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EV News Report, Sustainable Race

February 18, 2013 in EV News

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Shenzhen Wins the C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Award

September 23, 2014 in BYD, Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV Campaigns, EV enthusiast, EV News

New York, NY – Kicking off UN Climate Week 2014, the city of Shenzhen, China, has been honored with the C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Award. Victorious largely due to the city’s world leading efforts to electrify their public transportation fleets, Shenzhen has beat out other finalists Milan and Johannesburg. The city has been resourceful in working with local green-tech giant, BYD Company Ltd. to design, build and implement electric taxis and electric transit buses that now offers Shenzhen the bragging rights of the largest pure-electric vehicle fleet in the world. The award was presented at the C40 Leadership Awards Ceremony in Manhattan just one day before Shenzhen Vice-Mayor Tang Jie and BYD Company Ltd. Chairman Wang Chuanfu address the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit.

“It’s the first step for Shenzhen to become a green city. We welcome all of you to come ride the green bus”, said Tang Jie, vice mayor of Shenzhen. “On behalf of C40, I want to congratulate Shenzhen for its leadership in climate action,” said C40 Chair, Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes. “Though Shenzhen is one of the newest C40 cities, it has already taken aggressive measures and shown results in reducing its carbon emissions.”

Shenzhen’s project will be displayed in the world’s largest sustainable cities exhibition at the Crystal in London, where more than 100,000 annual visitors will learn about their green city solution. More than 25 cities including Los Angeles, New York, London, Amsterdam, and Barcelona compete for the C40’s Climate Leadership Awards.

“Though Shenzhen is undoubtedly our New Energy Vehicle leader, BYD is currently working with more than 100 global cities to implement zero emissions transit vehicles. We are excited to help Shenzhen continue growing their pure-electric fleets, and local economy.” said BYD Chairman, Wang Chuanfu.

C40 hopes other cities can be inspired by Shenzhen’s experience. “Low carbon mobility is the backbone of a sustainable city,” said C40 Executive Director Mark Watts. “Shenzhen’s New Energy Vehicle Promotion project has enabled the city to realise major emissions reductions through transportation solutions.” Both Vice Mayor Tang and Mr. Wang will attend and speak at the 2014 United Nations Climate Summit which beginning on September 23. They will share more about how the city of Shenzhen has addressed climate change and how to promote new energy vehicles.

About C40

C40 is a network of the world’s megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With a unique set of assets, the C40 works with participating cities to address climate risks and impacts locally and globally. C40 cities represent more than 500 million people around the world, accounting around 20% of GDP globally. C40 was created in 2005 by former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, and forged a partnership in 2006 with the Cities Program of President Clinton’s Climate Initiative (CCI) to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. Mayor Bloomberg currently serves as President of the C40 Board of Directors. For more information, please visit

About BYD

BYD Company Ltd. is one of China’s largest companies and has successfully expanded globally. Specializing in battery technologies, their green mission to “solve the whole problem” has made them industry pioneers and leaders in several High-tech sectors including High-efficiency Automobiles, Electrified Public Transportation, Environmentally-Friendly Energy Storage, Affordable Solar Power and Information Technology and Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) services.

As the world’s largest manufacturer of rechargeable batteries, their mission to create safer and more environmentally friendly battery technologies has led to the development of the BYD Iron Phosphate (or “Fe”) Battery. This fire-safe, completely recyclable and incredibly long-cycle technology has become the core of their clean energy platform that has expanded into automobiles, buses, trucks, utility vehicles and energy storage facilities. BYD and all of their shareholders, including the great American Investor Warren Buffett, see these environmentally and economically forward products as the way of the future.

BYD has made a strong entrance to the North, Central and South American markets with their battery electric buses, and lineup of automobiles. Their mission lies not just in sales growth, but also in sociological integration and local job creation as they have poured incredible investments into developing offices, dealerships and manufacturing facilities in the local communities they now call home, truly a first for Chinese companies. For more information, please visit

This article is a repost, credit: BYD.

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Stanford’s new P&TS director talks peak-hour traffic, “green” Marguerites, parking

September 23, 2014 in BYD, Electric Bus, Electric Vehicles, EV News, Pollution, Trains

Brian Shaw is the new director of Parking & Transportation Services at Stanford.  Photo courtesy of Stanford University (L.A. Cicero)

Brian Shaw is the new director of Parking & Transportation Services at Stanford.
Photo courtesy of Stanford University (L.A. Cicero)

Reducing peak-hour vehicle trips remains a top priority for Stanford, and for the university’s new transportation director.


