August 12, 2012

University of California Campuses Embrace Composting

Composting bins are joining the recycling and garbage bins on UC Campuses. 

composting at UCSF

Recycling has been very effective on UC campuses; allowing it to move from 50 % of waste diverted from landfills to 75 % targeted for this year [2012]  Longer term, the goal is “… zero waste — sending no garbage to landfill — by 2020.” Compositing will help meet the zero waste goal.

Composting can also be more cost effective than landfilling.  “… costs less than … landfills … at UC Santa Barbara. … spends $72 a ton to send material to a landfill but only $48 a ton for its composting facility.”


Via:  University of California LINK

August 02, 2011

Lowes Partners with GE for EV Charging Stations

GE and Lowes are partnering to offer customers GE’s wall mounted EV car chargers.

GE’s WattStation “ … will help transform the future of personal transportation, making an electric vehicle easily adaptable for everyday use.”"

The GE WattStation will be offered in California in August 2011 starting with 5 stores and expanding to 60 by September and also available by web in September @



Via:  GE  LINK

July 26, 2011

Collaboration on California renewable energy goal

UCLA hosts energy conference to address its clean energy targets.  The Governor sees solar power as a strong contributor towards the goal.  …

…   “Brown focused heavily on solar power as the most likely and abundant source for the bulk of those 12,000 megawatts.”   …

Via UCLA: Governor Conference.

The Governor’s Conference on Renewable Energy.

July 13, 2011

Chung Energy Center to study solar and wind energy storage

China entrepreneur supports the UC Riverside engineering college with endowment that will foster energy research, initially in storage systems.  …

…   “The Winston Chung Global Energy Center will focus initially on research in energy storage, but in collaboration with solar and wind power generating companies, the City of Riverside, and local power consumers, it will be at the forefront of creating a new smart energy grid. Integrating energy production with new storage and distribution technologies, the Global Energy Center will allow Riverside to be a world-wide leader in renewable energy.”   …

Via University of California Riverside: Inaugural Fellow.

June 13, 2011

Smart meters for grid installed in FL TX CA ID AZ OK MI NV

Smart grid initiative hits five million mark for smart metersThe installation of five million smart meters have been concentrated in specific states according to update from the Dept of Energy.  …

…   “Nearly 90 percent of the meters installed to date are in Florida, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Nevada.”   …

Via Department of Energy: Smart grid modernization efforts.

Visibility in the US smart grid initiatives.

April 28, 2011

Macy's to Offer EV Charging Stations in California

Macy's logo
Macy's is partnering with ECOtality to pilot self serve EV (electric vehicle) charging stations. " ... two electric vehicle charging stations this fall outside each of six Macy's stores in ... San Diego ..."

" ... will install ECOtality’s Blink Electric Vehicle (EV) Level 2 Commercial Pedestal Charging stations ..."

metropolitan area (locations are being identified). ..."

 ECOtality logo


Via:  Macy's  LINK and ECOtality  LINK

April 24, 2011

San Francisco Airport (SFO) Water Hydration Stations


SFO offers travels free water refills as a way to help reduce the use of single use plastic water bottles and the associated waste / carbon footprint.

...  innovative water bottle refill stations provide access to San Francisco's free high-quality, great tasting tap water. ... some of the purest, safest and best tasting water in the world."


The Hydration Stations are located throughout the SFO airport.




Via:  SFO  LINK and  San Francisco Public Utilities Commission LINK

April 20, 2011

San Francisco Airport (SFO) has USA's First LEED Terminal

SFO logoSan Francisco's new Terminal 2 was retrofitted to be green by design.  It is the first Airport Terminal in the US to achieve GOLD LEED. 

Among the green features in the design were waste reduction (achieved by reusing or recycling all construction waste), reduced water use (achieved by a closed loop reclaimed water system for the toilets and urinals that is treated on site) and Greenhouse Gas - GHG - reductions (achieved by eliminating the need for airplane auxiliary power units by providing preconditioned air and power at the gate).SFO T2

In addition ..." vendors will be required to use biodegradable tableware and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off-Airport composting facilities ... "



April 11, 2011

Google in Bechtel out as Brightsource solar project investor

Brightsource’s concentrated solar project gets financial boost from Google and theBrightsource Energy solar technology Department of Energy.  The company has a number of solar projects underway in California.  Brightsource technology consists of dual-mirror heliostats that follow the sun to increase energy production.  …

…   “Google stepped in as a new equity investor in the project, agreeing to provide $ 168 million.

And the project's construction contractor, Bechtel Corp., which was the first to commit equity in 2009, decided in the end to drop out as an equity investor.”   …

Via Nasdaq: Brightsource Project.

Brightsource CSP projects.

The three-plant Ivanpah Solar Complex will generate approximately 392 gross megawatts of electricity using the company's innovative, proprietary concentrating solar power CSP technology.

DOE Loan Guarantee for Brightsource in California.

Energy efficiency education options

Graduate and undergraduate education in energy efficiency is offered at the University of California, Davis with a focus on fundamentals, economics, and innovation.  …

Via UC, Davis: Energy Efficiency.

March 28, 2011

Oakland properties achieve LEED gold and silver certification

CB Richard Ellis has achieved LEED certifications for a number of its properties in theOakland City Center achieves LEED building certification, picture by Shorenstein Realty Services LP. Oakland City Center.  The company expects its tenants to reap the benefits of higher energy efficiency and achieve synergy with client commitments to sustainability.  …

…   “499 14th Street and 500 12th Street have both earned a LEED silver certification.

1300 Clay Street and 505 14th Street are now both certified as LEED gold buildings.

501 14th Street has also received LEED certification.

These Class A properties join 555 12th Street and 1111 Broadway, both previously LEED gold certified, in contributing to the availability of cleaner, healthier and more efficient office space in Oakland.”   …

Oakland City Center.

Northern California Chapter of the US Green Building Council.

Oakland’s toolkit for Sustainable Development (ppt).

The Ron Dellums Federal Building 9th Floor (Oakland, CA) is an example of a GSA sponsored LEED project.

Bay Area Green Buildings List, via M. Landman.

Oakland’s LEED platinum home:

March 07, 2011

Sonoma Wine Company Solar Cogeneration Plant

sonoma Wine Co Cogeneration

Sonoma Wine Company takes sustainability seriously and works to reduce the footprint of the winery operations.  A cogeneration facility is a natural next step.

In this process the heat that passes through the solar cells (PV) is captured to heat water … so electricity and heat are produced from the sun.

Sonoma Wine Company and Cogena Solar have partnered to build the “ … first commercial scale solar cogeneration system to supply renewable heat and electricity …”.

When at full capacity the facility will “ … displace approximately 64,000 kilowatt-hours and 12,500 therms of natural gas annually….”


Why Solar Cogeneration? from Stephen Harper on Vimeo.

Via:  Sonoma Wine Co  LINK

February 10, 2011

Solar power education in middle school

Students as Mira Loma Middle School in Riverside California will be taught about solarSolar education program planned for middle school students energy to encourage and prepare them for future education in the sciences.  …

…   “The first class, on Feb. 11, will be an introduction to solar energy.

During the next two classes, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, the students will be learning about how different factors such as shade and angle influence the amount of energy generated from solar cells.

These lessons will prepare the middle school students for an engineering design project on solar cars.”   …

Via University of California: Middle School Solar Class Taught by College Prof and Students.

February 05, 2011

Martifer Solar and North County Transit District Collaborate on Solar System

Martifer Solar USA and North County Transit Distinct (NCTD) collaborating on 482 kW of solar arrays for the NCTD.  A combination of roof and ground mounted panels will generate 482.52 kW of power.

The solar panels are ” … anticipated to save … an estimated $86,000 dollars per year and … offset … approximately 1,141,488 pounds of CO2 annually….”  This is equivalent to the energy needs of “ … approximately 104 average California homes per year.”

Martifer has previously installed solar systems for “ … public transit operations including the Antelope Valley Transit Authority in Lancaster, CA and the Big Blue Bus maintenance facility in Santa Monica, CA.”


Via:  Martifer Solar  LINK

January 31, 2011

Solar tower power plant in Mohave desert

will track sun to convert thermal energy into steam, powering turbines to create electricity.  …Siemens power plant

…   “Siemens will now also supply two steam turbines each rated at 133 MW and two generators for Ivanpah Units 2 and 3. The SST-900 turbine is ideally suited for deployment in solar thermal power plants.

This turbine is known for its fast startup and shutdown capability, and the fact that it can very flexibly track the respective operating conditions of solar thermal power plants. Steam reheat enhances the efficiency of the turbine and thus of the entire power plant.

Solar tower technology enables the bundling of sunlight by sun-tracking mirrors, which is directly reflected onto a receiver at the top of a tower where steam is produced to drive a steam turbine that will ultimately generate electricity.”   …

Via Siemens: Control System Project, Press Release.

January 26, 2011

Solar reactor concentrates light to produce hydrogen fuel

Thermochemical reaction produces hydrogen from water and carbon dioxide.  This process could be commercialized if paired with the carbon emissions from an existing1482-smh_wcc_with_reactor_use-smaller_medium[1] power plant.  …

…   “The researchers designed and built a two-foot-tall prototype reactor that has a quartz window and a cavity that absorbs concentrated sunlight.

The concentrator works like the magnifying glass you used as a kid to focus the sun's rays, says Haile. 

At the heart of the reactor is a cylindrical lining of ceria.

Ceria—a metal oxide that is commonly embedded in the walls of self-cleaning ovens …”   …

Via Cal Tech: Solar Reaction Press Release.

November 18, 2010

Solar Energy Power Grid Router

UT Dallas professor Babak Fahimi develops smart grid interface device for renewable energy generation.  A research prototype electronic interface switches powerResearcher Babak Fahimi develops smart grid device for electrical switching intelligently from renewable sources to the grid or to electrical storage.  The unit is being readied for field testing in California and Texas.  …

…   “This converter utilizes an adaptive controller to optimally increase efficiency and reliability for each operational condition while performing energy management algorithms to ensure the best performance. 

Five years in development, the converter would be perfect for use by small to medium-size businesses, large residential buildings and shopping centers that decide to make an investment in renewable energy.”   …

Via University of Texas: Electric Interface Device.

Babak Fahimi Renewable Energy Lab.

November 15, 2010

California professors focused on climate change and environmental sustainability solutions

University of California, Davis faculty are researching solutions to a number of climate and environmental challenges, ranging from using energy more efficiently, transforming ourProfessor Michael Siminovitch transportation systems, and producing renewable energy.  For example, Cal prof Michael Siminovitch leads the UC Davis California Lighting Technology Center and pursues the development and deployment of more efficient lighting systems.  …

…   “more efficient lighting systems can lead to energy savings throughout the nation. The CLTC conducts both cooperative and independent activities with lighting manufacturers, electric utilities and the design/engineering professional community.”   …

Via University of California, Davis: Faculty Focused on Solving Climate Change Challenges.

October 17, 2010

Yusen Terminals Inc. - First Tenant-Installed Solar System at the Port of Los Angeles

NYK Solar Panels at Prot of Los Angeles

Yusen Terminals, Inc has installed solar panels at a facility in the Port of Los Angeles.  The specifics:

96 panels
11,800 kWh/yr
emissions reductions = planting close to 6 acres of trees

Live stats of power generation are available at LINK 

The installation uses "CIS" ... cells, produced by Solar Frontier K.K. environment-friendly "next-generation PV modules" ... highest photoelectric conversion efficiency of all thin-film modules .."



Via:  NYK Line LINK

October 11, 2010

Walmart Partners with Solar City for Additonal PV Systems

Walmart Solar Panels

Walmart is planning to add solar systems to an additional 20 - 30 in California and Arizona using new technology lower cost PV cells.

" ... leveraging our global scale to ... help develop markets for new technologies ... commitment to solving business challenges through technology."

The systems are expected to provide about 25 % of the total energy needs of each location.

Some details about the systems:

- can product up to 22.5 kW / yr - equiv to the energy needed for 1750 home / yr

- avoid 11,650 metric tons CO2 - equiv to 3000 cars

The technology planned includes gallium selenide and cadmium terruride films and are exected to use less raw materials then earlier versions of PV cells.

SolarCity will do the design work as well as install, own and maintain the systems.

Via:  Walmart  LINK


October 01, 2010

California green chemistry leadership

California moves the market with its green initiative for the chemical industry.  …

…   “companies selling products in the state will be required to identify specific chemicals in those products and reduce or eliminate any that are harmful. “   …

Via Financial Times: Green Chemistry.

September 27, 2010

Costco to Offer Updated / Upgraded Electric Car Charging Parking Spotse

Electric car charging stations at Costco

Costo was an early adapter of charging stations for electric vehicles ... they ere just a little ahead of the curve.  So Costco is updating / upgrading their charging stations.electtric cr chargers

California is going to be a leader in this as that is where experts expect to see the most electric cars.

" ... The EV Project and ChargePoint America are installing Department of Energy-supported free chargers in California ...  Best Buy, which operates a small fleet of Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric cars for the Geek Squad, and has pledged to install public charging, initially only in California."

With marketers targeting California with EVs this makes good business (and environmental) sense !



Via:  Mother Nature Network LINK

August 31, 2010

SunPower Gets US Gov't Contracts

Sunpower logo

SunPower won several US Government contracts to install solar products for numerous agencies " ...  Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), the General Services Administration (GSA), the Navy and the Air Force. ... "  These will create " ... more than 1000 local jobs during the construction ... represent a minimum of 20 megawatts (MW) of new solar projects ..."

One for the Air Force is to be the largest federal solar site in the US at Luke AFB in Glendale, Arizona.

SunPower is a leader in solar products and technology and was founded in 1988.  They have worked with various federal agancies since 1999.  They are listed on NASDAQ [SPWRA, SPWRB] and have their HQ in San Jose, California.



Via: SunPower  LINK

August 06, 2010

San Diego Water Saving Initiatives

San Diego - Save Water San Diego is currently in a Level 2 - Drought Alert Condition.  San Diego imports over 80% of its water so when water supplies get tight water conservation and reuse is critical. Two new plants provide for 45 million gallons / day of water from waste ...

" ... has built ... plants [to] treat wastewater to a level that is approved for irrigationSan Diego graphic, manufacturing and other non-drinking, or non-potable purposes. ... Recycled water gives San Diego a dependable, year-round, locally controlled water resource."


Via: The City of San Diego LINK

August 04, 2010

Green Initiatives at University of San Francisco

University of San Francisco logo

The University of San Francisco has a Green Team that focuses on sustainability.  One interesting outcome was to modify water fountains so they more easily fill water bottles - helping to foster using a reusable bottle.

" ... reduce the ... use of plastic water bottles by using refillable bottles and drinking tap water. ... switching to compostable flatware to assist the composting program ... starting composting in the residence halls ..."


Via:  University of San Francisco  LINK

July 18, 2010

Sacramento Soleil Power Project Solar Farm

Soleil Power Project in Wilton, California builds solar power farm.

