New Solar, Wind Rebate Program Launched in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) Executive Director Mitchell Adams recently unveiled a new $5 million program from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust to expand the production and use of solar photovoltaic, wind electric and micro-hydroelectric technologies in Massachusetts.
“Supporting hundreds of new clean energy projects will help create new jobs and economic opportunity for small, medium and large clean energy businesses that manufacture, install and service solar and wind technologies,” - Rob Pratt, Renewable Energy Trust Director The Trust is providing rebates to homeowners, businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and other organizations seeking to harness clean energy. The goal is to support 400-500 small-scale renewable energy installations across the state. Through its highly successful Solar-to-Market Initiative and similar programs, the Trust spurred the installation of 206 solar systems during the past two years with an additional 70 systems in the pipeline.
“Just in time for spring and summer, Massachusetts is open for business with clean energy rebates that will jumpstart more solar and small wind projects than ever in the state’s history,” said Adams. “In the past two years alone, we exceeded the total number of solar systems installed in Massachusetts during the previous decade.”
Applicants are encouraged to work with experienced, professional designers and installers listed online at www.nesea.org or www.sebane.org. The rebates are designed to offset 25% - 50% of the cost of these clean energy systems. A well designed, on-site renewable energy system on an energy efficient home or building can meet 40% - 75% of the site’s electricity needs.
“Supporting hundreds of new clean energy projects will help create new jobs and economic opportunity for small, medium and large clean energy businesses that manufacture, install and service solar and wind technologies,” said Renewable Energy Trust Director Rob Pratt. “These technologies offer ways for individuals to impact the way we generate electricity by tapping into clean, renewable sources of power.”
“My solar panels are operating flawlessly and provide much of the electricity I need for my apartment,” said Ethan Hoag, a resident of East Boston who had a system installed in 2003. “I am concerned about our environment, and I would definitely recommend others pursue clean energy opportunities.”
“When I was thinking about some home improvement projects like a new roof, I really wanted to do something good for our environment,” said Janis Anderson, a resident of Jamaica Plain. “I am thrilled with the solar panels I had installed through this program, which made it easy and more affordable. It enabled me to do my part to help reduce the pollution of our environment.”
Competitive grants from the Trust drive down the cost of installing systems in Massachusetts. The Trust is working with the IBEW-Local 103 electricians union to expand the number of qualified electricians who install small-scale solar and wind systems. The Trust is also working with the Solar Energy Business Association of New England to promote the solar industry so it can compete effectively in the global marketplace.
Massachusetts is home to some of the fastest growing renewable energy companies, which are creating hundreds of new jobs and producing cutting-edge technologies to harness power from the wind, sun, water, biomass and fuel cells. Companies like RWE Schott Solar and Evergreen Solar are manufacturing and exporting solar panels. The Trust’s new $5 million program includes extra incentives for products made in Massachusetts as a way to strengthen the growing cluster of clean energy companies in Massachusetts.
Nevada Hydro and Siemens PT&D Join Forces; Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage Project to Benefit from Partnership
Nevada Hydro Company, Inc. has selected Siemens Power, Transmission and Distribution as the Engineer, Procure and Construction Contractor for the Lake Elsinore Advanced Pump Storage Project (LEAPS) and the Talega-Escondido/Valley-Serrano (TE/VS) 500 kV Interconnection Projects. The announcement is welcome news to project supporters, including the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, and comes on the heels of Congress and the President agreeing to the creation of a comprehensive national energy policy that encourages projects that can store a region’s renewable energy resources.
The selection of Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution was based on advanced Siemens technology that makes the project more efficient while at the same time protecting the environment. “We are delighted to be chosen as a principle supplier for the LEAPS and TE/VS Projects”, said Dave Pacyna, President & CEO of Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc. “Reliable, low cost energy supply is a top priority in California these days. We feel that this project represents a great opportunity to employ our proven technology to help the citizens of Southern California meet their energy needs”, he said.
When completed, LEAPS and TE/VS will be able to generate 500 Megawatts of electricity that can be carried over a high voltage connection between Southern California Edison’s (SCE) transmission grid to the North and San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) to the South. LEAPS will be a hydroelectric generation facility that creates power by recycling water between Lake Elsinore and an upper reservoir located in the Cleveland National Forest. Water will flow into Lake Elsinore during high demand periods and is then pumped back into the upper reservoir during times when demand for power is low. The generation and transmission of the additional power will help alleviate power shortages by utilizing a sophisticated control technology regulating the flow of water in and out of Lake Elsinore.
