This Week in Energy News – February 22, 2013

This week in Jetson Green Energy News, New York City is preparing for the next big storm and a California land rush could result in alternative energy providing the state with 100% of its power needs.

New York City East River Blueway Plan

Proposed: Four Miles of Manhattan’s East River to be Redeveloped with Storm Barrier

WXY Architecture + Urban Design, working with local officials and community groups, has developed the East River Blueway Plan to redevelop a stretch of Manhattan’s waterways to combat storm water surge, calling “for the creation of wetlands, parks, bicycle and pedestrian pathways and bridges, and the redevelopment of a disused beach under the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Toyota Sponsors 4,500 Trees for New York Restoration Project MillionTreesNYC

Founded in 1995 by Bette Midler, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) has launched the MillionTreesNYC effort, a collaboration with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and other local organizations that has plans to plant one million trees in New York City by 2017. Toyota has already agreed to sponsor the planting of 4,500 trees towards this year’s annual goal of 15,000.

Renewable Energy Projects in California Could Meet 100% of the State’s Power Needs

A land rush on California’s farming region to plant solar farms adds up to 227 proposed solar projects that, combined with wind and other renewable energy sources, “generate enough electricity to meet 100% of California’s power needs on an average summer day,” the California Independent System Operator says.

Net-Zero Certification Program Launched by EarthCraft Virginia

Currently in a pilot stage, a two-art certification program being designed by EarthCraft Virginia will provide projects and homeowners with “Net-Zero Ready” and “Net-Zero Certified” status for energy-neutral and energy-positive residential buildings. The program is targeted to new construction in the southeastern United States.

National Research Council Report Advises Department of Defense to Continue LEED Efforts

A new report that has been compiled by the United States National Research Council, as requested by Congress, on “the use of energy-efficiency and sustainability standards for military construction,” has reviewed previous efforts by the U.S. Department of Defense to achieve LEED Silver or equivalent ratings in new construction and major renovations and gave them the “thumbs up.”

Renewable Energy Breakthrough Uses Geometry to Trap Solar Power

Researchers at Illinois’ Northwestern University have found a way to triple the period of time that light can be trapped within thin-film photovoltaic cells by “manipulating the arrangement of a polymer layer on an organic solar cell.”

Emerging Technologies Could Affect Building Industry Sustainability Efforts

A list of the most promising technology breakthroughs, released by the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Emerging Technologies, which are expected to enable humans to deal with problems related to tackle population growth, resource demands, and other sustainability issues, included organic electronics, three-dimensional printing, self-heating materials, and remote sensing.

Public Demonstration of Tiny Houses in Washington D.C. Aims to Change Minds and Regulations

Boneyard Studios, founded by Brian Levy and Lee Pera, has created a community of tiny, movable houses as public demonstration of the trend in residential downsizing, hoping to “encourage changes in local laws to permit smaller, more affordable living options here and on vacant land across the city.”

Changing Business Models to Embrace Sustainability Equates to Increased Profitability

A study conducted by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group has revealed that “companies reporting profits from sustainability rose 23 percent in 2012, to 37 percent of the total” and that “that companies in developing countries change their business models as a result of sustainability at a far higher rate than those based in North America, which has the lowest rate of business-model innovation and the fewest business-model innovators.”

See more here: This Week in Energy News – February 22, 2013


Active House Specification Migrates to U.S.

It’s time to welcome a new green building protocol with the arrival of the Active House specification in the United States.  The specification gets a big test with this home, called Active House USA, which will be the first Active House in the country when finished.  It’s designed by Jeff Day & Associates and will be built by Hibbs Homes and Verdatek Solutions in St. Louis to test the new specification in a mixed climate.  Here’s a little more about Active House and this 2,500 square foot home.

First and foremost, Active House is a “target framework for how to design and renovate buildings that contribute positively to human health and well-being by focusing on the indoor and outdoor environment and the use of renewable energy,” according to the specification published by Active House Alliance.

An Active House is designed to the Trias Energetica concept — first reduce energy demand, then source renewable energy, and finally use fossil fuels as efficiently as possible, if necessary.

In addition, the specification has an indoor climate component that relates to lighting, views, thermal environment, indoor air quality, and noise and acoustics, as well as an environment component that relates to energy consumption, water consumption, and cultural and ecological context.

All of these will be put to the test in Active House USA, which will be built with Insulpan SIPs, triple-glazed windows, zero- and low-VOC paints and finishes, an ERV, a high-efficiency furnace, and reclaimed materials.

