Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for the ‘Green Energy’ Category

Monaca to Install 200 Solar Panels at its Reservoir

Posted by carldavidson on January 16, 2016

By Jared Stonesifer

Beaver County Times 

MONACA — The borough plans on installing 198 solar panels at its reservoir that could produce more than $200,000 worth of electricity over their lifespan.

Borough Manager Mario Leone said the project, which has been in the works for several years, could be up and running by April.

The borough will install the solar panels on the ground and buildings at the reservoir, although it also plans on building a new garage-like structure that will house at least half of the panels.

The panels will cost $150,000 to buy and install, half of which was paid for by a state grant.

Leone said it won’t take long for the panels to make up the cost through savings realized by the efficiency of solar energy.

“We’re looking between a 7 1/2 to nine-year payback on our $75,000 contribution,” he said. “The solar system over 20 years is expected to generate over $200,000 in electricity.”

That number could be higher, Leone said, if the solar panels exceed their typical lifespan of 25 to 30 years.

The solar panel project is just one of several that have led to Monaca being designated a gold-certified municipality in sustainability. The latest solar project means the borough could soon be certified as platinum, Leone said.

“The borough is a leader in sustainability,” he said. “I believe with the installation of the solar panels and other things we’re working on, we will probably achieve that higher standard.”

Another exciting aspect, Leone said, is that the amount of energy generated from the solar panels will be able to be viewed on the borough’s website.

A public hearing will be held Jan. 26, when the project is expected to receive the green light from borough council.

Leone said the panels will take about two weeks to be installed after being delivered.

The panels will generate about 63,000 kilowatt hours annually.

Posted in Community, Green Energy | Leave a Comment »

‘Moral Mondays’ Launched in Western PA

Posted by carldavidson on October 28, 2014

Protesters Rally for Officials to ‘Do the Right Thing’

People gather at the Beaver County Courthouse to raise awareness of several social and economic issues.

By Kirstin Kennedy

Beaver County Times

Oct 28, 2014 – BEAVER — Everyone knows the First Amendment gives citizens the right to assemble. Few regularly exercise it.

But that wasn’t the case Monday evening on the steps of the Beaver County Courthouse, when over 30 people gathered with signs and chants.

Willie Sallis, president of the NAACP in Beaver County, said he helped to gather the protest to pressure elected officials to "just do the right thing."

"What is the moral thing to do? … That’s what we’re trying to keep alive with the union and the civil rights leaders," he said. Sallis paired with several other organizations — including members of local labor unions — for the rally, with the hope of raising awareness of several social and economic issues.

Inspired by a recent lecture given locally by the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP, Sallis dubbed the rally Moral Monday.

"What’s the right thing to do for the poor?" Sallis said. "What’s the right thing to do for health benefits? What’s the right thing to do when it comes to jobs? What’s the right thing to do when it comes to minimum wages? All we’re saying is, ‘Look, do the right thing.’"

On the courthouse lawn, participants chanted, "Keep it fair; we care."

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Posted in Green Energy, Green Jobs, Infrastructure, NAACP, safety net, trade unions, Voting Rights | 1 Comment »

Booming Natural Gas Won’t Slow Global Warming

Posted by carldavidson on October 15, 2014

Natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, but that’s not enough to reduce global carbon emissions, researchers say.

Waste gas is burned off at a hydraulic fracturing site in March 2014 near Buttonwillow, Calif. Five research teams found that natural gas alone won't curb climate change.

Waste gas is burned off at a hydraulic fracturing site in March near Buttonwillow, Calif. Five research teams found that natural gas alone won’t curb climate change.

By Alan Neuhauser

Beaver County Blue via US News & World Report

Oct. 15, 2014 – Natural gas won’t save us.

Despite the lofty claims of industry groups and President Barack Obama, the so-called natural gas revolution will not discernibly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, putting the globe no closer to averting catastrophic climate change, according to five independently developed models conducted by teams of researchers around the world and summarized in a new paper Wednesday.

"The high hopes that natural gas will help reduce global warming because of technical superiority to coal turn out to be misguided,” study co-author Nico Bauer, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said in a statement. “The main factor here is that an abundance of natural gas leads to a price drop and expansion of total primary energy supply."

For this very reason, most of the studies projected, widespread natural gas consumption actually will make global warming worse.  

“Abundant gas alone will not solve climate change on its own in the absence of climate change mitigation policy,” says economist Haewon McJeon of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, who helped lead the American research team. “These five models are very different in its architecture and assumptions. The one thing we agreed on is it’s not going to solve climate change.”

