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Alberta Electrical Learning EXPO:
Request for speakers — March 19, 2014

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 In the Media

Renewable energy to get boost from new Alberta bio-fuel
Beacon News
The next generation of renewable energy fuels that reduce greenhouse gases by 90 per cent is coming soon, and they will be processed using innovative new technology developed at the University of Alberta. The process takes agricultural feedstocks such as beef tallow, crop seed oil and even restaurant grease, and converts them into "drop-in" fuels, solvents and diluents. Drop-in fuels are chemically similar to and interchangeable with petroleum-based fuels, unlike traditional renewable fuels like biodiesel, ethanol and bio-jet fuel.
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Albertans losing no sleep over wind power
The Globe and Mail
Controversy that has marked Ontario's rapid growth in wind power has been largely absent in Alberta, where the industry has operated for two decades and now has the third-largest installed generation capacity of the green energy source in Canada. Wind farm operators in the Western province have had to work to solve environmental problems, notably bat and bird deaths, which have led to operational changes at some developments.
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A.M. Agencies

A.M. Agencies is a manufacturers agent servicing Alberta, North Eastern & South Eastern British Columbia, the Yukon Territory and Nunavut. We represent a diverse range of LED lighting, Lighting controls and electrical products for use in both the commercial and residential markets.

Putting robots to work in solar energy
New York Times
In a dusty yard under a blistering August sun, Rover was hard at work, lifting 45-pound solar panels off a stack and installing them, one by one, into a concrete track. A few yards away, Rover's companion, Spot, moved along a row of panels, washing away months of grit, then squeegeeing them dry. But despite the heat and monotony, neither Rover nor Spot broke a sweat or uttered a complaint. That is because they are robots, surprisingly low-tech machines that install and maintain large-scale solar farms.
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Carbon fund hands out $46 million for renewable energy projects
Edmonton Journal
Eight renewable energy projects, which include plans to store wind energy in batteries and a new system for converting municipal waste into fuel pellets, were selected to receive $46 million from Alberta's carbon fund recently. Eric Newell, chair of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC), said "renewable energy is now the largest part of the corporation's portfolio." The eight projects have a combined value of $390 million.
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What does it take to drive an electric car in Canadian winters?
Venture Beat
So how on earth do you use an electric car in places that consistently get many feet of snow every winter? Short answer: snow tires. Long answer: plan ahead. with winter approaching, a recent discussion on the Canada Nissan Leaf Owners Facebook group seemed apropos, all about driving plug-in electric vehicles in the northern winter.

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Calculator shows how many potatoes it would take to power your house
You've probably heard of cars that run on used cooking oil — but what about an entire house powered by potatoes? Apparently it's possible — and Movoto just launched an online calculator that shows exactly how many spuds it would take to power your house. Simply enter in your square footage and a length of time and it'll tell you how many potatoes you'd need!

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Government relaxes new green lightbulb rules
The Conservative government is easing Canada's energy efficiency regulations for lightbulbs, in a move that will align standards with the United States and provide more consumer choice — but allow less-efficient bulbs and result in smaller energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions. Proposed changes set to take effect in 2014 would permit less efficient incandescent halogen bulbs to be sold in Canada.

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Solar and wind innovation reflected in booming patents
USA Today
Innovation in solar, wind and other renewable power is booming worldwide, especially in China, and is now eclipsing that in fossil fuels — an about-face that occurred in just one generation, new research shows. In the United States alone, the number of renewable-energy patents exceeded 1,000 annually by 2009 — up from fewer than 200 per year in the 1975-2000 period. In contrast, patents for coal, oil or gas technologies rose to about 300 in 2009, up from 100 annually in earlier decades.
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Organic waste electric plant breaks new ground in Lethbridge
Western Producer
A biogas co-generation plant is functioning after more than 10 years of running the bureaucratic gauntlet. Lethbridge Biogas, located in the county just outside Lethbridge city limits, is using manure and other organic waste to produce gas used to generate electricity. The plant began accepting material this spring and is expected to be fully operating soon. Stefan Michalski, a director in the venture, said the plant is the only one of its kind in Canada.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Alberta Electrical League wants you to participate (AEL)
Atco unveils new Heartland power plant project in Alberta (The StarPhoenix)
Cheap, spray-on solar cells developed by Canadian researchers (CBC News)
Thomas Riley building re-opens after $60 million renovation (Electrical Line Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

The air up there: Wind energy remote sensing gains ground
Renewable Energy World
Much of the increased adoption of remote sensing is driven by the industry's shift toward bigger wind turbines, with taller hubs and longer rotors. By the end of this decade, a third of wind turbine installations in Europe will be IEC Class III lower-wind-speed turbines in the 80-100 meter range, calculates Feng Zhao, managing consultant with Navigant Research. In the U.S., developers are moving into regions that have untapped areas with lower wind regimes, and deploying taller turbines to tap the higher and more reliable winds that make these sites feasible.
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ATCO electric archaeological program receives 2nd award
Electrical Line Magazine
ATCO Electric's Historical and Archaeological Resource Protection Plan has received its second award of recognition for its preservation of historical resources in the construction of the Hanna Region Transmission Development project. The Alberta Professional Planners Institute (APPI) presented ATCO Electric and Lifeways of Canada Limited, who worked collaboratively on the project, with the APPI 2013 Award of Planning Merit for Special Studies at the Institute's annual conference in Jasper.
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Uniformity: The secret of better fusion ignition
Science Daily
One of the ways to achieve thermonuclear fusion is through a controlled reaction between two light variants of hydrogen, called deuterium and tritium. Mauro Temporal, from the École Normale Supérieure Cachan, in France, and colleagues have made theoretical calculations indicating how best to improve the ignition stage of fusion reaction. Their approach involves increasing the uniformity of irradiation using high-power laser beams on the external shell of a spherical capsule containing a mix of deuterium and tritium.
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