Friday, September 18, 2009

Drilling Ahead by Heartland Energy Colorado

Once the drill stem is back in the hole, the bit drills out the cement remaining in the lower part of the casing. It also drills out the guide shoe and begins drilling into the formation below the casing. From this point, the rig and crew may drill the hole to a formation that contains oil and gass. Or the crew of Heartland Energy Colorado may drill the hole to a formation that contains oil an gas. Or they may drill to another predetermined depth and temporarily shopt. Whether they drill to final depth below the surface casing or to an intermediate depth depends on the nature of the formation the bit drills.

Some wells, especially deep ones, usually encounter formations that are easily controlled by using a suitable drilling fluid. Later, however, as the borehole drills into a deeper oil and gas formation, the drilling fluid used to control the upper zones by Heartland energy Colorado is not suitable for the prodcutive formation. The drilling fluid could damage the producing zones so badlythat the operator could not withdraw the hydrocarbons from the zone. To avoid such a pitfall, the team at Heartland Energy Colorado plans the well to be drilled to an intermediate depth above the pay zone. The drilling crew of Heartland Energy Colorado uses drilling fluid formulated to control the formations to the intermediate depth. Then, they stop drilling, come out of the holeand run cement casing. The caseing and cement then seal off the intermediate part of the hole so that the fomrations neither affect nor are affected by subsequent drilling operations by Heartland Energy Colorado.

When Heartland Energy Colorado drills the part of the hole below the surface casing, cewr members propablys wn't make connections as frequently as they did when drilling the surface hole. Deeper formatios tend to be ahrd and drililng is thus slower. Usually, as tom point and time, the bit dulls and the crew of Heartland Energy Colorado have to replace it. To ddo so, they make a round trip, They trip out the dull bid and drill string and install the new bit. Then they trip in the new bit, the drill collars, and the drill pipe and resume drilling. Several round trips may be necessary before the hole reaches an intermediate or final depth.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Xcel SubmitsPlan to Rev Up Renewables

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado - written by Art Mass

Colorado’s largest utility submitted its plan late yesterday to the State Public Utilities Commission outlining steps to increase its production of renewable energy.

The proposal details how Xcel will adjust its energy mix away from coal-fired power production and more toward “green” energy production. The company says it wants to add roughly 980 megawatts of solar and wind power by 2015 and cut carbon emissions by 10 percent. The plan stems from bids Xcel requested for proposals to generate the power the utility will need to serve customers through 2015.

Provisions include:
• Retiring two coal-fired generating units at Xcel’s Cameo Generating Station near Grand Junction by the end of next year and two coal units at Denver’s Arapahoe Generating Station by 2014.
• Adding about 700 megawatts of wind and solar photovoltaic generating capacity and 280 megawatts of “new solar technology.”
• Continued access to about 900 megawatts of existing natural gas-fired resources.

Should the plan be accepted by the Colorado PUC, it would reduce Xcel’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 10 percent from current levels, according to the company.
Xcel said its proposal exceeds the targets set by the PUC in December for renewable-energy production.

“The plan that we filed with the commission puts us well on target to meet the state’s climate action plan,” Tim Taylor, president and CEO for Public Service Co. of Colorado, Xcel’s Colorado unit, said in a statement late Monday. “We believe our resource plan will keep us as one of the leading providers of renewable energy resources – currently ranked as the No. 1 wind provider in the U.S. and the No. 4 solar energy producer.”

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Wind Turbine Company movingo to Denver

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado - Reported by Art Mass

Lured by tax credits and Colorado’s renewable-energy programs, a major wind turbine manufacturer is relocating its headquarters from Portland to Denver. The offical announcement will be made by RePower USA Corp at a 2PM news conference today at the Capitol, with the Governor and Mayor Hickenlooper in attendance.

The company, a subsidiary of German wind-turbine maker RePower Systems AG, is the second business to take advantage of a new job-creation program that gives relocating companies tax credits.The tax credit program became active this month and grants a 3.8 percent state income-tax credit for up to five years to companies that select Colorado over competitors and create at least 20 jobs. RePower will bring with it 25 jobs and is committed to more than tripling that number, according to Evan Dreyer, a spokesman for Ritter. He said the tax credit could be worth as much as $700,000.

Steve Dayney, CEO of REpower USA Corp, said, “Since 2007, we have managed our U.S. wind energy business from a Portland, OR office located near our initial projects in California, Oregon and Washington. Today we are seeing our business grow rapidly to other regions of the U.S.”
All administrative, sales and project management functions will take place in the new Denver headquarters, according to RePower USA. Founded in 2001, the company sells and installs turbines manufactured by its parent firm, with rated outputs between 2 and 6.15 megawatts. RePower Systems AG is the third-largest wind-turbine producer in Germany and reported first quarter fiscal 2009 sales of $428 million, an increase of 30% from the same quarter last year.
RePower has installed 300 wind turbines in the United States with the capacity to generate 600 megawatts of electricity, Dreyer said.

