Phase One of Babcock Ranch, FL is slated to open next year.
It’s pretty exciting to see that a whole community will be powered by the sun and what better place than Florida. Per EcoBuildingPulse,com, in 2006, developer Syd Kitson released plans for Babcock Ranch, a massive community to consist of 19,500 homes powered exclusively by the sun (but void of any unsightly solar systems on roofs).
Instead of individual PV panels, the community and the broader region will be supplied with solar energy via Florida Power and Light’s 74.5 megawatt Babcock Ranch Solar Energy Center. Expected to be operational by the end of the year, the 443-acre solar power plant will be located in the Babcock Ranch and will supply more than enough energy to meet residents’ needs, according to project planners.
“Babcock Ranch will exemplify what it means to be a town of the future, offering residents a highly unique balance of the most technologically advanced infrastructure and amenities, with ready access to a rich natural environment and a true sense of community,” says Kitson, CEO of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based development firm Kitson & Partners.
Phase 1 development encompasses 1,100 single-family and multifamily residences and a downtown area with a wellness center, café, restaurant, and outdoor outfitter shop.
For more information check out Builderonline.com. We’ll be on the look out for the development of the town, they should be welcoming their new residents by 2017.
Good news for the clean energy industry, as U.S. lawmakers agreed to extend tax credits for solar and wind for another five years. This will give much needed boost to the industry and change the course of how the US deploys energy.
The extension adds an extra 20 gigawatts of solar power— this is more than every panel ever installed in the U.S. prior to 2015, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). This deal is huge it is likely to change the landscape of US renewable energy for the future.
The wind credit will contribute another 19 gigawatts over five years. Combined, the extensions will spur more than $73 billion of investment and supply enough electricity to power 8 million U.S. homes, according to BNEF.
“This is massive,” said Ethan Zindler, head of U.S. policy analysis at BNEF. In the short term, the deal will speed up the shift from fossil fuels more than the global climate deal struck this month in Paris and more than Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan that regulates coal plants, Zindler said.
This is solid boost for the solar and wind industries, the cost of installing has dropped more than 90% since the original tax credits were put in place. Now the industry has 5 consecutive years to hopefully make both solar and wind the cheapest energy in most US states, surpassing natural gas and coal. This is a very positive step in the right direction, it will give us a clear indication of how the markets will react, maybe this is the push we need to make renewables the number one energy source for the US. A good way to start 2016!
A couple months back I attended a NYSERDA CHP (Combined Heat & Power) Expo in NYC. All the companies were vetted by NYSERDA and able to provide concrete energy management solutions with CHP systems. I, of course, spoke to all the companies and sought out those who had previously worked with museums, one company stood out: ENER-G. Originally a British company with global offices, plus a local office in NYC, they provide organizations across the globe with energy management services, sustainable technologies and renewable energy solutions, to help them intelligently generate, buy and manage energy.
Back in 2010-2011 ENER-G installed four new CHP units for, at the new (at the time) Museum of Liverpool, which guaranteed annual savings of more than $750,0000. “And the ‘trigeneration’ technology, which created highly efficient heat, electricity and cooling, also reduced carbon emissions by 884 tons each year – equivalent to the environmental benefit of taking 295 cars off the road.” Pretty impressive!
What’s even more interesting is that ENER-G was commissioned by National Museums Liverpool, the group responsible for all the diverse museums in Liverpool to design and install the new CHP system at the Mann Island site – part of the famous Pier Head at the core of the World Heritage Site on Liverpool’s famous waterfront. And ENER-G will solely operate and maintain the plant for 17 years. The actual CHP system was split between a faciliteis room in the Museum of Liverpool and the historic Great Western Railwlay (GWR) Goods Shed on Liverpool’s waterfront. “ENER-G converted the Goods Shed into a state-of-the-art energy center with sophisticated remote monitoring and diagnostic facilities. When designing and building GWR ENER-G had to adhere to planning conditions and design the energy center to operate independently of the utility electrical supply.”
Now to explain a little more about how the CHP or cogeneration system works. It generates electricity and recovers and reuses the majority of the heat created in the process. In conventional power stations this heat is simply wasted into the atmosphere through power station cooling towers and along the miles of electrical distribution cables needed to bring the power to site. Instead, by using CHP to generate electricity on site the heat is used to provide heating and hot water for the museum in the winter, and air conditioning and chilled water via the absorption cooling system in the summer months. The utility grid supply will provide additional back up, if required. Using a system like this automatically sets your institution up for major energy and financial savings.
The Museum of Liverpool are also able to use the GWR Building housing the CHP plant for an educational resource in its own right. As it has a small visitor facility where groups can gain an understanding of the technology and its contribution to the museum’s sustainability. Not only was the museum able to drastically reduce their energy consumption, but they also gained a teaching tool for others to learn and follow in their footsteps.
This is super exciting news to me, I know a bit nerdy! I’ve been a Green Mountain Energy customer for about 8 years and thoroughly support everything they do, so finding out that they were able to partner up with the Philadelphia Zoo on solar golf carts…very cool.
The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club donates to many projects that “enhance the quality of life through long-term, sustainable solutions that focus on people and the planet.” Recently, the Philadelphia Zoo was the proud recipient of $100,000 to be dedicated to increasing it’s already existing sustainability initiatives. The money was chosen to fund solar golf carts, which will immensely help zoo employees to get around the 42-acre park in much less time and more efficiently. Each solar-powered golf cart can generate enough clean energy to drive more than 1,600 miles annually. That’s a lot of miles around the park!
As the nation’s first zoo, Philadelphia is doing a tremendous job creating and implementing onsite operational sustainability measures. “With more than 1.35 million visitors annually, they aim to educate their community, model sustainable practices and provide their visitors with tools for taking action to live greener in their own lives, empowered to make a difference.” Presently the Zoo is working toward strategies to lessen their environmental footprint in five key areas:
1) improve energy efficiency
2) reduce, and manage greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
3) consistently conserve, and increasingly collect and reuse water
4) Use current best practices to manage stormwater on site and
5) conserve resources and avoid the use of hazardous materials through waste diversion and green purchasing.
This is very commendable, as we all know thoughtful zoos require an enormous amount of people’s energy and mechanical energy to run. It’s more than important to keep the animals healthy, it’s an utmost necessity!
Also if you’re in Philadelphia any time soon, right now they also have a unique exhibit called Second Nature, Junk Rethunk, which is “an array of artist installations, some larger than life, each one telling stories of endangered animals through the use of recycled, reduced, reused, repurposed and renewed materials.”