July 1, 2014 - Before Sandy smacked into the East Coast, a summer thunderstorm known as a derecho had moved quickly through the Mid-Atlantic region in 2012. More than a million customers lost power, some for a week. The storm cost Maryland electric customers nearly $600 million.
Later that year, before Sandy made landfall, the state’s Grid Resiliency Task Force found that “microgrids are a welcome and appropriate solution for customers whose need for consistent and reliable electricity is paramount.”
To move microgrids forward in the state, Governor Martin O’Malley called for a microgrid task force earlier this year that has now released its findings, defining a path forward for the technology. read more>>>
July 2, 2014 - In New York, 14 regional workforce development organizations have been chosen to help deliver energy efficiency skills training needed by the clean energy industry. NYSERDA provided more than $25 million for workforce development training between 2006 and 2011, and plans $51 million more for 2012 through 2016. By partnering with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), more than 14,000 people across New York State are expected to receive the training over the next two-and-a-half years.
Training programs driven by employer demand and aligned with industry needs help companies become more competitive and maintain jobs in New York State. read more>>>
16 June 2014 - A new research study conducted by Bath University in the UK has found that oil can be extracted from coffee grounds and then subsequently transformed into biodiesel.
The study, recently published in the ACS Journal Energy & Fuels, explains how the oil can be extracted by soaking the coffee grounds in an organic solvent before being chemically transformed into biodiesel using a process called ‘transesterification’. The fuel properties of the finished product varies depending on the type of coffee ground used. read more>>>
June 26, 2014 - For the past year, Duke Energy has been pushing the envelope on grid interoperability with its Coalition of the Willing (COW) -- a group of six vendors that have opened their systems and devices to share data with one another in order to coordinate and automate their responses to changing conditions on the edges of the grid.
Now Duke is expanding that coalition of vendor partners, and turning its attention to the next grid-edge integration challenge: microgrids. read more>>>
June 26, 2014 - The chemical used to make tofu and bath salts could also replace a highly toxic and expensive substance used to make solar cells, a University study published in the journal Nature has revealed.
Cadmium chloride is currently a key ingredient in solar cell technology used in millions of solar panels around the world. This soluble compound is highly toxic and expensive to produce, requiring elaborate safety measures to protect workers during manufacture and then specialist disposal when panels are no longer needed.
Safe and a fraction of the cost read more>>>
06/28/14 - Why didn't they make classrooms like this when we were kids? A new off-grid teaching space in the UK is set to inspire the next generation of environmentalists. Treehouse designers Blue Forest have created a unique wooden classroom equipped with an innovative sedum green roof that turns rain into drinking water. The solar-powered system is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK. More details after the jump!
Nestled within mature woodlands on the grounds of Benenden School in Kent, this new environmental education facility raises the bar for self-sufficient buildings in the UK. The designers claim it’s the first building in the UK to process rainwater from a sedum roof into hot and cold potable water using only solar power. The eco-classroom is totally independent of mains water or other utility supplies, partly a necessity due to its remote location within the school grounds. read more>>>
An Asheville, NC based solar farm developer, Innovative Solar Systems has just recently received approvals by Duke Energy for an 80MW solar farm project in NC.
Jun 26, 2014 - Innovative Solar 37, LLC is an 80MW solar farm project that will be located in the middle of the state to be built on approximately five hundred acres of leased land and will supply enough electricity to power approximately 20,000 small to medium size homes. The CEO of Innovative Solar Systems, John Green states that this is the largest solar farm approved to be built to date in the state of North Carolina. This project is a ground mounted type solar farm system and will employ roughly 300,000 solar photovoltaic panels and eighty inverters that will feed the energy to the Duke grid.
Innovative Solar Systems has been a pioneer in the field of large scale solar farms in NC with almost 1GW of projects to be built out in 2014 through 2015. Many of the company's large portfolio consist of 35MW to 80MW size projects. read more>>>
16 June 2014 - Off-grid renewable energy can expand clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity access in rural areas, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said at a conference in Manila today.
The 2nd International Off-Grid Renewable Energy Conference and Exhibition (IOREC), organized by IRENA, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), highlights that small-scale or off-grid renewable energy-based solutions offer an important opportunity to achieving universal access to electricity. read more>>>
07/03/14 - Nestled into the pastoral landscape of Treviso, Italy, BioCasa_82 is a beautiful home that boasts some seriously energy-efficient technologies. Italian architect Rosario Picciotto designed the project, whilst Welldom dealt with the construction process. The building was made using 99% recyclable materials, and it's powered completely by renewable energy sources. Its tailor-made sustainable strategies were employed in a bid to secure LEED Platinum certification.
BioCasa_82 is one of the few private residences in the world to have privately conducted carbon footprint analysis with great results. Built for Diadora CEO, Enrico Moretti Polegato and his wife Claudia, the house reaches levels of sustainability rarely seen in residential architecture. With 117 points out of 136, according to the American protocol LEED Platinum, and 10 out of 11 points in regards to innovation in design, the building is a real gem in the European building practice. read more>>>
07/02/14 - The city of Boston just announced plans to roll out a series of solar-powered ‘Soofa’ benches that will enable citizens to charge their phones while they rest! The ‘Soofas’ were developed by Charging Environments, a spin-off of the MIT Media Lab, and they will be placed in green spaces such as Titus Sparrow Park, Boston Common, and the Rose Kennedy Greenway.The benches can charge two phones at a time while collecting and sharing location-based information like air quality and noise level data.
The Soofa is described as a solar-powered outdoor charging station, which made its debut during last week’s White House Maker Faire. It was the result of a Verizon Innovation Program, which will see Bostonians use Verizon’s 4G LTE network to wirelessly connect their devices to the internet via the benches. read more>>>