Nevada Hydro Vice President Rex Wait expressed his enthusiasm over the environmental aspects of the pump storage operation and the use of modern technology to minimize the impact on the environment. “Some renewable energy sources like wind or solar are limited - when no wind exists or the sun isn’t shining, there’s no power generation. This project may eventually serve over 1 million homes and would complement new renewable energy resources with its ability to store energy in periods of low demand and high generation. The hydro plant offers a fast peaking capability during periods of high demand or during system disturbances,” said Wait.
Among other environmental improvements, the construction of a reservoir in the Cleveland National Forest to create a source of hydroelectric power will assist in the stabilization of Lake Elsinore’s lake level - something local officials have struggled with for several decades.
Pending agency approvals and certified compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, the LEAPS project will ensure a reliable clean supply of power for Southern California as well as stabilizing the level and oxygenating the water of Lake Elsinore.
Siemens PT&D is a United States subsidiary of Siemens AG, a German-based multinational company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “SI”. The PT&D Division is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina employing over 1,000 people across the United States. In addition, other Siemens business subsidiaries employ approximately 5,000 people in California. The selection of Siemens PT&D as the EPC Contractor followed the earlier selections of Voith-Siemens as the supplier of the LEAPS Project’s power generation equipment. Siemens PT&D has been supplying major turnkey high voltage projects in California for more than 20 years.
Floor Statement of Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich:
The Supplemental for Hurricane Katrina
WASHINGTON - September 2 - Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) gave the following speech today on the House floor during a special session to provide relief money for the victims of Hurricane Katrina:
â€œThis amount of money is only a fraction of what is needed and everyone here knows it. Let it go forward quickly with heart-felt thanks to those who are helping to save lives with necessary food, water, shelter, medical care and security. Congress must also demand accountability with the appropriations. Because until there are basic changes in the direction of this government, this tragedy will multiply to apocalyptic proportions.
â€œThe Administration yesterday said that no one anticipated the breach of the levees. Did the Administration not see or care about the 2001 FEMA warning about the risk of a devastating hurricane hitting the people of New Orleans? Did it not know or care that civil and army engineers were warning for years about the consequences of failure to strengthen the flood control system? Was it aware or did it care that the very same Administration which decries the plight of the people today, cut from the budget tens of millions needed for Gulf-area flood control projects?
â€œCountless lives have been lost throughout the South with a cost of hundreds of billions in ruined homes, businesses, and the destruction of an entire physical and social infrastructure.
â€œThe President said an hour ago that the Gulf Coast looks like it has been obliterated by a weapon. It has. Indifference is a weapon of mass destruction.
â€œOur indifferent government is in a crisis of legitimacy. If it continues to ignore its basic responsibility for the health and welfare of the American people, will there ever be enough money to clean up after their indifference?
â€œAs our government continues to squander human and monetary resources of this country on the war, people are beginning to ask, â€œIsnâ€™t it time we began to take care of our own people here at home? Isnâ€™t it time we rescued our own citizens? Isnâ€™t it time we fed our own people? Isnâ€™t it time we sheltered our own people? Isnâ€™t it time we provided physical and economic security for our own people?â€ And isnâ€™t it time we stopped the oil companies from profiting from this tragedy?
â€œWe have plenty of work to do here at home. It is time for America to come home and take care of its own people who are drowning in the streets, suffocating in attics, dying from exposure to the elements, oppressed by poverty and illness, wracked with despair and hunger and thirst.
â€œThe time is NOW to bring back to the United States the 78,000 National Guard troops currently deployed overseas into the Gulf Coast region.
â€œThe time is NOW to bring back to the US the equipment which will be needed for search and rescue, for clean up and reclamation.
â€œThe time is NOW for federal resources, including closed Army bases, to be used for temporary shelter for those who have been displaced by the hurricane.
â€œThe time is NOW to plan massive public works, with jobs going to the people of the Gulf Coast states, to build new levees, new roads, bridges, libraries, schools, colleges and universities and to rebuild all public institutions, including hospitals. Medicare ought to be extended to everyone, so every person can get the physical and mental health care they might need as a result of the disaster.
â€œThe time is NOW for the federal government to take seriously the research of scientists who have warned for years about the dangers of changes in the global climate, and to prepare other regions of the country for other possible weather disasters until we change our disastrous energy policies.
â€œThe time is NOW for changes in our energy policy, to end the domination of oil and fossil fuel and to invest heavily in alternative energy, including wind and solar, geothermal and biofuels.
â€œAs bad as this catastrophe will prove to be, it is in fact only a warning. Our government must change its direction, it must become involved in making America a better place to live, a place where all may survive and thrive. It must get off the path of war and seek the path of peace, peace with the natural environment, peace with other nations, peace with a just economic system.â€
DontCrush.com will hold a telephone press conference to announce its latest victory to keep Toyota’s zero-emission, battery-electric SUVs on the road
Media Advisory: Press Conference This Thursday; DontCrush.com Announces Victory with Toyota and Plans to Launch Plug In America
DontCrush.com will hold a telephone press conference to announce its latest victory to keep Toyota’s zero-emission, battery-electric SUVs on the road and its plans to launch Plug In America, a new national advocacy group to promote plug-in cars, trucks and SUVs.
