Category Archives: Environment

Stuff about the environment and our relationship with it

San Francisco LGBT Center ‘Rays The Roof’ With A New Solar Installation

lgbt solarPacific Gas and Electric Company and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center yesterday celebrated the unveiling of The Center’s new state of the art solar energy system. Senator Carole Migden, Assemblymember Mark Leno, San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros and San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting joined the celebration along with several hundred community members who could see live readings of the new system’s power generation and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the system has avoided.

“The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Community Center is truly a San Francisco icon, and today the Center is demonstrating yet again its leadership on an issue that is dear to all of us — the environment,” said Tom King, CEO, PG&E. “This is the first of many more solar projects that PG&E will be donating to San Francisco as part of our $7.5 million city-wide solar investment.”

The system, manufactured by SunPower and installed by Sun Light and Power, composed of 96 panels rated at 215 watts each is expected to produce over 27,000 kW hours of renewable, green power that will have zero greenhouse gas emissions and will save the Center nearly $5,000 annually in energy costs. The installation of the rooftop solar system, a project managed by The Foundation for Environmental Education, cost $170,000.

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Wal-Mart New Energy Giant?

walmart logoA while ago I posted about Wal-Mart entering the field of renewable energy. At the time I opined (something that Rt has done as well) about how much sense it would make for them to use that huge ass roof, and giant parking lot to power each store from renewable energy. Well it seems they went one further and started their own energy company.

“Wal-Mart has made a pervasive commitment to minimizing costs. That’s what they do,” said Edward Fox, associate professor of marketing at Southern Methodist University.

In other parts of the country, Wal-Mart, the largest private purchaser of electricity in the U.S., buys electricity from third parties, just like any other retailer. But in Texas, the company saw an opportunity to try something new.

It helped found an electricity provider called Creed Power Co. and, in 2004, acquired the remaining stake in the company and changed its name to Texas Retail Energy. Wal-Mart wouldn’t disclose the purchase price.

Mr. Hendrix said he would consider selling electricity to consumers or to Wal-Mart’s suppliers, if that’s what customers want. But his main focus is buying power for Wal-Mart itself.

He said he would consider buying a renewable-energy power plant, such as a wind farm, if the company can’t find enough vendors to meet Wal-Mart’s eventual goal of using only renewable power.

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North Carolina Zoo Offsets Electrical Consumption With Renewable Energy Credits

north carolina zoo logoIt takes a lot of electricity to run the North Carolina Zoo. Most of North Carolina’s electricity is generated by coal, the emissions of which are found at the heart of climate change.

So when the zoo had the opportunity to offset some of its 2006 electrical consumption with a block of Renewable Energy Credits, (RECS) it leaped on the opportunity. They applied 400,000 Kwh to their Veterinary Hospital, and another 400,000 Kwh to their Streamside exhibit.

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American Biodiesel Production To Nearly Double In 2007

imperium renewablesLast year about 150 million gallons of biodiesel were produced in America. Imperium Renewables plans on opening a single plant that will create 100 million gallons a year. This tells us two things about the biodiesel sector. One its very small if the opening of a single plant can nearly double the output, and two its set to start growing like mad. We have talked a lot the last couple of days about the pros and cons of biofuels. This plant opening is only going to further that discussion.

Much more below the fold.

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California Enacts Emissions Standards For New Long Term Power Contracts

coal power plantHas California banned the use of coal fired power plants for all future long term contracts? It would seem as if they have with their new emissions based contracting policy. All new long term power sources contracted to provide energy for the state must have emissions lower than that of a combined cycle natural gas power plant. The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Friday January 25th, adopted an interim Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Performance Standard in an effort to help mitigate climate change.

The Emissions Performance Standard is a facility-based emissions standard requiring that all new long-term commitments for baseload generation to serve California consumers be with power plants that have emissions no greater than a combined cycle gas turbine plant. That level is established at 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. “New long-term commitment” refers to new plant investments (new construction), new or renewal contracts with a term of five years or more, or major investments by the utility in its existing baseload power plants.

The PUC’s actions implement Senate Bill (SB) 1368 (pdf) (Perata), which prohibits load-serving entities (investor-owned utilities, energy service providers, community choice aggregators) from entering into long-term financial commitments for baseload generation unless it complies with a GHG emissions performance standard.

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