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Green Energy Times’ August issue is available.

The August, 2016 issue of Green Energy Times is now available and is being delivered to stores.

An online copy is available as a pdf file at This Link. (12 megabytes)

Individual articles have been posted. A table of contents can be found at This Link.

ViZn Energy Systems and Jabil Inala Partner to Power Africa

Mining, agriculture, and remote villages the focus for using non-toxic flow batteries

AUSTIN, Texas and MIDRAND, Republic of South Africa – August 29, 2016 – ViZn Energy Systems Inc. (ViZn), a leading provider of zinc and iron chemistry-based flow battery energy storage systems for utilities and microgrids, announced today that they will be partnering with Jabil Inala to offer turnkey storage solutions to the African power market. Africa has 13 percent of the world’s population, but accounts for only four percent of the world’s energy demand, leaving a gap of around 600 million people with no access to electricity according to the International Energy Agency’s Africa Energy Outlook.

“Africa represents an enormous market both in terms of the potential growth for supplying power and the ability to positively impact the lives of millions of people,” said Ron Van Dell, CEO of ViZn Energy. “Since much of the centralized distribution infrastructure does not exist across the continent, it is ripe for the establishment of distributed microgrids to power villages that currently don’t have electricity and also to replace diesel generators at remote mining and agricultural facilities. The non-toxic chemistry used in ViZn’s flow batteries means they can be safely deployed in these areas and without an HVAC system.”

Jabil – the world’s third largest manufacturing services provider – acquired South African energy solutions provider and systems integrator Inala in January of this year as their entry into the African continent. Jabil Inala is an applications engineering EPC that designs, sources, commissions and supports best-of-breed energy solutions. They are currently operating in eleven sub-Saharan countries where traditional grids are either unreliable or uneconomical to develop. Jabil Inala’s turnkey distributed energy solutions encompass generation, storage, efficiency, monitoring, and analytics.

“In the African market, it is critical for a microgrid to have the ability to operate in harsh environments while maintaining industrial power quality,” said Howard Earley, Managing Director at Jabil Inala. “ViZn’s 20-year expected operational lifetime and ability to perform both high power and long duration applications delivers very attractive economics in these demanding applications.”

ViZn’s flow battery technology utilizes a non-toxic, low cost zinc and iron chemistry that aids steady and safe operation. Their systems are capable of performing both high-power (with one of the fastest charge and discharge responses on the market) and long-duration capabilities for the commercial & industrial, microgrid, and utility-scale markets while also offering low O&M, allowing end users to incorporate multiple value streams and realize more favorable payback periods than other energy storage technologies. ViZn is currently building the largest flow battery in North America and is on track to be the largest global producer of flow batteries by the end of the year.

About ViZn Energy Systems, Inc.
ViZn Energy Systems, Inc. is comprised of a visionary team of scientists, engineers and business leaders who are passionate about creating and commercializing a revolutionary energy storage solution for the commercial & industrial, microgrid and utility-scale markets. Founded in 2009 and based on eight previous years of research, ViZn is commercializing highly scalable energy storage systems, ranging from tens of kilowatts to mega-watt storage. The ViZn solution is safe, reliable, cost effective, and scalable to meet the needs of today’s ever-changing energy landscape. For more information, visit: www.ViZnEnergy.com

About Jabil Inala
Jabil Inala, a wholly owned subsidiary of Jabil, is an experienced and trusted systems integrator and engineering company providing turnkey distributed energy solutions across Africa.

Jabil is an electronic product solutions company providing comprehensive electronics design, production and product management services to global electronics and technology companies. Offering complete product supply chain management from facilities in 27 countries, Jabil provides comprehensive, individualized-focused solutions to customers in a broad range of industries. Jabil common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol, “JBL”. Further information is available on Jabil’s website: www.jabil.com.

