A visit to the Wayne Auto Spa can result in a cleaner car, an oil change, brake adjustment or other maintenance on a vehicle.
But the two acre property, owned and operated by Rob Burke, is also home to a thriving garden, which grows tomatoes, celery, beets, oregano, sugar snaps, radishes, onions, zucchini, cucumbers and other foods.
And off to the side of the property, a chicken coop houses plenty of egg-laying hens.
And now, the spa will be enhanced with a windmill-type turbine. The turbine could supply about one-third of the spa’s energy needs, specifically the car wash. It will provide energy that is free, clean and renewable. The wind energy will also provide geothermal air conditioning.
Work has already begun on the turbine, which will stand about 50 feet tall once it’s fully installed. Groundbreaking began by digging into the ground approximately four feet. A seven foot by seven foot cement slab covering the ground was recently laid. The actual turbine will be constructed next, with the various parts already on the property.
Burke hopes that the windmill will be up and running, within the next two weeks.
“It will run strictly by wind power,” said Burke of the turbine. “With the (existing) solar panels on the roof of the spa, we are saving more energy and helping the environment.”
A wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind, intro electrical power. The smallest turbines are used for applications such as battery charging for auxiliary power for boats caravans, or to power traffic warning signs. Slightly larger turbines can be used for making small contributions to a domestic power supply, while selling unused power back to the utility supplier via an electrical grid.
Burke, an attorney by trade, is a full time entrepreneur at his business. While he has a staff to take care of the automobiles, his passion is growing food, with the products going to needy people in Passaic County by way of food pantries.
Earlier this year, Burke teamed with Eva’s Village, a Paterson-based comprehensive non-profit service organization and one of the largest anti-poverty programs in New Jersey, to provide food for the hungry.
“We’ve made six good sized donations to Eva’s, and we expect to have a lot more food going to them in the next few months,” said Burke.
Eva’s Village provides a wide range of services for the poor in New Jersey, including food, shelter, substance abuse treatment, primary medical and dental care and a variety of transitional and permanent housing options.
Making food and helping the less fortunate is something which drives Burke.
“It’s an amazing feeling when we’re able to help others,” Burke said, as he tended to a number of tomato vines. “And the way people have followed us, and the work we do is pretty nice, too.”
According to Burke, volunteers are at the plenty to help pick up chicken feed.
“Every month, someone volunteers to drive up to Sussex County and get about 500 pounds worth of feed,” he said. “Believe me, it’s so appreciated, because that’s almost a full day’s venture, between getting the food and bringing it back. But to have volunteers help is incredible. I haven’t had to make that trip in almost a year.”
Recently, Burke noted that a bee expert learned of his work and is now helping Burke learn more about honeybees and their role in the pollination of vegetables and fruit, which is vital toward a garden’s health.
Children also enjoy what Burke’s Victory Garden and Learning Center at the spa is accomplishing.
“I think when people see what we’re growing, food that is organic and good for you, it’s quite an eye opener,” Burke said. “And we have more projects on the horizon, past the turbine. There’s so much more work to do. When you see the price of food today, it’s crazy. Everything is going up, all the time. It’s nice to be able to help others.”
Fundraising for a greenhouse on the property is going well, and Burke hopes it will be in place by the fall.
“The greenhouse will obviously help us grow more food, especially during the winter months, when it’s not as advantageous to plant outdoors,” he said.
The concept of a Victory Garden extends nearly 100 years in the United States, according to Burke.
“During World War I and World War II, people in this country would grow food to help feed our troops,” Burke said. “Forty percent of American produce from that era came from those gardens, both public and privately owned. Can you imagine if that happened today? If every business could grow food, it could feed so many people. I look at what we’re able to accomplish here and it’s small thing, but it brings out so many feelings of thanks.”
- See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/small-business/work-begins-on-auto-spa-wind-turbine-1.1059745?page=all#sthash.HWmDoZBZ.dpuf
Remote Tower Locations Will Be Equipped With UGE’s Hybrid and Battery Storage Systems for Maximum Reliability and Efficiency
August 26, 2014 — New Yrok — UGE (TSX.V:UG), a leader in renewable energy solutions for global enterprise customers, has received a purchase order to deploy hybrid microgrid energy systems for remote telecommunications towers. The telecoms site operators will utilize UGE’s expertise and equipment to increase the reliability and security of their energy supply while dramatically lowering the costs of powering the sites.