“The company was also attracted to Colorado by the market potential here and the fact that the state is doing a lot with renewable energy.”

Colorado Energy Company: Heartland Energy Colorado

A look at Life on an offshore Oil Rig

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

More on Oil Rigs Heartland Energy Colorado

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Normal Drilling Operations (part 1)

Submitted by: John Schiffner

A rig has a lot of equipment, and crew members have to put this equipment to work to drill a well. This section covers normal drilling operations. For our purposes, normal drilling operations include:
(1) drilling the hole
(2) adding a new joint of pipe as the hole deepens
(3) tripping the drill string out the hole to put on a new bit and running it back to bottom, or making a round trip
(4) running and cementing casing, the large diameter steel pipe that crew members put into the hole at various, predetermined intervals.

Usually, operating companies, such as Heartland Energy Colorado, hire a special casing crew to run the casing and they engage the services of a cementing company to place the cement around the casing. Nevertheless, the rig crew usually assists in running casing and cementing it in the wall.

Drilling the Surface Hole
To begin, assume the rig crew is ready to begin drilling the first part of the hole. In our case, let's suppose that the rat hole crew prepared the initial 50 feet of the hole. They drilled the lined it with conductor pipe as described in the section on preparing the drilling site. The diameter of the conductor pipe varies, and its diameter depends on many factors but it is usually large. In our case, let's assume it is 20 inches. Therefore, the fist bit the crew of Heartland Energy Colorado drills into the conductor pipe will have to be smaller than 20 inches. In this case, lets say they are using a 17 1/2 inch bit.

They make up this bit on the end of the first drill collar, and they lower both bit and drill collar into the conductor hole. They make up enough collars and drill pipe to lower the bit to bottom. On a rig using a rotary table and kelly, the driller then picks up the kelly out of the rathole where it has been waiting. Crew members of Heartland Energy Colorado then stab and make up the kelly onto the topmost joint of drill pipe sticking up out of the rotary table. The slips suspend this joint (and the entire drill string) into the rotary table.

Once Heartland Energy Colorado gets the kelly made up, the driller then starts the mud pump, lowers the kelly drive bushing to engage the master bushing. The driller actuates the rotary table to begin rotating the drill stem and bit. The driller gradually releases the draw works brake, and rotating bit touches bottom and begins making the hole.

The sequence with a top drive is much the same as with a rotary table and kelly. The crew stabs and makes up the last join of drill pipe onto the drive stem of the top drive. The driller then starts the motor in the top drive to rotate the string and bit, begins circulating mud, and lowers the assembly to bottom.

With both a top drive and a rotary table system, using an instrument called the "weight indicator" the driller monitors the amount of weight put on the bit by the drill collars. After the bit drills about 30 feet, which is typically the length of a join of drill pipe, crew members must add a new joint of pipe to drill deeper. On rigs with a rotary table, crew members say that the "kelly is drilling down" meaning that the bit has made enough hole so that the top of kelly is very near the kelly drive bushing .

With the kelly drilled down, the driller stops rotating picks up the drill string and stop the mud pump. The floor hands are ready to make a connection - that is, they are ready to add a new joint of drill pipe to the drill string so that the bit can drill another 30 feet or so down.

To make a connection on a rig with a rotary table and kelly, the driller or Heartland Energy Colorado picks up the drill string high enough for the kelly to clear the rotary table - that is the driller uses the draw works to hoist the traveling block, hook, and swivel up into the derrick or mast so that the first joint of drill pipe is exposed in the opening in the rotary table.

Read: John Shiffner's Blog

Friday, August 7, 2009

Drilling Operations: Fishing & Well Control

Article submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

For our purposes special drilling operations include directional drilling, fishing, and well control. Directional drilling is intentially drilling the hole off-vertical for various reasons. Fishing is the operation crew members implement to retrieve an object in the wellbore that doesn't belong there and impedes drilling. Well control is the techniques crew members use to regain control of the well should formation fluids inadvertantely enter the well.

A fish is a piece of equipment, a tool, or a part of the drill string that the crew of Heartland Energy Colorado loses in a hole. Drilling personnel call small pieces, suh as a bit cone or a wrench "junk." Whenever junk or a fish exists in a hole, the crew has to remove it or fish it out otherwise they cannot continue to drill. Over the years, fishing crews have developed many ingenious tools and techniques to retrieve fish. For example, the crew can run an overshot into the hole to he fish. Crew members of Heartland Energy Colorado, make up the overshot on drill pipe and lower the overshot over the fish. Grapples in the overshot latch onto the fish firmly. Then the crew pulls the overshot and attached fish out of the hole.

