Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wind project planned in Lake Ontario!!!!
A Toronto company wants to erect more than 140 massive wind turbines down the middle of Lake Ontario in what would become the largest wind farm in North America. Source: The Toronto Star (5/31)
For links to this stories and more, visit

Stellaris joins solar start-up race
The winner of an MIT clean energy award is using lenses to concentrate light and lower overall cost of solar panels.
Wed May 31 10:01:00 PDT 2006 | Read the story

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Support GLIN Daily News:
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Great Lakes Daily News: 31 May 2006
A collaborative project of the Great Lakes Information Network and the Great
Lakes Radio Consortium.

For links to these stories and more, visit

General cargo booming, dredging concerns growing
General cargo business at the Port of Toledo continues to boom, but inadequate channel dredging could put the boom at risk. Source: The Toledo Blade (5/31)

Wind project planned in Lake Ontario
A Toronto company wants to erect more than 140 massive wind turbines down the middle of Lake Ontario in what would become the largest wind farm in North America. Source: The Toronto Star (5/31)

New beach opens access to Lake Michigan
Fifty local, regional, state and federal dignitaries gathered on Tuesday at a former toxic waste site to turn the first shovels of sand for a new Lake Michigan public beach. Source: Merrillville Post-Tribune (5/31)

Experts say fish kill no cause for worry
Reports of yellow perch found dead in Lake Erie won't put a dent in the area's sport fishing business, experts agree. Source: The Ashtabula Star Beacon (5/31)

Device sniffs out possible manure spills
A new water-quality sensing device could help keep better track of manure spills that might otherwise go unnoticed. Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette (5/30)

Four Lake Superior water areas added to Wisconsin's impaired list
Wisconsin is adding 45 lakes, streams and beaches to its impaired waters list for the federal government, while taking seven off the list. Source: Business North (5/30)

Funding seeks to control cormorant population
Legislation recently passed through the U.S. House of Representatives is appropriating $300,000 toward the control of the double-crested cormorant population in Michigan and Ohio. Source: Gaylord Herald Times (5/30)

Toledo plans terminal to receive Great Lakes cruise ships
Toledo city officials are hoping to lure more tourist dollars with a terminal that will receive Great Lakes cruise ship passengers. Source: The Detroit News (5/27)

Lake Superior stamp issued
A U.S. stamp dedicated to Lake Superior has been issued as part of a new stamp series featuring "40 Wonders of America: Land of Superlatives." Source: The Mining Journal (5/27)

NY governor proposes legislation to enact Great Lakes Compact
Gov. George Pataki has introduced legislation to formally enact the Great Lakes -St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact into New York State law. The Compact is an outcome of the Annex 2001 Implementing Agreements, signed by the states and provinces in December 2005. Source: NewsWatch 50 - WWTI (Watertown, NY) (5/25)

Did you miss a day of Daily News? Remember to use our searchable story
archive at

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Great Lakes Daily News is a collaborative project of the Great Lakes
Information Network ( and the Great Lakes Radio Consortium
(, both based in Ann Arbor, Mich.

TO SUBSCRIBE and receive this Great Lakes news compendium daily, see

TO UNSUBSCRIBE: Send a message to with the
command 'unsubscribe dailynews' in the body of the message.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Welcome to EcoLink, your online connection to the Ecology Center – and our bi-monthly newsletter – From the Ground Up. The Ecology Center works for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play.

This EcoLink features links to hot green news, events, and highlights from our May/June 2006 newsletter, From the Ground Up.

Help the Ecology Center continue protecting your health: http://www.ecocenter. org/actionmembership.shtml


House Honcho Fiddles As Trash Piles Up
Speaker DeRoche Blocking Dumping Fee Legislation

It costs $7.25 in Pennsylvania, $3 in Wisconsin, and 21 cents in Michigan. That’s the Tipping Fee Surcharge to dump a ton of garbage in a landfill in each state. Is there any wonder why the amount of out-of-state trash dumped in Michigan landfills grew in 2005 for the sixth year in a row? The big question is why Speaker of the House Craig DeRoche (R-Novi) refuses to allow a floor debate and vote on proposed legislation that would raise the state’s dumping fee.

Go to this article

Join more than 4,000 other concerned people by sending Speaker DeRoche an e-letter Take Action Now!


