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>>>

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