10 September

Are You Ready For The First Wave of Solar Tsunami-First Solar PV Plant in TX w/o PPA

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Generous SunShine Is Ready To Rock (credit:sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

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Recently (Sep. 4, 2014), First Solar has completed the initial 18MW phase construction of the 22MW Barilla Solar PV plant in Pecos County of TX.  18 MW is not a big deal, you might think…why is it being covered in various Solar news agencies? Well, it is a big deal because this represents a major Game Changer for Texas solar due to its unique position of being the first plant in the state to be constructed and financed without a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) as a backstop.  The power generated from this plant will be offered into the wholesale market, competing with other power generation sources effectively without a contract. This type of ‘merchant’ PV power plant of Pecos County will sell electricity on Texas’ ERCOT (Electricity Reliability Council of Texas) grid spot market.  Even though  merchant power projects have become more common in countries (such as Chile) where solar offers a viable alternative to costly fossil fuel generated power, but it is essentially untested here in U.S. With years of experience as world’s largest contracted solar project  development (approximately 3 GW up to this point) and proven track record of execution in converting more PPA’s to energy than any one else in the industry,

First Solar PPA Development Timeline (credit: First Solar)

First Solar would have its pulse on the moment if/when Solar Energy is ready for mainstream.

Below is an interview of First Solar CEO, Jim Hughes, at Future of Energy Summit 2014. Mr. Hughes believes that the cost of solar will continue to plummet:

Below, are some statements made by various people, regarding this project’s announcement:

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Pecos County Judge Joe Shuster, commenting on the announcement said: “First Solar is a pioneer in bringing West Texas solar into the diverse energy portfolio of Texas. In West Texas we’ve got plenty of land, some with a lot of oil under it, and all of it with sunshine which makes it perfect for solar plants like this. I’m excited to see Barilla as the first project in what I hope will soon be the ‘Texas solar patch.’”

“It is exciting to enter the Texas market with a clean, renewable energy source that is competitively priced against traditional high-cost peak resources,” said Tim Rebhorn, Senior Vice President of Business Development for First Solar. “This project demonstrates First Solar’s capability to rapidly develop, construct and commission a solar asset offering clean, renewable energy at competitive rates to the grid when and where it is needed.”

Rebhorn said that the Barilla power plant will contribute to lower electricity prices for Texas consumers, while providing a reliable resource to power providers.

According to the United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Texas has the greatest technical potential for solar development in the U.S. The Barilla Solar Project takes advantage of one of the best solar resource geographies in the state, with the added benefit of tying into nearby existing power transmission infrastructure in the West Texas region. The solar power plant utilizes no water for electricity generation, an important additional benefit in an area where scarce water resources must be preserved.

Regarding the Barilla project, state Rep. Poncho Nevarez (D – Eagle Pass) said, “We are blessed with sunshine in Pecos County and West Texas. Harnessing it would give us an opportunity for clean and efficient power for Texas’ future. What a great investment!”

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This Game Changing position of First Solar indicates to us, that we are observing the first wave of Solar Tsunami. Solar Energy is ready for mainstream. I’d like to ask rest of the sunny states of USA, are you also ready for the Solar Tsunami? Are you ready to take advantage of the generous sunshine bestowed upon you?

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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20 August

Sasol Solar Challenge 2014 of South Africa

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Did you know about Sasol Solar Challenge 2014 in South Africa? It will be taking place starting from  Pretoria on September 27, 2014,

Pretoria, South Africa (credit: Google Map)

to Cape Town on October 4, 2014.

