This Week in Energy News – February 8, 2013

German PV Installations Set New Record


The Federal Network Agency of Germany (Bundesnetzagentur) photovoltaic solar (PV) installation counts that set new records at 7.6 GW of PV power plants installed and connected to the grid.

First Solar Acquires New Mexico Solar Power Project


The 50-megawatt solar power project First Solar has acquired from the solar division of Element Power is billed as the state’s largest and raises questions about solar energy as a commodity.

Siemens Energy Launches New Offshore Wind Turbine


With a generating capacity of four megawatts and a rotor diameter of 130, the new design was launched at at the annual conference of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in Vienna.

NRG Solar Starts Operation of Alpine Solar Generating Station


NRG Energy, Inc. announced its 66-megawatt (AC) photovoltaic facility has started commercial operation, which is now California’s largest fully operational solar plant.

New Australian Proposal for Solar Use on Public Housing


Western Australia Greens have announced their $68 million plan for the installation of solar PV panels on roofs of public housing homes and apartments

Scotland to Invest in Low Carbon Action Plan


The Scottish Government announced plans to invest over $1.8 billion in the next three years on climate change strategies with goals to “cut carbon emissions from electricity generation by more than four-fifths by 2030.”

Spain Breaks Wind Farm Energy Record


The Spanish Wind Energy Association says that Spain’s wind farms produced more electricity than other power sources, delivering over 6 terawatt hours during January.

Minnesota Utilities to Phase Out Coal Plants


Minnesota Power, the state’s second-largest utility, will be phasing out coal production at two facilities and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission ordered Otter Tail Power to stoop burning coal at one of their plants.

UK Investing in Wind Farms


The UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is investing £50m on six wind farms through a stake in a renewable energy fund.

See the article here: This Week in Energy News – February 8, 2013

Bornay Two-Blade Small Wind Turbines

It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything new in the world of small wind, but I recently noticed that Bornay turbines from Spain are now distributed in the United States.  The company has several models, including two-blade models rated at 600 watts, 1500 watts, and 3000 watts, and a three-blade model rated at 6000 watts.  The Bornay 1500, for example, is about a nine-foot turbine that weighs 90 pounds and cuts in at winds of six mph.  The 1500-watt kit is sold for $20,000 by Electrex Industrial Services.

[+] Video: how Bornay produces small wind turbines.

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best HGH

Upfront Cost of Installing Solar at Home

California-based Sunrun and Harris Interactive recently announced the results of a survey of 2,211 adults (1,475 homeowners) about the cost and desirability of installing a home solar system.  The main sound bite is the one-liner that “97% of Americans overestimate the cost of going solar,” as well as the stat that “nearly 8 out of 10 of those who do not already have solar panels say they would install solar if cost were not a factor.

The survey asked respondents to guess: ** the actual cost to install solar panels with solar power service on an average-sized home.**

You may disagree but I view this as a trick question to see if anyone really knows what a “solar power service” is.  That is to say, only 3% responded with what could be seen as a correct answer of “less than $1,000.

With a solar power service – i.e., third-party owned solar in the form of a solar lease or a power purchase agreement, depending on the state – the purchaser doesn’t own the panels, so the upfront cost to the homeowner is nominal compared to purchase cost of the same system.  With a solar power service, one could “go solar” without buying the panels.

As a side note, it’s hard to tell if the question clarifies whether “actual cost” is viewed from the homeowner’s perspective or from the installer perspective.  Regardless of purchase, lease, or other financing, the actual cost is what it is – someone pays for the solar panels and that someone is probably the homeowner in the form of a lease or power purchase payment over time.

In any event, Sunrun found that nearly eight out of 10 homeowners who do not already have solar panels would install solar if cost were not a factor.  That to me is another way of saying: if the solar panels were free, would you like to have them?  Most likely (unless you’re thinking nothing in this world is free), the answer is yes.

Seems like the real takeaway from the survey is many Americans have no idea how solar panels can be leased or financed under various contractual models that tie into state laws.  And this lack of familiarity means the decision to “go solar” should be made after diligence, investigation, and full understanding.

[+] Americans Overestimate Upfront Cost of Installing Solar.

Credit: Sunrun. 

