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.
It is exciting to see that a museum was chosen as one of the 2016 AIA COTE top ten green projects of the year! Check out the specs via AIA below.
From the AIA:
The Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA, is an interactive science museum that also demonstrates innovation and sustainability in its design and construction. The building takes advantage of the historic pier shed’s natural lighting and the 800’ long roof provided room for a 1.3 megawatt photovoltaic array. The water of the Bay is used for cooling and heating. Materials were used that that are both sustainable and durable enough to withstand a harsh maritime climate. The project is certified LEED Platinum and is close to reaching its goal of being the country’s largest Net Zero energy museum and an industry model for what’s possible in contemporary museums.
BY THE NUMBERS:
- Estimated percent of occupants using public transit, cycling or walking: 47%
- Daylighting at levels that allow lights to be off during daylight hours: 50%
- Lighting Power Density: 0.78 watts/sf
- Views to the Outdoors: 75%
- Percent reduction of regulated potable water: 50%
- Total EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 42
- Net EUI predicted (kBtu/sf/yr): 6
- Percent reduction from National Median EUI for Building Type (predicted): 92%
Photo Credit: Bruce Damonte Photography
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!
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.”
If you are in New York City next week on October 15th and you are interested in sustainable energy and green building, don’t miss NESEA’s annual Building Energy 2015 Conference. The conference focuses on renewable energy and highlights what is happening in the forefront of the industry. There will be 6 tracks with 24 educational sessions over the course of the day given by top professionals in their field, plus over 50 trade show exhibitors and tons of networking. If you are already in the field then come brush up on your skills, if not then come to learn more about how important energy efficiency is for all sectors of our great city!