Posts Tagged ‘sustainable’

10 May

The Current World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm, On London’s Queen Elizabeth II’s Reservoir

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Thames water EU's and World's (as of April, 2016) largest floating solar farm QE-press-release credit Thames water

Thames water EU’s and World’s (as of April, 2016) largest floating solar farm QE-press-release credit Thames water

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A quick note to let you know that the currently (as of April, 2016) World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm/Panel Array had been installed on London’s Queen Elizabeth II reservoir, near Walton-on-Thames, as part of Thames Water’s goal to self-generate a third of its own energy by 2020. The array features 23,046 solar panels and measures 57,500 sq meters ( or 618,925 sq ft). The reservoir is run by Thames Water.  The solar farm is funded and operated by Ennoviga Solar and Lightsource Renewable Energy. The low carbon, solar energy produced will be used to power the nearby water treatment works to help reduce the power bills for drinking water. It will have a total installed peak capacity of 6.3 megawatts and is expected to generate 5.8 million kilowatt hours in its first year – equivalent to the annual consumption of around 1,800 homes.

Thames Water’s energy manager, Angus Berry said:
Becoming a more sustainable business is integral to our long term strategy and this innovative new project brings us one step closer to achieving our goal – this is the right thing for our customers, the right thing for our stakeholders and most importantly the right thing for the environment.”

The advantage of a floating array is the fact that the water would provide the welcomed benefit of cooling the solar arrays, in addition to not taking up space from agricultural area.

The British may still have the largest floating solar farm in Europe by 2018, but the title for the World’s Largest Floating Solar Farm may soon be replaced by the Japanese floating reservoir  (the floating array on Yamakura Dam) with twice the size of Queen Elizabeth II reservoir in 2018.

The floating array on Yamakura Dam in Chiba Prefecture, will measure 180,000 sq meters and 13.7 MW, upon completion. Since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japan has created a number of solar farms on water as it has turned away from nuclear power, and land is in short supply. Considering the desirability of reducing evaporation from the reservoir through having solar panels above and cooling of the solar panels from water below, the concept of floating solar farm is simply a Win-Win phenomenon!

 

 

 

~have a bright and sunny day~
Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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14 March

Looking Into The Future With Elon Musk

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

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Just received a video that I trust all of us Solar Enthusiasts would enjoy, below, esp. from these three segments:

  1. 1. 0:48-2:05
  2. 7:50-9:10
  3. 12:25-13:40

Elon Musk concurs with our effort and interest in helping our planet Earth to transition into Solar/Renewable Energy! He is definitely our Peops!
In this next video, below, please especially note these segments where Elon Musk discusses carbon tax, battery technology, solar/renewable energy, and our sustainable future.

  1. 8:28-9:30
  2. 24:45-28:20
  3. 31:54-33:30
  4. 40:00-41:00

Our coverage on Elon Musk will continue in the next episode/post.
~have a bright and sunny day~
Any comments, suggestions, concerns regarding this post will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Gathered, written,  and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

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www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

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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

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

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3 November

Masdar City-An Experimental City of the Sustainable Future

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Please show your support for Renewable Energy by visiting-signing-sharing Renewable-FIT For Sunshine State!

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Masdar City Building (wikimedia commons)

Today’s post will take you to a city outside  of Abu Dhabi (one of the fastest growing and hottest cities on planet Earth), where the luscious green lawns and spectacular fountains helped to display the fact that Abu Dhabi, even though located in the desert,  is a city harnessing the power of technology  to defy the laws of nature. But Abu Dhabi is not the city I want to focus our attention on today because it relies heavily on fossil fuel, the fuel of yesterday. Instead, I’d like to take you to a City of Tomorrow, the Masdar City, a new and green city built from the scratch just outside of Abu Dhabi, the Masdar City. It is the home to the largest solar power plant in the Middle East, covering  area equivalent to thirty-five football pitches via 88,000 solar panels, producing power for Masdar City and Abu Dhabi. Let’s take a look at this fantastic experimental city in the video below:


