- Juhl Renewable Energy Systems, Inc. has announced that its been named as lead contractor for all rooftop installations through Solar Chicago, a new program serving Chicago, Illinois and several neighboring villages. Juhl Renewable Energy Systems partnered with Microgrid Solar and local Chicago-based installation contractors Ailey Solar and Kapital Electric to jointly submit a coordinated proposal in response to a competitive Request for Proposal solicitation issued by the Solar Chicago Program Administrator, Vote Solar, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization.
- Sunpreme Inc., a US-based solar photovoltaic company that designs and manufactures its own cells and panels, has announced the commissioning of a 82kW rooftop solar system at the Gurudwara Sahib, Fremont, California. The system is one of the largest rooftop solar installations to use Sunpreme’s advanced solar PV technology that will generate 150,000kWh of clean, emission free electricity annually.
- Ecotech Institute now has a generator capable of powering 15,000 average America homes. The generator, which is one of the most expensive components in a wind turbine, is a donation from Alstom, the world’s leading energy solutions and transport company. Matt Pevarnik, an account executive for Alstom who serves on Ecotech Institute’s advisory board, spearheaded the donation.
- Dominion Virginia Power will install more than 3,000 solar panels capable of generating more than 800 kilowatts of electricity – enough to power nearly 200 homes – at the Prologis Concorde Distribution Center in Sterling, Va. The panels will be installed on the rooftops of two adjacent buildings on its campus and will cover nearly 102,000 square feet.
Biodiesel behemoth Renewable Energy Group (REG) could be looking to expand one of its Illinois biodiesel plants. This article in the Champaign (IL) News-Gazette says REG is buying up lots around its Danville biodiesel plant, as well as asking city officials to vacate alleys and portions of streets around the facility and change the local zoning from residential to industrial. The city council last night unanimously reversed the city’s planning and zoning commission’s original denial of the request back in June.
“We don’t have a project plan that’s approved, but we do have thoughts to expand in the future, and we have thoughts of what we might want to do,” said Bruce Lutes, general manager of the Danville plant at 300 Anderson St., east of the city’s downtown. An approved plan, Lutes added, would be an approved capital project through REG, which has done some expansion at other plants.
“We have an idea of what we would like to do,” he said.
But Lutes would not disclose details about the company’s ideas for future expansion or whether an expansion would include a boost in biodiesel production. REG Danville currently has the capacity to produce 45 million gallons of biodiesel per year, and Lutes said the facility is close to that.
“We have some needs for this place, for space… We are very cramped… and sitting on a small footprint,” said Lutes, who added that the space needs are for additional storage, maintenance and office space. “And there could be other things, but we’re not at the point where we have any definite plans or a project.”
REG officials had characterized the earlier denial of the zoning change as “dumb.”
Enzymes could be the key to making biodiesel from low-quality oils. This article from The American Oil Chemists’ Society’s Inform magazine says Novozymes, a biotech company specializing in enzyme technology, is touting biodiesel production at Blue Sun Biodiesel in St. Joseph, Missouri and Vieselfuel LLC in Stuart, Fla., based on using lipase as catalyst.
Production at both sites has been in operation for over a year now. Novozymes has been the enzyme supplier and partner, and the accomplishment of full-scale production is the result of lengthy, dedicated research and development work.
The new lipase technology enables the processing of oil feedstocks with any concentration of free fatty acids and with lower energy costs than with a standard chemical catalyst…
Use of the liquid lipases was a breakthrough, as they are much cheaper to produce and provide technological as well as cost benefits. By using the lipase Novozymes Callera Trans®, it is possible to produce biodiesel from a large variety of oil qualities. The ability to produce biodiesel from feedstock regardless of its FFA content ultimately makes the process a more cost-efficient way to produce biodiesel.
The article goes on to say that Novozymes is finishing up the development of the enzymatic biodiesel application and expects to launch the concept later this year.
