Posts Tagged ‘Massachusetts’

15 May

Walmart Being Environmental-Wise & Economic-Wise

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 163 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go! Thank you. ________________________________________________________________________________________

I’ve just discovered Walmart‘s plan to install solar panels on up to 60 additional stores in California, expanding Walmart’s solar portfolio to more than 75 % of its stores in the state. “California presents a great opportunity for Walmart to make significant progress toward our sustainability goals by installing solar power on more than 130 store rooftops throughout the state,” said Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy. “Walmart has reduced energy expenses by more than a million dollars through our solar program, allowing us to pass these savings on to our customers in the form of everyday low prices.”

When complete, Walmart’s total solar commitment in California is expected to:
• Generate up to 70 million kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy per year, which is the equivalent of powering more than 5,400 homes*;
• Avoid producing more than 21,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 4,100 cars off the road*; and
• Provide 20 to 30 percent of each facility’s total electric needs.

“Walmart’s effort to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates their commitment to sustainability. These kinds of projects create jobs, reduce costs for businesses by lowering power bills, and protect the environment,” said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board. “We appreciate Walmart’s leadership and encourage other businesses to follow Walmart’s lead.”

Walmart’s investment in solar power is anticipated to create hundreds of jobs in California through its partnership with SolarCity, which will own, install and maintain the new solar power systems. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has added more than 500 new full-time jobs since it initiated its first Walmart solar project, and expects to hire hundreds more before the end of the year.


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Walmart of the East Coast also announced the completion of eight new solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays in Massachusetts with an event at its Walpole store, demonstrating the store’s solar array for state and local officials, environmental leaders and other guests.

“The stores in Massachusetts demonstrate our commitment to increasing the share of renewable energy that powers our stores and improving energy efficiency,” said David Ozment , senior director of energy at Walmart. “We believe in helping our customers live better by providing every day low cost and more environmentally friendly alternatives, like renewables. It’s our goal to eventually be supplied by 100 percent renewable energy.”

With almost 10,000 panels, the solar PV arrays throughout the state will provide 2.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) annually, saving approximately 1,484 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2e) annually – roughly the equivalent of taking 309 cars off the road.* The Walpole store alone will generate more than 380,000 kWh annually, saving roughly 200 metric tons of CO2e per year.

Our best wishes to Walmart’s commitment  towards the goal of being supplied by 100% renewable energy. We hope more businesses will follow Walmart’s lead in setting goals that will not only be environmental-wise but also economic-wise in the march toward solar and renewable energy future.

~have a bright and sunny day~

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

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

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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15 March

Massachusetts Paves the Way For More Renewable Energy in the Commonwealth

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

Just want to quickly share with you the press release from IREC (Interstate Renewable Energy Council, http://www.irecusa.org) on March 14, 2013, below:

The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an Order yesterday calling for several changes to its model interconnection tariff for distributed generation.  The DPU adopted most of the consensus recommendations suggested by the Distributed Generation Working Group (DGWG) in its September 2012 report and red-lined tariff.  The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) promoted many of the changes adopted by the DPU through its public comments and its participation in the DGWG in an advosory role. IREC commends the efforts of the DPU and the DGWG, which should encourage even more renewable energy growth in Massachusetts.

In recent years, the Common wealth has seen a huge surge of interconnection applications, which shows no signs of slowing down as interest in renewable energy continues to grow.  The revised interconnection procedures adopted yesterday should allow these applications to be processed more efficiently, and more renewable energy projects to come on line. “Massachusetts’ revised interconnection tariff represents a major improvement,” said Erica Schroeder of Keyes, Fox, & Wiedman LLP who represents IREC. “Overall its requirements are more clear and transparent, and more appropriate for the high volume of interconnection applications that Massachusetts is seeing.”

The changes adopted by the DPU touch on various parts of Massachusetts’ interconnection process, from before an application is submitted through the issuance of the interconnection agreement and construction.  For example, the DPU has approved a mandatory pre-application report for projects larger than 500 kilowatts. The pre-application report should help applicants prioritize among potential locations and configurations.  In addition, it should reduce the number of speculative applications that have bogged down the interconnection process in the past.  The updated Massachusetts tariff also includes several improvements to the technical screens for the simplified and expedited processes, which allow certain projects to move more quickly through to interconnection.

A more robust and transparent supplemental review process is another critical improvement in the new tariff.  Supplemental review allows projects that fail the Simplified and  Expedited Screens to still interconnect without full study.  To do so, these projects must pass the three supplemental review screens, which ensure that the project will not affect the safety and reliability of the grid. This improved supplemental review process should save both utilities and renewable developers time and money by avoiding unnecessary study.  It should also allow more projects to interconnect more quickly, while still supporting a healthy grid.

