Renewable Energy

2 universities in DC make deal to buy solar power

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two universities in the nation's capital have agreed to a major energy deal to buy more than half their power from three new solar power farms that will be built in North Carolina, the schools announced Monday night.

George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital announced the 20-year agreement with Duke Energy Renewables to reduce their carbon footprints by directly tapping solar energy.

The Capital Partners Solar Project will break ground this summer near Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Once fully operational in 2015 with 243,000 solar panels, the three solar farms are expected to generate 123 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Planners said that translates to eliminating about 60,000 metric tons of carbon emissions per year or taking 12,500 cars off the road.

Competitors appear excited by Tesla’s move to open up patents

Source: 
The Washington Post

BMW and Nissan are among automakers showing interest in the more than 690 patents Tesla has acquired, which include many for the electric vehicle maker’s unique battery designs, The Washington Post reports.

Cool Energy reporting success in efforts to harness waste heat

Source: 
Daily Camera

CEO Sam Weaver of Cool Energy, based in Boulder, Colo., has high hopes for the company’s deal with Calif. solar firm Edisun Heliostats Inc. to provide a 25-kilowatt engine that harnesses waste heat from rock bed storage, the Daily Camera reports.

Oncor testing backup batteries in Dallas

Source: 
Texas Tribune

Electricity transmission company Oncor is installing five batteries for testing around South Dallas this summer, designed to provide emergency power in the event of a blackout on the grid, the Texas Tribune reports.

Chemists at Rice improve technique for solar components

Source: 
FuelFix

Rice University researchers, publishing in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Journal of Material Chemistry A, say they’ve found a simpler and more efficient way to create black silicon, a key component in solar panels, FuelFix reports.

Community solar gardens a growing trend

Source: 
The New York Times

A concept pioneered in Colorado – groups of people banding together to invest in solar projects in their communities and getting credit for them on their electricity bills – is growing across the country, The New York Times reports.

Harley-Davidson introduces electric motorcycle

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Harley-Davidson has introduced its first electric motorcycle, a sleek, futuristic bike that sounds like a jet airplane taking off and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds.

The bike isn't in production yet. Instead, the public will get its first look at handmade demonstration models at an invitation-only event Monday in New York. The company will then take the models on the road for riders to try and provide feedback. Harley will use the information to refine the bike, which might not hit the market for several more years.

Lawsuit: Extending eagle death permits illegal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A conservation group says it's suing the Obama administration over a new federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to seek approval to kill or injure eagles for 30 years.

The lawsuit from the American Bird Conservancy was expected to be filed Thursday in federal court in San Jose, California. A copy of the complaint was obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The group argues that the rule, which extended by 25 years the length of time companies may kill or injure eagles without fear of prosecution, is illegal because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service failed to evaluate the consequences and ensure it would not damage eagle populations. The Obama administration classified the rule as an administrative change, excluding it from a full environmental review.

New online tool to nominate buildings for solar projects

Source: 
USA Today

Mosaic, which uses crowdsourcing to fund solar projects, has launched a new online tool that lets people nominate buildings to receive rooftop solar panels, with the company donating $100 toward an installation each time one gets 50 clicks, USA Today reports.

Sustainable energy hub for Asia launched

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Asian Development Bank and two U.N. agencies launched a hub Wednesday to mobilize investments and innovation to bring clean energy to the Asia Pacific region, where more than 600 million people lack electricity and 1.8 billion use firewood and charcoal at home.

Energy demand is soaring in the region on the back of economic and population growth, and the ADB said that by 2035 developing countries in the region will account for 56 percent of global energy use, up from 34 percent in 2010. They will need more than $200 billion in energy investments by 2030.

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