The same magazine features another article on using a new proprietary solid catalyst process developed by Benefuel to make biodiesel. We’ll have details on that story tomorrow.
According to research conducted by Navigant Research, the aviation and marine biofuels market will represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the global biofuels market. “Aviation and Marine Biofuels,” found that in the last five years, more than 40 commercial airlines worldwide have flown nearly 600,000 miles powered in part by biofuel. Much of the development in this sector center on the world’s largest aviation market: the U.S. The report concludes, by 2024, biofuels will make up 6.1 percent of the aviation and marine fuel market in America.
“The United States is expected to emerge as the clear leader in the construction of integrated biorefineries capable of producing bio-based jet fuel and marine distillates over the next 10 years,” said Mackinnon Lawrence, research director with Navigant Research. “New biorefinery construction in the U.S. is expected to generate $7.8 billion in cumulative revenue over the next 10 years, representing 66 percent of the revenue generated globally.”
The European Union (EU) is also an active participant in the emerging aviation and marine biofuels market, according to the report. The biggest wildcard in forecasting EU growth projections is the implementation of the EU emissions trading system. If the EU moves forward with a carbon tax on airlines operating in EU territory, then investment in building aviation and marine biofuels production capacity is expected to increase dramatically across the region.
The report forecasts and market sizing for nameplate production capacity and production volumes for advanced aviation and marine biofuels. Forecasts are segmented by geography, conversion platform, and fuel type. The total addressable market size for commercial aviation, marine shipping, and U.S. military applications is analyzed, and the report also provides a qualitative analysis of key stakeholder initiatives, market drivers, challenges, and technology developments, as well as profiles of key stakeholders across the value chain.
- Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc., has announced a new collaboration with Genting Plantations Berhad through Genting Integrated Biorefinery Sdn Bhd, to be located in the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia. The 25:75 collaboration between Elevance and Genting Plantations Berhad will build a 240,000 MT metathesis biorefinery based on Elevance’s proprietary metathesis technology, and will produce renewable, high-performance olefins and specialty chemicals that can be used in multiple end-product applications, including lubricants, surfactants and detergents.
- Minnesota Power and the Duluth Port said they reached a milestone when the 15th ship bearing wind generation equipment destined for Minnesota Power’s growing renewable energy installation in North Dakota sailed into the harbor beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge. The BBC cargo ship, Peter Roenna arrived in Duluth carrying more than two dozen renewable wind energy components after a voyage from Brande, Denmark, where the equipment is manufactured by Siemens A.G. Two other shiploads of Siemens wind equipment bound for North Dakota arrived at the port in June; two more are expected before the end of September.
- Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, known as “Yingli Solar,” has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Spain, S.L.U (“Yingli Spain”) has signed an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract with Senelec (Societe Nationaled’Electricite de Senegal), the stated owned utility company of Senegal,for a 2MW ground-mounted PV plant, one of Senegal’s flagship PV projects.
- Astronergy donated 150kW PV panels to a solar system installed on a parking lot of a children’s hospital, Hospitl de las Californias, located in Tijuana, Baja California. The PV system has been successfully commissioned on Friday and it will cover 80 percent of the electricity needs of the medical facility, which will represent a savings of approximately 400,000 pesos a year (equivalent to US$31,133) over the 25-year useful life of the solar installation.
The Ethanol Safety seminars are heading to Oklahoma and Missouri this month with all seminars hosted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). The first seminar will be held on July 21, 2014 at the Western Technology Center in Weatherford and is co-hosted by Oklahoma Emergency Management/LEPC. The second seminar will be held on July 22, 2014 at the Oklahoma City Fire Training Academy and is co-hosted by Stillwater Central Railroad. The third seminar will be held on July 24, 2014 at the Case Community Center in Tulsa and is co-hosted by South Kansas & Ohio Railroad. The final seminar will be held on July 25, 2014 at the Mid America Industrial Park Expo Center in Port of Catoosa and is also co-hosted by Oklahoma Emergency Management/LEPC. The seminars in Weatherford and Port of Catoosa are funded by an Oklahoma Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness grant while the Oklahoma City and Tulsa seminars are funded by a Federal Railroad Administration grant through TRANSCAER.