For extra measure, the project team will also pursue four certifications: Energy Star, EPA Indoor airPlus, Building America Builder’s Challenge, and the National Green Building Standard, according to the Structural Insulated Panel Association.  I’ll follow the project and provide updates in the future.

[+] More about energy efficient Active House USA in Webster Groves.

Credits: Jeff Day & Associates (top); Active House Alliance.

Related Articles on

  1. Update: Living in an Active House
  2. The Fraser Net-Zero Energy House
  3. Passive House: Brighter Shade of Green

Go here to read the rest: Active House Specification Migrates to U.S.

Stratum is a Bamboo-Filled Surface Material

So, what do you get when you sandwich a plywood bamboo material called PlyBoo with two sheets of a paper-composite called RichliteStratum, a new surface material made through a venture between Smith & Fong and Richlite Company.  The material was inspired by nature and the majestic basalt cliffs of Palouse Canyon in eastern Washington.

I first noticed the material when the Chad Ludeman mentioned that he was chomping at the bit to put Stratum in play as an upgrade for a new project called reNEWBOLD.

Stratum combines the green benefits of PlyBoo and Richlite so it’s FSC-certified and may contribute towards LEED points.  Richlite is made with FSC-certified fibers, while PlyBoo is made with rapidly renewable bamboo and soy adhesives.  Stratum contains no added urea-formaldehyde.

The material is non off-gassing and heat, scratch, and stain resistant, according to Richlite.  Stratum is available in a 1″ thickness and 48″ x 96″ sheet sizes with any of the ten available Richlite Northwest colors.

[+] Get more technical detail about Richlite Stratum.

Credits: Richlite.

Related Articles on

  1. NanaWall Unveils Bamboo Folding Doors
  2. Smith & Fong Expands Line at Greenbuild
  3. Indestructible Fossilized Bamboo Floor

Read more: Stratum is a Bamboo-Filled Surface Material

Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy Hosts Conference: “Florida’s Next Decade of Renewable Energy”

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) February 23, 2010

The Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy (FARE) announced today the keynote speaker for their Annual Renewable Energy Conference, Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). This years conference “Florida’s Next Decade of Renewable Energy” is set to be held March 26th through March 28th 2010 at the Gaylord Palms Hotel and Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The conference will feature Friday and Saturday panel discussions and seminars and a Sunday golf tournament at the Celebration Golf Club.

Discussions will feature renewable energy experts and speakers from around the state, the country and the globe. Topics will cover technologies including biomass, solar, wind & more as well as policy and legislative topics, and renewable energy relevent to agricultural, retail, commercial, industrial and government applications. The conference will feature a special emhpasis on investments in the renewable energy industry and best practices of attracting private investment dollars, stimulating local economies and creating local jobs. Attendees will include coalition partners from the agricultural community, renewable energy advocates & activists, businesses from across the state and the region, industry value chain and service providers, real estate and investment professionals, legislators and local government officials.

FARE Executive Director Mike Antheil says “This is the very best opportunity that our industry has to come together and speak with one collective voice during the 2010 legislative session. We have an opportunity to demonstrate to our policy makers the overwhelming support of the renewable enegry industry, and how we have an opportunity to do something this year that has never been done before – to create a sustainable renewable energy marketplace in the State of Florida”

Keynote speaker Rhone Resch of SEIA will speak Saturday at lunch, followed by a live video address from Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, leading in to the culmination of the conference featuring a discussion on renewable enegry policy for the State of Florida.

Other confirmed speakers include:

PROINSO supplies PV products to UK-based renewable energy company RenEnergy

(PRWEB) October 19, 2011

PROINSO, a company specialising in the supply of modules, inverters, trackers, and fixed structures for roof and ground mounted photovoltaic installations, has delivered a first order, consisting of 560 kW in TRINA modules and SMA inverters, to the British renewable technology solution provider RenEnergy. The PV roof mounting installation is located in Suffolk, northeast of London.

The end user is Frederick Hiam Ltd, a farming and vegetable packing business established over a hundred years ago. In its daily activity, the company will use 100% power generated by the new PV installation (637,687 kWh).

PROINSO sources have considered this sale to be very positive: ?We?re proud to have been selected by RenEnergy to be the suppliers for this important PV solar project, because it is one of the largest in the area and also because it is the first order delivered to one of the pioneer renewable energy solution providers, and it can be the first in a series of new orders in the future.?

