Sunday, January 24, 2010

In the NEWS

Lancaster ecology firm sets stage for rewards from ‘green economy’
Kevin Neumaier sees nothing but opportunity in the budding “green economy,” but the president of Ecology & Environment also says the Lancaster environmental services firm may have to wait a little while to reap its full rewards.

Between rising interest in wind-energy projects, efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and a push to make buildings more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, Neumaier believes that E&E will have plenty of chances to find work in the coming years.

Neumaier believes that some of that growth will come from efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, easing one of the main causes of global warming. That could lead to increased spending on renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, as an alternative to power plants that run on fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas.

E&E already is working on dozens of wind projects, which has led to E&E’s wind project revenues to jump from almost nothing in 2004 to nearly $8 million last year. Neumaier believes that offshore wind farms will be a fast-growing part of that business in the coming years, despite questions about the affordability of electricity generated by those projects.

E&E also expects more work from efforts to make buildings greener. The company this week was named by the General Services Administration as one of 18 contractors nationally to work on efforts to make federal buildings more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. While it’s not clear how much work that will bring E&E, company officials said that it could average about $5 million to $7 million a year over the next few years.
Read the report by David Robinson in The Buffalo News.

Montante, Chinese sign solar power deal

An industrial park under development in the Town of Tonawanda has been rebranded as New York’s first “solar ready” commercial development, as its owners Monday celebrated the signing of a deal expected to bring Chinese know-how and investment to the site.

Leaders of TM Montante Development, the owners of the newly renamed Riverview Solar Technology Park, and the Shanghai New Energy Industry Association held a ceremonial signing of a memorandum of understanding Monday morning at the offices of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in downtown Buffalo.

The text of the memo was not made public, but it was described by leaders of both parties as a promise and plan to link the renewable energy industries of China, where 35 percent of the world’s solar energy modules are made, and Western New York, where solar and other renewable energy sources are seen as an environmentally responsible route to economic renewal.

State economic development officials announced recently that the state had awarded a $1 million grant to the Town of Tonawanda for its Riverwalk East Park Connector project to build roads and utility services for the Montante project and for the town-owned North Youngmann Commerce Center nearby.
Read the report by George Pyle in The Buffalo News.

Senate, House panels approve `net metering' bills
A bill aimed at utility customers who install renewable power sources such as wind turbines is seriously flawed and would hurt Indiana's renewable energy movement, clean energy advocates told a state Senate committee Thursday.

The bill would expand the number of customers who can send excess power from wind, solar and other renewable energy systems back into the electric grid - an option currently limited to schools and homeowners.

But before the Senate Utilities and Technology Committee approved the bill 8-3 and sent it to the full Senate, it endorsed changes that drew strong criticism from supporters of efforts to expand Indiana's "net metering" rules.

The amended bill bars customers generating more than 10 kilowatts from carrying over excess power credit on to future bills. "You will kill net metering if you do not allow customers to roll over credit," said Laura Arnold, president of Indiana Distributed Energy Advocates.

Read the AP report in The Buffalo News.

No comments: