Nestlé Waters Switch to Propane

gI_84865_NEWNestle Waters prpoane autogas vehicleNestlé Waters North America’s Los Angeles, California location has begun operating five medium-duty beverage trucks fueled by propane autogas. The trucks will deliver Arrowhead Mountain Spring Water to area businesses and residents. The company said ti purchased the propane autogas vehicles because of the ease of fueling, the low infrastructure cost and the unexpected benefit of lower electricity costs.

“Nestlé Waters North America is committed to delivering customers drinking water with reliable, innovative and efficient green transportation solutions,” said Bill Ardis, fleet manager for Nestlé Waters North America. “Like many, we are evaluating the different technologies that offer savings over the life of the vehicle and realized that propane autogas is a smart choice for reducing fuel and maintenance costs while providing cleaner air for the community.”

The Nestlé Waters Los Angeles location currently utilizes on-site refueling for their diesel powered trucks. They have an on-site propane autogas fueling station as part of its propane commitment.

“Fueling beverage delivery trucks with propane autogas offers the best total cost of ownership, without compromising standard delivery procedures,” added Todd Mouw, vice president of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. “By choosing this safe, abundant and American-made fuel, fleets around the nation are reducing their operating costs and lowering their carbon footprint.”

UC Riverside Opens New Solar Farm

UC Riverside has opened a new solar farm that will produce up to 6.6 million megawatt hours of electricity each year making it the largest solar array in the University of California system. The project supports the system-wide initiative to have each campus produce up to 10 MW of onsite renewable power by 2014.

UCR signed a 20-year power purchase agreement that allowed the SunPower Corporation to construct, operate and maintain the facility, with the university purchasing the power. UCR spent $350,000 on site clearing and preparation, as well as uc riverside solar farminterconnections costs with the existing substation. The projected savings to the university is $4.3 million over the length of the contract. UCR will also receive carbon and LEED credits that provide additional financial and environmental savings.

The solar farm went online as scheduled on Friday, Sept. 19, 2104. It has 7,440 panels across the 11-acre site using GPS tracking to slowly follow the sun across the sky. The massive sea of shiny panels is visible from Highway 60 as thousands of cars pass the campus.

“This is a big step forward, and we plan to do more,” said John Cook, director of the UCR’s Office of Sustainability. “On a hot and sunny day we will be producing nearly a third of UCR’s total energy needs with this system. But over the course of the year, with variable weather, it will amount to 3 percent of our total energy needs.” He added that Riverside’s typical sunny climate will make UCR an especially efficient place to invest in solar technology.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFVitol Group President and CEO Ian Taylor will deliver the keynote address at the 2014 Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum on Thursday, December 11, 2014 in New York City, event host Platts announced today. Now in its eighth year, the forum brings together energy executives, government officials, investors and academics to debate and discuss the challenges, opportunities and issues facing energy companies and policymakers.
  • Hitachi, Ltd. and Hitachi America, Ltd. have announced an agreement on joint research with the Bonneville Power Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy to continue the development of a grid stabilization system. The goal of the project is to develop and conduct PoC*1 testing of an online demonstration system over the next 21 months, beginning in October, with the cooperation of Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc.
  • Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots advocate for economic freedom, released a letter urging members of Congress to oppose extending the wind production tax credit (PTC). The letter, which comes just as Congress returns to session, calls efforts to phase-down the tax credit ‘misguided,’ and asks lawmakers to reject any legislation that extends wind subsidies.
  • The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has unveiled an interactive website tracking solar development by electric cooperatives. Offering maps, data, photos and video, the website provides an overview and new details about the recent dramatic increase in cooperative-owned and purchased solar capacity.

GSA On Track to Meet Admin’s Renewable Goals

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) says they are on tract to meet President Obama’s 2020 renewable energy goal. The organization has awarded a ten-year competitive power supply contract to MG2 Tribal Energy, a joint venture between the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians and Geronimo Energy. This marks the largest wind energy purchase from a single source in federal contracting history.

The contract will purchase 140 MW of wind energy from the Walnut Ridge Wind Farm, in development in northwest Illinois. When complete, the wind farm will add 500,000 MW hours of electricity to the grid each year.

MG2 Tribal Energy“As part of GSA’s commitment to greening the federal government, we are working to ensure that we don’t just use energy but create it as well,” said Dan Tangherlini, GSA Administrator. “This project will add to the power grid in a sustainable way and ensure that we become less dependent on fossil fuels. We are proud of our progress toward meeting the federal government’s renewable energy goals, and look forward to taking advantage of future opportunities that will help us with this effort.”

