWEC’s rolling 5 year market projections, which show continued growth for the rest of the decade.

U.S. Continues Support for Hydropower

Three federal U.S. agencies have renewed their support of hydropower in America. The Department of Interior and the Department of Energy (DOE) in conjunction with the Civil Works division of the U.S. Army of Corps of Engineers, have extended their MOU for hydropower for five additional years. The purpose of the MOU is to meet the need for affordable energy, in part, through hydropower.

Beer1970 Dreamstime.com - Hydropower Station Construction Photo“This agreement among three key federal agencies is great news for the federal hydropower system, and even greater news for the millions of American homes and businesses that rely on clean, affordable, and reliable hydropower,” said Voith Hydro U.S. President and CEO Bob Gallo. “In the MOU’s first five years, the agencies have already made significant progress in laying the groundwork for expanded hydropower production, with tangible results to show for their efforts. Voith is pleased to support efforts to strengthen the backbone of American hydropower, and believe the agencies’ continued collaboration will create jobs and economic growth throughout the U.S.”

According to Voith, Phase II of the MOU will focus on several key areas:

  • Improving the accuracy and reducing costs of water flow measurement technology.
  • Reducing the size and weight of generators for new hydropower projects, potentially leading to reduced costs and increased generator output for existing facilities.
  • Developing low-impact, low-cost hydropower technologies suitable for demonstration and deployment at non-powered dams and conduits, potentially providing power for 1.5 million homes.
  • Enhancing the environmental performance of hydropower turbines for responsible deployment.
  • Assessing the risks to U.S. hydropower generation and water infrastructure posed by climate change.

Since the last MOU, signed in 2011, non-federal development at Bureau of Reclamation and Army Corps facilities has increased, with over 70 additional projects in some stage of development.

Burundi Moving Towards Solar

Burundi is moving towards solar. Via the Power Africa and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid sub-initiative, Gigawatt Global has been awarded two grants to bring solar to the country, where only four percent of the population has access to residential power. The proposed project, a 7.5 Megawatt (MW) solar field, will increase the country’s generation capacity by 15 percent. Currently, Burundi experiences a high frequency of blackouts, with downtime in electrical access an average of two days a week. Burundi has a total of only 52 MW of installed electrical capacity, including 15.5 MW of diesel-generated power.

The effort in Burundi is being supported by two grants totaling nearly $1 million, from Power Africa via the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and the GigaWatt Global Solar project in BurundiEnergy and Environment Partnership (EEP), a coalition representing the British, Finnish, and Austrian governments. Gigawatt Global plans to develop and manage a 7.5 MW solar PV field on a 15-hectare site in the Gitega region, 65 miles from the capital of Bujumbura. The facility will produce electricity needed for 60,000 households. The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately $20 million.

“Our impact investment model is to strengthen developing nations, both economically and environmentally, by providing renewable energy sources where they are most needed,” said Yosef Abramowitz, President of Gigawatt Global, an American-owned Dutch developer. This announcement follows Gigawatt Global’s launch last month of East Africa’s largest utility-scale solar field, which added 6 percent to Rwanda’s electricity generation capacity and for which it was nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. “We plan to build 1,000 solar megawatts in Africa by 2020, thereby providing electricity to millions of households and institutions that are currently without the most basic of human needs.”

USTDA’s grant will fund a feasibility study that will address key technical and economic aspects of the solar project, conduct environmental and social impact assessments, and provide the necessary analysis for the project to secure financing. The grant funds awarded by EEP will be used for pre-development works and legal costs.

“USTDA is pleased to provide Gigawatt Global Burundi S.A. this grant for a feasibility study, which will utilize U.S. industry expertise to advance this important project,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. “This activity supports Power Africa’s objectives of increasing access to power and promoting greater private investment in Africa’s energy sector.”