August 29 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Texas has added more wind-based generating capacity than any other state, with wind turbines accounting for 16% of electrical generating capacity as of April. Now Texas is anticipating a huge surge in solar power. Texas has taken an approach that works within the state’s free-market-based electricity system. [MarketWatch]
Part of the Panther Creek Wind Farm in Howard County, Texas. Photo by Larry D. Moore. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Part of the Panther Creek Wind Farm in Howard County, Texas. Photo by Larry D. Moore. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • The death of a boy and his grandmother in the far north of Russia after an anthrax outbreak raises questions about the impact of climate change on other pathogens that have been suspended in the ice. We can now include deadly diseases awakening as ice melts among the disasters climate change is bringing. [The National]
  • Nova Innovation has put power on the grid from a pair of 100-kW tidal turbines in the waters of Shetland. The device developer said the two-unit Bluemill installation is the “first offshore tidal array in the world to deliver electricity to the grid.” The initial M-100 turbine was installed off Shetland in March. [reNews]
  • The comprehensive win for Labor in the Northern Territory election means that state and territory governments proposing ambitious renewable energy targets are now in the majority in Australia. The new chief minister, who favors renewables, replaces one who loudly supported coal seam gas and fracking technologies. [RenewEconomy]
  • According to US Wind, Maryland is poised to develop the nation’s first large-scale offshore windfarm. The 750-MW project would have up to 187 turbines, producing power for more than 500,000 homes. The company is surveying and installing a meteorological station to assess weather conditions at the site. [Southern Maryland Online]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

August 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Opinion: “Backers hope nation’s first offshore wind farm will jump-start an industry” • At 30 MW, America’s first foray into offshore wind power is modest compared with sprawling European developments. It will provide enough power for about 17,000 homes, but there is one truly momentous thing about it: It exists. [Yakima Herald-Republic]

 

The Block Island Wind Farm. Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind.

The Block Island Wind Farm. Photo courtesy of Deepwater Wind.

  • Over the last five years, French oil and gas giant Total has acquired stakes in solar giant SunPower and battery integrators Stem and Sunverge, and has bought a battery company called Saft. Eventually, these companies could create a vertically integrated renewable energy giant of the future, replacing big oil. [Motley Fool]
  • Tesla Motors moved a step closer in its bid to buy SolarCity after federal regulators said the $2.6 billion deal doesn’t present antitrust concerns. According to Reuters, the Federal Trade Commission quickly signed off “because the merging companies have few or no overlaps.” The deal was announced earlier this month. [89.3 KPCC]
  • Over the past year, Belfast, Maine, has quietly become a leader among the state’s municipalities investing in renewable energy sources, and it’s done it so with a core tenet of renewable energy: use what you already have. The city is on a new track, and the reason has a lot to do a new assistant city planner. [Republican Journal]
  • Soon, residents of Sudbury, Massachusetts will have the option to buy electricity from an alternative supplier to Eversource, selecting “renewable generation.” At a Board of Selectmen meeting, an electricity aggregation plan was approved to be submitted to the Department of Public Utilities for approval. [Patch.com]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

August 27 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Driving in Seattle or in nearby areas in the Puget Sound is driving in congestion. Ridership has boomed more than expected on light rail in Seattle, and perhaps this is a reason why. The regional transit authority now has more plans to grow this more efficient option – plans for the third phase of light-rail expansion. [bikocity]
Sound Transit light rail. Photo by Oran Viriyincy (some rights reserved)

Sound Transit light rail. Photo by Oran Viriyincy (some rights reserved)

  • Hydraulic fracturing and unconventional natural gas development may be associated with health issues such as sinus problems, migraines, and fatigue, according to a peer-reviewed study. The study acknowledges its own limitations and says more research is necessary to determine whether fracturing caused the symptoms. [Bloomberg BNA]
  • The UK can meet its energy and climate change targets without the Hinkley Point C nuclear plant, an Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit report found. More wind farms, gas-fired power stations, and demand management could save £1 billion a year “while keeping the lights on and meeting climate targets.” [This is The West Country]
  • Some experts within the coal business say winning or losing the Clean Power Plan won’t affect coal’s fortunes greatly. Utilities are diversifying their energy portfolios because of market forces, including cheap natural gas, new technology making renewables more reliable, and reduction in demand. [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]
  • For the first time since 1972, energy-associated CO2 emissions from coal are dropping below natural gas CO2 emissions. The Energy Information Administration’s latest Short-Term Energy Outlook reports that energy-related CO2 emissions from natural gas are expected to be 10% higher than coal emissions for 2016. [CleanTechnica]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Health Dangers of Fracking Revealed in Johns Hopkins Study

From EcoWatch http://www.ecowatch.com/health-dangers-fracking-1986527671.html

A new study out today from Johns Hopkins in Environmental Health Perspectives revealed associations between fracking and various health symptoms including nasal and sinus problems, migraines and fatigue in Pennsylvanians living near areas of natural gas development. The study suggests that residents with the highest exposure to active fracking wells are nearly twice as likely to suffer from the symptoms.

