Joule Receives EPA Cert for CO2 Ethanol

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 8.39.11 AMJoule’s fuel grade Sunflow-E ethanol has been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for commercial use in E10 and E15 gasoline blends. The fuel is derived from recycled CO2.

“We are approaching commercialization with a technology that is first of its kind, able to convert CO2 directly into multiple drop-in fuels. It is critical to prove its readiness by meeting government and industry requirements. Having secured EPA registration, our fuel grade Sunflow-E ethanol is now cleared for use,” said Serge Tchuruk, president and CEO of Joule.

Earlier this year Joule announced the results of its third-party testing of Sunflow-E ethanol. Key results included:

  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D4806 – Denatured fuel ethanol for blending with gasolines for use as automotive spark-ignition engine fuel
    German Institute for Standardization (DIN) EN 15376 – Ethanol as a blending component for petrol
  • Joule Sunflow-E ethanol is chemically identical to its traditional counterparts, but differs in the way it is produced. Joule converts CO2 to ethanol directly in a continuous process, using engineered bacteria as living catalysts rather than biomass feedstocks. At full-scale commercialization, Joule ultimately targets productivity of up to 25,000 gallons of Sunflow-E ethanol per acre annually.

Tchuruk added, “Following a full year of production at our demonstration plant, we have achieved a several-fold advance in outdoor productivity. Additionally, we have reached unprecedented levels in our lab reactors, and we know the steps required to replicate these results outdoors. This will further strengthen our position to initiate global deployment.”

Voith Hydro Completes WELP Expansion

The $900 million expansion of the 335 MW Waneta Expansion Limited Partnership (WELP), has been completed. Located near Trail, British Columbia, Canada, the project was executed by a partnership between Fortis Inc., Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust. Voith Hydro supplied two Francis turbines, generators, governors, exciters and various additional auxiliary systems for the project and served as the prime contractor.

Waneta Expansion Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting.

Waneta Expansion Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting.

“In 2010 when I was Energy Minister the first time, there was a vigorous debate within government about whether to allow the Waneta Expansion project to proceed,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines who officially inaugurated the expansion. “I am grateful that, as a Kootenay resident, I had the opportunity at the time to ensure that this tremendous project was allowed to proceed.”

Located immediately downstream of the Waneta Dam on the Pend d’Oreille River, the Waneta Expansion adds a second powerhouse that shares the existing hydraulic head, generating clean, renewable, cost-effective power from water that would otherwise be spilled. The project also included the construction of a 10 km, 230 kV transmission line.

“The grand opening of Waneta is the culmination of many years of hard work to complete one of British Columbia’s largest infrastructure projects,” said William Malus, CEO of Voith Hydro in Canada. “With Waneta’s expansion now operational, customers across British Columbia will see even more benefits from reliable, affordable, and renewable hydropower generation.”

To celebrate WELP’s expansion, an inauguration ceremony took place that included a First Nations welcome and prayers by Chiefs and Elders of Ktunaxa Nation and Okanagan Nation, the unveiling of plaques by Minister and ribbon cutting, a powerhouse tour of the intake, the control room and walkway to service bay.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Louisiana-based Keystone Engineering Inc. has been awarded the contract to design the meteorological mast tower foundation for US Wind Inc’sMaryland offshore wind lease area. The US Wind met mast will be the first structure installed as part of its planned commercial-scale wind farm capable of generating 500 MW of power in the 80,000 acre area 15 miles off the coast of Maryland. The wind farm is expected to provide energy to around 300,000 homes.
  • Georgia Power has announced that the company has opened 11 new electric vehicle (EV) charging islands to the public. The new charging islands, located at Georgia Power properties across the state, mark the completion of the first phase of planned charging infrastructure being developed by the company which will include approximately 61 community charging islands for public use statewide by the end of 2016. Click here for a list of all their EV charging locations.
  • FirstEnergy Corp. has announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) to purchase both Ohio-compliant Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for its Ohio utilities – Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating and Toledo Edison. The purchases will help meet the Companies’ 2015 renewable energy targets established under Ohio’s alternative energy law. The following amounts are being sought: 6,800 SRECs and 233,000 RECs.
  • Fisker Automotive and Technology Group has announced a name change to Karma Automotive. The company also launched its new website, including a video that reveals its new logo at

Propane Council Donates $30K for Propane Buses

With a growing movement to transport children in buses fueled by propane, the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) has begun a campaign to teach communities about the benefits of propane-powered transportation that include improved health. Today more than 7,000 buses across the U.S. are currently using the fuel and in an effort to see this number continue to rise, PERC is partnering with journalist and former teacher Jenna Bush Hager and the nonprofit Adopt a Classroom to donate more than $30,000 to teachers at schools adopting propane buses.