Cape Town, South Africa from Table Mountain (CC BY-SA 3.0 Andres de Wet-Own work)

During this eight day period, the challenge will also go through Kroonstad, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Graaff-Reinet, Port Elizabeth, Knysna, and Swellendam. The main route will span approximately 2000km through the country, covering an average distance of 250km a day. Teams will have the option to expand their daily distance by driving loops varying from 58km up to 132km. Loops can be driven more than once and have to be completed entirely in order to count. Towns that are included by these loops are Sasolburg, Deneysville, Winburg, Senekal, Marqueard, Edenburg, Reddersburg, Hanover, Jansenville, Klipplaat, Stormsrivier, Heidelberg WC, Witsand and Caledon. It is expected that the top teams will reach a total of 6000km, covering at least 700km a day on average. To get a feel for Sasol Solar Challenge 2014, take a look at the video below:

Below is provided by Article solarracing.org on Sasol Solar Challenge (from Annalie Van Vuuren, Project/Event Manager), in italics:

Why SA is suitable for a solar race

An average of 300 days of sunshine per year and a unique South African terrain will put solar technology to the ultimate test. Traveling from the high inland plateau down to the mountainous escarpments and finally to the narrow coastal zone. Founder of the Sasol Solar Challenge Winstone Jordaan had the idea of building an electric car in 2003. After visiting the World Solar Challenge in 2005 he realized that people in South Africa did not possess basic knowledge about electric cars. He was impressed by the 1400 skilled students from all over the world in Australia, and could only imagine how much knowledge South Africa would be able to gain when hosting a solar challenge as well. This knowledge will result in accomplishing the ultimate goal; an improved future for South Africa.

Mission and vision SASC

Our eco-efficiency challenge allows teams from around the world to congregate in South Africa to participate and demonstrate the sophistication and performance of solar-powered vehicles. The underlining mission of the solar challenge is to increase the number of people in South Africa that are interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. These subjects are crucial to get the country to a higher level.
Next, it will give us a platform where we can exercise our skills in building cars locally. This in turn will result in an increased level of knowledge in the industry about electric motors, battery systems, vehicle aerodynamics and more. Finally, the solar cars will show the public what solar panels can do. If people see solar panels driving a car, you will have a positive sentiment to it. Being more positive to this technology will also make electric vehicles more acceptable to people.

The Sasol Solar Challenge operates under the auspices of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and Motorsport South Africa. The race has four different classes. These classes include the Olympia Class, the Adventure Class, the Cruiser Class and the Sustainability Fleet.

 

  1. Olympia class is the primary FIA class and the main competitive class for solar-electric vehicles. These cars have to be four wheelers and are not allowed to recharge via plug-in.
  2. Adventure Class is reserved for any other solar-electric vehicles that have been allowed in any previous international solar challenges or other major events, but do not necessarily conform to the Olympia Class regulation. Again, no plug-in recharging is allowed.
  3. Cruiser Class is designed primarily for practicality and can carry two or more occupants. The vehicles in this class are allowed to plug-in recharge overnight.
  4. Sustainability fleet: To provide a forum to further demonstrate advanced technologies in personal transport applications. Many of the participants here are from the formal motor industry. These vehicles are allowed to re-charge midway and overnight.

History
2008
The main objective of the first race was to run it no matter what. In the past there have been two attempts to run a race in South Africa, however, both got cancelled at the last minute. This resulted in both national and internal teams being reluctant to take part in the event in 2008. Fortunately, we managed to get …. teams competing in the first South African Solar Challenge. Tokai was one of the teams competing in South Africa. Back then they competed with an eleven year-old car they built, with which they were able to win the race. The Japanese team leveraged massively from the victory in South Africa. It enabled them to receive sponsorships and build a new car to compete with in the World Solar Challenge, and ultimately win the Australian race.

2010
The second edition of the solar challenge included a 4 100 km route and five teams competing. The focus of this race was on recognition, compliance and alignment with the FIA. The biggest turning point is in this race that we had the first local university competing in the event. The route stretched from Pretoria down to Cape Town, going back to Pretoria via the southern- and west coast.

2012
The aim of the 2012 event was to get more local teams participating, especially universities. A total of twelve teams competed in the third edition of the South African Solar Challenge. Half the teams competing were local teams.

