Friday, February 27, 2009

AJC: Feds’ Energy Rules Will Hit State Hard

GEG Note: What an excellent look at the potential problems all Georgians could face with Obama's plans.

By Bob Keefe
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, February 27, 2009

Georgia simply doesn’t have the wind, solar or biomass resources required to meet proposed new federal regulations for renewable energy generation, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Stan Wise told members of Congress on Thursday.

As a result, Georgians’ electricity bills would rise by as much as 25 percent and billions in taxpayer money would flow out.......http://www.ajc.com/business/content/printedition/2009/02/27/wise0227.html

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oglethorpe Power Purchases Dynegy's Heard County Power Generation Facility

/PRNewswire/ -- Oglethorpe Power Corporation announced today that it has reached agreement with Dynegy Inc. to acquire that company's Heard County Power Generation Facility and associated purchase power off-take contract for $105 million.

This natural gas-fired peaking facility is located in Heard County, Georgia and has a generating capacity of approximately 500 megawatts. It has been serving the needs of several of Oglethorpe Power's member cooperatives since 2003 through a purchase power contract that terminates in 2015. In 2016, the facility will be available to meet the needs of a broader group of Oglethorpe's member cooperatives.

"This is a unique opportunity to acquire an asset already operating in Georgia that fits very nicely into Oglethorpe's power supply portfolio," said Elizabeth B. Higgins, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Oglethorpe Power Corporation. The sale of the facility is subject to various approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter 2009.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pres. Obama to Nation - Our Economic Recovery 'Begins With Energy'

/PRNewswire/ -- President Obama's first speech to a Joint Session of Congress last night was almost entirely devoted to the troubled economy. Amid a deepening recession Obama described the $787 Billion stimulus as one of the bold steps his five week old administration is implementing to turn the US economy around.

In the speech, Obama vowed to spend $15 billion a year to develop renewable energy. "We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century," he said. The administration's Secretary of Energy, Stephen Chu, announced on Monday an immediate fast-tracking of all applications from wind and solar companies for stimulus dollars to kick-start the construction of more projects.

Assuming wind companies receive the lion's share of stimulus dollars (wind power accounted for 95% of the renewable energy built over the last five years), the stimulus is expected to lead to the construction of 30,000-megawatts of additional capacity, according to Hugh Wynne, an analyst at Bernstein Research - enough new wind power to supply 9 million American homes.

Wind farm developer NACEL Energy (OTC:NCEN) (BULLETIN BOARD: NCEN) CEO Brian Lavery said, "We ran the numbers and the impact as we understand the new stimulus incentives for wind power are really quite significant." NACEL has four wind power projects underway in the Texas Panhandle. Advisory Research has a positive rating on NACEL and a $3.07 valuation.

Accelerating construction of wind farms is also expected to lead to a recovery in the turbine market in the second half of 2009. In recent months manufacturers General Electric (NYSE:GE) and Vestas (Pink Sheets: VWDRY), as well as companies which supply the carbon fiber for turbine blades such as Hexcel (NYSE:HXL) and Zoltek (NASDAQ:ZOLT) , have all experienced slowing demand. Yesterday KeyBanc Capital Markets announced a new buy rating on Hexcel and a $10 valuation.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coweta-Fayette EMC Appoints a Dedicated President and CEO

Coweta-Fayette EMC, the Electric Membership Cooperative created in 1947 to service Coweta and Fayette Counties, has appointed a dedicated President and CEO for its natural gas service, Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas. The move will help the utility further position itself to meet the changing needs of both its electric and natural gas customers.

Dan Hart, who joined Coweta-Fayette EMC as Vice President of Marketing in 1997 and became one of Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas’ original team of managers upon the business’ inception in 2002, will be the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

“A lot has changed since Coweta-Fayette EMC was founded more than 60 years ago. Our customer base has grown exponentially and the utility business has evolved in ways that would have been considered inconceivable just a few years ago,” said Anthony H. “Tony” Sinclair, President and CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC. “The electric and natural gas businesses are very complimentary, but have their own unique challenges and opportunities. It is in the company’s and the customers’ best interest to have a dedicated leadership team, and Dan Hart will do a fantastic job leading Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC was founded to provide the residents and businesses around Coweta and Fayette Counties with electricity at a time when the area was largely rural and had little to no access to electric service. The EMC had a service base of just 690 customers at the time of its founding. With the development of the region, Coweta-Fayette EMC’s customer base has grown to more than 70,000 customers. As technology and demand evolved, the electric-only energy co-operative expanded its services to also include natural gas service.

But while the EMC’s electric service continues to have a designated territory that is largely unchanged since the co-op’s founding, consumers statewide were given the ability to select the natural gas marketer of their choice when the State of Georgia deregulated natural gas service in 1998. As a result, any Georgia resident or business that receives natural gas from the Atlanta Gas Light (AGL) pipeline can select their natural gas marketer. Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas was founded to fill that need for Coweta-Fayette EMC customers as well as residents and businesses throughout the state that are not in the EMC’s service territory.

“Every business must evolve in order to remain competitive, and ours is no different,” said Dan Hart, President and CEO of Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas. “The deregulated nature of the natural gas business in Georgia presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. It is an exciting time, and our natural gas team and I are excited about our prospects.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas is wholly owned by Coweta-Fayette EMC, and is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors that includes some members from the Coweta-Fayette EMC Board of Directors and members who are not affiliated with the EMC’s Board or management. The combination of inside and outside directors is designed to provide both objectivity and insight for the business.

“There are best practices and areas of business expertise that transcend the electric and natural gas aspects of the business,” said Hart. “There also is an objectivity and focus that a board member from outside the industry can provide, and we very much want their vantage point. We have assembled a fantastic team that will help Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas do extremely well.”

Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas is a natural gas marketer registered with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) that offers customers easy to understand bills, simple pricing structures, and local customer service. Coweta-Fayette EMC Natural Gas customers can choose monthly variable-rate pricing without a contract or fixed pricing that allows them to lock in their natural gas price for the winter heating season.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Military, Business Leaders Release Economic Analysis of Energy Security Plan

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a project of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), today released a study entitled Economic Impact of the Energy Security Leadership Council's National Strategy for Energy Security. The paper, a long-term macroeconomic analysis of policy proposals put forward by the ESLC last September, finds that the U.S. economy would benefit substantially over the long term from implementation of the ESLC policy package.

"In short, the study finds that the policy proposals we have put forward would result in dramatic benefits for the American economy," ESLC Co-Chairman Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation, said in a luncheon speech at the National Press Club today. "We are confident that our nation can do this. What we need is the national will and the commitment to secure our own future."

In September, the ESLC released A National Strategy for Energy Security, a comprehensive set of solutions to the very real threats posed by our nation's dependence on oil. The National Strategy presents a bold vision: the transformation of our transportation sector from one dependent on petroleum to one largely powered by electricity. Because that is a long-term goal, the recommendations also detail the policy steps necessary to reach it while preserving our economic and national security in the short and medium term, including dramatic increases in funding and reforms to our research, development, and deployment system; demand reductions; and an expansion of domestic oil and natural gas production.

Shortly after developing the National Strategy, the ESLC commissioned the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland and Keybridge Research to study the long-term economic effects of their policy proposals. In short, the study shows, under the ESLC policy package, employment and disposable income would be higher, the trade balance would improve, and federal budgets would receive a boost from higher economic growth. Most importantly, however, the study finds that the U.S. economy would be far more able to withstand future oil shocks under the ESLC policy plan. In essence, the ESLC energy package can be thought of as a self-financing insurance policy that will make the economy more robust in good times and more resilient when subjected to energy shocks.

Specifically, the study finds that:

-- By 2050, the typical U.S. household would have $4,046 more in annual
income, an increase of nearly 2.1 percent.
-- Over four decades, households would experience an aggregate increase
of $13.9 trillion.
-- When you add in lower energy costs, the average household would be
able to enjoy $5,025 more every year by 2050.
-- By 2050, annual oil imports would be lower by 6.6 million barrels;
cumulatively, we will have imported nearly 60 billion fewer barrels of
foreign oil by then.
-- As a result, the U.S. trade balance would improve by about $275
billion by 2050.
-- Because of the higher levels of income and GDP, net U.S. federal
revenues would be a cumulative $1.46 trillion higher.
-- By 2050, total employment would be 3 million jobs higher, including:
-- 225,000 more jobs in manufacturing
-- 514,000 more jobs in travel and tourism
-- 108,000 more jobs in professional services
-- 44,000 more jobs in agriculture
-- Perhaps most important is what the ESLC policy package will do to help
the economy withstand future oil shocks. Under the plan, in the event
of a severe oil shock in the year 2040:
-- Reduced dependence on imported oil will act as a $400 billion
insurance policy for the U.S. economy.
-- 1.8 million jobs would be saved.
-- Difference in national disposable income would be $448 billion.

Members of the Energy Security Leadership Council
-- Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO, FedEx Corp.
(Co-Chairman)
-- General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
(Co-Chairman)
-- General John P. Abizaid, US Army (Ret.), former Combatant Commander,
U.S. Central Command
-- Edgar M. Bronfman, retired Chairman, The Seagram Company, Ltd.
-- General Bryan "Doug" Brown, US Army (Ret.), former Commander, U.S.
Special Operations Command
-- Admiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations
-- Adam M. Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International
-- General John A. Gordon, USAF (Ret.), former Homeland Security Advisor
to the President
-- Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO, C.V. Starr & Co., Inc.
-- General John W. Handy, USAF (Ret.), former Commander of U.S.
Transportation and Air Mobility Command
-- Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN (Ret.), former Commander, U.S. Naval
Forces, Europe
-- Herbert D. Kelleher, Founder, Southwest Airlines Co.
-- John F. Lehman, former Secretary of the U.S. Navy
-- General Michael E. Ryan, USAF (Ret.), 16th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air
Force
-- Eric S. Schwartz, former Co-CEO, Asset Management, Goldman Sachs
-- Michael R. Splinter, President and CEO, Applied Materials, Inc.
-- Jeffrey C. Sprecher, CEO, IntercontinentalExchange | ICE
-- David P. Steiner, CEO, Waste Management, Inc.
-- Michael T. Strianese, President, CEO and Director, L-3 Communications
-- General Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), former Deputy Commander, U.S.
European Command
-- Josh S. Weston, Honorary Chairman, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.


Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America's dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

UPS Completes Deployment of 300 New “Green” Trucks

-(BUSINESS WIRE)--UPS (NYSE: UPS) yesterday announced it had deployed 300 new delivery trucks powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to seven cities in Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma and California.

The CNG vehicles, part of an order placed last May, will allow UPS to further reduce its dependence on traditional fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel and lower its carbon footprint. UPS already operates the largest private fleet of alternative fuel vehicles in its industry – 1,819 in total with these additions.

The new CNG trucks have been deployed over the past month to Denver (43); Atlanta (46); Oklahoma City (100), and four cities in California: Sacramento (21), San Ramon (63), Los Angeles (9) and Ontario (18). All now are in service.

“Deploying alternative fuel vehicles dates back to the early days of UPS and this CNG deployment is one more step towards the greening of our fleet,” said Robert Hall, UPS’s director of vehicle engineering. “Continuing to add CNG delivery trucks to our fleet is a sustainable choice because natural gas is a cost effective, clean-burning and readily available fuel.”

UPS first began deploying trucks powered by CNG in the 1980s, purchasing traditional gas- or diesel-driven vehicles and then converting them to run on compressed gas. The 300 trucks deployed over the past month were built from scratch as CNG vehicles. They join more than 800 CNG vehicles already in use by UPS worldwide.

