Archive for January 8th, 2009

Florida Solar Energy Resources

Florida Solar Energy Resources
Incentives and Rebates

State Wide
In December 2005, Governor Jeb Bush put Florida on board for new laws regarding renewable energy and solar power. The Act was signed after collaboration of energy experts, environmental activists, and industry leaders. The Act became officially active in 2006, and it is known as the 2006 Florida Energy Plan. Attempting to give Florida residents a better reason to contribute to an environmental movement, the Act provides home owners with tax incentives for refunds and advantages for using better energy efficient techniques.

Solar energy and tax rebates provide two comprehensive incentives for home owners who convert standard energy sources to solar domestic hot water and solar electric systems. The Florida Renewable Energy Association lists the federal and state wide incentives for tax payers to take advantage of the new laws and provisions made for environmentally friendly home owners.

The Florida Solar Rebate program provides up to a $500.00 rebate program for home owners who install solar hot water systems in the home. In addition to home owners, there are also rebates and incentives for business and nonprofit organizations.

The Federal Government also provides a range of incentives to conserve energy and help reform environment degradation. The Energy Act of 2005 gives tax payers up to a 30% rebate incentive on installation and equipment for solar electric or solar domestic hot water system. The incentive does not allow in excess of $2,000.00.

In July of 2008, the state had approved the construction of the largest solar power facility in the United States. The move was made to push Florida into the recent “go green” initiatives throughout the country. Three large solar plants will be constructed in the middle of the state in Martin County.

Miami
Miami has put forth an initiative to become more energy efficient. The big city has instituted some rebates for home owners to attempt to lower emissions and inefficient energy use. Home owners who install a High-Efficiency Clothes Washer are eligible for up to $150 rebate from the city.

In 2005, Miami also enacted an incentive for city builders to install energy efficient solar power panels in new buildings. This article originally appeared on Solar Power Authority. The incentive is for contractors who apply for permits for building improvements. The city promises to expedite permits submitted for commercial or residential improvements that are environmentally friendly.

To keep up with growing trends, the Miami-Ft. Lauderdale area just opened its first solar power commercial building in January 2009. The solar powered building was constructed with the idea that taking advantage of tax rebates could save the owners up to $100,000 per year or $4 per kilowatt of energy.

Tampa
Tampa has derived incentives through the city electric company, Tampa Electric. The company has provided rebates up to $30.00 per ton or $0.0025 per Btu. The incentive is for any home owner who decides to install equipment that meets Tampa Electric’s energy efficient standards.

Tampa Electric also offers incentives for businesses that install commercial units that lower energy usage during peak hours through their Commercial Load Management Program.

Orlando
OUC has a variety of rebates and incentives for home improvements that create a better energy efficient home. Incentives include up to $100.00 in rebates to install better installation in attics. Solar panels are also given incentives for rebates up to $75.00. The highest rebate also gives back $300 for home owners who install more energy efficient heat pumps.

In addition to rebates, the Orlando Utilities Commission also offers loans for home owners who wish to install solar panels. Depending on the system, customers may borrow amounts up to $15,000 to improve home energy usage through solar power.

The Orlando Utilities Commission has also introduced the Pilot Solar Program that offers to buy back credits from consumers who have installed solar panels. Incentive payments are equal to $0.05/kWh for PV and $0.03/kWh for solar water heating (SWH) systems. The payment credits show on customer utility statements monthly.

Jacksonville
Jacksonville’s energy supplier also offers businesses a way to receive energy rebates that help businesses better their community energy usage. Incentives are better for customers who use local vendors. Home owners can receive up to $800 in rebates using a local vendor, and businesses can gain up to 30% of the cost to install solar heating but no more than $5,000.00.

Jacksonville also offers owners of broken water heaters to upgrade to better efficient heaters and restore currently broken units. Owners of broken units can save up to $500 in rebates for repairs.

Solar energy brings high incentive rewards for Jacksonville residents. The city offers up to $800 to install solar power heating systems in the home. This offer is in addition to the thirty percent break from the federal government. Jacksonville has also analyzed cost and found that use of solar power products pay for themselves in five years after installation.

Tallahassee
The City of Tallahassee Utilities also offers a wide range of incentives. The city offers rebates for home owners who purchase Energy-Star plug-in appliances. Large appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and clothes washers that meet energy efficient standards and have been purchases after February 20, 2008 can be reimbursed up to $100 depending on the unit.
The city also offers a huge savings to those who decide to install more efficient insulation. Several standards are required depending on the nature of heating. Each standard offers rebates if installation meets city requirements.

For those who need financing for solar energy products, Tallahassee offers small loans with as low as 5% rates. The city provides consumers with loans of up to $20,000 to help finance more energy efficient systems in the home. They provide consumers with a loan handbook for all products that are eligible for these incentives.

Education

The Florida Energy Education Center offers programs to help consumers learn about the importance of energy efficiency. It hosts events and courses for helping the environment and providing users with the knowledge of solar power.

Magazines focusing on solar power and more efficient energy ideas can be found at http://www.homepower.com/home.

Businesses

Several businesses provide solar power installations and education for home owners who are interested in converting their energy units. Below is a list of providers who can help home owners decide which unit is best for each individual home.

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Rise & Shine: January 7, 2009

Rise & Shine: January 7, 2009

The Rise & Shine is your daily source for all solar-industry news. Brought to you by Sweet Solar Home and the Experts at SunRun.

CALIFORNIA NEWS
SolarCity and 1BOG Announce Bay Area Program
SolarCity/1BOG participants will receive 25% off the cash price of a home solar system that includes monitoring and energy audit services. Participants who choose to finance the installation through SolarCity’s SolarLease option will receive their first 3 months free by signing up through 1BOG.

City of Red Bluff Turns on 3 Solar Lights
Three solar-powered parking lot lights at Red Bluff Skate Park have made an impression on the city, and if they continue to prove their success, they may be the motivation for going green with lighting in other areas around town.

NATIONAL NEWS
Castle & Cooke Opens 1.2MW Solar System in Hawaii
The La Ola Solar Farm on Lana’i, which uses SunPower trackers, is expected to generate approximately 3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. The power is being purchased by Maui Electric Company.

Amtech Receives US $5M in Solar Orders
Amtech’s solar subsidiary, Tempress Systems, has received approximately US $5M in orders for its diffusion processing systems for solar system manufacturing from two new customers.

Delays Keeping Local Solar Electrical System in the Dark
Homeowners in New Orleans can qualify for state tax credits that could refund as much as 50% of the cost of a system, but solar pioneers are finding that the process is anything but smooth.

Developers Diversified Begins Income Producing Solar Energy Program
Developers Diversified Realty, a real estate investment trust that develops and manages retail properties, has launched an income-producing solar energy program in partnership with SunEdison.

Why Skies Aren’t Too Dim for Solar
Given the economic uncertainty, consumers are reluctant to commit large amounts of money

Solar Panels Are a Good Idea if Affordable
The Tucson City Council is scheduled to consider a $7.6 million bond proposal today to add solar panels to seven city buildings.

Even if Money is Tight, City Leaders Say Spending Money on Solar is Worthwhile
Tucson city leaders point out the investment will save more money than it will cost.

UTILITY INDUSTRY & REGULATORY NEWS
Smart Grid Could Create 280,000 Smart Jobs
A new energy-efficient infrastructure could be coming to the U.S. with the new administration, and up to 280,000 new jobs could be created from the deployment of smart grid technology alone, according to a report by the GridWise Alliance.

SEPA Releases Utility Procurement Study: Solar Electricity in the Utility Market
The report, which is aimed at improving large scale acquisition by electric utilities, provides innovative ideas for future project procurement.

FINANCIAL NEWS & MARKETS
Financial of Venture Capital for Green Tech Slow
Solar power attracted more venture capital last year than any other form of green technology.