2014 event

The aim of the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge is to get more oversees teams competing in the race. The challenge will start in Pretoria on September 27th
through Kroonstad, Bloemfontein, Colesberg, Graaff-Reinet, Port Elizabeth, Knysna and Swellendam. The main route will span approximately 2000km through the country, covering an average distance of 250km a day. Teams will have the option to expand their daily distance, by driving loops varying from 58km up to 132km. Loops can be driven more than once and have to be completed entirely in order to count. Towns that are included by these loops are Sasolburg, Deneysville, Winburg, Senekal, Marqueard, Edenburg, Reddersburg, Hanover, Jansenville, Klipplaat, Stormsrivier, Heidelberg WC, Witsand and Caledon. It is expected that the top teams will reach a total of 6000km, covering at least 700km a day on average.

Education program
Every town the solar challenge passes, a number of schools will get involved through the education program. This education program will entail an education kit which explains how solar-powered vehicles work and material that enables them to build their own solar car. The body of the solar car will be made from recycled material. At the finish of each day, the schools will have a miniature solar car race. Furthermore, we will strongly encourage any school to visit the race, since children are very impressed by the appearance of solar cars. This will give them the opportunity to see what a solar car looks like inside and enable them to interact with the teams that compete in the race.

Closing

We are looking forward to the 2014 Sasol Solar Challenge event. South Africa is looking forward to welcome all competitors, officials, volunteers and prospectors to the race. It is still possible for teams to join our competition, the deadline for registration is the ….. Apart from competitors, the solar challenge also needs volunteers on the race, the deadline is … See the links below for the volunteer form if you are interested to join our event.

Links of interest

Official website: http://www.solarchallenge.org.za

Link to registration and regulation documents: www.solarchallenge.org.za/index.php/documentation

Twitter: @Solar_Challenge

Facebook: SA Solar Challenge

Instagram: @SASolarChallenge

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It will be an amazing race! So come to South Africa and see the beautiful terrain during the Sasol Solar Challenge event!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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15 August

Green Investments

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Solar and Renewable Energy investment is no longer just a way to save our world, but also a way for us to invest with very promising future. I’d  like to share the video below with you to help shed some light on Green Investment and Feed-In-Tariff. Keep in mind that this is an interview from a year ago (with Timothy Nash, President of Strategic Sustainable Investments) and that means the green investments is even closer to the mainstream now.

According to Timothy Nash’s research project under Green Transition Scoreboard, there were $2 trillion invested in Green Investments (excluding government investments) globally since 2007. These investments tend to focus on green buildings, smart grids, and various companies’ R & D. Mr. Nash feels that large companies have played a significant role in investing in innervation (i.e. IBM’s Solution For Smarter Planet, GE, green car investments by Toyota & Aldi). Some of the low hanging fruits mentioned by Mr. Nash are in areas of energy and material efficiency. An interesting observation: people are willing to work for lower wages if companies are doing positive things for our planet. Ontario’s Feed-In-Tariff is discussed: the cut in Feed-In-Tariff is viewed as being counter-productive to job creations and decreased opportunities.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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14 August

Hazel Henderson of World Future Society & Ethical Markets Media

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It is my pleasure to be able to get an interview  during World Future Society 2014 at Orlando, FL, with Hazel Henderson, a futurist and an economic iconoclast. Ms. Henderson, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Britain in 1961, has worked in television and had authored several books, including Building A Win-Win World, Beyond Globalization, Planetary Citizenship (with Daisaku Ideda), and Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy. She is now a producer for the public television series Ethical Markets.


Ms. Henderson believes that the various threats to peace, community security, and good environment have led us into a new era in which we are obliged to look for values, information, and know-how that we seemed to be able to do without until recent decades. She is the founder of World Future Society and advocates Green Transition Scoreboard (will be mentioned in our next post’s video). The charming Ms. Henderson had been an early environmentalist and advocate who searched for solutions for our environmental issues and challenges.

One of her famous aphorism compare the occidental economic model to a cake with three level, with glass on the top: the first level is the nature, the second level is the subsistence economy, the third level is the public and private economy and the last level is the finance. (Be sure to check into our next post’s video on Green Investment).

