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Electric Vehicle News & Greentech

February 18, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Greentech

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Electric vehicle news and greentech news updated frequently.

EV News Report covers the top electric car, electric bus and electric train stories. Electric vehicles are the crux of the sustainable matter. In a world of 7 billion plus people, transportation is the toughest transition. Battery production is the key.

Approximately 85 million new autos will be delivered globally in 2014 with the vast majority being powered by petroleum. To put that statistic into perspective, Tesla Motors plans to be delivering 100,000 electric cars on an annualized basis in late 2015.

Electric Vehicles, Greentech and Lulu the Cat The USA is the USA due to competition. Uncompetitive states fail.

Electric Vehicles, Greentech and Lulu the Cat
The USA is the USA due to competition. Uncompetitive states fail.

The world demands a clean environment. In congested cities, modern electric subways, streetcars, light rail and train services are the most logical transportation choices. Urbanites want safe walking and biking routes. Clean air zones are good for business. Clean technologies make jobs. A good mayor is the key.

Secondarily, EV News Report covers leaders in greentech, focusing on solar, wind, battery storage and HVDC. In the drive to 100% renewable, states and localities are finding an increasing number of greentech opportunities to power their economies. Prices keep falling. Demand keeps rising. The world economy booms.

Electric vehicles and solar have the most potential to surprise. However, the world is full of surprises.

Peak Oil

Post Carbon Institute expects US oil production to start declining again around 2016-2017. Production may decline sooner if oil prices stay in the 80s. The US Dollar’s reserve status will only blunt US inflation in the peak oil era. The bond bubble will burst. Gold and silver will rise.

China will float the Yuan to gain reserve currency status. However, weak oil dependent nations will suffer during peak oil. Eventually, humanity riding electric vehicles powered by greentech will kick its addiction to oil. A rising Yuan will float the currencies of the East. The Euro region will integrate its financial system. The world will be more stable under three major reserve currencies.

Latest Electric Vehicle News and Greentech News Below

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Gov. Patrick Announces MBTA’s Recommended Company To Build New Subway Cars In Mass

October 23, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Subway

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Deval Patrick today announced that the MBTA will present to the Board of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) the recommended company to manufacture and deliver 284 new subway cars for the Red and Orange Lines, replacing decades-old vehicles.

Gov. Patrick Announces MBTA's Recommended Company To Build New Subway Cars In Mass Orange Line  Photo courtesy of MassDOT

Gov. Patrick Announces MBTA’s Recommended Company To Build New Subway Cars In Mass
Orange Line
Photo courtesy of MassDOT

Joined by MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott, as well as state and local officials, Governor Patrick announced that the recommended company, CNR MA, will build a 150,000 square foot facility in Springfield to assemble the vehicles, creating over 250 new manufacturing and construction jobs in the region. The contract is pending approval by the MassDOT Board of Directors, which is schedule to meet on Wednesday to vote on the recommendation.

The contract with CNR MA will include the purchase of 152 new Orange Line Vehicles and 132 new Red Line vehicles to replace the 44-year old Red Line cars and 32-year old Orange Line cars. The contract also includes the option to purchase an additional 58 Red Line cars. The new cars will provide improved reliability, accessibility and energy efficiency. New car features include increased capacity and additional seating, wider and electrically operated doors, four accessible areas per car, LED lighting, modern HVAC systems and advanced passenger information and announcement systems.

“This is a critical investment in the future of public transportation in Greater Boston and in the economic wellbeing of Western Massachusetts,” said Governor Patrick. “It will open up opportunities for the residents of the Pioneer Valley by creating quality construction and manufacturing jobs that will propel growth in the region for years to come.”

The design process will take approximately three years for the Orange Line cars and an additional 15 months for the Red Line. Pilot cars for the Orange Line are to be delivered in early 2018 and the Red Line pilot cars will be delivered about a year later. Delivery of production cars will occur at a rate of approximately four cars per month between winter 2018 and winter 2021 for the Orange Line and between fall 2019 and spring 2021 for the Red Line.

CNR MA intends to build a new manufacturing facility for final assembly of the Red and Orange Line Vehicles at 655 Page Boulevard in Springfield. This facility will serve as CNR MA’s US Headquarters. CNR MA plans to build a facility that includes over 150,000 square feet of manufacturing and office space. The facility will also include a dynamic test track, which will enable testing prior to shipment of the vehicles to the MBTA. CNR MA plans to invest $60 million of its own resources into the facility. CNR MA estimates the new facility will create more than 150 new manufacturing jobs and 100 new construction jobs. Construction of the new plant is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.

