Energy

CHP system at UNC
www.southeastcleanenergy.org

Energy watchdog group NC WARN is asking state utilities commissioners to look at an alternative way for companies to generate electrical power.  NC WARN sent a report to commissioners outlining a process called "cogeneration” that allows businesses to use an on-site turbine to generate electricity and capture escaping heat.  The group's report says doing that can drop the rate of wasted energy from 55 percent to as low as 20 percent.

Dominion North Carolina Power plans to study the prospect of wind and solar energy on the Outer Banks for small-scale power grids.  The utility is launching a three-year research project at its office in Kitty Hawk. The plans include four wind turbines, solar panels and a storage battery that will work to reduce the amount of power the office pulls from the grid.  Project manager Sarah Cosby says that network creates a so-called micro-grid that could be useful for small communities during power outages.

Lee County is one of a handful of central North Carolina areas known to have natural gas reserves. Ever since state legislators passed a law to allow the horizontal drilling method of extracting natural gas known as fracking, county residents have been wondering when and if they’ll see gas wells sprouting up in their backyards. People in the community are divided over what fracking could mean for them.

Accelerating Electric Cars Into More Cities

Jun 26, 2012

Transportation officials from eight states are meeting in Raleigh today to brainstorm how to accelerate the use of electric cars.

Asma Khalid: If you drive around Raleigh-Durham, you've probably noticed a few electric car charging stations.  But, that's not typical for most states. Since January 2011, approximately 30,000 electric vehicles have been sold in the entire country. So, clearly the Triangle is ahead of the curve. Judi Greenwald is with the center for Climate and Energy Solutions. Her group is cosponsoring the Raleigh meetings.

RTI International has been awarded 4-point8-million dollars to develop technology to help reduce the energy needed to power manufacturing facilities.

Leoneda Inge:  RTI International will partner with Duke University and Veolia Water Solutions in Cary to develop a system that will allow heat from industrial processes to treat waste-water.  David Danielson is Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the US Department of Energy.  He says his office is funding 13 projects in this first round.

Raleigh is hoping to build another sustainable energy facility. This one would be a hydroelectric plant at the Falls Lake Dam.

Dave DeWitt: Raleigh already generates power by harnessing methane gas at its landfill. Now, city officials are hoping to turn the Falls Lake Dam into a power plant. It would be small, generating electricity for just a few hundred homes. But it could also be profitable.

The U.S. is more energy dependent on Canada than you might think. That's why Duke officials say they've planned a conference tomorrow on the U.S.-Canada energy relationship. Stephen Kelly is the associate director of Duke's Center for Canadian Studies. He says most people don't realize how big a role Canada plays in our energy supply.

Emergency officials are meeting today in Raleigh to plan for a possible energy disaster. The two-day event is being sponsored by the Department of Energy and includes representatives from 12 states across the southeast as well as Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands. James Mercer of the Raleigh Emergency Management Office is coordinating the event.

App State Profesor Dennis Scanlin and wind turbine
Dennis Scanlin

North Carolina could get most of the energy it needs as a state from renewable sources including solar and wind. That's according to a report published earlier this year by the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. But when it comes to producing wind energy that goes back into the grid, North Carolina is behind other states. In fact, there is only one utility-grade wind turbine in all of North Carolina. Jessica Jones reports for our series, North Carolina Voices:  Tomorrow's Energy.

A solar panel, renewable energy
NCSU/CSE

Over the last three years, North Carolina has seen exponential growth in the use of solar power- from a few panels on homeowners' roofs to heat hot water to large installations that produce energy and send it right back into the grid. Small business owners working in the industry believe what they're doing is good for the state and for the environment. But right now, their prospects are limited. Jessica Jones reports for our series North Carolina Voices: Tomorrow's Energy.

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