Mesa Grande Band Chairman and MG2 President Mark Romero added, “The Mesa Grande Band is excited about our partnership with both Geronimo Energy and the GSA. This contract represents an important step forward in the history of the Mesa Grande Band because it is entirely consistent with our historic concern for Mother Earth and the continued availability of clean water, land, and air for future generations. Few other economic development opportunities enable us to remain so true to our cultural and spiritual values.”

Clarkson University Campus Goes Solar

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, has nearly completed its 12 acre solar farm that will generate nearly 10 percent of the University’s electricity. Community Solar Energy is the project partner and the company designed the 2 MW solar array. Community Energy will own and operate the solar photovoltaic (P)V array. Clarkson will be the sole beneficiary of the power, which it will buy from Community Energy at approximately the same price it is buying power for right now. Support for this project came from New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.

Clarkson University solar array“We are doing this to be green, because we are committed to sustainability, and to showcase this state-of-the-art technology,” said Clarkson’s chief financial officer, James D. Fish. “Our students will benefit greatly from this project, as the array will serve as a living laboratory, where they can study real-world solar energy generation.”

In April, Clarkson became a signatory of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, agreeing to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from specified campus operations and to promote the research and educational efforts of higher education to better equip society to re-stabilize the earth’s climate.

The 7,704 modules of the array will generate approximately 2.8 million kilowatt hours per year. The solar farm is located on Route 11 adjacent to the Potsdam airport, Damon Field and Clarkson and Community Energy worked closely with the Village of Potsdam and the FAA to ensure the solar array did not affect airport operations.

“We have partnered with some 50 colleges and universities over the last decade to supply them with wind and solar energy,” said Community Energy Solar Vice President of Development Operations Thomas J. Tuffey. “Clarkson is now in the point position with on-site generation of solar power at a meaningful scale to both meet the challenge of climate change and educate tomorrow’s leaders. We have had a great experience partnering with Clarkson to develop and build this project and are happy to have it in our portfolio of over 1000 megawatts (MW) of developed renewable energy.”

Activation of the solar array is planned for this November.

Clean Energy Jobs on Rise in Q3 2014

A new report from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) found more than 18,000 clean energy and clean transportation jobs were announced in more than 20 states in the Q3 2014. In the previous quarter, E2 tracked more than 12,000 announced jobs, while in the Q3 2013 almost 15,000 jobs were announced.

Tesla Motors’ announcement of its massive new “gigafactory” for the production of electric car batteries near Reno, Nevada propelled the state to the top spot in the state rankings E2 Q32014 Clean Energy Jobs Reportfor the first time with more than 6,500 jobs announced. Rounding out the Top 10 states were: New York, California, Colorado, North Carolina, Michigan, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, and Illinois and Maryland (tied).

The report was released just two days after the midterm elections and found that both Republican and Democratic congressional districts benefitted almost equally from clean energy job announcements in the quarter. At least 9,095 jobs were announced in Republican congressional districts, compared with 7,690 jobs announced in districts represented by Democrats. About 1,250 job announcements spanned both Republican and Democratic districts.

“The election is over. Now it’s time to live up to the stump-speech promises. One easy way to create jobs and drive economic growth in both red and blue states alike is by moving quickly to extend clean energy and energy efficiency tax incentives and other smart policies,” said E2 Executive Director Bob Keefe. “We’ve learned what happens when our elected officials do nothing: American workers get kicked to the street, at a time when every job counts.”

E2’s said its Clean Energy Works for Us Jobs report shows the power and the potential Congress has for creating clean energy jobs through smart policies. The expiration of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for the wind industry, for example, dealt a major blow to wind industry employment. To avoid more massive job losses, Congress can quickly move forward in a bipartisan fashion to extend the PTC and other tax policies driving growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency. These incentives have been critical to creating good jobs in both red and blue states. If Congress fails to renew these policies, there could be a negative impact on clean energy jobs in America. Continue reading

