Friday, December 18, 2009

Bluffton Gets Solar Stop Sign

Lights glow
on 300W
Safety upgrades now in place at
intersections with Ind. 124, Ind. 116
Wells County has gone high tech in an effort to save lives
at two county intersections.
New Solar Panel Flashing LED “Stop” signs have been
installed at two intersections along 300W, in an effort to
reduce accidents and save lives. The signs are on the north
and south approaches of 300W to Ind. 116 and Ind. 124, and
officially began operation at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The two intersections have long been recognized as two of the most dangerous intersections in the county. Multiple fatal accidents have occurred at both over the years, especially at the Ind. 116 intersection.The purpose of an LED flashing “Stop” sign is to bring more recognition to the signs at the intersections. Fort Wayne District is the first district in Indiana to have this type of signage, and in turn, Wells County is the first county in the Fort Wayne District to request the partnership. Wells County Commissioner Kevin Woodward began the discussions with Deputy Commissioner Bob Alderman early this year, and this has resulted in the four 48-inch LED “Stop” signs being installed at the two intersections. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Fort Wayne District and Wells County have partnered to determine the effectiveness of the new technology signs. INDOT is allowing the signs to be used at the two intersections for evaluation of the product, with the effectiveness to be tested over a period of three years. Wells County provided funding for the signs, and is also responsible for the costs of installation and maintenance. “This has been a real team effort,” enthused Commissioner Kevin Woodward. “Sheriff Bob Frantz has been instrumental through all of this, with his experience, all of the commissioners, and Deputy Commissioner Alderman and his staff were right there in support. I think it’s a great partnership, that hopefully a model that the rest of the state will be able to use in the future to make Hoosier highways safer.” The area will be monitored by INDOT, Wells County, and also by several enforcement entities. Each sign contains small red LED lights around the perimeter, which make the signs visible from a far greater distance. The lights flash every one second. The sign can operate for 14 days without solar power, and the life of the battery attached to each sign is five years. The signs meet the standards of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and also, should the lights not work, the sign sheeting meets INDOT’s reflectivity standards. In addition to the new signs, rumble strips have also been installed along 300W, close to the intersections. “We’re hoping that with the rumble strips, stop ahead signs, and the flashing, it will definitely alert more people that there is an intersection, and hopefully it will allow them to stop,” anticipated Woodward. Sheriff Frantz is also hoping the new equipment proves successful. “Over the years there have been many horrible accidents here,” reflected Sheriff Frantz. “It is pretty open here, but if somebody (on 300W) doesn’t see the stop sign, and they don’t stop, it just creates a real impact. Every time we have a wreck here, it’s just awful. Even if nobody is killed, they are hurt bad, and there is just a lot of damage.” County and INDOT officials are certainly doing their part to reduce the risk of future accidents at the two
intersections. The rest is up to the motorists!

Frank Shanly
Bluffton News Banner

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Juwi Solar Installation in Sandusky, Ohio

juwi solar inc (JSI) has commenced construction of a 12 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. When completed, the Wyandot Solar Energy Generation Facility is expected to generate approximately 15.8 million kilowatt hours of electrical energy per year. In June 2009 AEP Ohio executed an agreement to purchase all renewable energy and associated renewable energy certificates generated from the facility over a 20-year period.

JSI has also begun construction of another solar power plant located in Jacksonville, Florida. This facility is rated at 15 MW and when completed is expected to generate approximately 22.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, thereby avoiding an annual output of over 16,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. In May 2009 the municipally-owned utility JEA agreed to purchase all renewable energy and RECs generated from the facility over a 30-year period.

In September of 2009, affiliates of PSEG Solar Source LLC acquired JSI’s ownership rights in the Ohio and Florida project companies, including its rights under the power purchase agreements with AEP in Ohio and JEA in Florida.

juwi has also recently completed a 2.15 solar power plant located near the Mars Snackfood headquarters in Hackettstown, New Jersey. The 2.15 MW solar power plant, which was designed and built by JSI, is one of the largest free-field PV installations in New Jersey.

juwi solar Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, is a developer and turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contractor of solar power plants throughout North America. JSI is a majority-owned corporation of juwi Holding AG, of Germany, which ranks among Europe’s leading renewable energy companies.

