Presentation to Executive Committee on the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE)

The ASERTTI Executive Committee meeting, held on March 1, featured a webinar presentation by Bob Brumley, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Pegasus Global Holdings.  Headquartered in Washington DC, Pegasus Global Holdings is an international technology development firm with demonstrated expertise in defense, security, telecommunications, and intellectual property capture. 
Mr. Brumley provided the Executive Committee with an overview of his company’s unique plans to build a privately financed, owned, and operated Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation (CITE) in the state of New Mexico. CITE will provide a proving ground for technologies arising from the federal laboratories, universities, nonprofit technology centers, federal departments and agencies, and the private sector. 
Covering about 20 square-miles, CITE will physically mimic the fully-integrated operating environment of a typical American community of approximately 35,000, although it will remain unpopulated.  CITE will have an operating infrastructure sufficient to ensure its independence from local utilities and infrastructure, potentially including its own power generation facilities, water, sewer, transportation (road and light rail) and communication infrastructure.  CITE seeks to duplicate an environment as complex as the “real world” that can provide a test venue for researchers, innovators, investors, and policymakers to experience and evaluate the performance of their technologies without endangering populated areas, local services, or public-private infrastructure. 
Mr. Brumley shared that his company is currently choosing between three potential sites in New Mexico.  He hopes to start with the selection of contractors for development and construction in mid-May.

GTI and Industry Partners Launch North American Emerging Technology Program

Gas Technology Institute (GTI) recently announced the launch of a North American (U.S. and Canada) industry collaborative to drive the deployment of energy-efficient emerging technologies and solutions. The Emerging Technology Program (ETP) was developed with significant input and guidance from industry stakeholders, ensuring that this program will meet the varying needs of utilities, energy efficiency programs and ratepayers.  The ETP is focused on accelerating the commercialization and adoption of the latest end use and energy efficiency technologies. The program is designed to help companies identify and evaluate the most promising products and integrated solutions and assess their suitability for future use in the marketplace. The collaborative will leverage the collective intelligence, expertise, and funding of members from the natural gas industry to help deploy new technologies.  For more information, visit the Emerging Technology Program website.

LIPA’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programs Receive National Awards

The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) recently received two esteemed awards, the 2012 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year-Established Markets award for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) and the “Readers Choice Award” by Renewable Energy World for the Long Island Solar Farm (LISF) project.  LIPA has been acknowledged for its leadership and best practices in implementing Home Performance Direct, an innovative program that targets customers who have either electric heat and/or high electrical energy use central air conditioning systems. These customers quickly and substantially benefit from the services delivered under LIPA’s Home Performance Direct program, leading many of them to participate in LIPA’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program which provides substantial rebates for recommended follow-up work, including insulation and air sealing.  LIPA received the “Readers Choice Award” as part of the 2012 Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards for the Long Island Solar Farm.  The Long Island Solar Farm is currently the largest photovoltaic solar plant in the Eastern United States. This project was selected out of the hundreds of nominations from the Renewable Energy World Network of Editors. This solar photovoltaic power plant is 32 megawatts and was built through a collaboration between BP Solar, LIPA, and the Department of Energy (DOE). The LISF, located on the Brookhaven National Laboratory site, began delivering power to the LIPA grid in November 2011. The 164,312 crystalline solar photovoltaic modules generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 4,500 homes and help New York State meet its clean energy and carbon reduction goals.


Senator Bingaman Introduces the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012

On March 1, Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) introduced the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012, legislation aimed at modernizing our nation’s power sector and guiding it toward a future in which more electricity is generated from renewable sources.  The Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 employs a market-based approach that encourages a wide variety of electricity-generating technologies.  Under the plan, all generators of clean energy are given credits based upon their carbon emissions; greater numbers of credits are given to generators with lower emissions per unit of electricity.  The objectives as set forth in the Clean Energy Standard Act include the following: to promote a diverse set of sources of low- and zero-carbon electricity generation in the U.S.; to drive clean energy innovation and American ingenuity; and, to do so simply, transparently, predictably, and cost-effectively with a long-term market signal.  For a two-page summary of the Clean Energy Standard Act, please click here.  For a section-by-section summary, please click here.

Offshore Wind Gets $180 Million Boost from DOE

On March 1, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the start of an initiative to capture wind energy off U.S. coasts. As part of a planned six-year, $180 million initiative, an initial $20 million will be made available this year as the first step in supporting up to four innovative, offshore wind energy installations. These projects will accelerate the deployment of breakthrough wind power technologies that will help diversify the U.S. energy portfolio. Offshore wind resources in the U.S. are estimated at more than 4,000 gigawatts.

The demonstration projects will help address key challenges associated with installing utility-scale offshore wind turbines, connecting offshore turbines to the power grid, and navigating new permitting and approval processes. In addition to the new funding, DOE is continuing to work with partners across the federal government to implement a comprehensive offshore wind energy strategy, conduct resource assessments, and streamline siting and permitting processes.

Competitive solicitation applicants are expected to form consortia of energy project developers, equipment suppliers, research institutions, and marine-installation specialists. DOE funds may be used to cover up to 80% of a project's design costs and 50% of the hardware and installation costs. Applications are due by May 31, 2012. See the DOE press release and the funding opportunity details.

USDA Announces Funding to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure and Make the Grid More Reliable and Efficient

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that rural electric cooperative utilities in eight states have been awarded about $25 million to install smart grid technologies and make improvements to generation and transmission facilities. In less than a year, USDA Rural Development is more than halfway toward reaching Secretary Vilsack's goal of awarding more than $250 million in funding for smart grid technologies.  Examples of funding announced this week include the Roanoke Electric Membership Corporation in Ahoskie, NC. It will receive a $16.8 million guaranteed loan to fund system improvement projects to enhance reliability. The loan will also finance smart grid technologies and transmission line improvements. In Laurel, MS, Dixie Electric Power Association will receive a $29 million loan to build or improve 301 miles of distribution line and make other system improvements. The loan includes $8.9 million for automated metering.


ARPA-E Open Funding Opportunity Announcement

The U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program recently released an Open Funding Opportunity Announcement (OPEN FOA) to address the challenges imposed by the rapidly evolving global energy market.  ARPA-E seeks to support transformational research in all areas of energy R&D, including resource identification, extraction, transportation and use, and energy generation, storage, transmission and use in both the transportation and stationary power sectors. Areas of research addressed in this FOA include (but are not limited to) electricity generation by both renewable and non-renewable means, electricity transmission, storage, and distribution; energy efficiency for buildings, manufacturing and commerce, and personal use; and all aspects of transportation, including the production and distribution of both renewable and non-renewable fuels, electrification, and energy efficiency in transportation.  The submission deadline for notices of intent is 5 PM ET, March 30, 2012.


Briefing on the Final Report of the Symposium on Managing Large-Scale Penetration of Intermittent Renewables
Monday, March 12, 2012 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM (Eastern Time)

2012 Michigan Energy Conference
April 12, 2012 – Grand Rapids, MI

Biomass 2012: Confronting Challenges, Creating Opportunities – Sustaining a Commitment to Bioenergy
July 10-11, 2012 – Washington, D.C.