Posts Tagged "solar"

US Department of Defence and the Fort Hood Hybrid Clean Energy Project

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I have previously posted about the US DoD stance on climate change and clean energy. In July of 2015 the department released a report on the security implications of climate change. The national securiy argument that has been made by the military is that, “because it [climate change] degrades living conditions, human security and the ability of governments to meet the basic needs of their populations.” With these changes in our environment, resources become scarce and conflicts can arise. These threats are clear to some, but it is the DoD’s stance, with government backing, that can lead the normalization of clean energy. The changes that are being made by the department are evident in the solar industry with the development of large solar projects. This is spurred by the goals set by the Obama administration last year. Goals which include a department wide demand for 20% of the energy to come from renewables by 2020. One of the more recent projects is being developed for Fort Hood in Texas with a combined 65.8 mW of solar and wind. It is the first hybrid renewable project of its kind, as well as the biggest. With both on and offsite installations, the department has contracted two local veteran owned business to help with the development. Thus, pouring the resources of this $500 million project into the clean energy industry, while supporting small business and veterans. Assistant secretary of the army for energy and sustainability said that, “This project demonstrates that renewable energy can both decrease costs and increase the security and resiliency of our installations,”; a wholistic approach to combatting the security threats of climate change. Slated to go online in 2017, this project locks in low electric rates and could potentially insulate the post from massive black outs. This is a responsible move forward by the department spurred by the 2015 government mandate. It is my hope that this is the first step towards more clean energy requirements and greater security for our national infrastructure. It is a move in the right...

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Sun shines on Rutland, the Solar Capital of New England

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The state and solar communities are abuzz with the new development in solar energy news: Rutland has claimed its title as Solar Capitol of New England. The city sees this progress as an indication for turning over a new leaf and progressing into a strong community and a thriving economic area. The city along with regional planners in partnership with Green Mountain Power have been investing and working towards this goal since 2012 when they published the Project Plan detailing the procedure to becoming the Solar Capitol. As a result, Rutland is proudly generating 7.8 megawatts of electricity with 7,722 panels. The placement of the panels included the standard roof-top or backyard model but also sought to creatively revitalize space that cannot otherwise developed, such as brownfields and existing unproductive buildings. This large step for Rutland certainly symbolizes the progress and dedication the region has put into an energy independent future. This success story lends hefty weight in contribution to the Comprehensive Energy Plan of Vermont to obtain 90% of energy from renewable resources by 2050. Although there is quite a ways to go before that goal is reached, seeing a city within the state named a capitol for producing renewable energy is auspicious. You can read more about GMP’s plan for Rutland here or in the Burlington Free...

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Maasai women installing solar panels in remote regions of Kenya

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Maasai women installing solar panels in remote regions of Kenya

Since November 2014 about 2,000 households have adopted solar technology in Kajiado County, Kenya. Green Energy Africa, a renewable energy developer, created an initiative called The Women and Entrepreneurship in Renewable Energy Project (WEREP). Green Energy Africa is training Maasai women to install solar panels. The women use donkeys to carry the equipment needed for installations to remote areas in the county. The electricity produced from the solar panels helps to light livestock enclosures at nigh. The lights scare away predatory animals like leopards and hyenas and helps prevent livestock loss. The clean energy produced also mitigates the need to burn coal and wood in the home reducing the amount of exposure to smoke inhalation and the negative side effects of these. These are just some of the benefits of the solar installation initiative. To read more about this solar revolution click here (photo generated from internet and not necessarily a woman or donkey involved in the...

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Minnesota gives approval for $250 million solar energy project

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Minnesota gives approval for $250 million solar energy project

  On Thursday May 28th, Minnesota regulators approved the installation of ground mounted solar panels at 21 sites throughout the state. “It is by far the largest solar project approved in Minnesota, and in one sweep increases the state’s solar output sevenfold.” The solar project, of Geronimo Energy, was victorious in out-bidding natural gas competitors. The company also stated that they will plant bee-friendly native plants around the panels. Geronimo is aiming for completion of the project in 2016. To read more click here Photo: Bruce Bisping- St. Johns University solar installation in fields next to the...

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Solar Plane flies for the support of a new Kyoto Protocol

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The Solar Impulse that took off from Abu Dhabi Monday, is now headed for Muscat, Oman. The two founders and pilots, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard will share time at the controls. Over the course of the next few months the Solar Impulse, with a 236ft wingspan -larger that a Boeing 747- and weighing in at 5,070 lbs -only slightly heavier than a car, will make two stops in India, as well as stops in China, Myanmar and Hawaii. Other US stops include Arizona and JFK International Airport in New York. Borschberg and Piccard say that they want to push people around the world to, “confront the Conference on Climate Change of the United Nations, which will define the new Kyoto protocol in December 2015 in Paris.” This is not just a test for new technology, it is an example being put forth, that modern transportation can continue without a drop of fuel, and this shift must happen now. Read more on the Solar Impulse...

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