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Fortnightly Magazine - November 2010

Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $20 million to finance research, development and demonstration of cutting-edge geothermal technologies at seven projects. The projects will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of non-conventional geothermal energy technologies in three areas: low temperature fluids, geothermal fluids recovered from oil and gas wells, and highly pressurized geothermal fluids. The following projects were selected for awards: Low Temperature Geothermal Fluids: 1) Energent Corp., Dixie Valley, Nev. ($1.2 million). Energent will demonstrate the innovative features of a geothermal power plant using a scale-resistant heat exchanger design to allow increased use of low temperature resources; 2) GreenFire Energy, Springerville, Ariz. ($2 million). GreenFire Energy will provide field evaluations of a low temperature carbon dioxide-based geothermal electric power plant; 3) Modoc Contracting Co., Canby, Modoc County, Calif. ($2 million). Modoc proposes to create a complete cascaded use of a geothermal resource—from low temperature power generation through several direct-use applications, including a direct heating system, greenhouse operation and fish farm—that will demonstrate energy-efficient use of geothermal fluids; 4) Oski Energy, Susanville, Lassen County, Calif. ($2 million). Oski Energy will test a power cycle technology that uses a mixture of ammonia and water as the working fluid. Geothermal Fluids Produced from Oil and Gas Wells: 1) ElectraTherm, Florida Canyon Mine, Nev. ($982,000). ElectraTherm seeks to demonstrate the financial and technical viability of producing electricity from heat coproduced in geothermal brine. Highly Pressurized or Geopressured Fluid: 1) Louisiana Geothermal, Cameron Parish, La. ($500,000). Louisiana Geothermal seeks to demonstrate that electricity can be produced economically from geopressured resources by validating the significant geopressured geothermal resource base in southern Louisiana and the northern Gulf of Mexico basin; and 2) NRG Energy, Princeton, N.J. ($500,000). NRG will evaluate and characterize a target geothermal reservoir for development of a power plant.

Power-One in October opened its new manufacturing facility in Phoenix, Ariz. The Power-One Phoenix facility will produce its photovoltaic and wind inverters, including single phase (2-6 kW) and three-phase string inverters, and NEMA 3R 250-kW, 300-kW and 400-kW central inverters. In the future, for wind applications, the product range will include 2.5-MW inverters. The facility will support more than 350 new jobs in Arizona and throughout the United States. The new manufacturing plant will reach an annual inverter production capacity of 1 GW by mid-2011.

3TIER launched on-demand online access to its Reference Wind Time-Series, a new product that increases the accuracy of wind energy production estimates for any location worldwide. 3TIER says performing measure-correlate-predict (MCP) with the product reduces the level of uncertainty in annual production estimates.

Shanghai-based JA Solar Holdings , one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-performance solar cells and solar power products, signed agreements with BP Solar to provide a total of more than 185 MW of mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline solar cells in 2010 and through 2011.

Metering

A.P. Systems , an Italian supplier of information and communication technology to utilities and public administrations, is using the Sierra Wireless AirPrime WMP100 Intelligent Embedded Module and Open AT Operating System to provide wireless connectivity to its M3-S multi-metering system. Sierra Wireless says the