The DPU cited a number of open issues for stakeholders to pursue with respect to interconnection going forward, including the development of a group study process to study multiple, related applications concurrently.  IREC agrees that this is a critical issue to resolve in Massachusetts and plans to participate in the development of an effective group study process.

Another task that the DPU identified to determine the appropriate penetration screen for Supplemental Review.  The DPU adopted the more conservative option in its order yesterday-67 percent of minimum load-but required the new Technical Standards Review Group to spend the next year considering whether or not to increase the screen up to 100 percent of minimum load. “Using 100 percent of minimum load as the penetration screen in supplemental review is an emerging best practice nationally, as we’ve seen, for example, in California and Hawaii,” said Schroeder. “IREC hopes that Massachusetts will join these other states as a renewable energy leader and adopt the 100-percent screen.”

By February 2014, the new Technical Standards Review Group must provide a proposal regarding the supplemental review penetration screen to the DPU.  IREC plans to provide input in the development of this proposal. In the meantime, Massachusetts utilities must file updated individual tariffs in accordance with the revised tariff within 30 days of the order.  They must implement all non-tariffed changes adopted by the order immediately.

About IREC

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC) is a non-profit organization accelerating the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1982.  Its programs and policies lead to easier, more affordable connection to the utility grid;fair credit for renewable energy produced;best practices for states, municipalities, utilities and industries. IREC is a respected resource and national leader in quality assessment, workforce development, consumer protection and stakeholder coordination.  Since 2005, IREC has provided a foundation for the growing clean energy workforce through the credentialing of trainers and training programs and through the development of quality standards. For more information, visit http://www.irecusa.org

gathered and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamker

any of your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net


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2 October

Solar Decathlon 2011-Statistics From the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011

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If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MibIzEE-xOE

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011:

·         Even though a majority of the competition days were cloudy, seven out of the 19 houses produced more energy than they consumed

·         357,000 house visits were provided to the public during 10 days

·         92,000 votes were cast for the People’s Choice Award, more than five times the number of votes cast during the previous competition

·         A new Affordability Contest was featured, demonstrating the reasonable cost of many energy-saving home improvement products and design solutions available today

·         Approximately 4,000 collegiate students earned valuable experience by building an energy efficient house with peers in other disciplines, helping them prepare to enter the clean energy workforce

·         Collegiate teams from five countries and four continents participated

 

Solar Decathlon 2011 teams that competed on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park:

 

Solar Decathlon 2011 Final Scores and Standings

1. Maryland 951.151
2. Purdue 931.390
3. New Zealand 919.058
4. Middlebury College 914.809
5. Ohio State 903.938
6. SCI-Arc/Caltech 899.490
7. Illinois 875.715
8. Tennessee 859.132
9. Team Massachusetts 856.351
10. Canada 836.423
11. Florida Int’l 833.159
12. Appalachian State 832.499
13. Parsons NS Stevens 828.816
14. Tidewater Virginia 774.910
15. Team China 765.471
16. Team Belgium 709.843
17. Team New York 677.356
18. Team New Jersey 669.352
19. Team Florida 619.006

Solar Decathlon 2011 Individual Contest Winners

Affordability (Awarded Tuesday, September 27, 2011) Contest

Empowerhouse of Parsons New School of Design and  Stevens Institute of Technology tied first place with E-Cube of Belgium’s Ghent University.

Empowerhouse of Parson New School of Design and Stevens Institute of Technology shines brightly at night after a stormy day

Stephen Scribner (front) accepts first place in the Affordability Contest on behalf of Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology

and Team Belgium Ghent University’s E-Cube

visitors waiting in line to tour inside the finished E-Cube of Team Belgium Ghent University. This is the only entry of Solar Decathlon with second floor, essentially a building kit for a relatively inexperienced builder.

 

Belgium Toon Vermeir checks the tight competition stands online in the child’s bedroom on the second floor of E-Cube (but due to lack of handicap/wheelchair accessibility, the second floor was closed off to visitors)

tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the contest by constructing houses estimated to cost $229,890 and $249,568, respectively. New for the Solar Decathlon 2011, the Affordability contest encouraged teams to design and build affordable houses that combine energy efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems. A professional estimator determined the construction cost of each house. Teams earned 100 points for achieving a target construction cost of $250,000 or less. A sliding point scale was applied to houses with estimated construction costs between $250,001 and $600,000.

 

Appliances (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Students from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign speaks with the Engineering Jury during judging

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Re_home shine brightly at night, with Washington Monument in the background

took first place and earned 99.955 out of 100 possible points by outperforming the other 18 houses in keeping its refrigerator and freezer cold, washing and drying loads of laundry during the contest week, and running a dishwasher during the competition. The Appliances Contest is designed to mimic the appliance use of an average U.S. house.

