In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • French sensor tech company eLichens introduces its new indoor air quality monitoring station at CES.
  • Eight new solar farms come online in Michigan.
  • UnderstandSolar is a free service that links you to top-rated solar installers in your region for personalized solar estimates. Tesla now offers price matching, so it’s important to shop for the best quotes. Click here to learn more and get your quotes. — *ad.

Indoor air quality

As the world gradually transitions from fossil fuels to green energy, it’s important that we monitor our air quality for the foreseeable future in order to protect our health. For example, Electrek reported last year that air pollution increases COVID-19 deaths.

Grenoble, France-headquartered sensor tech company eLichens has just introduced eLsi (pictured above) at CES 2021. It’s a battery operated indoor air quality monitoring station. It measures and provides highly accurate real-time indoor air quality data. It can also be used for HVAC control and as part of building management systems.

eLsi comes with a dedicated dashboard and a mobile application available on Android/iOS. The application allows users to see real-time data and history per pollutant, and alerts in case of unhealthy air detection. It has a 3.5-inch touchscreen and LED status indicator, online data storage and a building management dashboard, and outdoor air quality data. It even gives you instruction to improve your air quality, such as “open your windows.”

Its gas sensors measure:

  • Carbon dioxide
  • Particulate matter 1.0/2.5/10
  • Total volatile organic compounds
  • Temperature
  • Humidity and pressure
  • Light exposition
  • Ambient noise
  • Ambient light

eLsi is a standout product because it’s an all-in-one solution, it consumes low amounts of power, and it features high data accuracy. It’s brand new, so the price is not yet listed; just that it’s “coming soon.”

Michigan solar surge

Eight solar projects producing up to 16 megawatts – 2 megawatts each – have just come online in mid-Michigan’s Genesee and Saginaw counties. Five are in Genesee, and three are in Saginaw. Each have 20-year agreements to supply energy to public utility Consumers Energy, which provides electricity to 6.7 million of Michigan’s 10 million residents.

US solar farm developer Pine Gate Renewables, headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, built all eight sites and will operate them. The solar farms are owned by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. The eight solar farms include a total of 56,313 solar panels and around 240 local workers worked on them during construction.

Pine Gate Renewables CEO Ben Catt said:

We’re excited to be a part of developing renewable energy in Michigan. Each solar project provides tax revenue, jobs, and clean energy to the local communities.

Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan intends to eliminate coal, reach net-zero carbon emissions, and meet 90% of customers’ energy needs through clean sources like green energy, energy waste reduction, and energy storage.

Consumers Energy has agreements to purchase energy from six additional Kayne Anderson solar projects elsewhere in Michigan that are scheduled to begin operating this month.

To date, solar has not played a major part in Michigan’s power makeup, but that looks set to shift. “In 2019, renewable resources provided more than 8% of Michigan’s electricity net generation, with 60% of that provided by wind. Michigan ranks 15th among the states in wind-powered electricity generation,” according to the EIA.

Photo: eLichens

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