The other two seminars will occur in Missouri, with the first to be held on July 22, 2014 at the Public Safety Training Center in Joplin and is co-hosted by Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad. The second will take place on July 24, 2014 at the St. Louis Fire Academy and is co-hosted by Alton Southern Railroad. Both seminars are funded by a Federal Railroad Administration grant through TRANSCAER.
All seminars will have morning sessions from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and evening sessions from 5:30 to 10 p.m. While registration is free it is limited. Lunch and dinner will be provided. Certificates will be awarded to attendees at the completion of the course. While primarily targeting first responders, hazmat teams, safety managers, and local emergency planning committees, it is also open to the general public.
“With the heightened awareness of hazmat traveling throughout the United States on our railway systems, these types of training seminars are a very useful tool,” said Pat Foster, general manager at Stillwater Central Railroad. “This gives the railroads the opportunity to work with first responders in a positive atmosphere and to open a line of communication that sometimes may not have been there in the event of an incident.”
The goal of these seminars is for attendees to gain full ethanol emergency response training experience that they can put to use immediately in the field and pass along to other first response teams. A majority of this training is based on the “Training Guide to Ethanol Emergency Response,” a training package created by the Ethanol Emergency Response Coalition (EERC) that has been distributed throughout the United States and to several countries worldwide.
“The use of ethanol and ethanol-blended products continues to increase each year. With this growth comes the heightened risk of encountering ethanol emergencies on the highways, rail systems, and at transfer and storage facilities,” said Jon Hall, member of the Oklahoma County Local Emergency Planning Committee. “Our first responders must be aware of the unique challenges inherent in such emergencies. The Ethanol Safety Seminar is designed to provide an avenue for educating our responder community on the most current and effective tactics and techniques to safely react to ethanol emergencies and mitigate the hazards associated with such events.”
Click here to register.
A producer of biodiesel in Canada completes its first sale in the United States. Last month, we told you how Methes Energies achieved the important BQ-9000 quality standard and that the company planned to ship more than $6 million worth of biodiesel to the U.S. That transaction has now taken place with the imported of biodiesel coming from its Sombra, Ontario facility.
This is the first time that Methes directly generated U.S. revenues. In the past, biodiesel produced at its Sombra, Ontario facility was sold to brokers and intermediaries that would import the biodiesel into the U.S. and resell the biodiesel to obligated parties and fuel distributors. With Methes now having the ability to import biodiesel to the U.S. and itself generate [Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs)], Methes can sell directly to U.S buyers, capitalize on new opportunities and improve its margins.
Nicholas Ng, President of Methes Energies, said, “This is another step forward for Methes and part of our plan to capitalize on more opportunities in the U.S. This is the first time that Methes directly generated U.S. revenues and U.S revenues will now start playing a much larger role in our overall growth strategy and enable us to expand our footprint in several states in the U.S. As for production in Sombra, things are going very well with more feedstock showing up tomorrow. In fact, we will be receiving our largest shipment by rail ever, a total of 12 railcars or over 2 million pounds of oil.”
The Methes refinery in Ontario is capable of producing 13 million gallons per year of biodiesel.
Growing algae for biodiesel seems like a viable option when you consider how oil-rich (and thus, feedstock-rich) the one-celled organisms can be. But while algae is one of the fastest growing organisms on Earth, getting enough growth out of the microbes to make the proposition commercially viable is the holy grail for algae-biodiesel producers. Researchers from AlgaStar Inc. have found a way to increase algae growth rates by 300 percent using a technique called biostimulation and a biomass grower called the SolarMagnatron.
