C-Max Solar Energi Taps Sun for Power

Ford Motor Company has announced its new C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, what they call a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best of what a plug-in hybrid offers, without depending on the electric grid for fuel.

Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.

Ford C-MAX Solar Energi ConceptThe result is a concept car that takes in essence a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which draws its power from the electric grid. Today, Ford C-MAX Energi is getting an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe (miles per gallon electric) city and 92 MPGe highway, for a combined 100 MPGe.

“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.”

SunPower is providing solar cells for the roof of the concept car. Ford also partnered with Georgia Tech Institute of Technology to develop a way to amplify the sunlight in order to make a solar-powered hybrid feasible for daily use.

The collaborative research teams developed an off-vehicle solar concentrator that uses a special Fresnel lens to direct sunlight to the solar cells while boosting the impact of the sunlight by a factor of eight. Fresnel is a compact lens originally developed for use in lighthouses. Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing enough power from the sun through the concentrator each day to equal a four-hour battery charge (8 kilowatts).

With a full charge, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to have the same total range as a conventional C-MAX Energi of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles. Additionally, the vehicle still has a charge port, and can be charged by connecting to a charging station via cord and plug so that drivers retain the option to power up via the grid, if desired.

After C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is shown at the 2014 International CES, Ford and Georgia Tech will begin testing the vehicle in numerous real-world scenarios. The outcome of those tests will help to determine if the concept is feasible as a production car.

UC Riverside to Host Solar Energy Summit

The University of California, Riverside is hosting a summit focused on solar energy in Inland Southern California on Thursday, February 6, 2014 at its Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology. “Solar Energy in Inland Southern California: The Future is Now,” will take place from 7:30 am to 6 pm PST.

The event is designed for city leaders, planners, council members, businesses, utility companies and the public to learn about the latest technologies, public policy/regulations, UC Riverside Solar Careconomics and environmental/sustainability issues relating to solar energy.

Topics covered will include: regional, state and federal legislative perspectives on solar energy; financing options for solar systems; and bringing together solar technology, policy, economics and the environment.

Among the scheduled speakers are: David Hochschild, commissioner, California Energy Commission; Roland Winston, director, UC Advanced Solar Technologies Institute and a professor, UC Merced; John White, executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies; Ed Randolph, director, California Public Utilities Commission Energy Division; and Sarah Kurtz, photovoltaics reliability group manager, National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The conference is co-sponsored by three UC Riverside entities: the Center for Sustainable Suburban Development, which is part of the School of Public Policy; the Center for Environmental Research and Technology; and the Southern California Research Initiative for Solar Energy. The latter two are part of the university’s Bourns College of Engineering.

First Wind Supports Local Teachers

First Wind is supporting local teachers for the third year through its partnership with DonorsChoose.org. The program was developed to enhance the value of the company’s financial contributions in communities where they have wind projects. During 2013, the company will award $15,000 to teachers for educational efforts.

Through DonorsChoose, First Wind supports teachers and their innovative classroom projects in its communities that include Sheffield and Lyndonville, Vermont; Danforth, Maine; Beaver, Utah; Boston, Massachusetts; Kahuku, Hawaii; Tekoa, Washington; and other communities.

“As we continue to grow, First Wind is committed to being an active community member and we want to help support innovative and exciting educational projects in our host First Wind Kidscommunities,” said Carol Grant, Senior Vice President of External Affairs at First Wind. “This program starts with the good idea of a teacher in one of our communities. Our contribution is to support that idea and help bring it to life. We’re glad to have a small part in helping these inspiring teachers and their students.”

In its second full year, First Wind funded 43 projects at 31 schools, which reached and positively touched nearly 2,600 students. For example, First Wind donated funds toward a project to supply graphing calculators for a pre-calculus classroom in Mars Hill, Maine, which is near the Mars Hill project. First Wind also donated funds to a classroom in Cedar City, Utah, which is near the Milford Wind projects, to help the classroom purchase books to implement the S.T.E.A.M. program (Science & Technology interpreted through Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements).

The recipients of the funds have been publicly grateful to First Wind. “Thank you so much for your donation. Our school has limited funding, especially for anything in addition to what is required,” said Mrs. Heidi Thomas of Milford Elementary School in Milford, Utah who wrote the response on the First Wind DonorsChoose webpage. “Your donation makes it possible for the students in my classroom to experience their learning hands-on. This allows students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. Once again, thank you so much for your support of our school and the vision to create a better future generation.”