Solar Stocks Start 2009 With Bad News but Shrug it Off
The early days of 2009 are so far putting out a good share of negative news: sell recommendations from research analysts, a dire outlook from LDK, and Evergreen Solar shuttering a pilot plant. Investors, though, are shutting their ears to the bad news.

MARKETS & MARKET RESEARCH
Solar Market Efficiency: Riding the Sustainability Wave Home?
Costs downstream of manufacturing have been high-particularly in the U.S. That’s why there is a major opportunity for those companies that reduce transaction costs for small purchases, such as in residential applications.

TECHNOLOGY
Japanese Researchers Pave Way for Artificial Photosynthesis
A Japanese research group has discovered a way to use sunlight to reduce CO2 to CO, which can then be used as a chemical engineering material.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Perpetual Energy Systems Activates Four Solar PV Systems
Perpetual Energy Systems (PES), a comprehensive financier and developer of solar-powered renewable energy systems, and Foster’s Wine Estates Americas, a subsidiary of Foster’s Group in Australia, have activated four solar installations.

Yingli Green Energy Acquires Cyber Power Group
To fund the acquisition, the company used available cash on hand and committed to issuing senior secured convertible notes due in 2012 to Trustbridge Partners II LP.

Abu Dhabi: The Prince of Solar Technology?
Though reported to have 8.5% of the world’s oil reserves and 3.3% of the world’s gas reserves, Abu Dhabi has launched a fund worth more than US $10 billion to find advanced renewable energy technology solutions to climate change.

New Solar Credit Scheme Will Fluctuate Payouts
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the Australian Federal Government has revoked the $8,000 rebate for solar panel installations to households with less than $100,000 a year income, only implemented 7 months ago.

Are you in California and interested in solar for your home? Call us at 877.SUN.MOJO or visit our website to learn more.

Visit the original post at: Solar Power News

Solar Power, Inc. to Present at the 11th Annual Needham Growth Stock Conference
For more information about the conference, visit: www.needhamco.com
clipped from www.reuters.comSolar Power, Inc. (OTCBB:SOPW), a vertically integrated manufacturer of
photovoltaic (PV) modules and marketer, designer and installer of PV solar
electric systems for commercial, public and residential…

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JA Solar Signs Deal with Solar Power

JA Solar Signs Deal with Solar Power
The deal allows the Chinese company to further penetrate into lucrative U.S. markets. clipped from green.tmcnet.comChinese solar power company JA Solar Holding Co. has signed a deal with Solar Power to supply 60 megawatts of solar cells.
Solar Power says the 60 megawatts of solar cells are enough…

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Solar energy project makes advances in costs
At a cost of 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour it costs less than the 9-cent benchmark for conventional electricity. clipped from www.latimes.com
Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy in San Diego, just took the wraps off a 10-megawatt solar farm in Nevada. That’s small by industry standards,…

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Jobs In Solar: HVAC CAD Engineer (Evanston, IL)
Reply to: job-980762862@craigslist.org
Date: 2009-01-05, 7:54AM CST

The CAD Engineer evaluates and creates construction documents incorporating Geothermal HVAC systems into residential, commercial and industrial buildings. She or he works closely with engineering, and project management to meet all proposal and construction deadlines. He or she is reliable, self motivated and works well in a fast-paced, team-work environment.

Position Objectives:
- Create HVAC permit, coordination and shop drawings.
- Estimate turnkey system pricing for commercial, residential and industrial developments.

Essential Duties:
- Take off ductwork, piping, controls and equipment from plans and specs.
- Create detailed CAD drawings for all phases of the bidding and construction process.
- Collect and deliver project submittals.
- Review project scope of work and define list of inclusions and exclusions.
- Obtain bids and pricing from subcontractors.
- Review applicable building codes and standards.
- Communicate effectively with manufacturers, builders, designers and managers.

