On Friday, March 18, Energy Secretary, Jenner Granholm announced a program to develop lithium batteries in the United States as a part of a broader strategy to help Appalachia amid a transition away from coal. The lithium batteries are necessary components of electric vehicles and are used for storage on the U.S. electrical grid; however, the U.S. relies almost entirely on international markets for the processing of most raw materials. As a part of its plan, the Department has announced $5,000,000 in funding for pilot projects to be located in the 13-state Appalachia region. One such project, the development of… Read more
On June 9, Toshiba Corp. announced a $3.68 billion guarantee for the development of the Vogtle nuclear reactors. The guarantee is part of an agreement between Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, and Toshiba, the parent company of Vogtle contractor Westinghouse. Westinghouse was hired the primary contractor to build the Vogtle reactors, but filed for bankruptcy on March 29, 2017. The two Vogtle nuclear reactors in Georgia are co-owned by Georgia Power, Oglethorpe Power, MEAG Power and Dalton Utilities. According to a press release by Georgia Power, the agreement has been approved by the U.S. Department of Energy…. Read more
A transport tunnel partly collapsed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation on Tuesday. United States Department of Energy officials said there was no initial indication of worker exposure or airborne radiological release. Although the site is vacant, it is being dismantled and cleaned by the Department of Energy. The Hanford facility was established in the 1940s and operated by the federal government to manufacture plutonium. Response crews determined that a 400-square-foot section of the decommissioned rail tunnel had collapsed. For more information, contact Phillip Hoover.
On August 6, The U.S. Department of Energy released two reports that demonstrate record growth in the U.S. wind energy market. The two reports, which can be found here, are the 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report, which details the latest trends in the market, and the 2012 Market Report on Wind Technologies. In 2012, wind energy became the number one source for new electricity generation capacity in the U.S. for the first time, representing 43% of all new U.S. electricity generation capacity, and $25 billion in investment. This is before offshore wind generation starts up. The Bureau of Ocean Energy… Read more
As part of its “SunShot Initiative,” the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced it will award $145 million in grants to 69 solar projects in 24 states to encourage development in domestic solar energy projects. DOE’s SunShot Initiative seeks to reduce the cost of solar energy systems by approximately 75% by 2020, so that the systems are more cost-competitive without long-term subsidies. Grant recipients include the University of South Florida, which received approximately $980,000 for a project to research the doping of thin-film, cadmium-telluride PV cells to increase solar cell efficiency. The Georgia Institute of Technology received more than $4.3… Read more