New York Shines with Solar Support

The state of New York is a shining example of what solar support can do for the industry. NY Governor Andrew M Cuomo recently announced the additional commitment of $108 million in funding over the next two years for the his NY-Sun initiative. The funds cover for residential and commercial solar energy projects and bring the two-year budget to $216 million for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Long Island Solar Farm“Solar power is critical to making our environment healthier and our energy system more resilient,” said Governor Cuomo. “The funding approved today will expand the use of clean, renewable power across New York State and ensure we continue to be a national leader in solar energy. Today’s announcement highlights the ongoing success of NY-Sun, attracting the economic benefits of a vibrant solar industry, creating more jobs, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.”

Governor Cuomo launched the NY-Sun initiative in 2012 in an attempt to increase the amount of solar power installed each year in New York State. Since its inception, the NY-Sun initiative, which brings together and expands existing programs administered by NYSERDA, New York Power Authority (NYPA) and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), has installed or funded development for a total of 299 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity. This is more than was installed in the entire prior decade.

The funding was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and Chair Audrey Zibelman said of the decision, “The Commission recognizes the substantial opportunities that solar power offers residential and commercial customers to reduce electricity bills and improve the environment. We fully support the solar power goals set by the Governor’s NY-Sun initiative.”

With this decision, the PSC authorizes NYSERDA to plan a transition of its current solar programs to a regional megawatt block structure that includes a longer-term schedule for incentive rebate levels that change according to a predetermined set of targets. In essence, as more solar megawatts are installed, the per-megawatt rebate level falls. Also, as part of this transition, NYSERDA will continue to set aside $30 million to increase solar installations in the downstate regions. The remainder of the $108 million will be allocated based on regional budgets and market conditions.

“At a time when many of our political leaders are failing to address the need to transition to clean energy sources, Governor Cuomo continues to position New York as a leader in solar energy,” said Shaun Chapman, president, New York Solar Energy Industry Association. “Through the NY Sun Program, which the Public Service Commission has responsibly acted upon, our industry is now empowered to deliver jobs and clean, low cost, renewable energy to all New Yorkers.”

Cogeneration Explained

WASILENKOFF headshot-1The country is beginning to hear a lot about cogeneration, or cogen, but what it is exactly? How is it different, then say, a traditional electricity plant? To get the low-down on cogen I spoke with Chad Wasilenkoff, CEO of Fortress Paper whose company has been working with cogeneration and recently put its first cogen project online.

Q: Can you explain how cogeneration is different than a traditional electricity plant? For example, “wind” can provide power to the grid but is not considered cogen.

A: Wind will run a turbine and produce electricity similar to cogeneration. The difference is cogen also produces energy mechanically with steam to turn the turbine but also uses the thermal energy produced in the industrial process for additional energy needs. In conventional systems the heat is an unused byproduct of energy production. Cogen can also uses waste material as the energy source and in our case residual biomass from the paper making process.

Q: Obviously, cogeneration is not a new idea. Why do you think there is such a small rate of adoption/use of cogeneration in North America?

Cogen OutsideA: Cogeneration plants are capital intensive and the costs involved have to be balanced with the costs of other energy sources in the area. For industrial installations cogen works well for operations that use a lot of power, steam and heat. Cogen also tends to be more suitable in areas where the heat can be utilized. An example is Denmark where some cities get 95 percent of heat from cogeneration sites. There are also some small scale cogeneration units on the market for the individual homeowner.

Q: The potential for cogeneration is quite large. For cogen to reach its full potential, what would need to happen? Would there need to be legislation, tax credits, etc?

A: Yes assistance with financing, preferential pricing tax credits etc. would all help cogen to reach its full potential. Cogeneneration is already part of many plans for expanding renewable energy, According to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Q: Fortress Paper has made a significant investment in cogen at your Fortress Speciality Cellulose Mill in Thurso, Québec where you have constructed a cogen facility. Can you give the readers of DF more information about this project?

