Archive for the ‘Electric Vehicles’ Topic

EV Recap

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Awesome turnout in Friday Harbor for the Electric Vehicle (EV) Car show!

EV Variety_Edited

There was a phenomenal turnout of OPALCO members at this weekend’s event. Many supporters of energy efficiency and conservation, as well as renewable energy advocates, were present to learn about current OPALCO programs, and future projects.

We learned about the different benefits of owning an EV in the islands, and the different varieties available now from different car manufacturers. Those featured on Saturday included Nissan, Chevrolet, Tesla, Mitsubishi, and BMW. Spectators also got a chance to look at the differences between 100% electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, like the now-familiar Toyota Prius.

Row of EVs_Edited

Along with highlighting why it makes sense to own an EV in San Juan County, OPALCO was there promoting renewable energy, and getting members to sign up for information about our upcoming Community Solar project, expected to break ground in 2018.  More information on this project will be available during the OPALCO Annual Meeting on Saturday May 6th, and we’re looking for interested members to sign up for our email distribution list.

If you want to be involved in Community Solar, please contact us at (360) 376-3571, or send an email to energysavings@opalco.com to get signed up!

EV Car show in Friday Harbor

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Electric Vehicles are driving the future!

Friday Harbor EV Car Show Final

When islanders purchase new cars, we are more frequently buying electric vehicles (EVs) than a traditional car, with an internal combustion engine. On San Juan Island on April 29th, 2017, in partnership with the San Juan Islands Conservation District, we are going to highlight some EVs you might see driving around, including hybrid cars, plug-in 100% electric vehicles, and some truly unique local endeavors.  You might see a Toyota Prius or two, a Nissan Leaf, some cutting-edge Teslas, and even a vehicle built by local students in Friday Harbor.

Help us celebrate our uncanny ability to save energy, and embrace new technologies, making us a clean and environmentally friendly community!

EV vs ICE Efficiency Comparison

Green Home Tours Part 2

Monday, October 24th, 2016

 

 

montesorri-pv

We had a FANTASTIC time with the San Juan Islands Conservation District this month with the Green Home Tours.  Participants got to see local homes and businesses on the cutting edge of energy conservation and efficiency, as well as buildings using tried and true methods, getting back to the basics.  Here are some green highlights from the different sites we visited:

 

Lopez:

  • Straw bale construction, earthen plaster, solar hot water heat, and lots of photo voltaic systems.

 

San Juan:

  • Energy Star rated appliances, weather resistive barrier wrap, in-floor heating, heat recovery ventilator.

 

Orcas:

  • Water catchment, smart thermostats, LED Lighting, Solar Education (with PV Array on site!), Electric Vehicle Charging station.

 

One item that was common at almost every single building we visited (including low-income residential housing, state-of-the-art commercial businesses, and cutting edge high-end design) was Ductless Heat Pumps.  The majority of energy used in San Juan County is used for heating, and Ductless Heat Pumps are a hyper-efficient way to get the job done.  Learn how to cut costs and reduce your carbon footprint by investing in a DHP, and monitor your savings using SmartHub – our FREE tool to manage your OPALCO account and monitor your energy usage.

Want to see some of the places we visited on the tour?  Interested in adding your home?  Go to www.GreenHomeSanJuans.org and view the Interactive Map!  Thanks to all that participated, and getting involved!

 

Green Home Tours

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

 

In partnership with the San Juan Islands Conservation District, OPALCO is helping to host a tour of homes in the Green Home Network.  This Saturday, we went to Lopez and saw some amazing homes that highlighted the best of energy efficiency and resource conservation.  We saw solar panels, straw bale insulation, and lots of ductless heat pumps.  Additionally, our members were chauffeured from home to home in a fleet of Electric Vehicles from the Conservation District, OPALCO, and our awesome members.

 

We are going to continue the tour on San Juan October 8th, and Orcas October 22nd.  Come learn about energy efficiency and conservation, ask the experts about best practices, take a ride in an EV, and see some astounding local dwellings!

New Website Links

Friday, July 29th, 2016

Check out the new websites from our partners at the San Juan Islands Conservation District!

Take Charge of your energy savings, learn about electric vehicles, and follow the Georgetown University Energy Prize!

Take Charge!

Take Charge!

 

Get in touch with the Green Home Network!  Take the tour, connect with your green neighbors, and share your story!

GreenHome_7-29-16

Green Home Tou

The 2015 Island Energy Fairs are coming!

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Members of all ages learn to save energy.

Want to test drive an Electric Vehicle (EV), tour solar homes, and learn about the latest ways to save energy?

OPALCO invites you to join us at the Energy Fairs.