Masdar City is a planned eco-city in the United Arab Emirates ,

Masdar City Map

built by Masdar, a subsidiary of Mubadala Development Company, with the majority of seed capital provided by the government of Abu Dhabi. It is Designed by the British architectural firm Foster and Partners and engineering and environmental consultancy Mott MacDonald , the city relies entirely on solar energy and other renewable energy sources, with a zero waste ecology. It initially aimed to be a sustainable zero-carbon car free city. Masdar City is being constructed 17 kilometres (11 mi) east-south-east of the city of Abu Dhabi, beside Abu Dhabi International Airport.  Masdar City will host the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The city is designed to be a hub for cleantech companies. Its first tenant is the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which has been operating in the city since it moved into its campus in September 2010. The city as a whole was originally intended to be completed by 2016 but due to the impact of the global financial crisis, the date has now been pushed back to between 2020 and 2025. Due to the limitations found during the initial implementation, the city is now aiming to be low carbon. The project was projected to cost US$22 billion and take some eight years to build, with the first phase scheduled to be completed and habitable in 2009. Construction began on Masdar City in 2008 and the first six buildings of the city were completed and occupied in October 2010. Phase 1 of the city, the initial 1,000,000 square meters (0.39 sq mi), will be completed in 2015. Final completion is scheduled to occur between 2020 and 2025. The estimated cost of the city has also declined, to between US$18.7 and 19.8 billion. The city is planned to cover 6 square kilometers (2.3 sq mi) and will be home to 45,000 to 50,000 people and 1,500 businesses, primarily commercial and manufacturing facilities specialising in environmentally friendly products, and more than 60,000 workers are expected to commute to the city daily.

The initial design considered that automobiles would be banned within the city as travel will be accomplished via public mass transit and personal rapid transit (PRT) systems,

Podcar at a personal rapid transit (PRT) station in Masdar City (wikimedia)

with existing road and railways connecting to other locations outside the city. The absence of motor vehicles coupled with Masdar’s perimeter wall, designed to keep out the hot desert winds, allows for narrow and shaded streets that help funnel cooler breezes across the city.

In October 2010 it was announced the PRT would not expand beyond the pilot scheme due the cost of creating the undercroft to segregate the system from pedestrian traffic. Subsequently, a test fleet of 10 Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars was deployed in 2011 as part of a one-year pilot to test a point-to-point transportation solution for the city as a complement to the PRT and the freight rapid transit (FRT), both of which consist of automated electric-powered vehicles. Under the revised concept, public transport within the city will rely on methods other than the PRTs. Masdar will instead use a mix of electric vehicles and other clean-energy vehicles for mass transit inside the city. The majority of private vehicles will be restricted to parking lots along the city’s perimeter. Abu Dhabi’s existing light rail and metro line will connect Masdar City’s centre with the greater metropolitan area.

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology

Building and courtyard of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi (wikipedia)

has been behind the engineering plans of Masdar City and is at the center of research and development activities. The institute, developed in cooperation with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, uses 70% less electricity and potable water than normal buildings of similar size and is fitted with a metering system that constantly observes power consumption.

Masdar will employ a variety of renewable power resources. Among the first construction projects will be a 40 to 60 megawatt PV solar power plant,

Masdar rooftop solar panels in city model (wikipedia)

built by the German firm Conergy, which will supply power for all other construction activity. This will later be followed by a larger facility, and additional solar panels will be placed on rooftops to provide supplemental solar energy totalling 130 megawatts. Besides photovoltaics, concentrated solar power (CSP) plants are also being explored. For example, so-called “beam down” CSP plants (be sure to watch the video clip) have been constructed to test the viability of the concept for use in the city. Wind farms will be established outside the city’s perimeter capable of producing up to 20 megawatts, and the city intends to utilize geothermal energy as well. In addition, Masdar plans to host the world’s largest hydrogen power plant.

Water management has been planned in an environmentally sound manner as well. A solar-powered desalination plant will be used to provide the city’s water needs, which is stated to be 60 percent lower than similarly sized communities. Approximately 80 percent of the water used will be recycled and waste water will be reused “as many times as possible,” with this greywater being used for crop irrigation and other purposes.

The city will also attempt to reduce waste to zero. Biological waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil and fertiliser, and some may also be utilised through waste incineration as an additional power source. Industrial waste, such as plastics and metals, will be recycled or re-purposed for other uses.

The exterior wood used throughout the city is palmwood, a sustainable hardwood-substitute developed by Pacific Green using plantation coconut palms that no longer bear fruit. Palmwood features include the entrance gates, screens and doors.

There are many supporters behind this project:  World Wide Fund for Nature , sustainability group BioRegional. In response to the project’s commitment to zero carbon, zero waste and other environmentally friendly goals, WWF and BioRegional have endorsed Masdar City as an official One Planet Living Community. The project is also supported by Greenpeace, which, however, stresses that there should be more focus on retrofitting existing cities to make them more sustainable rather than constructing new zero-carbon cities from scratch. The US Government has supported the project. The US Department of Energy have signed a partnership agreement with the Masdar group in a deal that will see the two organisations share expertise to support plans on zero-carbon cities. The Alliance to Save Energy honored Masdar City with a 2012 EE Visionary Award in recognition of the city’s contributions to the advancement of energy efficiency.  (wikipedia)

Let’s hope Masdar will not just be an expensive experiment but will truly become the prototype for all cities for our sustainable future.

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on World Solar Challenge 2013 and solar energy topics:

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~have a bright and sunny day~

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

Any of your comments will be welcomed below or via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (please note if you do not want your email to be shared)

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