A: The Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill capex for the Cogen Plant was over Canadian $120 million and included a new turbine and generator with cooling tower and condenser, new biomass boiler, and new water treatment system among other items. Continue reading

World Energy Center Heeds Call for Renewable Energy

The Southern California-based World Energy Center is reporting that it has heeded and exceeded President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s call for the use of renewable electricity. The administration has called, as part of its “new energy plan” for America, to develop and use 25 percent renewable electricity by 2025. This will spur clean energy jobs, says the Obama administration as well as reduce greenhouse gases and other sources that lead to climate change.

img_energy-center-mapThe World Energy Center is comprised of more than 30 companies, cities, colleges, participants’ partners and affiliates. Larry Hales with Hales Global Group has been providing consultant business development services and says the World Energy Center is the nation’s leading clean energy nerve center in North America. The Center collaborates with multiple companies to develop the most technological advanced renewable energy projects with the goal of spurring clean energy innovation and creating a commercialization Hub to reduce the cost of clean energy and accelerated its worldwide deployment.

World Energy Center aims to create more new jobs and further economic growth says President and COO, Michael Reich, “With billions being spent on new construction projects, long-term manufacturing, engineering, maintenance and management jobs, ancillary growth and service jobs, manpower will be needed for us to succeed. We need to create green job training facilities, educational programs and a number of diversified renewable energy projects will be brought online.”

The World Energy Center and its collaborative group of partners expect to build out more than 5,000 Megawatts of solar, geothermal, wind, natural gas and other clean energy projects over the next 15 years. Reich said the Center will position the United States as a leader in low cost renewable energy, create tens of thousands of green jobs and educate the next generation of young Americans keeping pace with President Obama’s goal and Energy Secretary Dr. Moniz’s mandate.

Ian Campbell, senior lobbyist with Manchester Associates noted that World Energy Center is extremely efficient at Photovoltaic, PV, converting sunlight into electricity. “We are building on the development of applicable PV affordable solar renewable clean energy which was born in 1979, and today with support from private and public partners, the price of PV systems has fallen in half; however, maintaining such a viable U.S. clean technology industry will require policy makers to advance energy subsidies that will lead to improvements in technology and lower prices.”

Gevo Applauds UL Biobutanol Decision

gevo logoGevo, Inc. has applauded Underwriter Laboratories (UL) decision to approve the generic use of up to 16 percent isobutanol (biobutanol) in UL 871A pumps manufactured by any company that meets ASTM specifications. If a retail gasoline station currently has these pumps, then no changes need to be made to offer consumers isobutanol.

Gevo has been working with UL for several years to approve the use of isobutanol in UL 87A pumps. UL in working with various companies and independent laboratories compiled data for their scientific determination on isobutanol. Gevo sponsored a large study based on SAE J1681 and using a model created in a previous UL investigation with ethanol-surrogate gasoline fuel blends.

“I am very pleased with what we have accomplished with UL. They are great organization to work with in the commercialization of isobutanol,” said Glenn Johnston, Executive Vice President for Regulatory Affairs at Gevo. “This removes another hurdle in the commercialization of renewable isobutanol in on-road gasoline.”

2013 Brought Global Growth to Geothermal

This year marks strong global growth for the geothermal industry and is positioned to see greater growth by 2020. In 2013, the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) identified 70 countries moving forward with nearly 700 geothermal power projects. In 2007, the number was only 46 countries developing or considering geothermal projects. In addition, more U.S. companies are pursuing projects in other countries.

“We are seeing new technology developments move forward and new projects being announced in every region of the world,” said Karl Gawell, Executive Director, Geothermal Energy Association. “Despite slow growth in the United States, the global market continues to gain steam. So, many American geothermal companies are using their industry know-how in friendlier economic and political climates overseas.”

geothermal energy Photo Jennifer BoyerThis year, the industry surpassed 12,000 MW of geothermal power operational, with about 600 MW of new geothermal power coming online globally. New geothermal power came online in Kenya, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Turkey, and Mexico, as well as Oregon, Nevada and Utah in the United States. New announcements in the U.S., Ethiopia, Kenya, the Caribbean and others have increased the developing resource of geothermal power to about 30,000 MW.

The international geothermal power industry is poised to place between 500 and 1,000 MW on line per year for the rest of the decade. This year new geothermal geologic studies or exploration moved forward in places as diverse as American Samoa, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, the United States, and Yemen.

