Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Secretary Chu Announces $93 Million from Recovery Act to Support Wind Energy Projects

National Renewable Energy Laboratory to receive more than $100 million from Recovery Act

GOLDEN, CO – In an ongoing effort to expand domestic renewable energy, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today announced plans to provide $93 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support further development of wind energy in the United States during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory today. Secretary Chu also announced more than $100 million in funding from the Recovery Act for NREL facility and infrastructure improvements.
The funding will leverage the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, universities, and the private sector to help improve reliability and overcome key technical challenges for the wind industry. These projects will create green jobs, promote economic recovery, and provide the investments needed to increase renewable energy generation.

$45 million for wind turbine drivetrain R&D and testingDOE will provide $45 million directed toward enhancing the federal government’s ability to support the wind industry through testing the performance and reliability of current and next generation wind turbine drivetrain systems.This investment will deliver dependable and cost effective hardware for utility scale wind turbines with over a 20 year design life. Overall, this project will help to improve the country’s competitiveness in wind energy technology, lower capital costs of wind systems, and maintain a high level of wind energy capacity growth.

$14 million for technology developmentTo strengthen its support of the wind industry, DOE will make available $14 million to advance technology development in the private sector. This effort will aim to improve the quality and use of lighter weight, advanced materials for turbine blades, towers, and other components. Another area of emphasis will be process controls for lamination, blade finishing, trimming, grind, painting, materials handling and inspection.

$24 million for wind power research and developmentDOE will provide $24 million for the development of up to three consortia between universities and industry to focus on critical wind energy challenges. These partnerships will allow universities to establish research and development programs to advance material design, performance measurements, analytical models, and work with the industry to improve power systems operations, maintenance and repair, and component manufacturing.

$10 million for National Wind Technology CenterDOE will invest $10 million at its own National Wind Technology Center in Colorado. This funding will enhance the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s ability to support the wind industry through testing current and next generation wind turbine drive train systems for better performance and reliability. Additionally, upgrades to the electrical distribution system will permit cost recovery of the power produced by two new utility-scale wind turbines being installed there for testing and evaluation.

Additionally, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will also receive:

$68 million for Research Support FacilityThis project will create the nation’s most energy efficient office building at the same cost of low efficiency commercial construction today. It will achieve LEED Platinum and 50% energy use reduction over standard commercial office buildings. The goal is to create a design process that can be replicated by future construction projects.

$19.2 million for Renewable Energy and Site InfrastructureWill use solar and potentially geothermal and fuel cells to replace power currently purchased from utilities and reduce our carbon use.

$13.5 million for upgrades to the Integrated Biorefinery Research FacilityNew funding will create a continuous process research and development capability to develop commercial scale cellulose to ethanol technologies. It will also accelerate the development of commercially viable conversion processes.

Wind energy is among the fastest growing energy technologies in the United States. The U.S. now leads the world in wind energy generation and has led the globe in new wind energy capacity installations for the past four years. Last year, wind energy accounted for 42 percent of all new energy generation capacity in the United States. In 2008, DOE published the 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report which examines the technical feasibility of using wind energy to generate 20 percent of the nation's electricity demand by 2030.

Recovery Act (DOE)


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Indiana Bioenergy, Wind and Ethanol Pipeline News

Bioenergy Company Moves Into New Facility

A company that works to produce fuel oil from algae has opened a new pilot production facility and corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Stellarwind Bio Energy LLC's new location will include a greenhouse and an advanced research and development facility. The company uses proprietary technology to extract oil from algae and then convert it into methane, industrial grade charcoal and fertilizer.

Indiana Firm Lands Wind Farm Contract

Fishers-based Bowen Engineering Corp. has won a contract for the first wind farm being developed by Horizon Wind Energy in the state. The Meadow Lake wind farm will include 121 turbine generators that will be erected in farm fields and connected to a new electrical substation. Horizon also has projects planned in Randolph and Howard counties.

POET Explores Possible Ethanol Pipeline

The operator of three ethanol plants in Indiana is entering into a partnership to assess the feasibility of building an ethanol pipeline. POET LLC has signed a joint agreement with Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. to possibly develop a system to deliver ethanol from the Midwest to terminals in the northeastern U.S. POET has facilities in Alexandria, North Manchester and Portland.

Monday, March 2, 2009

50,000 Tons of Carbon Dioxide in Michigan Basin

A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) team of regional partners has begun injecting 50,000 additional tons into the formation, which is believed capable of storing hundreds of years worth of CO2, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. DOE’s Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), led by Battelle of Columbus, Ohio, began injecting the CO2 this week in the Michigan Basin near Gaylord, Mich., in a deep saline formation, the Silurian-age Bass Island dolomite. The MRCSP is one of seven partnerships in DOE’s Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program, which was created to assess optimal CO2 storage approaches in each region of the country. The program is managed for DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

When the current project is completed, the total 60,000 metric ton injection at the Michigan site will mark the largest deep saline reservoir injection in the United States to date and will allow scientists to more fully evaluate how CO2 moves through the basin’s geologic formation. Injections are expected to take place at an average rate of 250 tons per day up to a maximum rate of 600 tons. The 6-month project and related activities of the MRCSP are expected to create more than 230 jobs and 2,900 total project job years.

Since the test is taking place within an existing oil and gas field, continuing enhanced oil recovery operations — which are being conducted by well owner, Core Energy LLC — makes this area ideal for the injection test. The area already contains much of the needed infrastructure, such as CO2 compressors, injection systems, existing wells, and pipelines, including an 8-mile-long transport pipeline.

The CO2 being injected comes from a natural gas processing plant owned by DTE Energy, located near Gaylord, where the CO2 will be transported via the 8-mile pipeline to the well. The depth of the injection (3,500 feet) is significantly below the 1,000-foot level of drinking water sources and does not pose any danger to them.

DOE launched the Carbon Sequestration Partnership Program in 2003 to develop and validate technologies to store and monitor CO2 in various geologic formations around the country as part of a national strategy to combat global climate change.

The MRCSP team includes more than 30 partners from state and federal organizations, leading universities, state geological surveys, nongovernmental organizations, and private companies in the eight-state region of Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In addition to Battelle, Core Energy, and DTE, other participants include the Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education at Western Michigan University, Stanford University Geophysics Department, Schlumberger, and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Office of Geological Survey. (DOE)