The CNG truck bodies are identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that comprise the UPS fleet. Marked with decals as CNG vehicles, the trucks are expected to yield a 20 percent emissions reduction over the cleanest diesel engines available in the market today.

For its alternative fuel fleet, UPS has deployed CNG, Liquefied Natural Gas, propane, electric and hybrid electric vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Brazil, Chile, Korea and the United Kingdom. The company recently announced the purchase of seven hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicles, a first in the industry, and has conducted research with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

UPS began deploying alternative fuel vehicles in the 1930s with a fleet of electric trucks that operated in New York City. Just since 2000, the company’s “green fleet” has traveled 144 million miles.

“Deploying eco-friendly delivery vehicles is one of the many ways UPS demonstrates its commitment to sustainable business practices,” added Hall. “The company plans to continue to expand its ‘green fleet’ and to focus deployments in areas with air quality challenges.”

UPS pursues a wide range of socially responsible and sustainable business practices designed to reduce its impact on the environment and improve communities around the world. UPS is included in the Dow Jones and FTSE4Good Sustainability Indexes, which evaluate corporations based on economic, environmental and social criteria. Learn more about UPS's responsible business practices at www.sustainability.ups.com.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bright Idea Will Help Georgia Southern University Save Energy

Georgia Southern University is teaming up with Georgia Power to bring new light to campus.

A project to “re-lamp” Georgia Southern, the first initiative of its kind in the University System of Georgia, will help the campus save energy. It will also bring students, administrators, faculty and staff together to participate in a campus sustainability project.

Starting this week, students will install energy-efficient light bulbs in offices and conference rooms throughout campus. All incandescent bulbs will be replaced with new Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in the accent/desk/floor primary lamps.

“This project gives students the opportunity to be a part of the solution to our climate issues and energy waste – and it is literally as easy as changing a light bulb,” said Dr. Lissa Leege, Director of the Office of Sustainability in the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology. “By informing office occupants about CFLs and their value, students take on the role of educators – and it is by teaching and by doing that we truly learn.”

As part of his visit to campus on Feb. 16, actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. will participate in the re-lamping kickoff. Begley will join Georgia Southern President Bruce Grube, University staff and students, and Georgia Power representatives for a brief ceremony at 2:15 at the Marvin Pittman Administration Building, followed by time for questions from the media.

CFL bulbs provided by Georgia Power will be installed in 19 buildings next week in the first of four phases to “re-lamp” the entire Georgia Southern campus. The entire project involves the installation of more than 2,000 of the energy-efficient bulbs.

“If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an Energy Star CFL bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than three million homes for a year, save more than $600 million in annual energy costs and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars,” said Monique Dipple, Georgia Southern University’s Sustainability Coordinator.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Southern Bioenergy Industry Could Create Thousands of Jobs

The South is in a unique position to create thousands of jobs for Southerners through the development of the bioenergy industry, a new report says. The Southern Bioenergy Roadmap, a project of the Southeast Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER) and the University of Florida, shows that the South has abundant natural resources and intellectual capital to produce electricity and automotive fuel from plants, trees, and waste, also known as
biomass.

The report found that, in 2007, the South:

• Contained 30 percent of the nation’s bioenergy potential in its agricultural and forestry resources;
• Produced 46 percent of the nation’s biomass generated electricity;
• Produced 22 percent of the nation’s biodiesel, but only 6.4 percent of the nation’s ethanol; and
• Hosted bioenergy research centers in every state.

SAFER presented these findings to Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, chairman of Southern Growth Policies Board’s Southern Technology Council, who commented that “this is a key time for the South to lead the nation in new technologies for converting biomass into energy.” Governor Bredesen also said, “The State of Tennessee has shown a commitment to helping the South become the national leader in bioenergy through its support of the Tennessee Biofuels Initiative and the BioEnergy Science Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.”

For the South to become the nation’s leader in the research, production, and distribution of bioenergy, the Roadmap recommends states (1) Improve the supply, demand, and regulatory environment for bioenergy in the South, (2) Invest in the development of commercial biopower and biofuel facilities in the South, and (3) Educate Southern leaders and the public on the economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy.

Liam Leightley, Chairman of SAFER and Executive Director of the Institute of Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, Virginia, said, “The Roadmap provides a starting point for building on the region’s assets and addressing the barriers to the bioenergy industry in the South.” “By wisely using our resources we can move closer to energy independence and at the same time create good jobs for our rural communities,” Leightley added.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Strategy Update Provides Roadmap for Affordable and Reliable Energy

Governor Sonny Perdue announced the completion of an update to the State Energy Strategy for Georgia (Strategy) last week. Published by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA), the 2009 State Energy Strategy Update includes a profile of Georgia’s energy consumption by sector, an implementation summary of the original Strategy’s recommendations, and an updated list of next steps to secure Georgia’s energy future.

“Relying on efficiency, conservation, renewable energy and advanced clean technologies, Georgia can meet its energy needs in an environmentally responsible and economic way,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “There is no ‘silver bullet’ for energy; rather a ‘silver buckshot’ approach is necessary to meet our future energy demand.”

In early 2006, Governor Perdue directed GEFA to develop an energy strategy for Georgia. Since its release in December 2006, the Strategy has provided an energy roadmap that balances economic growth and environmental concerns. GEFA, home of the state energy office, is responsible for monitoring the progress of the Strategy and for updating the plan as necessary.

“Over the past 30 years, Georgia experienced tremendous growth in population, economic activity and energy demand,” said GEFA Executive Director Chris Clark. “Due to the Governor’s leadership, Georgia is taking the necessary steps to balance today’s needs with tomorrow’s obligations by fostering the wise use of our energy resources.”

