It looks surprisingly like a Smart Car and frankly has one of the dumbest names I’ve ever come across, but the $19,000 all-electric RTEV (Ruff & Tuff Electric Vehicles) Wheego Whip will be available in the United States in May 2009.

The Wheego Whip can reach a maximum speed of about 70 mph, but until it passes crash tests by the US DoT, expected sometime in 2010, it will be released initially as a Low Speed Vehicle (25 mph maximum speed) or a Medium Speed Vehicle (35 mph max). RTEV says that the Whip can travel 50 miles on single 8-hour charge, from any standard household 110 or 220v outlet.

Iberdrola begins acquisition

BINGHAMTON -- Energy East has transferred 11 parcels in Broome County to Iberdrola for $24.2 million as part of its acquisition by the Spanish energy company.

Iberdrola's associated transfer tax payment -- $120,889 -- is the largest in recent history, county Clerk Richard R. Blythe said.

"I don't recall one larger," he said. "I mean, you're buying all of NYSEG."

The transfer is part of a larger, $208.8 million transaction including Energy East properties outside of Broome, Blythe said.

(Click to read entire article)

Massa accepts election victory

Congressman-elect Eric Massa, D-Corning, announced this morning that he accepts victory in the 29th Congressional District election.

“It’s my honor and I stand before you deeply humbled to accept the victory as your next congressman, 29th Congressional District, in the 111th Congress,” Massa told supporters and media packing his campaign office at 79 E. Market St. in Corning. The remark received a round of applause.

His margin of victory was about 5,000 votes, he said.

“I made a commitment during the course of the election that I wanted every ballot counted before I accepted this victory. It’s my understanding every ballot has now been counted and the decision has been made. But I have no illusions. This was a close election, and we obviously have a great deal of work to do. That work is going to center on the problems that we have,” he said.

(Click to read entire article)

With gas companies rushing to drill in New York, many are pushing for the state government to step in and regulate the industry.

Representatives from the state's Department of Environmental Conservation held this public comment session tonight at Broome Community College.

The DEC wrote a draft of all the possible regulations and problems involved with the gas industry, called a scope.

It's now looking to the public to give them insight on things they may have missed.

(Click to read entire article)

State urged not to stifle gas drilling

Local politicians urged New York state Thursday night not to impose, in the words of Sen. George H. Winner Jr., R-Elmira, "unreasonable, unfair regulations" on natural gas drilling that could drive away a potential economic stimulus in the Southern Tier.

But several residents at a public hearing expressed concerns about drilling's effect on water tables.

"Many of us rely on individual drinking wells for our water," said Robin De Lill-Stroman of Chemung.

The differing views concerned a draft scope for an environmental impact statement about natural gas drilling in New York.

(Click to read entire article)

The natural gas industry taking root in Susquehanna County is already meeting expectations for eye-popping economic returns and potential environmental headaches.

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.

The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.

The US government has licensed the technology to Hyperion, a New Mexico-based company which said last week that it has taken its first firm orders and plans to start mass production within five years. 'Our goal is to generate electricity for 10 cents a watt anywhere in the world,' said John Deal, chief executive of Hyperion. 'They will cost approximately $25m [£13m] each. For a community with 10,000 households, that is a very affordable $250 per home.'

Deal claims to have more than 100 firm orders, largely from the oil and electricity industries, but says the company is also targeting developing countries and isolated communities. 'It's leapfrog technology,' he said.

(Click to read entire article)

NYRI is blasted at state hearing

NORWICH - Residents of Chenango and its surrounding counties took aim at NYRI on Thursday afternoon during a hearing held at the Council of the Arts auditorium in Norwich.

The hearing was held by the state's Public Service Commission.

NYRI, short for New York Regional Interconnection, has proposed a 400,000-volt, 10-story tall direct-current power line that would run from Marcy in Oneida County to New Windsor in Orange County. Various proposed routes could take the line through sections of Delaware, Chenango and Otsego counties.