Financing was also strong during 2013 with projects announced in Costa Rica, Dominica, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, and the United States, while projects in drilling and start-of-construction phases made headway in Chile, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Japan, Montserrat, The Philippines, Rwanda, and Zambia.

Technological advancements were made this year in Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) with successful EGS projects in the U.S. completed by Calpine Corp., Ormat Technologies and AltaRock Energy. Around the world, Australia put its first EGS pilot plant, a 1-MW trial, on line at Habanero, and in Europe, there were EGS advancements in Hungary, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.

At the beginning of 2013, geothermal tax credits were adjusted to qualify projects at the construction stage. Only in the last month of the year have there been signs of change in Washington D.C., with a bipartisan, bicameral budget deal in the Congress and a new clean energy tax proposal by Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus (D-MT).

“The budget deal could open the door to finishing appropriations bills, which could reinvigorate the DOE research program,” Gawell said. “And the Baucus tax paper breathes new life into efforts to establish long-term incentives for geothermal and other clean power technologies.”

IL State Rep Moffit: Ethanol is Still Exciting

Illinois State Representative Donald Moffitt knows agriculture. He grew up on a family farm, on which his son still farms (and Don occasionally helps). This has been a huge asset for him in his role because agriculture is the number one industry in both the 74th District as well as the state of Illinois.

Rep Moffitt was serving in this role seven years ago when Patriot Renewable Fuels broke ground on their ethanol plant (and in November they broke ground on a biodiesel plant) and I asked him what IL State Rep Donald Moffittthe feelings were like about ethanol during that time. He said there was a lot of excitement and there still is a lot of excitement.

“But finally, we’d been hearing about ethanol. We knew as farmers and producers we wanted to encourage the use of ethanol,” said Rep. Moffitt. “We were trying to get acceptance of ethanol years ago and finally one comes to our area with the construction of Patriot Renewable Fuels. So it was genuine excitement.”

The excitement went way beyond agriculture, explained Moffitt. First there were the construction jobs to build the plant and that brought a lot of jobs and economic activity to the area. Once the plant was running, there are the permanent jobs and then he noted there is the benefit to the community such as value added benefits to corn, for example. Producers are now able to get a higher price for their corn. The economic activity of Patriot brings more people to the restaurants, to the gas stations and other local businesses.

“So it’s a win-win for our state, for our community, for agriculture and we need to have this type of diversity,” said Rep. Moffitt.

He noted that biofuels help our entire nation by creating a more diversified fuel supply, and they reduce our dependence on foreign oil. “And I’m old enough to remember oil embargoes that occurred in the past, and long lines at gas stations when OPEC embargoed shipments to the U.S.,” said Rep. Moffitt. “It put us in a real bind. With a domestic supply that is also a renewable supply it helps relieve that problem; it helps prevent it from happening. We’d be better off, safer as a nation, if our fuel was all domestic IL Rep Moffit groundbreakingand renewable. So ethanol and biodiesel help make that happen. It’s a trend in the right direction.”

Moffitt continued, “The production of biofuels is actually a national security issue. Because we don’t want to be dependent on foreign countries for our energy supply. Not all of them are friendly to the United States. But the American farmer is always going to be our friend.”

“For the distractors from biofuels, if they want to depend on foreign oil for energy supplies they can do that,” said Rep. Moffitt. “They’re wrong and its not a safe concept to have. We must have as much of our energy, and I hope all of our energy eventually, produced right here.”

Listen to my interview with IL State Rep Donald Moffitt here: IL State Rep Moffitt: Ethanol is Still Exciting

Check out the Patriot Renewable Fuels photo album.

ACCIONA Turbines Selected for Wind Farm

ACCIONA has signed a contract to supply 34 turbines for a 102 MW wind farm in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The company will carry out the construction, internal electrical infrastructures and assembly, and will also undertake the operation and maintenance of the facility.

The South Canoe wind farm, which will be the largest in Nova Scotia, has been developed by three local companies: Oxford Frozen Foods, Minas Basin Pulp and Power and the utility company Nova Scotia Power, to which the power generated will be sold. It will use ACCIONA Windpower AW3000/116 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3 MW, hub height of 92m, and a rotor diameter of 116 metres.