WHO - James Woolsey, former CIA director and member of Set America Free (SetAmericaFree.org) - Ed Kjaer, director, Electric Transportation Department, Southern California Edison - Chelsea Sexton, alternative fuel vehicle consultant, former General Motors EV1 specialist - Paul Scott, founding member of DontCrush.com and Plug In America - Wally Rippel, lead engineer, General Motors EV1 - Linda Nicholes, owner, Toyota RAV4 EV - Dave Raboy, owner, Ford Ranger EV - Marc Geller, former lessee, Ford TH!NK City EV and current owner, Toyota RAV4 EV
WHAT DontCrush.com Toyota victory announcement Plug In America launch announcement
BACKGROUND Since 2004, DontCrush.com has worked to keep all-electric vehicles on the road in America, organizing three successful efforts that saved the Ford TH!NK City EV, Ford Ranger EV and Toyota RAV4 EV from the crusher. Long dismissed by automakers as “fanatics” and “hobbyists,” DontCrush.com is launching a new broad-based advocacy organization to revive plug-in auto production and give Americans the freedom to choose cars, trucks and SUVs that are powered by cleaner, cheaper, domestic sources of energy.
As volatile oil prices skyrocket to record high levels, major automakers continue to suppress an existing road-ready technology that would offer American drivers a long-overdue choice - an immediate alternative to polluting and inefficient gas guzzling internal combustion engines. Without compromising body style preferences or performance, automakers could integrate plug-in technology to all existing models, exponentially increasing U.S. fuel economy to the equivalent of hundreds of miles per gallon.
Pulling away from the pump and plugging into our nation’s extensive electric infrastructure would mean that Americans could immediately make the switch to cheaper, cleaner, domestic energy sources to power our cars, trucks and SUVs. The cost of plugging in to the grid and charging up at home is the equivalent of pennies per gallon on the average electric bill as compared to $3-plus a gallon at the pump today. With a plug-in hybrid, which uses a battery-powered electric motor for the first 30 to 50 miles, most American commuters would rarely if ever need to fill up or even top off with gasoline unless making a long trip. Since 50 percent of Americans do not drive more than 20 miles per day, the electric range of a plug-in hybrid would power most nearly all of our daily driving.
From laptops to cell phones, battery technology is ubiquitous and continues to improve. The widespread use of renewable energy like solar and wind power is on the rise across America and offers drivers the opportunity to plug in to fossil fuel-free energy. Unlike placing false hope in over-hyped hydrogen fuel cells - a technology that is decades away from being road ready - plug-in and flex-fuel technologies exist now and are already on the road as commuter cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs.
US national security depends on making a transition to safe, secure, sustainable and domestic sources of energy. We consume a quarter of the world’s oil but only have 3 percent of global oil reserves, forcing us to import over 60 percent of the oil we need to power our economy. Most of the world’s remaining oil is controlled by terrorist-friendly, non-democratic regimes or lies beneath critically endangered forest and marine ecosystems. Nearly no oil is used to produce electricity in the US; over 70 percent of our oil is consumed for transportation and most of that in cars, trucks and SUVs.
U.S. automakers are in the junkyard. S&P and Moody’s have downgraded Ford and General Motors stock to junk bond status and both automakers have announced major layoffs in response. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda - the two automakers producing the most fuel-efficient vehicles - are posting record and profits. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, both Ford and GM are at the bottom of the barrel on fleet-wide fuel efficiency and off the charts with global warming-causing greenhouse gas emissions. American automakers have long blamed lack of consumer demand for their irresponsible mass production and marketing of gas-guzzlers, yet there have been long waiting lists for every make and model of battery-electric and hybrid vehicle.
Americans spent $150 billion last year on foreign oil. Plug-in, flex-fuel hybrid and battery-electric cars would save American drivers hundreds of billions of dollars at the pump, reduce global warming greenhouse gas emissions and end U.S. dependence on declining global oil reserves.
DontCrush.com received public support from the California Assembly Member Fran Pavley, California Assembly Member Mark Leno, California Environmental Protection Agency Secretary Alan Lloyd, California State Senator Sheila Kuehl, Electric Auto Association, Environment Now, Global Exchange, Greenpeace, Jumpstart Ford Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment, Rainforest Action Network, Set America Free, Sierra Club, City of Santa Monica, South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Union of Concerned Scientists.