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFOlympian High School and Sweetwater Union High School District, located in Chula Vista, California along with SunPower Corp. are celebrating the installation of 9.3 megawatts of high efficiency SunPower solar power systems at 21 district schools. The district estimates that the systems may offset about 60 percent of its utility grid demand.
  • EnerDynamic Hybrid Technologies Corp. announced that its joint venture company Maple Leaf Energy S.A., has signed a MOU with the National Agency for Renewable Energy (owned by Gov’t of Senegal) to install EHT’s proprietary hybrid energy systemsand supply power to 125,000 private residences in the Republic of Senegal in West Africa. The company will to pand install 125,000 of its hybrid solar and wind systems over the next 5 years. The systems will incorporate Smart Box Technology allowing each residence to produce electricity for consumption in that residence (and store a reserve) and distribute surplus energy into the power grid.
  • NedPower LLC, a buyer and developer of hydroelectric power plants, has enlisted Marathon Capital to secure development and project capital to fund NedPower’s acquisition of operating hydroelectric facilities and late stage development. Marathon Capital’s role will also include providing assistance in formulating financing for NedPower’s projects and identifying and securing prospective third party investors.
  • The Export-Import Bank announced today that it authorized approximately $200 million to finance U.S. renewable energy exports in FY 2014, bringing its total support to nearly $2 billion since 2009. Backed by a congressional mandate to support environmentally beneficial U.S. exports, Ex-Im is committed to empowering American companies to sell their renewable energy goods and services in overseas markets, which results in more highly skilled jobs for U.S. workers.

DOE Annouced $15M to Integrate Solar on Grid

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced $15 million in funding to help integrate distributed, on-site solar systems into the electric grid. During the last 18 months, more solar has been installed than the 30 years prior, and since President Obama took office, the amount of solar installed has increased more than thirteen-fold from 1.2 GW i 2008 to nearly 15.5 GW today.

US DOE Energy logoWith more solar energy coming online, there is a great need to address the challenges of solar energy including variability of sun. This can be overcome with better grid integration technology.

According to DOE, the funding opportunity is aim at projects that enable low-cost, flexible and reliable solutions that successfully integrate solar PV power plants and energy storage. The funded technologies will tackle the challenge of creating cost-effective and reliable distributed PV and energy storage solutions to help overcome the challenges associated with increased amounts of renewables. Eligible projects include solutions that will help revolutionize distributed PV and energy storage through:

  • Advanced operation in conjunction with smart loads and demand response,
  • Incorporation of solar and load forecasting,
  • Innovative uses of smart components and functionalities, and
  • Easily interoperable hardware, software and firmware technologies.

This funding builds on SunShot’s work to drive innovations in systems integration technologies that support the deployment of solar energy and the reliability and efficiency of electricity generation, delivery, and use. Click here to find more information about this funding opportunity, including application requirements.

SAE Paper Calls Out EPA’s Ethanol Emissions Testing

A new study from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has called the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) E15 emission testing “flawed”. Others agree with the findings including the Urban Air Initiative (UAI) and the Energy Future Coalition (EFC). The SAE reviewed EPA models that are used to determine emissions from various fuel blends, known as “match blending”. The procedures were found by the SAE to show skewed results and the authors state has produced emission increases that are “incorrectly attributed to ethanol”.

The paper focuses on the fact that modification of gasoline blendstock composition in preparing ethanol-gasoline blends has a significant impact on vehicle exhaust emissions. In “splash” blending the blendstock is fixed, ethanol-gasoline blend urban_air_initiative_newsletterscompositions are clearly defined, and effects on emissions are relatively straightforward to interpret. In “match” blending the blendstock composition is modified for each ethanol-gasoline blend to match one or more fuel properties. The effects on emissions depend on which fuel properties are matched and what modifications are made, making trends difficult to interpret.

According to Steven VanderGriend, Urban Air Initiative Technical Director, the SAE paper helps make the argument UAI has made that splash blending higher volumes of ethanol on to finished E10 not only fails to raise any emissions but serves to improve emissions by diluting sulfur and aromatics, along with reducing the current non-regulated ultrafine particulates emissions. Also, by using ethanol’s octane potential, the greatest CO2 and mileage benefits can be achieved by the auto industry.

“This paper can serve as an important tool to correct the MOVES (Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator) model that EPA requires states to use when estimating air quality impacts of motor fuels,” said VanderGriend. “As an independent source, the auto industry experts who were involved in this study are validating the concerns we have had for quite some time now.”

“In fact,” VanderGriend continued, “we are very excited with regard to the conclusion they reached that studies to evaluate the effects of ethanol should be conducted by adjusting the blendstock only as necessary to satisfy ASTM requirements. Blending ethanol at up to 30% volume with an E10 blendstock should generally require no change in composition to meet ASTM D4814.”

