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 In Today's Newsletter
 December 7, 2011

Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy to acquire 550MW solar farm from First Solar
Obama announces $4 billion in green upgrades to federal and private buildings
Qualcomm's new take on EV charging
California's Fresno County becoming a hotbed for utility-scale solar
DOE announces $12 million in funding for solar projects
Bonding clamps for PV modules
Electronic ballast
Outdoor LED fixture
Green Events

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Check out this month's issue



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Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy to acquire 550MW solar farm from First Solar
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., owned by famed billionaire investor Warrant Buffett, plans to acquire the Topaz Solar Farm from First Solar Inc. The 550MW photovoltaic power plant being built in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 160,000 average California homes. The $2 billion-plus Topaz project is one of the two largest PV projects in the world, and are both being built by First Solar. First Solar has agreed to construct, operate and maintain the Topaz project for MidAmerican. Construction began in Nov. 2011 and is expected to be complete by early 2015.

In a press statement announcing the deal, Greg Abel, chairman, president and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., said, "MidAmerican is the No. 1 owner of wind-powered energy generation among U.S. rate-regulated utilities. Adding solar energy to our generation portfolio is a strategic move to invest in yet another renewable energy source. Our investment in wind resources benefits both our customers and the environment, and our entry into the solar energy industry expands our renewable energy footprint and will help meet current and future energy needs in a manner that reflects our ongoing commitment to environmental respect and cost-effective generation.” Details





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Obama announces $4 billion in green upgrades to federal and private buildings
President Obama recently announced nearly $4 billion in combined federal and private sector energy upgrades to buildings over the next two years. These investments will save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence, and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector. The $4 billion investment includes a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.

In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders today committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20% by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings. This announcement builds on a commitment made by 14 partners at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June to make energy upgrades across 300 million square feet, and to invest $500 million in private sector financing in energy efficiency projects. Details





Qualcomm's new take on EV charging
Qualcomm recently announced the first trial for its Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology in the United Kingdom, in collaboration with the UK Government, as well as the Mayor of London’s office and Transport for London (TfL). The trial will use Qualcomm wireless inductive power transfer technology that enables high-efficiency power transfer across a large air gap. It's very easy to use -- the driver simply parks the vehicle in the usual way and the system automatically aligns for power transfer, making parking easier and charging hassle free. A press statement by the company said the pre-commercial trial is expected to start in early 2012 and will involve as many as 50 electric vehicles (EVs). Here’s an article on the trial in a British publication. Details



California's Fresno County becoming a hotbed for utility-scale solar
An article in the Fresno Bee said a subsidiary of Sharp Corp. is pitching a PV project that would be one of California’s largest solar projects and would join at least three dozen other projects now on the drawing boards for the area. The article said, “The project would cover nearly 3,600 acres of retired farmland and generate up to 400 megawatts of power, enough to accommodate about 300,000 homes. The plant would have as many as 2.5 million photovoltaic panels. Details



DOE announces $12 million in funding for solar projects
As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, DOE Secretary Steven Chu announced $12 million in funding for the awardees of the Rooftop Solar Challenge. The Challenge supports 22 regional teams to spur solar power deployment by cutting red tape — streamlining and standardizing permitting, zoning, metering, and connection processes — and improving finance options to reduce barriers and lower costs for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems. This project is part of the Department’s larger effort to make solar energy more accessible and affordable, increase domestic solar deployment, and position the U.S. as a leader in the rapidly-growing global solar market. Details



Bonding clamps for PV modules
The Cooper B-Line mid-clamp with WEEB-WMC clip is approved for use to bond solar modules to the ARISTA Racking System. The pre-assembled module clamp with WEEB-WMC saves time and material by eliminating the need to use separate ground lugs and copper wire between each module when grounding solar PV panels. The unique teeth design breaks the annodization layer of the solar PV module frame to provide a gas tight connection to help eliminate oxidation and provide a reliable bond to the racking. Cooper B-Line



Electronic ballast
For controllability and energy savings in frequently switched applications, Universal Lighting Technologies introduces the new ULTim8® Programmed Start Series of T8 linear fluorescent ballasts. Ideal for office settings, classrooms, bathrooms, hallways, and more, these programmed start ballasts make it simple to comply with legislative and code requirements that call for controllable lighting technologies such as occupancy sensors. They are now available at distributor locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. Universal Lighting Technologies



Outdoor LED fixture
The Valet LED Luminaires deliver both uniform and energy-conscious illumination optimized to improve visibility in roadway applications such as tunnel lighting. Additionally, patented AccuLED Optics™ provide shaped distributions and scalability and are designed to meet the exact needs of each specific requirement. For added durability, its one-piece, die-cast aluminum housing and heavy-wall construction offers superior heat transfer and reliable performance for a wide range of temperatures from as low as -22°F (-30°C) and as high as 104°F (40°C). The fixtures were recently used to relight Detroit’s Windsor Tunnel, where they will help slash annual electricity usage by 72%. Cooper Lighting



Green Events
May 9-11, 2012
LightFair 2012 Las Vegas, Lightfair International;(404)220-2218; info@lightfair.com, www.lightfair.com

June 3-6, 2012
WindPower 2012 Atlanta, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA); 202-383-2500, windmail@awea.org, www.windpowerexpo.org

Sept. 10-13, 2012
SolarPower 2012 Orlando, Solar Energy Industries Association); (202) 682-0556, swatson@seia.org, www.seia.org




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G-Biz is a twice-monthly newsletter published by Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Construction & Maintenance magazines covering the latest news in the green market of interest to the readers of our magazines.

Twice each month, G-Biz will cover topics such as:

  • The latest developments in solar, wind and other alternative sources of energy
  • Utility rebate programs and other finanical incentives
  • Federal, state and local energy legislation that creates sales opportunities for energy-efficent electrical products
  • LEED-certified building projects
  • New green products

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