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Pet Seat Covers

Foxborough State Hospital’s Former Site is Now Home to Chestnut Green Apartments

Foxborough, Mass. (Vocus) September 11, 2009

The former site of Foxborough State Hospital is now home to a recently opened mixed-use residential property. Tenants of Chestnut Green Apartments enjoy all the amenities of luxury condo living at these Foxborough apartments, restored Greek revival buildings now part of the Chestnut Green historical preservation and development project. The locale, a short drive to Boston or Providence, offers conveniences such as nearby shops, restaurants, recreation and easy access to major thruways.

The brick exteriors of the fully restored Greek revival architecture at Chestnut Green are impressive on their own, but a look inside these Foxborough apartments reveals interior spaces that offer plenty in the way of modern-day amenities, including ceilings ranging from 10 to 20 feet high, with many units featuring dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows. Spacious bedrooms include such high-end touches as walk-in closets, terrazzo stone floors and brick fireplaces, which provide a peaceful haven for tenants looking to make their next address a permanent one.

“We’re catering to people who want to establish a home,” said Matthew Abrams, principal of Abrams Properties, which developed the Chestnut Green Apartments. “We’re a condo developer that’s used to developing homes, so we feature those types of amenities with the lifestyle to match.”

“We included the classic finishes you don’t generally see in apartments–granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchens, high ceilings and numerous windows–eight or nine in most units, as compared to the five or six you have in most apartment complexes,” Abrams continued. “And when you pull up to the buildings, it’s like something out of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ You have stately front lawns, slate and copper roofs, brick facades and mature plantings, including trees that are more than 100 years old. The Chestnut Green Apartments are for residents looking for something a cut above. It’s a one-of-a-kind place to call home for people with discerning taste.”

The Chestnut Green Apartments are home to 55 one- and two-bedroom luxury apartments, located in the heart of the new mixed-use Chestnut Green community. The 93-acre complex features office space, open-air retail, single-family homes and condominiums, as well as 40 acres of recreational fields including basketball courts, a softball diamond, soccer fields, jogging trails, a children’s playground and a sand volleyball court. The suburban community offers the nearby Shops at Chestnut Green, which offer a Stop & Shop Supermarket, Dunkin’ Donuts, Walgreens, Reliable Dry Cleaners and much more.

The site, located between Boston and Providence with easy access to Routes 1, 95, 140 and 495, is just nine minutes from the MBTA commuter rail, with service to Providence and Boston suburbs. Apartments are being offered at $ 1,150 to $ 2,900 a month, with limited time pre-leasing specials, including one to two months free rent as well as reduced application fees and security deposits on select units. Chestnut Green Applications are available online ( For information on Foxborough apartment viewings and more, prospective tenants and other interested parties may call 1-877-298-APTS.

About Abrams Properties, LLC

Abrams Properties, LLC was founded in 2007 by Matthew Abrams, a founding partner of The Abrams Group, LLC. Abrams Properties is a diverse real estate investment and development company with a focus on the adaptive re-use of historic structures into vibrant residential and commercial communities. The company seeks to create sustainable in-fill developments in urban settings with high barriers to entry and or strong potential for gentrification. Whether converting an historic shoe factory into luxury condominiums or acquiring a partially-leased office building, Abrams Properties implements a hands-on yet sophisticated approach to all their projects to create exciting and unique space at attractive prices to the competition. For more information, please visit

About Chestnut Green

Chestnut Green Apartments are a part of Chestnut Green, an adaptive re-use development of the former Foxborough State Hospital site into a mixed-use community consisting of retail, commercial, and residential housing units. A strong team of industry leaders stands behind the Chestnut Green development, located approximately one-half mile north of downtown Foxborough, Mass. This development team is led by master developer Vince O’Neill of VinCo Properties, Inc. VinCo Properties has developed “The Shops” and “The Offices” in partnership with Matthew Abrams of Abrams Properties, LLC developing 15 townhomes – “The Carriage House Flats” – and 55 apartments. On the perimeter of the property, single-family homes are being developed by Michael Intoccia of Intoccia Construction Company and Douglas King of Douglas A. King Builders, Inc. King is also developing 60 town homes. For more information, please visit

Members of the news media interested in learning more about Chestnut Green may contact the following individuals:

Barry Rubinstein

Lisa A. Nickerson

Nickerson PR


barry AT nickersonpme DOT com

lisa AT nickersonpme DOT com

This SEO news release is a product of STETrevisions, a PRSEO consultancy:

Brent W. Skinner

President & CEO of STETrevisions

PHONE: 617-875-4859

FAX: 866-663-6557

BrentSkinner AT STETrevisions DOT com

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Groundbreaking Ceremony for Paula Hampton State Farm Insurance

Charleston, SC (PRWEB) November 17, 2011

Paula Hampton State Farm Insurance broke ground Friday, September 16, 2011 on its existing site placing the new building closer to the highway with the parking lot in the rear. The new location is designed to preserve the majestic 100-year old Grand Oak trees on the property while allowing for the planting of many more trees and indigenous plants to the area.

During the past ten years, Paula Hampton?s State Farm insurance agency has occupied the well-known 1948 West Ashley house with the red roof and has simply out-grown it. After consulting engineers about expanding or adding on a second story, it was found that the home?s foundation and structure would not support an expansion. So the solution was to hire Harbor Contracting, LLC to build a new office while demolishing the existing buildings in an environmentally conscious manner. Harbor Contracting and Coast Architects worked with the owner to create and construct a building that is designed well and implements as many ?green? features as possible. Pete McKellar is the owner of Harbor Contracting, LLC and is a certified LEED AP.

The team at the Sustainable Warehouse systematically took apart the structures surrounding the main office prior to the new construction, and will remove the old office after Harbor Contracting completes the new building. The salvaged lumber and building materials will be recycled and sold at a discount at the Sustainable Warehouse located in North Charleston, SC.

Harbor Contracting, LLC is a commercial general contracting firm serving office, dental, healthcare, retail, resort, educational, industrial, and governmental clients throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry for over 25 years. Headquartered in Mount Pleasant, SC, the firm is fully bonded and insured with an unlimited General Contractor?s License Classification.

Harbor Contracting, LLC

(843) 884-3434


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Water Damage Tracks Severe Weather / Flood Damage Plaguing State Fairs Across Country

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 22, 2011

Water Damage, a national network of water restoration providers, is advising state fair attendees to play it safe in the wake of recent severe weather and flood damage issues across the country.

Severe weather forced the Missouri State Fair to partially close until debris can be picked up and damage to the fairgrounds repaired. Water Damage reports that the storms were severe enough to warrant the evacuation of campers from the area, moving them to the Assembly Hall for better protection.

?Due to severe weather during the night, some damage occurred on the Missouri State Fairgrounds,? Fair Director Mark Wolfe said in a statement. ?Fortunately, there were no injuries to people or livestock.?

Electricity was out as of Friday afternoon, with many of the tents overturned and debris strewn throughout the area. Once power has been restored, the fair will fully reopen.

This was just the latest in a series of severe weather events to plague state fairs. Last week, strong winds toppled the stage where the band Sugarland was getting ready to perform.

Lighting, sound, and rigging crashed into the audience, killing five and injuring 45.

Some state fairs are putting plans together to deal with contingencies such as this. The Iowa State Fair has put together a severe weather relocation procedure for moving more than 10,000 people from the grandstand, a process that could empty the structure within 15 to 20 minutes.

And unlike the temporary stage that collapsed in Indiana, the Iowa fair has a permanent 40-foot-by-60-foot stage with a 27-foot clearance that was constructed to building code standards and has various weight load limits to maintain the structural integrity.

Minnesota is actively working to prevent a repeat of the stage collapse in Indiana, devoting staff full time to taking care of the stage, particularly the roof, as well as identifying the five most structurally sound buildings for taking shelter.

?All we can do is hope we?ve got some good weather,? said General Manager Jerry Hammer. ?The thoughts are certainly with the families down there. That?s a terrible tragedy, especially at an event like that.?

Water Damage advises fair attendees to be aware of rapidly changing weather conditions, and be prepared to seek shelter if the weather suddenly turns threatening.

A Plus Warehouse Hazardous Materials Storage Buildings Conform To All State Environmental Codes

Lynn, MA (PRWEB) March 27, 2007

A Plus Warehouse hazardous waste storage buildings and storage lockers are pre-engineered and custom-designed to allow customers to achieve compliance with federal and state environmental regulations.

