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The DOE Science News Source is a Newswise initiative to promote research news from the Office of Science of the DOE to the public and news media.
  • 2014-01-22 06:00:00
  • Article ID: 612662

Small Towns Team Up to Power Down

A new initiative on Maryland's Eastern Shore can be a model for helping smaller communities cut energy consumption and save money.

  • Credit: Photo Courtesy of CES.

    Green-energy advocates at the launch of ShorePower: CES director John Seidel, Salisbury City Council president Jacob Day, Maryland Energy Administration director Abigail Ross Hopper, Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Robert Summers, and CES energy programs manager Briggs Cunningham.

kmacintosh2@washcoll.edu

410-810-7408

Chestertown, Md., January 20, 2014—The Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College has launched a partnership with four towns on Maryland’s rural Eastern Shore that can serve as a national model for helping small communities make big reductions in energy consumption.

The ShorePower Project aims to replicate in other county seats the success CES achieved with a pilot project in Chestertown, Md. Between 2008 and 2011, Chestertown’s electricity consumption dropped by roughly 300,000-kilowatt hours per year. This amounted to a greater than 11 percent decrease and an avoidance of more than $130,000 annually in costs. It also constituted an overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 200 tons per year.

In the first year of the ShorePower Project, staff will work with the partner towns of Cambridge, Easton, Salisbury and Snow Hill. Partnerships with other county seats on the Eastern Shore will be forged in the second year.

ShorePower is funded by a $150,000 grant from Easton-based Town Creek Foundation. Established in 1981 by retired printing industry executive Edmund “Ted” Stanley, Town Creek Foundation is a private philanthropic foundation dedicated to a sustainable environment.

The ShorePower Project is being led by Briggs Cunningham, Energy Programs Manager at CES, and Mary Yates, recently hired as ShorePower Project Coordinator. In shaping the program, the two have consulted closely with officials from the Maryland Energy Administration, the Maryland Department of the Environment, and the Maryland Municipal League. Going forward, they will work with agencies and vendors to inventory each municipality’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, develop recommendations for achieving energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and build capacity for ongoing tracking and evaluation. A 15-member ShorePower Advisory Board, drawn largely from regional experts in environmental science and policy, will help oversee the project.

The ShorePower Project was officially kicked off January 17 at an event at the Tidewater Inn in Easton. Speakers included partners from the project plus Abigail Hopper, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), and Robert Summers, Secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.

John Seidel, Director of the Center for Environment & Society, explained how ShorePower fits perfectly into the Center’s mission. “We are not an advocacy group,” he said. “Our mission is to bring different parties together to deal with complicated environmental problems. We provide information and suggest solutions, but we know that any actions and decisions are up to the people in each community.”

MEA director Hopper updated the audience on the state’s goals and progress to date. “Local communities making big changes like the ones we expect to see from the ShorePower project can have a big impact,” she said. “My office looks forward to working with these four towns as they work to measure and change the way they consume energy and to incorporate more renewable sources.”

Secretary Summers used the event to outline the challenges that climate change and a growing appetite for cheap, clean energy are bringing to Maryland. He reviewed ways Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration, through its Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020 (starting with 2006 levels). He also thanked the Town Creek Foundation for its support of ShorePower. “We would like to see this project spread not only up and down the Shore, but to the west as well,” he added.

For more information on the ShorePower Project, please contact Briggs Cunningham at 410.810.7174 or bcunningham3@washcoll.edu.

The Center for Environment & Society (CES) at Washington College was founded in 1999 to promote interdisciplinary learning, research and exemplary stewardship of natural and cultural resources. The Center’s educational resources include a Geographic Information Systems lab, a public archaeology lab, two research vessels, and the 5,000-acre Chester River Field Research Station.

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Microbe Mystery Solved: What Happened to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Plume

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 is one of the most studied spills in history, yet scientists haven't agreed on the role of microbes in eating up the oil. Now a research team at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has identified all of the principal oil-degrading bacteria as well as their mechanisms for chewing up the many different components that make up the released crude oil.

New Class of 'Soft' Semiconductors Could Transform HD Displays

New research by Berkeley Lab scientists could help usher in a new generation of high-definition displays, optoelectronic devices, photodetectors, and more. They have shown that a class of "soft" semiconductors can be used to emit multiple, bright colors from a single nanowire at resolutions as small as 500 nanometers. The work could challenge quantum dot displays that rely upon traditional semiconductor nanocrystals to emit light.

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A new strategy for sending acoustic waves through water could potentially open up the world of high-speed communications to divers, marine research vessels, remote ocean monitors, deep sea robots, and submarines. By taking advantage of the dynamic rotation generated as the acoustic wave travels, also known as its orbital angular momentum, Berkeley Lab researchers were able to pack more channels onto a single frequency, effectively increasing the amount of information capable of being transmitted.