The major steps Georgia has undertaken to implement the Strategy are grouped into three primary categories:

Conservation and efficiency
Governor’s Energy Challenge
Clean Energy Property Tax Credit
Telecommuting Tax Credit
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Construction Act of 2008
The State Utilities Program
Energy Star Sales Tax Holiday
Weatherization Program

Renewable energy and research
Center of Innovation for Energy
Bioenergy One Stop Shop
Streamlined Review and Permitting for Renewable Energy Facilities
E85 Infrastructure Grant Program
Greenhouse Gas Inventory (Environmental Protection Division)
Greenhouse Gas Registry (Environmental Protection Division)
Carbon Sequestration Registry (Georgia Forestry Commission)

Advanced traditional technology
Expansion of Plant Vogtle

An electronic copy of the 2009 State Energy Strategy Update is available at https://www.gefa.org/index.aspx?recordid=24&page=205. The public is encouraged to review the plan and provide feedback through the Web site.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

GT: Nanogenerators Produce Electricity from Running Rodents

Could hamsters help solve the world’s energy crisis? Probably not, but a hamster wearing a power-generating jacket is doing its own small part to provide a new and renewable source of electricity.

And using the same nanotechnology, Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have also generated electrical current from a tapping finger – moving the users of BlackBerry devices, cell phones and other handhelds one step closer to powering them with their own typing.

“Using nanotechnology, we have demonstrated ways to convert even irregular biomechanical energy into electricity,” said Zhong Lin Wang, a Regent’s professor in the Georgia Tech School of Materials Science and Engineering. “This technology can convert any mechanical disturbance into electrical energy.”

The demonstrations of harnessing biomechanical energy to produce electricity were reported February 11 in the online version of the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters. The research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Air Force, and the Emory-Georgia Tech Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence.

The study demonstrates that nanogenerators – which Wang’s team has been developing since 2005 – can be driven by irregular mechanical motion, such as the vibration of vocal cords, flapping of a flag in the breeze, tapping of fingers or hamsters running on exercise wheels. Scavenging such low-frequency energy from irregular motion is significant because much biomechanical energy is variable, unlike the regular mechanical motion used to generate most large-scale electricity today.

The nanogenerator power is produced by the piezoelectric effect, a phenomenon in which certain materials – such as zinc oxide wires – produce electrical charges when they are bent and then relaxed. The wires are between 100 and 800 nanometers in diameter, and between 100 and 500 microns in length.

To make their generators, Wang’s research team encapsulated single zinc oxide wires in a flexible polymer substrate, the wires anchored at each end with an electrical contact, and with a Shottky Barrier at one end to control current flow. They then attached one of these single-wire generators to the joint area of an index finger, or combined four of the single-wire devices on a “yellow jacket” worn by the hamster.

The running and scratching of the hamster – and the tapping of the finger – flexed the substrate in which the nanowires were encapsulated, producing tiny amounts of alternating electrical current. Integrating four nanogenerators on the hamster’s jacket generated up to up to 0.5 nanoamps; less current was produced by the single generator on the finger.

Wang estimates that powering a handheld device such as a Bluetooth headset would require at least thousands of these single-wire generators, which could be built up in three-dimensional modules.

Beyond the finger-tapping and hamster-running, Wang believe his modules could be implanted into the body to harvest energy from such sources as muscle movements or pulsating blood vessels. In the body, they could be used to power nanodevices to measure blood pressure or other vital signs.

Because the devices produce alternating current, synchronizing the four generators on the hamster’s back was vital to maximizing current production. Without the synchronization, current flow from one generator could cancel out the flow from another.

The research team – which also included Rusen Yang, Yong Qin, Cheng Li and Guang Zhu – solved that problem by using a substrate that was flexible in only one direction, forcing the generators to flex together. Still, there was substantial variation in the output from each generator. The differences result from variations in the amount of flexing and from inconsistencies in the hand-built devices.

“The nanogenerators have to be synchronized, with the output of all of them coordinated so the current adds up constructively,” Wang noted. “Through engineering, we would expect this can be resolved in the future through improved design and more consistent manufacturing.”

To ensure that the current measured was actually produced by the generators, the researchers took several precautions. For instance, they substituted carbon fibers – which are not piezoelectric – for the zinc oxide nanowires and measured no output electrical signal.

The research team encountered a number of obstacles related to its four-legged subjects. Wang’s team first tried to outfit a rat with the power-generating jacket, but found that the creature wasn’t very interested in running.

At the suggestion of Wang’s daughter, Melissa, the researchers found that hamsters are more active creatures – but only after 11PM They had to experiment with a jacket configuration that was tight enough to stay on and to wrinkle the nanogenerator substrate – but not so tight as to make the hamster uncomfortable.

“We believe this is the first demonstration of using a live animal to produce current with nanogenerators,” Wang added. “This study shows that we really can harness human or animal motion to generate current.”

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GE Energy Turbine Island Refurbishment to Extend Reliable Operating Life of Hydro-Québec’s Gentilly-2 Nuclear Generating Station

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hydro-Québec, one of the largest electric utilities in North America, has selected GE Energy to perform a turbine island refurbishment that will extend the reliable operating life of the 675-megawatt Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, a major supplier of electricity for Montreal and Québec City in Canada.

Located in Bécancour on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, Gentilly-2 provides approximately three percent of all power for the province of Quebec and is a key contributor to the stability of Hydro-Québec’s power grid. Hydro-Québec has estimated that the refurbishment will extend the plant’s operation to 2040.

Under contracts valued at more than US$120 million, GE Energy will replace and enhance key steam turbine and generator components, repair and align the turbine generator foundation and install a new control system.

“Hydro-Québec’s investment in the refurbishment of the Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station shows the critical value of the plant as part of the future of power generation in Québec and Canada,” said Trevor Bailey, general manager, steam product line for GE Energy. “GE has been selected to extend the operating life of this unit due to GE's extensive steam turbine generator and nuclear plant knowledge.”