More about Hazel Henderson may be obtained from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hazel_Henderson

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, uploaded, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Any of your comments or suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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12 August

Mayor Dyer’s Climate & Energy Summit on Wed., Aug. 13, 2014

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Mayor Dyer's Climate & Energy Summit 2014 (credit: Orlando Mayor Dyer's Office)

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Did you know that Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer will be joining global and national experts in climate action on Wed., Aug. 13, 2014, to discuss best practices and solutions to support economic growth and a sustainable energy future for the city of Orlando, the Central Florida region, and the state of Florida? This Mayor Dyer’s Climate & Energy Summit will take place at Amway Center between 8:00-11:00 A.M., Dex Imaging Room. More than 200 community, business, nonprofit and public sector leaders will also learn first hand how to join with businesses and governments across the U.S. in how to achieve positive results from employing the latest innovative technologies and strategies in climate action and sustainable energy. The event is part of the Community Initiative, Green Works Orlando Initiative. This is Orlando’s comprehensive vision to insure Orlando to become one of the most environmentally friendly, economically and socially vibrant communities in the nation. I’ll be there to learn what I can and will share it with you later.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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9 August

InterSolar North America Opening Ceremony

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I really need to share this “Standing Ovation at the InterSolar North America Open Ceremony” with you all, taking place in July of 2014, at Moscone Center of San Francisco, CA.:


 

California Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. was met with a standing ovation as he delivered the keynote remarks at Intersolar North America’s Opening Ceremony 2014. Following the Governor’s remarks, San Francisco’s Mayor Edwin M. Lee took the stage. New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker similarly championed local policies that have grown the solar energy industry significantly in New York. Franz Untersteller, minister of the environment, climate protection and the energy sector, Germany, discussed the major policy incentives implemented in Germany that have played a key role boosting the solar industry. Finally, CALSEIA’s executive director Bernadette Del Chiaro concluded the session with a discussion of California’s solar policies and an inspirational call to action, asking the audience to help quadruple the solar industry in the next six years.

It is important to point out/remind ourselves that:

1. There is much more solar that needs to be installed in the decades to come!

2. There is much more needing to be done. We’ve not yet met the turning point to Sustainability.

3.  The cost of PV modules has dropped 80% in the last five years.

4.  Solar Industry employs more than 142,000 people in USA (more than 50,000 in CA).

5.  We can look to and utilize much of the lessons learned from Germany.

6.  Solar is desperately NEEDED now, especially in light of climate change.

7.  16.5% of the electricity supply of CA on any given day is from Solar (without including the 2 GW on rooftops).

8.  CA Solar Industry now employs more people than the three investor-owned utility companies combined.

So, let those of us in the rest of the 49 states also align ourselves with this tremendous task of transitioning into the Renewable/Solar Energy Future!

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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7 August

“Solar Tsunami” Shared by the Effervescent Professor Jose Cordeiro of Singularity University during World Future Society 2014

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On July 12, 2014, during the World Future Society 2014 at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Orlando, FL, I caught up with the hopeful  Professor Jose Cordeiro (trained at MIT) of Singularity University, to share some of his optimism about the future of Solar and Renewable Energy. He even used the term, “Solar Tsunami” to demonstrate that our energy future will soon be  that of Solar Energy every where. There is no stopping it for Solar Energy is Clean, Healthy, Every Where, and Cheap. We’re facing an exciting future where there will be solar roadways, solar cars, solar planes, solar trains, solar boats, self-driving cars, and much much more wireless. We will see a future with far more distributed solar power rather than centralized power.

Professor Jose Luiz Cordeiro, the Venezuelen scientist, futurist, economist, engineer, and columnist, is extremely enthusiastic because he is excited about sharing information and being a proactive futurist. In the link below, you can find out the four potential types of attitudes toward the future described by Professor Cordeiro in his TED talk, “The Future Is Not What Is Used To Be: Jose Luis Cordeiro at TEDxRio+20“.  Professor Cordeiro literally effervesces for he is able to fully appreciate both the danger and opportunities our future is availing us. This is a common characteristics one finds in Solar Enthusiasts and Futurists; the thought of potential future free energy and transhumanism simply holds such incredible promises that one cannot help oneself but become effervescent!

~have a bright and sunny day~
Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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4 August

Solar Is Preferred For Water Conservation

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Solar PV is the major solution for avoiding water-related conflicts (credit: sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

 

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In addition to our Aug. 2, 2014 post, there is another important reason that we prefer Solar Energy use: it is critical in avoiding water-related conflicts.