“The awarding of this contract is the culmination of years of work and development by teams at MassDOT and the MBTA,” said Secretary Davey. “By making this important investment, and ensuring that it provide for new jobs and increase economic opportunity in Massachusetts, we are making a commitment to the future of sustainable, accessible public transit that is more reliable, more frequent and better serves the needs of our Commonwealth.”

The new Orange Line cars will replace the entire current fleet that has an average of 1.5 million miles on them. On a typical weekday, the Orange Line fleet carries over 200,000 people. The order will also increase the fleet size, allowing for increased passenger capacity and decreased passenger wait times by reducing headways from six minutes to four during rush hour.

The Red Line order will replace the current fleet of “No. 1” cars and the additional contract option would allow for replacement of the 27-year old “No. 2” cars. The “No. 1” cars have an average of 2.3 million miles and the “No. 2” cars an average of 1.4 million miles; these cars currently run on the Red Line which serves an average of 272,000 customers on a typical weekday.

“Today marks an important step in improving the daily commutes of hundreds of thousands of our MBTA customers,” said GM Scott. “By replacing the aging fleets of Red and Orange Line cars, we will be able to reduce travel and wait times, increase capacity and improve accessibility, security and the overall experience for our customers.”

Both the new Red and Orange Line cars will allow for an average of 15 additional passengers per car; and accessibility upgrades such as wider doors will allow for ADA access even when one door is non-functioning. Other upgrades include bridge plates and advanced customer information systems such as automatic station announcements on state-of-the-art public address systems and LED information signs.

The new cars are also being designed with sustainable features such as environmentally-friendly HVAC systems, LED lighting and regenerative braking. New safety and security features are also being built in such as video surveillance systems with “live look in” capability, higher windscreens on doors and even “black box” style event recorders.

The total project budget is approximately $1.3 billion, and includes the funds necessary to expand and improve the MBTA’s rail car maintenance and storage facilities in Medford and Boston. Made possible by the passage of the Transportation Finance Law last year, the Orange and Red Line car procurement project is funded entirely by State Transportation Bond Funds.

The Request for Proposals was released a year ago, and six companies submitted proposals. Of the six proposals, four of them met the minimum requirements and were rated on criteria ranging from technical and manufacturing experience, past performance, quality assurance, and price. CNR MA submitted the lowest bid at $556.6 million.

This MBTA project builds on previous unprecedented investments made by the Patrick Administration in the Commonwealth’s transportation infrastructure. MBTA investments include three new T stations opened along the Fairmount Line in Roxbury and Dorchester, work now underway to bring the Green Line Extension to Union Square and Washington Street in Somerville and the completion of the first new Orange Line T station in 25 years at the Assembly Row development in Somerville. Overall, MBTA “state-of-good-repair” investments are approaching nearly $600 million per year while introducing customer-focused improvements such as subway countdown clocks, smartphone apps for tracking the arrival of buses and trains, mobile ticketing for commuter rail and improved accessibility with new elevators and escalators.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: MassDOT.

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Orkney Islands Council awarded funding towards first electric bus

October 23, 2014 in Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics

Orkney Islands Council looks set to welcome its first fully-electric public bus in coming months, following an announcement by the Scottish Government today (Oct 22) that it will allocate up to £97,560 of match funding from its Scottish Green Bus fund towards the purchase of an electric bus for the county.

Orkney Islands Council awarded funding towards first electric bus  Optare electric bus in London Photo courtesy of Transport for London

Orkney Islands Council awarded funding towards first electric bus
Optare electric bus in London
Photo courtesy of Transport for London

Further match funding towards the bus from the Scottish Government’s Future Transport Fund Low Carbon Vehicle fund has also recently been agreed in principle.

Once the Council has written confirmation of these offers, it will be able to place an order for a new ‘Optare Solo SR’ electric bus.

It would be the first fully-electric bus to run in Orkney, and would run on the Kirkwall to Airport route.

It’s hoped the new bus would arrive in the county and be ready to operate close to the start of the new bus contracts starting in January 2015, following driver and mechanic training.

The Council received £78k from Transport Scotland earlier this year towards electric vehicle charging points, with another £110k for the 2015-16 financial year also recently confirmed.

Chair of OIC’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor James Stockan, said:

“We have a few formalities to go through before we can proceed with the project and place an order.

“However, this announcement is welcome news and links in with our Low Carbon Strategy which we’re developing, our Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Strategy, and the Council Plan which commits us to seeking out low carbon opportunities for Orkney.”

Read the Scottish Government’s announcement here.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: Orkney Islands Council.

