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Projects | Green and Alternative Energy Information

Abandoned Sites to Become Solar Fields

Brownfields like this may become solar fields. Via Srwenvironmental.com

Brownfield sites are abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use. Often, redeveloping such sites is hampered by real or perceived environmental contamination.

But a new partnership may change that. OPEL Solar, a supplier of high concentration photovoltaic (HCPV) solar panels and advanced solar trackers and TRUENORTH Solar & Environmental, a designer and installer of high quality solar industry products, have teamed up to install utility-scale solar fields on brownfield sites across North America that have been deemed otherwise unusable.

One of the attractions of doing that is that blighted areas of land can be turned into renewable energy fields to meet growing demand, besides helping utilities to meet their clean energy mandates.

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Hemp car sparks a buzz

The blogosphere is abuzz about an electric car made of hemp developed by a team of Canadian companies who plan its debut at the EV trade show in Vancouver next month.

The compact four-passenger car, with its body made of hemp bio-composite, will have a top speed of 55 miles per hour and a range of 25 to 100 miles before needing to be recharged, depending on the battery, CBC News reported.

Calgary-based developer Motive Industries Inc. said hemp achieves the same mechanical properties as glass composite without the weight, an important goal when designing the body of a battery-powered vehicle.

“Didn’t Cheech and Chong already try this?” wrote one observer on Slashdot.org.

“Model THC?” quipped another.

Hemp is a natural fiber product of the Cannabis sativa plant and is comparable to cotton as a fiber. It is bred differently from the Cannabis indica plant that produces marijuana, which is outlawed under the U.S. Controlled Substance Act.

“It’s illegal to grow it in the U.S., so it actually gives Canada a bit of a market advantage,” Nathan Armstrong, president of Motive Industries told the CBC.

Industrial farming of hemp is practiced in 30 countries including Canada, France, England, Germany, Australia and Russia but cultivation is illegal in the U.S.

Last year, an Ontario company secured $1.8 million from investors to open the first North American bio-processing plant for industrial hemp, The Canadian Press reported.

Hemp for the Kestrel is supplied by Alberta Innovates Technology Futures, a Crown corporation in the western Canadian province that purchases its cannabis from an industrial hemp farm in Vegreville, Alberta.

The vehicle is slated for prototype and testing later this month.

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Green Light For €200M Co Clare Wind Farm

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A wind energy development co-operative in County Clare has received planning permission from Clare County Council to construct the largest community owned wind farm development in Ireland.

West Clare Renewable Energy Ltd. (WCRE) plans to construct 28 3MW wind turbines on the western slopes of Mount Callan, a 391-metre high mountain located between Ennis and Miltown Malbay.

The company says the EUR200 million project will be capable of generating enough electricity to power every home and business in County Clare, as well as meeting the Limerick Clare Energy Agency’s 2010 targets for emissions reductions and renewable energy production. .The Scheme is predicted to reduce carbon emissions over its life time by a massive 4,400,000 tonnes of carbon.  The community-based scheme is also expected to provide up to 300 jobs during the construction phase.

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More wind energy projects coming to Montana

Montana is one of the US states that are working very hard to increase its use of renewable energy, and in Montana’s case the best renewable energy option looks to be wind energy. The recent studies have confirmed that Montana has excellent conditions for harnessing wind energy with over two thirds of the state having excellent wind resources for the development of utility scale wind projects.

But despite this huge wind potential (Montana ranks 5th in US for potential wind energy production) so far only 271 MW of wind energy capacity has been installed in The Treasure State. This means that wind energy industry in Montana has lot of room to grow, and the one thing that will certainly be very supportive to this growth is an extensive legislation aimed to promote wind energy.

Montana’s current renewable energy legislation includes a renewable energy standard, tax credits, different production incentives, production tax reductions, property tax exemptions, utility grants and loans, and a green power program. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has also been very helpful in determining the feasibility of investing in wind energy by providing reliable and accurate wind monitoring data on different sites across the state.

Montana’s renewable energy standard was adopted in 2005, and under this standard Montana needs to obtain 15% of its energy demands from renewable energy sources. In order to achieve this goal Montana will need big renewable energy projects.

One of these big renewable energy projects looks to be the 309 megawatt wind energy project called Rim Rock. A Spanish energy company, NaturEner, announced it has already secured an $800 million worth financing for this project, and if everything goes well with this project this will make a good example for other similar projects.

This new wind energy project should be completed by the end of 2012.

Posted byNed Haluzan

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