In a new CNA report, A Clash of Competing Necessities (Water Adequacy and Electric Reliability in China, India, France, and Texas), PV is being identified as the major solution for avoiding water-related conflicts. The first solution is energy efficiency, moving from coal to using PV, wind, and natural gas, according to this report. The Director of Energy, Water and Climate at the CNA Think Tank‘s Institute for Public Research, Paul Faeth, says he is very surprised that water conservation is not “part of the sales pitch” for PV. The dramatic drop in prices for solar is making it a cost effective solution to water scarcity, he added.

An estimated 40% of all freshwater withdrawal in the U.S. is being used for thermal cooling, in order for power generation to remain safe and stable. As energy demand, economic and population growth, and climate change  place more strain on water access, there have been/are/will be scrutinising water use in the power sector by competing necessities. Thermal power generation is heavily dependent on water use: Faeth describes the growing concern  of plants having to power down or completely shut down in drought and heat waves.

The report indicated that for water being removed for the process of thermal cooling and being put back into the local environment, or “withdrawal”, the water use by different energy sources are as follow:

  • coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) uses 4.3 cubic meters per MWh
  • nuclear uses 4.2 cubic meters per MWh
  • coal alone uses 2.3 cubic meters per MWh
  • natural gas uses 1 cubic meters per MWh
  • wind uses zero cubic meters per MWh
  • solar PV uses 0.1 cubic meters per MWh  (solar PV uses a small amount of water for washing the panels once in a while, but none for power generation)

For ‘consumption’ of water, whereby water is completely removed from the local environment,

  • coal with carbon capture and storage (CSS) uses 3.2 cubic meters per MWh
  • nuclear uses 2.5 cubic meters per MWh
  • coal alone uses 1.9 cubic meters per MWh
  • natural gas uses 0.7 cubic meters per MWh
  • wind uses zero cubic meters per MWh
  • solar PV uses 0.1 cubic meters per MWh

According to Faeth, policy for water conservation for the power sector and energy efficiency doesn’t exist at the moment. “Water concerns for policy makers and for many people are also a higher priority than climate change,” he said, “in drought it doesn’t matter what the cause of drought is you still have to respond, and if you can respond in a way that is cost effective and mitigates emissions, such as using wind and PV, then that is a real plus.”

The report uses figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), focusing on China, India, France, and Texas as case studies, since there are already challenges in power generation and water scarcity in these regions. China has high agriculture demand (second only to U.S.) and relies heavily on coal, requiring water for cooling, is already experiencing blackouts from a lack of water for cooling. India already uses 1.3 billion cubic meters of water per year, with forecast of 7 billion by 2040. “You have to wonder if that is even possible,” said Faeth. Solar is inexpensive in India and is a cost effective way to reduce water conflicts. Faeth added, “If water is taken from agriculture, it would be politically untenable….India has to start doing something else to avoid water competition that is already happening and we expect to get worse.”

In India 52% of the population live in water scarce areas, with 73% of electricity generation located in water stressed areas, with frequent blackouts.  Currently 79% of newly built capacity is scheduled for construction where the water supply is under threat.

In 2003, a heat wave in France lost 4 GW of nuclear and hydro energy, causing France to restrict its electricity exports, definitely reflecting its energy insecurity for its European importers. In 2009, France used 64% of its (withdrawn) water for thermal cooling due to its 80% nuclear energy generation, this presents a unique threat to energy security during droughts. Energy demand in France is expected to grow by 28% by the 2040s. France’s reliance on nuclear energy means even modest growth is a concern for water scarcity.

Current drought in Texas has already taken water from farmers to avoid blackouts. The case is now in the U.S. court. The report indicated that Texas is likely to meet water and energy demand from new PV, wind, natrual gas, and energy efficiency, despite the challenges due to drought. But the state needs to avoid new coal generation. Texas is now “looking to do more wind and PV, not particularly for climate change mitigation but because these strategies can save water,” said Faeth.

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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2 August

Why We Prefer Solar Energy!

