Monday, April 27, 2009

Energy Smart Gives First Annual ‘Leader’ Awards to MGM Liquor, GeoTek

Awards recognize Minnesota business leaders making “outstanding and quantifiable” energy efficiency and conservation achievements in their operations

Two Minnesota businesses were recognized for their conservation leadership today as they became the first recipients of the Energy Smart Leader Awards for outstanding and quantifiable achievements in energy efficiency and conservation. MGM Liquor Warehouse and GeoTek were recognized today during the Minnesota Chamber event "Business Sustainability: It's Not Perception, It's Profitability."

"Energy Smart’s mission is to partner with businesses to help them save money through energy efficiency,” said Jill Curran, Energy Smart program manager. “We're very pleased to be able to recognize these companies with the Energy Smart Leader Award for their dedication to improving energy efficiency in their operations. More importantly, however, is the ongoing reduction in energy use and the associated cost savings that will continue to benefit these businesses long into the future. That’s the real reward.”

The award for the small business category (10 or fewer employees) was presented to MGM Liquor Warehouse from St. Peter, Minn. The medium-sized business award (between 10 and 50 employees) went to GeoTek, in Stewartville, Minn.

Both of the businesses made huge improvements in energy efficiency. MGM Liquor reduced annual energy use by 44,546 kilowatt hours (kWh), saving them approximately $3,800 on their annual energy costs – an amount sufficient to payback their investment in less than a year.

GeoTek participated in a shared savings program through Alliant Energy, their local utility, which provided them with a 3 percent loan with no up-front capital costs for an energy efficient air compressor. GeoTek’s total estimated savings for all energy efficiency upgrades to-date is approximately 283,000 kWh and $25,000 per year.

The process of improving energy efficiency can seem overwhelming, but thanks to the Energy Smart program, business owners have a partner to aid them in the process and can begin saving right away. Energy Smart connects businesses to energy efficiency programs offered by the state’s energy utilities, and Energy Smart staff provides expertise and advice every step of the way.

The energy upgrade process typically begins with a simple energy audit that gives business owners a general picture of their current energy use and identifies potential areas for improvement. From there, business owners can pursue any number of options to improve their facility’s energy efficiency, from lighting upgrades to replacement of HVAC systems.

“Energy Smart helps put energy efficiency upgrades within reach for Minnesota’s small and mid-sized businesses,” Curran said. “We hope that other businesses will recognize the financial benefits of energy efficiency upgrades and contact us to get started.”

New searchable map of the green energy world

Revamped goes online on April 27th

A searchable global map forms the new heart of , the specialist search engine for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Users can click on a specific location and get the latest events, news, and a sampling of green energy development projects in that area. There is also a catalogue of stakeholders and an energy-oriented profile of the relevant country, including up-to-date statistics and information on local green energy policies and regulations.

A news feed integrating stories from ten of the leading environmental, energy efficiency and renewable energy news sites makes reegle the logical first stop for anyone needing a quick overview of the latest green energy developments.

In addition to the news feed and map search function, a web search function and a compiled catalogue of key actors make the website the most comprehensive public information resource for renewable and energy efficiency available online. There is also a glossary of green terms from additionality to wind turbine, putting the jargon-rich field into plain language. A range of widgets enables users to track their own carbon footprint or link the reegle search function to their own website.

“The new reegle website is unique in the way it takes the flood of information and news that is available on green energy, categorises it and makes it so accessible”, says Florian Bauer, the site’s Product Manager. “We’re also placing a strong emphasis on quality of information, instead of leaving users to sift through to find the nuggets themselves. Experts can quickly find exactly the information they need, and newcomers get a good overview.”

reegle is a public online resource provided by REEEP (Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership) and REN21 (Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century), funded by the British Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (MINVROM) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DoE Data Center Energy Efficiency Program: Reference Document

a reference document for Data Center Energy Efficiency.
Includes potential savings, Energy efficienccy opportunities, Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency, Data Center Energy Productivity, etc.
Download at:

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Public Service Commission of Maryland selects CPower to help prevent energy supply shortfall with demand response

CPower, a leading energy management firm, today announced that it has entered into contracts with three major Maryland utilities – Allegheny Power, Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) and Delmarva Power and Light Company – to provide demand response capacity in times of peak energy demand for the 2011– 2016 time period. Combined with existing contracts in the PJM Interconnection region, CPower will now provide an estimated 200 megawatts (MW) of capacity in the area.