This is an interesting and fun way to understand the sources of electric power and to be aware of your own personal energy usage habits and savings options. The OPALCO Energy Savings team, the M.O.R.E. (Member Owned Renewable Energy) committee, and Islands Energy will be participating. In addition to energy efficiency and conservation workshops, there will be free kids activities, raffle prizes, and much more!

Comparing the energy consumption of different kinds of lights.

Comparing the energy consumption of different kinds of lights.

The Island Energy Fairs represent a community collaboration between San Juan Islands Conservation District and OPALCO.

San Juan Island Energy Fair

Saturday, May 30 from 10am-3pm
At the Mullis Community Center

Orcas Island Energy Fair

Saturday, June 6 from 10am-3pm
At the Eastsound Village Green

Lopez Island Energy Fair

Saturday, June 27 from 10am-3pm
At the Lopez Center for Community and the Arts

Highlights include:

  • Free energy savings kits
  • A light bulb exchange (bring any number of incandescent bulbs and up to 10 expired CFLs to exchange for 3 new 60W equivalent standard LED bulbs)
  • Demonstrations of electric vehicles
  • Information about home energy audits and locally generated power
  • Information about OPALCO efficiency rebate programs
  • Local contractor booths
  • Details about planned Community Solar projects
  • Energy keynote speakers

 

Kids checking out a Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle

Kids checking out a Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle

Learn about Solar Energy for your home

A SECOND LIFE FOR EV BATTERIES

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

From smartgridnews.com: Unlike standard car batteries, lithium-ion batteries used to power EVs have a lot of life left in them after they’re retired from service in a vehicle. Automation technology group ABB, Nissan North America, 4R Energy and Sumitomo Corporation of America have teamed up to evaluate and test the all-electric Nissan Leaf battery for residential and commercial use as energy storage systems.

Lithium-ion batteries have up to 70% of their capacity remaining after 10 years of service as a car battery. The partners plan to create a Leaf battery storage prototype capable of providing at least 50 kilowatt hours of power, the amount needed to keep the lights on in 15 average homes for two hours.

read the rest of the story: 

http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_Storage/ABB-Nissan-to-explore-a-second-life-for-EV-batteries-energy-storage-4379.html

Electric Vehicles: the “electric highway” and end of tax credits

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As seen in the Seattle Times this weekend: The first fast-charging station in the Washington’s “Electric Highway” is being installed at the Sehome Village Shopping Center in Bellingham. Also – a tax credit that allowed Americans to deduct 30 percent of the cost of electric car chargers installed in their garages has expired. Read the full articles

Managing Intermittent Wind Energy with EVs

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

From smartgridnews.com: Integrating intermittent renewable energy sources like wind into the electric grid has been one of the big challenges facing the smart grid initiative. Now, scientists at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) say they have what could be a workaround: plug-in EVs.

“Electric vehicles, coupled with grid-friendly charging, offers a great opportunity, right now, to help electric companies integrate additional wind power into our electric system,” said Michael Kintner-Meyer, a PNNL staff scientist and co-author of the report Using Electric Vehicles to Meet Balancing Requirements Associated with Wind Power.

While growing in popularity, wind power is notoriously unpredictable – it’s not always there when you need it – and on windy days, grid operators struggle with ways to use excess energy or store it. And grid-scale storage is at this point pretty limited in the U.S. . . .

read the rest of the story:
http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_DG_Renewables/Lab-report-Managing-intermittent-wind-energy-with-EVs-3994.html

Thanks to all who visited us at the County Fair

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

OPALCO staff had a great time talking (and playing Plinko) with you at the Fair – thanks for stopping by to visit. In case you missed it, here’s a glimpse of the fun:

  • Members learned how to save energy in their homes by playing the very popular Plinko game crafted by co-op members and employee Elisa and Nate Howard. Prizes included school pencil cases with a cool multi- color highlighter and organic cotton backpacks stocked with home energy efficiency items.
  • You could ride a stationary bike to learn how much effort it takes to light an incandescent bulb vs. a CFL or make a smoothie.
  • If you signed up for one of OPALCO’s programs (MORE, PAL, Sharing the Load blog or Home Snapshot Energy Assessment), you were entered into the daily draw for a basket of energy efficiency tools and goodies.
  • You could talk with members of the MORE (member owned renewable energy) committee and learn how YOU can support local renewable power generated by your island neighbors and fellow co-op members.
  • You could check out the Nissan LEAF (Leading, Environmentally friendly, Affordable, Family car) – on display in front of the main entrance and learn more about how electric cars work.
  • And, the ever popular safety board display was a hit. Lineman conducted safety demonstrations and well as discussed current projects.

There was a great response of participants and OPALCO thanks you for doing your part. Working together through energy efficiency we can make a difference in managing our load and keeping rates lower!