Solar Energy in the Midwest

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Postcode Lottery Green Challenge – Are you the one?

Postcode Lottery Green Challenge – Home.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual worldwide competition for sustainable entrepreneurs who can instigate change. The challenge is looking for products or services that combine sustainability, entrepreneurship and creativity.

 

The products or services should:

1. Reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an amount you can roughly estimate

2. Be developed enough to execute

3. Be realisable as usable product or service within the next two years

4. Preferably have integrated Cradle2Cradle principles in their designs

Besides these criteria, the jury will also look at factors as: Communication potential, courageousness and creativity.

 

Entry for the seventh edition of this competition will be open from 17 April – 17 July 2013. Sign up for the newsletter and stay informed of the latest developments!

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Belgium Plans to Build Island to Store Excess Wind Energy | Renewable Energy News Article

Belgium Plans to Build Island to Store Excess Wind Energy | Renewable Energy News Article. By Renewable Energy World Editors
January 21, 2013

Government officials are confident that the island will solve intermittency issues that commonly occur in renewable energy production, such as wind and solar. The island will use a pumped-hydro system to store excess wind energy generated during off-peak hours, which will then be used to help satisfy the demand during hours when the wind isn’t blowing….

….”We have a lot of energy from the windmills and sometimes it just gets lost because there isn’t enough demand for the electricity,” said a spokeswoman for Belgium’s North Sea minister Johan Vande Lanotte to Reuters. Vande Lanotte revealed the plans last week during a presentation at the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

For full article

Clean Energy Coalition :: bridging needs. advancing change. :: Green Fleets

Clean Energy Coalition :: bridging needs. advancing change. :: Green Fleets.

Based on data drawn from an Argonne National Laboratory model, Green Fleets projects will displace at least 1.5 million gallons of petroleum per year, and more than 13 million gallons during the anticipated average 10-year equipment life cycle. The clean fuel vehicles that Green Fleets deploys won’t only displace imported petroleum; they’ll also reduce emissions of harmful compounds and greenhouse gases, such as:

  • 261,560 pounds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions annually – over 2.6 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 10,933,642 pounds of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions annually – over 109 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 156,859 pounds of particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions annually – over 1.5 million pounds over the life cycle
  • 102,611,815 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually – over 1.02 billion pounds over the life cycle
  • 2,360,232 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions annually – over 23.6 million pounds over the life cycle
  • Read full article here

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters

PWIR: President Clinton Endorse Prop 3 | MLCV-Michigan League of Conservation Voters.Submitted by Michigan LCV on Mon, 10/29/2012 – 4:06pm

… Former President Clinton championed the cause because he knows that the jobs created by Prop 3 will help spur the kind of economic activity that defined his Presidency. On the opposite side of the debate, campaign finance reports show that Enbridge – yes, that Enbridge (the one whose faulty oil pipeline dumped more than 1 million gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River) – has joined the opposition to Prop 3. After all, why have more renewable energy in Michigan when we can have record-breaking oil spills into our rivers, instead? To read more go here

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG

A Watershed Moment: Multiple Benefits of Proposal 3 « THE WMEAC BLOG.

Today we hear from Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy and Community Activism Director at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, who discusses Proposal 3, the Renewable Energy Standard that will require 25% of Michigan’s energy to come from renewable sources by the year 2025.

 

Not only will the ballot initiative help the environment through the increased use of renewable energy, but it will have other benefits as well. Currently a majority, approximately 60%, of our electricity is derived from coal. 100% of Michigan’s coal is imported from other states, relying on the use of oil for transportation, with negative economic and environmental effects. Utility companies have recognized oil as the leading cause for increased electricity prices for consumers, and with the fluctuation of oil prices, there is no guarantee for the cost of energy. The Proposal 3 initiative states that utility companies cannot increase energy rates by more than 1% per year, and has an outlook for an approximate 50 cent increase in cost, once the proposal is passed. In addition to a savings in energy bills, the proposal has a Triple Botton Line Benefit which will create 94,000 jobs.