Green Energy News

U.S. Ready to Join $100 Billion Climate Finanace Deal

COPENHAGEN — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the United States is prepared to join other rich countries in raising $100 billion in yearly climate financing for poor countries by 2020.

The announcement could give a boost to deadlocked climate talks which have faltered over disputes between rich and poor countries over emissions cuts and climate financing.

Clinton says that the financing is contingent on world leaders reaching a broader climate pact at the U.N. talks in Copenhagen.

She says the deal must include all major economies, meaningful actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions and a system to ensure all parties' actions are transparent.

Clinton says "$100 billion is a lot. It can have tangible effects."

Huffington Post

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Activists arrested in Copenhagen protests

Danish police made around 250 arrests in Copenhagen Wednesday morning as an organized demonstration against the U.N. climate talks converged on the Bella Center ahead of crucial negotiations at the COP15 summit.

Kristina Larsen, a spokeswoman for Climate Justice Action (CJA) -- the group organizing the protest -- told CNN that police have used pepper spray and dogs to contain the protests.

Around 3,000 activists convened at two railway stations in the Danish capital early on Wednesday and began their march towards the Bella Center -- the scene of the climate talks.

CJA is calling for activists to "take over the conference for one day and transform it into a 'People's Assembly'."

At the same time protesters were marching towards the U.N. summit, a number of delegates were planning to walk out of the Bella Center.

Larsen told CNN: "Around 300 people have marched out of the Bella Center shouting 'reclaim power'."

But the planned "People's Assembly" which was due to take place outside the building has, so far, been disrupted by the police.

Reporting from inside the Bella Center CNN's Phil Black said that several hundred activists were near the perimeter of the conference center.

"There have been some clashes and scuffles, and the police have fired some tear gas, but the protests have been reasonably low-level." Black said.

CJA say they are holding a "People's Assembly" to counter the "false solutions and elitism of the U.N. climate talks."

A spokesman for the Copenhagen police told CNN that the majority of arrests have taken place outside the Bella Center but there have been no serious injuries.

"The protesters detained have been taken to a temporary holding facility and most are expected to be released in the next two hours," the Police spokesman said.

On Sunday, police said they had detained 968 people, accusing protesters of donning facemasks, throwing fireworks and stones, breaking windows and setting vehicles alight. A further 212 people were arrested overnight on Monday.


Wind Works Power Corp. Purchases Interest In Six Ontario Projects

Based in Ottawa, has acquired a 50% interest in six Ontario wind energy projects totaling 80 MW, with an option to increase its interests to 100%.

In consideration for the 50% interest, Wind Works will make a one-time cash payment of C$300,000 on April 30, 2010, and issue 1.2 million restricted common shares. The six projects submitted power contract applications on Nov. 30 under the new Feed-in Tariff program, as part of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) initial launch period.

"With these six new projects, we now have a total of 15 wind energy projects in Ontario totaling 190 MW," says Dr. Ingo Stuckmann, CEO and director of Wind Works. "All 15 projects submitted power contract applications to the OPA, which offers the highest power rate in North America. Power contracts in Ontario will be awarded in the January to March 2010 time frame, and we are now targeting to commence construction on a minimum of 70MW in Ontario in 2011."

- WindWorks

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Boeing Dreamliner Better for Environment

Everett, Washington (CNN) -- There are flight delays and then there's Boeing's 787 Dreamliner.

Fighting its way through more than two years of delays, Boeing's latest aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner, is scheduled to take its maiden flight Tuesday.

"We think it's a game changer because it provides so much value to the customer," Jim Albaugh, Boeing executive vice president and CEO, said in a CNN interview. "We think this is going to be a very efficient airplane. It's going to change the way people travel."

Despite the delays, Boeing's first new commercial airliner in over a decade will still be relevant, Albaugh said Monday.

"It's more environmentally friendly, it's more efficient, uses less fuel, it's going to cost the operator less to fly, it's going to allow the passengers to pay less and feel better when they land."

Boeing's claims of the Dreamliner's much-touted efficiency are tied to its design. It's the first major airliner to be made of mostly composite materials. Boeing has staked its reputation on claims that the aircraft's relatively lighter, faster body will save airlines up to 20 percent in fuel costs.