Biological stimulation from electromagnetic fields and/or microwaves offers a novel technology that can accelerate algae growth substantially compared with natural sunlight. Laboratory tests at AlgaStar, Inc. and research collaborators at the University of Western Ontario, (UWO) have proven the biostimulation concept but considerably more research is needed. Additional research efforts are now funded for AlgaStar with Los Alamos National Laboratory. Additional grant applications and research sponsor funding will include Dr. Bruce Rittmann’s lab in the Biodesign Institute at ASU, the world class AzCATI Test Bed at ASU, NanoVoltaics, UWO and others.
The AlgaStar algae production and biostimulation system integrates two types of electromagnetic energy. The first is a millitesla generator and the second a millimeter microwave generator that radiates spontaneous growth energy into large volumes of algae biomass. The research teams have demonstrated that electromagnetic energy waves can provide an increase in algae biomass and its corresponding lipid oil production by up to 300%.
AlgaStar is using it’s patented 4500 gallon SolarMagnatron biomass production system that has an automated biosystem controller (ABC), which optimizes biomass production and uses light very efficiently. During the day, it maximizes natural sunlight, and when it’s night, special domed acrylic lenses and flat-panel glass reactors containing high-efficiency florescent and LED lights produce artificial sunlight at specific wavelengths and power levels that optimize algae photosynthesis.
More information is available on the AlgaStar website.
Syngenta and Quad County Corn Processors (QCCP) are collaborating to produce cellulosic ethanol from corn kernels as well as to license the technology to other ethanol plants. The first-of-its-kind technology is known as Adding Cellulosic Ethanol and was developed by QCCP, who expects to produce one million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2014 and two million gallons in 2015.
This breakthrough was made possible through the integration of Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology at QCCP, a 35 million gallon per year capacity ethanol production facility. The introduction of the technology will enable QCCP to increase ethanol yield per bushel by six percent, produce an additional two million gallons of cellulosic ethanol per year and realize a number of other important benefits including increased production of corn oil and distillers grains (DDGs).
Delayne Johnson, CEO of QCCP discussed the technology during a press conference held at the Iowa Speedway last Friday. The event was part of the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen sponsorship. The NASCAR Camping Truck World Series races on E15.
“Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology will help us to increase the protein content of dried distillers grains (DDGs) by 40 percent, improve corn oil extraction by 200 percent and realize more ethanol out of the same kernel of corn,” said Johnson. “The commercialization of this technology represents a major advance in the production of cellulosic ethanol. For example, Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology could produce one billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol by converting the corn kernel cellulose from corn currently being processed in existing dry grind ethanol plants. And, once hemicellulosic yeast is FDA-approved, Adding Cellulosic Ethanol will be capable of producing an additional one billion gallons – all from corn already being processed.”
Johnson said tests have also shown that Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology, in conjunction with Enogen® trait technology, will deliver significant benefits to ethanol plants beyond what can be achieved through either technology alone.
“The combination of Adding Cellulosic Ethanol and Enogen corn is expected to generate significant synergies when used together in dry grind ethanol plants,” Johnson added. “It will produce advanced and cellulosic ethanol while decreasing natural gas usage, increasing ethanol throughput and reducing an ethanol plant’s carbon footprint. These advantages, combined with higher protein DDGs and increased corn oil production, make the technology package appealing for ethanol plants looking to improve their bottom line.”
Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quad County Corn Processors. Earlier this year, Syngenta announced an agreement with Cellulosic Ethanol Technologies to license Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology to ethanol production facilities.
“Ethanol is helping America reduce its dependence on foreign oil, lowering prices at the pump, improving the environment with lower emissions, and growing the economy with jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said Jack Bernens, head of marketing and stakeholder relations for Enogen Trait Technology at Syngenta. “The combination of Adding Cellulosic Ethanol technology and Enogen could represent the next leap forward for ethanol production.”
Listen to my interview with Delayne Johnson here: Delayne Johnson interview
Visit the 2014 American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen photo album.