Specifically, the work to be performed by GE Energy for the upgrade will include:

* Replacement and installation of two low-pressure steam turbine rotors
* Generator disassembly and reassembly; and a generator field rewind
* Replacement of the existing control system with a GE Mark VIe* system
* Turbine and generator alignment and foundation site services
* Installation of two new moisture separator re-heaters

The engineering and procurement phase of the generating station refurbishment is under way, with the construction work to start in 2011. The plant is expected to return to commercial service in 2012.

GE Energy has worked with Hydro-Quebec since the Gentilly-2 nuclear generating unit was commissioned in 1983, providing technical direction and support throughout this period. GE Energy is a world leader in the design and manufacture of nuclear steam turbines, generators and controls as well as being a full service provider of installation and services for these products.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

GT: Reducing CO2 Emissions Through Smart Growth and Technology

A Georgia Tech City and Regional Planning study on climate change, published February 10, 2009 online by Environmental Science and Technology, shows that “smart growth” combined with the use of hybrid vehicle technology could reduce cities’ carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – the principal driver of global warming – significantly by 2050.

According to Brian Stone, associate professor of City and Regional Planning, the research shows that expected levels of CO2 emissions from cars and trucks in 2050 could be reduced back to 2000 levels if the full vehicle fleet was converted to hybrid electric vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius or the soon-to-be released Chevy Volt. This research also found that a doubling of population density in large U.S. cities by 2050 would have a greater impact on CO2 reductions than full hybridization of the vehicle fleet.

Stone’s study looked at 11 major metropolitan regions of the Midwestern U.S. over a 50-year period and took into account three different scenarios: the use of hybrid vehicles and two different urban growth scenarios through which population density was increased over time, a central component of smart growth planning.

“In this study we looked at two general approaches on how to deal with the challenge of climate change,” said Stone. “One approach is to improve vehicle technology and become more efficient. We can use less gas and reduce tailpipe emissions of CO2. The second approach is to change behavior by changing the way we design cities. We can travel less and take more walking and transit trips.”

Stone says he believes it would be possible for virtually all cars on the roads by 2050 to be hybrid electric vehicles, assuming the costs of these vehicles become more competitive with conventional engine technologies. Today’s hybrid electric vehicles can achieve 40 miles to the gallon and higher.

However, even the full hybridization of the national vehicle fleet by 2050 would not meet the CO2 targets identified though the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate change agreement which the United States has signed but not yet ratified. To meet these global targets, CO2 emissions from all sectors on the U.S. would need to return to 1990 levels or lower. According to Stone’s work, meeting this goal in the transportation sector would require a combination of technological improvements and higher density land use patterns in cities.

“If we can help cities to grow in more compact ways, what we call smart growth, it will help reduce emissions even further by allowing people to travel less often, travel shorter distances when they do travel and take advantage of public transit,” said Stone.

The eleven metropolitan regions that were studied include Madison, Wisconsin, Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Ohio, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, Detroit, Michigan and Dayton, OH. In addition to Stone, Dr. Tracey Holloway, Scot Spak, and Adam Mednick also authored the study.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Electric Utilities Across the State Offer $500 Reward for Identification of Copper Thieves

/PRNewswire/ -- Georgia's electric utilities are offering $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals involved in the theft of copper and other metals from their property.

Copper thefts from substations, utility poles and lines continue to be a growing problem for the industry. These thefts threaten the reliability of the electric system. In addition, damaged lines pose a danger of electrocution to anyone in the area, including utility workers.

Any information could be vital to the identification of thieves. This problem affects many businesses throughout the state, and the utilities are aggressively working with law enforcement agencies and scrap recyclers to apprehend the perpetrators. This reward is one tool to encourage the public's assistance.

Details such as a tag number, a physical description of a person or a car could be especially helpful. Anyone who observes suspicious activity around an electric substation or other utility facility is asked to contact the statewide copper theft hotline at 1-877-732-8717. If a theft is in progress, the witness should notify 911 first, then contact the hotline.

The reward will be paid to anyone who furnishes information that leads directly to the arrest and conviction of someone involved in metals theft from a utility property in Georgia.

The $500 award is being offered by Dalton Utilities, Electric Cities of Georgia, 42 electric membership cooperatives (EMCs), Georgia EMC, Georgia Power, Georgia Transmission Corp. and Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia.

About the utilities

Dalton Utilities has operated as a public utility since 1889 and provides potable water, electrical, natural gas and wastewater treatment services to approximately 65,000 customers in the City of Dalton and portions of Whitfield, Murray, Gordon, Catoosa and Floyd counties. In 2003, Dalton Utilities launched OptiLink and now provides broadband, cable TV, telephone and internet services to residential and business customers.

Electric Cities of Georgia is an industry association of 52 municipally-owned electric systems that provides technical expertise, training, public relations and legislative support to its members.

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state's 42 EMCs, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp. Collectively, Georgia's customer-owned EMCs provide electricity and related services to four million people, nearly half of Georgia's population, across 73 percent of the state's land area.

Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates well below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.3 million customers in all but four of Georgia's 159 counties.

Georgia Transmission plans, builds and maintains a transmission system of nearly 3,000 miles of power lines and more than 600 substations. The company also jointly plans and operates most of Georgia's 18,500 miles of transmission lines and substations with Georgia Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities.

The Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia (MEAG Power) is a public generation and transmission organization providing power to 49 Georgia communities with annual electric sales of $736 million and 10.8 million megawatt-hours of delivered energy in 2007.

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Biofuels Can Provide Viable, Sustainable Solution to Reducing Petroleum Dependence, say Sandia Researchers

An in-depth study by Sandia National Laboratories and General Motors Corp. has found that plant and forestry waste and dedicated energy crops could sustainably replace nearly a third of gasoline use by the year 2030.