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/NV Energy has announced that it is seeking proposals to procure an additional 54 megawatts of company-owned planning capacity in Nevada. This solicitation is related to the company’s Emissions Reduction and Capacity Replacement plan that is retiring 812 megawatts of coal-fired generation by 2019. The company is seeking proposals for, but not limited to: A build-transfer option for a 140-megawatt single axis tracking solar photovoltaic facility at a location provided by the bidder; and Alternative proposals that would allow the company to acquire or partner to construct a renewable energy resource that would satisfy the remaining 54 megawatts of planning capacity.
  • The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has just approved a USD 780,000 preparation grant for the development of a first phase 40 MW of Starsol Solar PV Plant near N’Djamena in Chad as the first Independent Power Producer (IPP) scheme to be connected to the national grid. Specifically, the SEFA grant will finance the costs related to technical assistance for the completion of the plant design and grid study, as well as advisors for legal and financial structuring of a bankable IPP.
  • Iberdrola Renewables today announced it is seeking applicants for its 2015 Wildlife Protection Program (WPP) grants. The company’s ongoing “Legacy of Caring” campaign for wildlife and habitat awards WPP grants to avian rehabilitation groups. These partners play an important role in rehabilitation, community education and scientific understanding of birds of prey.
  • Siva Power, pioneering the next generation of thin film solar technology, is pleased to announce that Dr. Billy J. “BJ” Stanbery has joined the team as President of Siva Power effective March 23, 2015. Dr. Stanbery has had an illustrious career spanning more than 30 years in the solar industry and is an expert in the field of photovoltaics (PV). Dr. Stanbery is especially well-respected by the solar industry as a pivotal early-developer of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) technology, the same technology being commercialized by Siva Power.

Efforts to Cease Solar Net Metering Continue

The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASK) is pushing back on Turlock Irrigation District (TID) for wanting to cease solar net metering. The nonprofit explains that net metering is a fundamental policy that enables rooftop solar consumers to secure fair credit for excess Alliance for solar choice logosolar energy sent back to the grid. Without net metering, says TASK, a thriving solar market and robust solar job creation cannot exist.

TASK says ending net metering means wiping out the savings that TID solar customers will be able to earn from their solar systems. They cite TID’s net metering elimination program harms solar customers in the following ways:

  1. Eliminates the most fundamental solar policy – net metering – which exists in 44 states including California.
  2. Imposes a discriminatory fee on residential solar customers – the first of its kind in California.
  3. Charges customers a new $600 meter fee before TID will allow a system to operate.

“It appears that this new billing structure will render solar financially nonviable for TID customers, which will hinder us from taking advantage of green energy in the future,” said John Miller of Miller Farms, Inc., a TID customer. “This is unfortunate because we believe that anything we can do to improve our business, the local economy, and our environment at the same time is good for all parties involved.”

According to TASK, the end of solar net metering may not be permanent. There are efforts in the California Senate to standardize net metering throughout the state.

“TID’s new solar billing structure appears to have a major impact on savings that TID customers can achieve with solar,” added Todd Filbrun, CEO of Kurios Energy, a Manteca solar company.  “Keeping utility consumers informed on what options they will have to recoup these savings, such as battery back-up or off-grid solar systems, will be important moving forward.”

DOE Releases 2014 Geothermal Tech Report

“We’ve turned the corner … the potential growth curve for geothermal is extremely exciting,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Power, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, United States Department of Energy, Douglas Hollett. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released its annual report, “2014 Annual Report Geothermal Technologies Office,” and highlights 35 project successes in program areas  including EGS, Hydrothermal, Low-Temperature, and Systems Analysis.

The report notes that DOE’s geothermal flagship project over the next five years in its FORGE initiative that Director Doug Hollett says is “the first dedicated field site of its kind EGS field near Bend Oregonfor testing targeted enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) R&D. The intent is to use this collaborative site for transformative science that will create a commercial pathway for large-scale, economically viable EGS.”

As the report explains, enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) are engineered reservoirs, created beneath the Earth’s surface where there is hot rock but limited pathways through which fluid can flow. During EGS development, underground fluid pathways are safely created and/or their size and connectivity increased. These enhanced pathways allow fluid to circulate throughout the hot rock and carry heat to the surface to generate electricity. 