June 30, 2010

PenPack Plastic Packaging: Recycled Materials Made with Solar Energy


I noticed the apples at my local Costco were packaged in plastic containers to keep the apples from bruising.  What really intrigued me was the information on the plastic containers.  Made by Peninsula Packaging of California ... they are:

- made from 70% recycled drink bottles
- made with 50% energy from the sun

" ... as much as 70 percent recycled ... are themselves recyclable ..."

" ... 10-acre photovoltaic "sun farm" generates 1.1 megawatts ... produces about one-percent of all of California's solar generated power."


Via:  PenPack  LINK

May 31, 2010

US Army Solar Array at Fort Irwin, California

Solar Array @ Nellis AFBThe US Army is getting greener.  They are beginning " ... development of a 500-megawatt solar power plant at Fort Irwin, Calif."

" ... allow ... commercial developers to use land at Fort Irwin to construct a solar power plant there between 2013 and 2022. ... will provide power to both the civilian power grid in California, and to Fort Irwin, home of the Army's National Training Center."

" ... the Army will provide to the developers, for as many as 50 years, up to 14,000 acres of land. .. Army receives rent for the land through cash or in-kind services."

" ... facility with both concentrated solar thermal and photovoltaic technology. ... will be built in phases, with a project end date expected around 2022. But Phase 1A of the project, with a completion of around 2014, is expected to provide enough power to sustain Fort Irwin."


Via:  US Army LINK

May 27, 2010

Coachella Hydrogen Bus Infrastructure

EPA recognizes local communities, like Coachella, for their initiatives targeting at clean air.  Coachella began the build-out of its hydrogen infrastructure.  …

…   “SunLine Transit Agency was the first transit agency to own and operate a hydrogen generation and dispensing station, operating five generations of hydrogen buses that utilize the fuel station. With the support of state and federal agencies, SunLine upgraded the hydrogen station to also allow the public and outside fleets to purchase hydrogen 24 hours a day.”   …

Via EPA: Clean Air Initiatives (Link).

Coachella area alternative fueling station.


Hydrogen bus infrastructure

Solar Micro-Generation using Concentrator Photovoltaics

Victor Valley College and SolFocus celebrated the opening of the new solar power plant on the college campus.  The solar installation deploys concentrator photovoltaics (CPV) and is sized to generate one megawatt of solar power for Victor Valley College in California.  ...

...   "The Victor Valley College solar micro-generating facility is now connected to the regional electrical grid operated by Southern California Edison and will produce approximately 2.6 million kilowatt-hours annually, which is roughly 30 percent of the College’s electricity demand. "   ....

Via SolFocus: Victor Valley College Solar Power Plant (Link).


Solar plant


May 15, 2010

Solar farm powers up

California solar farm begins operations with generating capacity of five mega-watts.  …

… “CalRENEW-1 consists of more than 50,000 solar panels covering almost 50 acres. Development and construction of the solar farm created scores of green collar jobs and solar installer training opportunities in the Central Valley. Successful completion of the project on schedule and budget demonstrates Cleantech America's competence to marshal and manage the many resources necessary to complete large-scale renewable projects and bring them into commercial operation. ”   …

Via CleanTech: Utility-Scale Solar Farm.

CalRENEW-1 became the first utility-scale solar photovoltaic farm to be approved under California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard program in 2008.

May 02, 2010

Far Niente's Floating Solar Electric System

Check out this float-o-voltaic system at Far Niente Winery in Oakville, California.  Since land is so expensive / valuable they using an irrigation pond to "host" their solar system.  Via: Far Niente Winery  LINK

Solar Power Capacity Expansion

SunPower expands the planned capacity of its 250-MW California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County by 40 megawatts (MW). ...
... "The California Valley Solar Ranch agreement was designed to accommodate the additional 40-MW capacity, eliminating the need for any amendments to SunPower's county permit application. The solar plant will be completed in phases, with the first phase planned to begin operation in 2011. " ...
Via SunPower: California Valley Solar Ranch for PG&E

Continue reading "Solar Power Capacity Expansion" »

April 22, 2010

Major Solar Home Initiative in Northern California

PG&E develops a solar home initiative based on a portfolio of smaller size projects to accelerate the creation of five hundred megawatts of solar power generation capacity. ...
... "The program, once complete, will generate up to 500 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, enough to meet the needs of about 150,000 homes in PG&E's Northern and Central California service area. " ...
Via PG&E: Major Solar Energy Initiative

Continue reading "Major Solar Home Initiative in Northern California" »

April 21, 2010

Kaleefornya solar progress measured

and discussed by folks with various perspectives ... David Hochschild, Solaria Corp, sees improving pricing environment for accelerating solar adoption in California. ...
... "In just the last year, the average price of solar panels dropped by 40 percent, and more price reductions are expected in the year ahead. " ...
Via New York Times: California Solar Scorecard

April 19, 2010

Solar energy achievements grow

The Solar Energy Industries Association reports on the solar photovoltaic market, including residential and solar water perspectives. Venture capital continues to invest in the solar industry. And, the installed solar capacity is growing. ...
... "A doubling in size of the residential PV market and three new CSP plants helped lift the U.S. solar electric market 37 percent in annual installations over 2008 from 351 MW in 2008 to 481 MW in 2009. Solar water heating (SWH) installations managed 10 percent year-over-year growth, while the solar pool heating (SPH) market suffered along with the broader construction industry, dropping 10 percent. " ...
Via Solar Energy Industries Association: US Solar Industry, Year in Review (PDF)

Continue reading "Solar energy achievements grow" »

April 04, 2010

Sustainable Housing in Sonoma, California

Sustainable houseFolks in Sonoma, California are working to design and refine a Passive House ... but what exactly is a passive home?

" ... a building that has a minimal impact on its surroundings. ... as systems unto themselves. ... well-insulated — virtually airtight — ... most of the “heat” ... comes from the humans and appliances and other stuff running in them. Heat exchangers are used to circulate it. ... in the United States ... focus has been certifying according the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED framework ...."


Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK

March 30, 2010

Kaiser Permanente California Solar Power Systems

Kaiser Permanente collaborates with Recurrent Energy to implement fifteen megawatts of solar power at fifteen California facilities by 2011. ...
... "Installing solar panels on Kaiser Permanente hospitals, medical offices, and other buildings is the first part of a larger plan to use onsite renewable energy sources to power Kaiser Permanente’s buildings nationwide. A focus on renewable energy sources is just one aspect of the organization’s industry-leading work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the use of harmful chemicals, and promote sustainable food choices. " ...
Via Kaiser Permanente: California Facilities Solar Power

Continue reading "Kaiser Permanente California Solar Power Systems" »

California Waste Treatment Plant Implements Solar Power

City of Auburn wastewater treatment plant will be fully powered by a 680 kilowatt solar power system, installed by Pacific Power Management. ...
... "The new photovoltaic system will consist of more than 3,300 panels that will be installed on single-axis ground mount trackers at the plant. The city entered into a 20 year contract and will buy power from PPM, as if PPM were a utility company. The city won’t pay for the installation of the panels. " ...
Via Pacific Power Management: Auburn California Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Power

View Larger Map

Continue reading "California Waste Treatment Plant Implements Solar Power" »

Project Brightfield Solar

Chevron Technology Ventures’ Project Brightfield will leverage AboundSolar photovoltaics to pilot commercial scale ground mount installation. ...
... "The ground-mount facility built on land in Bakersfield, CA formerly occupied by a refinery, has a nameplate capacity of 190kW and is projected to produce more than 300 MWh per year. The array of Abound Solar’s AB1 modules comprises one of the largest components of Chevron’s Project Brightfield, a test facility to compare the performance of multiple emerging solar technology products. " ...
Via Abound Solar: 190kW Photovoltaic Installation

Continue reading "Project Brightfield Solar" »

March 22, 2010

LA's Airports to Measure Carbon Footprint

LAX logo
In an earlier post I wrote about Enviance software for measuring carbon footprints ...  LINK  Read how LAX is using this software today ...

" ... Los Angeles World Airports group ... operates three airports in southern California ... has “the same complex emissions requirements and reporting challenges as a medium-sized city.” ...

" ... the airport network has been working with Enviance for some time ... new FastTrack service will allow the airport network, which also includes the Van Nuys and LA/Ontario facilities, to begin fulfilling its reporting goals more quickly ..."


Via:  ZDNet  LINK

March 17, 2010

Solar cell investment is one of many

projects at USC, as the University catalogs its portfolio of research funding from the 2009 federal stimulus bill. ...
... "P. Daniel Dapkus, USC Viterbi School of Engineering: Energy Frontier Research Center for Emerging Materials for Solar Energy Conversion and Solid State Lighting, $12.5 million from the Department of Energy: To explore new phenomena in organic materials, in thin-layer semiconductor nanostructures, and in hybrid structures in order to improve the efficiency of solar cells and light sources. " ...
Via USC: Impact of the Stimulus Bill

March 01, 2010

UCLA Research - Carbon Capturing Crystals

Carbon capturing crystalsChemists at UCLA have created a "gene" that might capture CO2 and help control CO2 emissions.

"UCLA chemists report creating a synthetic "gene" that could capture ... carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming, rising sea levels and the increased acidity of oceans."

" ... taken organic and inorganic units and combined them into a synthetic crystal which codes information in a DNA-like manner ... no means as sophisticated as DNA, but it is certainly new in chemistry and materials science."
CO2 molecule
" ... could lead to cleaner energy, including technology that factories and cars can use to capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere."

" ... invented a class of materials called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), sometimes described as crystal sponges ... openings on the nanoscale ... which ... can store gases that are usually difficult to store and transport. ..."



February 26, 2010

Bloom Energy Servers™ Fuel Cells

BloomEnergy logoBloomEnergy has announced a novel fuel cell and unlike typical fuel cells if does not require precious metal catalysts. Fuel cells are typcially "cleaner" than other power sources.

" ..  an innovative new fuel cell technology ... derived from a common sand-like powder ... technology is able to produce clean, reliable, affordable power,... practically anywhere,... from a wide range of renewable or traditional fuels."

" ... Energy Servers™ are among the most efficient energy generators on the planet; providing for significantly reduced electricity costs and dramatically lower greenhouse gas emissions ... "

" ... Originally called Ion America, Bloom Energy, was founded with the mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone on earth."

" ... After two years of successful field trials in Tennessee, California, and Alaska, to validate the technology, the first commercial (100kW) products were shipped to Google in July 2008."

" ... Bloom's Energy Servers have helped our customers generate millions of kWhs of electricity and eliminate millions of pounds of CO2 from the environment."


Via:  BloomEnergy LINK

Plastiki - Boat Made of Recycled Plastic

PlastikiDavid de Rothschild has built a boat from recycled plastic bottles and plans to sail it from San Francisco in the US to Sydney, Australia. 

 Yes he is from the famous Rothschild family. 

The boat and crew will travel in a green manner (composting toilets and vertical green garden fertilized by composted poop) Power for on board electronics comes from solar cells and wind turbines.  The boat uses glue made from cashew nuts.

Follow the journey and check out the web site for lots of geen info.


Via:  Plastiki  LINK

February 22, 2010

EcoFinder iPhone App for San Francisco Recycling

EcoFinder iPhone App

San Francisco is known for embracing many things green.  The city recently developed and released an iPhone app for recycling information.

"San Franciscans already lead the nation in recycling – in May [2009] we announced a 72% diversion rate of all materials going to the landfill ... pledged to recycle 75% of the materials that would otherwise go to the landfill by 2010 and zero waste by 2020."

" ... find out where to recycle or properly dispose of materials using ... location-based mobile application. Instead of dumping old electronics or furniture on the sidewalk, the EcoFinder iPhone app tells you where these materials should go, based on your location."

" ... EcoFinder iPhone app is part of our ongoing effort to provide residents and businesses in San Francisco with the information and tools to be environmentally responsible."



Via:  CleanTechnica  LINK

February 21, 2010

Sequoia Solar Truck

February 11, 2010

California Solar Energy Transmission Impact

Report: there are no noticeable impacts on the distribution / transmission infrastructures.

February 05, 2010

Frog's Leap Winery - Sustainable Winery

"Frog's Leap Winery ... in ... scenic Napa Valley ... getting attention as one of first wineries in the U.S to be sustainable ... the winery's motivation to be green, is as much about the bottom line as it is about the environment. Financial benefits include: a solar installation that is saving the vineyard $50,000 dollars a month on electric bills and dry farming techniques that bypass the need for costly irrigation"



Via:  SmartPlanet  LINK




Climate Earth - Carbon Footprint Software

 "San Francisco based, Climate Earth has developed new software technology that measures and analyzes the carbon impact inside the supply chain, from the production of a carton of orange juice to the construction of a giant skyscrape ...


Via: SmartPlanet  LINK

February 02, 2010

LEED Football Stadium Planned for LA NFL Market with Rammed Earth Design

Aedas is involved in the design of the new NFL stadium in Los Angeles, which will meet LEED criteria and leverages a rammed earth design through integration into a hill. ...
... "75,000-seat stadium will be the first LEED-certified building in the NFL and will capture the luxury and drama of the world’s entertainment capital. The project will be completed for the 2011 season. " ...
Via Aedas: Los Angeles NFL Stadium

LA NFL Stadium video.

January 24, 2010

2010 Solar Breakout

Significant solar capacity will come on-stream in 2010. States with solar potential will begin to reap the benefits of power from photovoltaics. ...
... "Among states, California is expected to maintain first place, and New Jersey is likely to come in second, with Florida making a strong showing for the first time. " ...
Via New York Times: Solar Power

January 23, 2010

Tesla Electric Vehicle Clean Energy Future

Department of Energy Secretary Chu announces a construction loan for Tesla Motors, enabling the company to build its assembly and power-train manufacturing facilities in California. The Energy Secretary sees this investment as establishing the nascent US electric vehicle industry. ...
... "This is an investment in our clean energy future that will create jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, said Secretary Chu. It will help build a customer base and begin laying the foundation for American leadership in the growing electric vehicles industry. This is part of a sustained effort to develop and commercialize technologies that will be broadly deployed throughout the American auto industry. Tesla’s planned Model S will consume no gasoline and will not produce any tailpipe emissions. " ...
Via Dept of Energy: 465 Million Dollar Loan to Tesla Motors

Continue reading "Tesla Electric Vehicle Clean Energy Future" »

January 17, 2010

Walmart Solar Rooftops

Walmart solar power pilots could lead to wider adoption across the enterprise. Target Stores is also progressing with solar roof installations and other energy efficiency enablers. ...
... "The WalMart at 4210 East Highland Ave. is one of three locations recently retrofitted with solar panels. ... The system generates about 900,000 kilowatts per year, or about 30 percent of the stores total energy usage ... " ...
Via San Bernardino County Sun: Wal-Mart solar panels

Continue reading "Walmart Solar Rooftops" »

January 16, 2010

Solar Photovoltaic Power at the Movies

Solar Roof at Livermore Movie Theater.