The goal of the 90-Billion Gallon Biofuel Deployment Study was to assess whether and how a large volume of cellulosic biofuel could be sustainably produced, assuming technical and scientific progress continues at expected rates. The study was conducted over a period of nine months.

Researchers assessed the feasibility, implications, limitations, and enablers of annually producing 90 billion gallons of ethanol — sufficient to replace more than 60 billion of the estimated 180 billion gallons of gasoline expected to be used annually by 2030. Ninety billion gallons a year exceeds the U.S. Department of Energy’s goal for ethanol production established in 2006.

The 90 Billion Gallon Study assumes 75 billion gallons would be ethanol made from nonfood cellulosic feedstocks and 15 billion gallons from corn-based ethanol. The study examined four sources of biofuels: agricultural residue, such as corn stover and wheat straw; forest residue; dedicated energy crops, including switchgrass; and short rotation woody crops, such as willow and poplar trees. It examines the costs of producing, harvesting, storing and transporting these sources to newly built biorefineries.

Key findings

Using a newly developed tool known as the Biofuels Deployment Model, or BDM, Sandia researchers determined that 21 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol could be produced per year by 2022 without displacing current crops. The Renewable Fuels Standard, part of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, calls for ramping up biofuels production to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022.

The 90 Billion Gallon Study, which focused only on starch-based and cellulosic ethanol, found that an increase to 90 billion gallons of ethanol could be sustainably achieved by 2030 within real-world economic and environmental parameters.

Other findings:

Continued support of R&D and initial commercialization is critical because sustained technological progress and commercial validation is a prerequisite to affordably producing the large volumes of ethanol considered in this study.

Policy incentives such as a federal cap and trade program, carbon taxes, excise tax credits and loan guarantees for cellulosic biofuels are important to mitigate the risk of oil market volatility.
The domestic investment for biofuels production is projected to be virtually the same as the investment required to sustain long-term domestic petroleum production.

Cellulosic biofuels could compete without incentives with oil priced at $90 per barrel, assuming a reduction in total costs as advanced biofuels technologies mature.

Large-scale cellulosic biofuel production could be achieved at or below current water consumption levels of petroleum fuels from on-shore oil production and refining.

The industrial processes by which nonfood forms of biomass are converted into sugars suitable for production of biofuels were a focus of the study.

Sandia’s analysis also included land use, water availability, energy used to produce cellulosic biomass, transportation of feedstocks and other potential leverage points for the development and use of cellulosic biofuels. In conducting its research, Sandia utilized models that examined current and future technologies for development of ethanol.

Future enhancements to Sandia’s BDM are planned, contingent on additional partnerships. Such improvements to the current software tool, says Sandia business development associate Carrie Burchard, would provide an even more comprehensive systems understanding of the biofuels industry.

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Global Energy Systems Consummates Georgia Landfill Gas Purchasing Agreement with Republic Services

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Global Energy Systems, a subsidiary of the diversified renewable energy company Global Energy Holdings Group, Inc. (NYSE Alternext US: GNH), today announced it has acquired the right to purchase landfill gas from Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE:RSG) , the owner and operator of the Hickory Ridge landfill in Conley, Georgia. Global Energy will process the landfill gas to convert it into a saleable energy product. Global Energy paid Republic a total of $3,350,000 for the landfill gas purchase rights and will pay Republic a royalty based on revenues collected from the sale of the processed gas.

Methane, a greenhouse gas that is produced naturally during the decomposition of landfill waste, is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Often, this landfill gas is isolated and flared to prevent its release into the atmosphere. Rather than flaring the methane from Hickory Ridge, Global Energy will construct a pipeline to transport this gas to its gas conditioning facility. Global Energy will then process the landfill gas into an energy product that may be sold for a variety of uses.

"Republic is very excited to add this project to our portfolio of 80+ landfill-gas-to-energy projects. It complements our operations in the Atlanta area and the services and relationships we have with our customers there, and furthers our goals of contributing to energy independence, sustainability and environmental stewardship," says Bill Held, Senior Director of Renewable Energy for Republic.

Landfill gas is recognized as a source of renewable energy by a number of State renewable portfolio standards and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The U.S. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) has identified 23 landfills in the state of Georgia that are promising candidates for landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) systems.

"Global Energy intends to work with a number of waste service providers to develop LFGTE projects at landfills across the Southeast United States," said Mike Ellis, President of Global Energy Systems. "Global Energy's expert staff including our management team and engineers will help us develop the Southeast's energy potential."

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Study: Billions Needed to Deliver Wind Power to Eastern Interconnection

/PRNewswire/ -- The Joint Coordinated System Plan (JCSP'08), the first step of a transmission and generation system expansion analysis of the majority of the Eastern Interconnection, estimates the electricity sector will need over $80 billion in new transmission infrastructure to obtain 20% of the region's electricity from wind generation.

This initial analysis, which was performed with participation from major transmission owners and operators in the Eastern U.S., looked at two scenarios to examine transmission and generation possibilities between 2008 and 2024. The first, a Reference Scenario, assumes "business as usual" with respect to wind development, with approximately 5% of the region's energy coming from wind. The second was a 20% Wind Energy Scenario and was based on the U.S. Department of Energy's Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study.

"We believe that, although JCSP'08 examined a small set of scenarios with limited variables, this study nonetheless gives a clear idea of the scale of commitment it will take to integrate large amounts of renewable resources into the grid," said John Bear, President and CEO of the Midwest ISO. "This is information we believe that our leaders need to consider as they begin work under a new administration and start defining our energy future."

JCSP'08 estimates that incorporating 5% wind energy (the "Reference Scenario") will require the addition of approximately 10,000 miles of new extra-high voltage transmission at a cost of approximately $50 billion, in addition to nearly $700 billion in total generation capital costs by 2024.