ACCIONA_parque-eolico-canada-pThe facility will supply electricity equivalent to the consumption of 32,000 homes and will help the province of Nova Scotia reach its renewable energy targets.

“ACCIONA was able to deliver what the South Canoe Project team asked for: a complete solution including highly-reliable and high-capacity turbines, construction services and operations and maintenance,” said Ilya Hartmann, CEO of ACCIONA Energy North America. “We’re pleased to apply our full range of wind energy services to provide the best value for this project.”

ACCIONA Windpower North America CEO Enrique Teruel says the company “is proud to be part of the South Canoe Wind Project and to continue expanding the track record of our AW3000 turbine in North America.”

To date, orders for the AW3000 turbines amount to 1,491 MW and the wind turbines are destined for wind farms in nine different countries. Nearly half this figure corresponds to wind farms in North America, and 78 percent of the total capacity will be supplied to customers outside the ACCIONA Group.

UL Approves Biobutanol Use for Storage & Dispensing

Butamax Advanced Biofuels, LLC, has announced that a joint research program with UL (Underwriters Laboratories) has determined that gasoline fuel storage and dispensing equipment meeting latest UL standards can safely and successfully use blends of up to 16 percent biobutabutamaxnol. This is the first time that UL has made such a determination.

Butamax’s Fuel Product Manager, James Baustian, said, “UL represents the gold standard for product safety, testing, and certification. This guidance clears the way for State Agencies to consider and approve dispensing of isobutanol gasoline fuel blends. This is a major milestone for the commercial distribution of biobutanol. Butamax will immediately begin to work with State and Federal authorities to complete final approvals for dispensing of gasoline containing isobutanol.”

State regulations require fuel dispensing equipment to be listed by independent product safety testing laboratories such as UL. Butamax says at the time current UL dispensing equipment test standards were finalized, biobutanol was not commercially available and was not tested. This announcement by UL means that if butanol had been available as a fuel, says Butamax, it would have been included for service use in equipment meeting latest UL standards.

Butamax CEO Paul Beckwith added, “UL has conducted a comprehensive assessment of isobutanol compatibility jointly with Butamax and we have found them to be an excellent technology partner. This milestone is a reflection of UL’s commitment to promotion of new product safety, together with Butamax’s fuel market expertise.”

Methane Digesters Providing Reliable Electricity

Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has announced that its two methane digesters are producing renewable energy. The methane-to-electricity project kicked off in 2012 between Circle 4 Farms located in Milford, Utah (Murphy-Brown’s livestock production subsidiary) and Alpental Energy Partners when the two companies entered into a partnership to convert hog manure to electricity.

Today, the energy produced is connected to the electricity grid and is providing electricity for residential and commercial customers in Utah.

Smithfield logo“Murphy-Brown is excited to be the engine driving this latest form of renewable energy that will allow citizens to turn on the lights in their Utah homes, while at the same time protecting the environment from greenhouse gases such as methane,” said Jim Webb, director of environmental and public affairs for Circle 4 Farms.

“On a personal level, our Milford project is very gratifying for all of us at Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms. Anyone who has observed our actions during the past decade is familiar with our commitment to sustainability. We are committed to reducing our impact on the land, water and air resources that we use in our operations,” Webb added.

Webb explained that the two methane digesters installed at Milford convert some of Circle 4′s hog manure to energy, providing enough electricity to power about 3,000 homes and businesses. The manure-to-energy project has had a significant positive impact on Circle 4′s lagoons because the solid waste that is typically stored in the lagoons, is reduced.

Brady Olson, vice president of Alpental Energy Partners said of the project, “It’s a pleasure to be part of this special project. We are thrilled about our partnership with Smithfield Foods, Murphy-Brown and Circle 4 Farms, and we are looking forward to getting this project fully ramped up and to provide another source of electricity for the citizens of Utah.”

Put Solar On It

Solar company Mosaic is kicking off 2014 with a New Years Resolution campaign to “Put Solar On It.” People around the world can pledge online at PutSolarOnIt.com to put solar on a local home, school, place of worship, business, or other property. Then throughout 2014, Mosaic will provide people with the tools and network they need to make their pledge a reality.