Another fishing tool is a spear. Unlike an overshot, which the crew places over the fish, a spear then grips insde the fish and allows the crew to retrieve it. Other fishing tools include powerful magnets and baskets. The crew uses them to fish for junk. Since no two fishing jobs are alike, manufacturer and fishing experts have developed many other fishing tools to meet the unique needs of fishing crews.

Well Control
As mentioned earlier, one vital job drilling fluid should do is keep formation fluids from entering the wellbore. If enough formation fluids enter the wellbore, drilling personnel of Heartland Energy Colorado say that the well "kicks." A kick, if not recognized and properly handled, an lead to a blowout. A blowout can be a catastrophic event. In many cases, fluids in the blowout ignite and reduce the rig to a melted pile of junk.

Blowouts not only waste oil and gast but also threaten the lives of the crews working on the rig. Obviously drilling crews take a great deal of care not to allow blowouts, and in fact not too many occur at Heartland Energy Colorado. Because a blowout is a spectacular show and human lives are sometimes lost, a blowout often becomes a media event. Unfortunately, the impression may linger that blowouts are not the rarity they actually are. In fact, thousands of wells are drilled every year and very few of them blow out.

More on Heartland Energy Colorado | Colorado Energy News | Heartland Energy

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Xcel Energy Wants to Improve Efficiency of Data Centers

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

Written By Erin Mathe and CEN Staff

DENVER - Xcel Energy is introducing a new program designed to help Information Technology (IT) managers make energy efficiency a priority in their technology management strategy. The Data Center Efficiency program offers businesses cash rebates for commissioning a study to determine energy-saving measures and additional incentives for implementing the recommended changes.

Companies are facing huge growth rates in data storage, resulting in a 20 - 30 percent increase in energy consumption each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The agency also estimates that for every dollar spent on IT, companies spend 50 cents on related energy costs. By 2011, experts predict that businesses will spend as much on energy as they do on hardware.

“Whether managers are interested in demonstrating green business practices or simply want to save money on energy bills, efficiency is the best place to start,” said Xcel Energy program manager Ann Garbow. “Our studies can help identify energy saving opportunities in data center equipment, design and operational choices.”

The Data Center Efficiency program considers many things to reduce energy consumption:

♦ High-Efficiency Servers - Experts estimate that servers built to be focused on a more efficient power supply can be approximately 25 percent more efficient than the standard servers used today.

♦ Server Virtualization - Currently, the most common method for use of computer operating systems is to have one system per server. Virtualization software can consolidate several operating systems on one server (while making each system look like it’s still on its own unique server) at ratios as high as 30:1.

♦ Airflow Improvements - Proper placement of equipment and management of cable raceways can optimize airflow, reduce temperature hot spots in the data center, and reduce the cooling needed.

♦ High-Efficiency Cooling Equipment - Data centers, depending on their size, can obtain cooling from the overall building cooling plant, from dedicated computer room air conditioning systems, or both. Options exist for high-efficiency building cooling as well as new technologies for “in-rack” cooling of the data center server racks.

♦ High-Efficiency Lighting Equipment - Although lighting is generally a small portion of the total energy usage in the data center (around 5 percent), there is opportunity to install higher-efficiency lighting when retrofitting existing or designing new data centers.

♦ Humidity Controls - The key here is not to over control. Servers do not require tight humidity control and can be placed in rooms with relative high humidity without adverse effects. Ultrasonic humidification is the best option, as it uses less energy, requires less maintenance, and is better for the environment.

♦ Power Systems - Using efficient power supplies can save thousands of dollars per year, per server rack. Simply selecting a higher efficiency uninterruptable power supply (UPS) model can save tens of thousands.

Xcel Energy will fund a portion of the study and pay rebates as projects are completed. An approved third-party vendor will conduct an on-site energy evaluation and make recommendations on energy savings, help outline a business case for energy-efficiency investments and detail how to best run the data center at peak efficiency. The study also identifies energy savings, cost estimates and rebate amounts for bundled energy efficiency opportunities.

For those building a new data center at an existing facility, the study report will outline what implementation measures should be taken now to avoid costly retrofitting later. Cash rebates are earned after the energy-efficiency measures are implemented, offsetting the costs of capital improvements.

3 Minutes with Gov. Bill Ritter on Colorado's Energy Economy

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Development

Natural Gas Vehicle Program Unveiled by EnCana

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

In natural gas-rich Colorado, a major player raises awareness of NG as an alternative transportation fuel

By CEN Staff

DENVER – EnCana Oil & Gas (USA), Inc. announced on Monday the launch of its DRIVE NATURAL GAS VEHICLES (NGV) program.

