Are we languishing, or working off a 20th-century legacy? Gartner’s hype cycle suggests the latter, as new technologies start producing value.
Lockheed Martin teams with Tendril; Pattern Energy 101 MW wind plant starts operating; Alstom to supply steam equipment to GWF plant; Siemens wins government efficiency contract; GE Jenbacher introduces high-efficiency gas engine; OpenADR Alliance forms; Better Place gets into San Francisco taxis; EnerNOC enters TransAmerica Pyramid; and more.
American Capital Energy began installing one of North America’s largest rooftop solar arrays at the GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Northeast regional distribution center in York, Pa. When the 3 MW project is completed, nearly 11,000 solar panels are expected to generate approximately 3.4 million kWh of electricity per year, which GSK says is enough to supply the facility’s annual electricity needs. The project was supported by a $1 million grant from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Financing Authority and $4.1 million in federal tax credits. GSK also plans to offset its costs by selling solar renewable energy credits (REC). GSK says it recently completed four other solar panel projects at its facilities in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Belgium and Singapore, and that it plans to install solar panels at its Fresno, Calif., distribution center in the spring of 2011.
Alstom signed a contract with U.S. independent power producer GWF Energy to supply heat recovery steam generators and a steam turbine to GWF’s power plant in Tracy, Calif. The project, which will convert the Tracy facility from a 169 MW gas-fired peaking plant to a 336 MW combined-cycle plant, will increase the plant’s efficiency while providing operational flexibility to support GWF’s power purchase agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric. The expanded plant is expected to begin commercial operation in 2012.
Alstom and EDP Renewables completed the Le Mée wind farm in La Centre Région, France. The 18 MW farm consists of six 3 MW Alstom ECO 100 wind turbines. The wind farm is the third in the region to be commissioned in less than a year using Alstom’s 3 MW turbine technology. By the end of the year Alstom says it will have commissioned 27 ECO 100 turbines for EDP in the region, with a generating capacity exceeding 80 MW.
Toyota Tsusho Corp. entered the U.S. market in natural gas-fired power plants by acquiring from GE Energy Financial Services an indirect ownership stake in the Oyster Creek Cogeneration Plant in Freeport, Texas, for about U.S. $100 million. Toyota Tsusho, acting through a North American subsidiary, bought a 45 percent interest in the plant. The Oyster Creek transaction marks the first partnership between Toyota Tsusho and GE Energy Financial Services in thermal power assets.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) formed the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA), which focuses on advocacy and education to promote the on-site generation and consumption of distributed wind energy.
Solar Frontier , a manufacturer of thin film solar technology based on the elements copper, indium, selenium, gallium, and sulfur, announced that it has signed an agreement to jointly develop thin film solar cell technology with IBM based on the elements copper, zinc, tin, sulfur, and selenium. This joint development will couple IBM’s groundbreaking research with Solar Frontier’s thin film development and manufacturing capabilities to create