- Nearly 1,500 of the world’s foremost fuels and combustion scientists and engineers will gather in San Francisco on Aug. 3-8, 2014 for the 35th International Symposium on Combustion, a biennial event sponsored by the Combustion Institute and Sandia National Laboratories. The symposium will examine issues related to climate change, fuel efficiency, biofuels integration with combustion engines and other topics. In addition to a keynote presentation from Elaine Oran of the University of Maryland’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and four invited plenary talks, 435 oral presentations and 690 posters will be presented describing cutting-edge fundamental and applied combustion research.
- Microgrid Solar has announced the hiring of Gordon Schweitzer III as Director of Energy Efficiency Services. Schweitzer comes to Microgrid Solar with experience as Lead Engineer for the University of Delaware’s Mid-Atlantic Industrial Assessment Center, Engineering Consultant at Applied Energy Group, Inc., and Project Coordinator at Energize Delaware – Sustainable Energy Utility. In his new role, Schweitzer will lead Microgrid Solar’s Energy Efficiency Services team with his expertise in Energy Efficiency & Renewables Financing, Policy, and Project Management; Energy Auditing; Utility Policy and Rebate Programs; Program Development; Building Energy Modeling; LEED Online, BD+C, EB: O&M; and ENERGY STAR Products and Programs.
- Noble Group Limited and EIG Global Energy Partners have announced the formation and commitment to capitalize Harbour Energy, Ltd, a company that will own and operate upstream and midstream energy assets globally. Harbour Energy will seek to own high quality assets that provide exposure to key supply trends while capturing value up-lift associated with control of offtake, logistics and supply chain management. Noble will be preferred offtake and marketing partner of Harbour Energy, while EIG, together with the company’s internal management team, will serve as manager of the company and oversee the acquisition of assets. Harbour Energy’s capitalization will be funded solely through balance sheet capital of each of Noble and EIG. EIG also announced today that Linda Z. Cook has been appointed a Managing Director of EIG, a member of EIG’s Executive Committee and CEO of Harbour Energy.
- VIASPACE Inc. has announced that the company has entered into a research collaboration with the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UCANR). The objectives of the research are to: compare the growth of Giant King Grass using subsurface drip irrigation with flood (furrow) irrigation; compare individual node and whole stalk planting methods; evaluate yields when cut every 6 months for bioenergy applications; evaluate yields when cut every 2 months for animal feed or anaerobic digestion to produce biomethane; and evaluate growth of Giant King Grass in a very hot dry climate.
Lincolnland Agri-Energy is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Palestine, Illinois-based ethanol plant is now producing 57 million gallons of ethanol per year and employs 41 local residents. In 10 years, the ethanol plant has produced 470 million gallons of ethanol. Over the weekend, Lincolnland Agri-Energy hosted an open house for the community to celebrate its milestone.
Since they began operating in 2004, Lincolnland has actively taken steps to develop and expand their facilities. They broadened into corn oil extraction, added a fermenter, and implemented selective milling technology.
“We are proud to produce cost-saving, renewable ethanol that furthers America’s energy independence. Lincolnland’s ethanol production facility has helped revitalize the community, create demand for our local farmers, and save Illinois drivers money at the pump,” said Eric Mosbey, general manager of Lincolnland Agri-Energy. “This is an exciting day for everyone involved in making Lincolnland a success. The past 10 years of production would not have been possible without the support of our stakeholders, the dedication of our employees, and the cooperation of the local community. We look forward to another 10 years.”
The ethanol plant has fostered an active presence in the local community by hosting elected officials including then-Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Congressman John Shimkus (R-Ill.). Both elected officials were given a warm welcome as they learned more about ethanol production and the impact it has on the local community. The company also partners with the local junior college to offer internships and donate equipment so students can learn more about the ethanol production process. Lincolnland supports many local programs and is a long-time sponsor of the annual Labor Day rodeo in Palestine, Ill.
