After four years of study and pilot projects, the city of Manassas, Virginia, has become the first city in the country to fully deploy a BPL system throughout their city. The system is jointly operated by the city-owned electric utility and Commercial Technologies, Inc. [COMTek]. The city is providing the infrastructure for the BPL system and COMTek is providing the internet services.
The image of George W. Bush asking Americans to save oil by driving less brings to mind another image, that of Jimmy Carter wearing a cardigan sweater and asking Americans to save oil by turning down our thermostats. This column by my colleague David Morris encourages readers to understand the similarities and the differences of the two approaches.
A healthy dose of get-togethers around the country in October will highlight the successes and challenges of on-site power production. Take a look at what events are coming soon.
INFORMATION REMOVED SINCE EVENTS HAVE LONG SINCEPASSED.
UPDATE NOVEMBER 2006: At the November 2-3, 2005, annual meeting, the members of Basin Electric adopted a resolution that calls for obtaining renewable resources by 2010 that will be equal to 10 percent of the generating capacity needed to meet its member demand.
Members of the primarily coal-based Basin Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Bismarck, ND, will vote in November on whether to require the cooperative to acquire 10 percent of its electric generating capacity from renewable energy.
PNM, New Mexico’s largest electric and gas utility, is seeking approval of a plan to expand on-site solar photovoltaic (PV) in its service territory. The two-pronged incentive program would pay project owners for "green" attributes and for excess electric generation.
Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has directed the Ontario Power Authority and the Ontario Energy Board to prepare a standard offer approach by the end of the year for distributed generation projects under 10MW. The new rules will be designed to encourage homeowners, farmers, schools and community co-ops to build renewable energy systems and sell excess clean electricity back to the grid at standardized prices.
The multi-year legislative effort to establish the nation’s most agressive solar power initiative was killed in committee on the last day of California’s legislative session. Early, broadbased support for 3,000 MW of new photovoltaic capacity and bi-partisan votes wasn’t enough to overcome some sensitive last-minute amendments to the original proposal.
The Oregon Department of Energy (ODE), in an effort to help local and county governments, has drafted a model ordinance for siting energy projects that are not subject to state-level review. Although still a work in progress, the model ordinance’s concepts could serve the interests of cities and counties nationwide.
A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers a scathing critique of a 2005 study by biofuels critics, Professors David Pimentel and Tad Patzek. David Morris, ILSR’s vice president and author of the study, The Carbohydrate Economy, Biofuels and the Net Energy Debate, stresses that “A carefully designed biofuels strategy may be the answer not only to our energy problems but to another global dilemma as well: the plight of agriculture.”