January 04, 2010

Saturation Solar Scenario for California Rooftops

Californians debate the value of isolated solar power farms versus leveraging distributed local rooftops with solar panels, which are closer to the power need. Of couse, the idea of solar roofs undermine the power utility business model. ...
... "California should cover every available rooftop with photovoltaic solar panels, especially commercial buildings. The panels can be installed quickly, unlike large solar power plants ... " ...
Via San Francisco Chronicle: Small-scale solar

Continue reading "Saturation Solar Scenario for California Rooftops" »

December 03, 2009

California Wind Power

PG&E will invest almost a billion dollars to purchase a wind power facility called the Manzana project from Iberdrola Renewables. The investment will be made in phases as the facility reaches various states of completion. ...
... "The proposed Manzana Wind Project, with a power capacity of up to 246 megawatts, would be the first wind project owned by PG&E. It follows a proposal by the utility in February, 2009 to develop and own 250 MW of solar photovoltaic power. The Manzana project would be located on about 7,000 acres in the Tehachapi region of Eastern Kern County, a site with favorable wind resources. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the project could begin producing power by December 2011. " ...
Via PG&E: Major California Wind Energy Project

Continue reading "California Wind Power" »

November 27, 2009

Solar Power Asset Transfer

NRG Energy acquires the First Solar utility-scale photovoltaic solar project in California, called Blythe Solar. The company has established an engineering, procurement and construction contract with First Solar to support the construction completion, testing, and startup of the project. The test phase shouldbe complete by year end. ...
... "The 21 megawatt (MW) Blythe Solar Project will be NRG’s first solar generation facility in operation when it comes online later this year. The site was acquired from First Solar, Inc., a leader in advanced and efficient thin film solar technology focused on manufacturing solar panels and developing solar projects for utilities and generators to operate. Located in Riverside County in southeastern California, approximately 200 miles east of Los Angeles, the solar PV field will provide electricity to Southern California Edison (SCE) under a 20-year power purchase agreement. At peak capacity, the site will be able to meet the needs of almost 17,000 homes. " ...
Via NRG Energy: Largest Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant in California

November 17, 2009

The Dow Chemical Company Partners with Caltech on Solar Energy

Dow logo

On November 12, 2009 Dow and Caltech " ... announced ... a multi-year research collaboration ... in solar energy ... aimed at aligning Dow’s capabilities in CIGS based materials with Caltech’s research in next generati aterials."

Caltech logo

" ... research ... will initially focus on direct band gap materials that incorporate elements that are less expensive and more commonly available than those used in today’s thin film PV semiconductors.  ..."

"Photovoltaics provide carbon free electricity, however the cost and aesthetics of current PV systems has limited its adoption ... Dow recently announced its first building integrated photovoltaic product, the DowTM POWERHOUSETM Solar Shingle ..."

Via:  The Dow Chemical Company LINK

November 06, 2009

Luxim's Super Efficient Lightbulb of the Future

Lumix, a Silicon Valley company, has developed a new hiighly efficiant light bulb. It "burns" as hot and bright as the sun - yes is energy friendly. " ... has developed a lightbulb the size of a Tic Tac that gives off as much light as a streetlight. ... and its plans to expand into various markets. " Via: ZDNet LINK

November 05, 2009

Scenario Planning Climate Change Impacts

UCLA Institute of the Environment will lead a collaborative effort to plan for regional impacts from climate change. This will include developing responses to alternative future scenarios. ...
... "UCLA will not only administer the collaborative, but will also create a technical advisory committee to work with the writers of the action plan. The committee will also provide some of the support science, such as fire hazard models, details on how urbanization impacts water runoff, and - the centerpiece - a localized climate model for the region. " ...
Via UCLA Today: Regional climate plan

Continue reading "Scenario Planning Climate Change Impacts" »

October 22, 2009

San Francisco Accepts Compostables - Green Bin for Compostables


3 "recycle" bins

San Francisco now accepts compostable materials as part of its waste stream pick up ... there are now 3 bins:

black = trash
blue = recyclables
green = compostablescompostable items

" ... designed to make recycling easier, reduce waste, and control litter. ... green cart is for all compostable items, such as food scraps and yard trimmings. ... allows San Francisco to ... achieve the state-mandated 50% recycling goal."

Acceptable for composting are food scraps, yard waste, paper and cardboard and select otehr items.  For a complete list see San Francisco COMPOSTABLES".  They accepts more than you would expect ... lots more!

Do you compost?  Why not?

I do (myself in my back yard) and it quickly turns into nice mulch ... 


Via:   San Francisco Recycling LINK







San Jose California - Smart Street Lights

San Jose California is looking to change street lights to LEDs from traditional bulbs and look at motion controls and other technologies to turn ligts on only when needed. Check out this interesting video of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed >>> Via: SmartPlanet LINK

October 21, 2009

San Francisco Int'l Airport Green Car Rentals

green car rental banner

 Continuing the very green theme at SFO Airport ... you can also rent green cars ... and offers an incentive in the form of a rental discount for renting HYBRIDS.

" ...  offers the nation’s first Green Rental Car program that rewards customers for renting “green” alternative-fueled vehicles. ... rent hybrid cars ... such as the Honda Civic Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid or Toyota PRIUS will receive a $15 discount at the counter."

" ... estimated that more than 4,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year will be eliminated through the implementation of this program."

" ... 10 percent of the rental car fleet ... is comprised of high-mileage cars—such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Focus—in addition to alternative-fuel cars. ... SFO hopes to increase the total number of these cars to greater than 15 percent."


Via:  San Francisco Int'l Airport  LINK



October 19, 2009

Toyota Reduces Data Center Electricity by 10%

Toyoto logoData centers use lots of energy ... from electricity to power the servers to electricity to power the AC units to keep things cool ...

Some are looking allowing the temperature to be set a little higher ... a recent 5 year pilot with Toyota and IBM was able to reduce consumption by 10% by looking at inefficiencies in the system. 

Read on for more ...

" ... by visualizing where hot spots and cooling inefficiencies existed and moving to address them, Toyota Motor Sales USA has been able to reduce the electricity demand ..."

"During a five-year pilot program ... Toyota was actually able to switch off two computer room air-conditioners even while maintaining a cooler ambient air temperature and reducing hot spots throughout its facility, ... relied on software from IBM Research called IMB Measurement and Management Technologies ... uses thermal readings from floor to ceiling ... and creates a three-dimensional chart that can be used to find power and cooling inefficiencies ..."

" ... assessment by Southern California Edison verified that these actions have helped reduce energy demand in the data center by more than 10 percent. ..."


Via:  ZDNet LINK

October 18, 2009

Climate Passport Carbon Offsets Available at SF International Airport

SFO logoSan Francisco International (SFO) is committed to being green.  They have efforts underway to reduce their environmental impact by reducing noise, reducing global warming and preserving natural resources like air and water.

" ...  recognize the importance that environmental sustainability plays in helping achieve this goal ... committed to drastically reducing its environmental impact over the next decade.  ... working to reduce contributions to global warming, improve air and water quality, reduce noise impacts, and preserve natural resources." Climate Passsport logo

SFO nClimatePassport RT from PHL - SFO ow offers the Climate Passport program; a way to help travelers reduce their travel carbon footprint by purchasing offsets.  

Here is how it works ... " ... drop by a kiosk that will calculate the carbon impact of your travel ... buy offsets from the kiosk manager, 3Degrees, ... Some of the money will also go to the San Francisco Carbon Fund ... offsets purchased ... are verified by the Climate Action Registry."

Check out the interactive carbon calculator ...

On Sunday Oct 18, the cost for a carbon offset for a round trip flight from Philadelphia to San Francisco and back would cost $22.82 and off set 3,727 lbs of CO2.

Via:  SF International International Airport  LINK

October 15, 2009

Army Solar Thermal at Fort Irwin Site

The Army commits to renewable energy projects that will deliver efficiency and create a model for sustainability in the military. The Fort Irwin base will leverage solar thermal to power operations. ...
... "The Army will partner with the private sector to construct a 500 megawatt solar thermal plant at Fort Irwin, Calif, in the Mojave Desert, that will provide renewable power on the grid and provide the sprawling Army post with added energy security against disruption of power supply. " ...
Via Army: Energy Initiatives

October 13, 2009

Solar Decathlon Team California Refract House Leads with Architecture and Communications

Team California is made up of Santa Clara University and the California College of the Arts students, who collaborated to create the Refract House for the 2009 Solar Decathlon.

The Refract House has a modern, beach house feel. Each room is angled so that as you enter the house, you built up anticipation to enter the next room. Cool effect. Via California College of the Arts: Team California Wins Architecture Contest in Solar Decathlon: "Team California wins the architecture contest with a score of 98 out of a possible 100. Evaluating three main factors - architectural elements, holistic design, and inspiration - the jurors praised Team California's house as beautiful in every respect. "

The pathway and ramps to the California Refract House were integrated with posters and materials to educate the visitor. And, the solar house's project manager answered questions from the front deck. She was a high energy, passionate speaker. This passion for communications has vaulted Team California to the top of the Communcations criteria. Via Department of Energy on Tuesday October 13: Team California Wins the Solar Decathlon Communications Contest: "Team California impressed jurors with the communications strategies, promotional materials, and people skills the team displayed while conveying the technical aspects of household solar energy systems to the public. "

More pictures after the jump. ...

Continue reading "Solar Decathlon Team California Refract House Leads with Architecture and Communications" »

September 30, 2009

SF Mayor Talks about Wave and Tidal Power Options for Green Energy

Gavin Newson, Mayor or SF, California is intersted in exploring the renewable energy options available from the wind. Both wave and tidal are renewable and avaialable in the SF area and given waters density compared to air ... the machinery can be smaller and generate more energy. Via: ZDnet LINK

September 22, 2009

California Solar Charging Corridor for Electric Vehicles

Owners of electric vehicles, such as the Tesla, will be able to recharge their batteries at stations from San Francisco to Los Angeles, as Solar City and Rabobank collaborate to create a solar re-charging corridor. ...
... "Solar City, a Silicon Valley neighbor of Tesla, has installed a whole corridor full of charging stations between the Bay Area and LA. " ...
Via NBC Bay Area: Electric Car

SolarCity and Rabobank: Create Corridor of Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: "San Francisco and Los Angeles each support local infrastructure for EVs and many enterprising EV owners have successfully completed ambitious road trips throughout California and cross-country. Allowing drivers to plug in and charge up at multiple locations along well traveled corridors will dramatically increase the convenience and practicality of the growing number of EVs on American roads. Rabobank branches are positioned all along the high-traffic Highway 101 corridor, close to shops, restaurants and other commercial centers in Northern and Southern California, making them ideal locations for charging stations. "

September 20, 2009

California Drives Television Energy Efficiency Forward

Cailfornia puts forward proposal to improve the energy efficiency of televisions by addressing standards for TVs in both active and standby power-consumption modes. Public hearings are scheduled in October and November. ...
... "The California Energy Commission proposes to make changes to the Appliance Efficiency Standards contained in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 20, Sections 1601 through 1608. The proposed energy efficiency standards would cover new televisions offered for sale in California beginning in 2011 and 2013. The standards would improve the energy efficiency of televisions without affecting the quality of the television. " ...
Via The California Energy Commission: Televisions Efficiency Regulations

Continue reading "California Drives Television Energy Efficiency Forward" »

September 06, 2009

Solar Powers Concert Sound and Stage

Production company offers a sustainable strategy for powering the concert stage. At the Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival, Sustainable Waves delivers a solar powered stage solution. ...
... "Sustainable Waves, a company that provides solar-powered sound and staging, was in charge of the Eco Lands section located at the Panhandle Stage in Speedway Meadow. " ...
Via San Francisco State University's Golden Gate Xpress: Sustainable Concert Event

Other green strategies were deployed at the concert.

Continue reading "Solar Powers Concert Sound and Stage" »

July 27, 2009

Berkeley California Solar Map

Berkeley, California Solar Map

Berkeley, California is into solar and wants to help residents and businesses make the move to solar.   To help they offer two tools ...

> One tool is a solar portal that allows property owners to look at their roof and determine both the solar potential and the cost. 

>A second tool provides financing paid by by taxes

" ... Solar Mapping ... estimate the solar potential of their rooftops and view existing solar installations. ... get an estimated size of a photovoltaic (PV) system that would fit ... obtain detailed information on tax rebates and choose from a listing of available installers ... map reflects elements such as rooftop structures, the slant of the roof, shading ... and ... azimuth of the sun for PV panel placement."

" ... Berkeley FIRST program, a solar finance program ... provides property owners an opportunity to borrow money ... and repay the financing through property tax bills."



 Via:  MatterNetwork LINK

July 09, 2009

Solon Solar Power Plant in California

SOLON will build the solar power pilot plant for PG&E as part of its photovoltaic program in California. The pilot project will lead to the development of another 250 megawatts of mid-sized solar plants over the next five years. ...
... "PG&E awarded the SOLON Corporation a contract to produce photovoltaic modules and build a 2 MW power plant, which is planned to be completed in December 2009, in a multi-stage bidding process involving several top North American solar companies. The power plant is a pilot project for PG&E aimed at enabling the utility to develop more photovoltaic power plants in the future. As part of its solar energy initiative, PG&E plans to use photovoltaic power to deliver more than 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity each year by 2015. " ...

Continue reading "Solon Solar Power Plant in California" »

July 02, 2009

Fat Spaniel - Monitor Solar PV Systems in Real Time

Fat Spaniel logo

Fat Spaniel Technologies provides real time monitoring of your solar PV system.  Read their case studies of Jay Leno's car garage and SF International Airport.  

Track your actual generation / performance and see ... "... display total power generated by ... day, week, month, or year ... local irradiance, cell temperature, and ambient temperature ... avoided greenhouse gases (CO2, NOx and Sox) over the lifetime ..."

It can be used to proactively guide behavior changes ... " Generate Energy Fat Spaniel Insight Manager screenSavings Via Behavior Modification ..." ... Educate ... by publishing real-time and historical data ... Cut electricity usage up to 10% by changing habits of building occupants ..."

 " ... Fat Spaniel provides ... an industrial-grade, Software-as-a-Service renewable energy plant management system that enables plant operators to: ... Manage renewable energy plants in real-time ... Communicate and interact with mobile personnel ... Generate revenue utilizing back-end services for regulatory agency reporting, renewable energy certificate (REC) registration, and environmental reporting"


Via: Fat Spaniel Technologies LINK

June 25, 2009

Solar Rooftops to Take Off in California

Southern California Edison plan for solarization of large commercial rooftops throughout Southern California has been approved by the local Public Utilities Commission. The solar rooftop program will implement its generating capacity over the next five years with a target of five hundred megawatts. The geographically dispersed generating capacity can tie into local electrical distribution circuits. ...
... "During the fall of 2008, SCE completed the first of what eventually will be about 150 sites making up this program, a 600,000-square-foot Fontana, Calif. distribution warehouse roof. The rooftop now holds 33,700 advanced thin-film solar panels with a generating capacity of 2.4 megawatts of direct current power, known as DC power – the largest single rooftop solar photovoltaic array in California. SCE already has begun construction of its second installation atop a 458,000-square-foot industrial building in Chino, Calif. First Solar of Tempe, Ariz. was the winning bidder to supply panels for these first two installations. " ...
Via Southern California Edison: California Regulators Approve Solar Panel Installation Program

View Larger Map

June 16, 2009

e-Recycling of Califrornia

e-recycling of california

e-waste has been in  the news a lot --- there are enormous quantities of electronics buried in landfills ... and more to  follow as the US switches to all digital TV this week ... and the expected replacements of TVs follows ... and the junking of old TVs.

e-Recycling of California offers a better solution ... and unlike some of the horror stories you read of e-waste being handled unsafely .. they take the proper steps.