The 20% Wind Energy Scenario is estimated to require 15,000 miles of new extra-high voltage lines, at an estimated cost of $80 billion, in addition to $1.1 trillion in total generation capital costs by 2024.

Under both scenarios, the generation capital costs would be borne by developers, while the funding source for the needed transmission is not known at this time.

The study represents the collaborative efforts of Midwest ISO, Southwest Power Pool, Inc., PJM Interconnection, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Mid- Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP), and participants within SERC Reliability Corporation (SERC). Among the key features of the study are:

-- It used a collaborative, transparent, stakeholder process to develop and screen assumptions and postulate transmission expansion possibilities.

-- It used a common approach with system condition assumptions to characterize the majority of the Eastern Interconnection in a single multi- regional analysis, rather than conducting parallel, region-specific analyses.

-- It used study tools and databases that are in common use in the electric power industry.

As previously stated, this is only the initial phase of the analysis that must be performed to derive the most effective and efficient answer. A follow- on phase of the study will be initiated in the first quarter of 2009 to investigate additional scenarios that must be analyzed to develop a better understanding of the possible solutions available, perform a detailed reliability assessment, better refine the existing assumptions, and recommended new transmission facilities and the costs and benefits.

Members of the JCSP'08 plan to present the full study to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Congressional representatives and staffers for their consideration during the first few months of the new administration.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

SEEA Launches Energy Efficiency Competition for Cities in the Southeast

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) from cities and counties in the Southeast to compete for up to $500,000 to create and implement a community energy alliance. The program design is largely based on efforts underway in Cambridge, Mass., Cincinnati, Ohio, New York, N.Y. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This competition is open to cities and counties in SEEA's 11-state region of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The RFP is available for download at www.seealliance.org.

"We are creating a five- to seven-year campaign to achieve unprecedented gas, electricity and water savings by retrofitting homes and other buildings and installing efficient and renewable technologies in homes, businesses, schools and industry," said Ben Taube, SEEA executive director. "When implemented, the program will work toward the goal of saving participants in the winning city 20-40 percent on energy and water bills."

Due on May 15, 2009, proposals will be reviewed by an advisory panel of national experts using criteria such as: the depth of community involvement and support; comprehensiveness of the plan, including program design, milestones, and demonstrated understanding of the community's market and energy characteristics; reasonableness of project objectives; and innovation in program design, marketing strategy, technology focus, and financing options. The winning city will be announced on June 20, 2009.

"This program will have a special impact, setting in motion the replication of a national model that has already been recognized for its unique design and potential of making it easy for consumers to save money and energy," continued Taube. "The winning city will make possible unprecedented levels of energy efficiency, create jobs and significantly reduce its carbon footprint."

Additionally, cities applying for the SEEA award will be able to transfer their energy efficiency program initiatives to other funding opportunities such as the economic stimulus packages currently before Congress which include a variety of energy incentive programs such as loan guarantees for energy performance contracts, funding for state government building retrofits, and energy efficiency block grants to cities and counties.

"We are helping to give cities in the Southeast an advantage over those in other regions," said Ben Taube, Executive Director for SEEA. "When Congress passes the stimulus package, cities can expect billions of dollars to help their residents reduce their energy use. This competition gives cities a program plan to efficiently, quickly and fairly allocate those funds."

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Georgia Tech Research Helps Protect Against Lightning Damage

Firing bolts of lightning at expensive electrical equipment is all in a day’s work at NEETRAC – the National Electric Energy Testing Research and Applications Center. The goal for the lightning research and other testing done by the center is to improve reliability for the nation’s electric energy transmission and distribution system.

The 2.2 million-volt impulse generator needed to produce artificial lightning is just one part of the test gear used to evaluate utility industry equipment that ranges from wooden poles and aluminum transmission lines to transformers and switches. Part of Georgia Tech’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the center is supported by 32 equipment manufacturers and utility companies that provide nearly 60 percent of the electricity used in the United States.

A major part of the work is ensuring reliability during the lightning storms that threaten utilities and their customers.

“Lightning is electricity of the wrong sort,” explained Rick Hartlein, NEETRAC’s director. “Electric utilities must do a number of things to keep lightning from damaging the power delivery system, which can cause power outages or damage to equipment plugged into electrical outlets in homes and businesses.”

Thunderstorms can produce more than 100 million volts – compared to the 120 volts in household wall outlets and 240 volts that power large home appliances. To deal with those added millions of volts, utilities rely on a complex array of lightning arrestors, static lines and grounding systems.

Lightning arrestors, for instance, contain special materials that under normal conditions do not permit the flow of electrical current. But when they sense a sudden surge of electricity from a lightning strike, they change properties in a few microseconds, becoming conductors rather than insulators. When strategically placed on the electric grid, the arrestors carry the lightning surges away to the ground – after which the arrestors return to their role as insulators.

Without the arrestors, lightning could arc across the insulators that support power lines, causing interruptions and damaging other equipment. In severe cases, the damage could cause line circuit breakers to trip, resulting in power outages to businesses, hospitals and whole communities.

At NEETRAC’s facilities near Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Hartlein and his research team evaluate the arrestors and help utilities choose the right locations for them.

“Lightning arrestors are not inexpensive devices and they must be maintained once they are put on the system,” Hartlein said. “You want to distribute them on the system frequently enough to protect it, but not so frequently that you are wasting money.”

After multiple lightning strikes and years out in the elements, lightning arrestors themselves can fail, creating a momentary short-circuit on the power grid. If that happens, a device built into the arrestors senses the problem and fires a tiny explosive charge that physically disconnects the faulty arrestor from the distribution system. NEETRAC has developed specialized laboratory testing procedures to evaluate the performance of these devices.

Helping the industry develop better equipment requires an understanding of lightning and how it works. For instance, though it’s generally not visible to the human eye, most lightning strikes in the Southeast are made up of between three and five separate pulses between 30 and 120 milliseconds apart, each one containing potentially damaging electrical energy.