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Researchers created an atomically thin material at Berkeley Lab and used X-rays to measure its exotic and durable properties that make it a promising candidate for a budding branch of electronics known as "spintronics."

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Scientists at Berkeley Lab and Michigan State University are providing the clearest view yet of an intact bacterial microcompartment, revealing at atomic-level resolution the structure and assembly of the organelle's protein shell. This work can help provide important information for research in bioenergy, pathogenesis, and biotechnology.


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The Electrochemical Society and Toyota North America Announce 2017-2018 Fellowship Winners for Projects in Green Energy Technology

The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship Selection Committee has chosen three winners who will receive $50,000 fellowship awards each for projects in green energy technology. The awardees are Dr. Ahmet Kusoglu, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Professor Julie Renner, Case Western Reserve University; and Professor Shuhui Sun, Institut National de la Rechersche Scientifique (INRS).

Chicago Quantum Exchange to Create Technologically Transformative Ecosystem

The University of Chicago is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to launch an intellectual hub for advancing academic, industrial and governmental efforts in the science and engineering of quantum information.

Department of Energy Awards Six Research Contracts Totaling $258 Million to Accelerate U.S. Supercomputing Technology

Today U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that six leading U.S. technology companies will receive funding from the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward program, accelerating the research necessary to deploy the nation's first exascale supercomputers.

Cynthia Jenks Named Director of Argonne's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division

Argonne has named Cynthia Jenks the next director of the laboratory's Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. Jenks currently serves as the assistant director for scientific planning and the director of the Chemical and Biological Sciences Division at Ames Laboratory.

Argonne-Developed Technology for Producing Graphene Wins TechConnect National Innovation Award

A method that significantly cuts the time and cost needed to grow graphene has won a 2017 TechConnect National Innovation Award. This is the second year in a row that a team at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials has received this award.

Honeywell UOP and Argonne Seek Research Collaborations in Catalysis Under Technologist in Residence Program

Researchers at Argonne are collaborating with Honeywell UOP scientists to explore innovative energy and chemicals production.

Follow the Fantastic Voyage of the ICARUS Neutrino Detector

The ICARUS neutrino detector, born at Gran Sasso National Lab in Italy and refurbished at CERN, will make its way across the sea to Fermilab this summer. Follow along using an interactive map online.

JSA Awards Graduate Fellowships for Research at Jefferson Lab

Jefferson Sciences Associates announced today the award of eight JSA/Jefferson Lab graduate fellowships. The doctoral students will use the fellowships to support their advanced studies at their universities and conduct research at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) - a U.S. Department of Energy nuclear physics laboratory managed and operated by JSA, a joint venture between SURA and PAE Applied Technologies.

Muon Magnet's Moment Has Arrived

On May 31, the 50-foot-wide superconducting electromagnet at the center of the Muon g-2 experiment saw its first beam of muon particles from Fermilab's accelerators, kicking off a three-year effort to measure just what happens to those particles when placed in a stunningly precise magnetic field. The answer could rewrite scientists' picture of the universe and how it works.

Seven Small Businesses to Collaborate with Argonne to Solve Technical Challenges

Seven small businesses have been selected to collaborate with researchers at Argonne to address technical challenges as part of DOE's Small Business Vouchers Program.


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New Class of Porous Materials Better Separates Carbon Dioxide from Other Gases

Enhanced stability in the presence of water could help reduce smokestack emissions of greenhouse gases.

Manipulating Earth-Abundant Materials to Harness the Sun's Energy

New material based on common iron ore can help turn intermittent sunlight and water into long-lasting fuel.

Oxygen: The Jekyll and Hyde of Biofuels

Scientists are devising ways to protect plants, biofuels and, ultimately, the atmosphere itself from damage caused by an element that sustains life on earth.

The Rise of Giant Viruses

Research reveals that giant viruses acquire genes piecemeal from others, with implications for bioenergy production and environmental cleanup.

Grasses: The Secrets Behind Their Success

Researchers find a grass gene affecting how plants manage water and carbon dioxide that could be useful to growing biofuel crops on marginal land.

New Perspectives Into Arctic Cloud Phases

Teamwork provides insight into complicated cloud processes that are important to potential environmental changes in the Arctic.

Mountaintop Plants and Soils to Become Out of Sync

Plants and soil microbes may be altered by climate warming at different rates and in different ways, meaning vital nutrient patterns could be misaligned.

If a Tree Falls in the Amazon

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Department of Energy Awards Six Research Contracts Totaling $258 Million to Accelerate U.S. Supercomputing Technology

Today U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced that six leading U.S. technology companies will receive funding from the Department of Energy's Exascale Computing Project (ECP) as part of its new PathForward program, accelerating the research necessary to deploy the nation's first exascale supercomputers.


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