" ... turnkey electronic waste recycling capabilities throughout California from transportation, container options, logistics, administration, and labor."



Via:  e-Recycling  LINK

June 07, 2009

Solar Power Giga Deal

Pacific Gas and Electric expands its relationship with BrightSource Energy with purchase agreement that total 1,310 megawatts (MW) of solar thermal power, that can serve over a half million homes. ...
... "The first of these solar power plants, sized at 110 MW and located in Ivanpah, Calif., is contracted to begin operation in 2012. BrightSource will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow. All seven projects are expected to produce 3,666 gigawatt-hours of power each year, equal to the annual consumption of about 530,000 average homes. " ...
Via Pacific Gas & Electric: Record Solar Power Deal

View Larger Map

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June 05, 2009

San Francisco - Emissions by Zip Code ...

San Francisco greenhouse emissions by ZIP Code
San Francisco has developed a mapping system that can show, by ZIP CODE, greenhouse gases and track it to the source ...  I follows the time honored management maxim  - you cannot manage what you cannot measure ... so they are using this to reduce overall GHG emissions ...

" ... Urban EcoMap. ... tracks ... carbon emissions by zip code, and even breaks down the information to the source of the greenhouse gases: transportation, energy use or waste. .. goal ... to reveal San Francisco residents' bad habits and lower the City's emissions back to 20% below their 1990 levels (as per the Kyoto Protocol). ... a great case study for local action providing a global impact. "




Via:  WholeTravel blog  LINK

May 06, 2009

ebay Green Campus

ebay green campus eBay has many green aspects to its business model ... including the basic eBay design - helping people sell unneeded / unused stuff ...

They are also greening their campus by making the most of available sunlight, using a smart irrigation system, recycling / using recycled materials, using SOLAR and designing for and achieving LEED ...  ... 

" ... newest building, in San Jose, California, was designed and built to the  ... (LEED) Gold standard."

" ... automatic dimming system detects the amount of natural light ... and adjusts the electric light accordingly, resulting in an estimated 39% energy savings.... Recycled materials are used throughout, including 95% recycled structural steel, 38% recycled carpet tiles and 100% recycled workstation fabric. ... smart irrigation system ...  monitors weather conditions, including forecasts, dewpoint and relative humidity levels to determine the optimal and most efficient irrigation pattern."

" ... a 650 kW solar installation at our San Jose North location ...  3,248 panels cover more than a football field of roof space and will take up to 18% of our energy demand at that campus off the grid completely."


Via:  ebay  Link

April 03, 2009

San Francisco Green Initiatives

Gavin Newson, mayor of SF, shares his thoughts on how the city can reduce emissions and become more green and environmentally friendly ... maybe even be the electric car capital of ... the US? Video below ... At the Green: Net '09 Conference in San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom lays out the city's future plans for reducing emissions even further. He explains the city's current electric-car project, and the coming green initiatives of wave technology and tidal-flow generators--a steady stream of energy, he says, that will come right from San Francisco Bay. Via: ZDNet Link

March 26, 2009

Electric Vehicle Battery Testing

The President mentions specific companies to highlight their involvement in or connection to the clean tech industry as he discuss the country's investment in energy transformation. ...
... "And just last week I visited the Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California, which is testing batteries to power a new generation of plug-in hybrids that will help end our dependence on foreign oil. I have to say, Susan, the battery I saw was bigger than that one that's on the desk -- (laughter) -- but that may be the direction we're moving. So innovators like you are creating the jobs that will foster our recovery –- and creating the technologies that will power our long-term prosperity. " ...
Via The White House: Investments in Clean Energy and New Technologies

Continue reading "Electric Vehicle Battery Testing" »

March 19, 2009

Microgrids - May Back Up Power Grid

Microgrids may offer part of the answer to an aging Power Grid.  A microcgrid is ..." ... A localized grid powered by a cluster of on-site generators, backup batteries, an array of solar panels or other sources of energy. ... can operate in parallel with the larger grid or independent of it. ... If the high-voltage grid we all rely on fails, the clusters of buildings or residences powered by a microgrid could keep operating normally until power is restored on the failed grid.Power Line / Grid""

" ... much of the work on microgrids today lies in the research side, real-life applications are beginning to spread. Clean Edge says Wal-Mart (nyse: WMT - news - people ) has two stores running on microgrids, one in Colorado and the other in Texas, ... Sacramento, Calif., Municipal Utility District, ...  announced in November that it plans to install a demonstration microgrid with a 310-kilowatt load at its headquarters. Another microgrid backup power system will be installed at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, Calif., linking to the 1.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic system and a one-megawatt fuel cell already at the jail.


Via:  FORBES  Link

March 11, 2009

More About Fox 24 Going Carbon Neutral - Behind the Scenes

Here are some behind the scenes Videos about the TV show "24" and their work to become carbon neutral ... and the FIRST TV show to become Carbon Neutral. Part 1 24 Behind the Scenes Part 1
Part 2 24 Behind the Scenes Part 2
Via: News Corp Global Energy Initiative Link

Continue reading "More About Fox 24 Going Carbon Neutral - Behind the Scenes" »

March 10, 2009

Fox 24 - First Carbon Neutral TV Show


Fox logo The Fox TV Show "24" " ... becomes the first carbon neutral television production."

" ... Nearly a year after announcing its aim to reduce its carbon footprint and inCast of "24"spire its viewers to do the same, "24," ... has far exceeded its carbon-reduction goals and will be the first television production ever to achieve carbon neutrality.  ... reduced the carbon emissions associated with its production by a staggering 43%, and ... has purchased high-quality carbon offsets to address its remaining unavoidable emissions. "



24 Going Green PSA - Kiefer Sutherland
Fox  Link

February 25, 2009

Green Smart - Bottles 2 Bags

Green Smart logo

"All fabrics used for the GreenSmart Bottles 2 Bags are derived from certified 100% post-consumer recycled PET water and soda bottles."Bottles to Bags logo

" ... coGreen Smart bags mmitted to converting all items the Company  makes to green material composition. ... any company can make a few products green, we will commit to making them all green—and we'll tell people what that greenness is product for product and what positive result there is."



Via:  act2greensmart  Link



Continue reading "Green Smart - Bottles 2 Bags" »

February 11, 2009

Largest Solar Project in Cali

Southern California Edison collaborates with BrightSource Energy to add 1,300 megawatts of solar thermal power capacity to its renewable energy portfolio. BrightSource brings the solar thermal technology to the project, which leverages thousands of mirrors that concentrate sunlight onto a boiler that produces high temperature steam. ...
... "The first of these solar power plants, sized at 100 megawatts and located in Ivanpah, Calif., could be operating in early 2013 and is expected to produce 286,000 megawatt-hours of renewable electricity per year. BrightSource will build and place in commercial operation each of its plants as quickly as permitting and infrastructure allow. The full 1,300 megawatts of projects will produce 3.7 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy and avoid more than two million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – the equivalent of removing more than 335,000 cars from the road. " ...
Via Southern California Edison: World’s Largest Solar Deal

January 19, 2009

Contessa Green Cuisine

Contess Green CuisineContessa's plant in Los Angeles, California was designed to minimize it's environmental impact ...

Read on for more >>>

" ... Contessa’s Green Cuisine plant  ... reduces its energy use and CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions by more than 65% daily ... the first environmentally responsible, LEED... is carbon neutral ...  uses recycled and recyclable materials in its packaging, and recycles paper, materials and equipment in its operations and offices."

" ... Individuals can make a difference in mitigating climate change. But manufacturers can do more toward achieving that goal in a single hour than 100 well-intentioned people can accomplish in an entire year."


Via:  Contessa Green Cuisine   LINK


January 13, 2009

Luxims Plasma Lightbulb

Luxim, Sunnyvale California, has announced PLASMA lighting. Check out this video ... showing the brightness available from a small source using very little energy ...

Luxim logo




< Via: ZDNet Link

January 02, 2009

Liposuctioned Fat used for BioFuel

Here is an idea that is slightly out of the ordinary ... and a bit "unique".  A Beverly Hills surgeon is suspected of using the lipoosuctioned fat from patients to make biofuel to power his car.  Since being investigated the practice has closed ..

Read on for more ...

" ... Beverly Hills doctor Craig Alan Bittner turned the fat he removed from patients into biodiesel that fueled his Ford SUV and his girlfriend's Lincoln Navigator ... Fat--whether animal or vegetable--contains triglycerides that can be extracted and turned into diesel. ... Bittner's lipodiesel Web site is no longer online."

" ... it's definitely illegal in California to use human medical waste to power vehicles, and Bittner is being investigated by the state's public health department."

Via:  Forbes.Com  LINK

November 26, 2008

California Academy of Science - Greenest Museum?

The California Academy of Sciences is an example of GREN design - from solar cells, to green roof, to skylights to reused literature ... See the Video for more ... Via: ZDNet LINK

November 11, 2008

BNSF Southern California International Gateway

BNSF Southern California International Gateway See what BNSF is doing to develop a Greener inter modal freight port ... 

"BNSF’s SCIG, will be a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly, near-dock intermodal facility that will have 90 percent less emissions than traditional intermodal yards. ... eliminate millions of truck miles annually from the 710 and other local freeways, reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality, but it will bring hundreds of new, and good paying jobs to the local community.

 Check out this You Tube Video Link



Via:  BNSF Link

October 25, 2008

California Solar Thermal Generates Five Megawatts

The Governator and Ausra's CEO launch solar thermal technology power plant in Bakersfield, California. Ausra is refining its technology through simplification and quick construction techniques. The Kimberlina facility was built in seven months. Solar thermal technology is comprised of large fields of mirrors that concentrate sun's heat on tubes of water creating steam. The steam drives power turbines to generate electricity. ...
... "At full output, Kimberlina will be able to generate 5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 3,500 homes in central California. The Kimberlina plant is the first solar plant in the country to utilize Ausra's next generation technology, and it is the first solar thermal power plant of any type built in California in nearly 20 years. " ...
Via Ausra: Solar Thermal Plant in California

Continue reading "California Solar Thermal Generates Five Megawatts" »

October 24, 2008

MINI to offer Electric Car

MINI w/ plug in logo on roofThe BMW / MINI is a hot little car and pretty fuel efficient ... designed with lots of energy saving features like lightweight recyclable aluminum and some plastic parts coded for recycling.

The next step might be the electric / plug in MINI.  Read on for more >>

" ... readying an invasion fleet of 500 electric MINIs to launch on the shores of California, New York and New Jersey....will be used by a mixture of corporations and “private individuals”."

" ... electric MINIs are powered by a motor (with 220nM of torque) and by a lithium ion battery ... takes up the place where the rear two seats usually live in the MINI hatchback ... electric motor drives the front wheels and the top speed is just 95mph, ... the MINI E will do 0-62mph in 8.5sec."

" ... plugged into the domestic supply to recharge and all owners will be given a wall-mounted box that will recharge the MINI E in around 2.5 hours....a range of over 100 miles."


Via:  Mirror.CO.UK  LINK


October 14, 2008

Applied Materials: Largest Solar Array for US corporation

Solar Panels over Parked Cars ...

"Applied Materials  ... announced completion of two SunPower solar power systems totaling 2.1 megawatts at Applied Materials' corporate facilities in Sunnyvale, Calif. ...the largest solar power deployment at a corporate facility in the United States."

" ... includes a 950 kilowatt SunPower PowerGuard(R) installation 
and a 1.2 megawatt SunPower(R) Tracker installation atop an
elevated parking canopy. ... follows the sun as it moves across the
sky, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over
conventional fixed-tilt systems. Both systems use SunPower solar
panels, ... SunPower uses Applied Materials' Baccini technology in
its solar cell manufacturing process.

" ... reports that its solar installation has generated 1,413 megawatt hours of power. ... system is
expected to replace more than 2,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, ... equivalent to
the annual carbon emissions from approximately 450 passenger cars."


Via:  PRNewsWire  Link

October 12, 2008

House Tour during Solar Energy Week

9th Annual San Diego Solar Homes Tour will be held on Saturday, October 18th. ...
... "The San Diego Solar Homes Tour is quite possibly the longest running and most popular tour in California. Celebrating our ninth year of the tour, over 40 homes throughout San Diego County are participating. " ...
Via Solar Energy Week: Event Schedule

October 07, 2008

Algae Powered Car!

Many are looking at the humble algae as a possible biofuel. Unlike corn it does not (yet) compete as "food or fuel" and does not require lots of irrigation water to grow. See the video to learn more >>> " ... algae is becoming the new go-to ingredient for a myriad of products. On a visit to Solazyme, a South San Francisco-based biotech company, CNET's Kara Tsuboi rides in a 100 percent algae-fueled car and samples surprisingly tasty algae cooking oil that rivals any extra virgin olive oil." Via: ZDNet Link

September 25, 2008

Zero Waste Moving Company

Spencer BrownSpence Brown was one of the winners in Keen's STAND contest.  His Zero Waste Moving company is described below ..

"Rent-a-Green is the first, comprehensive zero-wastKeen Logoe pack and move solution in America. ... Spencer Brown, a ... eco-entrepreneur is converting trash ... into a suite of sustainable, cradle to cradle, packing and moving products. ... three durable, rentable and reusable moving boxes called Recopacks [ recycled ecological packing solution]. ...
For every 100 Recopacks rented, we remove over 500 pounds of hard to recycle plastic trash from our landfills, prevent over 350 pounds of packing and moving waste entering our landfills, reduce our fuel consumption by 50 gallons, eliminate over 2,500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from entering our atmosphere and save three trees ..."

Via:  Keen  Link



Continue reading "Zero Waste Moving Company" »

September 18, 2008

Tesla Motors to build All Electric Sports Sedan

Tesla Motors Logo

Tesla Motors announced plans to build its second car model, the Moedl S (no doubt for Sedan)  in California.  Their first model, a two seat roadster, made headlines for amazing performance from an all electric car.

" ... Tesla ... plans to  build a $250 million facility to manufacture a zero-emission luxury sedan in the heart of Silicon Valley. ... The factory – expected to achieve gold certification from U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ..."

"Model S is Tesla’s zero-emission, five-passenger luxury sedan powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. ... expected to ... get about 240 miles per charge with exceptional performance. The first sedans will likely roll off the assembly line in late 2010."