A natural gas rig side by side with homes in Washington County, Pennsylvania. B. Mark Schmerling

This is the third study released by Hopkins in the past year that connects proximity to fracking sites with adverse health outcomes. Last fall, researchers found an association between fracking and premature births and high-risk pregnancies, and last month, found ties between fracking and asthma.

What’s more, a 2014 investigation revealed how health workers in Pennsylvania were silenced by the state Department of Health (DOH) and told not to respond to health inquiries that used certain fracking “buzzwords.” Documents obtained by Food & Water Watch last year indicate the DOH was inundated with fracking-related health concerns ranging from shortness of breath and skin problems to asthma, nose and throat irritation, which were ignored or pushed aside.

While the industry will no doubt continue to refute the expanding science about the dangers of fracking, we can’t afford to ignore it. The public health and climate impacts of extreme fossil fuel extraction requires bold leadership to keep fossil fuels in the ground and transition swiftly to renewable energy.

Governor Hassan Ceremonially Signs Net Metering Bill at Throwback Brewery, Highlights Growing Clean Energy Economy

NORTH HAMPTON – Continuing her efforts to support job-creating businesses and to build a more innovative, cleaner energy future that creates jobs, boosts New Hampshire’s economy and combats climate change, Governor Maggie Hassan today visited Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, where she ceremonially signed a bill raising the cap on net metering.

Governor Hassan was joined by representatives from ReVision Energy, Sunrun, the New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association and members from both parties who worked together to pass House Bill 1116, relative to net metering. Governor Hassan officially signed the bill on May 2, 2016.

Photo by Hope O’Shaughnessy – contributor to Green Energy Times

 

“I am proud of our bipartisan work this year to raise the cap on net metering, which will help our clean energy industry continue to grow and thrive,” Governor Hassan said. “Solar and other small scale clean energy resources are creating good-paying, high-quality jobs, spurring economic development and helping combat climate change, which we see firsthand here in the state’s largest solar-powered brewery. I am confident that the PUC process will result in a fair net metering tariff that will encourage energy diversification and clean energy job growth, and I look forward to continuing to work with members from both parties and the business community to support our growing clean energy economy.”

As a State Senator, Governor Hassan sponsored New Hampshire’s original Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) legislation, which has brought numerous benefits to the Granite State, including reducing harmful emissions and helping to reduce energy costs, create jobs and encourage innovation in the state’s clean energy economy. She also helped enact the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law and consistently fights for clean air and water.
As Governor, Governor Hassan has signed bipartisan legislation to help maximize the benefits of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for New Hampshire ratepayers, to update the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law and to establish a long-term energy strategy for the State. The Governor has also signed the Under 2 MOU – a global compact that complements the state’s efforts to combat climate change. In addition, Governor Hassan joined a bipartisan group of 17 governors to establish the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future, a joint commitment to take action to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices and a modern electrical grid.

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $700,000 in Funding for Offshore Wind Research Projects

 
BOSTON – August 26, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced $700,000 in funding for nine academic and research institutions across Massachusetts to advance studies relating to offshore wind development, building on the Commonwealth’s existing nation-leading offshore wind innovation activities. The funding will support three offshore wind research projects to identify industry workforce training and safety requirements; establish a multi-university partnership focused on innovation and driving down costs; and develop a new technique to monitor the structural health of wind blades.
 
“Tapping into the Commonwealth’s world-class academic and research institutions will make Massachusetts a leader in the growing offshore wind sector in the United States,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These research projects will identify ways to make offshore wind projects more cost-effective and beneficial to the ratepayers of Massachusetts.”
 
“These projects will help further establish Massachusetts as a leader in this emerging industry and position our institutions to compete for federal research funding in the future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The development of cost-effective offshore wind projects will help diversify the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio, while reducing our carbon footprint.”
 
“Cost-effective offshore wind has the potential to be a major part of the Commonwealth’s energy supply, helping us reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This research funding will put the Commonwealth’s technology and innovation expertise to work and help ensure that offshore wind achieves its fullest potential.”
 