Education and Experience:
2-year degree (4-year degree preferred)
2 years of experience in the construction trades
1 year of experience creating AutoCAD drawings

Preferred Skills:
- AutoCAD/Revit MEP knowledge.
- Working knowledge of HVAC and Plumbing construction practices.
- Some experience with evaluation of local code compliance
- High proficiency in Microsoft Excel.
- Ability to communicate effectively through written and verbal means.
- Strengths in overall organization.

About Indie Energy Services Company

Indie Energy is a leading provider of integrated clean energy systems for buildings. We offer turn-key solutions from engineering to construction and commissioning to maintenance for large scale developments, adaptive re-use, and institutional retrofits.

Using highly cost effective energy exchange technologies, Indie Energy combines geothermal, solar thermal, and intelligent HVAC system design to deliver dramatic advantages to developers and owner-operators. We have one of the largest geothermal drilling operations in the U.S.A.

www.indieenergy.com

-Compensation: competitive salary and full benefits package.
-Open position is Full-Time.
-Please email resume and cover letter to rolden@indieenergy.com
-Indie Energy is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

Location: Evanston, IL

  • Compensation: 50,000 – 70,000
  • OK to highlight this job opening for persons with disabilities
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.
  • Phone calls about this job are ok.
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

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Check Out These Solar Sunglasses

Check Out These Solar Sunglasses

Sunglasses are known to help people be protected from the rays of the sun. After all, walking around when the sun is up can be pretty irritating. If you have got sunglasses though, you get to walk around looking all cool and not that be irritated by the light from the sun.

Now, there are sunglasses which are not only going to help you face the light of the sun. These new solar sunglasses are also going to absorb the rays of the sun and then help your gadgets get more juice in case they’re running low already. This is the Self-Energy Converting Sunglasses and it’s a creation of Hyun-Joong Kim and of Kwang-Seok Jeong.

I think these sunglasses are pretty nice. See, you get to wear them as you would wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses. Then, there is this wire that you can plug your gadget into to get juiced up. So it’s pretty nice and simple. But it does work well.

Source: cnet News

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Check Out These Solar Sunglasses

Check Out These Solar Sunglasses

Sunglasses are known to help people be protected from the rays of the sun. After all, walking around when the sun is up can be pretty irritating. If you have got sunglasses though, you get to walk around looking all cool and not that be irritated by the light from the sun.

Now, there are sunglasses which are not only going to help you face the light of the sun. These new solar sunglasses are also going to absorb the rays of the sun and then help your gadgets get more juice in case they’re running low already. This is the Self-Energy Converting Sunglasses and it’s a creation of Hyun-Joong Kim and of Kwang-Seok Jeong.

I think these sunglasses are pretty nice. See, you get to wear them as you would wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses. Then, there is this wire that you can plug your gadget into to get juiced up. So it’s pretty nice and simple. But it does work well.

Source: cnet News

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Hydrail 5th International Conference June 11 12 2009

The Fifth International Hydrail Conference is gearing up to talk about hydrogen railway trains in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 11 – 12, 2009. The focus of the conference will be threefold including mass production of carbon-free hydrogen, economic commitment to avoid other competing (and more expensive or more polluting) rail technologies, and promoting hydrolley (hydrogen trolleys) for urban transportation.

One of the spotlights at the conference will be on Canada’s role in promoting the hydrail industry. The Canadian Consulate to NC will help produce the conference and several Canadian speakers will be present as well.

Over a year ago I had talked about how Thunder Bay in Ontario was getting involved in the hydrail movement. This region is once again calling their government into action to put federal stimulus dollars behind the hydrail movement to create cleaner air and greener jobs.

The recent merger between Canada’s top two hydrogen and fuel cell organizations may also play a pivotal roll in the hydrail development. The Canadian Hydrogen Association (CHA) has announced that it is merging with Hydrogen & Fuel Cells Canada (H2FCC) to form the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA).

The combined forces of these two powerhouse organizations into one will most assuredly have positive impact on the development of hydrogen cars, buses, hydrail systems and the supporting infrastructure in Canada.