The FORGE initiative was announced in July 2014 and is a $31 million funded program that will develop and support a geothermal field observatory, the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE), dedicated to researching pertinent questions that will move geothermal technology and and opportunities forward.

The FORGE site, explains the report, “will enable cutting-edge research, drilling, and technology testing, allowing collaborating scientists to identify a replicable, commercial pathway to EGS. It is hoped the field site will yield breakthrough tools and technologies for to improve future geothermal energy production.”

To learn all about DOE geothermal projects, including more information on the FORGE initiative, read the report.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/According to, “World Wind Energy Market Update 2015,” worldwide wind power installations grew by 42 percent year-over-year in 2014. The report from Navigant Research covers developments in the wind energy sector during 2014, including an analysis of the important changes in the industry over the last 3 years and global market forecasts through 2019. As in previous editions, this report assesses important changes over the last 3 years and provides a 5-year market forecast, followed by a projection of likely market progress for the next 5 years. This 20th annual edition of the World Wind Energy Market Update includes a special report highlighting advances occurring in the wind blade market through three expert commentary and analysis submissions.
  • An Executive Order issued by President Barack Obama cuts the federal government’s emissions of greenhouse gases by 40%. The details are in a FACT SHEET: “Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain“.
  • Green Lake Capital, recently acquired by Atlantic Tele-Network, is now Ahana Renewables. San Francisco-based Ahana is an owner and operator of commercial distributed generation solar power systems in Massachusetts, California and New Jersey. The company has 28 unique commercial solar projects with an aggregate 47 megawatts of electricity generating capacity. Customers include strong credit counterparties including corporations, utilities, schools, and municipalities.
  • Pro-Tech Energy Solutions recently completed a 1.7 megawatt (MW) solar installation on the capped Sullivan’s Ledge landfill in New Bedford, Mass. At the 2015 PV America East Conference held in Boston this month, Pro-Tech received the 2015 PV Project of Distinction Award, along with project partners BlueWave Capital and SunEdison. Presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Solar Electric Power Association, the award recognizes major achievements in the solar industry in the Northeastern United States. Pro-Tech served as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm that designed and installed the project.

TUSK: NC Solar Bill Laced with Poison Pill

This may prove to be the ‘Spring of Discontent’ for the solar industry as it fights for the right to keep solar affordable for consumers across the USA. Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed (TUSK) has been amid the solar brawls in several states including North Carolina. The advocacy group cites that North Carolina utilities including Duke Energy Carolinas and Dominion North Carolina Power have “laced” a well-intentioned North Carolina solar bill with a “poison pill” that would “unravel” solar net metering programs.

The utilities are publicly opposing the bill that would prevent third-party owned solar business model from taflying solar panelsking flight. Simultaneously, the utilities are privately attempting to slip in language that would open the doors and slam the solar market into the wall should the bill pass.

Net metering is a policy that gives solar customers full, fair credit for their excess solar energy. If a consumer produces more electricity than his house needs, he can sell the excess power back to the utility for a competitive price. This type of policy has helped to keep the solar market competitive. However, TUSK says if passed, the “Energy Freedom Act” HB 245 would give the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) the authority to approve a separate, discriminatory tariff for net metering customers. A separate tariff paves the way for stripping Tar Heels of the credit they deserve for investing in solar for their own roofs, says TUSK. The bill would also allow utilities to create a separate rate class for rooftop solar customers, a vehicle for solar taxes.

“This bill has a hidden poison pill that would undermine the solar industry,” said TUSK Chairman Barry Goldwater Jr. “The state Legislature should recognize this utility deception and strike the anti-solar language.”