Jenna Bush Hager rides with students to Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in celebration of their adoption of cleaner, safer propane school buses. (Photo: Propane Education & Research Council)

Jenna Bush Hager rides with students to Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in celebration of their adoption of cleaner, safer propane school buses. (Photo: Propane Education & Research Council)

“It’s clear when you talk to school administrators and transportation departments that they are saving more than just dollars and cents by going with propane buses,” said Hager. “The switch is improving their school as a whole and giving them the opportunity to invest in more teachers or school programs.”

PERC’s donation will assist teachers at seven schools this fall, including Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Massachusetts; Kyrene Monte Vista in Arizona; Broward Education Foundation in Florida; Wilkes Elementary in Oregon; Five Star Education Foundation in Colorado; St. Francis Elementary in Minnesota; and Friendswood Jr. High in Texas.

Hager surprised teachers at the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle School in Boston with the news they would receive a total of $10,000 from PERC to purchase supplies for their classroom. Boston Public Schools is the first district in the city to switch from diesel to propane buses. Today, the transition from diesel to propane buses has been reported in 20 of the top 25 designated market areas, and four of the 10 largest school districts in the country are using them.

“As a former teacher and parent, I know that the school day begins and ends on the bus,” added Hager. “When we give our kids a safer, healthier start to the day, it can improve their entire experience in the classroom and at home, too.”

Industry Applauds Sen Talent’s RFS Efforts

Yesterday former Missouri U.S. Senator Jim Talent launched Americans for Energy Security and Innovation (AESI), an organization focused on expanding support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The ethanol industry responded to the news favorably.

rfs-mess-2“The RFA welcomes AESI to the ongoing efforts to ensure that the RFS remains America’s most successful energy policy,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Former Senator Talent has been an enthusiastic and outspoken supporter of the U.S. ethanol industry. We look forward to hearing the ideas this new group will put forth to ensure that the American public has access to clean, secure, affordable home-grown sources of energy. Indeed, the RFS is law today in no small part because of Senator Talent’s leadership on the Energy Committee during his tenure representing the people of Missouri. He knows far better than most the rural economic, energy security and economic promise of the RFS.”

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy added, “We are pleased that Americans for Energy Security and Innovation have joined the important fight to ensure that the RFS is protected and that America has a strong, robust and resilient renewable fuels industry.”

“Former Senator Jim Talent from Missouri has always been a true advocate for renewable fuels and rural America,” Buis added. I am confident that Senator Talent and Americans for Energy Security and Innovation will be effective in the battle to improve our environment, create jobs in America that cannot be outsourced and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, all while providing consumers with a choice and savings at the pump.”

Survey Finds Support for Clean Energy

ClearPath Clean Energy Poll“Support for clean energy is both strong with the overall electorate and with the conservative Republicans that form a core constituency for many Republican elected officials,” according to a new survey commissioned by ClearPath. Jay Faison, ClearPath founder, noted that the survey demonstrates that, “the big, myth-busting news was how wide and deep support for clean energy policy is among conservatives.” The organization is dedicated to developing support for market-based clean energy solutions.

Key findings include:

  • 84% of registered voters, including almost three-quarters of Republicans, favor taking action to accelerate the development and use of clean energy in the United States.
  • Energy independence, less pollution, and job growth are viewed by GOP voters as the “big 3” of clean energy benefits.
  • Solar policy enjoys enormous support among Republicans, with rooftop solar (82%) and net metering (86%) scoring highest among seven clean energy policy ideas tested.
  • Most voters – including a majority of Republicans (56%) – think the climate is changing and human activity is playing a role.
  • Among different approaches that win over voters on the issue of climate and clean energy, positive messages that emphasize what America can achieve are the most effective.
  • In particular, Republican and independent voters favor a candidate who says regardless of the debate over climate we should expand the use of clean energy because of its benefits and to mitigate risk.

The survey was conducted by Kristen Soltis Anderson of Echelon Insights in collaboration with Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies and Whit Ayres of North Star Opinion Research.

Soltis Anderson said of the survey findings, “Voters are looking for leaders who want to solve problems and go beyond party politics. Voters, including Republicans, want to take a step back from the politicization of energy and climate issues and pursue clean energy on its own merits.”

Constellation Launches EME With ChargePoint

Constellation is offering customers a new electric vehicle charging program through the new Efficiency Made Easy (EME) program in partnership with ChargePoint. The program enables customers to help fund new EV charging stations and business may be eligible to purchase ChargePoint EV charging stations (including installation, serve and warranties) through their electricty or gas supply agreement.

logos“Constellation is always looking for new and innovative energy solutions for our customers,” said Divesh Gupta, manager, energy solutions for Constellation. “Efficiency Made Easy allows customers to implement technology such as ChargePoint’s EV charging stations to better manage their energy use and support their environmental goals – without an upfront investment.”

