April 10, 2008
These items are condensed from the GreenBiz newsletter, a twice-monthly newsletter covering the latest news in the green market of interest to the readers in the electrical industry.

These items are condensed from the GreenBiz newsletter, a twice-monthly newsletter covering the latest news in the green market of interest to the readers in the electrical industry.

Concerns over oil and gasoline prices, lucrative utlity rebates, the LEED certification program, green legislation and exciting new developments in R&D are creating new opportunities for the design, installation and sale of energy-efficient electrical products.

The newsletter is compiled by the editors of Electrical Marketing, Electrical Wholesaling and Electrical Construction & Maintenance. If you would like to subscribe to GreenBiz, go to

GE lights Beijing office tower

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), the New Poly Plaza in Beijing is recognized as one of the most innovative architectural designs in the world. The building incorporates 24 stories of office space built around an atrium nearly 300-feet tall.

The challenge for lighting designers was to enhance the magnificence of the building and ensure it would stand out as a distinct addition to the city’s nighttime landscape, while combining traditional Chinese culture and modern technology with energy-efficient lighting. Beijing Hao Er Sal Lighting Engineering Co., Ltd. chose GE Consumer & Industrial to help highlight the building’s yellow stone walls at the front of the building that form a “triumphal arch,” vertical stone layered windows, and an open brass curtain wall that represents the more traditional Chinese culture.

Luminaires with GE 400W and 1,000W Lucalox high-pressure sodium lamps highlight the “triumphal arch” of the yellow stone walls. The lamps are carefully aimed to minimize light pollution. In the center of the atrium is a “floating floor” approximately 30 feet above the ground. The lighting on the floor creates the look of a massive traditional Chinese red lamp. This lighting project is among several recognized during the 2006 GE Edison Awards held in May 2007.

Algae as a fuel? Not a tall tale in Texas

PetroSun, Scottsdale, Ariz., an energy company with interests in oil and gas exploration, biomass and waste-heat generation, recently opened an algae-to-biofuel facility in Rio Hondo, Texas.

According to a report on, the farm consists of 1,100 acres of saltwater ponds, of which all but 20 acres will be dedicated to producing biofuel from algae. The other 20 acres will be used to develop an experimental jet fuel. The facility is expected to produce 4.4 million gallons of algal oil, plus 110 million pounds of biomass a year.

Petrosun’s website says the company plans to establish algae farms and algal oil extraction plants in Louisiana, Texas, Arizona, Mexico and Central America during 2008. The algal oil product will be marketed as feedstock to existing biodiesel refiners and planned company owned refineries.

Wind provides 40 percent of all electrical power in Spain

Wind power is breaking new records in Spain, accounting for just over 40 percent of all electricity consumed during a brief period.

As heavy winds lashed Spain, wind parks generated 9,862 Mw of power — 40.8 percent of total consumption. Between Friday and Sunday wind power accounted for an average of 28 percent of all electricity demand in Spain. Spain’s wind power generation equaled that of hydropower for the first time in 2007.

In July, the government approved legislation that will allow offshore wind parks to be set up along the nation’s vast coastline in an effort to boost the use of renewable energy sources.

While more expensive than land-based wind farms, offshore wind parks can take advantage of stronger, steadier coastal breezes.