EcoRide 2006
Sunday, June 25

The Ecology Center’s annual bike-a-thon at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. Fun ride for all ages and all levels! Ride our scenic 2, 8, 15, 30 or 65-mile routes, followed by food, music, massages, kids activities, and bike-related demos. For more info or to volunteer, contact Stephanie Feldstein at (734) 761-3186 ext 110 or email

Learn more

EcoFriendly EcoRide

For the first time in its history, the Ecology Center’s annual EcoRide is going to be “climate neutral” thanks to the generosity of Clif Bar. From carbon credits to sugarcane-based plates to good old-fashioned conservation and recycling, the Ecology Center proves that big events don’t have to be big polluters.

Go to this article


Ecology Center Continues the Fight to Ban Toxic Pesticide
Not safe for pets, but still used on children's heads!

The Ecology Center, with the Michigan Network for Children's Environmental Health (MNCEH), has launched a campaign to ban lindane -- a toxic pesticide used to treat head lice and scabies. Lindane is a persistent, bioaccumulative environmental toxin that contaminates water, and is no longer registered for use on pets because it it too hazardous. California banned it, yet the state of Michigan has yet to prohibit its use on people.

Go to this article

Green Light for Green Chemistry?
Wave of the Future Here Now

Solvents and inks from soybeans, plastics from sustainably grown corn, and biodegradable fire-extinguishing foam are but a few examples of products engineered by the emerging science of green chemistry. The Ecology Center is now at the forefront of Michigan organizations pushing green chemistry as a job-producing opportunity to protect human health and the environment. Will the state be a leader or follower? Can green solutions overcome a brown legacy?

Go to this article

National Agreement Targets 80 Tons of Mercury

Next to coal-fired power plants and municipal incinerators, auto switches from pre-2003 automobiles represent the largest manufacturing source of mercury. A five-year Ecology Center-led campaign to remove mercury switches from cars before they are recycled has spurred a preliminary agreement between representatives from the EPA, various state governments, the auto manufacturing and recycling industries, and environmentalists to capture the toxin on a national level.

Go to this article

Growing the Greenbelt

Ann Arbor’s greenbelt recently expanded by 156 acres with the purchase of property development rights on two parcels of farmland located in neighboring Salem and Superior Townships, guaranteeing that the land farmed by the Fishbeck family for over 40 years will be preserved as agricultural property forever. Read why the Greenbelt Commission considers these properties, just the second and third purchases of the program, such a high priority.

Go to this article

Affordable Green Absolution For Only $99

If you’re an average American, you generate over 24 tons per year of carbon dioxide, a primary greenhouse gas. But there’s no need to lose sleep from guilt because for only $99, yes that’s just $99, you can buy enough carbon credits to offset a whole year’s worth of nasty emissions. Cranky Consumer goes behind the screens of glossy websites like and

Go to this article


Earth Day Party a Blast!

Dance for the Earth was once again a fantastic Earth Day party! Thanks to all of the sponsors, volunteers, and musicians who helped make this happen.

Go to article

Learn more about the Mary Beth Doyle Environmental Health Fund

Ecology Center Honors Volunteers, Installs New Board Members

On April 9 the Ecology Center’s Board of Directors, staff, members and others gathered in the Michigan Union to recognize this year’s awardees -- Webster Neighbors for Responsible Growth, Rachael Baker, Aparna Bole, and Rachel Steel -- and to elect new board members Diana Torres-Burgos, Bena Burda and Jacqueline Phelan-Hand.

Learn more


Get your friends in on the latest environmental news - forward EcoLink!

Read From the Ground Up online:

Learn more about Ecology Center campaigns for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play:

If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe to receive future editions of EcoLink, send an email to:

The subject and body of the message can be left blank. You will receive a message to confirm that you want to subscribe from:

EcoLink mailing list Logo Endless Pools? (468x60) ? The Treadmill for Swimmers. Installed indoors or out, the Endless Pool is perfect for year-round swimming, exercise and therapy. Click for a Free DVD!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Today's News

China Warns of Toxic Baby Bottles
Chinese investigators have seized baby bottles made from recycled compact discs containing dangerous levels of the toxic chemical hydroxybenzene, official media reported Tuesday.

Judge Rules Sea Lion Research Violates Laws
A judge has ruled the federal government must halt studies of threatened and endangered Steller sea lions because it did not properly asses how certain research techniques might harm the animals.

Group Advocates Clean-Running School Buses
Diesel fumes have emerged as the new bogeyman in the battle against smog, and more needs to be done to protect children exposed to pollutants in school buses, an environmental group says.