EME enables its commercial and industrial supply customers to implement energy efficiency and other solutions without up-front capital expenditures. The costs of these solutions are included over the term of a customer’s supply agreement. In cases where customers are utilizing EME for efficiency measures, they may realize immediate savings on energy costs from reduced energy use according to Constellation.

Pasquale Romano, CEO of ChargePoint, added, “By offering charging stations, installation, service, and warranty with no upfront capital, this channel partnership is a great example of how energy companies can help to spur EV growth the right way. Minimizing the upfront cost to buy and install charging stations and providing customer choice, makes it possible for even more businesses to offer EV charging to their employees and customers.”

EHS Summit Comes to Kearney Nebraska

The 11th annual Environment, Health and Safety Summit is coming to Kearney, Nebraska Tuesday, October 11, 2015. The daylong summit, for safety professionals, includes speakers from agencies including the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Pinnacle Engineering, Fletcher Safety and Southeast Community College. The event is hosted by the Nebraska Ethanol Board (NEB).

NEB EHS Summit“This is a great opportunity to network and learn about the latest government regulations and compliance changes,” said Todd Sneller, NEB administrator who was recently awarded the Merle Anderson Award during the annual ACE Ethanol Conference. “We are proud that the summit has grown to include diverse companies beyond the ethanol industry during the past 11 years.”

Sneller said that the event was originally established to provide compliance, safety, public health and emerging technology information for the rapidly developing ethanol industry, but today the Summit has attracted the attention of other professional sectors as government regulations continue to increase.

The NEB works with a variety of private partners and ethanol plant personnel, who focus on compliance, worker safety and public health issues, to put on the summit. College students also are invited to attend and may qualify for a scholarship to waive the registration fee.

The event is presented in cooperation with the Association of Nebraska Ethanol Producers (ANEEP) and open to professionals who work in environmental compliance, worker safety, and processing and manufacturing. For registration details, contact the NEB at 402-471-2941 or visit

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Green Charge Networks has partnered with the County of Santa Cruz to install a state-of-the-art energy storage system at the County’s largest administrative building. This is the first energy storage installation in the County and largest installation at a County facility in Northern California.
  • Japan’s cumulative installed capacity will rise from 317.5 GW in 2014 to an estimated 389.8 GW by 2025, representing a moderate Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1.9%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData. The report states that while thermal sources will contribute the majority of installed capacity, with an expected overall share of 54.7%, other renewable sources (excluding hydropower) will more than double by the end of the forecast period. Renewable installed capacity will increase from 37.8 GW in 2015 to 83.3 GW by 2025, rising at a CAGR of 8.2%, representing the largest growth in Japan’s energy sector.
  • Schneider Industries is holding an online auction for surplus equipment from Ecology Biofuels. Bidding is open now and ends at 10 am CDT on Thursday, October 29, 2015. Items include distillation tower, water treatment system, 10,000 gallon diesel storage tank and more. Click here for more information on the auction.
  • To celebrate the 20th annual National Solar Tour, October is National Solar Tour month at the American Solar Energy Society. In conjunction with Energy Awareness month, homeowners and businesses in neighborhoods across the country open their doors and show what they’ve done to slash utility bills and help cut pollution from electric generating plants. Click here to learn more and find a tour.

GWU Education Partnership Launched

Delegates taking the exam for the Galileo Master Certificate

Delegates taking the exam for the Galileo Master Certificate

The School of Engineering and Applied Science at the George Washington University (GWU) is partnering with the European Energy Centre to offer renewable energy and energy efficiency educational opportunities. The Centre works closely with the United Nations Environment Programme.

This October short course educational seminars will be launched for current professionals who want to up-skill their expertise in the renewable energy industry. The classes will be taught by leading experts who have more than 20 years theoretical and practical experience. Seminars are open to all professionals and students regardless of experience. Class sizes are set in order to encourage Q&A consultancy sessions during the courses, both between the delegates and lecturer and also to provide an opportunity for the delegates themselves to network.

Training materials are developed by industry experts and are required to maintain the standards set by a team of Quality Assessors at an Independent Body, which has provided training seminars for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for participants from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.

“It is clear that the renewable energy industry must further expand worldwide to drive forward the growth expected from upcoming UN climate talks. Our experience tells us that employees pursuing careers within the Renewable Energy sector require support to continue their professional development and keep pace with technological innovations within the industry,” said Paolo Buoni, Director, the European Energy Centre. “Therefore, education and training must remain a priority for all individuals working within and affiliated with the renewable energy sector, and so we are very pleased to announce this collaborative Partnership with The George Washington University.”

Click here to learn more and to register for classes.