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Posted in Green Energy, Marcellus Shale | Leave a Comment »

One Small Step Nearby Giving Us a Glimpse of a Green Future

Posted by carldavidson on July 15, 2014

Example of solar charger in Sofia, Bulgaria

Mall at Robinson to debut solar car-charging stations

Tim Schooley
Beaver County Blue via Pittsburgh Business Times

The Mall at Robinson on July 24 will unveil new electric car-charging stations powered by solar panels located above the entrance of the mall’s food court.

With the chargers donated by Wesco and Eaton, the new stations are a partnership between the mall’s owner — Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises — Green Roads Energy LLC and Day & Night Solar.

The charging stations are free to use for mall guests.

A kiosk will be installed in the food court within the next week so shoppers can monitor the energy created by the solar panels, according to a release issued by Forest City Enterprises.

The mall also expects to offer loyalty promotions to shoppers who use the chargers, including the chance to earn a $25 gift card for using the station ten times.

The unveiling of the station is scheduled for Thursday, July 24, at 11:30 a.m.

Posted in Green Energy, Green Jobs, Solar | 1 Comment »

New Castle Firm Takes the Green High Road

Posted by carldavidson on June 24, 2014

 

 

Battery technology grows to meet demands of renewable energy

By Michael Sanserino
Beaver County Blue via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

June 24, 2014 – Those skeptical of renewable energy as a viable power source often note that the wind doesn’t always blow nor does the sun always shine.

But advancements in battery technology are helping keep energy flowing on those dark, windless days.

“It’s happening at a record pace,” said Lisa Salley, vice president and general manager of energy and power technologies at Underwriter Laboratories, a Northbrook, Ill.-based independent safety consulting and certification organization.

The goal is to increase the usability of renewable energy, which currently accounts for 21 percent of all electricity generated worldwide but just 11 percent of consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“One of the areas that’s been neglected in the past has been the storage component of renewable energy sources, and that includes wind and solar, of course,” said Tom Granville, CEO of Axion Power International.

That, however, is changing. Power, chemical and material science companies, locally and elsewhere, are investing heavily in battery technology. Some are improving existing technology while others are developing new chemistry to create entirely new battery structures.

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Posted in Green Energy, Green Jobs, Infrastructure | Leave a Comment »

Blood on the Coal, Another Reason for Moving to Green Energy

Posted by carldavidson on May 13, 2014

Two Miners Killed in W VA Mine

Union member from Brody Mine…Thanks to John Case of Harpers Ferry for sending this…

WHARTON, W.Va. — Officials from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday that two workers had been trapped and killed in an accident at a West Virginia coal mine.

One official with the agency, Amy Louviere, said in an email Tuesday morning that a ground failure occurred at the mine around 8:30 p.m. Monday. She said the miners’ bodies had been recovered, and personnel from the agency are on the site.

The accident occurred at Brody Mine No. 1, in Boone County, which is in the southwest part of West Virginia. It is owned by the St. Louis-based Patriot Coal.

In October, the safety agency designated the mine as a pattern violator, meaning it had repeatedly broken federal health and safety regulations in the previous year. Patriot said in a statement at the time that it believed the mine did not qualify for the status and that it intended to contest it.

Posted in Green Energy, trade unions, Worker Safety | 1 Comment »

More Reasons for Moving to Clean and Green Energy

Posted by carldavidson on April 5, 2014

Beaver County’s ‘Little Blue Run’ coal ash site to close sooner

Plant owner must contain pollution

By Don Hopey / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

April 3, 2014 – The largest coal ash impoundment in the United States — Little Blue Run in Beaver County — will be closed and capped and mostly contained by its owner three years earlier than the company first proposed, under a new plan announced by the state Department of Environmental Protection Thursday.

The closure plan now requires Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Generation LLC to complete all of the state-required work at the 1,900-acre impoundment by the end of 2028. A December 2012 federal consent order required the company to stop disposing of coal ash by the end of 2016, in part because seepage of pollutants from the unlined impoundment has contaminated groundwater and surface water in the area.

"We want to see it done sooner rather than later," said John Poister, a DEP spokesman. "It’s a big undertaking, but we think that it can be done in a little less time than FirstEnergy wanted, so we pushed for that."

FirstEnergy submitted a closure plan in October 2013 that the DEP said contained more than 160 deficiencies, including a failure to acknowledge arsenic contamination of groundwater around the impoundment.

