Category Archives: Solar

Mayor Bill Peduto Introduces Bill To Eliminate Carbon Emissions Produced By Local Government Buildings

Urban Solar underway in Philadelphia

By Amanda Waltz
Pittsburgh City Paper

Sept 3, 2019 – When President Donald Trump famously namedropped Pittsburgh in his reasoning for exiting the global Paris Agreement on climate change, Mayor Bill Peduto was quick to take a stand by voicing his city’s commitment to lowering emissions that contribute to global warming. Now, two years after the incident, Peduto appears to be continuing with that mission, as he introduced new legislation today to Pittsburgh City Council that would require all new or renovated government buildings to be net-zero, meaning they produce as much energy as they consume.

Peduto believes the bill would not only help meet goals outlined in the City of Pittsburgh’s Climate Action Plan 3.0, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, it would also significantly lower municipal energy costs.

“Pittsburgh is taking real steps to meet its energy goals, and moving to net-zero construction will be one of the most meaningful and impactful actions we’ve ever taken,” Peduto stated in a press release. “It is not only the right move for the planet, but for the city’s budget too.”

City of Pittsburgh Chief Resilience Officer, Grant Ervin, seconded Peduto in a tweet, in which he called the bill, “A major policy tool to lower city governments carbon emissions, save money over time and upgrade public facilities.”

The World Green Building Council, a global network committed to reducing the building and construction sector’s CO2 emissions, defines net-zero buildings as “highly energy efficient and fully powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources,” such as solar or wind. The council believes that, in order to help mitigate global warming, all buildings must meet net-zero emission standards by 2050.

In Pittsburgh, the proposed ordinance would cover all construction of new buildings and all major renovations of existing buildings on City-owned property. A press release stated that buildings are the “largest end-users of energy in the world,” and Pittsburgh, along with other cities, is looking at more ways to tackle the current climate crisis. The effort aligns Pittsburgh with Los Angeles and New York City, both of which recently moved toward energy-efficient or zero-emission construction and renovation methods.

There would be some exemptions, however, including renovations of buildings that are being decommissioned or sold within five years, emergency renovations, and short-term buildings such as trailers.

The announcement follows a report released in August by the Planning Department’s Sustainability and Resilience Division, which said reducing the energy used by municipal buildings could cut the City’s annual energy costs, totaling $2,700,000, in half.

A public hearing will be scheduled on the bill.

Advertisements

On the Rise: Solar Farms Begin Cropping Up in Western Pa

Solar farm in Smith Twp, near Burgettstown.

By Megan Tomasic
TribLive

May 5, 2019 – Down a gravel road close to what constitutes downtown Slovan in rural Washington County, roughly 3,500 solar panels stand in a field of green grass, their blue-hued faces tilted toward the sun.

The development, one of the largest solar farms in Western Pennsylvania, spans 4.5 acres and can power about 750 homes. It’s just a small part of a national trend infiltrating the Pennsylvania landscape.

A similar project is slated to occupy 12 acres of Hempfield, Westmoreland County. Almost 11,000 solar panels will be visible from Hunker-Waltz Mill Road, near Westinghouse Electric Co.

But the state still has a long way to go, with only three major solar farm projects powering roughly 575 homes and one business — Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Snyder’s-­Lance in Hanover and Elizabethtown Solar, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, or SEIA, a solar energy advocacy group.

Westmoreland and Allegheny counties have no big solar projects, according to a report by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

The report does not include individual panels on the rooftops of residential homes, said Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, press secretary for the PUC.

While there are few solar farm developments in the immediate area, Pennsylvania has a growing number of solar jobs.

Between 2017 and 2018, the number of jobs increased by 10%, accounting for almost 4,220 workers, according to Avery Palmer, communications director at The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit organization promoting solar and solar technology.

“Most of the jobs will be at companies that install solar on rooftops or commercial businesses,” Palmer said. “With that said, large utility-­scale farms are a major job creator in other states, and developing these projects could help create even more solar jobs in Pennsylvania.” Continue reading On the Rise: Solar Farms Begin Cropping Up in Western Pa

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

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.

Solid Arguments for the Green New Deal

Wind and Solar Power Paired with Storage Could Power Grid 99.9 Percent Of The Time

By Science News
SolidarityEconomy.net via Sciencedaily.Com

Dec. 10, 2012 — Renewable Energy Could Fully Power A Large Electric Grid 99.9 Percent Of The Time By 2030 At Costs Comparable To Today’s Electricity Expenses, According To New Research By The University Of Delaware And Delaware Technical Community College.

A Well-Designed Combination Of Wind Power, Solar Power And Storage In Batteries And Fuel Cells Would Nearly Always Exceed Electricity Demands While Keeping Costs Low, The Scientists Found.

"These Results Break The Conventional Wisdom That Renewable Energy Is Too Unreliable And Expensive," Said Co-Author Willett Kempton, Professor In The School Of Marine Science And Policy In Ud’s College Of Earth, Ocean, And Environment. "The Key Is To Get The Right Combination Of Electricity Sources And Storage — Which We Did By An Exhaustive Search — And To Calculate Costs Correctly."

Continue reading Solid Arguments for the Green New Deal