There are so many cleantech projects, business stories, policy stories, scientific advancements, and original pieces I want to write that I can never get to the majority of them. Here’s a quick round-up of some recent cleantech project announcements:
- IKEA is adding solar to 3 more U.S. stores. Nearly 10,000 solar panels will be installed at these 3 locations. With these 3 stores going solar, more than half of IKEA’s U.S. stores will be at least partially solar-power.
- ECOtality recently installed the first Direct Current (DC) Fast Charger in Tennessee, at a Cracker Barrel. “This is the first of 12 Cracker Barrel locations statewide that will install DC Fast Chargers as a part of The EV Project. The stations are able to charge a battery to 80 percent capacity in under 30 minutes—the fastest charge rate currently available.”
- In Scotland, the Crown Estate recently awarded seabed lease agreements to 5 offshore wind projects that could support up to 5 gigawatts (yes, gigawatts) of new capacity. Remember that Scotland has just about the most ambitious clean energy plan in the world — 100% clean, renewable energy by 2025.
- China now has plans, or is creating plans, to “invest nearly $500 billion in electric power infrastructure — including roughly $90 billion in smart grid technologies — by 2020, a strategy experts say could significantly improve the nation’s energy efficiency and cement a dominant position in the smart grid market.”
- Apple is planning a solar farm near its data center in Maiden, NC. “Permits issued by Catawba County show that the Cupertino, Calif., company has been approved to reshape the slope of some of the 171 acres of vacant land it owns on Startown Road, opposite the data center, in preparation of building a solar farm.” Currently, Apple has facilities in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; and Cork, Ireland that are 100% powered with renewable energy.
- SunEdison & Staples hit a big production milestone this month — “more than 30 million kilowatt-hours of energy produced through solar installations on Staples’ properties, which is enough to power 1,800 average U.S. homes for one year.” SunEdison has developed solar installation for 33 Staples stores in the U.S. now.
- “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are evaluating the feasibility of developing renewable energy production on Superfund, brownfields, and former landfill or mining sites.” Projects being evaluated include wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal projects for 26 sites in 20 states. So far, over 20 renewable energy projects have been built on “contaminated” sites in the U.S. or are being built on such sites.
- In New Mexico, a new 50-MW wind farm is now online — the Macho Springs Wind Farm in Deming, New Mexico. The wind farm will create enough renewable power for 14,000 local homes. The project includes 28 Vestas V100-1.8 MW wind turbines put up on ranchland. It is the first dedicated source of wind power for Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
- Saudi Arabia’s first solar power plant, a 500-kilowatt plant on Farasan Island, was inaugurated recently.
- Argentina’s largest wind power plant was inaugurated last month by Argentina’s President, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, “marking the completion of the first phase of the 77 MW Rawson Wind Power Plant I & II now installed.” The President of Emgasud, Alejandro Ivanissevich, stressed at the event that Argentina could have 5,000 MW of wind power installed by 2020. Regarding this project and Argentina’s wind power today, Vestas noted: “Once the 43 V90-1.8 MW turbines will be up and running in the beginning of 2012, the annual production of 320 GWh per year will correspond to the annual residential electricity consumption of 150,000 households in Argentina.”
Pretty inspirational to look at all these cleantech projects going up around the world, many of them firsts for a country or region or setting significant milestones and records.
Wind turbine photo by marcusjroberts
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