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Cleantech News: Top Gear Racetrack Goes Solar; Largest REC Solar Power Project in India Registered; Hawaii Wind Farms Move Along; Fisker Doing Well…


Hope you all enjoyed your 3-day weekend! (Well, those of you in the US.) Here’s some more top cleantech news from around:

Solar Power

eSolar and Sanmina-SCI Partner to Advance CSP: eSolar and Sanmina-SCI have “announced that they have partnered to leverage their respective expertise in solar thermal energy solutions, local content-optimized component design, and manufacturing to offer industry-leading cost and value for utility-scale power plants.

“eSolar, the leading provider of modular, scalable concentrating solar power (CSP) plant technology, and Sanmina-SCI, a leading integrated manufacturing services company that produces some of the world’s most complex products, will work to optimize eSolar’s solar collector system product offering – a system already deployed in operating CSP facilities.”

Speeding Up Solar Energy Storage Research by Improving the Search for Electrocatalytics: “…finding an efficient way to store solar energy is a major goal for science and society. Efforts today are focused on electrolysis reactions that use sunlight to convert water, carbon dioxide, or other abundant feedstocks into chemicals that can be stored for use any time.

“A key stumbling block, however, is finding inexpensive and readily available electrocatalysts that facilitate these solar-driven reactions. Now, that quest for catalysts may become much easier thanks to research led by Stahl and UW-Madison staff scientist James Gerken and their colleagues.

“Writing this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the Wisconsin group describes a new high-throughput method to identify electrocatalysts for water oxidation.”

Top Gear Race Track Goes Solar: “Best known as home to the BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ race track, Dunsfold Park is attracting interest as the first business park in Surrey to be powered entirely by ‘green energy.’ Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited installed 8,500 ground level solar panels at Dunsfold aerodrome.”

Largest Solar Power Project Under India’s REC Scheme Is Registered: “The largest solar power project under the Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) scheme has been granted the certificate of registration by the central nodal agency on 22 May 2012. The solar PV power project has a generation capacity of 8.5 MW owned by Jain Irrigation Systems Limited.”

Wind Power

First Wind’s 69-MW Kawailoa Wind Project on Oahu’s North Shore Under Construction: “RMT, Inc. (RMT), a renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor specializing in the design and construction of wind and solar energy generating facilities, has commenced heavy construction at First Wind’s 69-MW Kawailoa Wind project on Oahu’s North Shore.”

First Wind’s 21-MW KWP II Wind Project in Maui, Hawaii Completed: RMThas also “completed final turbine erection and energized the electrical system at First Wind’s 21-MW KWP II Wind project in Maui, Hawaii, in early May.”

Clean Transportation

Axion Awarded $150,000 to Work on Commercialization Plan for PbC Batteries: “Axion Power International Inc (OTC Bulletin Board: AXPW), the developer of advanced lead­-carbon PbC® batteries and energy storage systems, [has] announced that it has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to fund a commercialization plan for the use of its PbC batteries in a ‘low-cost, high-efficiency’ dual battery architecture for micro-hybrid vehicles.”

EV Highway Enters Washington: “A ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the expansion of the West Coast Electric Highway in Washington State with the opening of charging stations along Interstate-5” will take place tomorrow, May 30, at the Sehome Village Shopping Center in Bellingham, Washington.

Fisker Doing Better: “Fisker Automotive, the leading manufacturer of luxury Electric Vehicles with extended range (EVer™), today published its first business update by announcing that revenues had exceeded $100 million in the first four months of 2012,” the company noted today. “The company, which began deliveries of the Fisker Karma luxury four-door electric sedan in December 2011, also revealed that it has delivered 1000 vehicles to customers in the US and Europe.”

Biofuels Initiative Launched by Aviation Leaders: “United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust have announced the launch of Midwest Aviation Sustainable Biofuels Initiative (MASBI). MASBI has been designed to advance aviation biofuel development in a 12-state region of the United States holding significant promise for biomass feedstock, technology development, job creation and sustainable commercialization.”


China to Spend$26.8 Billion on Domestic Energy Efficiency Markets: China has allocated 170 billion yuan (approx. $26.8 billion) for energy-saving measures in the domestic and industrial sector.

Sandia National Laboratories & DOE Launch Online Energy Storage Tool: “Partnering with DNV-KEMA, a global testing and consulting firm, Sandia is releasing Energy Storage Select, or ES-Select, software under a public license to the company. The tool makes it easier to conduct a quick, high-level analysis of energy storage options and determine the value of energy storage technologies for a specified application, which developers say will increase the adoption of energy storage technologies.”

Vote for Brighter Planet’s Sparkwire App: “The Department of Energy’s ‘Apps for Energy‘ challenge… has inspired scores of submissions from software developers across the country to build off the DOE’s new ‘Green Button‘ standard, which enables customers to access their energy usage data from their utilities. 15 utilities serving 27 million households have committed to using the Green Button.

“The spark we need is better integration. For most of these Green Button apps to work well, you have to log in to your utility account and manually download and import your latest energy usage data every time—a hassle that will keep most people from becoming regular users. This is where our own DOE challenge app, Sparkwire, comes in. You can connect any app to your energy usage data by just telling Sparkwire your utility site login once and letting it automatically import your most recent data whenever it’s needed. Sparkwire is designed to grease the gears of the energy app ecosystem, enabling the efficient flow of Green Button energy data from utilities to the many applications that rely on it, and making it easier all of us to enjoy the benefits of the smart grid.

“Please vote for Sparkwire (you don’t have to create an account, just sign in with Facebook or Twitter). You can also vote for other apps that Sparkwire will help make viable.”

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