Opponents, like Dr. Glenn Stein of Norwich, see the project purely as a scheme to enrich investors. Stein, who testified Thursday, told two administrative law judges, ``The only thing green about NYRI is the money they're going to make.''

(Click to read entire article)

UDC opposes NYRI power line

HANCOCK – The Upper Delaware Council, Inc. delivered testimony at a public hearing convened by the New York State Department of Public Service in Hancock to gather input on the application by New York Regional Interconnect, Inc. (NYRI) to construct a high voltage direct current transmission line on a 190-mile path between Marcy and Rock Tavern, NY.

The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) will determine by August of 2009 whether to grant NYRI a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need for its proposed $2.1 billion power line.

The two Administrative Law Judges assigned to the case, Jeffrey Stockholm and Michelle Phillips, agreed to hold 13 public information forums between October 20 and November 6 in the seven New York State counties affected by the proposed route to personally hear statements and create a record for their review.

The UDC was represented at three of the hearings which took place on Oct. 29 at the Delaware Community Center in Callicoon and Sullivan West Central High School in Lake Huntington, and on Nov. 5 at Hancock Central School in Hancock.

“Page 134 of the River Management Plan states that new, major electric lines with a design capacity of 125 kilovolts or greater and extending a distance of ten miles or more in length are an ‘incompatible use’ anywhere in the river corridor”, testified UDC Executive Director Bill Douglass.

(Click to read entire article)

Futuristic-Looking LED Bulbs

Many companies are hard at work perfecting LED replacement bulbs for release in the next few months. It's taken a while to work out the kinks in LED lighting to make them appropriate for home use and more efficient. Ahead of some of the larger lighting companies, Lighting Science has introduced the SoL R38, equivalent to a 50-60W incandescent, and it looks weird.

The fins are heat sinks that dissipate the heat generated from the back of the LED. They're necessary for color accuracy and for extending the life of the light source.

Some companies like Journée are trying to play up the strange aesthetic in track lighting formats. The Lotus Luminaires are offered in different colors and resemble something off a spaceship.

It's still yet to be seen how LED bulbs will work in traditional lighting fixtures or if new fixtures will have to be created.

The good news is that the bulbs have a life of 50,000 hours, use 70% less energy than incandescents and the prices will come down over time. The SoL R38 is $145 now and the Lotus Luminaires are $600 for a set, but both companies are working on cheaper manufacturing techniques. Also, with competition arriving in a few months from bigger manufacturers, the bulbs are likely to become more affordable.

RG&E launches Voice Your Choice campaign

Rochester Gas & Electric Corp. said today it is beginning this year's Voice Your Choice program under which customers are asked to choose an energy supplier and pricing plan for 2009.

The deadline for customers to choose is 7 p.m. Dec. 30.

The utility's electricity customers can select a particular energy supplier (either RG&E or some other energy services company) and energy pricing option (either a fixed or variable rate) for 2009.

Current RG&E customers who do not make a choice will automatically be put into the RG&E variable price option, where the electricity supply price moves as the market price for electricity changes.

Information about the energy service company options is available at www.rge.com, by calling (800) 743-8926 or in the Voice Your Choice enrollment material coming in the mail by Nov. 13.

RG&E has 360,000 electricity customers in a nine-county region around Rochester and the Finger Lakes.

ALBANY -- A geologist says the Marcellus shale region of the Appalachians could yield seven times as much natural gas as he earlier estimated, meaning it could meet the entire nation's natural gas needs for at least 14 years.

Penn State University geoscientist Terry Engelder said in a phone interview Monday that he now estimates 363 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be recovered over the next few decades from the 31-million-acre core area of the Marcellus region, which includes southern New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio.

Engelder and geologist Gary Lash of the State University of New York at Fredonia touched off a gas rush in the region last January with their study estimating that the Marcellus could yield as much as 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Geologists have long known about the existence of the Marcellus shale, but exploration there accelerated only recently when the price of natural gas rose high enough to make it economically feasible to use the advanced drilling techniques necessary to produce gas from the hard rock thousands of feet underground.

(Click to read the entire article)


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