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MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy Celebrate the Installation of the World’s Largest Convention Center Solar Array

October 23, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Solar

MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy Celebrate the Installation of the World’s Largest Convention Center Solar Array NRG Energy Solar Array at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center  Photo courtesy of NRG

MGM Resorts International and NRG Energy Celebrate the Installation of the World’s Largest Convention Center Solar Array
NRG Energy Solar Array at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center
Photo courtesy of NRG

The 20-acre array at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino will offset 20 percent of the resort’s peak energy demand, will be joined by an additional 2-megawatt dc (MW dc) array currently under development

LAS VEGAS – NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NRG) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) today announced the completed installation of the world’s largest rooftop solar array on a convention center. Covering approximately 20 acres atop the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, the 6.4 megawatt (MW dc) [5.0 megawatt ac (MW ac)] photovoltaic array will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of approximately 1,000 U.S. homes annually and is the first of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip.

In conjunction with the celebration, MGM Resorts and NRG also announced plans to build an additional 2 MW dc (1.5 MW ac) photovoltaic array atop a future expansion of the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, scheduled to begin construction later this year.

“Today marks a major milestone for MGM Resorts, NRG and the entire Las Vegas community,” said Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International. “The completion of this solar array demonstrates our steadfast commitment to the principles of environmental responsibility, and the announcement of the second array reinforces that we’re always looking to do more.”

Once completed, the combined solar installation is expected to provide pricing stability and reduce energy draw from the southern Nevada grid during the hottest time of the day which is also peak electricity demand. The project is estimated to displace approximately 6,300 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is the equivalent of taking more than 1,300 cars off the road.

“As one of the largest providers of renewable energy solutions in North America, we’re delighted to be the chosen partner of MGM Resorts to take this giant leap forward and join their longstanding legacy in environmental stewardship,” said Tom Doyle, President and CEO of NRG Renew. “NRG envisions a thriving, sustainable future powered by renewable energy. We look forward to continuing our partnership with MGM in bringing competitively priced, clean energy to Mandalay Bay through the second solar array of this project; further supporting their commitment to reducing energy costs.”

“Together, MGM Resorts and NRG are an excellent example of private sector companies working together to develop innovative technologies that protect our planet’s most precious resources,” said Nevada Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I applaud MGM and NRG for leading the way for other businesses to embrace environmental best practices, and demonstrating that it’s good for business.”

“The rooftop solar installation at Mandalay Bay significantly advances our resort’s commitment to being a leading sustainable destination for conferences and conventions,” said Chuck Bowling, President and COO of Mandalay Bay. “Partnering with a progressive company like NRG to achieve this milestone reinforces our commitment to promoting renewable energy and protecting the planet’s limited resources as supported by our Green Advantage sustainability initiative that has already decreased our energy load by over 14 percent since 2007.”

NRG financed, constructed, owns and operates the installation for MGM Resorts at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), Mandalay Bay Resort will purchase all the electricity generated by both solar arrays.

About NRG Energy and NRG Renew

NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) is leading customer-driven change in the U.S. energy industry by delivering cleaner and smarter energy choices, while building on the strength of the nation’s largest and most diverse competitive power portfolio. A Fortune 250 company, we create value through reliable and efficient conventional generation while driving innovation in solar and renewable power, electric vehicle ecosystems, carbon capture technology and customer-centric energy solutions. Our retail electricity providers serve almost 3 million residential and commercial customers throughout the country. More information is available at www.nrg.com. Connect with NRG Energy on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @nrgenergy and @NRGMedia.

NRG Renew, a subsidiary of NRG Energy, owns or has partial investment in more than 150 renewable energy projects totaling approximately 4,500 gross megawatts (MWac) of solar and wind capacity in operation throughout North America1.

More information is available at http://www.nrg.com/renew

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA resort and casino. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company’s website at www.mgmresorts.com.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: NRG.

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Lower electricity-related CO2 emissions reflect lower carbon intensity and electricity use

October 23, 2014 in EIA, Environment, EV News, Greentech, Solar, Wind

Lower electricity-related CO2 emissions reflect lower carbon intensity and electricity use Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual CO2 Analysis Courtesy of EIA

Lower electricity-related CO2 emissions reflect lower carbon intensity and electricity use
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Annual CO2 Analysis
Courtesy of EIA

Principal contributor: Perry Lindstrom, EIA

U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have declined in five of the past eight years. This trend has been led by emissions reductions in the electric power sector. Electricity demand growth has been lower than in the past and at the same time the power sector has become less carbon intensive (measured as CO2 emitted per kilowatthour of generation). Total emissions from the electric power sector in 2013 totaled 2,053 million metric tons (MMmt), about 15% below their 2005 level.