Architecture (Awarded Wednesday, September 28, 2011) Contest
Maryland took first place in the Architecture Contest

University of Maryland became the first team to have an electricity meter installed

University of Maryland’s team members celebrate after being presented with First Place in Architecture Contest

and earned 96 points out of a possible 100. A jury of architects judged homes on the aesthetic and functional elements of the home’s design; integration and energy efficiency of electrical and natural light; inspiration and delight to Solar Decathlon visitors; and documentation including drawings, a project manual, and an audiovisual architecture presentation that accurately reflect the constructed project on the competition site.

Comfort Zone (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Ohio State University topped the contestants in the Comfort Zone Contest,

Ohio State University’s enCORE shines brightly at night

The Ohio State University team shows visitors the air supply system of their house, enCORE

with 98.652 out of 100 points for maintaining indoor temperatures between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity below 60 percent.

Communications (Awarded Friday, September 30, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College’s communications efforts,

Middlebury College’s Self-Reliance shines brightly at night after a stormy day

Middlebury College students pose for photo after accepting the first place award for Communication Contest

including communications plans, student-led tours, and team website, were judged by a jury of website and public relations experts, and won the contest with a score of 90 points out of a possible 100 points.

Engineering (Awarded Thursday, September 29, 2011) Contest
New Zealand won the Engineering contest,

New Zealand’s First Light shines brightly at night

New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington celebrate after taking first place in Engineering Contest

which was evaluated by a group of prominent engineers, who determined which solar home best exemplified excellence in functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation of its energy systems. New Zealand scored 93 out of a possible 100 points.

Home Entertainment (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College earned 98.560 out of a possible 100 points in this contest, which required students to use electricity generated by their solar houses to run interior and exterior lights, a TV, a computer, and a kitchen appliance to boil water. Teams were also required to hold two dinner parties and a movie night for neighbors.

Middlebury College’s student Melissa Segil prepares a dish during a competition dinner party

Hot Water (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Hot Water contest’s “shower tests,” which aimed to deliver 15 gallons of hot water in ten minutes or less. Of course, the water was heated by the sun. Tying for top honors in this contest were:  Appalachian State University,  University of Maryland, New Zealand’s Ghent University, Ohio State UniversityParsons NS Stevens, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Chelsea Royall, front, Team Design Director of Appalachian State University, talks about her team’s house (The Solar Homestead) on Media Preview Day

New Zealand’s First Light’s dining room

Maryland’s Watershed clear view

   University of TN’s Living Light shines brightly at night

Future homeowners of Empowerhouse of Parson New School of Design & Stevens Institute of Technology  

rainbow seen between SCI-Arc/Caltech’CHIP (left) & Ohio State University’s  enCORE(right)

Energy Balance (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. Teams earned points for producing at least as much energy as their houses needed during the contest week. The teams accomplished this by balancing production and consumption. Tying for top honors in this contest were:  Florida International,

Illinois, Maryland, New Zealand, Purdue, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Market Appeal (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011) Contest
Middlebury College won the Market Appeal contest, which evaluated whether the cost-effective construction and solar technology in a team’s design would create a viable product on the open market. Judges gauged market appeal based on three criteria:  livability, marketability and constructability. Middlebury earned 95 points out of a possible 100 as judged by the professional jury.

More about the Solar Decathlon

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The nearly two-year projects culminated in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park from September 23 – October 2, 2011. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce, supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://sunisthefuture.net

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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16 September

Solar Decathlon (21)-Team Massachusetts’ 4D Home Design of 2011

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Dear Readers,

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much. We are at a critical juncture in human history when individual effort and participation in the transition into renewable energy age is desperately needed!  Your signature will be very meaningful in helping all earthlings!  For a summary of why we need to switch to power the earth with Wind-Water-Sunlight quickly, reasons are explained by Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson at  http://sunisthefuture.net/?m=20110731 There are more than sixteen episodes of discussions on FIT (Feed-In-Tariff/CLEAN Program) available at http://sunisthefuture.net Please feel free to read/listen to them (type in feed-in-tariff in the search box at right).  Keep in mind that signing this petition only means that you are in favor of renewable energy and FIT/CLEAN Program and does not obligate you to provide any financial support. We simply want our combined voice to be heard even if we are not spending millions of lobbying dollars. We want to demonstrate that our system of democracy will work for people in all socio-economic strata. So please join us in this earthly movement by signing this petition and participating in our common goal of moving toward the renewable and solar energy age.