For the U. S. more work has to be done. In late December, the first hydrolley article was published on the Barack Obama website. Efforts like this and the hydrail conference taking place this summer will keep the merits of hydrogen trains before the eyes of the political decision-makers who are starting to come around to the idea that a change from the same old ways of thinking will do us all much good.

Visit the original post at: Fuel Cell News

ZeaChem Piles On $34M for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Cellulosic ethanol startup ZeaChem is one of the firms that has been racing to build a next-generation biofuel plant in the United States. On Wednesday, the company announced that it has raised a sizable round of funding — $34 million — to help implement that goal, and the company expects to start construction on a 1.5 million gallon per year plant in Boardman, Ore., sometime in 2009.

Fundraising is no easy task in this economic climate. But it’s easier for a company like ZeaChem, which is already 7 years old and has moved past the R&D phase. CEO Jim Imbler told us on Tuesday that he thinks it will be the biofuel businesses that are closer to execution that will survive this difficult year — “If you’re still focused on the “magic” of the technology it’s going to be a tough year ahead,” said Imbler.

zeachem-labsmall

Another milestone for ZeaChem is that giant petroleum refiner Valero Energy Corporation joined the company’s latest round as a strategic investor, and the company could help when it comes to reaching the massive scale needed to supply fuels for mainstream transportation needs. Valero has also invested in other renewable fuel companies like algae fuel developer Solix Biofuels.

ZeaChem’s funding was co-led by Globespan Partners and PrairieGold Venture Partners (a South Dakota firm) and also included Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Firelake Capital. This latest funding brings the company’s total to $40 million, including a $6 million round raised in the summer of 2007.

ZeaChem says its process of converting plants and trees into ethanol produces 40 percent more ethanol per ton of biomass than any known competitor. That’s a bold claim, given the number of competitors (which includes startups Coskata, Mascoma and Range Fuels and larger companies like Iogen and Poet).

ZeaChem’s process uses a combination of biological processes to convert the sugars into acetate and then gasifies the remainder, tough lignin and all, into hydrogen before mixing the two streams in a reaction called hydrogenolysis to produce ethanol. The company is first concentrating on poplar trees — one of the reasons it chose the Boardman, Ore., location — as a low cost feedstock, and has a deal with GreenWood Resources for its (sustainably harvested!) poplar supply.

ZeaChem’s funding is one of the first larger cleantech investments of 2009. In 2008, biofuel was the second-most-funded area, and it received 11 percent (or $904 million) of the year’s total funding, according to the Cleantech Group. We’re predicting that biofuels receive less funding in 2009, but for now, the sector is off to a good start.






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ZeaChem Piles On $34M for Cellulosic Ethanol Plant

Cellulosic ethanol startup ZeaChem is one of the firms that has been racing to build a next-generation biofuel plant in the United States. On Wednesday, the company announced that it has raised a sizable round of funding — $34 million — to help implement that goal, and the company expects to start construction on a 1.5 million gallon per year plant in Boardman, Ore., sometime in 2009.

Fundraising is no easy task in this economic climate. But it’s easier for a company like ZeaChem, which is already 7 years old and has moved past the R&D phase. CEO Jim Imbler told us on Tuesday that he thinks it will be the biofuel businesses that are closer to execution that will survive this difficult year — “If you’re still focused on the “magic” of the technology it’s going to be a tough year ahead,” said Imbler.

zeachem-labsmall

Another milestone for ZeaChem is that giant petroleum refiner Valero Energy Corporation joined the company’s latest round as a strategic investor, and the company could help when it comes to reaching the massive scale needed to supply fuels for mainstream transportation needs. Valero has also invested in other renewable fuel companies like algae fuel developer Solix Biofuels.

ZeaChem’s funding was co-led by Globespan Partners and PrairieGold Venture Partners (a South Dakota firm) and also included Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Firelake Capital. This latest funding brings the company’s total to $40 million, including a $6 million round raised in the summer of 2007.

ZeaChem says its process of converting plants and trees into ethanol produces 40 percent more ethanol per ton of biomass than any known competitor. That’s a bold claim, given the number of competitors (which includes startups Coskata, Mascoma and Range Fuels and larger companies like Iogen and Poet).