Brian Shaw, the new director of Parking & Transportation Services at Stanford, has a master’s degree in city planning, transportation and traffic engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in history.

But what he really wants to talk about these days is math – the math of the drive-alone commuter.

Nearly half of the people who commute to campus – 48 percent – drive alone.

While that’s an impressive number, well below comparable employers nearby, the steady downward trend of Stanford’s drive-alone rate could be at risk of stalling.

“We’re doing well, but we’re reaching a plateau,” Shaw said.

“It took a lot of work to get us to this low drive-alone rate, including alternative transportation programs, such as the free Caltrain pass and VTA Eco Pass, and expanding the free Marguerite Shuttle. But Stanford continues to grow. If we add more people, even at the current drive-alone rate, that’s going to increase the number of trips coming to campus. That’s just doing the math.”

The calculation is important because Stanford agreed to keep the number of vehicles entering and exiting campus during peak commute hours – 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – below the number recorded in 2001, under the General Use Permit (GUP) approved by Santa Clara County in 2000.

“In order to continue to accommodate campus growth, we need to figure out ways to motivate more people not to drive alone and to address the reasons they need to drive,” said Shaw, who has more than two decades’ experience in transportation planning and leadership, including 14 years at universities in Philadelphia, Chicago and Atlanta.

The approach dovetails with Stanford’s commitment to sustainability, since limiting the number of vehicle trips during peak commute hours helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions, helps improve air quality, reduces the need for parking and helps reduce traffic in surrounding communities.

Under GUP, every trip counts

Santa Clara County performs “cordon counts” on campus every year, recording the number of vehicles that enter and exit campus at 16 locations.

While Stanford has achieved its trip-count goal during the morning commute by a comfortable margin, the afternoon commute has always proved more challenging. During the last cordon counts, spring and fall 2013, the county tallied 3,744 vehicles leaving campus between 5 and 6 p.m. – which is 153 trips over the limit.

Stanford can apply “credits” earned primarily through Marguerite Shuttle ridership outside the cordon count area – taking hospital employees to the train station, for instance – to reduce its trip count. In 2013, those credits enabled the university to stay within the GUP limits, but Stanford tries to accomplish the goal without credits.

“We’re running up against the trip count limit,” Shaw said.

Shaw doesn’t own a car. He rides Caltrain to the Palo Alto station from San Francisco, then takes a Marguerite Shuttle to his office in Bonair Siding. He said the personal benefits to people who bike, walk or share the ride – via bus, train, carpools or vanpools – are easy to enumerate.

Some Commute Club members say it improves fitness. It reduces stress, because they don’t have to hunt for parking and can use their commute time to do something enjoyable or productive, such as reading or catching up on emails. It saves money, including the cost of a parking permit, gas or bridge tolls, and wear and tear on a car.

“I used our Commute Cost and Carbon Emission Calculator, and it showed that if I drove to work from San Francisco, it would cost me an average of $7,150 a year,” Shaw said. “I use the Go Pass on Caltrain and take the Marguerite and it doesn’t cost me a dime.”

Transportation management plan 2.0

Currently, Shaw and his staff are conducting additional analytics on the results of the 2014 commute survey, as well as assessing the effectiveness of existing programs.

They also are considering how to modify future surveys to collect more detailed information about commuting attitudes and behavior, with questions such as, “What is it about other modes of transportation that precludes you from using them – schedule, proximity, family commitments, time – or other reasons entirely?”

He said employees with children may not be able to use alternative transportation, because they need to drive children to and from day care or school.

Some employees may be able to get to campus in far less time if they drive, rather than taking public transportation.

“There’s not much we can do about that,” Shaw said. “But then we have to think,

‘Are there other ways to address that situation, for example, by letting them know about our carpooling and vanpooling programs?’”

Currently, there are four Stanford vanpools that bring employees to campus from Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley and Tracy. Each passenger van holds seven to 15 commuters, and the Stanford vanpools can request free, reserved parking on campus.

