Here is a summary of the latest projects I’ve been working on:
- Bid reviews for Stanford: the university is interested in procuring 33-100% of its energy from renewable sources. We worked with the university to issue a request for proposals, and now we are in the process of completing technical review of those proposals. They received 34 bids from 24 companies: 26 solar, 5 wind, 1 biomass, and 2 geothermal projects. Bids are being evaluated on the basis of company experience and qualifications, technical feasibility, and level of project development/readiness. It is interesting to note how the bids would look different if this RFP had been issued a few years ago, or a few years in the future. There are several observations about renewable energy market conditions that could be made based on this exercise. Overall, it is great to see Stanford moving in this direction, and great to see how significantly the industry has matured in the last few years.
- Land use analysis for CA state agency: reviewing several scenarios for the state, considering the potential land use changes that might result from different renewable energy policies that could be adopted. Using GIS (geospatial information systems) analysis to quantify the potential effects of one scenario vs. another.
- Bioenergy final report: Writing/editing the final report for SMUD, as they conclude a project that took several years and several million dollars of stimulus funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Several bioenergy plants were successfully installed and are now selling electricity back to the grid and reducing greenhouse gas (methane) emissions from baseline manure and restaurant waste disposal practices. For me, this is just a technical writing project, no engineering analysis on my part at this time, but it is good exposure to a technology with which I have only a very little experience. Bioenergy from manure is one of the most impactful renewable options out there, because it breaks down methane, which has 21 times the harmful impact of CO2 per unit mass released as a greenhouse gas.