The telecoms towers are powered by UGE’s modular technology platform, designed to capture the specific renewable energy resources available at each site. Each site location incorporates an optimized combination of solar panels, energy storage, and wind turbines for fully integrated off-grid hybrid systems. The telecom towers will also utilize UGE’s monitoring and control technology to ensure constant system uptime.
“Telecommunication tower operators in emerging markets often face severe challenges with grid reliability, site accessibility, and rising fuel costs,” said Henry Hatch, UGE’s business development manager for the telecoms market. “Renewable energy paired with UGE’s advanced site analysis and monitoring capabilities address these issues with a solution that lowers costs and facilitates uninterrupted communication.”
These microgrid systems have been purchased by a confidential government entity for use in the Middle East. The purchase order, valued at over $400,000 USD, is expected to be fulfilled throughout the remainder of 2014.
UGE is a leading developer of distributed renewable energy solutions for enterprise clients with projects in over 90 countries, including several for Fortune 1,000 companies. Leveraging its proprietary technology platform, UGE deploys modular energy systems that solve clients’ challenges at the nexus of cost, resiliency and sustainability. From solar and wind systems, to microgrids and off-grid lighting, UGE is the solution provider of choice for enterprise energy challenges.
Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort has distinguished itself as the destination for green lodging and events. Six UGE wind turbines now sit atop the hotel and Hilton couldn’t be more pleased!
“The turbines will help us visualize the hotel as a place to be conscious of energy use… it will help to highlight the importance of conserving electricity, and to start dialogue.”
Randy Gaines, VP of Engineering, Hilton Worldwide “The power generated by the wind turbines is enough to light this building year-round.”
Andreas Ioannou, General Manager, Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Resort
Even the Mayor is thrilled with the addition to Fort Lauderdale’s beach front:
Representatives for Wayne Auto Spa Owner and the township have come to an agreement regarding owner Rob Burke’s application to construct a wind turbine at his business.
The Planning Board is scheduled to vote Monday on a resolution amending Burke’s application.
The matter has dragged on for years after Burke applied to construct a turbine with 6-foot long blades on it in 2007. The turbine would generate power for Wayne Auto Spa. Several solar panels are operating on the property
The Planning Board denied Burke’s application in October of 2008 citing a lack of expert testimony and concerns about safety and noise.
State Superior Court Judge Donald Volkert overturned the denial in July 2010. In his decision, Volkert said that the board improperly denied the application due to the concerns.
“The board should have granted minor site plan approval and used its authority to place reasonable conditions to mitigate any noise or safety impacts,” Volkert said in his ruling. “The board did not have the authority to enforce noise or safety ordinances. That is the responsibility of administrative departments.”
The Planning Board unanimously at a meeting in November 2011. The approval is part of a settlement agreement with the town to have the 50-foot tall turbine installed on the property.
The council must approve the agreement before the turbine can be installed. According to Burke, the council has not approved the agreement.
Burke said that the case is not settled and “has no idea when” it will be.
Matthew Giacobbe, the town’s general counsel, could not be reached for comment.
As part of the agreement, the turbine will not have blades on it. Instead, a bladeless version, which is designed to be much quieter than ones with blades, will be installed.
Burke is also looking to recoup between $250,000 and $300,000 in legal fees he claims he is owed.
Burke said he has never met with township officials regarding the application.
The council approved an ordinance in December 2009 permitting wind turbines to be installed in industrial areas in the township but not at the Wayne Auto Spa.
By Michael Copley
Some of the country’s biggest financiers of renewable energy say there is ample debt and equity in the market for qualifying projects.
In 2013, about 25 tax-equity investors completed an estimated $6.5 billion in deals with wind and solar project developers, according to John Eber, managing director of energy investments at J.P. Morgan & Co. Inc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Keith Martin, a partner at the law firm Chadbourne & Parke LLP. During the same period, between 50 and 60 commercial banks committed roughly $29 billion in debt for project finance, said Thomas Emmons, managing director of Rabobank Group’s renewable energy finance Americas division.
