Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 2 September 2014

GM Creates Green Construction Blueprint, Takes Program Global
Facilities in Europe take cue from United States and roll out green construction programs to benefit the environment.

August 25, 2014 - Since launching General Motor’s Green Construction program in 2012, all of our U.S. construction sites follow strict environmental requirements throughout the demolition, build and renovation processes. In fact, since 2009, GM has announced almost $11 billion of investments in U.S. facilities, all of which involve plant refurbishments.

The program helps facility teams and partners reduce construction debris weight per project by 90 percent through recycling and reuse. It also helps manage indoor air quality by reducing airborne particles and reducing onsite energy use through rechargeable battery-powered equipment.

Given the program’s success, we created a blueprint and shared the process with our colleagues around the world. The result: a couple of facilities in Russia and Europe are starting their own pilot programs. read more>>>

The challenge of local content examined: a Spanish solution in South Africa
Aug. 11, 2014 - Spanish engineering, procurement and construction companies’ long track record in the concentrated solar power (CSP) sector provides them with a distinctive advantage to develop large-scale projects around the world. In addition, it gives them a competitive edge when addressing challenges that are particular to these developments.

Our most recent article: “The challenge of local content examined, a Spanish solution in South Africa” explores the obstacles arising from the local content requirements established by the South African government to develop CSP projects and the experience of Spanish and local investors on the ground. read more>>>

Bringing stability to the Grid: AES Energy storage angamos Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) - Case Study
Aug. 12, 2014 - Opportunity

In 2011, AES Gener, in cooperation with its subsidiary Empresa Electrica Angamos, completed construction on a 544MW thermal power plant in the town of Mejillones in Northern Chile. The plant provides electricity to this important mining region. To ensure grid reliability against transmission or generation losses, power generators in the region each hold back capacity to meet system response for primary and secondary reserves. Based on the success of their Los Andes Battery energy Storage System (BESS) project, AES Gener and AES energy Storage developed a battery based storage system to meet the critical grid reliability needs of the Sistema Interconnectado del Norte Grande, or SING, the independent System operator of the Northern Chilean electric grid. read more>>>

UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative Leads the Way Towards an Inclusive Green Economy
Aug 25, 2014 - African economies and rural livelihoods remain heavily dependent on natural resources, particularly renewable resources such as soil and water, and on the associated productive sectors such as agriculture and forestry.

When the global financial crisis began in 2008-09, environmental sustainability dwindled as a policy priority for many countries and budgets for environment and sustainable management of natural resources were cut across the globe.

For the nine African countries where the UNDP-UNEP Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI) has been working since 2005, however, a different kind of response was discernible. read more>>>

Transforming NY solar into a self-sustaining industry
August 26, 2014 - New York's multiple solar programs are transitioning to the new single, statewide NY-Sun Incentive Program in an effort designed to support the State's solar economy through the $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, which will significantly expand deployment of solar across the state, add more than 3,000 MW to the state's solar capacity and, ultimately, transform New York's solar market into a self-sustaining industry.

NY-Sun involves deploying public funds in a strategic manner to drive industry to scale and reduce burdens on ratepayers. The program provides financial support for solar projects and uses a proven MW block system approach that is responsive to changing market conditions, allowing the solar market in each region of the state to grow at its own pace. It will eliminate incentives sooner in regions where the market conditions can support it, based on market penetration, customer demand, and payback. read more>>>

SC utility to build two solar farms on its property
August 26, 2014 - South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the first two solar farms to be constructed on its system. The utility intends to work with solar developers to locate the solar farms on company-owned property in North Charleston and Cayce.

The North Charleston installation will be built on the three-acre site of the former Leeds Avenue Gas Operations facility and will have a generating capacity between 300 and 500 kW. The Cayce project has a larger generating capacity, between 3 and 4 MW, on approximately 20 acres.

In late 2013, SCE&G announced a new renewable energy team and committed to installing 20 MW of solar energy on its system by 2020. read more>>>

To Prevent Long Power Outages, Communities Look to Microgrids
As severe weather becomes more common, microgrids are gaining popularity as a way to keep the power on at critical facilities during widespread blackouts.

August 25, 2014 - A giant October snowstorm three years ago knocked out power to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., for the first time that anyone could remember. Wesleyan officials hope it will also be the last time. The college of 3,200 students, with help from the state, recently installed a "microgrid," which will allow it to keep the lights on at its facilities even if the surrounding community loses power.

Wesleyan can insulate itself from widespread power outages by generating its own power and making sure it can distribute that electricity to the 312 buildings on campus without depending on the outside grid. As an oasis of electricity, the college can now better serve its students and act as a staging area to coordinate disaster response for Middletown. read more>>>

Verizon becoming solar leader
August 25, 2014 - According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Verizon is on track to become the number one solar power producer among all U.S. communications companies.

The prediction is based, in part, on Verizon's announcement that it will invest nearly $40 million to expand the on-site green energy program it launched in 2013. This year, Verizon will install 10.2 MW of new solar power systems at eight Verizon network facilities in five states -- California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. This investment nearly doubles the amount of renewable power generated by solar energy systems installed at six Verizon facilities last year. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

National Grid customers get new community solar opportunity
August 25, 2014 - Massachusetts has celebrated the launch of its newest utility-scale community solar facility, which is now open to all customers in National Grid territory.