Via:  Tesla Motors  Link

Continue reading "Tesla Motors to build All Electric Sports Sedan" »

September 02, 2008

Solar Electric System Enables University Sustanable Energy Program

University of California, San Diego selects Borrego for installaction of a 1.2 megawatt solar electric system, built using Kyocera Solar photovoltaic modules. This solar project will be the centerpiece of the university’s sustainable energy program. The $9 million system is financed through a Power Purchase Agreement with Solar Power Partners. ...
... "When complete, UC San Diego’s system will consist of 5,790 Kyocera KD205 solar modules that will be mounted on the Price Center, the Gilman parking structure and other buildings across the 1,200-acre campus. This system will contribute to the 29 million kilowatt hours per year of green energy that UC San Diego expects its overall efforts to produce, which is enough electricity to power more than 4,500 homes. UC San Diego’s program will offset approximately 10,500 tons of carbon emissions, which is the equivalent of removing 1,500 cars from the road every year. " ...
Via Borrego Solar: 1.2 Megawatt Solar Electric System

August 27, 2008

Mill Valley, California Goes Green - See the Video

On the next installment of The Green Enterprise, ZDNet editor-in-chief Dan Farber takes a look at green practices in the City of Mill Valley, such as a solar-powered pizzeria, an eco-friendly water treatment plant and a lumber program that re-uses wood from the city's fallen trees for bridge projects around town. He also talks with Mill Valley's green evangelist, Linn Walsh about the city's eco strategy. Via: ZDNet Link

August 17, 2008

California Solar Power Contracts

Pacific Gas and Electric Company enters into utility-scale, photovoltaic (PV) solar power contracts for renewable energy. The contracts will deliver 1.65 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually, which is equivalent to the energy requirements of 239,000 residential homes each year. ...
... "OptiSolar’s Topaz Solar Farm : The 550 MW Topaz Solar Farm project» would utilize relatively low-cost, thin-film PV panels designed and manufactured by OptiSolar in Hayward and Sacramento. Located in San Luis Obispo County, California, the project would deliver an average of 1,100,000 megawatt-hours annually of renewable electricity. The project is expected to begin power delivery in 2011 and be fully operational by 2013. " ...
Via OptiSolar: Topaz Solar Farm 550 Megawatt Power Agreement

August 14, 2008

Port of Los Angeles Pollution Reduction Program - Ships Plug In for Powerower -- AMP.

Here is an idea very similar to what trucks use at truck stops while overnighting.  Rather than use the diesel engine for power (heat or a/c, etc) they use a smaller auxiliary power source or plug in for their power Alternative Marime Power (AMP) PAnelneeds.

The Ports of Los Angeles now have the same type of system available ... called Alternative Maritime Power™".

" ... AMP™ ... focuses on reducing emissions from container vessels docked at the Port of Los Angeles. ...  AMP-equipped ships “plug in” to shore side electrical power  ....""AMP" designed ship

" ... The Port of Los Angeles is the first Port in the world to use AMP technology for in-service container ships."

" ... currently in discussions with several cruise lines to expand the use of AMP ..."

Via:  PortofLosAngeles  Link

Continue reading "Port of Los Angeles Pollution Reduction Program - Ships Plug In for Powerower -- AMP." »

August 12, 2008

Los Angeles Ports Promote Low Sulphur Fuel Use

Port of LA Logo

The Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) is designed to keep polluting sulfur oxides and particulates out of the general LA ports area.  To make this a reality the ports are offering the best incentive there is - money - ... Read on for more ...

" ... an incentive program aimed at accelerating the use of cleaner-burning fuel by ocean vessel operators when transiting within 40
nautical miles of the San Pedro Bay and while at berth in either port. ... sulfur oxides (SOx),  ... will be cut by as much as 11 percent and particulate matter (PM) by 9 percent ..."

" ... earmarked nearly $20 million to pay vessel operators to use cleaner-burning, lowsulfur fuel  ... the ports will pay the difference
between the price of bunker fuel and more costly low-sulfur fuel – ..."
to the important state regulations on low-sulfur fuels that will start next year."


Via:  PortofLosAngeles  Link

Continue reading "Los Angeles Ports Promote Low Sulphur Fuel Use" »

July 10, 2008

Wave Power

The ocean seems to have an endless amount if energy so it makes sense to want to harness it. Watch the video to see what SF California's mayor has in mind ... for wave and tidal energy

"San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom believes tapping into tidal and wave power is a swell idea. But how feasible and realistic is this new renewable-energy technology? CNET's Kara Tsuboi sits down with the mayor to find out." Via: ZDNet Link

May 29, 2008

Solar Powered Charger Phones and other Small Electronics

solio charger Solio offers a line of solar chargers for smaller electronics like cell phones, GPS, cameras, etc.  The California based company has some cool looking designs that offer solar charging or the aaSolio solar charger key chainbility to plug into the wall and when charged act as a battery (replaceable).

 "Solio features a fan-blade design that allows it to achieve maximum solar area when in use.  Just spread out the blades, expose them to direct sunlight either out of doors or affixed to a window, and get ready to take your power on the road."


Via:  Solio   Link

Continue reading "Solar Powered Charger Phones and other Small Electronics" »

May 14, 2008

California's Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)

 WRAP Logo

Want to help reduce waste and get recognition for it?  California's WRAP program rewards businesses with the right to use the WRAP logo on products and advertising.  Calif Integrated Waste Mgt Board

Read on for more info: 

" ... Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP) ... administered by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. ... an opportunity for California businesses to gain public recognition for their outstanding waste reduction efforts and lets the community know your business takes waste reduction seriously. ... also provides businesses with examples of successful waste reduction techniques, which they may adopt as their own."

" ... businesses ... with California facilities are encouraged to apply for an annual WRAP award. ... Award winners receive authorization to use the WRAP winner logo with their products, advertising, and business websites to publicize waste reduction efforts."


Via: WRAP - California Integrated Waste Mgt Board Link

Continue reading "California's Waste Reduction Awards Program (WRAP)" »

May 02, 2008

Bio Solar Solar Cells ....

bio solar logo

California based Bio Solar has a different slant on making solar cells ... rather than focusing on improving the efficiency they focus on reducing the cost and using non petroleum based materials.

Read on for more ... >>> 

" ...developed a breakthrough technology to produce bio-based materials from renewable plant sources that will reduce the cost per watt of solar cells. ... is the first company to introduce a new dimension of cost reduction by replacing petroleum-based plastic solar cell components with durable bio-based components."Bio Solar thin film substrate diagram

"... BioSolar materials can be used directly in conventional manufacturing systems, such as injection molding and thin-film roll-to-roll, to create superstrate layer, substrate layer, backsheet as well as module and panel components."
solar panels

" ... using crystalline silicon, amorphous silicon or other solar technologies, BioSolar can help reduce the cost per watt through the use of its lower cost bio-based materials."

"By removing petroleum from solar cells, BioSolar makes solar energy a true green source of energy."


Via:  Bio Solar   Link

April 12, 2008

California Solar Market Consolidation

PermaCity Solar acquires New Millennium Power to gain leading edge expertise on solar electric systems on commercial carports and parking structures, industrial and agricultural storage facilities. With the California solar growth rate accelerating, expect more consolidation in the market. ...
... "California's solar energy market grew more than 57 percent last year, and is expected to grow at an even higher rate in 2008. With its acquisition of a geographically desirable company, PermaCity is positioning itself to better serve the Southern California market. PermaCity Solar, Inc. is a leading system developer and integrator of state-or-the-art photovoltaic systems specializing in high-quality, long life performance." ...
Via PermaCity Solar: Los Angeles Solar Panel Installer Ups the Ante

April 11, 2008

Fortune Brainstorm Green - April 21-22, 2008

brainstorm green logo Fortune's "Brainstorm Green" is an invitation only event on April 21 - 22, 2008  in Pasadena, California. 

Set to occur during Earth Day, 2008 (April 22) the event brings " ... environmentally-minded business leaders and the green movement's brightest thinkers ..." together for "... for FORTUNE's first-ever Brainstorm: GREEN Conference."

" ... will be an unprecedented gathering of business and environmental leaders, as executives, academics, politicians and NGOs join to discuss the impact of the green movement and explore the opportunities and challenges facing FORTUNE 500 companies, entrepreneurs, government, and the financial world."

Via:  Brainstorm Green   Link

Continue reading "Fortune Brainstorm Green - April 21-22, 2008" »

April 02, 2008

Largest Solar Installation in California

Southern Califronia Edison discusses massive solar installation, with appearance by Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger. ...

March 19, 2008

PV Solar Energy Franchise in California

Yes! Solar signs franchise agreement with California investment group to launch a Yes! Solar Solutions franchise in Orange County, California. ...
... "Yes! Solar Solutions has taken an innovative retail approach to making PV solar energy more accessible to homeowners and businesses. As the Company continues to roll out its franchise plan, it will seek to centrally locate additional retail franchise operations within communities where economic factors, like higher energy costs, make solar power alternatives attractive. Like the Roseville, California store, future Yes! energy outlets will be designed to educate consumers and businesses on the economic and environmental benefits of solar power and provide solutions that will help them reduce their electricity costs. " ...
Via Yes! Solar: Southern California Franchise

March 03, 2008

E-ZPass Discounts for Hybrid Cars

 Toyota PRius

They get better mileage.  They are good for the environment.

Now they can even save you some money on Tolls!

Some toll authorities are extending discounts to cars that get a certain MPG and meet a certain emissions threshold.  Currently only 3 or so cars qualify. 

NY State grants a special GREEN EZ-Pass plan and EZ-Pass to vehicles that meet their criteria of ..." at least 45 miles to the gallon and meet specific emissions standards ..."  The discount is 10% on NY Thruway Roads.EZ-PAss Logo

NOTE:  Not all E-ZPass Agencies are offering Toll Discounts to Hybrids ... But I would not be surprised if other follow NY's Lead.

Via:  NY E-ZPass  Link

Continue reading "E-ZPass Discounts for Hybrid Cars" »

February 17, 2008

Los Angeles Sustainability Standard

City of Los Angeles legislates green building standards. ...
... "Under the ordinance, privately built projects over 50,000 square feet -- of which there are roughly 200 constructed annually -- must meet a standard of sustainability by incorporating a checklist of green practices into their building plans. " ...
Via Los Angeles Times: LA Green

January 17, 2008

Airplane Recycling

Boeing 707 in the process of being recycledAirplane recycling is just like any other recycling ... sort of.  Of course planes are bigger than household recyclables but older airplanes have a lot of steel and aluminum - materials that are easy to recycle.AIRCRAFT COMPOSITE MATERIALS - FOR RECYCLING

"Steel, found in the landing gear of planes  [left] ... is ...easy to recover. ... dealers sell steel ... to companies that make anything from new aircraft to food cans to bridges."

"Recycling composite aircraft materials ...[right] is trickier ...The Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association aims to recycle 5 tons of carbon fiber per day."

"... process of separating carbon fiber from plastic and metal composites is still being perfected. ..."

"Recycled carbon fiber is being tested for use inAirplane graveyard - in dessets of California tires, paint, industrial injection molds, and sporting goods ... also looking into using it in airplane baggage bins and galley carts, within car brakes, and even spinning it into yarn."


Via:  Link

Continue reading "Airplane Recycling" »

January 14, 2008

Luxury Plug in Hybrid from Fisker

Fisker Karna

Fisker shows its Karma at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show today, Feb 14th, 2008 in Detroit, Michigan.

Fisker Logo

Fisker is a private GREEN AMERICAN sports car company.

"...its first production car, the Fisker Karma, ... first of its kind four-door plug-in hybrid ... a starting price of $80,000. ... deliveries ... will commence in the 4th quarter of 2009 ... "

" ... features cutting-edge plug-in hybrid technology, ... Q DRIVE, developed by Quantum Technologies ... consists of a small gasoline engine that turns the generator, which charges the lithium ion battery pack, powering the electric motor and turning the rear wheels. .. allows consumers to drive the car emission free for up to 50 miles ..."

"It's conceivable that if consumers follow this daily routine, they will only need to fuel the car but once a year. ..."


Via:  PRNewswire  Link 

Continue reading "Luxury Plug in Hybrid from Fisker" »

January 10, 2008

LEED Gold Green Condos in LA

Advanced green buildings in Los Angeles condominium showcase responsible development. ...

January 09, 2008

Nanostructures for Efficient Solar Cells

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz collaborate globally to experiment at the nanoscale to control the generation, transport and storage of electrons, in order to improve the conversion of solar energy into electricity. ...
... "Combining these two approaches appears to yield better solar cell materials than either one alone does, according to Jin Zhang, professor of chemistry at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Zhang led a team of researchers from California, Mexico, and China that created a thin film doped with nitrogen and sensitized with quantum dots. When tested, the new nanocomposite material performed better than predicted - as if the functioning of the whole material was greater than the sum of its two individual components. The resulting hybrid material offered a combination of advantages. Nitrogen doping allowed the material to absorb a broad range of light energy, including energy from the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The quantum dots also enhanced visible light absorption and boosted the photocurrent and power conversion of the material. When compared with materials that were just doped with nitrogen or just embedded with cadmium selenide quantum dots, the nanocomposite showed higher performance ... " ...
Via University of California at Santa Cruz: New nanostructured thin film

January 07, 2008

Creative Financing of California Solar Photovoltaic Projects

GE works with SunPower on creative financing of a client portfolio of solar photovoltaics projects in California: Toyota, HP, Agilent, Lake County, and Rancho California Water District. The project portfolio will achieve elimination of 8.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in its initial year of operation. ...
... "GE Energy Financial Services is acquiring a majority equity interest in the five solar photovoltaic projects, which SunPower will design and build, operate and maintain. GE Energy Financial Services will finance and own the systems under the SunPower Access power purchase agreement program, which allows customers to take advantage of the environmental and financial benefits of solar power with no upfront capital costs. The solar electricity will be competitively priced against retail rates, providing customers a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices. Construction of the projects is scheduled to begin in February and be completed by the end of the year. " ...

December 09, 2007

California Solar Roof Installation

Solar photovoltaic panels are integrated into a California tile roof and wired to inverter. ...

December 04, 2007

Saving Energy One Billboard at a Time

Pacific Gas and Electric implements solar powered billboard, with photovoltaic panels from SunTech Power, in San Francisco in conjunction with its campaign called -- We can do this. ...
... "The nations first solar-powered billboard is prominently located at 1000 Brannan Street in San Francisco, visible from the Highway 101 9th Street exit. It is outfitted with 20 solar modules that can provide up to 3.4 kilowatts of renewable solar energy to the PG&E grid. The power generated by the system exceeds the power used at night to illuminate the billboards lights. In addition to installing solar, PG&E replaced the billboards halophane light fixtures with energy-efficient LED lights. " ...

View Larger Map

Continue reading "Saving Energy One Billboard at a Time" »

November 13, 2007

Al Gore Joins KPC&B to Focus on Alternative Energy

Al Gore

Al Gore has joined the Silocn Valley venture capital firs Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.  He joins "... as a partner focused on alternative energy investments.KPC&B logo

Many say the private sector will lead the way in the Green Initiative - the combination of KPC&B and Al Gore is a potent combination. 

>>> I agree.