Register Now for 9th IRFA Summit

2015 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit crowdsRegistration is now open for the 9th annual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit and Trade Show. The event will take place January 27, 2015 at The Meadows Conference Center located at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa and is free and open to the public. Click here for registration and sponsorship information.

With ongoing discussion over renewable fuels policy, the 2015 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit will discuss state and national issues impacting the renewable fuels industry, including the future of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the impacts of the mid-term elections on U.S. energy policy, and emerging opportunities for cellulosic ethanol, E15, and biodiesel. Featured speakers will be announced leading up to the Summit.

“The Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit provides a great opportunity to listen to experts address state and national issues impacting the future of renewable fuels, as well as network with biofuels professionals and business leaders from throughout the Midwest,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Taking into account the unclear impacts of mid-term elections and the uncertain future of the RFS, there’s a no shortage of interest in the 2015 Summit that will bring together industry leaders, decision makers and the general public to shape Iowa’s energy future.”

Solenis Receives Corn Oil Extraction Patent

Solenis has received a U.S. patent (Patent No. US 8,841,469 B2) for the use of chemical additives to improve the separation of corn oil. In addition to yielding more corn oil, the company says its corn oil extraction aids, which are marketed as Dimension corn oil extraction aids, also reduce solids in the oil, resulting in a cleaner, higher-quality oil. The extraction aids, which are easily introduced into the process, also have been shown to reduce system deposition, resulting in less downtime for system cleaning and maintenance according to Solenis.

Solenis logo“Our goal is always to drive the profitability of the companies we do business with – and our extraction aids do just that,” said Allen Ziegler, global marketing director of biorefining at Solenis. “We’re not a one-trick product company. We have a full line of products that can benefit our customers – from reducing costs to increasing productivity. On top of that, our process experts are always looking for innovative ways to further build efficiencies. It’s inherent in everything we do.”

Previously known as Ashland Water Technologies, Solenis was part of Ashland Inc. until earlier this year when it became a stand-alone company. In addition to its corn oil extraction technologies, the company’s product portfolio includes a broad array of process, functional and water treatment chemistries as well as monitoring and control systems.

“The reality is that we were first to market with this technology and we have hard data to demonstrate its value, whereas with competitor products there can be significant variances in product performance,” said Ziegler. “Whether customers have a specially blended product or want validation that our technology works the same or better than what they’re currently using, we’ll work with them to get the product they need and the performance they expect.”

“We’re seeking to bring greater value to fuel ethanol plants with our patented and proven technology. But just as important, we want to establish good relationships with those companies,” Zeigler added.

U.S. Bank & Microgrid Solar Aid Nonprofits

More than 50 nonprofits in and around St. Louis, Missouri now have access to renewable energy due to the help of U.S. Bank and Microgrid Solar. The two companies (U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation- USBCDC is the actual funder) are financing the installation and operation of up to 120 solar PV U.S. Bank and Microgrid Solar nonprofit solar installationprojects to benefit 56 nonprofit organizations. Each 25 kilowatt solar installation will produce approximately 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to save these nonprofits tens of thousands of dollars in reduced utility bills according to Microgrid Solar.

“This project totals 3 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity that is being installed at some of the most well-known nonprofit organizations and schools in the St. Louis area,” said Rick Hunter, CEO of Microgrid Solar. “We think this will have a major impact, not only for the organizations, but for improving awareness and education around solar in the St. Louis area generally. This is a unique financing program that is really a first nationally, and which essentially provides solar to a nonprofit organization at zero budgetary cost.”

USBCDC works with solar system installation firms around the nation to help businesses and homeowners add PV systems to their offices and homes, saving utility costs and reducing pollution and U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum. “Reliable solar is a great investment for businesses, communities, and financiers alike,” said Dan Siegel, vice president of USBCDC. “We’re proud to leverage our renewable energy expertise and support to create opportunities for sustainability in St. Louis.”