The aim of Clean Energy Collective's 1 MW Southeastern Massachusetts Community Solar Array in Rehoboth, Massachusetts is to bring accessible and affordable renewable energy to the state's initiatives.

The community-owned solar model allows all of a utility's customers, including businesses, governments, nonprofits, renters, and those with shaded properties, the opportunity to own locally produced clean energy without having to install a standalone system at their home or business. read more>>>

Rosa Parks’ sustainability initiatives among highlights of national ‘green’ schools tour
August 22, 2014 - Rosa Parks Elementary stepped up to help represent Fayette County on the national “Healthy Schools, High-Achieving Students” tour, which brought together representatives from the U.S. Department of Education and various “green” partners to mark schools’ successes in energy conservation and sustainability.

“We’re really proud of our kids’ efforts,” Principal Leslie Thomas said as she spotlighted Rosa Parks’ programs. “We’re a community here,” added teacher Suzanna Weisenfeld. “If it wasn’t for everyone participating, this would not happen.”

Rosa Parks Elementary, Wellington Elementary, Locust Trace AgriScience Farm and two schools in Scott County made up the Central Kentucky leg of the “best practices” tour, which also includes stops in West Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Minnesota and Maryland. read more>>>

Climate Change Threatens South Asian Economy, Bank Warns
August 20, 2014 - Climate change will slash up to nine percent off the South Asian economy every year by the end of this century if the world continues on its current fossil-fuel intensive path, the Asian Development Bank warns in a new report.

The human and financial toll could be even higher if the damage from floods, droughts, and other extreme weather events is included, the bank says.

“South Asia’s economy is under serious threat and the lives and livelihoods of millions of South Asians inhabiting the region’s many mountains, deltas, and atolls are on a knife edge,” said Bindu Lohani, ADB vice-president for knowledge management and sustainable development. read more>>>

GridShare launches crowdfunding platform for renewable energy projects
13 August 2014 - GridShare LLC has launched an independent crowdfunding platform to help renewable energy projects and cleantech companies raise capital.

In a written statement, the company said its online platform will enable renewable energy project developers and cleantech companies from around the world post their funding needs.

Potential investors can then peruse investment opportunities in a variety of renewable energy sectors, including: solar, wind, geothermal, and biogas. The site will also host micro-hydro projects, green building initiatives, and cleantech companies that are raising funds to develop alternative energy technologies or expand their existing green businesses. read more>>>

Friday, August 29, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 August 2014

Hawaii’s Largest Utility Announces Plan To Triple Rooftop Solar By 2030
August 27, 2014 - Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) on Tuesday announced their intention to triple the amount of rooftop solar in the state, just one part of a plan that the companies say will make Hawaii the highest renewable energy-using state in the country.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light — known together as HECO — proposed a package of initiatives that they said would help Hawaii generate 65 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and slash electric bills by 20 percent, all within the next 16 years. While admittedly vague on how the initiatives will be implemented and how they will impact prices, the package includes efforts to increase energy storage, develop smart grids, and support community solar projects. read more>>>

energyTEAM to exhibit at the Energy Event 2014
Aug. 19, 2014 - The Energy Event 2014, which is being held at the NEC Birmingham, is co- located with the Renewables Event and the Water Event. It is one of the biggest exhibitions in the UK where suppliers right across the energy arena are given the opportunity to showcase their products and services to nearly 6000 visitors.

energyTEAM will be exhibiting at The Energy Event 2014 on Stand G50 within Halls 3-3A at the NEC on 16th -17th September 2014.

The Energy Event is complete FREE to attend and focuses on energy procurement, management and efficiency. Hosting a number of energy suppliers and consultants, The Energy Event offers a great opportunity to network, share ideas and learn about current news and changes in the energy industry. read more>>>

Something new under the sun in British Columbia
Aug. 13, 2014 - The economic future of the city of Kimberley in southeast British Columbia will soon be much brighter due to the $5.3 million SunMine solar project.

Over 4,000 solar-cell modules mounted on 96 solar trackers will follow the sun’s daily movement, maximizing solar exposure and power generation SunMine will be western Canada’s largest solar project and the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro grid.

SunMine will be located on the former Sullivan Mine site, once one of the world’s largest lead zinc mines, owned by Teck Resources Ltd. Teck is providing the fully reclaimed land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards the project. read more>>>

U.K. developer begins construction of 750-kW Allt Choire small hydro project
08/20/2014 - Scottish energy developer Green Highland Renewables began construction in August of the 750-kW Allt Choire a' Bhalachain small hydroelectric project on the southern side of Loch Garry in Scotland.

The 3 million pound (US$5 million) project, funded by investor Triple Point, is one of two projects Green Highland Renewables is developing in the immediate area. The other is the 1.3-MW Allt Ladaidh project, which is to begin construction in 2015.