 Furthering his green bent Gore indicated that "...100 percent of his salary as a partner at Kleiner Perkins will be donated directly to the Alliance for Climate Protection ..."



Via:  Rueters   Link


Continue reading "Al Gore Joins KPC&B to Focus on Alternative Energy" »

November 05, 2007

California Solar Thermal Plant

Solar thermal capacity will be added in California by PG&E and Ausra. 177 mega Watts of generating capacity is planned. Ausra adds value through its solar reflector concentration Solar Concentratortechnology. ...
... "The plant, to be located in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., is expected to begin generating power in 2010. Ausra has filed its Application for Certification for this plant with the California Energy Commission, which must grant approval before construction begins. The plant will burn no fuel, use minimal water, and have no air or water emissions. At 177 megawatts of capacity, the project will use only one square mile (640 acres) of land due to the exceptional area efficiency of Ausra's collector technology. Ausra's new Compact Linear Fresnel Reflector (CLFR) solar technology utilizes the heat from the sun's rays to create steam. Solar collectors boil water at high temperatures to power steam turbine generators, in much the same way as traditional fossil-fuel power plants, but without use of fuels or emissions. " ...

Via Ausra: Solar Thermal Power


October 13, 2007

California Energy Efficiency Legislation Enables Solar Water Heating

Governor SchwarzeneggerGovernor Schwarzenegger signs legislation to increase the commitment to energy efficiency, conservation and pollution reduction in California. ...

... "Assemblymember Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) creates the Solar Water Heating and Efficiency Act of 2007 which provides incentives to attain the goal of installing 200,000 solar water heating systems in the state by 2017. " ...



Continue reading "California Energy Efficiency Legislation Enables Solar Water Heating" »

September 30, 2007

Solar in Green Building

Solar technologies in green building, seminar this week ... Monterey Bay California
... "U.S. Green Building Council-Monterey Bay will meet Thursday, Oct. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at Moss Landing Marine Labs, 8272 Moss Landing Road, Moss Landing. Topic: SOLAR TECHNOLOGY Speakers: Roger DeNault, president of Solar Technologies, Santa Cruz, and a representative from PG&E on solar incentives ... " ...

Via Santa Cruz Sentinel: Business Calendar


September 28, 2007

BP Solar Committed to Solar Power

BP is committed to alternative power solutions.  In addition to manufacturng Solar panels they have partnered with several groups to make it easier to buy (with Home Depo).

>>>  Read on for more.

In 2005, "... expanded state-of-the-art facility in Frederick, Md. to more than double our production of solar panels. ... contains all of the elements of solar product manufacturing processes. These are vertically integrated to ensure the overall quality of the finished products. ... In fact, BP already is one of the world's largest producers of solar panels." 

See photo at right.


house with solar panels

"Residential customers in southern California can visit one of many of The Home Depot® centers and purchase a complete home solar system via the BP Solar Home Solution program. ... [also] available in New Jersey, California and New York."

" ... BP Solar has partnered with Sun Edison to create "SunE Solar Fund 1," a $60 million fund ... to support the installation of as many as 25 U.S. solar electric systems. The funds kickoff by installing BP Solar Energy Solutions systems at several Staples stores in California and New Jersey. When fully operational, these three systems will generate a total of 680 kWh of electricity."
"... the BP Solar Neighbors Program. ... Actor Edward Norton broached the idea of giving low-income families in Los Angeles access to solar power after he installed a BP Solar system in his own home. ... a community partnership between BP and the Enterprise Foundation called the BP Solar Neighbors Program. Also joining in this ground-breaking collaboration is the Environmental Media Association.
Every time an invited celebrity has a BP Solar system installed on his or her home, BP donates a system to a low-income family living in South Central L.A. More than 25 families have received the gift of clean solar power through this program to help lower their electricity bills."
Via:            Link

September 25, 2007

10 Greenest US Cities

Yahoo picked 10 Cities that "in no particular order -- ...  putting residents first. That means they're obsessed with clean air and clean water, renewable energy, reliable city buses, trams, streetcars and subways, a growing number of parks and greenbelts, farmer's markets and, very important, opportunities for community involvement."

"Portland, Oregon - ... More than 30 years ago, ... tore down a six-lane expressway to make room for a waterfront park. ... set an urban growth boundary to protect 25 million acres of forest and farmland, started a solid-waste program that recycles more than half of the city's trash and erected more than 50 public buildings that meet tough standards set by the United States Green Building Council. ..."

Autsin, Texas "Austin, Texas - Home to the first Whole Foods Market ... 205 parks, 14 nature preserves, and 25 greenbelts. ... plans to meet 20 percent of its energy needs with renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2020. ... a recycling center that dates back to 1970, a dozen outdoor farmer's markets, city buses that offer free rides on 'high ozone' days and an innovative "pay-as-you-throw" trash collection program that rewards residents for being less wasteful ..."

MinneapolisMinneapolis, Minnesota - ... more than 60 percent of downtown workers use public or alternative transportation ... Free parking for registered van and car pools, an extensive bike path and bike lane system and employer-sponsored showers ... Minnesota State Department of Commerce nudging businesses and residents to hook solar systems up to the city's grid, ..."

Boulder, Colorado"Boulder, Colorado - ... city planners started preserving parkland in 1898. ... more than 90 percent of residents recycle, where new water meters are not allowed above certain elevation, thus protecting ridgelines and peaks, and where, when recent federal tax cuts gutted city budgets, residents voted themselves a third sales-tax hike to raise $51 million to buy and protect even more open land."

"Burlington, Vermont - ... More than one-third of all energy used in the city comes from renewable resources, ... laws don't allow the use of pesticides on public parks, land or waterways. ... residents formed an extensive network of citizen-based groups that take on everything from environmental programs to clean up toxic sites to watchdog groups to monitor pollution in Lake Champlain. ..."

"Madison, Wisconsin - ... first city in the United States to offer curbside recycling ... 15,000 acres of lakes and 6,000 acres of parkland ... recycling program gets a whopping 97 percent participation, with 265 tons of material... collected each week.... bike-friendly city with more than 100 miles of bike paths ...a place where there are three bikes for every car."

"New York, New York - ... More than 80 percent of NYC residents use public transportation,... New Yorkers burn gasoline at the rate the U.S. did in the 1920s. ... ... Per capita, New Yorkers use fewer resources and put less pressure on their surroundings than any other city of its size. ..."S

"San Francisco, California - ... bus, subway and ferry services that reach throughout the Bay Area, .. . more than half the city's residents use public or alternative transportation to get to work. ... Prevailing winds ... help keep pollution at bay. ... leader in green building, with more than 20 building projects registered for official green certification. And city residents are willing to tax themselves. Voters said yes to allowing the city to sell $100 million in revenue bonds to support renewable energy."

"Santa Monica, California - ... Three of every four of the city's public works vehicles run on alternative fuel, ... among the largest such fleets in the country. All public buildings use renewable energy. ... the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10 percent, ...  an urban runoff facility catches 3.5 million gallons of water each week that would otherwise flow into the bay. ..."

Chicago"Chicago, Illinois - ... has 42 green-certified building projects, with more to come. ... city's nine museums and the Art Institute ... converted to run partially on solar power. ... one-third of all residents use public transportation to get to work. goals, likely to be met, is buying 20 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources this year. ... give tax incentives to homeowners who invest in Chicago's many historic  homes and retrofit them with energy efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as water-saving plumbing. ..."


Via:  Link

September 15, 2007

Safeway Solar in California Store

Safeway uses solar panels to power store in Dublin, California store. ...
... "The Dublin store will generate about 7,500 megawatt hours of electricity per year. That is enough to supply about 20 percent of the store's average power usage ... " ...

Via ContraCostaTimes: Dublin Safeway

View Larger Map

September 04, 2007

Solar Powered Homes Built Standard in Bay Area

Lennar Bay Area Homebuilding is building two new Bay Area solar-driven communities of single family detached homes.  Every home is enhanced by Lennar's SOLARplus program, combining roof-integrated solar electric system with innovative energy efficient products.  ... Sonata at Dublin Solar Power Homes
... "The first development is at Sonata at Dublin Ranch, a 67-home community, equipped with a roof integrated solar electric system from PowerLight, a subsidiary of SunPower Corporation as a standard feature. The solar energy systems in the Sonata and Centre Pointe homes can generate considerable savings on annual utility bills in addition to the current, one-time $2,000 federal tax credit. According to PG&E, homeowners will actually produce renewable power to help supply their own needs while protecting the environment. Any surplus power appears as a credit on the homeowner’s utility bill and reverts back to the PG&E power grid. PG&E then subtracts the energy supplied back to the utility from the consumer’s monthly bill. Unlike solar panels of the past, which were elevated above the roof, the SunPower SunTile solar SunTile Solar Powerelectric system integrates seamlessly into each home’s roofline. Rather than offering upgrades at an additional cost, Lennar researches what customers want in a new home and includes those items as standard features. " ...

67 Solar-Powered Homes in Dublin and 87 Solar-Powered Homes in Concord


Green Web Hosting

solar panels

Green companies want to be "green" throughout their supplyaiso logo chain ... including their ISP.

>>> Read on to lean more and see the profile of one Green ISP ....

"AISO.Net is a ... green web hosting company. We have made a strong commitment to help fight pollution and preserving our natural resources. Solar panels run our data center and office, not energy credits."

"Solar tubes bring in natural light ... during the day. AMD Opteron powered servers use sixty percent less energy and generate fifty percent less heat. These are just some of the ways AISO.Net is becoming the world's most responsible green web hosting company."soloar powered

"... data center is environmentally friendly in design. It is completely steel framed with no wood at all except for the door frames on the interior of the building. Our walls are over 12 inches thick and filled with insulation that has recycled content. We built our data center, network and servers from the start to use the lowest amount of energy possible using the latest green design techniques, no other hosting company can do what we do without starting from scratch. We use solar tubes to bring in natural sunlight which eliminates the use for conventional lighting during the day. Our cooling systems are water cooled which reduces the amount of electricity because of the unique setup."

" We are in the process of designing a green roof for our data center. The green roof is a layer of dirt 3 to 4 inches thick with drought resistant plants. The new green roof will reduce our cooling and heating requirements by over 50%.


 Via:  Link

August 29, 2007

Get Ride of Junk Mail and Help the Planet with Greendimes


Hate junk mail?  Hate the impact / waste it generates?
>>> Now you can do something about it as well as do something good for the planet.

Enter GreenDimes.  "For a one-time $15 fee, the GreenDimes Junk Mail Reduction Kit (Free Me!) reduces your home’s junk mail by up to 90% and includes:"

- "Online Do-Not-Mail-Me List to stop catalog and non-profit mailings"
- "Monthly list confirmation with the DMA"
- "Personalized postcards to sign, stamp and send, removing you from mail sent to ‘Resident’ or ‘Occupant’"
- "Ten trees planted with one of our non-profit tree-planting partners"
-  "$5 back for every friend you refer that purchases a kit"

Besides the obvious - what is the impact of all this wasted paper?  Here are some BIG numbers ....

- "Every Sunday, 500,000 trees are used to produce the 88% of newspapers that are never recycled."

- "Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees."

- "Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper each year.  About 680 pounds per person."

"For each 500 phone books recycled, we save 7,000 gallons of water; 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space; 17 to 31 trees; and 4,100 kilowatts of electricity, enough power to serve an average home for 6 months."


GreenDimes tree planting partners include:

"American Forests - ... the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization. ... has planted 25 million native trees in more than 500 projects. ..."

"Sustainable Harvest International addresses the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing ... sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. Since 1997, ... has planted more than 1.9 million trees  ... "

"Trees for the Future has helped thousands of communities in Central America, Africa and Asia improve their livelihoods and their environment by planting nearly 50 million trees. Since 1988, ... has planted over 50 million trees throughout the world ... ."

Via:    Link

August 21, 2007

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powers Data Center for Fujitsu

Fujitsu installs hydrogen fuel cell to power California data center. ... Fuel Cell
... "The hydrogen fuel cell installed on the Fujitsu Sunnyvale campus is the UTC Power PureCell Model 200 system, featuring ultra-low emissions. It meets the most stringent air emissions standards as set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB 07). Although it utilizes natural gas, it produces 35 percent less CO2 per megawatt-hour than the average fossil fuel-based power plant, and approximately 4,000 lbs per year less NOx, the equivalent of taking more than 100 average passenger cars off the road. The system has a low sound profile at 60 decibels at 30 feet, and emits no ozone-depleting fluorocarbons. Fujitsu America will also be contributing to water conservation. When compared to conventional power plants, a UTC Power PureCell Model 200 system will save at least 800,000 gallons of water per year. Over the 15-year life of the fuel cell system, Fujitsu will leave 12 million gallons of water untouched. " ...

Via FUJITSU United States: Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power


August 09, 2007

Flexcar's Low-Car Diet

Flex Car Low Car Diet

Remember the Lo-Carb diet?  Something along the lines that reducing or giving up
carbs was good for either your health or your waist or maybe both?

Well here is a similar idea - the Low-Car diet - the idea that partially giving up cars may be good for your wallet and the environment ... (no sure about the effect on
your health or waist ...)

Flexcar Logo

Flexcar is rolling out the Low-Car Diet.

>>>Read on for more info. 

[August 2007]  "Over the next few months, folks from across the country will be giving up their personal cars for 30 days, as they participate in the Flexcar Low-Car Diet."

Flexcar pic

" ... participants pledge to walk or use public transit, bicycles, Flexcar, and/or other modes of transportation to get around town. ... to ... that not owning a car, or downsizing by a car, is more than possible in metropolitan cities that enjoy numerous transportation options."

"Right now, Porlanders are in their third week ... read their stories and learn more about the Portland Low-Car Diet at Atlantans will be kicking off their challenge today, and participants in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and San Francisco aren't far behind."


Via:  Flexcar   Link

July 22, 2007

California Solar Energy: Photovoltaic Array is Largest

Cleantech America, LLC. will provide Pacific Gas & Electric with solar power from California's largest solar facility ...
... "Named CalRENEW-1, the facility will provide up to 5 megawatts of clean, reliable peak solar energy to PG&E customers throughout northern and central California when it is completed in 2009. Located near PG&E's Mendota substation in Fresno County, CalRENEW-1 will cover approximately 40 acres and will serve as a peak solar facility, providing reliable zero-emission energy when it is most needed - at the hottest times of the day during the hottest months. CalRENEW-1 will utilize a variety of exciting photovoltaic technologies. It will be designed, built and operated by Cleantech America's enterprise partner, the California Construction Authority (CCA), a California Joint Powers Authority which has 6 megawatts of photovoltaic solar in operation and another 2 MW in development ... " ...

Via Cleantech America: California's Largest Solar Facility


July 18, 2007

Plastic Bags: Their Days May be Numbered ...

plastic shopping bags 

Paper or Plastic?paper shopping bag
How many times have you heard that one?
What is the best choice?


"The plastic bag's stranglehold ... just received its first blow. ... a first for the nation if fully passed, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors today [March 27, 2007] voted 10-1 to prohibit petroleum-based checkout bags in large markets and pharmacies."

