Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It's a record: 11 inches of rain in Portland, Maine this March. The Portland Press Herald has some nice pictures of the effects of the Colcord Pond dam breach I mentioned yesterday. In Rhode Island, the flooding is bad enough -- 12 feet over the banks of the Pawtuxet River -- to greatly constrain the capacity of the Warwick wastewater treatment plant.

President Obama will announce more offshore oil drilling off the East Coast. Meanwhile oil prices are on the rise.

On Monday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced $37.5 million in funding for the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, a virtual campus located at existing research sites in both countries. The Center will focus on energy efficiency, clean vehicles and carbon capture from coal-fueled power plants -- something China has a lot of.

A panel of British lawmakers investigating the "climategate" leaked email scandal have labeled British climate change research as "damaged" by the incident. The 59-page report by the Commons Science and Technology Committee says that climate change research must become more transparent.

In California, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center will start generating 10% of its power needs through 15 MW of solar photovoltaic arrays. Kaiser has entered into power purchase agreements with Recurrent Energy, who will own and operate the solar panels and sell the power to Kaiser, while Kaiser will retain the rights to the renewable energy credits. Meanwhile other projects in California are in a permitting backlog, jeopardizing their chances at earning the 30% cash grant in lieu of investment tax credit, which requires ground to be broken this year.

The Los Angeles City Council has backed a much smaller rate hike than proposed by Mayor Villaraigosa: 0.1-cent increase per kilowatt-hour in the rates paid by residential and commercial customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, with the initial money to go toward establishing a trust fund for renewable-energy production and energy efficiency.

Wisconsin wants in on the manufacturing associated with renewable deployment.

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