 

The switch from using a majority of coal, to utilizing more renewable energy sources, will give Michigan more health benefits in addition to economic positives. Coal has been linked to illnesses such as heart disease and asthma, leading to an increase in health care costs. The Michigan Nurses Association has named Proposal 3, “the most important health proposal in decades.”

 

Moving toward renewable energy sources will also be reliable, as there are a variety of sources: solar power, wind power, hydropower, and biomass. There is also a grid that identifies where energy is being produced greatest across the state. This allows us to utilize the most productive areas for the most energy. With only a small increase of 25%, there is no doubt that renewable sources are and will continue to be reliable to meet the demand. “It’s the best chance for environmental progress in the last few years and probably the next few years going forward,” said Occhipinti.

 

WMEAC is reaching out to Michigan citizens during the election to vote Yes on Proposal 3: Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs. We need volunteers at specific locations on Election Day as WMEAC representatives and supporters of Proposal 3. Other volunteers will take part in a mass telecommunications effort to encourage Proposal 3 supporters to get to the polls and vote Yes! Several shifts are available the day before the election and Election Day itself.

Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia | Earthtechling

Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia

EV Taxicabs

 

What’s being heralded as one of the nation’s first all-electric fleets of taxi cabs could soon be hitting the streets in Arlington, Virginia. The fleet would consist of  Nissan Leaf electric cars and would include a supporting infrastructure capable of keeping this fleet going around the clock.

EV Taxicabs, according to the Washington Examiner, needs to first gain approval of th

e Arlington county board of supervisors before it can begin operation. It looks likely it will happen, given that the county manager there has already recommended the company be granted approval for 40 cabs out of a total of 65 new vehicles being added to the county’s existing 765 cabs. Go here for full article.

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article. By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Clean Energy
October 19, 2012

… To date, 30 battery and electric drive firms have received stimulus funding. A full list is here. Two of them, A123 Systems and EnerDel, have filed for bankruptcy so far. (They haven’t disappeared, however: EnerDel continues to operate and A123′s stimulus-funded facilities will remain open under the deal with Johnson Controls.)

Those two companies represent 18% of the vehicle battery grants, which means that 82% of that portfolio is still “performing”.

Plumer also offers as context another stimulus-funded program that’s gotten a lot of attention but has an even more impressive performance to date:

In a similar vein, of the 26 clean-energy projects that have received federal loan guarantees under a separate 1705 program, just three have filed for bankruptcy, including Solyndra, Abound, and Beacon Power. (Though Beacon is still operating and has largely paid back its federally backed loans.)

Even the full amount at risk from those three companies adds up to 6% of the portfolio, meaning that the performing piece of the investments is 94% of the whole… Read the full article

Does solar work in Michigan? Customer video testimonial

 

Don’t believe us – watch our customers share their experiences with solar here in Michigan. We now have an indisputable source of real-time and historic metrics that the skeptics can’t deny anymore. Listen to our solar homeowners talk about zero utility bills and getting checks back from solar power generation.

What’s the deal with EPA carbon rules for existing power plants? | Grist

David Roberts

 

What’s the deal with EPA carbon rules for existing power plants?

Photo by Karen Eliot.

In my post on the new EPA carbon pollution rule, I drew attention to an important distinction: The rule issued today governs new power plants only; carbon pollution from existing power plants has not yet been regulated.

This matters a great deal. Today’s rule effectively means there will be no more coal plants built in the U.S., but that was more or less a fait accompli due to market forces. What to do about existing plants is in many ways a more fraught and important question. It could have much larger effects on near-term pollution from the power sector.

On a conference call with reporters this morning, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said, “We have no plans to regulate existing sources.” That caused me a few moments of panic (and, um, a few outbursts on Twitter). If there are really not going to be any existing-source regulations, that would make this whole process a massive, massive fail. For full story go here.

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

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