"... would usher in the use of eco-friendly alternatives; biodegradable plastic or recycled paper bags ..."

Here are some facts about the ubiquitious plastic bag ...

"... only introduced to our shopping culture 25 years ago ... Between 500 billion-1 trillion are used each year worldwide. ... they are not biodegradable, only photodegradable.  ... they break down into smaller and smaller pieces of the same material -- but only if exposed to sunlight. Animals choke on them, sea life becomes entangled ..." plastic bags

"... burden of not only the environmental impact, but also the disposal of plastic bags. San Francisco alone spends $8.5 million a year on disposal. ... new alternatives, made from corn by-products, have markets in San Fran nervous over costs, durability, and quality. ... On the flip side, corn farmers have another potential windfall in their sights. San Francisco may only be the beginning of a massive national sweep. If more corn-based bags are needed, what will this do to the price of food? Agriculture experts are already concerned over ethanol's effect on production in the U.S.


What can you do ... you ask???
>>> Bring your own bag from last time or better yet ... buy and use a permanent shoppong bag.  Many stores offer these for sale.


Via:  Link  and   Via:   Link 

July 07, 2007

Flexcar - The US' First Car Sharing Company


Here is another option to owning a car that you really do not need to use every day. 

"Flexcar ... [has] ... low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles ... conveniently parked near homes and workplaces.  Members use them when they need them, paying just a simple hourly rate ... It’s far less expensive than owning and operating a car, and much more convenient than renting. ..."

Flexcar locations .... Link  Flexcar

"Since 2000, more than 30,000 individuals and more than 400 businesses have become members. Study after study has shown ..."

  • "More than 80% report riding public transit as much or more than they did before joining"
  • "About 60% report selling and existing car or avoiding buying another car"
  • "The majority report driving fewer miles per year"

"Applying this data ... it is easy to see ... the impact of the Flexcar program is.

  • "Reduced Congestion: ... Flexcar has effectively taken more than 10,000 vehicles off the roads."
  • "More Open Space: Assuming that there are on average three parking spots needed per car (home, work, shopping area), ... Flexcar has removed the need for 30,000 parking spots. With each spot requiring three and a half tons of concrete, the need for 105,000 tons of concrete has been removed."
  • "Less Pollution: Assuming each car taken off the road averages 25 mpg, and the owner drove 12,000 miles per year (US average), Flexcar has removed 96 million pounds, or 144,000 tons of carbon from the air."

Via:   Link

July 06, 2007

San Francisco PUC to Make BioDiesel from Used Cooking Oil

Food to Bio Diesel

San Francisco is one innovative and leading edge city. 


Did you know that "... In April, the city banned plastic shopping bags, ... bottled water in some restaurants, and ... Styrofoam takeout containers."?

More interestingly .... "... plans are now under way to turn ... waste vegetable oil produced by the city's 2600 restaurants into biodiesel. The goal: offsetting 20% of the diesel fuel used by city buses."

"Under a $1.3 million dollar program, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will turn a very large and problematic waste product into a renewable fuel:"

"Fats, oils and grease have been a significant problem for San Francisco’s sewers, ... When not disposed of properly, ... causes odors, attracts rats and leads to backups in The City’s sewer system, ...""Seal of the City of S.F. California

"... any restaurant with a deep fryer produces a steady stream of waste vegetable oil (WVO). ... [which] is generally stored and picked up by chemical companies,  ... In some parts of the country the oil is just thrown away."

"But it's relatively easy to turn WVO into a fuel,  ... SFPUC official Lewis Harrison stated that at least 1 million gallons of biodiesel could be produced ... which is "more than enough" to run the city's entire bus fleet on B20. Since WVO is a waste stream, offsetting petro-diesel usage with WVO biodiesel is particularly advantageous: the use of 1 million gallons of WVO-biodiesel would offset 19,600,000 lbs (9800 tons) of carbon dioxide emissions each year. It also has significant economic and public health benefits: municipal biodiesel production should beat the $4/gallon price of fuel in San Francisco, and B20 biodiesel blends cut diesel soot emissions by 20-40%.

SFPUC officials are hoping to have the city buses running on B20 by the end of 2007.


Via:   Link

July 02, 2007

Eco Friendly Green Hotels

Triton Hotel

I remember the days when I traveled to Toronto (late 1990s)  and the hotel had message cards in the bathroom telling you to put your towel in the shower if you wanted a new one ... to help save water and energy from washing a towel that might have only been used once ...  

Things have changed ...  The Hotel Triton's 7th Floor is ECO friendly.  Read on for more

"The days of sacrificing style and comfort to be environmentally conscious are long gone. Hotel Triton is a pioneer ... started with Hotel Triton's one of a kind Eco-Floor™ launched in conjunction with Earth Day in the 1990s. In 2003, the hotel spread its eco-practices to all floors and fostered alliances with organizations such as Trust for Public Land, Green Fusion, Collage Foundation and Happy Planet. ... integrated practices such as a sophisticated waste recycling program, biodegradable cleaning products, recycled paper, and organic coffee. Hotel Triton's environmental efforts became the inspiration and blueprint for Kimpton Hotel's eco-program in 2005, which is now being implemented at all Kimpton Hotels nationwide."

Here are "Just a few of the ways we're eco-friendly at the Hotel Triton:"

  • "Our linen and towel re-use program reduces laundry detergent and water use by 25%."
  • "All rooms on our 7th Floor Eco Floor have water saving devices, water filtration systems, and air filtration/purifiers."
  • "Our extensive recycling program helps the hotel recycle 60% of our waste. Guest recycling receptacles have been placed in all guestrooms so that guests also can recycle."
  • All cleaning agents and chemicals used to clean guestrooms have been replaced by non-toxic, environmentally safe products. This has assisted us in the elimination of bleach and ammonia based products.
  • "Landfill Use Reduction. All usable hotel items are donated to local non-profit organizations (furniture, mattresses, artwork, equipment, a/c units, refrigerators, linens and towels, lost-and-found items, wall coverings, etc.)."
Follow the link below to see  the rest.


Via:  Triton Hotel  Link

June 14, 2007

Obama Video Biodiesel Fuel Station

Conserv Fuel in Los Angeles offers B99 biodiesel and provides the context for Senator Obama's energy policy discussion. ...

May 31, 2007

First "Platinum" LEED Rated House - Steve Glenn's Very Green Home

Green House

Steve Glenn (founder of PeopleLink Inc.) has built the first LEED Platinum certified residential house in the US.  It offers many unique features - though the house was not inexpensiveGreen House

"... house is the prototype for LivingHomes.  ... sells prefabricated houses with this design by architect Ray Kappe, for about $250 per square foot (not including land, site development, or transportation).  ...  green features add about 20% to the base cost of the home and generate about $1,500 in savings per year.  (disclaimer: these are all estimates, but if you take these figures seriously, there is no breakeven on a 30 year mortgage...but this calculation comes with a load of assumptions.)"

Among the features and approx costs:

  • "Recycled Water System:  $20,000

  • Ventilation (whole house ceiling fan from Tamarack Technologies):  $1,200
  • Fireplace (EcoSmart fireplace from Fire Co. is flue-less):  $?
  • Hot Water (radiant heating system by Apricus Solar):  $33,000
  • Living Roof (garden & deer grass roof by Great Outdoors Landscaping):  $8,000
  • Electricity (Scott Corp. photovoltaic panels for up to 80% of house needs):  $12,000 (after $13,000 in state rebates & federal tax credits). 
  • Lighting (bright bars of light diodes from American Permalight):  $95 per bar
  • Windows (double-pane glass from Pilkington Group & sliding doors from Fleetwood Windows and Doors):  $33,000 for entire house.

    Green House






To see a slide show follow the Link to a BusinessWeek site. 

To see a video of the the home being build follow the Link to


Via:  BusinessWeek   Sept. 11, 2006   Link 

May 23, 2007

California Pistachio Grower Uses Solar Power

Paramount Farms"Paramount Farms, ... tomorrow (May 23, 2007) will start up a $7.5 million 1.1-megawatt solar farm spread across eight acres.  ... the largest solar farm on an agricultural site in the United States .... Over the next year, ... will generate about 15 percent of the electricity used by the ... nut processing plant."Amorphous Silicon Panels

"The panels will be amorphous silicon, not the photovoltaic panels popular on house roofs and also many other solar power farms in the United States.

"... amorphous silicon ... requires almost no maintenance whatsoever," ... Photovoltaics follow the sun and are more efficient, but we are not constrained by space. We are able to use this material and have no maintenance cost for the next 50 years."

Pistachios"The processing plant that takes up 140 acres is located in Lost Hills, about 60 miles from Bakersfield, California, and 100 miles southwest of Fresno."


Via:  Reuters  Link 

May 14, 2007

Small Biomass Project Options in California

Southern California Edison introduces power contracting options that is conducive to small biomass power generation projects, such as landfill gas, municipal solid waste, wood, fuel cell, and sewer gas. ...
... "SCE's new Biomass Standard Contract opens the door for these projects, and provides a faster, simpler way for biomass projects under 20 MW to sell their power to utility customers. SCE is offering three new biomass contract options for projects with less than 1 MW of generating capacity, 1 MW to 5 MW, and greater than 5 MW to 20 MW. Contract terms of 10, 15, or 20 years will be accepted. The utility plans to accept up to 250 MW of new biomass capacity through the new program. " ...

Via Southern California Edison: New Type of Renewable Energy Contract to Expand Biomass Generation


"Simple Shoes" Helps Fight Global Warming



The folks who make simple shoes are concerned about the environment and global warming. 

They reduce their environmental footprint by the way they manufacture their shoes: "... we're changing the way we make shoes by using sustainable materials like recycled car tires, crepe rubber, and organic cotton."

They will also "donating 5 bucks to for each pair of Toepeeka flip-flops  we sell to our retailers.  Learn how you can help to: go to"


visit stop global warming 


Via:\stopglobalwarming   Link

May 08, 2007

SanFrancisco Green Building Fast Track

San Francisco will fast-track green buildings that meet gold LEED standards. ... SF Mayor Gavin Newsom
... "The Task Force follows the successful introduction of new priority permitting for private development projects that meet a minimum gold standard under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. " ...

Via San Francisco Mayor's Office: Green Building Task Force


April 18, 2007

A Greener Shoe

Green Toe Shoes sustainable raw materials
All natural shoes.  Sounds good.

What goes into an all natural shoe and why is it so good for the planet?
>>>  Read on and find out!


green toe shoes

" ... About a gazillion pairs later... give or take a few... weve managed to learn a few things. ... And none more important than this: HOW we make our shoes is just as important as WHY we make them. ... finding more sustainable ways of doing business so we can make a gazillion more."

" ... we're committed to making our product 100% sustainable.  Finding materials and processes that make our products sustainable is a method we call Green Toe."

In addition to using the materials in the graphic to the right ... they also ...

* carpool
* recycle most plastics, paper, cardboard and aluminum
* use biodegradable cleaning products and more
* and more ... see the ecoETHICS page   Link



Via:  Simple Shoes   Link 


April 05, 2007

Google Bus Fleet Eases Employee Commutes .... and Reduces Pollution

Google Logo


Google is well known for its innovation in Search Engines and web tools. It is also well known for the many employee perks ... 

What most people do not know is that they are helping to reduce road congestion and traffic by providing bus service to many of the employees in southern California.Google Bus Service Area

In fact - Google operates a LARGE bus fleets.  Some details:

" ... ferries about 1,200 employees to and from Google daily — nearly one-fourth of its local work force — aboard 32 shuttle buses ... Bicycles are allowed on exterior racks, and dogs on forward seats, or on their owners’ laps if the buses run full."

"The shuttles, which carry up to 37 passengers each ... 132 trips every day to some 40 pickup and drop-off locations in more than a dozen cities, crisscrossing six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area and logging some 4,400 miles. They pick up workers as far away as Concord, 54 miles northeast of the Googleplex ... system’s routes cover in excess of 230 miles of freeways, more than twice the extent of the region’s BART commuter train system, which has 104 miles of tracks."


Via:  Google.Com     Link     and    The New York Times March 10, 2007     Link





April 03, 2007

Whole Foods Market uses Solar Power


Whole Foods Market - Logo

Whole Foods Market has committed to using Solar Power at stores in their Southern Pacific, Northern California and North Atlantic Regions. 

"... Brentwood is using solar energy as 24 percent of its power source ... will produce 62,370 kilowatt hours, approximately equal to 20 residential homes, result in more than 140,000 lbs per year of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 10 cars from the roadways, and reduce the equivalent of more than 58 tons of coal being burned."


"In March 2002 Whole Foods Market Berkeley became the first major food retailer to introduce solar energy as a primary lighting power source ... while increasing building thermal insulation and extending the life of the roof."  Whole Foods Market - Berkley, California store solar panels

"... In addition to an attractive amortization period, the system will produce and save more than one million kilowatt hours over 25 years and will result in more than 1,060 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 285 cars from the roadways."

"The combination of solar power and efficient lighting, along with a Duro-Last Energy Star® roof system with a solar reflectance of more than 86%, will reduce both peak and base load electricity demand. The net effect will be reduced load on the local electric substation, especially during peak summer hours."


"Our Edgewater, New Jersey store ... installing solar panels made by BP Solar on our facility's roof.  ... will meet more than 20 percent of Edgewater store's needs. The new ... system will produce and save more than 2.2 million kWhs over 20 years resulting in more than 1,650 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 440 cars from the roadways, and reduce the impact on our country's power grids.


Via:    Link



April 02, 2007

Vehicle Tailpipe Emissions: Legislative Mandate Required

U.S. Senators Feinstein, Collins and Snowe target reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the use of motor vehicles through legislative mandate, setting a national standard. ...
... "So, it's time for the auto industry to improve vehicle technologies and reduce tailpipe emissions. The bottom line is this: emissions from the use of motor vehicles are roughly one-third of our nation's greenhouse gas problem. So, it's critical that we reduce carbon dioxide emissions from this sector. Mandating automakers to reduce tailpipe emissions and requiring fuel providers to increase the supply of low-carbon fuels would cut carbon dioxide emissions from the use of motor vehicles by as much as 22 percent below projected levels by 2030. " ...

Via Senator Feinstein: Measure to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions from the Use of Motor Vehicles


March 25, 2007

GE EcoImagination Photovoltaics in Use at Shafer Vineyard in Napa

Nice video of solar photovoltaics in use at Shafer Vineyard in Napa ...

March 19, 2007

Made from Recycled Products: Stuff to Buy

Hempy's Hemp Clothing


We all know to recycle.  It's good for the environment:  it reduces waste, recycled goods use less energy than good created from raw materials. 

But what kinds of things are available to buy?Hempy's Retread Belt
>>> How about clothing and apparel?


My newest belt is made from recycled tires.  It was made by Hempy's of California and so far holds my pants up quite fine.  No news on the mpg though ...




