ECD awarded subcontract
Energy Conversion Devices Inc. (ECD), a company working with hydrogen-based energy efforts (including solar, rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries, hydrogen storage systems and regenerative fuel cells), has been awarded a subcontract from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to develop new solar cell technology. The subcontract will provide matching funds for a research and development program aimed at lowering the manufacturing cost of solar cells. The laboratory will fund about $3 million of the approximately $6 million three-year, phased subcontract, with ECD providing the balance of the funds.
SeaWest adds turbines
SeaWest Asset Management LLC, a subsidiary of SeaWest Holdings Inc., has recently signed contracts with Enron Wind Systems LLC to provide operations and maintenance services for the next five years. Under the terms of the contract, SeaWest will operate three projects with 888 wind turbines totaling 61.5 MW.
Hydro-Quebec selects technology
Hydro-Quebec plans to expand its asset monitoring capabilities with SmartSignal equipment condition monitoring software. Hydro-Quebec is presently upgrading its permanent monitoring system and plans to interface SmartSignal eCM to provide real-time condition based monitoring on selected assets and critical equipment, including alternators, lubrication systems, turbines and other related equipment.
Kohler named company of the year
Frost & Sullivan has named Kohler Power Systems, a provider of power-generation equipment, as the recipient of the 2003 energy company of the year award.
NxtPhase announces agreement with Mitsubishi
NxtPhase Corp., a provider of digital and fiber optic solutions for the electric power industry, has established a sales agreement with Mitsubishi Canada that facilitates the sales of NxtPhase products through Mitsubishi sales channels in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. This is the first in a series of planned expansions to the NxtPhase sales channel, according to the company. Under the agreement, Mitsubishi will collaborate with the existing NxtPhase sales force to improve promotion of NxtPhase relays, recorders and optical sensor products.
FuelCell Energy to install plant
FuelCell Energy Inc. has signed an agreement with Grand Valley State University to install and service a DFC300A fuel cell power plant for the Energy Institute’s 26,000-square-foot research center in Muskegon, Mich. Funding for the entire project, including the building and the fuel cells, is being provided for by a $3 million alternative energy grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission and bonding from the City of Muskegon. The company’s direct fuel cell power plant will provide electricity and a heat recovery system for heating and cooling that advances energy technology applications. The project will also include a solar/photovoltaic installation to provide hot water and hot air for heating. The building is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the fall of 2003.
Mariah Energy opens new production facility
Mariah Energy Corp. has opened a new fabrication facility in Calgary, Alberta. Mariah Energy is a distributed micro-utility that manufactures combined heat and power systems. (The microturbine-based system combines the functions of a continuous-use hot water heating system and on-site power generation.) Presently, two system sizes are manufactured: the 60/30 system, which provides 60 kW of continuous heat and 30 kW of electric power, and the 120-60 system, which doubles the smaller system’s capacity.
DOE adds two new fuel cell projects
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham has announced plans to add two new projects valued at more than $213 million to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) program to make hydrogen-fueled power systems less expensive—so much so that they could become commonplace in America’s power market during the next decade. Abraham said that the department has selected teams headed by FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Conn., and Acumentrics Corp. of Westwood, Mass., to its “Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance” (SECA) program.