EnCana says the program is designed to further reduce the company’s environmental footprint while building awareness of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the need for infrastructure to support the transition to natural gas vehicles.

Details of the program include converting several fleet vehicles to natural gas, purchasing natural gas- powered Honda Civic GX vehicles for employee use and embarking on a consumer- and industry-focused education campaign about natural gas as a transportation fuel.

“As one of the largest producers of natural gas in North America, we know natural gas has the potential to expand beyond our homes and offices and into our transportation system,” said Wendy Wiedenbeck, community relations advisor for EnCana. “We are committed to building awareness about domestic natural gas as a reliable, lower cost, environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuel.”

With air quality standards a top concern in all of its areas of operation, EnCana’s DRIVE NGV program reduces the emissions of its fleet vehicles by converting them to natural gas. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reports that converted vehicles produces 20 to 40 percent fewer greenhouse emissions than standard gasoline vehicles. EnCana has already converted four of its Ford F250 fleet vehicles in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin to run on bi-fuel natural gas and plans to convert the entire fleet of 52 vehicles by 2011.

“Companies like EnCana with large fleets are ideal candidates for conversion to natural gas,” said Wes Biggers of FuelTek Conversion Corporation. “While it is a large investment, the benefits are enormous. Not only are you reducing your environmental impact but you are looking at a significant reduction in fuel costs.”

EnCana is working in collaboration with its fellow operators, contractor companies, and natural gas transportation industry experts to encourage the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel. “One of the biggest barriers facing wide-scale adoption of natural gas vehicles is lack of infrastructure,” said Wiedenbeck. “Increasing support for the installation of new natural gas fueling infrastructure is a big part of our program.” To that end, EnCana is sponsoring multiple educational forums hosted by American Clean Cities. The first such forum is schedule for July 22 in Rifle, Colorado.

To provide employees access to natural gas vehicles, the company acquired eight Honda Civic GX vehicles, rated by the EPA as the cleanest vehicle on Earth. These vehicles are utilized across EnCana’s business units including four in Denver; one in Parachute, Colo.; two in Texas; and one for the Wyoming team’s use. Employees can reserve a natural gas vehicle either for business purposes or as a commuter vehicle. Before getting behind the wheel, employees must attend a training session to learn how DRIVE NGV program vehicles differ from traditional fuel vehicles (e.g. refueling) as well as the virtues of natural gas as a transportation fuel.

Colorado Energy Management - Project Development

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

What sets Colorado Energy Management's project development services apart? In addition to our ability to recognize opportunities and generate ideas to capitalize on them, we offer an end-to-end approach to project development that helps optimize plant performance. The reason is this: our involvement from conception through operation and maintenance means we're able to recognize and recommend ways to improve efficiency and address potential problems at all stages of plant development.
Consider an example. When Public Service Company of Colorado had a request for peaking power on-line in 2002, Colorado Energy Management responded with a low-investment/high return concept using a combination of new and used equipment. A used steam turbine/generator was located in Houston, quickly relocated to Eastern Colorado, and completely refurbished. Two new HRSG's were engineered to be a perfect match to existing simple-cycle gas turbines and the refurbished steam turbine. Today, Public Service Company has the ability to meet extreme demands, and CEM continues to operate this plant at over 98% availability, at designed capacity. Colorado Energy Management had the creativity and resourcefulness to make it possible within the budgetary constraints and timeframe that was available.

Editorial: Despite Economic Hard times, Colorado Has Energy Opportunities

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

By Mark Udall (originally published in the Durango Herald News,
March 16, 2009)

Plunging stocks, rising unemployment, mounting home
foreclosures and a broken credit market have made for the most
challenging economic crisis since the Great Depression. A
series of costly bailouts to keep our financial services and
automobile industries afloat has added to the anxiety we all feel.

Nothing is more important than getting our economy back on
track and doing it soon. In great crisis, however, there also
is great opportunity. Rebuilding long-neglected infrastructure
and investing in research, new technologies and sustainable
energy are part of what defines economic opportunity in the
21st century. Other countries know this. Europe in particular
is advancing public investment in solar, wind and geothermal
energy, not only because of energy security, but also because
these “green jobs” are the wave of the future.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies accounted for 9 million jobs in 2007. And as many as 37 million jobs could be created in the next two decades if we aggressively expand public and private investment today. These new “green economy” jobs reflect a significant economic trend that is exciting smart investors. That is why one of America’s premier oil entrepreneurs, T. Boone Pickens, has become an outspoken advocate for wind power. He knows that there is a lot of “green” (as in dollars) to be made in the green economy In Colorado, we have a head start in the global race to go green.

