Archive for August, 2006

Wisconsin Distributed Resources Collaborative

Posted on August 31, 2006. Filed under: General |


The Wisconsin Distributed Energy Collaborative (WIDRC), which strives to help distributed generation play a larger role in Wisconsin’s energy future, will participate in poster presentations at Energy Transition 2050 at the Monona Terrace, Madison, on September 12.

WIDRC’s poster defines distributed generation

. . . as small, modular, dispersed forms of generating electricity, distributed generation can provide benefits to individuals, businesses and communities as well as to the State of Wisconsin.

Its potential for reducing centralized fossil fuel generation increases the State’s economic productivity and lowers its greenhouse gas emissions.

The poster also lists how distributed resources contribute to reducing Wisconsin’s non-transportation greenhouse gas emissions:

+ Increasing optimal use of local, non-fossil renewable resources for electric generation
+ Reducing the need for large, centralized coal-burning power plants and long-distance transmission lines
+ Encouraging energy efficiency planning at home, business and municipal levels
+ Creates new energy supply ownership and distribution opportunities within the community
+ Provides the flexibility for designing a secure energy supply
+ Creates more jobs than traditional centralized power plants.

For more information on distributed resources visit WIDRC’s Web site: www.WisconsinDR.org.

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Doyle, Kind call for increase in federal renewable fuels standard

Posted on August 29, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |


Oil Companies Should Be Required to Sell More Ethanol, Biodiesel as Part of National Energy Policy
Governor Jim Doyle and Congressman Ron Kind [Monday] called for a new national energy policy including dramatically increasing the federal renewable fuels standard. Doyle and Kind said the policy should require that 20 percent of the fuel sold by oil companies should be renewable fuels, such as ethanol, by 2015. The current standard is less than three percent.

“Here in Wisconsin, we’re leading the nation in the drive toward energy independence, but we also need stronger action at the federal level,” Governor Doyle said. “Increasing the federal renewable fuel standard would be a major step toward kicking our addiction to foreign oil. We have the resources and the ingenuity to get this done. It’s time to make America more dependent on the Midwest, and less dependent on the Mideast.”

(more…)

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Group wants Door County powered only by wind

Posted on August 25, 2006. Filed under: Wind |


The Country Today reports on efforts to power all of Door County with wind generated electricity:

Among the unwanted visitors Door County wants to see less of are ozone alerts that are increasing in frequency.

Added to that, about 80 percent of the electricity used in the county is generated from coal.

“It’s about seven boatloads a year,” said Jerry Viste, a retired Sturgeon Bay area farmer who serves as executive director of the Door County Environmental Council, Inc. Following the council’s creation of a renewable energy task force in 2005, a subcommittee formed Community Wind Energy, LLC. The group is devoted to establishing wind turbines scattered across the county to provid power.

To read the complete story go to The Country Today and clik on page A1.

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Iowa farmer says buying turbine was a good idea

Posted on August 24, 2006. Filed under: Wind |


A story by Jim Massey in The Country Today reports:

Scott Tjaden wasn’t so sure his family was doing the right thing when they spent $205,000 on a used wind turbine in 2004 to produce energy on their Iowa grain and livestock farm.

But two years into the project, Mr. Tjaden says he believes they made a good decision.

“Close to two years after our project went on line, I can safely say we would do it again,” he said. “We have locked in our long-term power costs.”

To read the complete story go to The Country Today and click on Page A1.

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Falls could replace fossil fuels at park

Posted on August 22, 2006. Filed under: General |


A story by Sheely Nelson in the Superior Daily Telegram reports on the possibility of tapping an old dam for hydropower:

Superior’s Pattison Park could become a demonstration site for energy independence.

Plans to study the feasibility of using the Black River and dam to generate all the park’s power received a financial boost Monday. Lt. Gov. Barb Lawton joined Rep. Frank Boyle, D-Summit, at Pattison to present a $7,500 check from the Wisconsin Department of Administration for the study’s first phase.

The feasibility study will determine whether technology will allow the goal to be met in a cost-effective way.