While that is a premium incentive on campus these days, Shaw said P&TS hopes to make Stanford’s vanpool program even more enticing by providing new options to employees – smaller, easier to handle minivans or crossover SUVs that would qualify for incentives with only four or five commuters.

Encouraging more people to carpool in their own cars is another option. Carpoolers have reserved access to any carpool space on campus until 10 a.m.

Changing face of campus parking

Stanford recently eliminated street parking on Santa Teresa Street – west of Lomita Drive to Campus Drive West – to help improve pedestrian and bicycle circulation in the area and to provide an extra measure of safety as construction ramps up in that neighborhood.

Stanford also recently closed the Roble and Lagunita Court parking lots on Santa Teresa Street to make way for new dorms.

The university is building a new underground parking structure on Santa Teresa Street below Roble Field. Parking Structure 10 is expected to open in 2016 and will provide approximately 1,100 parking spaces.

Over the past year, the university added two new parking options that are open for commuters: a new parking lot on Searsville Road at Campus Drive West and a new parking garage, Parking Structure 9, on Quarry Road near Hoover Pavilion.

The new Searsville parking lot, which is paved and lighted, has 600 spaces.

The new Hoover Pavilion Garage, which is officially known as Parking Structure 9, has more than 1,000 spaces, including 403 patient/visitor spaces and 675 permit spaces for commuters. The entrance for commuters is located on the south side of the building on Sweet Olive Way.

“These new parking facilities have spaces readily available throughout the day, and Marguerite service to bridge the distance to campus destinations,” Shaw said.

“Another option is to consider leaving cars at home and taking alternative transportation instead. The Marguerite buses have stops that are often much closer to campus destinations than driving and parking.”

Shaw and his staff are considering other ways to reduce demand for parking in congested areas of campus and to shift demand to less crowded areas, a feat he achieved at the University of Pennsylvania, where he oversaw parking and transportation services from 2010 to 2014.

“When I was at Penn, I was able to curb the high demand we were experiencing in some areas of campus and shift it to other areas,” he said.

Shaw said Stanford will need to look at the issue in a comprehensive way, considering all options, and may need to move to a system of managing parking on a district level.

Marguerite buses go electric

This summer, Stanford increased its fleet of zero-emission, battery-electric Marguerite transit buses to 13, up from three. As Stanford retires up to 15 buses that are less fuel-efficient and more costly to maintain, the university is “greening” its fleet with electric vehicles.

In the coming year, 10 more electric buses are on their way. Once they join the fleet, battery-electric buses will account for more than half of the 1.1 million miles Stanford’s free shuttle service travels annually.

The 10 new electric vehicles will be smaller – 30 feet long – than earlier models, which are 40 feet long. Stanford will reduce its kilowatt-hours per mile by operating the smaller electric vehicles on routes with lower ridership.

“We’re not just running buses, we’re leveraging cutting-edge technologies and running clean, quiet electric buses,” Shaw said.

Stanford, which is considered a leader in transportation management, frequently receives calls from other universities about its successful programs.

“We have to keep trying to do better to maintain that vanguard position,” Shaw said. “People are always asking: What is Stanford doing now?”

This article is a repost, credit: Stanford University.

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NASA, Partners Target Megacities Carbon Emissions

September 23, 2014 in Climate Change, Environment, EV News, Politics, Pollution

Artist's concept of the LA Megacities Carbon Project observing system. Ground sensors atop towers and buildings measure carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. An instrument atop Mt. Wilson scans the basin multiple times daily. Aircraft, mobile laboratories and satellites round out the network. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Courtesy of NASA

Artist’s concept of the LA Megacities Carbon Project observing system. Ground sensors atop towers and buildings measure carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. An instrument atop Mt. Wilson scans the basin multiple times daily. Aircraft, mobile laboratories and satellites round out the network.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Courtesy of NASA

By Alan Buis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Driving down busy Interstate 5 in Los Angeles in a nondescript blue Toyota Prius, Riley Duren of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is a man on a mission as he surveys the vast urban jungle sprawled around him.

In his trunk, a luggage-sized air-sampling instrument sniffs the outside air through a small tube to measure the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. While not a very efficient way to study urban emissions, the ground data being collected are helping Duren and his team build confidence in greenhouse gas measurements taken from aircraft and satellites, which can cover large areas more effectively.

