Armow Wind Farm Powers Up

The 180 MW Armow Wind power facility in Ontario has powered up. The Samsung Renewable Energy and Pattern Energy Group project used Ontario-made products. Towers for the 91 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines were made in Windsor and the 273 blades were manufactured in Tillsonburg.

armow wind project“Samsung is proud to complete our fourth wind project under our Green Energy Investment Agreement with the government of Ontario,” said Steve Cho, Vice President, Samsung C&T. “Armow Wind created more than 350 jobs during peak construction and supported over 750 workers from our Ontario manufacturing facilities. Samsung and its partners are creating jobs and investing in the community which is benefiting real people in Kincardine and across the province.”

According to a press statement, Armow Wind is also bringing strong economic benefits to the Kincardine community, including more than $75 million over 20 years in property taxes, landowner lease royalties and community benefits. As part of a long-term Community Benefit Program, Armow Wind committed $13.6 million dollars to the Municipality of Kincardine. The program supports education and other initiatives.

“Armow Wind is a great example of how Ontario is changing the future of electricity. Armow Wind is a project that produces clean, renewable energy and that was built by Ontario workers with Ontario-made wind turbine components,” added Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “Armow Wind is now generating millions of dollars in local lease payments and property taxes, updating the local airport, and improving the community of Kincardine through our community benefits program. We want to thank the landowners, other community members and the municipality for their hard work and collaboration on this project. We are honored to become a part of this great community.”

The Armow Wind power facility operates under a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).

U.S. Wind Industry Celebrates Great Q4

The U.S. wind industry continues to gain power with 5,001 MW installed during the 4th quarter of 2015 – more installations than all of 2014. In 2015 there was 8,598 MW was installed, a 77 percent increase over 2014. U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report, published by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), finds strong market activity is expected to continue. Going in to 2016, 9,400 MW were under construction.

AWEA_jan report graphics“The data released today show 2016 presents an extraordinary opportunity for American wind power,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “The time has never been better for states and utilities to lock in low-cost, stably-priced wind energy to achieve their Clean Power Plan carbon reductions. Wind energy is on track to supplying 20 percent of the country’s electricity by 2030.”

Wind installations during the fourth quarter of 2015 represent the second strongest quarter ever recorded with total installations across 2015 trailing only 2009 and 2012. Combined there is now 74,472 MW of installed wind capacity in the U.S. and more than 52,000 operating wind turbines.

“Low-cost, stably-priced wind energy is a ‘no-regrets’ solution for states and utilities looking for the best way to meet the Clean Power Plan,” added Kiernan. “Texas ranchers and Iowa farmers know wind power costs one-third as much as it did six years ago. Analysis by the Energy Information Administration confirms that wind energy will make up the majority of states’ lowest-cost Clean Power Plan strategy.”

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Tri Global Energy, the Dallas-based renewable energy company, continues as the leading developer of wind energy projects under construction in Texas, according to the U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2015 Market Report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the nation’s trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry.
  • Energy Vision, a national non-profit which researches and promotes technologies and strategies for a sustainable, low-carbon energy and transportation future, has a new leader. As of January 2016, Matthew P. Tomich is the organization’s president. Tomich succeeds Joanna D. Underwood, who founded Energy Vision in 2006 and led it through its first decade. She continues to play a full-time leadership role as chair of Energy Vision’s board.
  • The ninth annual George Washington Carver Award will recognize an individual who has made a significant contribution to building the biobased economy by applying industrial biotechnology to create sustainable and environmentally friendlier products. The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has begun accepting nominations for the Award. The deadline for nominations is February 20, 2016. The award will be presented at the 2016 World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology in San Diego, California, which will be held April 17-20, 2016 at the San Diego Convention Center.
  • Kohli Ventures, the global technology investment company, and Zynergy Group, an Indian solar projects and services company, has announced the launch of its fund-raising plans, targeting USD$100m over the next three years. The investment will go towards expanding the business and driving the rapid growth of the solar energy sector across India, Africa, The Middle East and Asia.

Growth Launches TV Ads for Iowa Caucus

It’s caucus day in Iowa and Growth Energy has launched a TV and digital ad campaign highlighting ethanol’s contribution to the state and country. The spot features Iowa farmer Chris Soules, star of hit shows The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. The ad will appear nationwide on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

growth-energy-logo1“Thanks to homegrown ethanol, we’re seeing major economic and environmental benefits,” said Tom Buis, co-chair of Growth Energy. “American-made ethanol cuts our dependence on foreign oil and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, creates jobs and provides consumers with a choice at the pump. Ethanol and the RFS are crucial to continue allowing America’s farmers and innovators to produce clean, renewable energy here at home. It’s no coincidence that an overwhelming, bipartisan majority of candidates for president have all realized the immense benefits and potential of ethanol.”

“It’s important now more than ever that we recognize ethanol’s critical role in America’s energy policy. Ethanol makes up 10 percent of the current motor fuel supply and it is continuing to grow as we see widespread adoption of higher blends such as E15. Ethanol is a 21st century fuel for 21st century vehicles. We must ensure its continued support and development as we work to meet our growing energy needs,” Buis concluded.