ZeaChem’s process uses a combination of biological processes to convert the sugars into acetate and then gasifies the remainder, tough lignin and all, into hydrogen before mixing the two streams in a reaction called hydrogenolysis to produce ethanol. The company is first concentrating on poplar trees — one of the reasons it chose the Boardman, Ore., location — as a low cost feedstock, and has a deal with GreenWood Resources for its (sustainably harvested!) poplar supply.

ZeaChem’s funding is one of the first larger cleantech investments of 2009. In 2008, biofuel was the second-most-funded area, and it received 11 percent (or $904 million) of the year’s total funding, according to the Cleantech Group. We’re predicting that biofuels receive less funding in 2009, but for now, the sector is off to a good start.






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Feds Could Have Saved $25.9B Since 2001: Report

Federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency could have saved nearly $26 billion over the last eight years had they implemented more than 13,000 recommendations from the Inspectors General. That’s the finding in a new report released yesterday by the Congressional oversight committee.

The Department of Energy alone could have cut costs by more than $8 million, according to the report. In a time when the U.S. faces a potential record deficit of $1.2 trillion, and companies are lining up for DOE loans, grants, and guarantees to push ahead with electric vehicles and energy storage technology, that extra dough would have come in handy.

“If someone told me that I was losing change from a hole in my pocket and instead of mending it I kept losing money, shame on me. But that’s what has happened over the past seven years,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, who worked on the report with Rep. Henry Waxman and Rep. Edolphus Towns. “It’s time to finally get out some needle and thread.”

ocsavings






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Grass Phone Biodegrades After Two Years

Je-Hyun Kim’s Natural Year Phone design almost makes cell phones cool in my book. The phone, which is made up of hay, a screen, and keys, is designed only to last as long as its functional life cycle (2 years) before it biodegrades and falls apart.

Read more of this story »

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Continental Gives Flight to Algae-Jatropha Jet Fuel

continentallogoContinental Airlines completed a 90-minute test flight this afternoon using biofuel derived from algae and jatropha. The twin-engine Boeing 737-800 flew out of Houston with one engine operating on a 50-50 blend of biofuels and conventional jet fuel, and the other using all conventional fuel for comparison. Although biofuel-powered test flights took off last year — beginning with Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic run and culminating with Air New Zealand’s trial last week — Continental’s flight today represents the first biofuels test in the U.S. with a commercial jet.

After swooping over the Gulf of Mexico toward Louisiana, the Boeing returned to Houston’s international airport at 1:45 p.m. Boeing spokesperson Terrance Scott told us the engine with the biofuels mix ran more efficiently than the control engine: “It blew it out of the water,” he said. Continental officials told reporters on the ground that the biofuels-mix engine burned 3,600 pounds of fuel, compared with 3,700 pounds of fuel for the all-conventional engine, the Houston Chronicle reports. That means the biofuels-mix saved a whopping 100 pounds of fuel, or 0.03 percent of the regular load. (Scott said density differences between the two fuels would not account for the savings.)

“We have been working very diligently to reduce our carbon footprint over the last 10 years,” Continental’s managing director of global environmental affairs told Bloomberg today. But do all of these test runs really bring the airline industry any closer to cleaning up its act? Last February, when Virgin made a splash with its biofuel flight, it drew criticism for two reasons: It used the wrong kind of biofuel (derived from coconut oil and babassu nuts) and not enough of it (only 5 percent of the total fuel mix).

Air New Zealand and Continental, meanwhile, both turned to startups — Terasol Energy and Sapphire Energy — for second-generation of biofuels, avoiding the food-fuel mire that befell Branson. They also stepped the proportion of biofuels up to more respectable double-digits. But as much as pond-scum jet fuel grew in 2008, a yield of only 0.03 percent fuel savings means there’s hasty work to be done if the aviation industry is to achieve its goal of carbon-neutral growth.






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