At the next exit, Duren pulls over to admire a scene most Angelenos would try to ignore: a large landfill stretched alongside the freeway. The instrument in the trunk quickly detects a large plume of methane emanating from the landfill. A NASA aircraft soon appears overhead, carrying a prototype satellite instrument that records high-resolution images of methane that scientists can use to identify gas plumes. The pilot buzzes the landfill several times to capture images of the invisible gas, then the plane departs and Duren heads off to his next study area.

The instruments in the Prius and airplane are just two of many elements of the Megacities Carbon Project, an international, multi-agency pilot initiative to develop and test ways to monitor greenhouse gas emissions in megacities: metropolitan areas of at least 10 million people. Cities and their power plants are the largest sources of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions and are the largest human contributors to climate change.

Duren is principal investigator for the LA component of the Megacities Carbon Project. He hopes to work with international partners to deploy a global urban carbon monitoring system that will eventually allow local policymakers to fully account for the many sources and sinks, or storage sites, of carbon and how they change over time. Los Angeles and Paris are pilot cities in the initiative. Efforts are underway to add other cities around the world.

When fully established in late 2014, the LA network will consist of 15 monitoring stations around the LA basin. Most will use commercially available high-precision greenhouse gas analyzers to continuously sample local air. The LA network encompasses the portions of the South Coast Air Basin that produce the most intense greenhouse gas emissions in California. Megacities scientists will also periodically take to the road and to the skies to collect mobile measurements of the local atmosphere to better define individual emissions sources and environmental conditions.

“LA is a giant laboratory for climate studies and measurement tests,” said Duren. “The LA megacity sprawls across five counties, 150 municipalities, many freeways, landfills, oil wells, gas pipelines, America’s largest seaport, mountains, and even dairies, all within an area measuring about 80 miles [130 kilometers] on a side. In theory, you could drive across the whole thing in an hour and a half, or three if it’s rush hour.”

Urbanization has concentrated more than half of Earth’s population, at least 70 percent of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions and a significant amount of methane emissions into a tiny fraction of Earth’s land surface. The world’s 40 largest cities combined rank as the world’s third largest emitter of fossil-fuel carbon dioxide — larger than the total emissions of Japan. That trend is expected to grow.

There’s an urgent need to get a handle on explosive growth in carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use by cities and to establish baseline measurements that currently don’t exist. The lack of measurements makes it hard to assess emission trends.

Most countries and some states produce annual inventories of their greenhouse gas emissions based on energy statistics and other data, but the same information is typically not available for individual cities.

“In many cases, we know very little about the carbon emissions of individual cities,” said LA Megacities Carbon Project Co-principal Investigator Charles Miller of JPL. “Best estimates often disagree with atmospheric measurements by a factor of two or more, and attributing emissions to specific sources is problematic.”

Cities around the world are expected to undergo rapid change in the next 20 years. Many, particularly in the developing world, are undergoing unconstrained growth, with emissions growing by more than 10 percent a year. The United Nations predicts that Earth’s urban population will double by 2050, dramatically increasing the number and size of megacities, and their carbon footprints.

Cities are serving as bellwethers of society’s carbon emission trends. While many are experiencing growth in emissions, others are leading the charge to reduce them. For example, major mitigation efforts are already underway in megacities such as LA; Paris; New York and Sao Paulo, Brazil through the policies of individual mayors, regional councils and organizations like the Climate 40 group, a partnership among the world’s largest cities. “These rapid changes in the carbon emissions from megacities represent both a mega-problem and an opportunity,” said Duren. “Better data could provide critical support for decision making.”

The Megacities project combines direct surface measurements of urban greenhouse gases from instruments located in air sampling stations atop radio towers and buildings, with broader, denser remote-sensing observations from aircraft, mountaintops and satellites. Other instruments track winds and vertical motion of the atmosphere — both of which are key to interpreting the greenhouse gas measurements.

NASA’s recently launched Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite is capable of detecting the enhanced levels of carbon dioxide over the world’s largest cities and is beginning to study LA in coordination with the Megacities team.

The team is compiling high-resolution emission data derived from information provided by local governments to compare with Megacities project measurement data. The goal is to help improve emission estimates. The result will be independent, accurate assessments of carbon emissions and a better understanding of the factors that affect them. Sustained monitoring over several years will enable assessment of trends.