Starting with the passage of Amendment 37 five years ago, Colorado voters insisted that 10 percent of our power be generated with renewable energy. When I chaired that campaign with Republican Speaker of the House Lola Spradley, she often would remind me that the real promise of Amendment 37 was not environmental protection but economic development. She was right. Despite the naysayers, Amendment 37 boosted our economy and helped consumers.

Today, Colorado has pushed ahead of other states. We now are
moving toward a new goal of 20 percent renewable energy by
2020. Rapid growth in renewable energy and energy efficiency
industries, along with the presence of the National Renewable
Energy Laboratory in Colorado and our abundant sun and wind
resources, can combine to make our state not just the national
leader but the global leader in renewable energy research,
development and manufacturing.

This doesn’t mean the abandonment of coal, natural gas or
traditional energy development. Colorado is blessed with many
resources, and we should pursue a national energy strategy that
is as diverse as our resource inventory. A broad commitment to
invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies
will complement, not detract from, the responsible development
of these other resources.

After passing an economic recovery bill that has significant
new investments to create green economy jobs, the U.S. Senate
is moving to debate and pass a comprehensive energy bill that
should include legislation I championed in the U.S. House of
Representatives last year - legislation mandating that 20
percent of our nation’s electricity come from renewable
sources. This legislation is patterned from Colorado’s own
experience with Amendment 37 and will have the same effect of
increasing our energy independence, saving consumers money and
creating new jobs.

A comprehensive energy bill will add new authority for the
Obama administration to transform the nation’s electric grid -
the system used by utilities to carry and store power - into a
smarter and more efficient way to connect our communities,
factories and homes. More green jobs.

Energy is the thread in the fabric that is our economy. It is
the great umbrella issue that covers both our national security
and economic challenges. If we get our energy strategy right,
we can go a long way toward enhancing our defense and national
security. A smarter energy policy also will give us a ladder to
climb out of the current economic hole and create new wealth
and jobs that cannot be outsourced.

The clouds on our horizon may look dark and foreboding, but I
am confident Americans will see the storm through. That is
because the horizon also offers hope and reminds us that a new
day is coming. We can make Colorado’s economy stronger and
brighten the future for our children if we seize this new

Other Energy News Sources: Heartland Energy Colorado | Heartland Energy

Natural Gas: a 'Vital Part’ of Colorado's New Energy Economy

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

Gov. Bill Ritter offered Colorado’s natural gas industry his support Thursday in a speech on the last day of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association’s annual three-day conference.

“Natural gas is a vital part of the New Colorado Energy Economy,” Ritter told the crowd of about 2,000 people. “It is a permanent part of the New Energy Economy. It’s not a bridge fuel, not a transition fuel, but a mission-critical fuel.”

Ritter outlined his support for the industry on several fronts, listing the state’s expansion of tax credits for vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, and credits for converting vehicles to run on natural gas.

The Governor’s Colorado Energy Office is applying for a $10 million federal grant to expand the use of natural gas for transportation uses, he said.

Ritter also mentioned he’d urged the federal government to approve a new pipeline, called the Ruby pipeline, to carry natural gas from the Rocky Mountains to markets in California and the West Coast.

And he said he talked with U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Denver, about her proposal, introduced in Congress in June, to regulate the industry’s hydraulic fracturing process that frees natural gas from the ground. U.S. Rep. Jarid Polis from Boulder has signed on as a cosponsor.

Industry executives have said the process, sometimes called fraccing, is adequately regulated at the state level.

“I don’t for a moment discount the concerns of those who worry about the protection of drinking water supplies but I also believe that we have to understand the problems and risks before we act,” Ritter said at the COGA meeting.

“That’s why I encouraged Congresswoman DeGette to consider authorizing a comprehensive study of this issue instead of going directly to a new and potentially intrusive regulatory program. She agreed, at that time, to go instead to something that would be more in the way of a study instead of an amendment that would prescribe every state having to put in place these rules,” Ritter said, adding, “I thank the congresswoman for having done that.”

But DeGette’s spokesman, Kristofer Eisenla, asked about Ritter’s comment, said later Thursday that “all options are on the table” regarding the fraccing bill.

“She had a good conversation with the governor regarding this,” Eisenla said. “She understands his concerns, but she’s looking at all options to move the issue forward — including holding a hearing in her committee and doing a study. She welcomes the industry’s input on developing the study.”

Ritter’s comments drew applause and praise from industry executives, who have tussled with Ritter’s administration over the state’s new rules governing industry operations. The rules took effect April 1.

“I thought the governor’s comment that natural gas is a vital part of the New Energy Economy and a permanent fuel — not a bridge fuel — and a critical fuel for Energy Colorado and the nation is right on point,” said Peter Dea, president and CEO of private Cirque Resources LP in Denver.