Study Finds Global Warming Boosts Poison Ivy
Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report.

States Restrict Firewood to Stop Bug
A tiny green beetle that decimates ash trees is nibbling away at traditional summer campfires as states try to halt the insect's spread through infested firewood that campers unwittingly haul into parks.

Australia Lobbies Pacific Nations against Whaling
Australia began a last-ditch attempt to lobby small Pacific Island nations to support whale conservation on Tuesday, warning that every vote at next month's International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting would be crucial.

>>>More articles at

Network Member News

ANWR Victory Big Step To Energy Independence
By: the National Center for Policy Analysis
The House voted today to allow the expansion of drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett says expanded drilling in ANWR will help increase domestic supplies of oil and gas as well as give the government an extra $111-173 billion in tax revenues and royalties from oil companies.

Tomato Psyllids Cropping Up in Southern California
By: UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
Tomato psyllids are spreading across the country, devastating crops in Colorado, Montana, Washington, and Ontario, Canada. In Baja, Mexico, growers lost more than 85 percent of their fresh market tomatoes in 2001. California populations originated from Mexico, but are now surviving year-round in San Diego, Orange and Ventura counties.

The World After Oil Peaks
By: Earth Policy Institute
Few countries are planning a reduction of oil use. Even though peak oil may be imminent, most countries are counting on much higher oil consumption in the decades ahead, building automobile assembly plants, roads, highways, parking lots, and suburban housing developments as though cheap oil will last forever. New airliners are being delivered with the expectation that air travel and freight will expand indefinitely. Yet in a world of declining oil production, no country can use more oil except at the expense of others.

Saving the World, 3-kW at a Time
By: the Midland School
Midland’s sophomore class learned the science and history of a finite and polluting fossil fuel-based economy, learned how solar panels work, and then helped install a 3-kW photovoltaic (PV) system that will meet another 3-4 percent of the campus’s electricity needs and prevent the emissions of 4 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

Sportsmen Say Nation's Energy Policy "Is on the Wrong Track" Call for Action on Global Warming
By: the National Wildlife Federation
The majority of America's sportsmen say global warming is an urgent problem that needs immediate action, and they want clean energy solutions that create jobs and cut pollution from burning fossil fuels, a national poll of hunters and anglers reveals.

Sierra Club And Center Move To Protect Palm Springs Pocket Mouse From Extinction
By: the Center for Biological Diversity
This species has lost most of its native habitat already and is one of the 27 species that would be afforded some protection under the Coachella Valley Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan (MSHCP). However, to move forward, the habitat plan needs approval by all the cities in the Valley, and in recent weeks some jurisdictions have expressed opposition to the plan.

Linking Climate Change Across Time Scales
By: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
What do month-to-month changes in temperature have to do with century-to-century changes in temperature? At first it might seem like not much, but in a report published in this week's Nature, scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found some unifying themes in the global variations of temperature at time scales ranging from a single season to hundreds of thousands of years. These findings help place climate observed at individual places and times into a larger global and temporal context.

The W2O Marks International Day of the Ocean With A New Sustainability Perspective
By: Open Space Institute
According to the United Nations, approximately three billion people - half of the world's population - live within 125 miles of a coastline. With these numbers on the rise, it is increasingly imperative to understand the connection between humanity and the waters that cover 71 percent of the earth's surface. June 8 has been declared the International Day of the Ocean, providing a time for the media to deliberate on the state of ocean affairs, and one organization - the World Ocean Observatory - is providing a new perspective on how to approach ocean sustainability in a changing world.

Off Shore Drilling Defeated, Oil Addiction Continues
By: the National Center for Policy Analysis
The House defeated a proposal yesterday to allow off-shore drilling in U.S. coastal waters. National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett responded to the news by suggesting the president should send Congress back to the drawing board.

For Every Season, Turn to the Year-Round Program
By: UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program
Since seasons dictate most farm activity, peach growers who have problems with agricultural pests look for advice on what time of year to monitor and time treatments to control them. If they consult the year-round Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for peaches, they’ll find effective and environmentally sound ways to manage pests in their crops.

Editor's Note : 'Network News' features press releases submitted directly by organizations in ENN's member network. This content is not specifically endorsed or supported by ENN and is not subjected to ENN's editorial process.

ENN Weekly Poll

Latest Poll :
Should bison be confined within Yellowstone Park boundaries to avoid the brucellosis issue?