Toward an Urban Carbon Monitoring System, With Some Challenging Twists

Ultimately, the concept of a global carbon-monitoring system focused on the largest carbon emitters hinges on the ability to extend pilot efforts like those in LA and Paris to other megacities, smaller cities and large power plants. This involves establishing surface measurement networks in representative areas while taking advantage of the broader coverage of satellite observations. The atmospheric measurements will be linked with other information used by decision-makers, such as traffic data. Transparent sharing of satellite observations could prove vital in cities in the developing world, where ground data on emissions are not available.

“The idea is to measure and track emissions for individual cities and selected major industrial sectors and understand how and why they’re changing,” Duren said. “Ultimately, the goal is to link observed atmospheric changes to specific human actions.”

That’s no easy task. So far, scientists have not been able to directly attribute observed trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide to the actions of any nation, state or city. That’s because it’s hard to make enough measurements to get regionally specific data.

Another wrinkle for scientists is being able to distinguish between emissions generated from fossil fuel use and those resulting from biological influences such as urban green spaces and adjacent forest and croplands, which both release and absorb carbon. Doing so requires more frequent and dense measurements and the ability to sense multiple species of greenhouse gases from Earth’s surface and from space. Another important method involves measuring radiocarbon isotopes. That’s something scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will begin contributing to the LA Megacities effort in the coming months.

Because cities concentrate emissions into small areas, they produce intense changes in the atmosphere. This makes them a better target for measurement than countries or states. “Directly monitoring the carbon emissions of entire countries probably won’t be feasible for at least another decade, but with cities, we’re on the verge of addressing the largest emitters within the next few years,” Miller said. “It’s more efficient to focus our finite resources on cities.”

“Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from cities is a significant challenge,” said James Whetstone, special assistant to the director for greenhouse gas measurements at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, Maryland. NIST is addressing the need to develop and demonstrate the performance of advanced greenhouse gas measurement methods that can be applied to cities and metropolitan areas.

The LA project is the second research effort where NIST support and participation are aimed at addressing this measurement challenge. The initial research effort, centered in Indiana, is known as the Indianapolis Flux Experiment (INFLUX). It seeks to develop measurement methods that have the potential to locate sources of emissions and test their performance by quantifying their flow to the atmosphere to an accuracy of 10 percent or less. “These are ambitious goals that have not been previously achieved, but that are needed to independently quantify progress toward greenhouse gas emission targets,” Whetstone added.

The pilot effort in LA and companion efforts in Paris build upon existing research infrastructure and collaborations with smaller cities. The project team is also working with scientists in Sao Paulo to establish a companion effort there, to study another unique urban carbon system. By establishing representative urban greenhouse gas profiles in these and other cities, the Megacities measurement methods can be extended for use around the world.

‘Sniffing’ Out the City of Angels

Among the 15 monitoring stations around the LA basin are two “super-sites” at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and atop nearby Mt. Wilson. In addition to hosting the gas analyzers, these super-sites also use natural sunlight to track carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and other gases in columns of the atmosphere over LA. These super-sites will provide a link between measurements from the surface instrumentation network and from satellites overhead. Satellites such as NASA’s OCO-2 and Japan’s Greenhouse Gases Satellite (GOSAT) periodically sample the air over Los Angeles and a subset of other cities around the world. A follow-on version of NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 that may ultimately fly on the International Space Station is being designed with a “city mode” that will provide frequent maps of the carbon dioxide emissions of many of the world’s largest emitters.

The Mt. Wilson super-site is JPL’s California Laboratory for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (CLARS), located 5,700 feet (1,737 meters) above the Los Angeles basin. The brainchild of JPL Principal Investigator Stan Sander, CLARS is a prototype for the next generation of satellite instrument. It may someday serve as part of an international constellation of carbon monitoring satellites, providing frequent comprehensive mapping of greenhouse gases across entire cities and broader regions. In operation since 2010, the remotely operated CLARS measures carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide and other atmospheric pollutants across a large section of the LA basin every 90 minutes during daylight hours.

“While weather satellites tell us about winds, storms and atmospheric moisture, future satellites will also use ‘chemical cameras’ to map the distributions of greenhouse gases and pollutants over whole continents,” said Sander. “CLARS provides a way to test this by mapping chemicals in the air over Los Angeles.”