Said Meg Collins, president of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association, “I’m pleased he came, and I’m pleased at the message that natural gas is mission-critical, and an integral part of the state’s and nation’s energy portfolio for the long term. The governor’s statements are going to put pressure on the Oil & Gas Commission to process [drilling] permits so we can continue to produce natural gas for the state and nation.”

One of the leading producers of natural gas in the state is Heartland Energy Colorado. The Governor's comments are good news for natural gas companies, and could mean the government support that the industry so needs. Especially with government incentives, companies like Heartland Energy Colorado will continue to produce natural gas and thrive.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Full Speed Ahead for Large Solar Projects in Colorado and the West

Article Source: Heartland Energy Colorado

LAS VEGAS – Under initiatives announced Monday by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), federal agencies will work with western leaders to designate tracts of U.S. public lands in the West as prime zones for utility-scale solar energy development, fund environmental studies, open new solar energy permitting offices and speed reviews of industry proposals.

The Interior Department is setting aside 676,048 acres for solar study zones, one of several steps it is taking to fast-track the development of solar energy on public lands. According to Interior Secretary Salazar, the federal actions will enable 13 commercial-scale solar plants to be under construction by the end of next year, creating 50,000 jobs.

“President Obama’s comprehensive energy strategy calls for rapid development of renewable energy, especially on America’s public lands,” said Secretary Salazar. “This environmentally-sensitive plan will identify appropriate Interior-managed lands that have excellent solar energy potential and limited conflicts with wildlife, other natural resources or land users. The two dozen areas we are evaluating could generate nearly 100,000 megawatts of solar electricity. With coordinated environmental studies, good land-use planning and zoning and priority processing, we can accelerate responsible solar energy production that will help build a clean-energy economy for the 21st century.”

“It’s about time to make the permitting process more efficient and provide greater guidance to solar developers,” Rhone Resch, president of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in a statement.
Under one initiative, 24 tracts of Bureau of Land Management-administered land located in six western states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, known as Solar Energy Study Areas, would be fully evaluated for their environmental and resource suitability for large-scale solar energy production. The objective is to provide landscape-scale planning and zoning for solar projects on BLM lands in the West, allowing a more efficient process for permitting and siting responsible solar development.

Nearly 21,000 acres in the San Luis Valley of Colorado are being set aside for solar projects that could generate up to 4,100 megawatts of electricity — equal to 10 medium-size coal-fired power plants, according to federal estimates.

The BLM and the Energy Department filed a notice now available on the Federal Register, announcing the availability of maps that show the areas to be analyzed in their joint programmatic environmental impact statement and soliciting public comment. The federal agency also it will continue processing existing renewable energy applications within and outside the zones while the broader environmental analyses take place. The agency will continue accepting applications, but any filed after June 30th will be subject to applicable decisions made from the environmental analysis.

Those areas selected would be available for projects capable of producing 10 or more megawatts of electricity for distribution to customers through the transmission grid system. Companies that propose projects on that scale in areas already approved for this type of development would be eligible for priority processing. The BLM may also decide to use alternative competitive or non-competitive procedures in processing new solar applications for these areas.

Currently BLM has received about 470 renewable energy project applications. Those include 158 active solar applications, covering 1.8 million acres, with a projected capacity to generate 97,000 megawatts of electricity. That’s enough to power 29 million homes, the equivalent of 29 percent of the nation’s household electrical consumption.

As part of this initiative, the BLM will segregate the study areas from new mining claims and other actions initiated by third parties under public land laws. This temporary 2-year segregation will give BLM time to complete its environmental review and make a determination on solar energy zones. It will not affect rights established prior to the temporary segregation. The public will have the opportunity to comment on these proposed solar energy study areas during the environmental reviews before any final decisions are made. The evaluation is expected to be completed in late 2010.

An ongoing federally-funded environmental evaluation of potential solar energy development on public lands in 6 Western States, known as the Solar Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, or PEIS, will be expanded to include an in-depth analysis of the potential impacts of utility-scale solar energy development on public lands in the 24 Solar Energy Study Areas. This enhancement will be supported by additional federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This expanded evaluation, a collaborative effort with the Department of Energy, will allow the Bureau of Land Management to take a close look at each study area to determine where it makes sense to develop large-scale solar projects in an environmentally responsible way. Colorado companies proposing solar energy projects in designated areas would be able to “tier” to this study, using it as part of their environmental impact studies for site-specific projects, which are required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

Reported by Ann Rascalli (Additional information on the BLM’s renewable energy program is available at

Heartland Energy Colorado | Home

Fort Collins doesn't make the green grade

Article Source: Heartland Energy Colorado

Colorado has plenty of room to grow in renewable energy. The Mother Nature Network doesn’t place any Colorado cities in the top 10 green U.S. cities blog. Fort Collins needs to ramp up FortZed and Boulder needs to roll out the smart grid faster if we are going to catch up with Austin or Portland, Oregon.

