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Renewables Briefing: Siemens and Army, Bancorp Bets on Renewables, and Wind Power Getting Cheaper

Siemens Government Technologies Inc. is to build the U.S. Army’s largest solar photovoltaic system at the White Sands Missile Range, in New Mexico. The 4.465 MW solar photovoltaic power generating system is part of a wider $16.8 million contract to implement energy-conserving upgrades.

U.S. Bancorp, the U.S.’s fifth-largest commercial bank, is planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in renewable technology, reports the Wall Street Journal. Since 2008, the bank has invested around $680 million in renewables – with around half of that figure being spent in 2011. In 2012 U.S. Bancorp plans to increase its investment in renewable technology over 2011 by around 30 percent, the paper reports.

BMW Manufacturing has completed the installation and commissioning of solar panels that fully power the 24,000 square foot Zentrum Museum, the plant’s museum and visitors center. The 400 solar modules are each capable of producing 240 watts of energy. The plant also installed three new electric vehicle charging stations throughout the main facility that are also powered by the solar modules.

The cost of windpower is approaching an all-time low, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, reports North American Windpower. Energy sourced from wind is approaching a cost of approximately $0.03/kWh in the best sites, according to Recent Developments in the Levelized Cost of Energy from U.S. Wind Power Projects.

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