Clean Energy

In renewables, no Island should be an island

By GREGORY ZELLER // A report this week detailing state incentives and private investments funneled into structural energy-efficiency projects shows Long Island trailing well behind the rest of New York – but the numbers, insiders say, are deceiving. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced that 112,000 residential and commercial energy-efficiency projects have commenced or been completed since 2012 under the auspices of various Albany-sanctioned clean-energy programs. Combined, the statewide efforts cover 90,000 individual homes and 22,000…


Invenergy seeks Brookhaven IDA assistance

A Chicago-based owner/operator of energy storage and generation projects across North America and Europe is looking to shine in Shoreham. And Invenergy – whose portfolio includes wind, solar and natural gas-fueled power facilities in Poland, Scotland and the United States – wants the Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency’s assistance as it establishes Shoreham Solar Commons, a 24.9 megawatt solar farm proposed for roughly 150 acres of the Tallgrass Golf Course property. According to an application accepted…


Solar jumped 17% in 2015, topping natural gas

The United States installed 7,286 megawatts of solar power in 2015, the largest total ever and a 17 percent jump over 2014. In another first, solar additions topped the expansion of the nation’s natural-gas capacity, with solar adding 29.5 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the United States in 2015. Total U.S. solar installations have now topped 25 gigawatts, up from just 2 gigawatts in 2010. The almost 7.3 gigawatts installed in 2015 is 8.6 times…


SolarCity announces delays on Buffalo plant

The state’s gamble on SolarCity in Buffalo has slipped into a lower gear. The firm’s $900 million factory, which is being built and equipped with $750 million in state incentives, was expected to reach full production during the first quarter of next year. Push that back by at least three — and maybe six — months, SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive announced this week, blaming longer than expected lead time on equipment needed to get the plant…


The Debrief: Doon Gibbs shines a light on BNL

Doon Gibbs has seen the light, and it comes from the National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven National Laboratory’s new $912 million electron storage ring. Designed to produce X-rays more than 10,000 times brighter than its predecessor, the NSLS II – activated last year – is a centerpiece technology with uncounted scientific and commercial applications. It’s also one of many reasons Gibbs, who holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois and succeeded…


A greenlight for Cuomo’s green energy fund

With its sights set on global warming and superstorm threats, the New York Public Service Commission on Thursday approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $5 billion Clean Energy Fund. The fund, to be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority over the next decade, is meant to “accelerate the growth of New York’s clean energy economy, address climate change, strengthen resiliency in the face of extreme weather and lower energy bills for…


Got a couple spare megawatts? Call PSEG

Long Island energy supplier PSEG has issued a Request for Proposals to help make good on a three-year-old promise. In an October 2012 resolution, the utility’s trustees set a power-supply strategy that, among other things, diversified regional resources with “continued efforts to enhance existing renewable energy programs” and “future renewable energy procurements.” Specifically, the trustees determined to add 400 megawatts of new renewable-energy generation to PSEG’s portfolio. Operational and proposed initiatives approved since that 2012…


ThermoLift added to WF Innovation Incubator

Stony Brook clean-energy startup ThermoLift has been added to Wells Fargo’s Innovation Incubator, a five-year, $10 million program designed to help accelerate next-gen environmental technologies. ThermoLift will receive up to $250,000 in cash and in-kind technical consultation to help speed clean technologies for commercial buildings to marrket. Launched in 2014, the Innovation Incubator — or IN2 — is funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation and co-administered by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. ThermoLift, a…


The Debrief: Connie Cleary has a license to deal

Connie Cleary plays two key roles at Brookhaven National Laboratory: Promoting the amazing science – and vast commercialization potential – happening at the Department of Energy facility, and helping entrepreneurs and other innovators capitalize on the lab’s dizzying array of scientific and business resources. As a former manager of industry partnerships at Argonne National Laboratory and a licensing expert at Rush University Medical Center, both in Chicago, the Baruch College graduate and doctor of podiatric…


ThermoLift inks GTI collaboration deal

By GREGORY ZELLER // Stony Brook-based startup ThermoLift has a powerful new ally as it prepares second-phase testing of its revolutionary heating/cooling pump for the rigors of proof-of-concept testing. In its quest to commercialize an affordable, natural gas-powered water- and air- unit that makes green energy universally available, ThermoLift has partnered with the Gas Technology Institute, a Chicago-based R&D and training organization serving the U.S. natural gas industry. Engineers from GTI, which quietly entered into…


Massachusetts solar chip maker inks Upstate deal

1366 Technologies, a Massachusetts developer of technology for the solar industry, plans a $700 million production facility in upstate Genesee County that will create 600 jobs over the next five years, with another 400 to follow. Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., 1366 Technologies develops and manufactures high performance silicon wafers, the building blocks of solar cells and the most expensive component of a solar panel. The company’s revolutionary Direct Wafer technology transforms how the wafers are made…


Can Styrofoam-munching mealworms save the planet?

Researchers from Stanford and China have discovered that mealworms can subsist solely on a diet of Styrofoam and other forms of polystyrene and excrete biodegraded material that could be used as soil. The worms, the larvae form of a common beetle, were fed pellets of the plastic for a month and remained as healthy as worms on normal diets, lead researcher Wei-Min Wu said. The worms also produced carbon gas, but no more than when…


College students: Reduce your school’s carbon footprint, get $1M

Student-led coalitions will develop million-dollar ideas in a new statewide competition to cut down greenhouse gas emissions on New York State college and university campuses and beyond. Calling climate change “one of the most defining issues of our time,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the competition on Friday, challenging students to “aggressively reduce” emissions and offering three $1 million prizes to help winning coalitions implement their ideas. “Our state’s college students have a pivotal role to…


State awards $175M in clean-gen projects

Albany awarded $175 million on Wednesday for five large-scale clean energy projects that are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while decreasing the state’s reliance on fossil fuels. Sorry, none are on Long Island. Once operational, the projects will add about 116 megawatts of new renewable capacity, or enough energy to supply over 54,000 average-sized homes per year. Thee projects, ordered by size, are: Ball Hill Wind Farm, Western New York: RES America Developments will build a 100 MW wind…


Energy from floating ceramic nanomats? Yessir

Using ceramic nanomaterials to produce energy is a million-dollar idea, according to the National Science Foundation. Well, a $935,056 idea, anyway. That’s the size of the NSF grant just awarded a joint Stony Brook University/Brookhaven National Laboratory effort to produce a commercially viable, nano-manufactured “photocatalytic blanket.” A photocatalyst is a substance that encourages light-driven chemical reactions without itself being altered, such as chlorophyll in the photosynthesis process. Led by Pelagia Gouma, a professor in the university’s…