Funded through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)’s Renewable Energy Trust, the research is part of a broader initiative to make the Commonwealth a national leader in offshore wind research and development. By leveraging the expertise of Massachusetts colleges, universities and research centers, these projects are designed to expand local offshore wind expertise while making projects more affordable for developers and ratepayers.
 
“Our concentration of academic and research institutions and our innovation ecosystem are uniquely equipped to advance the emerging national offshore wind industry,” said MassCEC Interim CEO Steve Pike. “These projects will enhance Massachusetts reputation as a hub of innovation for the offshore wind industry.”
 
The following academic and researching institutions will receive funding:
 
Bristol Community College, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy – $248,000 – Bristol Community College will lead an effort to identify the workforce requirements associated with the development and construction of offshore wind projects, examining the number of jobs by trade, the health and safety training requirements for offshore wind jobs and the economic benefits to the Commonwealth these jobs would provide. This effort will help to establish training and health and safety programs to maximize local employment and ensure worker safety.
 
The Massachusetts Research Partnership in Offshore Wind – $300,000 – Six Massachusetts academic and research institutions – Northeastern University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Amherst, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, University of Massachusetts Lowell and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – will develop a multi-disciplinary framework for offshore wind research, focusing on increasing innovation within projects and reducing costs by examining risks, finances and regulations associated with the industry.
 
University of Massachusetts Lowell – $150,000 – The University of Massachusetts Lowell will develop a new system for monitoring the structural health of wind turbine blades, which will use low-cost microphones to detect sound changes caused by damage to a blade. This project will be field-tested atMassCEC’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Charlestown.  The project is also being supported by the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s WindSTAR research center and the University of Texas at Dallas.
 
The funding announcement follows the Baker-Polito Administration’s recent signing of comprehensive energy legislation which spurs the development of an emerging offshore wind industry to create jobs and represents the largest commitment by any state in the nation to offshore wind. The programs receiving awards build on Massachusetts’ ongoing efforts to lead interagency and community working groups, assess cost-effective offshore wind transmission routes and study marine wildlife in association with offshore wind permitting.
 
“Massachusetts is a national leader in innovation and technology because of our world class academic and research institutions,” said Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D-Amherst).  “Through the collaboration by these institutions these projects will put the Commonwealth on a path to building a national model for offshore wind and reducing the impacts of climate change.”
 
“These research projects will help utilize the abundant talent in our colleges and universities,” said State Senator Mark Montigny, Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee (D-New Bedford). “The South Coast has a rich history of employment tied to the ocean and the opportunities created by this funding will help protect this tradition through advancements in offshore wind.”
 
“The legislature and administration have taken the bold step to call for the nation’s largest offshore wind farm,” stated Representative Thomas A. Golden, Jr. (D-Lowell), Chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. “I commend the administration for taking this important work a step further by enlisting the robust, academic resources that we have right in our own back yard. This funding will accelerate critical research towards developing a thriving, competitive off-shore wind industry in the Commonwealth.”
 
“These offshore wind research projects will go a long way in reaffirming our Commonwealth’s commitment to providing renewable sources of clean energy and reducing our carbon footprint,” said State Senator Eileen Donoghue (D-Lowell). “This is a tremendous opportunity for our research institutions to play an active role in shaping Massachusetts’ energy future. I am excited to see what the University of Massachusetts Lowell can accomplish given its reputation as an innovative leader in the technical field.”
 
“I’m proud to see that Mass Maritime Academy has once again been recognized as a leader in innovation and will play a key role in identifying the economic development opportunities related to offshore wind,” said State Representative David T. Vieira (R-East Falmouth). “The framework that the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will help develop will ensure Massachusetts stays at the forefront of the offshore wind industry. My thanks to Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton for recognizing the excellence of these Cape-based institutions and investing in their work.”
 
About MassCEC
 
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers. Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton chairs MassCEC’s board of directors.