Poll Results :
Do you believe that there's enough oil in the ANWR to justify destroying wildlife habitat?
10.57% - Yes
89.43% - No

>>>Voice Your Opinion


Adagio Tea 120x240


15 FREE prints

Spring Lily Collection - Free Vase with Asiatic Li

Sierra Club 120x60

Her Design 120x600 NL

ENN is a Registered Trademark of the Environmental News Network, Inc.
Copyright © 2006 Environmental News Network, Inc.
Contact ENN

You are receiving this e-mail as an opt-in subscriber to the Environmental News Network newsletter. Please read our Privacy Policy for current and complete information. ENN adheres to a strict no-spam policy in accordance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003

Preparing for the Post-Carbon Age
By Doris "Granny D" Haddock
t r u t h o u t | Address

Tuesday 30 May 2006

Doris "Granny D" Haddock attended "Healing Mountains," the 16th annual Heartwood Forest Council, in the dwindling forests of West Virginia this Memorial Day weekend.

Thank you.

What must it be like, do you suppose, to be a fireman rushing though a burning building, coming across a wealthy gentleman in his grand apartment who insists that, well, this is nothing, there is often smoke in the halls this time of the week - it is likely Mrs. O'Reilly burning her biscuits again. Besides, he insists, the fire department is filled with alarmists and he will not be leaving his apartment just now, thank you, but will be calling a complaint into the mayor, whose re-election campaigns he finances.

The question for environmental activists is this: can the planet be saved even if many of the people do not understand the problem or, despite the ready facts, are insistent upon staying the course of self-destruction because it profits them in the short term? Will the rising stormy seas, the spreading deserts and droughts, only prompt them to dig their heels deeper into the mud of the melting levees?

And as a species, are we not waddling toward the cliff? Why has no great leader stood upon a rock with sufficient persuasion to halt the march and save the day? Are the forces now too great against mere words? Are the zombie masses, holding the hands of their children, on a Jonestown-like death march we cannot fathom or halt? Is it evolution itself we are watching, with our species automatically pre-wired for extinction when there are, say, by God's count, more Washington lobbyists than tree frogs - and with stickier fingers?

It seems dark. Great electrical shovels, like invading space monsters, take apart our mountains. The monstrous machines called international corporations take apart the small farms and family businesses and democracies here and around the world, pushing people into cities and into powerless poverty, our global ecosystem and survival be damned. The great middle class employers like General Motors are purposely bankrupted by a behind-the-scenes elite so that manufacturing might move to more profitable lands without union and legal protections for human beings. The air is filled with warming poisons. Any attempt by the people to organize or even fairly vote is opposed and dismantled. Dark times. The government is now tracking our calls and putting barbed wire around us when we gather together as free men and women. A slave society, prison industries, yellow and black skies, great manipulations to kill off whole problem populations. A monstrous earth is the vision we can now imagine because, in fact, the great war between humans and the tumorous corporate monsters we let loose is raging. You will see in your lifetimes the outcome.

If we can learn something useful from nature in this battle, it is this: lemmings don't get to vote. Lemmings, these days, only get to watch Fox News. They don't have a chance, in other words. We can't win this battle from inside the pack.

Strategically, I can imagine two possible outcomes for this battle. One is dark and one is bright.

Here is the dark one. Global catastrophe builds upon global catastrophe. Democracies become dictatorships as the masses reach for leadership and rescue from storm, pestilence and famine. Shooting wars break out between those who follow and those who oppose. A time of violence and suffering falls upon the planet. The resources that could have been spent to repair the ecosystem are needed for police security and mass imprisonment or worse. The weakened species, as a whole, finds itself in no position to survive when agricultural systems collapse and anarchy overwhelms all authority. I cannot see much past that, though there is probably much to see.

Here is the bright one. Global catastrophe builds upon global catastrophe. (Yes, I know it starts out badly.) More and more people opt out of the carbon economy to join a rising society of people and communities who have moved rapidly toward an ethic of responsibility and sustainability. These communities produce the best leaders, more and more of whom are elected to national positions. Many existing national leaders begin to move toward the ethic of these communities and of sustainability. More and more towns and cities, led by goal-setting organizations dominated by young people, accept sustainable goals. The first President of the United States from such a community is elected in the same year that similar leaders are chosen in Europe, India and several other regions. The Untied Nations is rapidly reorganized around its own Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a post-carbon age economic model. Multi-national corporations are outlawed, as corporations must now be overseen by the communities that grant their limited, public purpose charters.