Students Benefit From Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel

James Anderson discusses his research with an attendee during #NBB16.

James Anderson discusses his research with an attendee during #NBB16.

It’s never too early to encourage the next generation of biodiesel and bioproduct scientists and this is just what NBB is doing through its Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program. Several members of the group attended this year’s conference and presented posters, attended educational sessions and networked, networked, networked.

James Anderson, from University of Illinois, serves as co-chair for the group and he presented his research looking at fatty acid profiles and studying divergent plants. His goal was to identify not the fastest growing soybean plant or the plant with the best resistance, but the plant with the best profile. The idea is that they would identify soybeans that would be even better suited to biodiesel production. He and his team checked their results against some USDA studies and found positive results.

James is finishing up his project soon and will be awarded his PhD and will soon be looking for a job…hint, hint. He can be reached via email to discuss both his research and future opportunities.

Listen to my interview with James Anderson here: Interview with Co-Chair James Anderson

Jesse Mayer and James Anderson, Co-Chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

Jesse Mayer and James Anderson, Co-Chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

Jesse Mayer, from the University of Nevada, Reno, is also a co-chair of Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. Originally planning on going to medical, he switched gears when the only lab he could find work in was a plant lab. Well, he got hooked. He said he loves the field and the sustainability aspect of it.

He became involved in the group two years ago through his professor. He encourages everyone to join. “It’s really great opportunity to understand all the different aspects of biofuels. Like the students here you’ve got a lot of different fields…. So finding a student organization like NBB, joining them, and getting an idea of what those other aspects are, talking to people in the industry, really helps diversify you as a student and really helps going on to grad school or into the workforce.”

Jesse is also graduating soon and if the networking I saw him doing at the conference is any indication, he won’t be on the market long. You can reach him here.

Listen to my interview with Jesse Mayer here: Interview with Co-Chair Jesse Mayer

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Bringing #Biodiesel to the Northeast

Paul Nazzaro is no stranger to the biodiesel industry and has been a huge champion for the advanced biofuel in the Northeast for nearly two decades. During the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa, Florida, Nazzaro participated in several panel discussions focused on how to get more biodiesel into the Northeast as each year, more legislation is passed to curb emissions and ultimately promote renewable energy. BioHeat in particular is really gaining ground.

Paul NazzaroYet distribution challenges need be overcome in order to get more biodiesel products into the northeast. Nazzaro said in an interview after the panel discussion that compared to other areas of the country, there are very few terminals where the fuel can be blended and distributed. When asked who is responsible for paying to get more terminals, such as the biodiesel industry or the petroleum industry, Nazzaro said ultimately the cost will fall on consumers. But if they keep asking for biodiesel products, he stressed, suppliers will listen and down the road, biodiesel is not only more environmentally friendly, it will cost consumers less.

Nazzaro is working with a team to help overcome distribution and supply challenges to help ensure that the biodiesel industry can deliver what they promise: high value, advanced, renewable bioproducts.

To learn more listen to my interview with Paul Nazzaro: Interview with Paul Nazzaro

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1Invenergy has announced that it has signed a 225 MW wind power purchase agreement (PPA) with Google to provide the tech giant with renewable energy to help support its data center operations. Google first announced this deal in December during the COP21 conference in Paris. Invenergy is one of six renewable energy companies Google partnered with for a total 842 MW of renewable energy across three countries. Of the six agreements, Google’s PPA with Invenergy is the largest.
  • After a multi-year process, and a multi-million dollar utility campaign to eliminate solar competition, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has voted to maintain net metering and continue California’s strong solar market according to The Alliance for Solar Choice.
  • Sumitomo Corporation together with The Japan Steel Works have announced their partnership with Gerdau to manufacture and sell wind power generation forged products under the joint-venture. Gerdau is the largest long steel manufacturer in Brazil. Production of these forged parts is expected to begin in 2017.
  • Canadian Solar Inc. has announced that it has entered into agreements with International Finance Corporation (IFC), to receive a financing package of up to US$70 million in loans and equity investment. The partnership with IFC underscores the Company’s commitment to expanding in Asia and Latin America, as well as conducting its operations in compliance with IFC’s environmental and social performance standards.

Electric Cars Take Over Greenest Vehicles List

Electric cars have taken over this year’s Greenest Vehicles List published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The 19th annual environmental rankings published on greencars.org featured nine electric vehicles (EV). The following vehicles comprise the Greenest List for 2016:

For the third year in a row, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive tops the Greenest List. Toyota’s Prius line continues to perform well, with the new Prius Eco nabbing the 4th spot, while the Prius C and original Prius claim spots #8 and #9. For the first time ever, the Greenest list is completely populated by plug-in and hybrid vehicles; not a single vehicle with only an internal combustion engine appears.