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U.S. DOE offers $2 billion in loan guarantees

Posted on August 21, 2006. Filed under: Energy Finance |


The U.S. Department of Energy offers loan guarantees through a solicitation for projects in the following areas:

Category 1 – Biomass
a) Bioenergy Projects as Described in Section 932(d) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
b) Biofuels Production, Distribution and Infrastructure
Category 2 – Hydrogen
a) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Manufacturing
b) Hydrogen Energy Systems
Category 3 – Solar
a) Centralized Solar Electricity Generation Facilities
b) Solar Technology Manufacturing Facilities
c) Large-Scale Solar Installations
Category 4 – Wind & Hydropower
a) Advanced Wind Power Plant
b) Wind or Renewables Specific Transmission Lines
c) Turbine or Component Manufacturing
d) Testing Facilities for Commercial Wind Turbine Components
e) Community Wind Power Systems
f) Hydrokinetic Energy Devices
g) Hydropower Technology Devices in Existing Impoundments
Category 5 – Fossil Energy Coal
a) Coal to Fischer-Tropsch (FT) Liquids
b) Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle
c) Industrial Gasification
Category 6 – Carbon Sequestration Practices and Technologies
Category 7 – Efficient Electricity Transmission and Delivery and Energy Reliability

a) Advanced Control, Sensing and Monitoring Systems
b) Advanced switching, transformer and substation equipment
c) Distributive On-Site Energy Systems Involving Critical Infrastructure
Category 8 Alternative Fuel Vehicles
a) Hybrid vehicles or component manufacturing
Category 9 Industrial Energy Efficiency Projects
a) Private Sector facilities only
Category 10 Pollution Control Equipment

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As Ethanol Prices Fall, Drivers SHOULD Expect Lower Gas Prices

Posted on August 18, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |


According to an analysis by the Renewable Fuels Association:

What the current drop in spot market prices indicates is that the ethanol market is coming back into equilibrium, as we have previously stated. This means that the long term contracts (6 – 12 months), which comprise up to 95% of the ethanol market and are often negotiated at a significant discount to the spot market (JJ&A FuelsBlendstock Report, 6/16/06), are becoming even more attractive to refiners. As OPIS notes, “ethanol may actually reduce finished gasoline prices this autumn and winter.” Research when the ethanol market is in balance suggests drivers could save up to 8 cents per gallon when using 10% ethanol blends.

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Solar Seminar – August 21

Posted on August 17, 2006. Filed under: Solar |


On Monday, August 21st, the Aldo Leopold Foundation hosts an evening seminar on the basics of solar power, along with an open house at the building site of the Legacy Center to let visitors see the latest progress on construction.

Presenters Andrew Bangert and Chris Collins of the H&H Group’s Solar Energy division will have examples of solar panels on hand, and will share details on the status of solar energy in general as well as the planned Legacy Center installation.

The building was designed and is being constructed to fulfill the qualifications for a prestigious Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED certification gives rankings in energy efficiency, and the Legacy Center should become the first platinum certified building in the state.

Seminar details: Optional potluck supper begins at 6pm; seminar begins at 6:30pm. Meet at E13704 Levee Road in Baraboo, just across from the Legacy Center building site. For more information or directions, go to The Aldo Leopold Foundation Calendar of Events.

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Landowners prepare for turbines’ arrival

Posted on August 16, 2006. Filed under: Wind |


A story by Christopher Wenn in The Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter reports on the Navitas project:

As wind energy project nears construction, local views remain mixed
MANITOWOC — His father sold the family’s 100-acre farm in 1966 to make way for the Point Beach Nuclear Power Plant.

Forty years later, Dale Kopetsky of rural Mishicot is making room on his land for the next wave of energy options — wind power.

Kopetsky recently signed a 20-year contract with Navitas Energy Inc. of Minneapolis to site a pair of 320-foot, two-megawatt wind turbines on his property.

They will be among 49 wind towers Navitas will erect that will change the landscape in the towns of Mishicot and Two Creeks.

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Cutting dependency on foreign oil can start at the local level

Posted on August 15, 2006. Filed under: Energy Policy, Wind |


The Appleton Post-Crescent recently ran the following column by Arlen Boardman, the paper’s retired business editor:

What greater incentive to push an American agenda of renewable energy sources than what’s going on in Lebanon and Iraq — and the whole Middle East for that matter?

We should be embracing renewable energy for producing electricity, like we should be pushing for higher mileage vehicles. Escaping the geo-political nightmare of the Middle East is a long-term problem that demands foresight, even if it means subsidies and substantial tax breaks to jump-start it.

Wind energy must be part of the electricity equation. It’s a simple and clean alternative to coal and oil, and leaves no polluting residue. That hasn’t stopped opposition, like the unsubstantiated, and, frankly, outlandish, complaints of some Calumet County residents that wind generators were going to bring down planes, trigger seizures, and keep people awake at night.

Wind generation developers have heard these all before and even seen some Fond du Lac County folks try unsuccessfully to sue their town board for approving a wind project.

As annoying as it sounds, it isn’t the not-in-my-backyard folks that have hamstrung the expanded use of wind power. No, said Michael Vickerman, executive director for Renew Wisconsin, a lobbyist organization, it has been more the schizophrenic federal tax incentive policy and its lip service to this environmentally sound energy-production measure.

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