On the other hand, almost everything that puts Portland at the top of the list is also true in Fort Collins.

"The city of microbrewery mania and home to megastore Powell's Books — one of the few remaining independent booksellers in the country — is No. 1 in sustainability. Declared the most bikeable city in the United States for its 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes, Portland certainly makes forgoing gas-powered travel easy. And for lessons in DIY sustainable food sources, classes are available for container gardening and cheese making, or beekeeping and chicken keeping."

Replace Powell's with Old Firehouse Books and the paragraph could cover Fort Collins. Maybe you're not so trail-blazing, Portland.

The list is otherwise commendable for covering a broad variety of sustainability measures rather than focusing solely on energy or another specific criterion.

• Austin was cited for pledging to go carbon-neutral by next year. The whole city. There are 1.6 million people in the Austin metro area. Granted, the whole area won't go carbon-neutral, but some of the renewable energy and energy savings will have to bleed over into surrounding cities. And don't forget Austin gets painfully hot in the summer — and air conditioning takes a LOT of power.

• Chicago has developed and encouraged green roofs — tops of buildings that support vegetable gardens and other carbon-eating plants.

• Oakland, Calif., apparently has a there there, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein. Raider town plans to have zero waste and become oil independent by 2020. Step it up, Broncos fans.

Fore more articles on Colorado Energy: Heartland Energy Colorado | Heartland Energy

Colorado Getting $4.7M from Stimulus for Appliance Rebates

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

Colorado will get $4,739,253 in federal stimulus funds for a rebate program to promote the purchase of energy-efficient appliances.

The money -- to be distributed through the state -- will be paid to those who buy appliances rated under the federal "Energy Star" program, according to a joint announcement from Colorado's two U.S. senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet.

"The state will determine how to structure the rebate program," the senators' announcement said.

The appliance rebate program was authorized by Congress in 2005 but was not funded. The stimulus program -- formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- appropriated $300 million for the program.

Colorado and other states must tell federal officials by Oct. 15 how they plan to distribute the rebates in their own states, including which appliances will be covered, how large the rebates will be and how old appliances will be recycled. The states' initial application for the money is due Aug. 15.

Colorado Energy Management, LLC

Submitted by: Heartland Energy Colorado

Since the mid 80's, independent power producers have relied on the expertise held by Colorado Energy Management personnel in combined cycle, cogeneration, coal and gas-turbine technologies to help ensure the success of their businesses, and with good reason.

Over the years, our vision and creativity have enabled us to identify untapped opportunities in the power industry that others missed. Moreover, our extensive experience in the analysis, design, construction, refurbishment, relocation, operation and maintenance of a number of power plants across the United States has given us the depth of knowledge required to turn our innovative ideas into reality.

About Colorado Energy Management

Colorado Energy Management's enviable reputation is founded not only on our exceptional track record, but on the superior skills of our engineering, administrative, business, accounting and legal experts. Our team is comprised of some of the industry's best and brightest individuals. These specialists possess the experience to understand the unique needs of independent power producers - and the technical expertise to address them. Consequently, they have the proven ability to manage all facets of the development, operation and maintenance of a private power plant, including:

  • Creative project development
  • Expert engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services
  • Comprehensive owner's engineer services
  • Complete operations and maintenance services
  • Proven cost-effective major maintenance services
  • Professional project finance and administrative services
  • Innovative and proprietary technological advancements
As a result of our unsurpassed experience, staff and services, independent power producers can count on Colorado Energy Management to build, operate and maintain the cleanest, most efficient plant possible - whether fueled by coal, gas, wood, geothermal energy, wind or other resources.

Other Colorado Energy Companies: Heartland Energy Colorado |

Heartland Energy Colorado Video - Colorado Energy Company

Ritter Tops List as Nation’s “Greenest” Governor

Article Source: Heartland Energy Colorado

Greenopia, an online directory of eco-friendly retailers, services, and organizations, has released a “green” ranking of 50 United States governors. Topping the list is Col0rado’s own Bill Ritter followed closely by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. The entire ranking results are listed below.

The designation as the greenest Governor in the nation wraps up a notable month of June for Ritter, Colorado's Gov. Earlier he received the Father of the Year Award from the American Diabetes Association, and was profiled on the website during the month.

“We looked at all 50 governors in the US and compared their policies, transparency, and interest group ratings and ranked them. It was a monumental task,” said Doug Mazeffa, Greenopia’s director of research. “People want to know which Governors are the eco-leaders or laggards, and especially identify those making repeated eco-gaffes.”