Now, which one of these visions, among the millions we could dream up, is the more likely? Or will the future be something in-between, where there are solar cells on every roof, but every roof is a detention facility?

What shall it be? Must we find caves in the far woods and set our booby traps against the storm troopers of the Empire who might come for us, or shall we get some responsible communities moving forward?

Here is why the brighter scenario is the more realistic: the problems of the carbon age are not based on innate self-destructiveness, they are based on addiction, and all the enabling supports of that addiction are unsustainable and are now teetering. We who lose more environmental battles than we win are now about to win the war. We must become ready to keep that victory from turning into a new kind of hell.

This carbon addiction is a nasty sort, worse than heroine. The heroine addict has, surrounding him or her, the larger society of people who are productive and loving and healthy. As compelling as the heroine addiction may be, this other world is always there, always visible, always pulling and ready for a welcoming return.

Where is the saner, sustainable, more democratic, more human-scaled and human-celebrating community offering a visible and attractive alternative to the over-mortgaged, over-consuming, over-stressed carbon addict? Have we put in place the better world we would have people move toward?

It is interesting to be in a region where so many people escaped that corporate lemming treadmill in the 1960s and 70s to create just such communities. Some of the places survive as small communities or weekend retreats where friends may be free and happy. The parties are good, I am told. But gray heads cannot change the world alone, and, while escapism is healthy for personal renewal, it is not revolution, and revolution is what we need. It will come from people now in junior high school and younger.

Do not despair; they are but a few years from voting, if voting will mean anything. We do not have to tell them about fairness or about the value of a healthy earth or the value of freedom. But we do have to give them ways to move their ideals into effective political action. Can we help them be more effective than we have done for ourselves? I think we can, and I will get to that.

First, here are a few things I hope we can do to prepare the ground for a peaceful, happy revolution.

We need to make the better world visible, so the carbon addict may be drawn to it, and may see it as a place to go as nature begins to vote more often in her harsh way - and there is no way to rig her vote.

We must encourage and advance the positive, human-scaled and community-based systems already in place, such as community supported agriculture, edible schoolyard programs, local economy support projects and the like. We must go far beyond these ideas. We must create political support organizations in every housing project, to assist people with their immediate needs and build a new base for progressive politics. We must work closer with labor unions, so that they see a longer view, particularly in regard to environmental issues, and so that the tremendous political power of united workers begins again to shape public policy. We need more "listening projects," to hear people and connect with their higher values. Many of you are doing precisely these things. We need a greater international reach. If some local communities in this country would partner with communities in, for example, Mexico, non-exploitive agricultural cooperatives can be established that enable people to stay in the communities they love, rather than suffer the abuses of illegal immigration. Let's create the leadership for a better world, and let's make it visible and attractive and real.

As people who must transcend borders, let us transcend our own political districts. If the politicians of this area are too beholden to the money of Big Coal, for example, let us partner with the voters of districts far away, who must breath the same poisoned air but whose Members of Congress are not so beholden to Coal. I think my community in southern New Hampshire would be delighted to partner with a community here, if we can find ways to organize this idea. We have been divided and conquered, but we can undivide at will, for we all have a stake in the air and water and the earth's health and our human and democratic rights.

Part of the problem of the progressive left is that we have fragmented into dozens of organizations, each of which must struggle for funds and email addresses and all the rest. We need to fold ourselves back into the Democratic Party and thoroughly invigorate it. Do not worry that we will cause the Party to marginalize itself. If the Party can base its actions on good science, effective governance, and efficient delivery of the programs the people need, it will prosper across all the left and all the middle of the American political spectrum. But by splitting ourselves off into all these good government organizations we have left the party to the selfish elites, and they don't know how to serve the people or the truth, and that means they do not know how to win.

We have a great tool in the Internet, if we can keep it. Great energy is being applied to corporatize that last, great commons. If they ruin it, of course, we can and will create an alternate one in its place. It's just a matter of calling our computers into a new system that I'm sure we will all be happy to create. Let the old one try to prosper without us!

I would hope that some of the internet experts who care to keep open the commons will begin this planning, in the event that a switch-over becomes necessary. I hope the progressive funders, such as Mr. Soros's Open Society Institute, will lend some assistance. The servers of such a system may need to be in a country that still respects privacy, and the connections may need to be by satellite instead of telephone line, but we must and will keep open the lines of communication between human beings in this time of great transition.