Solar choice and competition are the conservative way, and should remain the North Carolina way, stressed Goldwater.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has announced the launch of its new, high-tech Power Delivery Diagnostic Center, which is designed to leverage advanced smart grid technology to better manage the electric system and deliver reliable service that ranks among the best in the nation. FPL is investing in smart grid technology and using predictive analytics to deliver real-time data to engineers in its diagnostic center. Engineers, in turn, analyze the data to measure and improve the performance of the electric grid.
  • Republic Services, Inc. has announced today that its Sand Valley Landfill Gas-to-Energy (LFGTE) project in Collinsville, Alabama. has been named Electricity Project of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) The EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program recognized the Sand Valley renewable energy project with the award at a workshop held yesterday in conjunction with the Solid Waste Association of North America’s 38th Annual Landfill Gas & Biogas Symposium.
  • China Ming Yang Wind Power Group Limited takes 8th in world’s top 10 wind turbine original equipment manufacturers (“OEMs”) ranking in 2014, raised from 9th last year, according to the report of Global Wind Turbine OEM Market Share Study released by MAKE Consulting. The same source reveals that the market share of Ming Yang hit 9.9% in total in 2014, with an 11.1% increase of the whole market growth. Ming Yang was also one of the only two Chinese companies that retained its position compared to 2013.The report also shows that 8 out of the 15 world’s top OEMs in 2014 were from China. “China’s unparalleled growth dominates the industry,” cited the report, which says the Chinese wind market grew 23.6GW in 2014, reaching 114.9GW in total.
  • Geothermal Energy Association will be holding its fifth annual National Geothermal Summit on June 3-4 at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. The National Geothermal Summit is the leading forum for western state policy discussions, bringing together the geothermal industry for a dialogue with state and federal policy makers.The 2015 Summit theme is “Geothermal Policies as Stimulus For Economic Growth and Environmental Quality”.

NASDAQ Trading SolarEdge Technologies Shares

SolarEdge on NasdaqSolarEdge Technologies is now trading on NASDAQ. The solar company announced its pricing for its initial public offering of 7 million shares of common stock at a public price of $18 per share. All shares are being sold by SolarEdge. As part of the offering, the underwriters have been granted a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,050,000 additional shares. The shares began trading today on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “SEDG”. The closing of the offering is expected to occur on March 31, 2015, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Needham & Company, Canaccord Genuity Inc. and Roth Capital Partners are acting as co-managers. A registration statement relating to these securities was declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 25, 2015. The offering will be made only by means of a prospectus.

Monopoly Utilities Expose Solarcism

State-sponsored monopoly utilities, as coined by the Gulf States Renewable Energy Industry Association (GSREIA) have exposed their ‘solarcism’ in recent weeks. GSREIA has accused them of being “ignorant” and “misleading” when it comes to solar energy. The nonprofit wants to keep the utilities honest and is publicly clarifying some misconceptions. At issue is the frequency that monopoly utility supporters confuse Louisiana’s low electricity rates with customer electricity bills.

“It’s embarrassing that groups funded by large utilities could be so confused on the basic facts on electricity,” said Jeff Cantin, president of GSREIA. “If low rates meant low bills, Louisiana’s utilities would never have to explain to the media and regulators why customers suffer from high bills every summer and every winter.”

Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association LogoA good example, says Cantin, that explains how monopoly mouthpieces get it so wrong is to compare the automobile gasoline price-per-gallon vs. a driver’s total bill at the pump.

Cantin offers an example. Assume gasoline costs $2 a gallon. If a Prius owner fills up that car’s 11-gallon gasoline tank, the gasoline bill will be $22. If a Suburban owner fills up that SUV’s 31-gallon gasoline tank, the gasoline bill will be $62. Obviously the Suburban owner’s bill is going to be much higher. And clearly, the low price of gas per gallon doesn’t mean the bill will be cheap. The same principle applies to electric bills.

While Louisiana’s residential rates are relatively cheap at about 9.4 cents per kWh, actual bills depend on how many kWh customers actually use. According to the latest information from the Energy Information Administration, Louisiana’s average residential electric bill was $119.98 in 2013. Residents in 36 states paid lower average bills, meaning Louisiana had the 14th most expensive average utility bills in the nation.