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 9.53.09 AMAcademy Award nominee, Mark Ruffalo has signed on to lead the campaign. Ruffalo has pledged to put solar on his childrens’ school, Stephen Gaynor Elementary, in Manhattan. Make It Right, a nonprofit organization that is helping families in New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina rebuild, has pledged to put solar on a home for a family living in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward. Other pledges have come in from individuals across the nation, including from Atlanta, GA. Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, Maui, HI, Pittsburgh, PA, Santa Fe, NM, and Woodbury, MN.

“I’m helping put solar on my kids’ school to save the school money and free up resources that will be aimed at their education instead of fossil fuels,” said Mark Ruffalo. “We can also demonstrate the shining future that is now within our grasp. I love that Mosaic is making it possible for all people to participate in an economy meant for all — the solar economy. We are powerful.”

The “Put Solar On It” resolution is part of significant national momentum. In 2013, a solar installation was installed every four minutes throughout the U.S. and the price of a solar dropped to 60 percent of 2011 prices, according to the U.S. Solar Energy Industries Association and Greentech Media Research. The nation installed more clean energy than coal, oil, and nuclear combined, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. According to the Solar Foundation and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the solar industry is creating jobs at four times the rate of the economy at large. Continue reading

EU Guidelines Undermine Renewable Energy

The European Commission proposes putting an end to differentiated support for renewable technologies such as onshore and offshore wind in its consultation of draft State aid guidelines for energy and the environment published this week according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). This would effectively stop Member States from determining their own energy mix – a fundamental principle of EU energy policy says EWEA.

AREVA OFFSHORE MASTS“These guidelines, if adopted in their present form, endanger Member States’ ability to meet their 2020 renewable energy targets cost effectively,” said Pierre Tardieu from the EWEA. “Moreover, following the destabilising regulatory changes for renewable energy in many countries, requiring further fundamental changes to support mechanisms would cause major investor uncertainty.” The organization has drafted its own brief related to the EU’s proposed guidelines.

EWEA is calling for Member States and stakeholders to speak out to ensure the guidelines do not put at risk their path to the 2020 targets when they take part in the consultation on the proposal that has been launched. The guidelines are expected to enter into force on 1 July 2014.

Separately, the European Commission has announced investigations into the German renewable energy support mechanism, the EEG, and the UK’s measures offering generous support to nuclear energy.

“The EEG investigation risks undermining the wind industry in Germany by destabilising investors, and putting at risk the jobs, energy security and industrial leadership brought by wind and other renewables,” said Tardieu. “The Commission needs to carry out this investigation as rapidly and with as little disruption as possible.”

“The UK nuclear investigation is welcome, since the proposed 35-year subsidy would wreck efforts for a single European electricity market until after the year 2058 – over 100 years after the first commercial nuclear power plant was installed at Sellafield/Windscale in the UK,” Tardieu concluded.

Vivent Solar Sends Kids to Science Camp

Vivint Solar is sending kids to science camp. The solar company announced that it has matched the maximum fundraising efforts of $15,000 of the Windsor, California community to enable every sixth grader the opportunity to attend a three-day science camp in February.

VIVINT SOLAR WINDSOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CHECKDue to budget cutbacks, the students were at risk of not being able to attend camp this next year. The Alliance Redwoods science camp, in Occidental, Calif., costs about $165 per student, and the community had only raised about half of the funds needed before Vivint Solar stepped in to pay the difference.

“We are proud to invest in the outdoor environmental education that science camp provides to young students,” said Greg Butterfield, CEO of Vivint Solar. “The long-term value of giving to the Windsor Middle School community during the holiday season is priceless to our team.”

The company found out about the shortfall from first-grade teacher Kelli Wong, a teacher at Healdsburg Elementary and Vivint Solar customer.

“I know that Vivint Solar is concerned about the environment, with their focus on the sun as a powerful and renewable resource,” said Wong, a parent of a sixth grader at Windsor Middle School. “I, and the entire community, was so excited when Vivint Solar responded so quickly to our need and invested in the science camp experience. The sixth-graders are beyond ecstatic about being able to go to camp together for a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity that is in line with the school’s emphasis on environmental stewardship.”

In addition to funding, Vivint Solar representatives will visit the camp when the students arrive to hand out t-shirts, water bottles and other necessities to ensure the campers are ready to learn and have fun.