As we approach Team Massachusetts’ 4D Home design (4D representing a design that would adapt and transform over time according to the needs of the family),  targets the market for a family of three (one child).  This ability to transform may be seen in the two storage movable walls inside the house that may be able to convert a bedroom into an open space. 4D Home design  placed the solar PV arrays offset from the roof,  shading the South facade and creating a sheltered transition into the interior.  Inside, the kitchen anchors the core of the house, dividing the public and private spaces and provide a ring of circulation between them. The expansive living room is spacious and well lit by the South and East facing windows. Vertical storage functions  as storage space, a wall, and a closet for the bedroom. Adjacent to the bedroom through a glass door is the mechanical  and laundry room.  The private corridor behind the kitchen is lit from above by a skylight and may be used as a work space with much versatility.  Dining space is found in the Southwest corner of the house, easily accommodating daily needs for a family of three. Central kitchen is a compact organization of appliances and storage, directly looking to the South and providing plenty of counter spaces for cooking. Longitudinal view through the kitchen connects each area and encourages communications among family members. Now let’s have a look at this house that was designed to adapt and  grow with the changing needs of a family.—>

 

written and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage:     http://sunisthefuture.net http://sunisthefuture.com http://sunisthefuture.org
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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5 July

Incentive For Solar (15)-Feed-In-Tariff-US

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Happy July 4th!! (Creative Commons, shot from Anderson and Villanova, 07/04/2010)

Firstly, Happy July 4th!!!

If you are in favor of renewable/CLEAN energy, please sign the petition page showing support for FIT/CLEAN Program at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you.

A thousand apologies for this delayed post. As a result of some family matters, my time had been very restricted this past month. But the upside of this is the fact that I had the opportunity to be exposed to people from various states and a chance to spread more of words on solar/renewable  energy and the idea of Feed-In-Tariff.  I also came across an article, Are Feed-In Tariffs Part of Colorado’s Solar Future?, by James Cartledge in ColoradoEnergyNews, indicated that solar industry groups from 13 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland-DC, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia, have said it is high time for the entire country to make use of feed-in-tariffs to encourage homes and businesses to generate their own solar power.

In recent years, I’ve often heard some young people responding to any discussion of our national energy or national debt issues with a “I don’t care and why should we the youth care?” attitude.  So, it is my pleasure to have come across and be able to share this next youtube clip, developed by a young lady from my home state of sunny Florida,  Yelena of University of Florida, who understood that our  youth now will be the ones who will be most affected by the energy policy implemented today.  The real cost of  energy include energy security, environmental pollution, and the impact of climate change.  Our youth of today will be paying for these cost of energy tomorrow.  The sooner more of our youths will come to appreciate Feed-In-Tariff(s) (aka Renewable Energy Dividend Policy), the better chance these youths will not have to pay as high of a price in the future.  Yelena managed to have interviewed Ed Regan, the Assistant General Manager of Gainesville Regional Utility, who was responsible for the implementation of Feed-In-Tariff  in Gainesville, FL and from Andrew Walmsley, Assistant Director of Agriculture Policy of Florida Farm Bureau. You will be able to see/hear Mr. Regan explaining how/why Feed-In-Tariff approach would be superior to the stand-alone Renewable Portfolio Standard and countries with Feed-In-Tariffs end up with more renewable energy at lower cost (reported by National Renewable Energy Lab).  We will also hear from Tim Morgan, the President and CEO of TM Industries,  Jennifer Morgan, owner of MGI Solar Electric Power,  and Don Davis, President of Capital City Bank, explain how  local communities would benefit tremendously and quickly from implementing Feed-In-Tariff. 

Put it simply, Feed-In-Tariff is an incentive policy that requires the power company to buy renewable energy from any one who produces it. No matter how small the producer is, the power company has to buy the renewable energy from the producer. Different tariff rates are set for different renewable energy technologies, linked to the cost of resource development in each case.  Typically, FITs include three key provisions:

  • guaranteed grid access
  • long-term contracts (often 15-25 years) for the electricity produced
  • purchase prices that are based on the cost of renewable energy generation and tend towards grid parity

The cost based prices therefore enable a diversity of projects (wind, solar, etc.) to be developed while investors can obtain a reasonable return on renewable energy investments.

Finally, we have affirmation from FARE (Florida Alliance For Renewable Energy), stating that Feed-In-Tariff, had proven to be the most effective incentive program for rate payer (meaning least costly) for rapid wide spread  deployment of renewable energy toward the path for Energy Independence, Job Creations, and Economic Stimulation.  I believe it is very apropos to give a big SHOUT-OUT for Feed-In-Tariff in our celebration of July 4th, to remind not only those 13 states, but throughout USA that we are ready to walk down the path for ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, JOB CREATIONS, and ECONOMIC STIMULATION…we want Feed-In-Tariff !

Posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, sunisthefuture@gmail.com   http://sunisthefuture.net   http://sunisthefuture.com  http://sunisthefuture.org 
Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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