Although every Louisiana utility customer’s bill clearly explains that the number of kWh used defines the size of the monthly bill, GSREIA hopes the state-sponsored monopoly mouthpieces are making honest mistakes instead of purposefully misleading the public.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • http://domesticfuel.com/category/bioenergy-bytes/Ceres, Inc. has announced that its biotech sugarcane traits have been advanced to the next stage of testing ahead of schedule due to positive data from initial field evaluations under tropical conditions in Latin America. Leading product candidates are currently being multiplied for wider-scale field evaluations which are scheduled to begin in May and June 2015.
  • Eco Wave Power, a world leader in electricity from ocean waves, has established a Subsidiary in Changshu under the name of “Suzhou Eco Wave Technology”. The Company was established with investment from a Chinese Governmental fund that believes in EWP’s innovative technology and provides funding for EWP’s first 100KW grid connected plant, to be completed by the end of this year.
  • EnerKnol, Inc. has announced that the third annual New York Energy Week (NYEW) series will take place June 15-19, 2015, featuring five days of events. Since 2013, the series has served as a catalyst for progress, by breaking down barriers across the historically siloed sectors of the energy industry. Breaking from a typical conference format, the New York Energy Week distributed hosting model brings a unique experience by demonstrating the leadership direction of the market makers themselves, and inviting the community to address the key energy topics at their corporate offices.
  • Waaree Energies Limited has announced the launch of its solar power calculator application (beta version) for mobile phones. This app helps you estimate the size of solar power system. It can generate a customised cost estimate for the given location with basic inputs like monthly electricity bill, units consumed, battery backup and area available. Apart from tax depreciation, it will also calculate area needed for solar array. The prices and calculations are indicative and gives the user a broad level indication of the probable savings and system size requirements.

SEIA Supports Florida Solar Bill

Floridians have a chance to vote in support of solar by supporting the Solar Choice 2016 ballot initiative. This grassroots community effort was launched as a means to allow more homes and businesses to generate electricity from solar. Florida is one of only five states in the nation that prohibits its citizens from buying electricity from companies that install solar panels on homes and businesses. Calling it vitally important to the development of clean energy resources in Florida, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has announced its “strong support” of the bill.

“This fight is about consumer choice and private property rights – cherished, long-standing American principals that we strongly support as an organization and an industry,” said Rhone Resch, SEIA president and CEO. “Despite its sun-rich resources, Florida ranked only 20th in the nation last year in new installed solar capacity. For a state that touts itself as the ‘sunshine state,’ that’s a huge disappointment. Clearly, the legal prohibition against certain solar installations solar panels in agrepresents a serious roadblock to the development of clean, reliable solar energy statewide. We urge Floridians to sign this critically important, freedom-of-choice petition, allowing it to be placed on next year’s ballot.”

According to Florida law, 683,149 signatures are needed by February 1, 2016 to be included on the ballot. If ultimately successful, Resch said the ballot initiative could dramatically spur new solar development in Florida, providing the state with a big economic boost.

“Today, the U.S. solar industry employs 174,000 Americans nationwide – more than tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter combined – and pumps nearly $18 billion a year into our economy,” Resch added. “This remarkable growth is due, in large part, to smart and effective public policies, such as the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), Net Energy Metering (NEM) and Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). By any measurement, these policies are paying huge dividends for both the U.S. economy and our environment. It’s time for Florida to share in this growth, too.”

Report – Bioenergy Does Not Raise Prices

DBL Investors Renewable Electricity ReportThere has been a pervading argument that an increase in renewable energy in the U.S. will increase the price of energy. According to a new report, “Renewables Are Driving Up Electricity Prices. What Wait?” This is not true.

The paper was authored by Nancy E. Pfund & Anand Chhabra with DBL Investors examines the 100 year old utility business model by looking at the top and bottom states that derive electricity from renewable sources.

The report finds that over the past 10 years, greater generation from renewable energy sources, or bioenergy, did not equate to skyrocketing electricity prices. In fact, states that generate a larger proportion of their electricity from renewable sources often experienced average retail electricity prices significantly below states that are producing less renewable electricity.