Saturday, August 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 August 2014

DTE, Ford driving Michigan solar forward
August 15, 2014 - DTE Energy is funding Michigan's largest solar array to be built at Ford Motor Company's World Headquarters, which DTE will construct, operate and maintain for 20 years. The solar canopy will have the capacity to generate 1.038 MW of electricity, making it the second largest solar carport in the Midwest -- after the 1.1 MW facility at Ohio's Cincinnati Zoo.

The $5 million array will reduce the amount of electricity Ford takes from the grid to run its offices, providing employees with 360 covered parking spaces and 30 charging stations for plug-in electric vehicles. An on-site kiosk will offer visitor information about solar power and the Ford carport. read more>>>

Green Mountain Power begins construction on first-of-its-kind solar project
August 14, 2014 - Green Mountain Power began construction on a new $10 million solar power project that will generate clean energy that can be stored and used to power an emergency shelter at Rutland High School during a storm.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the 2-MW Stafford Hill Solar Farm is the first project to establish a micro-grid powered only by solar and 4-MW battery back-up.

The project will include 7,700 solar panels that can disconnect a circuit from the grid during an emergency and provide power to the emergency shelter. read more>>>

Alabama bureaucrats kill domestic energy jobs
August 20th, 2014 - Officials are confirming that two wind farm proposals in Alabama will not be moving forward. That means Cherokee and Etowah counties will forego about $27-$43 million in combined new tax revenues – revenue that could have been used to build a new park near Weiss Lake, improve the quality of the lake, provide education scholarships for high school graduates, create a new tourism niche, or reduce local taxes. According to studies by Jacksonville State University, the Shinbone and Noccalula wind projects would have created about 350-490 full time equivalent construction jobs, and about 36 to 53 permanent jobs for the projects’ expected 30 year lifespans.

Even though the announcement of these wind farms’ abandonment is just now being published, the reality is that they died in early March. That’s when the state legislature passed two local bills specifically designed to kill wind energy in Cherokee and Etowah counties. read more>>>

US-India energy summit to focus on renewables
06 August 2014 - The fifth US-India Energy Summit, to be held in Washington in September 2014, will focus primarily on renewable energy, sustainable cities and sustainable transport.

The summit is organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and is scheduled to take place between September 30th and October 1st 2014 in Washington DC, during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US and in the wake of the UN Secretary General's Climate Summit. read more>>>

RenewableUK poll finds investing in renewables is a top priority
30 July 2014 - Investing in renewables is seen as the top priority for maintaining energy security by nearly half the British population – a view reflected across voters of all four major political parties.

The opinion poll was conducted by ComRes on behalf of trade association RenewableUK following research published last week finding that politicians opposing wind development are a turn off for voters.

Investing in renewables was the top priority for 48 percent of respondents, far ahead of the next most popular choice – building new nuclear reactors – which came in at 15 percent. Fracking came a distant fourth behind reducing consumption, including for half of people living in the 40 most marginal Labour/Conservative constituencies. read more>>>

Recharge Wrap-up: U of M wins Solar Challenge, family attempts record-breaking e-bike ride
Aug 14th 2014 - The University of Michigan Solar Car Team has won the 2014 American Solar Challenge. It is the team's eighth national championship, its fifth in a row, and its first using Siemens' product lifecycle management (PLM) software. The race took place over 1,722 miles and seven days traveling across eight states. The team's car, called "Quantum," outpaced the nearest competitor by four hours. Looking forward, Michigan Solar Car Project Manager Pavan Naik says, "The switch to Siemens tools will give us the ability to model and simulate everything and truly allow us to optimize the performance of our new vehicle. As we start on our quest to win the World Solar Challenge in 2015, we'll be leveraging a full complement of PLM solutions." Read more in the press release below. read more>>>

Partnership for Action on Green Economy launched
17 August 2014 - Mr Akwasi Opong-Fosu, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), said the Government of Ghana is taking steps to implement Green Economy policies in the country.

He said Ghana had developed a national Sustainable Consumption and Production programme, which took conservation measures and programmes, such as the ban on the importation of incandescent filament lamps and the implementation of the Refrigerator Energy Efficiency project. read more>>>

Shigeru Ban Unveils Donut-Shaped Solar Community Center for Fukushima Kids
08/18/14 - Pritzker Prize Winner Shigeru Ban is on a roll with the recent opening of the Aspen Art Museum and now a Children's Community Center in Fukushima, Japan. As part of his disaster relief efforts through the Voluntary Architect's Network, Ban designed and built the Children's Art Maison with the generous support of the Louis Vuitton and Mo√ęt Hennessy Group (LVMH). The donut-shaped building is topped with solar panels and provides space for a library and community rooms to support the children of Fukushima. The new center opened in July, 2014.

The LVMH Kodomo Art Maison is a new community center dedicated to children in Fukushima to support disaster relief efforts. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

IPL to phase out all coal by 2016
August 18, 2014 - Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL) is the most recent in a growing list of utilities announcing plans to shutter their coal-fired power plants. IPL plans to cease burning coal at its Harding Street Generation Station (HSS) power plant by 2016.

IPL will soon file plans with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to get approval to repower Unit 7 from coal to natural gas as part of its overall wastewater compliance plan. In May, IPL received approval from the IURC to convert Harding Street Units 5 and 6 from coal to natural gas. This plan would reduce IPL's dependence on coal from 79 percent in 2007 to 44 percent in 2017, making natural gas IPL's largest fuel generation source. read more>>>

DOE fuels next-gen vehicle technologies with $55M
August 18, 2014 - As part of the Obama Administration's EV Everywhere Grand Challenge -- which aims, in part, to reduce dependence on foreign oil and transition to a clean energy economy -- the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced more than $55 million in funding for 31 new projects to accelerate research and development of critical vehicle technologies that will improve fuel efficiency and reduce costs.

Launched in 2012, the EV Everywhere Grand Challenge seeks to make the U.S. automotive industry the first to produce plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) that are as affordable and convenient as today's gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. Significant cost reductions and improvements in vehicle performance have had a dramatic impact on the U.S. automotive market in the last several years. read more>>>

Recycling old car batteries into solar cells: Environmental twofer could recycle lead batteries to make solar cells
August 18, 2014 - This could be a classic win-win solution: A system proposed by researchers at MIT recycles materials from discarded car batteries -- a potential source of lead pollution -- into new, long-lasting solar panels that provide emissions-free power.

The system is described in a paper in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, co-authored by professors Angela M. Belcher and Paula T. Hammond, graduate student Po-Yen Chen, and three others. It is based on a recent development in solar cells that makes use of a compound called perovskite -- specifically, organolead halide perovskite -- a technology that has rapidly progressed from initial experiments to a point where its efficiency is nearly competitive with that of other types of solar cells. read more>>>

Tiny Taku Tanku Mobile Shelter is Carved Out of Recycled Rainwater Tanks
08/18/14 - New York-based architects Stereotank have an established practice designing interactive installations and oversized musical instruments and have often used recycled rainwater tanks in their work. Now, in collaboration with Japanese designer Takahiro Fukuda, they have extended their experimentation with tanks with Taku Tanku — “a traveling little house” made from two 3,000 liter water tanks.

The lightweight, caravan-like design can be pulled by a bicycle or a car, and can even be lifted by just one or two people. It can also float and has the potential to be towed by a boat. The Taku Tanku is fabricated from two reclaimed water tanks connected by a ring of cobia wood that frames the entrance way, and rests on a two-wheeled base. read more>>>

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