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Vendor Neutral

Fortnightly Magazine - July 2010

while assisting in protection of the environment and natural resources. A primary focus of the agreement is to commercialize low-carbon energy technologies that involve CCS. Saskatchewan is home to the world’s largest monitored CCS demonstration project.

Ash Improvement Technology (AIT), a start up based in the New York City area, closed on Series A financing from a group of private investors aimed at taking on the 130 million tons per year of coal ash produced in the United States. Proposed coal ash regulations are under consideration and EPA estimates the incremental clean-up costs at $600 million to $1.5 billion a year, but industry insiders say it could cost as much as $12 billion. AIT’s approach transforms waste ash into a cement substitute, using sorbents applied on site at coal-fired power plants. The residue collected in the power plant’s existing collection systems can be sold immediately for beneficial use without further treatment. That results in less coal ash being landfilled, and also includes a reduction in CO2 emissions. According to AIT, each ton of treated ash used in lieu of cement saves nearly 0.85 tons of CO2 emissions. AIT’s infusion of funds will be applied toward making the process available commercially during the second half of 2010.

Storage and EVs

President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corp. Akio Toyoda, and Co-Founder and CEO of Tesla Motors Elon Musk announced a partnership between the companies to cooperate on the development of electric vehicles (EV), parts, and production system and engineering support. Toyota agreed to purchase $50 million of Tesla’s common stock, issued in a private placement to close immediately subsequent to the closing of Tesla’s currently planned initial public offering. Tesla acquired the NUMMI plant in Fremont—formerly used to produce Corolla and Tacoma vehicles—and plans to begin production of its second-generation vehicle, the Model S EV luxury sedan, in 2012.


AEP Ohio , a subsidiary of American Electric Power, selected OPower to deploy its customer engagement platform as the customer-facing solution for smart-grid deployment. Beginning late summer, OPOWER will help the utility provide 70,000 smart-metered homes with contextualized in-home energy data and energy-efficiency advice and tips through mailed paper reports and an online energy management portal. The OPower platform is an advanced customer engagement (ACE) solution that delivers individualized energy usage information through all available channels: the mail, Web, phone, in-home displays as well as mobile devices. The cross-channel approach is designed to enable all customers to engage with their energy data and save on their bills, irrespective of income or access to technology.

Oncor installed its 1 millionth smart meter in its Smart Texas project, marking a milestone in the progress of Oncor’s smart-meter transformation since the project began in 2008. By 2012, Oncor expects to complete the upgrade of more than 3 million meters throughout its service area. The 1 millionth smart meter was installed in Waco. The utility estimates that if all customers in its service area adjusted their electricity usage because of readily available consumption information, Oncor’s customers could potentially save a total of up to $250 million annually