Those numbers appear to be trending upward, at least on the equity side. Tax-equity lending increased by about $1 billion in 2013, and Eber forecast “a sizeable pipeline” of wind and solar projects seeking equity lending from a growing number of investors in 2014.
On the debt side, project finance rebounded after falling to between $24 billion and $25 billion in 2012 from $40 billion in 2011, Emmons said. However, financing for oil, gas and conventional power projects appears to have been up in 2013, while investment in renewables was flat or down slightly, Emmons said during a Jan. 21 webinar hosted by Chadbourne & Parke.
Still, about 10 new commercial banks entered the project debt space in 2013, and more are expected in 2014, including regional U.S. banks, smaller banks in Canada and some in Northern Europe, Emmons said.
Tax equity was the subject of considerable debate within the U.S. solar industry in 2013. Some industry advocates, such as Jigar Shah, the founder and former CEO of SunEdison LLC, have argued that tax incentives like the investment tax credit drive up the cost of capital by limiting the pool of potential investors.
Others, though, have hesitated to turn their backs on the ITC, saying the subsidy is cumbersome but workable and a decent tool to help level the energy playing field.
In 2013, roughly 20 tax-equity investors completed 27 solar deals totaling nearly 1,800 MW, Eber said. According to SNL data, 4,114 MW of solar are under construction, with 2,234 MW expected in service in 2014 and 1,561 MW expected in service in 2015.
Meanwhile, 13 tax-equity lenders completed 21 wind deals totaling more than 3,000 MW, Eber said. There are 5,727 MW of wind projects under construction, according to SNL data, with 3,024 MW expected in service in 2014 and 1,759 MW expected in service by 2015.
“Let’s just say we see a sizeable pipeline of opportunities in both solar and wind tax equity that we expect to be in the market in 2014,” Eber said. “The market continues to expand in terms of the number of investors, and the active investors continue to increase the amount of dollars they’re making available,” he added. “So we expect the market to be able to serve the needs.”
Asked what their biggest concerns are moving forward, the speakers cited “transaction quality.”
“We’re seeing in this a wide variety of transactions, some of which are … similar to just a very easy project to get completed and then we’ve seen merchant and all sorts of stuff that people are kind of pushing the envelope” with, said Lance Markowitz, Union Bank’s senior vice president of leasing and asset finance.
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The price of new power purchase agreements for wind farms and new solar projects in the US continue to defy all expectations, making some energy experts wonder why anyone would contemplate a new fossil-fuel plant. A new report by UBS analysts in the US has crossed our desk. It is basically a write-up from a webinar hosted by UBS and Declan Flanagan, head of local renewable energy group Lincoln Energy, but it provides some fascinating insight into what is happening in that market.
The first notable conclusion is the declining cost of wind energy. Contracts in Texas, which accounts for around one quarter of all US installations, are regularly below $30/MWh, and some are at $25/MWh. Even with a tax incentive, this still put wind well below $50/MWh.
Why is this happening? New equipment is lifting capacity factors by 5 percentage points, and Texas’ excellent wind conditions mean that wind farms are getting capacity factors in the high 40s or low 50’s (per cent). Nearly half of this occurs during peak load, defying most characterizations of wind as essentially an off-peak power source.
What does this mean? Greentech Media recently quoted Stephen Byrd, Morgan Stanley’s Head of North American Equity Research for Power & Utilities and Clean Energy, speaking at the Columbia Energy Symposium in late November: “Compare that to the variable cost of a gas plant at $30 per megawatt-hour. The all-in cost to justify the construction of a new gas plant would be above $60 per megawatt-hour.” So who would build gas?
Not as many people. Citigroup recently reported that some peaking gas plants were already being replaced by solar PV plants.
Why is this so? The UBS research note says that in Colorado, local utility Xcel has just announced new contracts for solar PV plants below 6c/kWh ($60/MWh). This, UBS said, was the lowest reported solar pricing it had seen in the US, although it confirms a recent survey by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which found pricing in that range and with no inflation kicker, meaning that the solar plants would be producing for an effective $40/MWh by the end of their contracts.
That would match even depreciated fossil fuel plants. The variable costs of gas fired plants are likely to be at least $30/MWh, and that does not include their capital costs.
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/12/09/us-fossil-fuels-losing-wind-solar/#5xRR4FLUdshpeL32.99