New treasury pick: Ratify Kyoto

Google's first mashup goes green
Map-based Web site offers tips on earth-friendly places to visit in the U.S. during summer vacation.
Images: Google's green mash-up
Tue May 30 21:00:00 PDT 2006 | Read the story

How do you make a fuel cell? Print it
South San Francisco start-up develops money-saving technique for producing mechanical components: Use industrial printers.
Photos: Printing small parts
Wed May 31 04:00:00 PDT 2006 | Read the story

A weekly newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The EERE Network News is also available on the Web at:

May 31, 2006

News and Events

Site News

  • DOE's Regional Office Web Sites to Shut Down on June 1st

Energy Connections

  • DOE Prepares for the North Atlantic Hurricane Season

News and Events

New Wind Plants Planned for California, Colorado, Iowa, and Oregon

Photo of four large wind turbines.

General Electric's 1.5-megawatt wind turbines will soon be erected at new wind plants in Colorado and Oregon.
Credit: GE Energy, © 2004, General Electric Company

A recent wave of large wind turbine orders and project announcements spanning four states suggests that wind power will continue growing strong at least through 2007. PPM Energy had previously announced orders for 500 megawatts (MW) of General Electric wind turbines over the next two years, but last week it announced another 857 MW of wind turbines on order from four major suppliers, also for the next two years. The company revealed where some of those GE wind turbines are destined: to a 100-MW wind plant near Arlington, Oregon, and a 75-MW wind plant near Lamar, Colorado. The Leaning Juniper Wind Project should start producing power for Oregon by year's end, while the Twin Buttes Wind Power Project in Colorado will be completed in 2007. PPM Energy recently completed one of its projects, the 150-MW Elk River Wind Project in central Kansas, which is now the state's largest wind plant. See the PPM Energy press releases.

An Oregon utility plans to follow PPM Energy's lead in that state, while other utilities aim to deliver new wind power to California and Iowa. In Oregon, Portland General Electric (PGE) is proposing to buy the development rights to the Biglow Canyon Wind Farm near the state's northern border. PGE plans to erect between 350 and 450 MW of wind turbines at the site, starting with 126 MW that could be installed by the end of next year. The Oregon Public Utility Commission is currently reviewing PGE's proposal to buy the plans from developer Orion Energy, LLC. In California, San Diego Gas and Electric Company earned approval from the state last week to purchase 205.5 MW of wind power from enXco. The wind power developer will build a new facility in the Tehachapi area of southern California, with power delivery to begin in 2008. And in Iowa, MidAmerican Energy plans to add 545 megawatts of wind power, possibly by the end of 2007, including a 99-MW project in west central Iowa. See the press releases from Orion Energy, enXco, and MidAmerican Energy.

All this news should provide plenty of optimism at the wind industry's annual meeting, the WINDPOWER 2006 Conference and Exhibition, which runs from June 4th to the 7th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. See the conference Web site.

Northeastern States Offering Funds for Renewable Energy Projects

The northeastern states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania continue to demonstrate their strong financial support for renewable energy, collectively offering more than $13 million in funds in recent weeks. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is offering up to $2 million in grants for renewable energy projects that are at least 10 kilowatts in size and located at commercial, industrial, institutional, or public facilities. The grants could go toward either feasibility studies or design and construction. Applications are due on August 17th. The New York State Energy Research and Development (NYSERDA) is offering $1.3 million for solar photovoltaic projects on municipal buildings, and proposals are due on August 15th. NYSERDA currently has a wide range of energy-related funding opportunities. And Pennsylvania is offering $10 million for clean energy projects through two programs: the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority and the Energy Harvest Grant Program. Proposals for both programs are due on July 14th. See the MTC and NYSERDA notices, the full list of NYSERDA funding opportunities, and the press release from Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell.

The situation is somewhat different in Connecticut, where the state's utilities are trying to establish long-term power purchase agreements for at least 100 megawatts (MW) of renewable power by July 2008. The state requires the renewable power providers to have received funding from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), so the CCEF is currently offering grants of at least $50,000 for renewable energy projects located in the state that are from 1 to 30 MW in size. In this round of funding, the CCEF aims to develop contracts for 81 to 85 MW of renewable power. Proposals are due by July 17th. See the CCEF request for proposals.

