Archive for November 17th, 2011

District Energy and CHP Webinar – 11/17 at 1pm EST

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by shannon

District Energy and CHP: Valuable Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities

Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST



DOE Southeast Clean Energy Application Center logo


The North Carolina Solar Center manages the US Department of Energy’s Southeast Clean Energy Application Center, which promotes deployment of highly efficient power and heat generation technologies. Our areas of work include Combined Heat and Power (CHP), District Energy and Waste Heat to Power. The Center is producing a webinar on District Energy and CHP, which is free to attend live or may be viewed later via a recording posted at the Southeast Clean Energy Application Center’s website.



Register for this webinar at


As cities, campuses and communities evolve to support denser populations with growing energy needs, traditional energy paradigms are giving way to cleaner, more efficient solutions like district energy systems. Although early investments in district energy and combined heat and power first took shape under Thomas Edison in Manhattan in the 1870’s, today’s district energy systems deliver very high reliability, reduced emissions, enhanced energy security through fuel flexibility, and tremendous economic advantages due to fuel efficiencies reaching toward 90%.

As population density climbs, we can no longer afford to simply hang all the load on the electricity grid. Thermal energy networks for heating and cooling cities or campuses can utilize surplus heat from power plants, or from waste to energy or from renewable sources like biomass, landfill gas, or geothermal. Natural sources of cooling like oceans, lakes and rivers can provide clean, abundant and affordable renewable district cooling to remove expensive peak demand from the wires and avoid emissions due to power generation.

In fact, in a May 2011 International Energy Agency report, heat was found to be the primary end use energy at 37% in OECD countries and at 47% globally, more than transport and electricity generation combined. To develop more sustainable cities and communities, infrastructure investment in thermal energy is critically important.

This briefing will provide an overview of the emergence of district energy in North America and discuss two cases: an award-winning and highly efficient CHP district energy system at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the private/public partnership investment in district heating and cooling for downtown Nashville, TN.
Robert Thornton – President, IDEA
Ray DuBose – Director, Energy Services at UNC-Chapel Hill
Harry Ragsdale – President, Thermal Engineering Group, Inc
Host:  Isaac Panzarella, Director, US DOE Southeast Clean Energy Application Center

Capital City’s First Dual Biofuels Station Opens with $.85 Fuel

Posted on: November 17th, 2011 by shannon

For Immediate Release


November 16, 2011




Crown Express Mart One of Handful in Nation Offering E85 & B20


Raleigh, N.C. – The first station to offer both E85 (85% ethanol/ 15% gasoline) and B20 (20% biodiesel/80% petroleum diesel) celebrated its grand opening with dignitary remarks, a ribbon cutting and an $.85 per gallon E85 promotion. The Crown Express Mart is located at 1210 New Bern Ave., just east of downtown near the intersection with Poole Rd. The station underwent extensive renovations and began providing the renewable fuel options in early October. “We are excited to be able to offer alternative fueling options in the Raleigh area. Individual and fleet customers now have a choice and convenient place to pump E-85 & B20 fuel seven days a week,” said Kokila Amin, one of the station owners.

Ward Lenz, Director of the State Energy Office at the N.C. Dept. of Commerce showing off the new E85/B20 fuel pump

Ward Lenz, Director of the State Energy Office at the N.C. Dept. of Commerce showing off the new E85/B20 fuel pump

There are close to 2,000 E85 capable flex fuel vehicles (FFVs) located in the zip code of the New Bern Ave station according to research conducted by RL Polk and Associates in July of this year. Across the state there are 18 commercial service stations offering E85, while there are over 236,000 FFVs according to data tracked by the N.C. Solar Center at N.C. State University and RL Polk. It is important to provide fuel options, as there are over 40 makes and models of FFVs offered by auto manufacturers at no additional cost to the purchaser as compared to the same model that is not E85 compatible. FFVs can be operated on gasoline, E85 or any blend of ethanol in between. A fuel sensor provides information to adapt to the specific blend of ethanol powering the vehicle. Ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel currently produced in the United States primarily from corn grown in the Midwest. A byproduct of ethanol production is distiller’s grain, a high protein animal feed. E85 has been used for over a decade in North Carolina by the Department of Administration State Motor Fleet, but has only become available at commercial service stations over the past five years.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel that is made from a variety of feedstock in the United States, including waste vegetable oil, soybeans and animal renderings. It can be utilized in a variety of blends in any diesel engine with no modifications required. In most fleet and consumer applications it is offered at a 20% blend level. B20 has been used by the N.C. Department of Transportation for over a decade and is provided at over 100 state fuel sites. The New Bern Crown Express is the third station to provide B20 to the motoring public in Raleigh, the 28th across the state.

Funding for the E85 refueling infrastructure was provided in part through a grant from the N.C. Solar Center using Congestion Mitigation Air Quality funds from the N.C. Department of Transportation. The B20 refueling infrastructure was funded partially with American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funding provided to Kargo Corp, the station owners, from the N.C. Department of Commerce. “We are grateful that the state has taken such a forward looking position on supporting the use of renewable fuels as these public private partnerships support clean air and domestic fuel and distribution opportunities” , said Anne Tazewell, Transportation Program Manager at the N.C. Solar Center. Representatives from state and local government spoke at the ribbon cutting along with Steve Walk, Protec Fuel Management. Protec and the Renewable Fuels Association partnered with the station owners on the $.85 gallon E85 for 85 minutes fuel promotion price at the opening celebration to encourage FFV drivers to try America’s home grown fuel.



About the NC Solar Center

The N.C. Solar Center, a division of the College of Engineering at N.C. State University, has operated since 1988 as a focal point for solar and other renewable energy programs, information, research, technical assistance, and training for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. For more information about the N.C. Solar Center and the clean transportation program visit



Anne Tazewell, N.C. Solar Center, 919-513-7831,

Shannon Helm, N.C. Solar Center, 919-423-8340,