“What started as an idea by a group of local farmers has turned into a successful ethanol plant that is run with integrity and gives back to the local community. The hours, days, and years of dedication can be seen in every aspect of this business today,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “This truly is a day to celebrate and honor the 10 years of hard work that has gone into making this business a success.”
In a setback to the regulated utility model, the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the city of Dubuque and Eagle Point Solar does not violate state law. Regulated utility companies had fought the arrangement, claiming to have exclusive rights to sell to customers in their service areas. On Friday, July 11, 2014 Iowa’s high court disagreed.
After the decision was handed down, Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), said of the win, “This is an important milestone for solar energy in Iowa. It undoubtedly will help to jumpstart solar installations across the state, creating new jobs, pumping money into the economy and reducing pollution. But just as importantly, this is a victory for freedom of choice, affirming the right of Iowans to decide how they want to power their homes and businesses in the future. We commend the court for doing the right thing.”
Ever since I met Ryan Hunter Reay as the driver for the Indy Team Ethanol Car I’ve been following him as his racing gets better and better. He showed it this weekend when he roared to a dramatic finish and won the Iowa Corn Indy 300. Ryan is a winner of this race previously.
With the Indy cars running on the same fuel that we can put in our flex fuel vehicles – E85 – this renewable fuel was on the big stage again. Our Joanna Schroeder was on location for the American Ethanol 200 presented by Enogen, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, on Saturday and will have some stories to share from that event as well.
Offshore wind energy development in Europe is the fastest growing power sector with 4.9 GW of new capacity under construction according to the European Wind Energy (EWEA). The 4.9 GW will be comprised of 16 commercial offshore wind farms under construction.
During the first six months of 2014, 224 new offshore wind turbines totaling 781 megawatts were fully connected tot the grid. This is 25 percent less than during the same period in 2013. However, there are 282 wind turbines installed that have not been connected to the grid during the first six months. Once connected, this will add an additional 1,200 MW of offshore wind energy capacity.
“Despite offshore wind power installations being lower than in the first six months of last year, it remains the fastest growing power sector in Europe” said Justin Wilkes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at EWEA. “However, despite significant financing activity in the first half of the year, the contraction in installations we have witnessed in these first six months, may well continue into 2015 and 2016.”
“To ensure healthy growth in the latter part of the decade, and to ensure offshore wind energy plays its role in meeting the EU’s competitiveness, security, renewable and climate objectives, the industry must be given longer-term visibility,” Wilkes continued. “An ambitious deal on the 2030 Climate and Energy package by the EU’s Heads of State in October would send the right signal, making their decision particularly important for the offshore wind sector,” he concluded.
Total installed offshore wind capacity in Europe is now 7,343 MW in 73 wind farms across 11 countries, capable of producing 27 TWh of electricity, enough to meet the needs of over 7 million households – or the entire population of the Netherlands.
Researchers in India have created a green plastic from the biodiesel by-product glycerin. This article from the Business Times says the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI) developed the biodegradable plastic from a jatropha-based biodiesel process.
“We had initiated a research on using the residue of bio-diesel to be converted to plastic.The idea of green plastic came as a result of our concern to effectively utilize the crude glycerol which is the byproduct of the Jatropha biodiesel,” said S Mishra, principal scientist, CSMCRI.
Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) and CSMCRI have started research related to the development of ‘green plastic’ in 2005 during the second phase of the project entitled ‘Biofuels from eroded soils of India” sponsored by Daimler Chrysler, Germany.
More than 500 gms. of green plastic has already been produced in the laboratory at gram scale which was distributed to some firms for research analysis and studies on its further applications in bio-medical area. “Now ,our target is to scale up the process from gram to kilogram scale per batch production. Besides, we are also trying to improve functional/physical properties of the product,” she added.
A European patent has been granted for these bioplastics that degrade in the soil in three months.
The institute is also looking at developing algae found in the Indian coastline to be made into biodiesel.