U.S. electricity demand has decreased in recent years, as declines in the industrial sector continue to outweigh slight increases in residential and commercial demand. If electricity demand had continued to increase at its rate over the 1996-2005 period, emissions in 2013 would have been roughly 400 MMmt above actual 2013 levels, assuming carbon intensity remained constant.

The power sector has become less carbon intensive for two reasons: the substitution of less-carbon-intensive natural gas-fired generation, displacing coal and petroleum generation, and the growth in noncarbon generation, especially from renewables such as wind and solar.

The substitution of natural gas for other fossil fuels (mostly coal) has largely been market driven, as ample supplies of attractively priced natural gas and the relative ease of adding natural gas-fired capacity have often made it the fuel of choice for electric power generation. This was especially true in 2012, when natural gas prices were particularly low and natural gas provided 29% of total generation. In 2013 and 2014, market conditions have made coal generation more economically attractive, leading to a modest rise in coal-fired generation.

While the substitution of natural gas for coal has garnered significant attention, since 2005 the decline in the carbon intensity of total generation as a result of the increase in noncarbon power generation has also had an effect on emissions from power generation. The growth in noncarbon generation has been driven largely by state policies and federal tax incentives that have encouraged the use of renewables. These factors have particularly benefitted wind and solar energy sources; in 2005, wind and solar generation totaled 18 billion kWh, or about 2% of noncarbon generation, while by 2013 they generated 176 billion kWh, or 14% of noncarbon generation. Although nonhydroelectric renewables have shown steady growth, other noncarbon energy sources such as conventional hydroelectric power and nuclear power have fluctuated from year to year. In 2005, hydroelectric and nuclear power totaled 1,049 billion kWh (95% of noncarbon generation), and by 2013 totaled 1,055 million kWh (83% of noncarbon generation).

The overall decline in carbon intensity of electricity generation, through both reduced fossil fuel carbon intensity and increased noncarbon generation, has reduced cumulative CO2 emissions from power generation by about 1.6 billion metric tons since 2005.

Including the decrease in electricity demand, growth since 2005 compared with the 1996-2005 period raises the cumulative effect on CO2 emissions from power generation to more than 3 billion MMmt of CO2.

This article is an EV News Report repost, credit: EIA.

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Siemens partners with 1st Light Energy to demonstrate “Net-Zero” energy home using solar microinverters, electric vehicle charging infrastructure

October 22, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV charging, EV News, Greentech, Solar

Siemens partners with 1st Light Energy to demonstrate “Net-Zero” energy home using solar microinverters, electric vehicle charging infrastructure Photo courtesy of Siemens

Siemens partners with 1st Light Energy to demonstrate “Net-Zero” energy home using solar microinverters, electric vehicle charging infrastructure
Photo courtesy of Siemens

Siemens, in partnership with 1st Light Energy, has installed its M250 solar microinverters and VersiCharge universal electric vehicle (EV) charging unit for residential use, resulting in a zero-emission home energy environment.

The advanced microinverters are the company’s most efficient and improve the effectiveness of the residential photovoltaic solar installation. In conjunction with the solar array installed by 1st Light Energy, the system can deliver enough electricity for a home to achieve net-zero energy consumption. Net-zero energy consumption means the total amount of energy used in the home is equal or less than the power generated by the on-site renewable sources.

Siemens M250 solar microinverters are installed beneath each photovoltaic (PV) solar panel and convert DC (direct current) to AC (alternating current) power. Each microinverter ensures the maximum power available from each PV solar module is transferred to the home or back to the utility grid regardless of shading or orientation of specific panels. The microinverters can be installed in multiple orientations with different module brands and wattages. The new M250 microinverters feature integrated grounding which saves money on labor and raw material costs and also come with free monitoring which allows both the contractor and homeowner visibility to the array, saving money on annual maintenance.

“We’re excited to demonstrate that technologies like our microinverters can significantly increase the efficiency of solar installations,” said Barry Powell, head of Siemens Low Voltage and Products. “Siemens microinverters paired with intelligent EV charging infrastructure, like the VersiCharge universal unit, is a powerful combination for today’s zero emission households.”

“1st Light Energy has really enjoyed using the Siemens microinverters,” said Justin Krum, CEO of 1st Light Energy. “The microinverters have given us more flexibility in our designs that we cannot normally get with string inverters.”

The installation also included the first residential demonstration of Siemens VersiCharge universal unit for electric vehicle (EV) charging, a unit that features shorter EV charging times that result in greater energy savings. The VersiCharge universal unit also includes a delay feature allowing homeowners to charge at off-peak utility rates. The unit can be installed either indoors or outdoors by a simple bracket which allows it to be easily removed for use in multiple locations.

This article (10-21-14) is an EV News Report repost, credit: Siemens USA.