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Renewables Briefing: Markey Group, Constellation Energy, U.S. Air Force

Here’s the latest news on renewable power installations, contracts, financing, permits and market changes affecting corporate environmental and energy executives.

Markey Group has opened a £1.1 million ($1.8 million) biomass generator that runs on the wood waste produced from its subsidiary Premiere Kitchens, a supplier of kitchens to public housing projects. The generator features a 2.1 MW hot water boiler designed to integrate with Markey’s existing extraction and waste handling equipment.

The generator will use the roughly 2,350 tons of wood waste produced each year by Premiere Kitchens to provide heating and hot water for the manufacturing site in Gloucestershire, England. Since the installation, Markey Group has been able to remove its mains gas supply. The company, as a result, is expected to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 1,020 tons a year.

A 1 MW solar photovoltaic system installed at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 9,500 metric tons a year. The solar PV system, which was subsidized in part by a $900,000 Maryland Energy Administration Sunburst grant, can generate 1,000 kilowatts of electricity per hour. The solar installation is expected to the save the city of Baltimore more than $6 million in energy costs over the life of the project.

The project is part of an energy savings performance contract with Johnson Controls aimed at helping the city generate 30 percent of its own electricity. Other energy savings projects include efficiency improvements to municipal office buildings, courthouses and fire stations as well as a cogeneration facility that uses excess gas produced from the wastewaster treatment plant to generate electricity. In all, these projects are expected to save Baltimore an estimated $60.8 million in energy and operational costs over the 15-year performance contract period.

Constellation Energy, a unit of utility Exelon, completed a 450 kW solar generation project for Swampscott, Mass.’s middle and high schools. The solar power system will generate enough electricity to take care of 19 percent of the district’s power needs annually, and is part of the school district’s long-term goal to reduce overall energy costs 20 percent by 2015. The project comprises about 1,960 rooftop photovoltaic panels, with 383 kW installed at the high school and 67 kW at the middle school.

The U.S. Air Force has issued a request for information to address the availability and cost of fuel cell systems. The RFI, to which responses are due no later than May 14, is looking for information about technology readiness levels, manufacturing readiness levels, capabilities and market information related to fuel cell systems.

The department is particularly interested in the potential technical, manufacturing and market barriers to establishing a viable business for specific technologies including fuel cell BOP equipment, fuel cell stacks and stack components, and tactical fuel cells.

Real estate services company Bozzuto Group will match 100 percent of the  electricity used at its corporate headquarters with the purchase of 1,151 MWh of U.S. wind-based renewable energy certificates. The RECs will help the Washington, D.C.-based company avoid an estimated 794 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Bozzuto Group will purchase Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates from 3Degrees, a REC and carbon offset provider to wholesale and retail customers. Bozzuto Group used the EPA GreenHouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator to determine its savings, equivalent to the CO2 emissions released from consuming more than 1,800 barrels of oil.

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