Industry News

From Space to Waste. Stanford University research comes to Antioch to explore a new frontier of renewable energy from wastewater (October 28, 2013) Born and raised in California, Dr. Yaniv Scherson began his career building rockets for space applications, but the frontier he is now exploring is much closer to home with a new resource recovery research partnership between Delta Diablo Sanitation District in Antioch, Calif., and Stanford University. 

The Stanford postdoctoral scholar has developed a new process to recover renewable energy from nitrogen in wastewater called the coupled aerobic-anoxic nitrous decomposition operation (CANDO). It converts wastewater nitrogen to nitrous oxide gas, then uses the gas to increase the power output of engines at wastewater treatment facilities. Many wastewater treatment facilities already recover renewable energy from wastewater as biogas; coupled with CANDO, wastewater treatment facilities can move toward energy-positive treatment – exporting renewable energy close to end-users from a free and continuous feedstock. READ MORE.

Research on biosolids to energy project to start at Antioch wastewater plant (Paul Burgarino Contra Costa Times  September 11, 2013)  By this time next year, flushing a toilet here could be a way to create commercially viable renewable energy.

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Miami-based Chemergy Inc., will start studying a technology that converts biosolids, or remaining byproduct from wastewater treatment, into hydrogen gas to produce electricity, officials said this week. READ MORE.

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore, Florida company plan to demonstrate bioenergy technology (Stephen P Wampler, LLNL, September 3, 2013) Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Florida-based Chemergy Inc. plan to demonstrate an innovative bioenergy technology that converts wastewater treatment plant byproducts into hydrogen gas to produce electricity. 

The $1.75 million project will demonstrate an integrated system on a limited industrial scale at the Delta Diablo Sanitation District (DDSD) facility in Antioch, CA. READ MORE

Lawrence Livermore Lab develops 'black metals' for better solar power (Steven E.F. Brown, San Francisco Business Times, July 30, 2013) Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory found that specially crafted "plasmonic black metals" could someday make photovoltaic solar power panels more efficient. READ MORE.

California leads U.S. in record first quarter for solar installation (Catherine Green, Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2013) The U.S. had a record quarter in solar installation during the first three months of the year, installing 723 megawatts of photovoltaic capacity for a 33% increase over the same period last year. That represents nearly half of all new generation capacity installed in the U.S. during the first quarter of this year, and puts the solar industry on pace for its best year to date. READ MORE.

Cool Earth Solar Testing Tubular Plastic Concentrating PV System (, July 1, 2013) It's a new turn on concentrating photovoltaics (CPV). Cool Earth Solar's inflated, tubular CPV system encases PV cells in a lightweight tube of thin plastic films, which concentrate the sun on the cells. Cool Earth Solar partnered with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to test and deploy 100 kilowatts of the unique CPV modules at the Livermore Valley Open Campus's Clean Energy Demonstration Field. READ MORE.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded $1.7 million to a partnership between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Cool Earth Solar Inc. (CES) to conduct a community-scale renewable energy integration demonstration project at the Livermore Valley Open Campus. (, May 13, 2013) CES is the prime awardee and is contributing an additional $1 million in matching funds to the CEC amount, while LLNL will provide advanced R&D support for the effort. READ MORE

City Council approves solar power project on former landfill site (Eve Mitchell, Contra Costa Times, April 14, 2013) City Council members approved a proposal for a 20-megawatt solar facility that would sell electricity to Pacific Gas & Electric, one week after the owner of a recycling center raised environmental questions about the project. READ MORE.

Dublin begins solar panel project at its Civic Center (Pleasanton Weekly, April 2, 2013) The city of Dublin has started the preparation work for the solar arrays which will be located at the Civic Center.

The crews successfully transplanted the trees in the parking lots to new locations in the surrounding the Dublin Sports Grounds. Construction of the arrays will commence following the tree removal and will continue through mid-May. READ MORE.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today celebrated the Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) as the 75,000th solar customer in its Northern and Central California service area. (Martinez, CA.March 27, 2013 PRNewswire) Through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program, PG&E provides rebates that will total more than $1 million for the school district's nine solar systems that are expected to generate approximately 1.85 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This is the equivalent of powering more than 100 homes and will help avoid the emission of nearly one million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. READ MORE. 

Energy Department Launches New Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (US Department of Energy, March 23, 2013) As part of the Obama Administration's commitment to revitalizing America's manufacturing sector, today the Energy Department launched the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative (CEMI), a new Department initiative focused on growing American manufacturing of clean energy products and boosting U.S. competitiveness through major improvements in manufacturing energy productivity. The initiative includes private sector partnerships, new funding from the Department, and enhanced analysis of the clean energy manufacturing supply chain that will guide the Department's future funding decisions. READ MORE.

Oakley sanitary district gives go-ahead for solar project (Rowena Coetsee, Contra Costa Times, February 5, 2013) Ironhouse Sanitary District officials have unanimously approved a solar energy project they say not only will reduce the agency's electricity bill but also will benefit rate payers. READ MORE.

Quick Mount PV announces that it has received ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality management in the manufacturing of its industry-leading solar roof mounts in Walnut Creek, CA. (Quick Mount PV, January 17, 2013) The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops international standards to help make industry more efficient and effective, and to facilitate global trade.

The ISO 9001:2008 certification covers all aspects of R&D, production and quality control, helping to implement a system of continual improvement that prioritizes product quality, internal job effectiveness, and above all, customer satisfaction. READ MORE.

Is solar right for your home?(SF Gate, December 10, 2012) A week after Steve Schear had solar panels installed on the roof of his house in the Oakland hills, all he wanted to do was stand in his driveway and watch the electricity meter.

"I just kept running outside to watch it run backwards," he says with a chuckle. READ MORE.

Wind-power consumption rises as nation’s overall energy use drops (The Hill's Global Affairs Blog, October 24, 2012) Wind power posted the greatest gain in domestic energy consumption in 2011 as overall energy use dropped, according to an analysis by the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Energy consumption from wind power rose 27 percent in 2011 to 1.17 quadrillion Btu (British thermal units), up from 0.92 in 2010, LLNL said, citing U.S. Energy Information Administration data. READ MORE.

SunShot Prize: Race to the Rooftops (U.S. Department of Energy) Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the SunShot Prize aims to spur low-cost rooftop solar installations across the nation. This competition offers a total of up to $10 million in cash awards to the first three teams that repeatedly demonstrate an average of $1 per watt (W) for non-hardware costs such as permitting, interconnection, and inspection. GET INVOLVED HERE.

CPUC Action Supports Solar by Clarifying Net Metering Cap (Go Solar, California! Newsletter, June 2012) A decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will increased the number of rooftop solar installations that will qualify for net energy metering (NEM) by clarifying the way the program is capped.

NEM allows customers to receive a bill credit for excess energy produced by their home solar system. However, the number of solar systems allowed to receive NEM credits is not unlimited. Without NEM, the market potential for rooftop solar would be severely restricted. READ MORE

CalCharge – Building a Battery Innovation Ecosystem (Scientific American™, May 29, 2012)
A new public-private partnership was announced today between CalCEF and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The goal of this new partnership – dubbed CalCharge – is to create a regional ecosystem to spur innovation in energy storage (battery) technologies. This group will bring together private technology companies, academic institutions, and government resources in California’s Bay Area to help accelerate the timeline from market to bench through technology assistance, workforce training and market education. READ MORE

Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech On a Path To Subsidy Independence (Brookings, April 18, 2012) In the absence of significant and timely energy policy reform, the recent boom in US clean tech sectors could falter.

Driven by private innovation and entrepreneurship as well as critical public sector support in the form of tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees, several clean energy technology (or “clean tech”) segments have grown robustly in recent years while making progress on cost and performance. READ MORE

GE taps Silicon Valley talent for San Ramon site. (SF Gate, April 16, 2012)
More than a century after General Electric built its first research laboratory in an upstate New York barn, it's wooing Silicon Valley engineers in a bid to connect machines the way Facebook links people. READ MORE

Innovative Hydrogen Fueling Facility Opens in Emeryville
(PG&E Currents, April 10, 2012) 
A cutting-edge hydrogen fueling station – that will also be available to the public – was unveiled today (April 10) at AC Transit’s operating center.

The station will fuel the 12 hybrid-electric, zero-emission fuel cell buses already in use by AC Transit. And, with a grant from the California Air Resources Board, one dispenser will be accessible to the public for fueling hydrogen fuel-cell electric passenger cars now on the road. READ MORE

Berkeley Lab sees campus that interacts (San Francisco Business Times, February 20, 2012) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory officials are working to make a planned 2 million-square-foot second campus in Richmond an open environment where startups and corporations can better access the lab’s discoveries and resources. READ MORE

Berkeley Lab Selects Richmond (Berkeley Lab News Center, January 23, 2012) The University of California announced today that it has identified the Richmond Field Station as its preferred site for the proposed consolidation of the biosciences programs of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).  The University of California-owned site presents the best opportunity to solve the Lab’s pressing space problems while allowing for long term growth and maintaining the 80 year tradition of close cooperation with the UC Berkeley Campus. READ MORE