“The 2016 scores are in, and plug-in electric vehicles are outpacing all other vehicle offerings in terms of environmental friendliness. Fortunately, the electricity sector is slated to become cleaner over the life of model year 2016 vehicles, thanks to the Clean Power Plan, and that has bumped up electric vehicles’ green scores this year. Nevertheless, it’s important to acknowledge that how green your electric vehicle truly is depends on the electricity it uses to charge,” said ACEEE Lead Vehicle Analyst Shruti Vaidyanathan.

The newest additions to the list are the Volkswagen eGolf and the Kia’s Soul electric vehicle, which claim the #5 and #7 spots respectively. This year marks the first time a Kia vehicle has earned a top spot since 2009. The improved 2016 Chevrolet Volt also nabs a spot this year (#11) thanks to significant increases in fuel economy and its new streamlined vehicle design.

Modern clean diesels have repeatedly placed well in ACEEE’s annual ranking. However, following the EPA announcement that Volkswagen had cheated federal emissions standards since 2009, greenercars.org suspended its Green Scores for all affected VW, Audi, and Porsche diesel models.

Greenercars.org also identifies practical options in each class among the top widely available, automatic transmission, petroleum-fueled models, since many of the vehicles on the Greenest list are not widely available. The Greener Choices list include the Chevrolet Trax and the GMC Canyon.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1The 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk: Advancing the Clean Trillion will take place Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. Speakers, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Former Vice President Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg and UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres, will discuss topics ranging from investment opportunities provided by the global climate deal to opportunities to expand clean energy investment in developed and developing countries and solutions to mitigating carbon asset risks. Registration for the Summit is closed but you can watch the sessions via the live stream.
  • The GEA U.S. and International Geothermal Showcase agenda has been published. Taking place March 17, 2016 in Washington, D.C., the event will have experts addressing key topics from financial opportunities to an overview of geothermal power’s status in the U.S. and abroad. Other major topics include the future of the geothermal industry, cutting-edge technologies, and the components necessary to nurture global geothermal industry growth.
  • Asia Clean Capital has announced an agreement to provide a 3.4 MW rooftop solar system to Swire Coca-Cola at their Luohe bottling facility. Under the terms of the agreement, ACC will invest 100% of the system cost and will provide the design, equipment, installation, and long-term system maintenance. Power produced by the system will be provided to Swire Coca-Cola at pre-agreed rates, assuring both upfront savings and savings over time.
  • Duke Energy Renewables ended 2015 with the completion its 110 MW Los Vientos V Windpower Project in Starr County, Texas. With this site on line, the business added 400 MW of wind and 200 MW of solar power to its U.S. renewables portfolio in 2015.

Eye of Biodiesel Winners Announced at #NBB16

nbb-16-livergoodThe “Eye of Biodiesel” awards were announced during the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa, Florida this week.

First up was Mike Livergood who received the Lifetime Achievement award. He is retiring this year from ADM after nearly four decades with the company. In his acceptance speech, Livergood talked about how ADM become involved with the National Biodiesel Board back in 1999. “By 2011, we were running eleven biodiesel facilities on three continents with total capacity of nearly three-quarters of a billion gallons a year,” he said. “Biodiesel was truly the savior of the soybean crushing industry.”

Listen to his remarks here: Mike Livergood, Lifetime Achievement Award

nbb-16-climate-leaderThe National Biodiesel Board recognized three organizations in California this year as the Climate Leader award winners. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); and the American Lung Association were all recognized for their environmental leadership to promote all clean fuels, including biodiesel, along the West Coast. These three organizations, along with other NGOs, bolstered and defended Low Carbon Fuel policies in California and Oregon. NBB Director of Sustainability Don Scott (L) presented the awards to representatives each organization – Mary Solecki of E2, Heather Palmer with the American Lung Association, and EDF’s Timothy J. O’Connor.

O’Connor spoke for the group in accepting the award. Timothy O'Connor, Environmental Defense Fund

nbb-16-calabottaBeth Calabotta, former Monsanto Director for Bioenergy and currently serving on the National Biodiesel Foundation, was honored with the Impact award for her tireless dedication to the advancement of biodiesel.

Beth’s experience in the field of agricultural yield technology and the markets that drive demand for protein give her a rare and valuable knowledge base that she has put 100 percent into her work to advance biodiesel. She has contributed greatly to the sustainability efforts at NBB and projects to analyze the real world indirect effects of biodiesel production.

Listen to her remarks on winning the Impact Award here: Beth Calabotta, Biodiesel Impact Award winner

nbb-16-pioneerJohn Maniscalco, who recently retired as the head of the New York Oil Heating Association after more than 20 years was honored with the Pioneer award. In 2013, Maniscalco received the Industry Partnership award.

Maniscalco was at the forefront of leadership in the heating oil industry, serving as the first treasurer of the National Oilheat Research Alliance before his time at NYOHA. He’s also been at the forefront of the industry’s move to Bioheat®, biodiesel in home heating. He was instrumental in New York City implementing legislation for B2 heating oil citywide. New York City continues to be a Bioheat® leader in the Northeast on both policy and public perception when it comes to cleaning up heating oil.

Listen to his remarks here: John Maniscalco, Biodiesel Pioneer Award winner

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album