Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 9 April 2013

Wind industry in holding pattern, awaiting new tax rules
April 5, 2013 - As long as construction starts before year-end, wind and geothermal properties are eligible for the Production Tax Credit. The problem, Hinckley writes, is no one is exactly sure what it means to begin construction.

The IRS issued an important piece of guidance related to clean energy finance this week. It is the annual inflation adjustment for the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and it increased the credit from 2.2 to 2.3 cents per kWh for full qualifying energy property like wind and geothermal, while the partial credit for sources like open-loop biomass and incremental hydro remained at 1.1 cents per kWh (also adjusted were the inflation factors for Indian and refined coal).

PTC Rules

More important is what is still missing – despite widespread expectation for a first quarter release, the long awaited rules on how to determine the start of construction for purposes of determining what projects will be PTC eligible at the end of 2013 still have not been issued. read more>>>

US Army Blows Away The Renewable Energy Competition
April 6, 2013 - We’ve been noticing for the past few years now that the Army, Navy, and Air Force have been in hot competition to see which branch of the armed services can install the most renewable energy, with the Coast Guard and Marine Corps also involved. Well, it looks like this week’s bragging rights go to the Army. Fort Bliss in Texas has just announced that it will get the single largest military renewable energy project ever undertaken by the US, in the form of a 20 megawatt solar array at the base. To ice the sustainability cake, Fort Bliss is one of the Army’s original “Net Zero” leaders, so the new project could serve as a role model for similar projects at other Department of Defense facilities, too. read more>>>

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At Chicago event, clean tech investment enters a new phase
While the initial sheen of the clean tech industry may have worn off for investors, that’s not necessarily bad news.

At the Clean Energy Challenge last week in Chicago, experts including venture capitalist Ira Ehrenpreis and U.S. Department of Energy official Dr. David Danielson acknowledged the challenges and dropping investment clean tech has faced in the past year, due in part to the economy and political maneuvering. read more>>>

Monroe Twp. council OKs new regulations for private solar and wind energy systems
April 05, 2013 - Monroe residents will now have more defined regulations for those looking to install their own solar or wind energy system after the township council passed an ordinance outlining what will be allowed in the township for private small wind and solar energy systems.

The ordinance lays out a number of new measures, including lot size requirements and the amount of energy that can be generated from said systems.

In a 6-1 vote, the township council voted to restrict residents from having solar or wind systems in their front yards and no locals with under a three-acre lot can own such a system. read more>>>

Air/Q: Safer, Greener, More Effective Air Freshening for the Home

The Pentagon Advances Green Construction
08 April 2013 - The United States Department of Defense (DOD) hopes to raise its green building credentials by commissioning a comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of its global building facilities from a team of leading industry experts.

The DoD has commissioned the formation of a six-member panel by the US National Research Council (NRC), one of America’s leading scientific advisory bodies, to conduct a review of the sustainability of its building facilities around the world, which number nearly a half a million in total. read more>>>

New Niagara Tunnel Helps Ontario Replace Coal with Hydro
April 4, 2013 - The province of Ontario is harnessing more renewable electricity from Niagara Falls through the just-completed Niagara Tunnel Project, as part of its plan to phase out its coal-fired power plants by the end of 2014.

The new tunnel, which is more than 10 kilometers (six miles) in length, carries water from the Niagara River to the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. This will supply Ontario with enough electricity to power the homes and businesses of a city the size of Barrie, a central Ontario city of 136,000. read more>>>


Encon Solar and Westport Celebrate the Opening of Metro-North's First Solar Transportation Hub
April 08, 2013 - Encon Solar is proud to announce that the first electric-vehicle charging station on the Metro-North Rail Line is now officially open for business at Westport's historic Saugatuck train station, culminating three years of town planning and paving the way for similar installations that capitalize on the cost and environmental benefits of solar energy. State and local officials hailed the new solar transportation hub as a model for the rest of the state at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 1.

"The renovated station is 'green' and on the cutting edge," said Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff. "Solar panels will provide the power for the interior of the station house, platform, and parking lot lighting, and four electric-vehicle charging stations outside." There is room to expand the charging hub to accommodate up to 20 vehicles. read more>>>

Energetic Energies: Panasonic and Akihisa Hirata Unveil Solar-Powered Cityscape at Milan Design Week
04/08/13 - As Milan Design Week kicks off, Panasonic is preparing to unveil its “Energetic Energies” exhibition designed by Japanese architect Akihisa Hirata. Installed beneath the Largo Richini Portico at the University of Milano, the 30-meter-long structure features hundreds of solar panels scattered over representations of city rooftops. Instead of laying the panels in a conventional pane, Hirata designed small solar units that grow out of the cityscape in an organic, tree-like way, mimicking the versatile adaptation of plants to the position of the sun.

The “Energetic Energies” installation continues to reexamine the way solar panels are deployed, drawing from last year’s “Photosynthesis” exhibit, also designed in collaboration between Panasonic and Hirata. Instead of positioning the panels to face the same way, Hirata proposes a three-dimensional structure reminiscent of flora-covered hills. The cityscape, made out of randomly arranged cubes, looks like a solar-powered garden that fuses technology with nature. read more>>>

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