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Hydrogen power plant in works

Albuquerque, N.M. – A New Mexico-based energy technology company announced plans Wednesday to develop in southern New Mexico what it calls the world’s first utility-scale, zero-emissions hydrogen power plant.

Jetstream Wind Inc. officials said the $219 million plant would use electricity from wind, solar and other renewable energy sources to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen would then be burned in a turbine – similar to those used by natural gas-fired power plants – to generate enough electricity to power about 6,000 homes and businesses.

The 10-megwatt plant also would be capable of capturing and storing oxygen in liquid and gaseous forms for use in the medical field or other secondary markets.

“Basically, it’s a scaled-up model of eighth-grade science,” Jetstream Wind CEO Henry Herman said.

Wal-Mart has eco-rating plans

New York – Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, plans to demand that all its suppliers measure the environmental cost of making their products so Wal-Mart can calculate and post an eco-rating for each item.

The ambitious program, to be announced today, is likely to spur companies to redesign products from electronics to jeans, but it presents still more costs to contain as they pinch pennies to tackle the recession.

Shoppers won’t see green ratings on products for several years, according to a researcher involved in developing the index Wal-Mart will apply.

Gannett posts profit

McLean, Va. – Gannett – the nation’s largest publisher of newspapers, including USA Today – said Wednesday that it posted a $70.5 million profit in the second quarter, compared with a loss last year, despite a continue slide in advertising revenue.

The results were better than analysts had expected and sent Gannett stock soaring; it closed up 29 percent, to $4.50 per share. The profit came from cost-cutting, not growth.

“The decline in our operating expenses reflects our efforts to achieve efficiencies and further consolidations company-wide, furloughs in the current quarter and significantly lower newsprint expense,” chief financial officer Gracia Martore said in a statement.

Although the report showed Gannett’s revenue continuing to slide in the last quarter, its executives indicated advertisers are gradually spending a little more money on newspapers.

“Things are getting less bad,” said Benchmark Co. analyst Edward Atorino.


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