“The methods we’re testing today can ultimately fill a critical need for decision makers to determine whether urban climate policies are working as intended and, if not, why, and how they should be changed,” Duren said. “With today’s technology, we’re on the verge of a new era of measurement science, capable of producing the type of data society needs to make decisions to avoid an ever-warming world.”

Megacities is a consortium funded by federal, state and private sources. The LA pilot project is funded by NASA; NIST; NOAA; the Keck Institute for Space Studies, Pasadena, California; and the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Sacramento, California. Additional CLARS support was provided by NASA, NOAA and CARB. LA project implementing partners include JPL; Caltech; Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California; Arizona State University, Tempe; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; University of Colorado, Boulder; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California; CARB; Earth Networks Inc., Germantown, Maryland; and NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California. Other collaborators include Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, Gif-sur-Yvette, France; University of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Sigma Space Corporation, Lanham, Maryland; Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.; and the INFLUX team.

This article is a repost, credit: NASA.

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$8-billion green energy initiative proposed for Los Angeles

September 23, 2014 in Environment, EV News, Greentech, Wind

Photo courtesy of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy

Photo courtesy of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy

LOS ANGELESFour companies today jointly proposed a first-in-the-U.S., $8-billion green energy initiative that would bring large amounts of clean electricity to the Los Angeles area by 2023.

The project would require construction of one of America’s largest wind farms in Wyoming, one of the world’s biggest energy storage facilities in Utah, and a 525-mile electric transmission line connecting the two sites.

“This project would be the 21st century’s Hoover Dam – a landmark of the clean energy revolution,” said Jeff Meyer, managing partner of Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, one of the four companies involved in the initiative.

The proposed project would generate more than twice the amount of electricity produced by the giant 1930s-era hydroelectric dam in Nevada – 9.2 million megawatt-hours per year vs. 3.9 million megawatt-hours.

A key component of the project – a massive underground energy storage facility – would yield 1,200 megawatts of electricity, equivalent to the output of a large nuclear power plant and enough to serve an estimated 1.2 million L.A.-area homes.

The four companies – Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy, Dresser-Rand and Duke-American Transmission – will formally submit their proposal to the Southern California Public Power Authority by early 2015 in response to the agency’s request for proposals to supply the Los Angeles area with renewable energy and electricity storage.

The underground energy storage facility would help solve one of renewable energy’s biggest challenges – its intermittency. Wind farms produce no electricity when there’s no wind; solar farms produce no electricity when there’s no sun.

Linking the wind farm to the energy storage facility would enable the wind farm to function largely like a traditional coal, nuclear or natural gas power plant – capable of reliably delivering large amounts of electricity whenever needed, based on customer demand.

The energy storage facility also would reduce the need for L.A.-area utilities to build expensive backup power plants and power lines to serve customers on days when there’s no wind, at night when there’s no sunlight, and during other periods when traditional wind and solar farms are unable to produce electricity.

Key components of proposed project

Wind farm – Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy would build, own and operate the $4-billion wind farm – near Chugwater, Wyo., 40 miles north of Cheyenne – which would generate 2,100 megawatts of electricity.

Energy storage facility – Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy, Magnum Energy and Dresser-Rand would install the $1.5-billion “compressed air energy storage” system at a site near Delta, Utah, 130 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

Image courtesy of Dresser-Rand

Image courtesy of Dresser-Rand

Four vertical caverns – carved out of an underground salt formation at the site – would be key components of the storage system.

Each cavern would be about a quarter-mile in height, 290 feet in diameter and 41 million cubic feet in volume. The four caverns combined would store the energy equivalent of 60,000 megawatt-hours of electricity.

During periods of low customer demand, the storage facility would use excess electricity from the Pathfinder wind farm to compress and inject high-pressure air into the caverns for storage.

During periods of high customer demand, the facility would use the stored, high-pressure compressed air, combined with a small amount of natural gas, to power eight generators that would produce electricity.

Electric transmission line – Duke-American Transmission proposes to build the $2.6-billion, 525-mile, high-voltage electric transmission line that would transport the Wyoming wind farm’s electricity to the Utah energy storage facility.

