Vendor Neutral

Deck: 
Fortnightly Magazine - December 2010

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.

Generation

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 a cost competitive solar technology that uses earth-abundant materials.

AllEarth Renewables, a Vermont manufacturer of grid-connected wind turbines and solar tracking systems, received a contract from Chittenden County Solar Partners to install 382 AllSun Trackers at a solar farm in South Burlington, Vt. The installation will be the largest solar array to date in the state of Vermont and is scheduled to begin operations by early 2011.

RMK Solar began building one of the largest ground-based solar energy systems in Pennsylvania, under contract with pretzel maker Snyder’s of Hanover. When completed the solar farm will include more than 15,000 panels spanning 26 acres, directly across from the Snyder’s of Hanover corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Hanover, Pa.

Pattern Energy Group says the 101.2 MW Hatchet Ridge wind project in Burney, Calif., is now operational and selling electricity to PG&E under a 15-year power purchase agreement. RES America Construction built the wind farm infrastructure, while Siemens erected 44 of its SWT-2.3-93 wind turbines, equipped with blades manufactured in Fort Madison, Iowa. Ameron International of Fontana, Calif., supplied turbine towers. Pattern Energy says the 101.2 MW wind energy project is the only large-scale wind project in California to reach operation this year.

Airstreams Renewables, Inc. (ARI) announced plans to build a 20,000 square-foot renewable energy training center on a 33-acre parcel that ARI owns in Tehachapi, Calif. The training center will be located adjacent to a 1.5 to 2 MW solar park that a solar developer plans to build on 14 acres of ARI’s land, under lease for 33 years. Project construction is scheduled to begin in 2013. Additionally, ARI plans to significantly expand its ENSA North America subsidiary across the U.S. and Canada and to deploy additional mobile training facilities, in addition to hiring and training technical trainers.

GE’s Jenbacher announced the development of a new power-generation gas engine, the J920 engine, with electrical efficiency of 48.7 percent and an output of 9.5 MW. GE says the new engine will emit 1,500 tons of CO2 per year less than a comparable engine.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced eight joint research awards totaling nearly $5 million to support the responsible siting and permitting of offshore wind energy facilities and ocean energy generated from waves, tides, currents and thermal gradients. The following projects were selected for awards: 1) Parametrix, Auburn, Wash., $499,000 to apply probabilistic statistical methods to evaluate ocean renewable energy siting proposals; 2) Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bioacoustics Research Program, Ithaca, N.Y., $499,000 to study how offshore alternative energy (OAE) activities affect marine vertebrates; 3) University of Rhode Island, Kingston R.I., $745,000 to develop standardized data protocols for specific offshore renewable energy issues; 4) University of Washington-School of Aquatic and Fishery Scientists, Seattle, Wash., $746,000 to evaluate acoustic technologies for studying animal populations at a proposed hydrokinetic site; 5) Pacific Energy Ventures, Portland, Ore., $499,000 to build an environmental data protocol framework for evaluating offshore renewable energy projects; 6) University of Arkansas Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, Fayetteville, Ark., $497,000 to develop a spatial layout system to design, analyze and visualize offshore renewable energy projects; 7) University of Texas at Austin-Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas, $497,000 to compile information needed to establish best management practices for U.S. offshore geologic sequestration; and 8) University of Massachusetts—Marine Renewable Energy Center, Dartmouth, Mass., $748,000 for spatial survey technologies, assessment and post-development monitoring of offshore renewable energy resources and facilities.

Princeton Properties Management installed a second-phase solar energy system on its apartment community in Salem, Mass. The Princeton Properties apartment community in Salem is one of the largest single-site solar projects in the state’s history.

T&D

Telogis introduced Telogis Fleet 8, a GPS-based fleet management software designed to help fleet managers to integrate planning and operational data, field variables and location-based intelligence to make informed field-force deployment decisions.

Jacobs Engineering Group received a contract from Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) to provide on-site construction administration and inspection services to build and replace transmission lines, substations and ancillary communications projects.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $350 million loan guarantee to develop the One Nevada Transmission Line (ON Line), the first transmission line project to be offered a conditional commitment by the loan programs office of the Department of Energy. ON Line consists of a new 500 kilovolt (kV) AC transmission line that will run 235 miles, with a new substation located at the northern end of the line. The project will carry approximately 600 MW of electricity, including renewable energy resources, and is expected to integrate existing transmission systems while improving grid reliability and efficiency.

Survalent Technology commissioned a new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system for the City of Marceline, Mo. The new SmartSCADA system incorporates many of Survalent’s advanced system applications, including: event data recording, IED Wizard, control panel, SCADA add-in for MS Excel and Access, and remote alarm annunciation.

Survalent also installed a new SCADA system for Dothan Utilities, headquartered in Dothan, Ala. The new system was provided under a turnkey contract by Survalent with complete database and graphics for 40 sites. The system included Survalent’s WebSurv solution, an application to serve real-time SCADA information to users via web browser, and without the need for custom installation or maintenance.

Sioux Valley Energy released Full Spectrum’s FullMax mobile broadband system for its private wide-area mission mobile data needs. The FullMax system is used for energy related mobile workforce management applications.

Alstom Grid was selected to provide HVDC converter technology for the Tres Amigas SuperStation, a power transmission hub that will link America’s three primary electric transmission grids.

