We've got some interesting stories in this installment. We've got some biomass, some solar, some wind. We even have a Seinfeld reference, so there's that. On an unrelated note, I've recently ratcheted up my use of twitter. I'm following a few Kossacks, along with various celebrities. If you'd like to follow me (although I can't imagine why you would), I'm @marknadratowski.
Solar energy jobs will be coming to Michigan, courtesy of a company based in GA:
Suniva, the Norcross-based solar energy company, announced Thursday it will receive a $141 million loan guarantee from the federal government to help build a factory in Michigan.It was a mixed week for alternative energy in VA, not including President Obama's announcement of new off shore drilling. First, Governor Bob McDonnell quit the wind energy coalition. Then, McDonnell signed a clean energy bill. The bill will:
Suniva says the guarantee should lead to 500 jobs and a tripling of exports within five years. Last year, the company exported more than 90 percent of its mono-crystalline silicon solar cells and modules to Asia and Europe.
Create the Virginia Offshore Wind Development Authority to promote offshore wind energy. Proponents say Virginia's coastal area has ideal winds to turn the massive blades of offshore turbines. Two energy companies already have expressed interest in developing wind farms 12 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach.
Provide tax credits for the creation of green jobs. "Our green job tax credit will encourage more alternative energy entrepreneurs to make Virginia their home," McDonnell said.
Create the Virginia Universities Clean Energy and Development and Economic Stimulus Foundation, which would promote research and development of alternative fuels and green technologies.
Allows power suppliers to seek recovery of certain costs for projects with reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Provides financing mechanisms for localities seeking clean energy improvements.
All in all, a bit of a mixed bag.
Colorado's largest utility, Xcel, is shutting down 900 MW of coal plants and replacing them with natural gas power plants. This will reduce the entire Colorado coal power fleet by a staggering 30%. What prompted this decision? The passage of the Colorado Clean Air-Clean Jobs Act. Are you paying attention Washington?
That evil stimulus has reared its ugly head, creating more clean energy jobs:
Smith Electric Vehicles of Kansas City has received an additional $22 million in federal funding to help develop and build more electric trucks.Oh no, it's the stimulus again!:
The grant should help Smith grow in Kansas City, while the United States will benefit from a line of electric trucks that will curb foreign oil imports...
Kevin Kelly, chief financial officer for Smith Electric, said the Kansas City facility has 50 employees assembling two trucks a week. By the end of the year, it hopes to be assembling 25 trucks a week and to have more than 100 employees, including workers in research and development.
Nearly 10,000 homeowners and small enterprises have signed up for all the approximately $10 million in federal stimulus money the state has available for two rebate programs to help them cut energy costs and install renewable-energy systems.George W. Bush is scheduled to speak @ a wind energy conference. There should be enough hot air to power America for a generation. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress.
The state started taking applications for the energy-efficiency rebate and the renewable-energy rebate programs on March 22, and both were fully subscribed by March 26, according to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy.
Finally, a new energy project has been launched by an unlikely leader:
John O’Hurley, well-known for his portrayal of Jacopo Peterman on the sitcom “Seinfeld,” as the host of the TV game show “Family Feud” and as season one winner of “Dancing with the Stars,” has taken on a new role in a less-glamorous industry that turns hog manure into power. O’Hurley and his new company Energy-Inc. have signed a contract to install a waste-to-energy system at High Ridge Farm in Greenville, N.C., to process waste from the farm’s 3,000 hogs and convert it into electricity.There is no word on the company's progress on a new cooling apparatus known as the "Urban Sombrero".