A Plus sells hazardous waste storage buildings which include storage shelving that provide fire-rated, segregated, safe and secure storage for flammable, combustible, corrosive, and other chemical liquids. The chemical storage buildings sold by A Plus Warehouse are specifically designed for the safe storage of hazardous materials with secondary containment.

A Plus carries hazardous chemical storage building that will fit any storage requirements, as well as UL listed accessories to customize each storage situation.

A Plus Warehouse carries pre-engineered and custom-designed storage buildings that allow customers to achieve compliance with federal and state environmental regulations. A Plus carries a variety of individual storage lockers including both fire-rated as well as non fire-rated chemical storage building selections. Each type is distinctive in its uses and advantages.

All hazardous waste storage buildings are made with explosion relief construction and explosion-roof appliances with 100-500 psf wall resistance. They feature air-tested sump containment, Chillers, hold-down brackets, a static ground system, fire make-up vents and hazard placards and labeling.

These waste storage buildings are designed to meet the high-end requirements of the model safety codes. These include the model building codes (NBC, ABC), fire codes (NFC, AFC), energy codes (MNEC), mechanical codes, plumbing codes (NPC), handicapped codes, and electrical codes (CEC).

A Plus Warehouse offer warranties ensuring that all local and provincial permitting licenses will be secured prior to building installation and confirm the proper use of listed components tested by nationally recognized testing laboratories.

To learn more about hazardous materials storage buildings call A Plus Warehouse today at 800-209-8798 or visit

About A Plus Warehouse

A Plus Warehouse is an online business-to-business distributor of quality industrial equipment including storage lockers, heavy duty pallet racks, warehouse racks, conveyors, work benches, steel shelving, and dock equipment. With an extensive selection of brand name manufacturers, hard-to-find products and exclusive offerings, A Plus Warehouse has everything a business needs to maintain a high level of efficiency and productivity at one convenient online destination.


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Olympia Steel Buildings Pre-Engineered Farm Metal Building On Display At Midwest State Fairs

Olathe, KS (PRWEB) September 19, 2011

Olympia Steel Buildings is currently marketing through tradeshows in the Midwest, making their appearance at several state fairs. On August 11, 2011, Olympia Steel Buildings exhibited with a 50? x 25? outdoor space at the Missouri State Fair where the company constructed an Olympia Steel Buildings pre-engineered steel building right on the State Fair grounds. The building featured the 20? x 16? overhead door most popular with Midwest farmers. A brand new 20? display and kiosk were placed inside the display building, featuring two 37? flat screen televisions presenting a continuous video of customer testimonials and many examples of Olympia steel buildings and metal buildings systems put up by Olympia Steel in the neighboring state of Kansas.

Booth traffic was very good and aside from the bad weather experienced on the evening of August 18, the fair was deemed a success. Ninety mile per hour winds ripped through the fairgrounds after the fair closed for the evening, causing power outages and upturning displays. The Olympia steel building held firm and no damage was reported to the structure, testimony to the superior endurance of their prefabricated metal buildings and steel building products.

The Kansas State Fair is being held this month and another pre-engineered metal building has been put up to allow show patrons to see an Olympia steel building first-hand. The show runs from September 9 through the 18 in Hutchison, Kansas and over 350,000 attendees are expected.

?Olympia has received several orders in the last several weeks from farmers taking advantage of the expansion of the Section 179 tax deduction to $ 500,000 and the introduction of 100 percent bonus depreciation for new assets bought after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012,? stated Lucas Hocker, Vice President of Olympia Steel Buildings.

Olympia Steel Buildings is interested in getting their brand recognized throughout the Midwest and attendance at the major trade shows helps to accomplish this goal. Other tradeshow events scheduled later in the fall and winter include the Nebraska Power Show in Omaha and the Iowa Power Show in Des Moines.

?We?re very excited about meeting our Midwest customers and the State Fairs are a great place to do just that,? stated Cody Schwope of Olympia?s Kansas Office. ?Once customers see what Olympia has to offer first hand, they can?t help but be impressed by the quality of our buildings and the fact that we care about the customer and getting everything just right.?

About Olympia Steel Buildings

Olympia Steel Buildings are supplied by Universal Steel Buildings Corp, an industry leader in pre-engineered steel buildings for over 40 years, and sole supplier of Olympia Steel Buildings