DOE Boston Regional Workshops Examine Renewable Energy Opportunities in the Northeast

April 1, 2002

Last fall, the DOE Boston Regional Office sponsored two renewable energy and combined heat and power (CHP) workshops for Federal energy managers in New England and New York. The workshops were a response to rapid developments in both on-site power technologies and related State and utility funding resources. The goal of the Albany, New York, and Sturbridge, Massachusetts, workshops was to bring Federal energy managers together with technology professionals and potential State and utility funding and technical assistance partners. Critical issues discussed during the workshops included renewable energy resources in the Northeast, lessons learned from recent solar and wind installations, and project financing options.

In an interactive session on wind and solar energy, Bill Moore, Principal of Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation and Richard Perez, Research Professor at State University of New York at Albany, Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, presented research on New York and New England's significant potential for wind and solar-generated power. Moore demonstrated wind-mapping software developed by TrueWind Solutions LLC. Using TrueWind's mapping software, he identified the location of Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation's recently completed 11.5-megawatt wind farm in Madison, New York.

A panel on solar power included a presentation by Perez regarding his research on New York's solar capacity. He presented findings detailing 3 years of weather satellite observation data with peak load shapes (sunny summer days) in the New York City metropolitan area and concluded that the high incidence of maximum solar output with peak energy demand is favorable for photovoltaic installations in the area. Leigh Seddon of Solar Works and David Eisenbud of Powerlight Corporation provided information on the benefits and performance of large-scale installations of flat roof mounted solar panels.

A session on CHP featured an overview by Dave Hoffman, President of Celerity Energy, on the regional capacity for reciprocating engines as a distributed energy resource (DER). Hoffman outlined Celerity Energy's goals to develop DER systems in blocks of 400 kilowatts to 3 megawatts to provide peak generation capacity to New York State's wholesale electricity market. The other CHP presentations addressed the design and output of microturbine systems.

The workshops included detailed presentations on renewable energy and DER funding programs as well as current and expected regional opportunities for purchasing green power and green certificates. "Each State has its own funding guidelines and particular emphasis," said Paul King of DOE's Boston Regional Office. "It takes extra effort on the part of a regional energy manager who has facilities in several States to locate the best renewable energy projects. We got everyone in the same room and on the same page."

For more information, please contact Paul King of the DOE Boston Regional Office at 617-565-9712 or paul.king@ee.doe.gov.