Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 22 October 2013

Solar Means Business: America’s Top Corporate Solar Customers May Not Be Who You Think!
October 15th, 2013 - Our nation’s businesses are harnessing clean, reliable, homegrown solar power at an unprecedented rate to take control of their energy costs and improve their bottom line. We just released Solar Means Business, an annual report from Vote Solar and our partners at SEIA that identifies the companies that are leading America’s transition to solar power – and the list might surprise you!

Mainstream brands like Walmart, Costco, Kohl’s, Apple, IKEA and Macy’s rank among our nation’s top solar customers. read more>>>

Renewable-energy micro grids get smart
Oct. 15 2013, - A power outage will never be an excuse to skip class at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) in the future, as the campus gets closer to building a “smart” micro grid system allowing it to generate its own electricity using alternative energy sources.

BCIT has been working since 2007 to build a smart micro grid on its Burnaby site using sources such as solar, wind and steam turbines.

The project, still under construction, is among the first of its kind in Canada and is part of a global push toward more clean energy sources amid growing concerns about climate change. read more>>>

10 reasons microgrids matter to corporate sustainability
October 15, 2013 - Today's energy markets are undergoing a transformation. The top-down monopoly system dominated by large-scale fossil and nuclear power plants that send power to passive consumers is shifting to a dynamic, bi-directional network increasingly dependent upon distributed resources. An increasing diversity of technology, fuels and ownership plays a starring role.

A key technology necessary to this new distributed energy future is a microgrid. When Thomas Edison helped birth today's electric utility industry, his original vision was a series of microgrids, serving customers from on-site power generation. Over time, however, a "bigger is better" mentality drove the market to monopoly structures. read more>>>

Gov. O’Malley celebrates completion of state’s 1st commercial solar microgrid
October 15, 2013 - On Tuesday, Gov. Martin O’Malley – joined by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff and executives from Standard Solar, Konterra and Solar Grid Storage – dedicated the state of Maryland’s first commercial solar micro grid at Konterra headquarters in Laurel.

The 402-kW solar micro grid system is also recognized as one of the first commercial solar micro grids in the U.S. The benefits of the system include generation of 20 percent of the annual building power for the Konterra headquarters as well as two electric vehicle charging stations, and LED parking lot lighting. read more>>>

Earthquake Kits

Does Pennsylvania value renewable energy?
October 16, 2013 - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will not recommend the state's Climate Change Advisory Committee (CCAC) debate or vote on a plan that considers increasing the state's renewable energy law -- the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS) -- and will not be including information in Pennsylvania's next Climate Action Plan about how the existing AEPS law reduces electricity prices.

The CCAC was established by law in 2008 and is tasked with making recommendations to DEP on greenhouse gas reduction strategies and other actions to address climate change in Pennsylvania. read more>>>

Nebraska's missed wind opportunity
October 16, 2013 - The Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Board of Directors has rejected a resolution to integrate Nebraska-based wind energy despite overwhelming support from residents across the state and contrary to the utility's long-term energy plan.

NPPD's long-term energy plan and economic development study concluded that total local earnings, payments and income from wind investments across the state could top $1.1 billion, creating an average of 413 permanent jobs per year over the next 20 years. read more>>>>

wind turbines

Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report (2013)
The Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report uncovers new business trends, attitudes, perceptions and practices in the area of green building in the retail and hospitality sectors. This new research will help the industry understand perceptions about the drivers, triggers and challenges to increased green building activity; business benefits and paybacks from green buildings; and the types of products, technologies and practices taking hold in these sectors.

Download your free copy today.

Jess S. Jackson Sustainability Winery
The Jess S. Jackson Sustainable Winery Building is expected to be the first building at any university to be certified Net Zero Energy under the Living Building Challenge and only the second such building in California.The project reduces carbon through its use of concrete. A wall of 2,500 specially manufactured concrete masonry units (CMUs) was Basalite’s first installation of Carbon Cure blocks, which permanently sequester carbon dioxide and maintains a consistent temperature free of fluctuations.The concrete used in the project was the first use of Central Concrete’s low-CO2 90% replacement cement mix, which contributed to enabling the lowest-carbon CMU wall built to-date. read more>>>

Sun's Magnetic Field Going to Flip Soon: 11-Year Solar Cycle Wimpy, but Peaking
Oct. 16, 2013 — In a 3-meter diameter hollow aluminum sphere, Cary Forest, a University of Wisconsin-Madison physics professor, is stirring and heating plasmas to 500,000 degrees Fahrenheit to experimentally mimic the magnetic field-inducing cosmic dynamos at the heart of planets, stars and other celestial bodies.

Ninety-three million miles away, the Sun's magnetic field -- and presumably its dynamo -- is churning and undulating as the star experiences the height of the so-called solar maximum, where the sun's magnetic field contorts and eventually flips. read more>>>

Solar Panels Can Be Used to Provide Heating and Air Conditioning
Oct. 16, 2013 — The use of solar panels for hot water in the bathroom is standard practice, but researchers at the Madrid Universities Carlos III and Politécnica suggest that they may also be used to provide large offices with heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. Their proposal involves the incorporation of solar collectors into a gas-based co-generation system with an absorption machine, which would reduce both energy expenditure and CO2 emissions.

They may still be few, but a number of shopping centres and major stations, such as Atocha Train Station in Madrid, house tri-generation systems responsible for the production of electricity, cool air and heat. read more>>>

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