RenEnergy is a British power company that has been at the forefront of renewable technology innovation over the past years. At present, it is one of the few UK-based companies to be MCS accredited in four technologies (solar PV, heat pumps, solar thermal, and wind turbines). Based in Norfolk, RenEnergy has been involved in the design and installation of over 4 MW of PV energy in the UK.

From 26 to 28 October, PROINSO is attending Solar Power UK (Hall 3 – B1-5) in Birmingham. At the event, the company will introduce the latest TRINA and SMA solutions, plus the usual range of products.

Bidding on the UK

PROINSO has recently opened an office and a logistics warehouse in London to strengthen its presence in the British market. To attain this goal, the company has a local team of highly qualified, experienced professionals in the renewable energy industry, headed by Mark Randall. PROINSO UK expects to reach a 10% market share in the UK in 2012.

At its new British location, 943 Yeovil Road (Slough), PROINSO also offers services and gives support to its 32 UK-based Qualified Installers. Moreover, the logistics warehouse in Slough, covering 3,000 sq m, is large enough to permanently keep large stocks of merchandise, which will result in shorter delivery times to better serve small PV installers.

It is worth mentioning that, within the company?s international training programme, the PROINSO Solar Training School, PROINSO UK has signed a cooperation agreement with the renowned PV learning centre EcoSkies to train Qualified Installers. EcoSkies is one of the leading training centres for PV installers in the UK, with which PROINSO works in the development of training programmes and contents for the PV installers in the Network, contributing educational materials and organising conferences.

Global leader in the PV solar energy industry

PROINSO has facilities in the UK, Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, the USA, Canada, China, and the Czech Republic. At present, its International Network of Qualified Installers includes 1,743 member companies around the world.

By October 2011, the company had supplied over 1,000 MW in modules and inverters delivered to the more than 1,743 solar PV companies in its International Network of Qualified Installers. This record high for the sector consolidates PROINSO?s position as one of the leading companies in the solar PV sector, with 1 GW delivered so far.

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Valley National Bank Leads the Way in Renewable Energy with a Solar Roof on their New Jersey Headquarters Location

Wayne, NJ (PRWEB) April 27, 2006

The Valley National Bank has always been progressive. So it came as little surprise when the roof of their corporate headquarters needed replacing and they saw it as the perfect time to evaluate renewable energy alternatives and the generous incentives offered by the state of New Jersey. They contacted Pfister Energy, with offices in Paterson and Freehold, New Jersey. Working with Uni-Solar and Soprema, Pfister developed a unique energy-saving solution for Valley National Bank.

A first of its kind in the United States, Uni-Solar flexible solar panels were adhered directly to the Soprema roofing material to create a lightweight solar roof with a ROI of less than eight years. “In addition to the aesthetic benefits of a solar array integrated with the roofing system, the unique single 20-year warranty through the SOPREMA/Uni-Solar partnership covers both the roof and the solar panels,” says Wayne Pfisterer, President of Pfister Energy. “The bank knows that if there ever is a problem with either roof or panels or both, there won’t be any finger pointing between the manufacturers and the installer. We all work as one.”

The energy savings have also been significant. “We are not only reducing our electricity costs,” a bank representative reports, “We are actually earning New Jersey Renewable Energy Certificates that generate income for the bank. With the produced power and state credits, our integrated solar roofing system will pay for itself in less than eight years. With a system life expectancy of 30 years, we’re looking forward to a quality roof that protects our building and generates returns for 20-25 years…”

Valley National Bancorp is a regional bank holding company with over $ 12 billion in assets, headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey. Its principal subsidiary, Valley National Bank, currently operates 163 branches in 106 communities serving 12 counties throughout northern and central New Jersey and Manhattan.

Pfister Energy is a New Jersey-based company dedicated to renewable energy solutions that make sense for commercial, industrial and institutional properties. As a “Design-Build” contractor, Pfister Energy provides turnkey solutions that include design, procurement, installation, commission and maintenance directly to clients, architects, and other renewable energy firms. Pfister Energy is a division of Pfister Roofing, a recognized leader in commercial roofing, construction and waterproofing for almost 25 years.

For more information please contact

Wayne Pfisterer at:

Pfister Energy

80 East 5th Street, Paterson, NJ 07524

Ph: 973.569.9330

Fax: 973.569.9333


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