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Posted in Environment, Green Energy | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Ohio Senate Republicans Launch Attack On State’s Renewable Energy Law

Posted by carldavidson on April 1, 2014

Will Pennsylvania Be Next in the ALEC Crosshairs?

Despite Fracking, PA has made some progress on renewable energy.

Wind farm in Paulding County, Ohio.

Wind farm in Paulding County, Ohio. CREDIT: Shutterstock

By Matt Kasper

Beaver county Blue via Climate Progress

March 31, 2014 – After multiple failed attempts to roll back Ohio’s clean energy and energy efficiency standards, Republicans in the state senate aren’t giving up, releasing another bill on Friday that takes aim at the law. The measure stems from a previous bill pushed by Sen. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati), member of the corporate-funded, anti-clean energy group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Seitz’s legislation, S.B. 58, would have completely repealed the standards but the bill never made it out of the Senate Public Utilities Committee.

Republican leadership took the debate out of Seitz’s hands and drafted new legislation. The proposed bill, S.B. 310, sponsored by Sen. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville), would freeze the clean energy and energy efficiency standards at 2014 levels while a committee, established by the legislation, studies how much the existing standards cost customers and what the costs would be if the state resumed the standards.

The law establishing Ohio’s renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, S.B. 221, passed both the House and Senate by a wide margin and was signed into law by Gov. Ted Strickland in 2008. The measure requires investor-owned utilities to provide 25 percent of their electricity supply from alternative energy resources by 2025. The definition of alternative energy resources includes clean coal, advanced nuclear power, distributed combined heat and power, and certain solid waste conversion technologies.

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Posted in Environment, Green Energy, Green Jobs | Leave a Comment »

The Jobs Project: Unemployed Coal Miners Install Solar Panels In West Virginia

Posted by carldavidson on July 23, 2013

By VICKI SMITH

Beaver County Blue via AP

July 23, 2013 – MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a first for West Virginia’s southern coalfields region this week – a set of rooftop solar panels, assembled by unemployed and underemployed coal miners and contractors.

The 40- by 15-foot solar array going up on a doctor’s office in Williamson is significant not for its size but for its location: It signals to an area long reliant on mining that there can be life beyond coal.

People were skeptical when the idea was first floated about a year ago, says Nick Getzen, spokesman for The Jobs Project, which is trying to create renewable energy job opportunities in West Virginia and Kentucky. In the southern coalfields, he says, people have only ever gotten electricity one way – from coal-fired power plants.

"This is the first sign for a lot of folks that this is real, and that it’s real technology, and they can have it in their communities," Getzen says. "In no way are we against coal or trying to replace coal. There’s still going to be coal mining here. This is just something else to help the economy."

The Jobs Project teamed up about a year ago with a solar energy company from the Eastern Panhandle, Mountain View Solar & Wind of Berkeley Springs, to develop a privately funded job-training program. The 12 trainees are earning $45 an hour for three days of work, while some local laborers are earning $10 an hour helping out.

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Posted in Green Energy, Green Jobs, unemployment | Leave a Comment »

The Blue-Green Alliance at Work at Lordstown, Ohio Plant

Posted by carldavidson on July 9, 2013

World’s Largest LED Retrofit Saves 80% For GM, Sets Positive Energy Example

By Tina Casey
Beaver County Blue via Clean Technica

July 9, 2013 – GM’s clean tech cred is pretty well established in the public eye through its popular Chevy Volt, and the company is no slouch behind the factory gates, either. At its Lordstown complex in Ohio, GM can now lay claim to the world’s largest LED retrofit project of its kind. The project involves more than 1,600 fixtures so far with another 4,000 set for installation this summer, and it has already reduced energy consumption by more than 80 percent at one factory in the complex. That’s partly because the LEDs themselves are more efficient and partly because the new fixtures incorporate some advanced energy management bells and whistles.

New GM LED lighting by ALLED (cropped) courtesy of GM.

The World’s Largest LED Retrofit

Aside from that impressive savings of more than 80 percent (which translates into about $780,000 per year), this project caught our eye because it was implemented by the Ellwood City, Pennsylvania LED specialist ALLED Lighting Systems, Inc., formerly known as Appalachian Lighting Systems.

CleanTechnica first noticed the company under its former name back in 2010, when it performed an enormous LED retrofit for Pittsburgh International Airport. At the time, it was the largest project of its kind in the US. The project was noteworthy not only due to its size but because of the company’s potential for creating new green jobs in its tiny home town.

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Posted in Green Energy, Infrastructure, Manufacturing | Leave a Comment »

 
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