Last year, USBCDC also partnered with Microgrid to install solar on several of its U.S. Bank branches.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFVirent and the PlantPET Technology Collaborative (PTC) announced that the parties have signed an Expression of Interest that provides individual members of the PTC an option on preferred access to Virent’s 100% plant-based BioFormPX paraxylene (PX) to be produced at the company’s first industrial manufacturing facility. The plant-based PX, when combined with existing PET technology, allows manufacturers to offer customers 100% renewable, recyclable, PET packaging and polyester fibers.
  • Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced proposed new actions to include new forest products in the BioPreferred program. The proposal also includes other traditional biobased products and other mature market products, which have been produced in innovative ways. USDA seeks public comment for 60 days on the proposed rules published in the Federal Register.
  • The Second International Ocean Research Conference will take place November 17-21, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. The event will give the scientific community an opportunity to take stock of global research and determine a roadmap for the years to come. The purpose of the event is also to help secure recognition for the important role of the ocean in the international political agenda. Close to 600 scientists from more than 70 countries are scheduled to take part in the conference which is co-organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (COI), Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (Spain) and the Oceanography Society (USA).
  • CBD Energy Limited has announced that it has fully erected 6 wind turbines on its Taralga Wind Farm site in New South Wales, Australia, with a further 17 nearing completion. When construction is complete, the Taralga Wind Farm will have 51 operating wind turbines. The initial generation from constructed wind turbines is planned for December 2014. When completed, the approximately US$265 million project is forecasted to generate on average US$25 million of revenues each year for its investors. The project’s off-take customer is Energy Australia, one of Australia’s largest utilities.

OnForce Solar Completes Solar Landfill Project

OnForce Solar has completed what the company says is the first of its kind solar landfill project in the state of New York. The 2.364 MW solar array was built on 13 acres of decommissioned, capped landfill in West Nyack for the Town of Clarkstown. The solar farm will generate 2,800,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy per year and is expected to save taxpayers as much as $4M over the lifetime of the system according to OnForce Solar.

OnforceSolar.ClarkstownClarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack said of the project, “We are very proud to be the first municipality in New York to install a solar field on a capped landfill. Councilman Hoehmann, who first proposed this idea in 2009, town officials, our consultants H2M architects + engineers, and I have been working on this project for several years and we are excited to see it finally come to fruition.”

The project is owned in full by OnForce Solar. The company invested $6M to install, operate, and maintain the solar installation pursuant to a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Additionally, the town was reimbursed $100,000 by OnForce Solar to cover any out-of-pocket expenses making the project ultimately cost-free for the Clarkstown. The solar system installation was made possible, in part, through support that the Town of Clarkstown received from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.

The solar system integrates Orange and Rockland Utilities’ supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) monitoring system that allows the utility to remotely monitor and control the solar system. The SCADA monitoring system, part of the the utility industry’s Smart Grid Pilot Program, adds an enhanced level of resiliency to Orange and Rockland Utilities’ grid, helping to protect the utility’s customers from catastrophic power outages according to OnForce Solar.

“We are very excited to commission the very first PV on landfill project in the state of New York,” added Charles Feit, CEO of OnForce Solar. “Our gratitude goes out to Governor Cuomo, NYSERDA, The Town of Clarkstown and the other stakeholders that came together to make this project a reality. OnForce Solar is honored to have been an integral part of the process and we’re working on many more projects like this one across the state.”

Italy Binds Biofuel Targets

Italy has passed a law that will set the way for national binding targets. The news comes on the heels of talks by the European Union (EU) on what, if any, binding renewable energy targets should be in place. The official degree as published in the “Gazzetta Ufficiale” states that fuel suppliers will be obligated to blend fuel:

  • at least 0.6% advanced biofuels in petrol and diesel beginning January 1, 2018;
  • 0.8% beginning January 1, 2020; and
  • 1% beginning January 1, 2022.

The passage of Italy’s law comes at the same time the European Council released its 2030 Energy and Climate Package where the transportation sector has seen the most positive changes when compared to the first proposal. The law now puts Italy as the lead in Europe on mandating advanced biofuels from waste and residues.

The Italian decree comes six months after the Italian Ministry of Economic Development announced in May the intention to fund the construction of three advanced biofuels EU 2030 Climate Targetsfacilities in Southern Italy and is part of the country’s initiatives to boost competitiveness.

In the fall of 2013, Novozymes, together with Italian company Biochemtex opened the world’s first commercial-scale advanced biofuels refinery in Italy – using agricultural waste as input. When asked by DomesticFuel what message Italy’s mandate sends to other countries, Novozymes’ Vice President for Biomass Conversion, Sebastian Søderberg answered, “In general, it will send a very positive signal to the other European countries and outside Europe. Italy and a number of other member states have been pushing for a mandate for advanced biofuels at EU level for more than 2 years and Italy’s move will support this process.” Continue reading