The transmission line – a shorter alternative to Duke-American Transmission’s previously proposed 850-mile Zephyr transmission project – would traverse Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, with a target in-service date of 2023.

A separate, existing 490-mile transmission line – traversing Utah, Nevada and California – would transport electricity from the Utah energy storage facility to the Los Angeles area.

Company profiles

Pathfinder Renewable Wind Energy – Developer of the proposed Pathfinder wind farm, with financial backing from lead partner Sammons Power Development, and wind turbine technology from GE Power & Water. Pathfinder also operates the environmentally focused, 700,000-acre Sweetwater River Conservancy at the company’s Wyoming ranch. Pathfinder is based in Alcova, Wyo.

Magnum Energy – Developer of the underground  energy storage facility. Owned by Magnum Development, a Haddington Ventures portfolio company. Participating investors in Haddington Ventures include insurance companies, public and private pension groups, commercial banks and high net-worth individuals. Magnum Energy is based in Salt Lake City.

Dresser-Rand – One of the world’s largest suppliers of custom-engineered rotating equipment solutions for long-life, critical applications in the oil, gas, chemical, petrochemical, process and power generation industries, and the military. Its applications use renewable energy sources; reduce carbon footprints; recover energy; and increase energy efficiency. Dresser-Rand is based in Houston.

Duke-American Transmission Co. – A transmission developer equally owned by Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the U.S., and American Transmission Co., the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility. Duke Energy’s regulated utilities serve customers in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial and international units own and operate assets – including numerous renewable energy projects – across the U.S., Central America and South America. Duke Energy is based in Charlotte, N.C. Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wis., ATC owns and operates nearly 9,500 miles of transmission lines and 530 substations in the Midwest.

This article is a repost, credit: Duke Energy.

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2015 Fiat 500e Arrives in Oregon

September 23, 2014 in Electric Vehicles, EV News

The fully electric Fiat 500e is now available as a 2015 model year at FIAT studios in California and Oregon for $199 a month for 36 months with $999 due at signing. Sales of the Fiat 500e expanded to Oregon earlier this year. Previously, the all-electric Fiat had been sold only in California, where it has been in high demand since its introduction in 2013.

“Bringing the Fiat 500e to Oregon gives more customers in this environmentally minded state the opportunity to enjoy the Italian style and engaging driving dynamics of the Fiat 500, but with zero tailpipe emissions,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC.

This summer, the Fiat 500e was named the “Top Electric Vehicle” for a second consecutive year at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s Drive Revolution, an annual alternative-fuel vehicle event in Portland.

“The Fiat 500e is attractive and fun. It remains a model that will, with a short test drive, convert people who hadn’t even thought about electric cars into EV enthusiasts,” said Bengt Halvorson, Drive Revolution Event Co-chair.

The 2015 Fiat 500e features a redesigned center console, with a new cup holder design and an additional, conveniently located USB port that is fully functional and integrated with the radio. Two paint colors have been added for 2015 for a total of seven available exterior paint colors, including new Luce Blu (light blue with a pearl finish) and Celeste (light blue).

Alternative Transportation Program
For those times when a 500e customer needs to drive beyond the vehicle’s range or needs the carrying capability of a larger vehicle, the Fiat 500e retail plan provides an alternative transportation plan called the Fiat 500e Pass program.

The FIAT brand and Enterprise Holdings, owner and operator of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car, and National Car Rental brands, partnered on the Fiat 500e Pass program, which provides purchasers and lessees of a new 500e up to 12 days of alternate transportation each year for the first three years after the date of purchase.

About the Fiat 500e
With its iconic style, world-class dynamics and environmentally responsible zero-emissions design, the Fiat 500e builds on the Cinquecento legacy, while offering customers a no-compromise electric vehicle that embodies the FIAT brand’s simple, purposeful and fun-to-drive values. The Fiat 500e electrifies the Cinquecento lineup with even more innovation and style, an EPA tested 87 miles of best-in-class driving range and a best-in-class 108 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) highway rating of pure battery-electric power. The Fiat 500e is available at FIAT studios in California and Oregon, and is priced at $32,650, which includes an $850 destination charge. However, eligible California residents may be able to purchase the Fiat 500e for as low as $20,600, after federal credits, state incentives and FIAT rebates are included.

This article is a repost, credit: Fiat.