"HEMPY’S is an American manufacturer and worldwide distributor of clothing and accessories made from sustainable materials including hemp, organic cotton, recycled cotton and recycled synthetics. We work primarily with small, family owned sewing contractors in our local San Diego region. HEMPY’S eco-friendly products are 'Made in the U.S.A.' and create jobs for American workers and help stimulate the domestic economy. For over 11 years we have remained committed to product quality, business integrity and customer service."


Via:  Hempy's    Link 


March 07, 2007

Fuel Cell Bus Pilot at AC Transit: Promising Results

Alameda Contra-Costa Transit District (AC Transit), Oakland, California and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory have published preliminary results of its pilot of fuel-cell-powered transit Fuel Cell Technologybuses.  ...

Three fuel-cell transit buses were piloted at AC Transit starting in March 2006.  The fuel cell buses, by Van Hool, use ISE Corp's hybrid-electric propulsion systems, UTC Power's PureMotion fuel cell system, and ZEBRA sodium/nickel chloride batteries. The fuel cell buses were compared to six diesel buses, to establish a comparative baseline  for performance.  The fuel cell buses performed rather well, considering they are prototypes.  The pilot generated a number of learning's that will enable continuous improvements.  Over the course of the pilot, the fuel cell buses covered over 27,000 miles and operated for more than 2,300 total fuel cell system hours.

Preparing for the Pilot ...   First, AC Transit needed to design a station to provide hydrogen fuel for the buses.  AC Transit and Chevron Technology Ventures partnered to build the hydrogen energy station and retrofit an existing transit facility to support fuel-cell bus maintenance.  The energy station can produce 150 kg of hydrogen per day and store up to 370 kg of hydrogen. 

The Pilot Demonstrated These Observations ...   During the pilot, the fuel cell buses' average fuel economy was 5.50 miles per kg of hydrogen which is markedly better than the 4 miles per gallon performance of the diesel buses, used in the comparison.  Operating and maintenance costs show that the cost per mile for diesel buses is much better than fuel cell power ($0.58 vs $1.45 respectively).  This gap should narrow as the operation of fuel cell buses is optimized.  The fuel cell technology demonstrated lower parts costs and moderately higher labor hours.  Again, this is respectable performance for fuel-cell prototypes and maintenance staff early in the learning curve.

A number of technical issues were identified and remedied ...  ZEBRA batteries did not perform well Fuel cell bus at hydrogen energy stationand control algorithms need enhancement.  ISE Corp. is working on this.   Air conditioning is driven by electrical motors which had high failure rates.  In-pilot upgrades seem to have resolved this problem.   The UTC Power PureMotionTM 120 Fuel Cell Power System showed performance problems as high-current density.

Coming Next ...   The AC Transit pilot is continuing and another evaluation report is planned for end of 2007, which will extend the performance data bases for fuel cell transit buses.

Read the full pilot report: Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Fuel Cell Transit Buses: Preliminary Evaluation Results (in PDF format) ...


March 05, 2007

GE Energy Financial Services invests in Wind Farms

GE Wind Farm -  

General Electric Energy Financial Services recently announced investments in Wind Farms in CA, IL, NM and PA.

"... announced today (19-Feb--07) that it has committed to invest in a 410-megawatt wind farm portfolio, among its single largest wind investments."  Details by State and MegaWatt  are below.

Wind Farm Details (State, MW Rated, Utility Served and Turbine):

"Aragonne Mesa (90 megawatts) in Guadalupe County, New Mexico. Built with Mitsubishi 1000A turbines, Arizona Public Services is the project’s off-taker."

"Allegheny Ridge I and II, (80 and 70 megawatts respectively), in Pennsylvania’s Cambria and Blair counties. FirstEnergy Solutions, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., has contracted to purchase the output of the two wind farms, which use Gamesa G87 turbines."

"GSG (80 megawatts), in Illinois’ Lee and LaSalle counties. Using Gamesa G87 turbines, the output will be sold at market prices."

"Mendota Hills (52 megawatts), in Lee County, Illinois. The wind farm uses Gamesa G52 turbines and will sell output at market prices."

"Buena Vista (38 megawatts), in the Altamont Pass area of Northern California. The output is contracted to PG&E Corporation and uses Mitsubishi 1000A turbines."

"All the wind farms have either been completed or will be completed by the end of April, except Allegheny Ridge II, expected to be finished by December."


Via:    Link 

SanDiego 1MW Solar Installation

San Diego’s Alvarado Water Treatment Plant installs 1MW solar photovoltaic panels to supplement energy consumption and save about 20 percent of the plant’s power, with annual electricity savings Sun Edison Solarestimated at $40,000. ...
... "The Alvarado installation has 6,128 photovoltaic solar panels located atop the concrete roofs of all three water storage reservoirs, a total area covering approximately 4.33 acres. Each panel measures 4.5x3.5-feet. The solar power San Diego Alvarado WTPsystem, with the capacity to produce 1.602 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, will have a measurable environmental impact and will reduce annual carbon emissions equal to 219 cars driving 12,500 miles annually. As part of a planned 5 megawatt solar system deployment, the Alvarado solar array marks another step forward in providing clean, renewable energy for San Diego, which has been recognized as the nation's #1 Green Power Partnership city by the Environmental Protection Agency since 2006. The City and SunEdison are investigating an additional 4 megawatts of solar projects at other San Diego sites including the Otay Water Treatment Facility and the Black Mountain Reservoir. " ...

Via City of San Diego: City of San Diego Unveils 1-Megawatt Solar System at City's Alvarado Water Treatment Plant


February 28, 2007

Honda Offers Home Fueling for Natural Gas Civic

Honda Phill - for home fuelingSo, you want a Natural Gas powered car, and you found one.  Honda sells the Civic GX at select dealers in NY and California. Honda Civic GX - Natural Gas Version

Now about the lack of fueling stations for the average consumer ... There are approximately 16 in the NYC metro area and 200 in California.  Not enough for comfort?  Hmmm.  What to do?

Honda's sells the Phill - a home fueling system that turns a home natural gas into the required "gas" for the Civic GX.  The Phill can be mounted in a garage and pressurizes the low pressure natural gas found at home to the require 3500 - 3600 psi needed for fueling.  Though slower than a "gas station" it allows flexibility for those far from a Natural Gas station.

The Phill is safe and Honda Philleasy to use .... see pictures in this post above and below. 








Via:  Honda     Link     and     EVWorld     Link 

February 24, 2007

Honda Civic - Gas, Hybrid and CNG - It's Your Choice

Honda Civic Hybrid
American Honda Motor Company may be the first automaker to offer a car line - the civic - in standard gasoline, Hybrid and Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)  Honda Civic GX NGV

"The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the natural-gas Civic GX as the cleanest internal-combustion vehicle on Earth. Plus, the California Air Resources Board gave the GX an AT-PZEV emissions rating, which means it's still the "Cleanest on Earth."

 "Civic GX owners can purchase their own home-refueling appliance called Phill, which installs easily to a home gas line. With Phill, GX owners fill up when they come home, instead of having to go to a gas station."

The gasoline and Hybrid version are offered pretty much nation-wide.  The CNG version is only available at select dealers in California and New York.



Via:  American Honda Motor Company    Link-CNG   Link-Honda


February 11, 2007

Why Recycle? Here's Some Good Reasons ...

waste make up

We all hear that we should recycle.  It reduces the amount of trash sent to landfills and that means lower garbage costs.  It means less garbage to possibly pollute and land and air.  So it seems obvious to recycle. 


Did you know that recycling ... : Recycling Fun

  1. "It’s EASY. ...use a rag to wipe spills rather than a disposable towel or a cloth bag that can be constantly reused to shop for groceries."
  2. "Saves money. You can also make money by turning in your bottles and cans."
  3. "Creates jobs. Recycling is big business in California. ... accounting for approximately $85,000 jobs and producing $10 billion in products and services per year."
  4. "Saves energy. ... Recycling also frequently saves energy because it can take less energy to clean or convert materials. For example, less energy is required to produce a gallon of re-refined oil than creating new oil."
  5. "Saves natural resources. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials help prevents the need to cut down new materials such as trees or digging into new mines. Also, it saves natural resources by not creating new landfills to hold new waste. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials eliminates the need to build the equivalent of one new large landfill each year in California."

Via:  State of California Web - Zero Waste   Link

February 10, 2007

California "Green Roads" Plan

California Zero Waste LogoCalifornia is the land of highways and cars. 

Roads are everywhere and part of having road means road repairs and that means waste.  

So, The State California has taken a stand and has a "Green Roads" program to reduce waste and recycle where possible ... resulting in less initial cost and less disposal cost.  Some of the highlights:

  • "Rubberized Asphalt Concrete - (RAC) is a road material made with recycled tires."
  • "Recycled Aggregate - comes from crushing old concrete and asphalt for base in road projects."
  • "Tire Derived Aggregate - (TDA) is made up of shredded tires."California Green Roads (recycled materials)

"Our State has long been an innovative leader in the environmental arena ... protecting natural resources and diverting unnecessary waste from landfills. We have also recognized significant cost savings ... by using recycled-content and environmentally friendly materials."

Via:  State of California Web - Green Roads   Link

California's Waste Recycling Fee

California Flag

Recycling is one way to reduce waste sent to landfills but sometimes governmental "push" is needed.  Many cities (two ex: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Radnor, Pennsylvania) require recycling of certain waste streams.

In California - the state has put in place a program to help pay for recycling by having retailers collect a fee.Electronics Recycling

"California has enacted landmark legislation to establish a funding system for the collection and recycling of certain electronic wastes."  "Starting January 1, 2005, retailers collect the Electronic Waste Recycling Fee on covered electronic devices from consumers. Retailers remit these fees to the Board of Equalization (BOE)."

Plan goals are:

  • "Reduction in hazardous substances used in certain electronic products sold in California."
  • "Collection of an electronic waste recycling fee at the point of sale of certain products."
  • "Distribution of  recovery and recycling payments ... covering the cost of electronic waste collection and recycling."
  • "Directive to recommend environmentally preferred purchasing criteria for state agency purchases of certain electronic equipment."

An example of the fees:

Viewable Screen Size (measured diagonally) Electronic Waste Recycling Fee
Greater than 4 inches and less than 15 inches $6
Equal to or greater than 15 inches and less than 35 inches $8
35 inches and larger $10

Via:  State of California Web   Link


January 31, 2007

Green Roof for a Very Green Data Center

commitment to the environment

AISO.Net is not just a "GREEN" web hosting and data center company in the traditional sense.  In addition to generating 100% of their energy needs from their own solar panels they are building a "GREEN ROOF" for their data center.

The "GREEN ROOF" "is a layer of dirt 3 to 4 inches thick with drought resistant plants.  The new green roof will reduce our cooling and heating requirements by over 50%.  When finished, AISO will be the first and only public data center in North American with a green roof.  Along with our green roof we will be replacing all of our Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs with LED lighting.  This will reduce electricity usage and they contain no mercury.  Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs contain mercury which becomes a concern at landfills and trash incinerators where the mercury from many bulbs can escape and contribute to air and water pollution.  We are also in the process of LEED certifying our data center and office with the U.S. Green Building Council."

Via:   AISO.Net    Link 

Green Data Center Contributes to Sustainability



solar panels

AISO.Net is a solar powered Web Hosting facility.  Some of the benefits of being green are identified on their web site include: 

"According to BP Solar...

Our 120 solar panel system will eliminate the production of
- 19,890 lbs of Carbon Dioxide (CO2/GHG) per year
- 5.9 lbs of Nitrous Oxide (NOX/smog) per year
- 0.45 lbs of Sulfur Dioxide (SO4/acid rain) per year
This is the equivalent of planting 3.5 acres of trees per year

"AISO's data center and main office is powered by 120 solar panels which generate our electricity. AISO receives calls from customers asking if AISO really runs entirely on solar power. We have proof, a real-time Web camera trained on our solar panels that flank our 2,000-square-foot data center. "Anybody can buy ecocredits," says Phil Nail, Director of Technology for AISO, referring to companies that buy alternative energy credits in exchange for the amount of electricity they consume. "We're out to make a difference."

Via:   AISO.Net    Link

Energy Efficiency: California Compact Fluorescent Legislation

California legislator plans to regulate energy efficiency through radical transition to compact fluorescent lightbulbs. ...
... "another instance of California being a trend-setter for the rest of the nation, Energy Star: Change a Light Program promotes use of compact flourescent lightbulbs ...Assemblymember Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), the Chair of the Assembly's Utilities and Commerce Committee, announced that he is introducing legislation - the How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb Act - to ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs in California by the year 2012. " ...

Via Assemblymember LLoyd E. Levine: Levine Legislation to Make California First State in the Nation to Ban Incandescent Light Bulbs ...


"Green" Web Hosting / Data Centers


AISO.netIf you want to have a "GREEN" Web Hosting Company or use a "GREEN" data center you can!

AISO.Net - formerly Affordable Internet Services Online Inc., is one place to get it.  The are located in Romoland, California.

"AISO.Net is a reliable and responsible green web hosting company.  We have made a strong commitment to help fight pollution and preserving natural resources.  Solar panels run our data center and office, not energy credits."

"Solar tubes bring in natural light from th outside providing light during the day.  AMD Opteronsolar panels powered servers use sixty percent less energy and generate fifty percent less heat.  These are jut some of the ways AISO.Net is becoming the world's most responsible green web hosting company." 




Via:  AISO.Net   Link 



January 24, 2007

Arnold Low Carbon Transportation Fuel Standard

Arnold strikes again. He challenges the California Energy Commission (CEC), the University of California and other agencies to create a compliance schedule to meet his 2020 goals for carbon intensity reductions in transportation fuels. ... Arnold set low fuel standards
... "Governor Schwarzenegger signed an Executive Order establishing a groundbreaking Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for transportation fuels sold in California. By 2020 the standard will reduce the carbon intensity of California's passenger vehicle fuels by at least 10 percent. This first-of-its kind standard will support AB 32 emissions targets as part of California's overall strategy to fight global warming. " ...

Via California Office of the Governor: Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Executive Order Establishing World's First Low Carbon Standard for Transportation Fuels


September 28, 2006

Global Warming Solutions: California Comprehensive Solutions ...

The California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, AB32, has been signed by Governor Schwarzenegger.  The bill requires the California Air Resources Board to create statewide Governor Schwarzenegger signs global warming bill for Californiagreenhouse gas emissions cap for the year 2020, that will reduce the emissions to 1990 levels, adopt mandatory reporting rules for significant sources of greenhouse gases, and create a plan for regulations, market influencers, and other compliance tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  ...

...   "Gov. Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles), California's landmark bill that establishes a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases.

AB 32 requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to develop regulations and market mechanisms that will ultimately reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Mandatory caps will begin in 2012 for significant sources and ratchet down to meet the 2020 goals.  In the interim, CARB will begin to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of the industries it determines as significant Governor Schwarzenegger speaks about California's committment to reducing Global Warming ...sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The bill also provides the Governor the ability to invoke a safety valve and suspend the emissions caps for up to one year in the case of an emergency or significant economic harm. "   ...

Via State of California: Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Landmark Legislation to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions ...