Germany Invests Heavily In Solar Energy

Mexico’s long-awaited energy reforms have drawn a lot of attention due to legal changes allowing foreign oil companies to enter the market for the first time in decades, but power market reform is also opening the door to renewable energy providers. Greenwood Energy and ILIOSS are partnering with Schneider Electric to sell power from 250 MW of new distributed solar energy installations to commercial customers. “Under the agreement, Greenwood-ILIOSS will finance and build the solar arrays at commercial locations across the country and will own the installations once they are operational. Schneider will supply most of the array components and offer long-term sales contracts for electricity generated by the projects to commercial energy customers with no up-front or maintenance costs.” [Press Release]

A General Electric manufacturing facility in upstate New York polluted the Hudson River with over a million pounds of PCB’s from the 1940’s to the 1970’s, which resulted in one of the country’s largest Superfund sites. The company is currently conducting cleanup operations that primarily include dredging toxic mud from the river bottom. However, the plan will reportedly only remove 65% of the contaminants, a result the NRDC and other environmental groups say is unacceptable. “The skills and knowledge GE has applied in conducting its cleanup thus far is impressive, but it doesn’t finish the job. GE plans to leave about 80,000 pounds of PCBs, if not more, lingering in the river. And evidence from the dredging so far shows that the contamination may be worse than originally thought. According to the Hudson River Trustees—the group of federal and state agencies responsible for assessing the environmental costs to the public from PCB contamination (legally speaking, they’re assessing GE’s “natural resource damage liability”)—GE’s current dredging plans would leave the ‘equivalent to a series of Superfund-caliber sites’ in the river.” [NRDC Switchboard Blog]

Clean energy advocate and top female race car driver Leilani Münter is launching a red, white and blue race car at the ARCA 98.9 race being held October 3 at the Kansas Speedway. The new car will be used to promote her renewable energy initiative. “The car is emblazoned with the slogan ‘Energy Freedom: Your Family, Your Choice.’  Like many of her fans, Münter believes that American families should have the right to cleaner energy choices and the freedom to produce, own and control the energy they use to power their homes, cars and businesses,” according to a release. Oh, and her motto is “Never underestimate a vegan hippie chick with a race car.” []