This latest round of funding is indicative of a larger trend in state support for renewable energy projects, according to a new report from DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Clean Energy States Alliance. Since 1998, state clean energy funds have committed nearly $400 million to 234 utility-scale renewable energy projects totaling 2,249 MW of capacity, according to the report. Of the 2,249 MW of new renewable capacity currently supported, 1,116 MW have been built to date, leaving 1,133 MW still in the development pipeline. See the report on the LBNL Web site.

Hydrogen Fueling Stations Now Operating or Planned in 15 States

Photo of a hydrogen fueling station adjacent to a gas pump at a Shell filling station.

This Shell hydrogen fueling station opened at an existing filling station in Washington, D.C., as part of a DOE partnership.
Credit: Shell

More than 50 hydrogen fueling stations are now operating or planned in 15 states and the District of Columbia, according to the National Hydrogen Association (NHA). The NHA has created a new online database of hydrogen fueling stations, which lists 32 operational fueling stations and 19 on the drawing boards. Of the operating stations, 21 are private and 9 are available to the public, and nearly all are stationary. The private facilities generally serve transit agencies or public or private fleets; most of the planned facilities will be private. California is a strong leader among the states, with 16 hydrogen fueling stations in operation and another 12 planned. The other states with hydrogen fueling stations either planned or operating are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. See the NHA Hydrogen Fueling Stations online database.

California is planning to extend its lead, as the state's Air Resources Board (ARB) is offering $3.75 million to help establish three publicly available hydrogen fueling stations. The stations must start operating by the end of 2007 and continue operating at least through 2009. Bids are due on Friday. Meanwhile, DOE fulfilled its promise to release requests for proposals for basic research for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative by the end of April. The DOE solicitations were posted on the DOE Office of Basic Energy Sciences Web site on April 20th, and responses are due by July 6th. See the DOE solicitations and the ARB solicitation on the California State Contracts Register Web site.

Ethanol Industry Reaches Milestone of 100 Operating Plants

It may be no more meaningful than watching your odometer roll over to a nice even number, but the ethanol industry couldn't help noting last week that the number of operating ethanol plants had reached 100. Frontier Ethanol, LLC, a subsidiary of The Broin Companies, earned the honor when it began operating a plant in Iowa that will produce 60 million gallons of ethanol per year. According to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), the 100 plants can produce more than 4.7 billion gallons of ethanol fuel each year. The RFA says another 33 plants are under construction, while 8 are being expanded, to yield an additional 2 billion gallons in annual ethanol production. See the press release from Broin (PDF 64 KB) and the full list of plants on the RFA Web site. Download Adobe Reader.

Ethanol plants are also continuing to expand into new territory. Pacific Ethanol, Inc. has received all necessary permits to begin construction on a plant on the Columbia River in north central Oregon. Construction on the plant will begin soon and should be completed a year from now. See the Pacific Ethanol press release (PDF 39 KB).

DOE Offers $3.75 Million for Solid-State Lighting Research

Closeup photo of a white-light-emitting diode, a cylindrical translucent device with electronic components at the bottom and two wires protruding from the bottom. The top of the device is emitting white light.

Solid-state lighting sources such as this white-light LED could eventually replace light bulbs.
Credit: CREE Lighting

DOE's Solid State Lighting R&D (Research and Development) Program announced in mid-May that up to $3.75 million is available for research in light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LEDs (OLEDs). The funds will go toward selected research projects relating to LED materials and optics and OLED materials and architectures. Both LEDs and OLEDs are made from semiconductors, and such solid-state devices have the potential to revolutionize the lighting industry with new high-efficiency and durable products. While LEDs are point sources of light, OLEDs normally take the form of large luminous sheets of material. Proposals are due on June 27th. See the links to the funding announcements on the DOE Solid-State Lighting home page.

DOE also announced last week its selection of awardees from the program's previous funding opportunity. Five companies were selected to develop LED and OLED products, including a white-light LED replacement for a 60-watt incandescent bulb that would be four times more efficient, producing 80 lumens of light per watt. Incandescent bulbs produce only about 20 lumens of light per watt. Another company is also aiming for the same efficiency level in a white-light LED, using multiple layers of thin films to build the device, while a third company is shooting for 96 lumens per watt from a white-light LED by using nanotechnology. Two companies are developing OLEDs, with one targeting 50 lumens per watt and the other trying to create a higher-efficiency, more standard lighting source by packing the OLED material into a cavity that will emit light from its opening. DOE funding recently led to a breakthrough for OLED devices, as a researcher from the University of Southern California (USC) used a fluorescent dye to build a white-light OLED that could be three times more efficient than incandescent light bulbs. See the DOE announcement and the USC press release.