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Quick sharing of a video of deadly explosion in Kaohsiung (a southern city of Taiwan), Taiwan, few days ago, triggered by a leaky underground gas pipe owned by a local chemical producer LCY Chemical Corp, below:


Around midnight Thursday, a series of explosions shook Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second largest city by population and a major petrochemical hub. The blasts—which were followed by fires reaching as high as 10 stories according to some witnesses—destroyed homes, ripped off manhole covers and tore open several roads. Television footage showed cars and a firetruck collapsing into craters blown open by the explosions.

The latest tally shows the blasts killed at least 27 people, injured 286 and left two missing, making it Taiwan’s deadliest gas leak explosion. Four firefighters were among those who died. Many streets were still littered with rubble on Saturday and thousands of homes remained without water and electricity.

“Our inspection indicates that LCY’s pipeline showed irregularities around 8 p.m. (local time). The amount of flow in the pipe dropped from 22 tons per hour to 19 tons, and was even down to 1 ton at one point,” said Chen Chin-te, the head of the Kaohsiung Environmental Protection Bureau. He said the sudden drop in the flow of gas meant that either the pipe was broken or that there was a leakage.

Mr. Chen said the company failed to notify the proper authority when it detected the irregularities.  (report from the Kaohsiung city government)

~With Great Sadness~

~This is one of the many reasons why we promote Solar Energy at Sun Is The Future…to avoid incidents such as this~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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29 July

Bravo! IKEA, in Being Florida’s Largest Non-Utility Solar Owner!

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Some wonderful solar news closer to home, in Florida: the Swedish company and the world’s largest furniture retailer, IKEA, had completed the installation of South Florida’s largest solar array in June of this year. This solar array will be atop the future Miami-Dade IKEA store opening this summer in Sweetwater, FL. Combined with rooftop arrays in Orlando, Tampa, and Sunrise, this fourth solar project will keep IKEA as Florida’s largest non-utility solar owner.  The 416,000 square-feet future IKEA Miami, with 1,500 parking spaces, is being built on 14.6 acres adjacent to the Dolphin Mall, at the intersection of the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and Florida’s turnpike, in the city of Sweetwater, FL.

The 178,000 square foot solar array at Sweetwater consists of a 1,178 kW system, built with 4,620 panels, and will produce about 1,738,876 kWh of electricity annually for the store,  equivalent to reducing 1,227 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equal to the emissions of 256 cars or providing electricity for 169 homes annually (calculation for clean energy equivalents).  IKEA contracted with REC Solar (a national leader in solar electric system design with installations of more than 350 systems across U.S.). Let’s take a look at the video about IKEA’s Clean Energy/Solar Installations, below:


This installation will represent the 40th solar project for IKEA in the U.S., contributing to the IKEA solar presence atop nearly 92% (35 out of 38) of its locations in U.S. and a total generation of 38 MW (translating to powering 90,000 homes). IKEA owns and operates these solar PV systems, rather than through solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement), and has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015 globally.  This investment demonstrates IKEA’s long term commitment to sustainability and confidence in PV technology and industry.  Due to IKEA’s goal of becoming completely energy independent by 2020 (“We want to get to 70% by 2015, and by 2020, we actually want to produce more energy from renewable sources than we/IKEA consume in the total operation“, commented the President of IKEA USA, Mike Ward), IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operated about 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada, with 49 more being build in the U.S.

IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources, and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. Specific U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material;incorporating energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, skylights in warehouse areas, and water-conserving restrooms.  IKEA has also eliminated plastic bags from the check-out process, phased out the sale of incandescent bulbs, facilitates recycling of customers’ compact fluorescent bulbs, and by 2016 will sell only LED.  IKEA has also installed EV charging stations at 13 stores, with plans for more locations in the future.

Besides helping to improve our environment, these conservation efforts and  solar investments have enabled IKEA to spend less on energy. This would also mean lower cost and lower prices that will be passed down to consumers. IKEA’s Swedish heritage and respect of nature is not only good for the environment, but also great for business. Bravo! IKEA! We hope more businesses will try to emulate what IKEA has done.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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