Lowe’s goes solar: Lowe’s home improvement warehouse chain has installed a 370 kW commercial solar rooftop electric system at the company’s West Hills store in L.A. PowerLight Corp. furnished the system, which uses Shell solar technology.

MidAmerican breaks ground: Mid-American Energy Co. has begun a $1.2 billion generation project that incorporates “advanced supercritical” technology, where supercritical boilers create steam at higher temperatures and pressures than traditional plants. Construction is expected to be completed in summer 2007, adding a capacity of 790 MW to the Council Bluffs Energy Center complex, which currently produces 820 MW.

Contractor dies: A painting contractor has died after becoming trapped in a coal stockpile at Conemaugh Generating Station in Indian County, Pa. The deceased, Michael Kuhns, was washing the coal feeder room ceiling and walls when he fell into a coal surge bin in late October. He was later pronounced dead at the scene. The death is being investigated by parent company Reliant, OSHA and the state police.

GE to supply turbines: GE Wind Energy has supplied two 1.5 MW wind turbines to Coram Energy LLC for a wind farm in Tehachapi, Calif. (The power produced will be sold to Southern California Edison.) Construction began in October and is expected to be completed next month.

Money for coal: The Ohio Coal Develop-ment Office received approval for nearly $1.4 million in grants for four projects that will encourage the use of coal or advance efforts to reduce coal-related emissions in the state. Ohio University, Battelle, Energy Industries of Ohio and AFBC Transitions LLC are the recipients of the grants.

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NREL team wins awards: The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and First Solar have been selected to receive a 2003 R&D 100 award from R&D Magazine for developing a new process for depositing semiconductor layers onto photovoltaic modules called high-rate vapor transport deposition.

HECO puts out RFP: Renewable Hawaii Inc., the renewable energy subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) issued a renewable energy request for proposal (RFP) for the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai. Proposals are due by Dec. 4, 2003, with selection of accepted bids planned for April 1, 2004.

GE upgrades turbines: GE Aero Energy, a GE Power Systems business, has been awarded a contract to upgrade gas turbines at Northland Power Income Fund’s cogeneration plant in Iroquois Falls, Ontario, Canada. Under the terms of the contract, GE will supply two new LM6000 PD turbines with Enhanced SPRINT (SPRayINTercooling) for Northland’s two LM6000 PA turbines, as well as provide engineering for the conversion, package hardware to support the dry low emission engine and remote diagnostics, training and installation supervision.

Cinergy to reduce greenhouse gases: Cinergy Corp. has pledged to voluntarily take actions stabilizing its greenhouse gas emissions at five percent below 2000 levels in 2010 through 2012. To achieve this goal, Cinergy is partnering with Environmental Defense, a national advocacy group. to develop a program to cut emissions from Cinergy’s fossil fuel plants in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

FPL asks for more: Florida Power & Light Co. (FPL) stated that it will need to increase its power resources in 2007 to respond to significant growth in the state. Both utility-owned plants and merchant power are being considered. Final selection of the process is slated for 2004.