Camarillo Solar Plant grows
SolarWorld Industries America will invest over $20 million this year in its new Camarillo solar energy production plant, the company announced in June 25.
A worldwide solar energy provider, SolarWorld acquired Shell Solar in 2006. The manufacturer of silicon solar wafers and cells is currently expanding and upgrading its Camarillo production site.
Over the coming months, manufacturing will be transferred from old machines to new, higher performance machines at the site. In the past few weeks, the first machines for the higher speed solar module line were installed, including automated precision robots, the release said.
The new machines will increase module production capacity in Camarillo from 35 to 100 megawatts per year, according to release.
SolarWorld said it will use the building that previously housed the module assembly line for expanding its warehouse and shipping capabilities.
Academy students accepted
Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-Simi Valley) announced that 18 students from the 24th Congressional District have been accepted to US military academies, a press release issued June 22 said.
The students represent 11 high schools in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, plus one who was home schooled. All of them appeared before Gallegly’s military academy nomination board. Fifteen were nominated by Gallegly, while three received their nominations elsewhere with Gallegly’s assistance, the press release said.
“I thank the hard-working nomination board, under the direction of Col. Moriarity, for selecting the best and the brightest for our military academies,” Gallegly said.
Accepted applicants are: Andrew Buttitta (Thousand Oaks High School), Ryan Campbell (Westlake High School), Robert Geiger (Santa Ynez High School), Bryan Koenig (Royal High School), Justin Landseadel (Oaks Christian School), Derrick Luken, (Lompoc High School), Randolph Mann (Camarillo High School), Kyle Nelson (Moorpark High School), Eric Kanney (Thousand Oaks High School), Jeff Senning (Foothill Technology High School), Robert Wolfe (Oaks Christian School), Travis Zahnow (Royal High School), Nichk Firestone (Cate School), Logan Hershman (Thousand Oaks High School), Josh Ziska (Oaks Christian School), John Peterson (Bridgton Academy), William Short (home schooled), and Lindsay Watkins (Foothill Technology High School).
Officials Call for Air Control
At a meeting held June 22, elected officials from Southern California made a case to the California Air Resources Board, urging them to take immediate action on the Southern California portion of the state’s Clean Air Plan, a press release from the Southern California Association of Governments said.
The officials called upon policymakers to take emergency actions to reduce emissions that are associated with the region’s shipping and transportation of goods.
“We are in the midst of a very serious air quality crisis in Southern California, and further delays by the state will only exacerbate the situation,” said San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, who is also a Board member for the Air Quality Management District (AQMD).
The AQMD oversees air quality policy for parts of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties and all of Orange County. It is facing challenges in meeting federal standards for ozone and fine particulate matter, one of the primary pollutants associated with diesel emissions, the press release said.
Earlier this month, AQMD adopted its South Coast Air Quality Management Plan and submitted it to the Air Resources Board, but the state agency delayed consideration of the plan until October, according to the press release.
New LNG app complete
Barely a month after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger closed the door on BHP Billiton’s contentious plan to build the Cabrillo Port liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility 14 miles off the Oxnard Coast, another proposed LNG facility has moved one step closer to fruition.
NorthernStar Natural Gas’ proposed Clearwater Port facility now starts the timeline for a state environmental quality act review. In a May 23 letter, The California State Lands Commission informed Billy Owens, Clearwater Port’s project manager, that its application has been deemed complete. The letter was also sent to a United States Coast Guard and Maritime Administration officials and the consultant preparing Clearwater’s environmental impact report and statement (EIS/EIR). It also detailed areas where more information and clarification will be necessary for the EIS/EIR.
If the project is approved, Clearwater Port would convert an oil platform currently owned by Carpinteria-based Venoco, Inc. into an LNG receiving terminal. The gas would then be heated and transported through existing pipelines to the state’s natural gas infrastructure. Backers of the project have characterized the project as more responsive to environmental concerns than BHP Billiton and a better option for gas consumers because gas suppliers would have to compete for access to the terminal.