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Fortnightly Magazine - October 2010

in September announced DOE’s selection of 22 projects that will accelerate carbon capture and storage (CCS) research and development. Funded with more than $575 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , the R&D projects complement the industrial demonstration projects already being funded through the act. The selections include projects from four different areas of CCS research and development: 1) large-scale testing of advanced gasification technologies; 2) advanced turbo-machinery to lower emissions from industrial sources; 3) post-combustion CO 2 capture with increased efficiencies and decreased costs; and 4) geologic storage site characterization.

DOE’s Sandia National Laboratories awarded $8.5 million to four projects that have reached Stage III of the solar energy grid integration systems (SEGIS) program. These investments will be matched more than one-to-one by the SEGIS contractors to support more than $20 million in total projects. The selections are part of the DOE’s ongoing work to improve grid reliability for solar technologies. The SEGIS Stage III selections include: $660,000 to Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida in Cocoa, Fla.; $2.7 million for Petra Solar South in Plainfield, N.J.; $2.7 million for Princeton Power in Princeton, N.J.; and $2.4 million for PVPowered in Bend, Ore.

DOE awarded a partial guarantee for a $98.5 million loan to the 49-MW Blue Mountain geothermal project in Humboldt County in northwestern Nevada. The guarantee supports a loan from John Hancock Financial Services to a subsidiary of Nevada Geothermal Power. The Blue Mountain project consists of a geothermal well field and fluid collection and injection systems that enable energy to be extracted from rock and fluid below the earth’s surface, and a geothermal power plant. The project will sell electricity and renewable energy credits to Nevada Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Nevada Solar Works , a partnership between Q&D Construction, CleanPath Renewables and Alternative Energy Solutions, won a contract to build 1.3 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) projects for the City of Reno, Nev. The Reno City Council approved a 1-MW fixed tilt ground-mount system at the Reno-Stead Water Treatment Plant and 295-kW in fixed tilt roof and ground-mount installations at five other locations throughout the city.

Pattern Energy Group LP announced in September that MetLife made an equity partnership investment in Pattern’s Gulf Wind project. Gulf Wind is a fully operational 283-MW wind farm located in Kenedy County, Texas, that produces clean energy equivalent to the power needs of 80,000 Texas homes. The terms of the investment weren’t disclosed.

Siemens Energy was awarded a contract from Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, to supply two SGT6-PAC 5000F gas-turbine packages. These gas turbines will be installed in a coal-fired integrated gasification combined-cycle (IGCC) power plant using Southern’s proprietary TRIG gasification technology. Approximately 65 percent of CO2 emissions from the 582-MWe Kemper County power plant are expected to be captured—an annual reduction of three million tons of CO2. The plant is expected to begin operation in mid-2014.

Geospatial Imaging

Trimble introduced the Trimble MX8 Mobile Spatial Imaging System, an advanced mobile data capture system that combines imaging and laser-scanning capabilities