ASERTTI News

ASERTTI MEMBER NEWS

New Speakers Confirmed for the ASERTTI-NASEO State Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference

Register today for the 2012 ASERTTI/NASEO State Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference on February 7-10, 2012, at the Fairmont Washington, D.C.  The conference agenda is now available online.  Distinguished speakers include:

  • The Honorable Paul Tonko, Member, U.S. House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Rob Portman, Member, U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Invited)
  • Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Marcilynn Burke, Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Bureau of Land Management (Invited)
  • Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Steve Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Council on Renewable Energy
  • John Felmy, Chief Economist, American Petroleum Institute
  • Christophe Tulou, Director, District of Columbia Department of the Environment

This year's Conference will explore how states are encouraging economic development and technology innovation through private investment to modernize the nation's energy systems and infrastructure in public facilities, power systems, and the transportation sector.

ASERTTI Buildings Committee Abstract Accepted for ACEEE Conference

The ASERTTI Buildings Committee was recently informed that its abstract submission, Smart Grid Research: Building Infrastructure for the Future, was accepted for presentation during the poster session at the 2012 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings.  The abstract focuses on energy-efficient building technologies and proposes an initiative to catalog state-level policy and regulatory barriers to smart grid implementation, identify core research and technology breakthroughs needed to propel the market, and document existing, successful deployment incentive models. ASERTTI members that would like to contribute to the development of the poster or corresponding paper for the August ACEEE conference, please contact ASERTTI Program Director Sarah Ruen Blanchard at sruen@asertti.org or 303-425-6800 ext. 463.

California OKs Energy Efficiency Rules for Battery-Charged Devices

On January 12, the California Energy Commission approved a first-in-the-nation energy efficiency standard that will reduce the amount of energy wasted by battery chargers used with cell phones, laptop computers, power tools, and other devices. The proposed standards can save nearly 2,200 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year, enough energy to power nearly 350,000 homes.

Because nearly two-thirds of the 8,000 GWh of electricity consumed in California by battery charger systems (or battery chargers) is wasted by inefficiency, the Energy Commission proposed appliance efficiency standards requiring battery chargers to consume less energy while providing the same performance. Consumer chargers used in cell phones, personal care devices, and power tools will be required to comply with the new standards by February 1, 2013. Industrial charger compliance (e.g. forklifts) is required by January 1, 2014. Compliance for small commercial chargers (such as walkie-talkies and portable barcode scanners) is required by January 1, 2017.

USDA Awards Desert Research Institute $99,935 to Conduct Energy Audits

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development has awarded $99,935 to the Nevada System of Higher Education Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct energy audits for small rural businesses and agricultural producers in northwestern Nevada and northeastern California. The energy audits will provide businesses, ranchers and farmers a way to identify their baseline energy use, enabling them to develop a plan to reduce energy costs.  The program will focus on rural dairies in northwestern Nevada and northeastern California within approximately 125 miles of Reno, Nevada. There are plans to expand the program to rural small businesses such as restaurants and motels in the same geographical area.

LIPA Partners with Northport VA Medical Center to Save Facility over $300,000 Annually through Major Efficiency Upgrades

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) has partnered with the Northport VA Medical Center (VA) to complete a major retrofit project upgrading the facility with energy efficient lighting equipment. The project is expected to save the medical center approximately $330,000 annually in electricity costs.  The $1.1 million project replaced or retrofitted more than 8,000 inefficient fixtures and installed over 15,000 energy efficient high-performance lamps and ballasts. Through these improvements, it is estimated that the Northport VA Medical will save up to 2.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) per year and reduce its peak electric demand by an estimated 454 kilowatts (kW). Through its participation in LIPA’s Commercial Efficiency Program the hospital was able to offset the cost of the project with a $199,672 LIPA rebate.

NYSERDA Funds $1 Million to Develop Clean Energy Power Systems For NYC and Long Island Manufacturers

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is investing $1 million in four New York City and Long Island companies that are developing environmentally-friendly technologies to generate electricity while reducing fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.  The projects were part of a $7 million statewide incentive program announced earlier this year that has provided funding awards to 17 companies.  Projects included fuel cells, solar panels, wind turbines, carbon-dioxide removal, energy storage, waste-heat-to-electric facilities, biogas and hydropower. In order to qualify for this competitive funding, applicants were required to show how the new products improved upon existing technologies. Funding will also pay for demonstration projects and promotion of the results, further increasing the market for these products.

NATIONAL NEWS

DOI Approves Two Renewable Projects

Capping three years of efforts to develop renewable energy resources on public lands both onshore and offshore, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced approval of two utility-scale renewable energy projects—one wind and one solar—that, when built, will generate nearly 500 megawatts of power, or enough to power 150,000 homes, and create 700 jobs during peak construction. Secretary Salazar also announced the first major step in developing an offshore wind transmission line on the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.  For a fact sheet on the U.S. Department of Interior’s (DOI’s) onshore renewable energy program, click HERE.  For a fact sheet on Interior’s offshore renewable energy program, click HERE.

EPA Issues First National Standards for Mercury Pollution from Power Plants

New rules released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require power plants that generate electricity with coal or oil to greatly reduce emissions of 84 different toxins including mercury, arsenic, nickel, selenium, and cyanide. The rules implement clean air mandates enacted by Congress over 20 years ago and comply with a court order for federal action.  EPA estimates that the new standards will prevent as many as 11,000 premature deaths and 4,700 heart attacks per year and help America’s children grow up healthier – preventing 130,000 cases of childhood asthma symptoms and about 6,300 fewer cases of acute bronchitis among children each year.  Within as little as four years, all coal- and oil-fired power plants must meet or exceed the emission rates of the cleanest 12 percent of such plants. Currently, about 40 percent of the nation’s plants have no emissions controls in place. An analysis by the Associated Press concluded that between 32 and 68 coal-fired power plants may close as a result of the new rules.

DOE Reports Show Major Potential for Wave and Tidal Energy Production Near U.S. Coasts

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released two nationwide resource assessments showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation's coasts could contribute significantly to the United States' total annual electricity production, further diversifying the nation's energy portfolio, and providing clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities. These new wave and tidal resource assessments, combined with ongoing analyses of the technologies and other resource assessments, show that water power, including conventional hydropower, wave, tidal, and other water power resources, can potentially provide 15% of our nation's electricity by 2030. The two reports—Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource and Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States— represent the most rigorous analysis undertaken to date to accurately define the magnitude and location of America's ocean energy resources. The information detailed in these resource assessments can help to further develop the country's significant ocean energy resources, create new industries and new jobs in America, and secure U.S. leadership in an emerging global market.

DOE Announces New Online Tools to Help Deploy Distributed Wind Energy Systems

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the launch of two new online tools that can assist state and local policymakers, consumers, and stakeholders in evaluating siting and policy issues to help accelerate the deployment of distributed wind energy systems – such as wind turbines installed at a homes and businesses. DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy funded the development of the "Distributed Wind Site Analysis Tool" and "Distributed Wind Policy Comparison Tool" through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants. The tools are designed to help more people across the country install wind turbines to produce clean, renewable energy.

EVENTS

SAVE THE DATE: ASERTTI Industrial Committee Webinar Briefing by EERE/AMO's Dr. Christodoulou
Monday, January 23 at 1:00PM (ET).  For call-in details, contact ASERTTI Program Director Sarah Ruen Blanchard at sruen@asertti.org or 303-425-6800 ext. 463.

2012 NASEO/ASERTTI State Energy Policy and Technology Outlook Conference
February 7 – 10, 2012 - Fairmont Hotel, Washington, D.C.