Renewable Energy World: Excellence in Renewable Energy Award Finalists Announced

February 20, 2011

The results are in and finalists have been chosen for the top North American renewable energy leaders, innovations and projects of the year. Readers’ Choice voting opens today!

Readers were asked to submit nominations for excellent renewable energy projects, innovations and leaders. In all, more than 560 nominations were received for awards that will be given in 11 categories.

Network editors sorted through the nominations, rated them, and narrowed down the list of finalists. The eleven categories include: Project of the Year for solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydro; Innovation awards for technology, policy/outreach and finance/business; and Leadership awards for technology, policy/outreach and finance/business.

Leadership in Technology

  • Riggs Eckelberry, President and CEO of OriginOil
  • James G. P. Dehlsen, Former Chairman, Clipper Wind, now CEO of Ecomerit Technologies
  • Randy Gee, Chief Technology Officer, SkyFuel
  • Dr. Jennifer Holmgren, CEO, LanzaTech
  • Darren T. Kimura, Founder and CEO, Sopogy
  • Roch Duce, ERDC-CERL Energy Branch Senior Researcher (US Army Corp of Engineers)

GetSolar: Solar Power Helps Hawaiians Cut Fossil Fuel Use

February 2, 2011
Tuesday, February 1st 2011 8:42 PM
By GetSolar Staff.

Hawaii may be a secluded island paradise – but its remoteness isn’t always an asset. The state has to import nearly all of its fuel from thousands of miles away, so its residents and businesses pay the nation’s highest energy costs.

It’s for that reason that Hawaii has what may be the nation’s most aggressive renewable-energy target. At present, 90 percent of the state’s energy is produced by fossil fuels – but by 2030, state officials hope, 70 percent will come from clean sources. (Renewables are expected to represent 40 percent of Hawaii’s 2030 energy mix, while efficiency improvements will provide the other 30 percent).

As the state looks to go green, solar installations will likely become much more common – already, solar is taking hold as residents and companies look to slash energy spending and reduce their fossil-fuel dependence.

For example, solar installer RevoluSun was recently named Hawaii’s best new small business by Hawaii Business magazine. RevoluSun received the award on January 27 – and company principal Mark Duda said its success has come as a result of solar power’s booming popularity.

“We enable [customers] to confidently do something they wanted to do anyway,” Duda told Hawaii Business.

Commercial-scale installations are cropping up in Hawaii, as well. In mid-January, engineering company Pratt & Whitney – best-known for building jet engines – announced that it would be providing organic Rankine cycle systems in a 5.5-megawatt solar array designed by solar firm Sopogy.

ORC systems trap and concentrate sunlight in solar collectors. The sunlight then heats a fluid, which expands and spins a turbine to produce electricity. The technology’s main advantage is its small size: Unlike utility-scale solar technology like the kind being adopted in California and Nevada, ORC systems can be built on small plots.

Pratt & Whitney’s systems will be installed in the fourth quarter of the year.

In fact, new solar installations can’t come on line fast enough in the Aloha State. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported January 31 that public schools across Hawaii are in desperate need of air-conditioning systems; only a handful of schools in the state have A/C at present.

Not only is climate-control technology expensive, the newspaper said – in many cases, there simply isn’t enough electricity available to make new systems feasible.

Solar power could help – indeed, it’s likely to have an increasingly larger role in Hawaii’s energy mix in the years to come. 

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