In the Southeast, 90 percent of lightning has a negative charge. But positively-charged lightning also occurs, most often in the winter. Positive lightning ionizes the atmosphere more efficiently than negative lightning and can therefore travel longer distances.

“Positive lightning can travel 10 miles from the storm before striking an object on the ground, so the storm clouds may not even be visible when the lightning strikes,” said Ray Hill, a research technologist with NEETRAC. “This is the source of what people call a ‘bolt from the blue.’ Because it tends to be a single pulse, positive lightning can be more dangerous since all of the energy is in a single stroke – and people aren’t expecting it.”

Though NEETRAC’s lightning impulse generator can create explosive results, most testing at the center’s facilities is less dramatic.

For instance, salt fog chambers simulate long-term exposure in moist and corrosive environments to study how utility system components will withstand years of exposure to the elements.

Strong ultraviolet lights and high temperatures test the ability of rubber seals to withstand summertime heat and strong sunlight while keeping moisture away from sensitive components. Computer simulations developed by Sakis Meliopoulos, a member of the Georgia Tech electric power faculty, help determine the most efficient way to ground the electric grid, which provides the only effective way to control damaging current.

“The utility companies do a lot to keep lightning from damaging their systems, which helps keep the lights on,” Hill added. “When it comes down to that last bit of lightning protection for the service that comes into a home, consumers should consider additional surge protection, particularly for electronic equipment. But nothing is absolute – all you can really do with lightning protection is to get the odds in your favor.”

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are your gas station's pumps set correctly?

Here is how to check a pump to see if you are getting the right amount you pay for at your gas station:

Whichever grade you are using, put EXACTLY 10 GALLONS in your tank, then look at the dollar amount, if the dollar amount is not EXACTLY 10 times the price of the fuel you have chosen, then the pumps are rigged or incorrectly set.

If you do find a station that is cheating, contact the Georgia Agriculture Department, and direct your comments to Tommy Irvin, Commissioner. In other states contact proper authorities.

(rec'd via email from concerned citizen)

Cooper Lighting’s Halo LED Downlight Earns ENERGY STAR Listing

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cooper Lighting, a division of Cooper Industries, Ltd. (NYSE:CBE), announces that its Halo® LED recessed downlight is the first in the industry to meet stringent ENERGY STAR® requirements for solid state lighting (SSL) luminaires. The Halo LED Downlight’s performance earns an ENERGY STAR qualification by meeting the ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Solid State Lighting Luminaires: Eligibility Criteria – Version 1.0 for Category A – Recessed Downlights. ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping consumers and organizations save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

Providing excellent color quality with a rendering of over 80 CRI and a warm white color temperature range of 3045K, the Halo LED recessed fixture consumes less than 15 watts and provides over 697 lumens (with the specular reflector trim). The high efficiency of the Halo LED downlight delivers greater than 40 lumens per watt—comparable light distribution and better light output than a 65 watt BR30 lamp or 18 watt compact fluorescent fixture. (The minimum requirement is 35 lumens per watt with a minimum of 575 lumens.) The Halo LED fixture delivers over 90% of the lumens within the 0-60 degree downlight “cone of light” zone, well over the minimum requirement of 75%. Its superior optical design provides good cutoff (50 degrees) and low glare.

The IC-rated, AIR-TITE™ recessed fixture exceeds high-efficacy requirements for California’s Title 24, with energy savings in excess of 75% when compared with a 65 watt incandescent lamp. Virtually maintenance-free, the Halo LED fixture is constructed to provide greater than 70% of its initial light over 50,000 hours of use. (The Halo LED fixture could deliver over 70% of the initial light over 20 years when used six hours per day.) Plus, for additional energy savings, the LED module is dimmable to approximately 15% using standard AC incandescent analog dimmers and approximately 5% with dimmers that have a low-end minimum brightness adjustment.

Ideally suited for commercial, hospitality, healthcare, retail and residential applications, the downlight accepts a number of trim options including reflectors, baffles, and lensed trim models. UL 1598 listed with a three year warranty, the LED downlight also exceeds Title 24-2008 effective mid-2009.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

John W. Rich, Jr: OPEC Plot Could Siphon 15-20% of Stimulus Dollars to Offshore Oil Suppliers' Bank Accounts

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congress's trillion dollar economic stimulus plan fails to address one of the primary threats to our future economic stability: OPEC's plan to push oil prices up which will siphon hundreds of millions of stimulus dollars to the offshore oil producers, according to John W. Rich, Jr., a leader in the waste coals to liquid transportation fuels field.

"Just recently, OPEC announced plans to cut production by 4.2 million barrels a day and has stated its goal is to get oil prices back to $75 per barrel. If OPEC succeeds in getting oil prices back up, that could mean that more than 15 or 20% of the new stimulus dollars would simply be exported to foreign oil producers' bank accounts which will further diminish, not stimulate, our economy," said John W. Rich, Jr. "Congress should not ignore the problem with OPEC and prepare a stimulus bill that could essentially be a direct deposit of billions of dollars into foreign oil suppliers' pockets."

Oil spiked to $147 per barrel last summer, driving gas prices to nearly $5 per gallon and crippling our economy. If OPEC succeeds in driving the $30 per barrel price ($300 million per day) of a month ago to $75 per barrel, that would mean the U.S. would be exporting another $450 million per day for a total of $750 million per day to the offshore oil suppliers.

John W. Rich, Jr. has been a leader in the energy sector for decades and he is the CEO of WMPI PTY, LLC in Gilberton, PA. For over a decade his company has been leading the drive to build a waste coal to liquid transportation fuels industry in the United States. Rich is proposing utilizing new technology for the gasification of existing waste coal intermingled with traditional biomass feedstock to produce an abundant supply of domestic liquid transportation fuels that will displace the foreign oil we are importing.

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