Related Posts for emerging technology

By Russell Stigall | Morris News Service-Alaska, Juneau Empire:  The state of Alaska has a relatively new law that requires a quarter of public buildings be 15 percent more efficient by 2020.

“Ten to 20 percent is the low hanging fruit,” Jonathan Westeinde, founder of Windmill Development Group Ltd. said. “We should look at 40 to 50 percent improvements.”

Westeinde said the state’s energy goals are a great step forward, but that larger goals could be met easily, he said. “Could we be doing more? Are we missing the opportunity to make more money?” Westeinde said.

The House Energy Committee invited Westeinde to present his “Making the Business Case for Energy Efficiency” talk at a lunch-time learning session, March 27.

Westeinde’s said his goal was to start up the greenest new development firm in Canada.

A current project of Westeinde’s is the highest LEED rated building in the world, he said. “And we’ve been about to do this while still making the same amount of money as anybody else. If anything we can make more money, if done properly.” Read more

CRN TechCurve: Electric generation from renewables like wind and solar is making dramatic inroads in many areas of the United States, with some utilities reporting penetration levels of 30 percent or higher on individual feeders. But as these variable power sources continue to expand their presence on the nation’s electric grids, power companies are seeking new and better ways to address the challenges of system integration and stability.

As is often the case with grid innovations, electric cooperatives in Alaska are ahead of the curve. Kotzebue Electric Association (KEA), a 1,200-member system located 30 miles above the Arctic Circle, has been steadily adding wind turbines to their power mix over the past decade. They currently generate 1.1 MW, or more than 40 percent peaking load, from wind. The remainder is covered by diesel generators. This spring, they’ll take their power mix to another level by adding two 900-kW turbines which will give the co-op 2.9 MW of wind power, more than 100 percent of average load. But, KEA still faces the challenge of harnessing the energy from this intermittent generation source. As part of the solution, KEA has taken a ground-breaking step: the installation of a TransFlow 2000, a huge zinc-bromide flow battery system that will allow the co-op to better balance its wind and diesel generation. Read more

By Matthew L. Wald of The New York Times:  Coda Automotive is supposed to start selling its electric sedan next month. On Friday, its parent company announced that it was also moving into a related line: stationary batteries for electricity storage.

Coda Holdings will make minor modifications to battery packs for its cars, which use Chinese-manufactured lithium iron phosphate cells, and sell them individually or grouped together — both for storing solar power when homeowners’ rooftop panels generate more than they use, and to help businesses reduce their peak loads. Business customers usually pay for electricity on the basis of their highest level of use.

Because the packs are designed for cars, they are already modular and thus easy to scale up or scale down. Coda plans to sell its sedan with a battery pack of 31 kilowatt-hours or 36 kilowatt-hours; both numbers are roughly what a suburban house uses per day. The stationary module will be 40 kilowatt-hours.

The batteries could also pay for themselves in places where peak-hour power costs more than off-peak power, the company says, although very few places have such “time of use” rates today.

Utilities could also use them as backup in areas where demand for electricity has grown and improvements in distribution lines would otherwise be needed. One reason for such growth is the need for juice for electric cars, which raises the idea that the batteries could be charged up in periods of low demand so that they could later be tapped into by car owners to charge similar batteries in the cars. Read more

Alaska has the opportunity to be a “first mover” in the commercialization of technologies like biomass gasification, tidal, and energy storage technologies, given our abundant resources and unique needs. However, to make progress in these areas Alaska must begin a concerted effort to support research and development like many other states, provinces and countries around the world are doing. An ‘Emerging Energy Technology Development Fund’ could give Alaska an advantage when competing with other states for federal funding programs for green industry and job development that are being launched by President Obama’s administration.

Senate Bill 150 would establish an emerging energy technology fund that would be administered by the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, a research branch of the University of Alaska. The fund, which would be financed by appropriations from the state legislature, federal appropriations, and contributions from other sources, would be available to utilities, independent power producers, local and tribal governments, Alaskan businesses, and non-profits. In order to receive grants or loans from the fund, the benefiting project would need to be for the research, development, or demonstration of a new energy or conservation technology or for the improvement of an existing technology, with the reasonable expectation that the technology would be commercially viable within 5 years.

Alaska can be a world leader in renewable energy. Call or email your legislator today to voice your opinion on this important issue.

In its continuing efforts to support the development and implementation of alternative and renewable energy projects in Alaska, the  Denali Commission (Commission) is releasing up to $4 million towards alternative and renewable emerging energy technology and demonstration projects.

This is a competitive solicitation. Application deadline in August 7, 2009. Contact Jason Meyer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at 271-1767 or Denali Daniels This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it at 271-1189 for further information.