ABB won an order worth $20 million from Public Power Corp. (PPC), Greece’s national power utility, to build a 150/20 kV substation in Athens. ABB has turnkey responsibility for design, engineering, supply, and installation of the substation. Key equipment to be supplied includes eight 150kV GIS bays, three 150/20kV 100 MVA (megavolt ampere) power transformers as well as 150 arc-proof type switchgear panels. The substation will also be equipped with an IEC 61850 substation automation system to facilitate open communication between the numerous control and protection devices.

SmartGrid

The OpenADR Alliance has been formed to accelerate industry adoption of an automated demand response (ADR) standard for smart grid technologies. Smart grid standards for ADR are aimed at reducing the cost, improving the reliability, and accelerating the speed of DR and smart grid implementations across the United States. The alliance is supported by Honeywell, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Pacific Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison.

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) announced it will launch its online IEC Smart Grid Standard Mapping Solution, an interactive tool that creates a map of the smart grid and enables smart grid managers to identify IEC smart grid standards, by the end of 2010 or early 2011.

Tendril and Lockheed Martin announced they will be working to integrate Lockheed Martin’s SEEload demand response management solution with Tendril’s energy management platform. The integration enables utilities to deploy programs based on the new Open ADR standard.

Bridge Energy will serve as the smart grid integration partner for Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC). OUC will start integrating meter data management (MDM), customer information system (CIS) and outage management system (OMS) applications as part of a broader smart grid initiative. Bridge will use its eFame methodology to integrate OUC’s newly acquired eMeter MDM application with OUC’s existing CIS and OMS applications across distributed locations. Bridge’s Bridge says eFame is its system for performing strategic assessment, developing smart grid strategy, evaluating vendor products and implementing application integration.

Powerhouse Dynamics recently released eMonitor, a home energy management system that alerts users to critical items with their power usage. eMonitor connects to a home’s circuit panel and enables users to view the home’s power consumption, phantom power loss and carbon footprint.

WeatherBug announced the launch of WeatherBug Smart Grid Solutions, a group of applications using real-time, hyper-local weather intelligence to improve efficiency across utility systems.

EVs & Storage

GoSmart Technologies finished installing ChargeSPOT networked electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment at a data center being built in North Carolina. The data center, which was designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, is owned by an unnamed Fortune 500 company.

People

The Solar Electric Power Association elected Janet Gagnon and Lisa Frantzis to its board of directors. Gagnon heads government relations and lobbying efforts for SolarWorld, and serves on the boards of directors for the Solar Energy Industries Associaton, the Solar Alliance, CalSEIA, CoSEIA, and NYSEIA. Frantzis is managing director of the renewable and distributed energy practice at Navigant Consulting.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) named new members of the GridWise Alliance to its newly formed Smart Grid Advisory Committee. The Alliance members appointed to the board include: Jon Arnold, managing director of Microsoft’s worldwide power and utilities industry business; Lawrence E. Jones, Alstom Grid’s director, strategy and special projects worldwide; Terry Mohn, founder and chief strategy officer at General MicroGrids; and Simon Pontin, v.p. for development at Itron’s Oconee manufacturing facility.

Steptoe & Johnson added new attorneys to the firm’s practice. K. Jason Lucas joins the firm’s Wheeling, W.V., office and focuses his practice in the area of energy law. Diana S. Prulhiere joins the firm’s Charleston, W.V., office, focusing her practice in the area of environmental law.

Vertex appointed Barry Shurkey as global head of applications. Shurkey is responsible for leading the Vertex global applications team as it develops industry-specific IT applications.

M&A & Finance

ITOCHU and General Electric completed the first transaction under their collaboration agreement by making a co-investment in the estimated $319 million CPV Keenan II wind farm under construction in Oklahoma. GE Energy sold a portion of its $65 million preferred equity interest in the wind farm to Tyr Keenan II, an indirect subsidiary of ITOCHU. This co-investment is the first transaction under the collaboration and cooperation agreement that GE and ITOCHU finalized in May to identify co-investment opportunities in renewable energy worldwide.

Allegiance Capital facilitated T&D Solutions’ acquisition of E&R Inc., a power line maintenance services company based in North Carolina. Terms of the private transaction weren’t disclosed.

Ice Energy, which provides smart grid-enabled distributed energy storage systems, closed a $24 million Series C financing. The equity investment—from TIAA-CREF, Energy Capital Partners, Good Energies, Sail Ventures and Second Avenue Partners—provides Ice Energy with working and growth capital to support its deployment of utility-scale distributed energy storage projects. TIAA-CREF’s $4.5 million portion is its first under a new green building technology partnership with Good Energies.

1366 Technologies, a solar technology manufacturer, closed a $20 million Series B financing, bringing the company’s total amount raised to $37.55 million. Korea’s Hanwha Chemical and Ventizz Capital Fund IV joined returning investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Polaris Venture Partners in backing the company.

Energy Services

Stream Energy has begun operations in the Pennsylvania electricity market and recently started accepting residential customers’ requests for service in the PPL service area in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Gateway Energy announced its fixed-rate offer for electricity, which the company says provides 10 percent savings for residents when compared with PECO’s first-quarter price to compare. Gateway says its 8.9 cents/kWh fixed rate is guaranteed through June 30, 2011.