August 26 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • In central Texas, a crew is repurposing an abandoned oil and gas well. They are developing a way to turn oil and gas wells into vaults for storing electricity, pumping water into the earth to be heated and pressurized. When it is released, it races through a turbine-generator above ground, generating electricity. [The Guardian]
A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

A new startup is proposing turning abandoned oil and gas wells into energy storage vaults. Photo: Jurgen Vogt / Alamy / Alamy

  • A CNN meteorologist is speaking out about going from questioning climate change to siding with the 97% of scientists who acknowledge human activities are warming the planet beyond repair. “As I tell my 11-year old, It’s OK to be wrong as long as you learn from your mistakes,” Chad Myers wrote this week. [Huffington Post]
  • Continuing to defy projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources have set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first half of 2016, says a report from the US Energy Information Administration. Renewable generation was up 14.5%, natural gas rose by 7.7%, and coal declined 20.1%. [Greentech Lead]
  • The Vermont Green Line says it has entered into a partnership with Citizens Energy Corp to give low-income Vermont residents access to large quantities of renewable energy. Citizens Energy will finance its share of the Vermont Green Line and use its profits to help those in need in Vermont. [North American Windpower]
  • Bowling Green’s commitment to renewable energy will surge with construction of a 20-MW solar field that is to be completed in December. The project would bring that Ohio city’s mix of energy from renewable sources to 38.16% when completed, a large increase from its current level of 12.04%. [Toledo Blade]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Five Years Since Irene, Report Warns of Severe Weather Damage From Climate Change

bernieBURLINGTON, Vt., Aug.  25 – As Vermonters mark the fifth anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed to a new report from the Congressional Budget Office that warns damage from severe weather in future decades is expected to become increasingly common in Vermont and throughout the United States because of climate change.

Tropical Storm Irene, which began as a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean, was one of   Vermont’s worst natural disasters. The 2011 storm caused torrential flooding that caused the death of six people in the state, forced thousands from their homes and washed away hundreds of bridges and miles of roads.

“Just five years ago, no one thought a northern state like Vermont would be hit by such a strong tropical storm,” Sanders said.  “But that’s what happened, and it caused tragic loss of life and nearly $1 billion in damage in our small state.”

The new CBO report requested by Sanders and Sen. Patty Murray says that costs from hurricane damages in the United States are expected to increase 39 percent in the coming decades because of the effects of climate change.  “This report confirms that Irene may have been the first such storm to hit Vermont, but it likely won’t be the last,” Sanders said.

By 2075, annual expected hurricane damages, as well as federal spending for relief and recovery, will likely increase by a third and could be nearly double what we spend today relative to the size of the economy. Annual expected hurricane damages for the United States is currently $28 billion, of which roughly $18 billion is covered by the federal government, according to the report. Roughly 45 percent of the increase is attributable to climate change and 55 percent to coastal development.

The report also found that, by 2075, 10 million Americans — more than five times the share of Americans who are at risk today — will live in areas that could face significant loss from hurricanes.

“Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity and it is already causing devastating harm. Extreme weather disasters like hurricanes will devastate communities and cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars,” Sanders said.

“When it comes to addressing climate change, the most expensive option is to do nothing at all,” Sanders said. “We have a financial and moral obligation to combat climate change. We must aggressively transition away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

To read the CBO report, click here.

August 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A study raises questions about how much exports of Canadian liquefied natural gas would reduce carbon emissions abroad, a core justification for developing such an industry. The CD Howe Institute report said Canada’s LNG exports would likely increase emissions in most potential markets, aside from Asia. [Prince George Citizen]
LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

LNG Carrier Galea. Photo by Wolfgang Meinhart. CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons.

  • Solar energy systems are proliferating across Ohio, growing by more than 23% in just the past year, in-depth analysis of state records reveals. This is despite Ohio lawmakers passing a law last year to suspend mandates requiring power companies to increase the percentage of power get from the sun or wind. [cleveland.com]
  • Two new wind farm contracts announced this week have been hailed as the final ones necessary to ensure the Australian Capital Territory reaches its goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2020. The two contracts will have wind farms produce 200 MW of renewable power under the Territory’s reverse auction process. [PS News]
  • The Vermont Public Service Board has approved Green Mountain Power’s plans to distribute $302,719 from a Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited fund to various projects around the state. Anaerobic digester research, renewable energy education, and Rutland solar development are the latest beneficiaries. [vtdigger.org]
  • The growth of jobs in the solar and wind industries could easily absorb coal-industry layoffs over the next 15 years and provide full-time careers, if investments are made to retrain workers. That’s according to a new study by researchers at Oregon State University and the Michigan Technological University. [Utah Public Radio]

For more news, please visit geoharvey – Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.