In 2008, the Public Service Commission of Maryland determined that possible construction delays in new transmission projects could leave Maryland dangerously short of electric supply as early as 2011. Determined to find the least expensive way of ensuring reliable electric service for Maryland residents, the Commission examined many possible new sources of electric supply, and turned to demand response. In Order 82511, the Commission specifically pointed to the benefits of demand response, stating that "demand response resources now represent a reasonable, low-cost hedge against demand growth and potential reliability shortfalls."

Through its Maryland contracts, CPower will manage the enrollment and participation of the utilities' electricity customers in demand response. Participating customers will reduce their electricity consumption during periods of peak demand, providing a reliable supply of electricity back to the grid and helping to prevent brownouts and blackouts. In return, customers will receive payments for their participation.

"The Commission's decision truly validates the use of demand response as a reliable energy alternative," said Gary Fromer, CPower CEO. "This is one of the first times a state has dealt with a pending energy crisis using demand response rather than by building new power plants, which we applaud."

CPower's contracts with Maryland utilities are the fourth, fifth, and sixth the company has been awarded this past year. Previous contract wins include the Ontario Power Authority, the Central Vermont Public Service and Southern California Edison.

GE invests $200M in NY Wind Parks

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of General Electric Co., announced it provided more than $200 million to Noble Environmental Power, a wind energy developer, in long-term capital financing that includes three windparks in western and northern New York State.
Noble Environmental Power revealed that by replacing the construction financing, a syndicate of banks and financial institutions provided long-term debt including letters of credit of about $440 million for its 330-megawatt wind power projects at Noble Altona, Chateaugay and Wethersfield.
Kevin Walsh, Managing Director of Power and Renewable Energy at GE Energy Financial Services said, "Through this investment, GE Energy Financial Services is helping Noble move to the operating phase of this important New York state project and supporting the continued development of the US wind industry, which could provide a tremendous boost for our economy".
GE also indicated working with the federal government to adopt investment rules to further encourage renewable energy investment.

Clean Tech Open Kicks Off Southern California Search for Next Generation of Clean Tech Startups

On Wednesday, April 8th, the Clean Tech Open will kick off a series of Southern California events with its first ever Breakfast Briefing in Orange County, bringing together clean tech entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors and industry thought leaders for discussions on the future of the clean tech market. The first event will be hosted by OCTANe, the Southern California supporting partner for the Clean Tech Open, and will feature a talk by Josh Bigelow from Synchromatics, a Clean Tech Open alumni contestant, as well as a preview of the Clean Tech Open's 2009 season. The Clean Tech Open, now in its fourth year, will award $1 million dollars in prizes to clean tech start-ups that win the 2009 competition, with a grand prize available of $250,000 to the winning start-up.

The Southern California series of Clean Tech Open Breakfast Briefings are scheduled weekly at different locations throughout the region and include primers on how to enter the Clean Tech Open competition before the deadline of May 30th, 2009, as well as insights and conversations around emerging issues in the clean tech sector from industry insiders.

More on this year's schedule here:

SKYShades Sets Stage for Clean Energy Architectural Revolution with Power Plastic Shipment

Solar technology met architectural wonder when SKYShades® and Konarka
Technologies Inc. entered into a technology partnership a year ago.
After a year of testing, SKYShades has received its first shipment of
Konarka Power Plastic® thin film, which converts light to energy, in
order to begin mass production of its first product the Powerbrella™.

The Powerbrella™ incorporates the lightweight Power Plastic® on the
surface of SKYShades' retractable and fixed architectural SKYbrella.
Designed for use at outdoor venues such as cafés and restaurants,
hotel and resort swimming pools and outdoor lounges, the Powerbrella™
provides customers coverage from the sun while that energy is used to
power their laptop, cell phone or other portable devices.

For more information, visit