The company also says the new material will hold up better to the wear and tear of flight than traditional aluminum. Boeing says it has orders for more than 850 of the planes, which officially sell for around $150 million each.

Depending on the configuration, the Dreamliner can seat between 200 to 300 passengers and can travel more than 2,500 nautical miles. The target market is carriers traveling point-to-point international routes.

But despite the promise of a new more efficient airplane, production delays and technical problems have stolen some of the Dreamliner's luster.

Many of the delays and snags in the supply line with the first Dreamliners have been blamed on the army of partners Boeing brought in to help with the construction.

"They did too much outsourcing, too soon, with too little oversight," said Scott Hamilton of the aviation consulting firm Leeham Co. "The customers have been mightily (upset) over the creeping delays."

Albaugh conceded that "in hindsight" the large amount of outsourcing done with the 787 was not the best strategy. "There a few things we might have kept inside, yes."

Even though 787s won't start flying passenger routes until at least 2011, Boeing executives said they hope a successful first flight will at least begin to quell doubts over the future of airplane production at the company.

The test flight "is going to validate the airplane to an extent," Albaugh said. "We've got 10 months of flight tests in front of us. ... There's a lot of work to do."

For Tuesday's scheduled test flight, the Dreamliner will take off from the hangar where it was assembled in Everett, Washington, and undergo a battery of tests during a five-hour flight before landing some 40 miles away at Boeing Field just south of downtown Seattle.

"We are going to shake this airplane out to demonstrate that it can do everything we've advertised it to do," Albaugh said.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Chaos in Copenhagen Talks Suspended, as Countries Walk Out

The UN international climate change conference in chaos as the G77, which represents 130 developing countries "pulled the emergency plug" suspending the talks over wealthy countries' reluctance to discuss a legally binding emissions treaty.

Jeremy Hobbs, Executive Director of Oxfam put out this statement:

Africa has pulled the emergency cord to avoid a train crash at the end of the week. Poor countries want to see an outcome which guarantees sharp emissions reductions yet rich countries are trying to delay discussions on the only mechanism we have to deliver this - the Kyoto Protocol.

This not about blocking the talks - it is about whether rich countries are ready to guarantee action on climate change and the survival or people in Africa and across the world.

"Australia and Japan are crying foul while blocking movement on legally binding emissions reductions for rich countries. This tit for tat approach is no way to deal with the climate crisis."

African countries have refused to continue negotiations unless talks on a second commitment period to the Kyoto Protocol are prioritized ahead of broader discussions under a second LCA track. Australia, Japan and others have succeeded in stopping Kyoto Protocol discussions as a result. Of the two tracks of negotiations underway in Copenhagen the Kyoto Protocol is the only one which includes a mechanism for legally binding emissions reductions by rich countries.

The G77, a group which represents 130 developing countries, walked out because it is concerned the existing Kyoto protocol will be abandoned.

Australia's Climate Change Minister Penny Wong confirmed that organisers were trying to fix the problem and coax back the developing world.

Many countries at the UN climate summit want a brand new treaty to tackle climate change, but the developing world wants the Kyoto protocol to continue as well.

- Huffington Post

Sunday, December 13, 2009





Renewable Energy Statistics

Currently the U.S. is in the running for first place in renewable energy, but how long will it take until China, Saudi Arabia or any other country catch up?
With wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, ethanol and so many more renewable energy sources, the U.S. has a pretty good lead. The only problem is its taking to long. Congress is really focussing on renewable energy and new developments to be "Green", but with all the current debate with health care and in Copenhagen, the topic has sort of been delayed. It could take much longer to approve the Bill than it would to build a 150 megawatt wind farm. "There is always going to be wind," stated a professor from North Carolina "so why not use it? The states need to quit transporting foreign oil and foriegn developments and use this as a key to catch up in the health and technology field." As numbers rise in new renewable developments so does the intrest in Green Energy. People need to get involved and see what this is providing for the U.S. With this we will have more jobs, better economy, better health, better education, better influences, the list goes on... People reading this, take a stand for Renewable Energy, call your state Senators and tell them you want this passed. Tell them you want jobs, you want money and most important, you want to see America and the people living in this wonderful Nation to succeed.
- Green News