Data for this study was collected from each governor’s own web pages and cross-checked against credible sites such as VoteSmart and OnTheIssues. Energy and emission data was collected from the Department of Energy and the environmental platform data for each political party was collected from either the DNC or RNC’s main site.

Greenopia says that as part of its mission to keep consumers (and voters) informed on issues of eco-friendly importance, the Greenest Governors project reveals which state governments are most dedicated to preserving the environment. The U.S. Constitution preserves the notion that America is a federation of sovereign states and legal powers not specifically granted to the federal government are retained by the states. This means that Governors and state legislatures hold significant sway over state-based green initiatives and policies.

“Over the past few years we have begun to see certain states emerging as environmental leaders,” remarked Gay Browne, Greenopia founder and CEO. “Those states enacting environmental laws stricter than federal guidelines have gone to greater lengths to protect the environment and to create more sustainable development, including green jobs.”

The Top Ten Greenest Governors

1. Bill Ritter of Colorado

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California

3. Ted Kulongowski of Oregon

4. Christine Gregoire of Washington state

5. John Baldacci of Maine

6. Martin O’Malley of Maryland

7. Bill Richardson of New Mexico

8. James Douglas of Vermont

9. Jon Corzine of New Jersey

10. Jodi Rell of Connecticut

Colorado Energy News Launches “Energy Leadership Series

Published by: Heartland Energy Colorado

The leading news and information hub for Colorado’s energy industry is providing overdue recognition to the organizations out in front on energy innovation and development in the state.

Basalt, CO (PRWEB) September 9, 2008 — Colorado is ground zero for energy development in the 21st century, and now the companies and organizations that are helping propel it forward will be recognized in a new Energy Leadership Series sponsored by Colorado Energy News. delivers the most comprehensive coverage of the business, politics and technology of the state’s rapidly growing energy industry, including the latest developments in oil and gas, renewables and power generation. The website includes streaming video channels with energy-specific content, including Going Green, Pain at the Pump and Bloomberg Energy News.

“From traditional oil and gas developers on the Western Slope to new solar and wind power projects along the Front Range, Colorado-based companies are creating thousands of jobs and contributing to the state’s emerging position as a leader in both traditional and new energy markets,” says Executive Editor, David Hill.

Natural gas development has become a major energy driver in the Rocky Mountains and Colorado in particular. Piceance Basin in the western part of the state is one of the largest gas fields in the country, fits in perfectly with T. Boone Pickens’ ambitious plan to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. With the state’s boom in gas production has come public policy and environmental issues, which visitors to can read about daily. The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission is addressing many of these issues by developing new rules for oil and gas operations in the state, scheduled to become law this fall.

Another important story reported in Colorado Energy News is the Ritter Administration’s drive to attract renewable energy investment, which is paying off with companies, such as Swedish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, constructing new facilities along the Front Range and adding hundreds of jobs. “Colorado should be a model for the world and the U.S. of what can be done in a state when everyone teams up to push for clean energy,” says Roby Roberts, senior vice president of external relations for Vestas America.

State law requiring large utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from solar, wind or biomass sources by 2020 is another key factor propelling Colorado’s new energy economy. Xcel Energy, the state’s largest utility company supplying more than 70 percent of the electricity, appears on track to meet the target with several years to spare.

Adding to a highly favorable environment for energy development is Colorado’s rich academic tradition. The state is home to several prominent energy-related education and research institutions, including the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden; the Colorado School of Mines; Colorado State University, which has a major alternative energy curriculum; and Colorado University in Boulder.

“With our Energy Leadership Series, Colorado Energy News is shining the spotlight on those organizations making a difference in our economy and quality of life,” explains Hill.

“As Colorado goes, so goes the nation. It is an exciting time to be involved with energy and we look forward to sharing with our readers the cutting edge companies that are helping Colorado lead the way in energy solutions.”

National Association of Drilling Contractors Video

Heartland Energy Colorado - Colorado Energy Company

Article Source: Heartland Energy Colorado

Heartland Energy Development Corporation out of Englewood, Colorado is a privately held oil and gas producer with an experienced team of management and industry expertise who specialize in developing domestic gas and oil fields. With properties all over the Unites States, Heartland Energy Colorado is a leading producer of natural gas and hydrocarbon based fuels.

For more than 15 years, the Heartland Energy Development Corp. has innovated technologies and led the oil and gas production and development industry in many ways. Thanks to the Company’s unique management style, long-term approach to resource development, and investments in both great technology and smart personnel, it has grown from a spitfire natural gas and propane seller into a a national powerhouse.

For more information on Heartland Energy Colorado, check out: Heartland Energy Colorado