Meanwhile, a number of companies are achieving commercial milestones in LEDs. The CAO Group, Inc. is offering a white-light LED that typically achieves 60 lumens per watt, while Permlight Products introduced last week a dimmable white-light LED fixture for recessed down lights that produces more than 40 lumens per watt. Adding to the competition is LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc., which announced yesterday that it achieved 80 lumens per watt of warm white light with an LED fixture for recessed down lights. The company plans to start manufacturing its light fixtures by the end of the year. See the press releases from the CAO Group, Permlight Products, and LED Lighting Fixtures (PDF 133 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

DOE Launches Energy Assessment at World's Largest Insulation Plant

DOE announced last week that it will launch an industrial Energy Saving Assessment at the CertainTeed Corporation manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The plant produces fiberglass insulation and is the largest manufacturing facility for insulation in the world. DOE's free three-day energy assessments are helping major manufacturing facilities to identify energy-saving opportunities, primarily by focusing on steam and process heating systems used at the plants. See the DOE press release.

DOE's Energy Saving Teams have completed visits to 33 large federal facilities and are in the process of visiting 200 energy-intensive manufacturing facilities as part of the national "Easy Ways to Save Energy" campaign launched in October 2005. The first 48 industrial Energy Saving Assessments have identified nearly $152 million per year in potential energy cost savings. If implemented, these energy-saving measures could reduce natural gas consumption by more than 15 trillion Btu per year, which is more than the amount used by 206,000 U.S. homes. See the results of many of these industrial Energy Saving Assessments on the "Save Energy Now" Web site, provided by DOE's Industrial Technologies Program.

Site News

DOE's Regional Office Web Sites to Shut Down on June 1st

DOE's Regional Office Web sites will be archived and removed from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Web site tomorrow in preparation for an upcoming realignment and consolidation of the six regional offices. Please remove or update any links to the regional offices sites. EERE has strived to retain unique content from the regional office Web sites, integrating much of the content into the Consumer, Financial Opportunities, and State Activities and Partnerships sections of the EERE Web site.

On July 1st, the regional offices will be realigned and consolidated into two existing organizations: the Golden Field Office in Golden, Colorado, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For more information on the consolidation, please visit the Regional Office Consolidation News and Updates Web page.

Energy Connections

DOE Prepares for the North Atlantic Hurricane Season

The North Atlantic hurricane season starts tomorrow, and DOE announced yesterday that it is taking a number of steps to prepare. DOE has strengthened its hurricane response system through increased coordination with federal, state, and local leaders in a number of ways, including: training an additional 30 employees for emergency response, bringing the cadre of specially trained DOE response coordination personnel to more than 70; hosting the Energy Leadership forum in Tunica, Mississippi, in January to review best practices and lessons learned with industry representatives and federal, state, and local government leaders; updating and enhancing the hurricane modeling system for DOE's Visualization Room; working with states to improve their energy assurance plans; and implementing a toll-free hotline that will allow state and local leaders and representatives from the energy industry to improve communications with DOE during emergencies.

Last year, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita knocked out electricity to a large portion of the Gulf Coast and damaged a number of oil and gas recovery platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and refineries along the shore. In response, DOE deployed emergency response experts to the Gulf region and had dozens of other individuals working on the hurricane response from DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C. DOE coordinated with other federal agencies, state and local government leaders, and private industry to overcome obstacles and bring power back online and bring fuel to affected regions of the country. At President Bush's direction, DOE made crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve available for loan and sale to oil refiners to help maintain gasoline supply for the nation. DOE also ensured that high-sulfur diesel fuel was provided to utility pole companies so that poles would be ready for installation as soon as the storms passed. See the DOE press release.

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warned that a very active hurricane season is looming in the North Atlantic basin. NOAA predicts 13 to 16 named storms, with 8 to 10 becoming hurricanes, of which 4 to 6 could become major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher. If the prediction holds true, this year's hurricane season will be milder than last year, but still much more active than normal. See the NOAA press release.

This newsletter is funded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and is also available on the EERE Web site. You can subscribe to the EERE Network News using our simple online form