Highland Waterworks Ltd. is the main contractor, in their third project for Green Highland Renewables. read more>>>

SA - the world’s fastest growing green building market
21 August 2014 - Nearly eight years ago green building in South Africa was considered as a “right thing to do” for the environment. But more developers are heeding the call for sustainable building as they are becoming more mindful of economic benefits and the country is positioning itself as the fastest growing sustainable building country in the world.

“Environmentally sustainable buildings”, “rain harvesting” and “off-the-grid innovations” have been bandied about for years, but are now gaining credibility.

The growth of green building in South Africa trumps that of established sustainability building regions such as Europe, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Brazil. read more>>>

The 2050 Imperative–Carbon Neutral Cities
Aug. 20, 2014 - The International Union of Architects (UIA) has adopted a Declaration committing its member organizations and partners to exercise leadership in planning and designing sustainable, resilient, carbon-neutral and healthy built environments in the world’s cities and towns.

Recognizing the central role architects play in planning and designing the built environment, and the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, the Declaration adopted at its 2014 World Congress in Durban, South Africa last week commits the signatories* to: read more>>>

First international commercial flight completed with renewable jet fuel blend
07 August 2014 - The flight took place in late July 2014 using a recently approved jet fuel developed by industrial bioscience company Amyris and energy company Total. The fuel contains 10 percent Farnesane renewable jet fuel

The fuel meets the rigorous performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry. The revised D7566 standard developed by the international standards group ASTM Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants. The revised standard allows a biomass-based renewable jet fuel on order to support commercial airliner’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The ability of this renewable jet fuel to meet the criteria in the definitive standard for use in commercial aviation is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Amyris and Total” said Philippe Boisseau, read more>>>

E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows Biomass Plant generates electricity for the first time
25 June 2014 - E.ON UK's Blackburn Meadows biomass facility in Sheffield generated electricity and synchronised with the local distribution network for the first time yesterday evening.

Blackburn Meadows is now the third biomass plant in E.ON UK's generation portfolio and can provide enough energy to power around 40,000 homes. E.ON's £120 million investment in Blackburn Meadows has increased the energy company's mix of generation assets, helping to ensure future security of supply for the UK. read more>>>

EV universe expanding
August 15, 2014 - While plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) are now available throughout all of the United States, most Canadian provinces and territories, and every Western European country, they are not readily accessible in the Asia-Pacific region, but this will soon change, according to Navigant Research.

Over the next several years, Navigant predicts that Asia-Pacific will actually become the largest market for PEV sales, contributing to a growth of sales in North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific from 352,000 annually in 2014 to 1.8 million in 2023. read more>>>

Solectria Renewables to power 45MW entropy solar projects in North Carolina
20 August 2014 - Seven solar projects anticipated to generate 1.1 billion kWh, enough to power up to 130,000 homes.

Solectria Renewables, LLC has signed a contract to supply 69 SGI 500XTM inverters to Entropy Solar Integrators for seven projects in North Carolina.1 These projects are part of a portfolio being built by Entropy Solar Integrators and financed through affiliates of Entropy Investment Management.

The seven projects are slated to be commissioned by the end of 2014, and are anticipated to generate 1.1 billion kWh -- enough clean energy to power up to 130,000 homes, according to Solectria Renewables. read more>>>

Doing Well and Doing Good with the Green Air Hotel
August 12, 2014 - You don’t win the Radical Innovation Award without proposing to change an entire industry through design. Lip Chiong, principal of Studio Twist, won because his Green Air Hotels may revolutionize how the Chinese hospitality industry works and breathes.

Chiong saw an opportunity for architecture and space-age science to come together to address two different challenges in one fell swoop: the troubled hotel industry and China’s severe pollution problems. In terms of the former, his Shanghai-based firm had extensive experience working in the hospitality industry before, both in refurbishing and designing brand new hotels. He saw that many hotels were struggling to set themselves apart and attract customers. “A typical renovation may be to rebrand the hotel through styling and aesthetics,” says Chiong, “but such a cosmetic touchup will not distinguish or give this type of hotel a truly competitive edge.” In terms of the latter, Beijing’s pollution rating can reach 775 when 300 qualifies as an emergency by the EPA, making health a real selling point. Consequently, his firm collaborated with Bill Wolverton, a NASA scientist, to design an ingenious solution: a literally green hotel that cleans its air using special filtering plants. read more>>>

Air Supply: Pushing the Limits of Passive Sustainability
July 2014 - Although homeowners are embracing sustainability at an increasing clip, they still express reservations about commissioning the highest-performing custom construction. “They wonder whether a strategy really works—the client doesn’t want to be a guinea pig,” observes Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY) partner Buzz Yudell, adding, “Another concern, which I don’t hear so explicitly is that a sustainable building could be sacrificing aesthetic clarity for a machine. Of course, a house can very carefully integrate technology.”

Architects often use their own homes as laboratories of expression and functionality. With the 4,500-square-foot infill residence Yudell and MRY architectural colorist Tina Beebe recently completed in Santa Monica, the husband and wife created an exemplar to break through client misconception. read more>>>