Energy Roundup: Duke Energy's Solar Gambit, Sentilla Gets Funding, and More

Last Updated Jan 7, 2009 6:16 PM EST

Duke Energy can buy cheap power, can't recover rest of cost -- The Carolinas subsidiary of Duke Energy will be allowed to install 10 megawatts of photovoltaic systems at hundreds of homes, schools and commercial and industrial buildings -- and to purchase the electricity cheaper than if the company owned the systems itself. But the company cannot recoup the $50 million price tag for the project by increasing rates, regulators have decided. This may set a nationwide precedent. [Source: Earth2Tech]

Energy-management startup raises $7.5 million -- Redwood City, Calif.-based energy-management startup Sentilla announced it raised $7.5 million in second round venture funding. The company said the money will go to developing its wireless sensor network and expanding its operations. Sentilla is developing sensor networks that aim to help commercial and industrial sites save on energy costs by tracking the power use of individual pieces of equipment. [Source: Earth2Tech]

EU says Russia and Ukraine will use gas monitors -- International monitors will verify the transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine's pipelines to EU countries. Moscow shut off all gas supplies through Ukraine on Jan. 1 over an ostensible billing dispute. Roughly 80 percent of Russian gas destined for Europe goes through the Ukraine. [Source: Washington Post]

Environmental groups threaten to sue federal government over oil shale -- Conservation groups threatened to sue the federal government to block plans for commercial oil-shale development on almost two million acres of public land in three western states. Twelve groups sent letters yesterday to the Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management saying they will seek legal reprisal unless potential impact on endangered species in regions of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming are addressed. The shale deposits are estimated to hold more than one trillion barrels of oil, about 800 billion of which appear recoverable. [Source: AP]

Solar-power farm may produce energy cheaper than conventionally -- Sempra Generation has opened a 10-megawatt solar farm in Nevada that may produce energy at 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour, less than the 9-cent standard for conventional electricity. The plant can likely only light 6,400 homes. [Source: Winston Salem-Journal]