Sidwell Friends, SolarCity and Common Cents Solar Saving Energy

siderwell 300x201 Sidwell Friends, SolarCity and Common Cents Solar Saving EnergySidwell Friends School is generating its own electricity from sunlight and reducing its impact on the environment and utility grid thanks to 224 new solar panels. The new 53-kilowatt system is the result of a unique partnership between the school, SolarCity and Common Cents Solar. The new solar system will generate clean solar electricity and create thousands of dollars in electricity bill savings for the school over its lifetime.”Solar electricity offers Sidwell Friends the environmental benefits of carbon free energy production, financial savings and rich teaching opportunities,” said Michael Saxenian, Assistant Head of School and CFO of Sidwell Friends School.

SFS worked with Common Cents Solar, a local non-profit that facilitates solar projects, to launch a program of community-based “solar bonds”. The bonds will be repaid over about ten years after which the SFS community members may donate the system to Sidwell Friends, providing free energy for the remaining life of the system, estimated at 20 years or more. In 2010, the school and CCS installed a 120-panel system on the SFS Lower School gym roof using a similar financing model.

“Nonprofits have an underutilized financial gem—their own dedicated community. Involving their community in the move to solar has a multiplying effect– exposure, sense of ownership, collective pride, increasing awareness of the viability of solar,” said Ketch Ryan of Common Cents Solar.“Schools can go solar today and start saving on utility bills tomorrow, and free up additional funds for student services,” said Leon Keshishian, Mid-Atlantic Vice President for SolarCity. “A lot of schools are feeling the budget crunch and solar can be an answer—I think a lot of school administrators would be surprised at how inexpensive and easy making the move to solar can be.”

Do it Yourself Renewable Energy

Paddlemen In Plastics Gulf Stream Challenge

GrantFirst 300x182 Paddlemen In Plastics Gulf Stream Challenge rise above plastic2 779844 Paddlemen In Plastics Gulf Stream Challenge Watermen Bill Whiddon and Thaddeus Foote, will make the first ever attempt to stand-up paddle (SUP) across the Gulf Stream, from Bimini, Bahamas to Miami, to raise awareness for Surfrider Foundation’s Rise Above Plastics campaign to reduce plastics in the ocean.

The Bimini-Miami Blue Water Challenge marks the launch of a grueling 17-hour, non-stop adventure taking paddle boarders 48 miles across the deep blue waters of the powerful Gulfstream current armed with only a board, a paddle, and their wits. The intrepid paddlers will endure one the earth’s most powerful oceanic currents, exposure to shifting weather conditions, extreme isolation, and all the risks of open ocean navigation in order to reach their destination. Whiddon & Foote will be the first to attempt to stand-up paddle across the Gulf Stream. The weather-dependent window is June 3 – 10, 2012. The athletes will depart Bimini and continuously paddle from 3:30 AM to approximately 5:30 PM. The crossing will start in Bimini, Bahamas and land on Miami Beach (approx. 3rd Street) where they will be celebrated by Surfrider Foundation volunteers

By completing this journey, Whiddon and Foote hope to raise awareness of the impacts that discarded plastics are having on the world’s marine environments. The Surfrider Foundation Miami Chapter is an official partner of the crossing and is fighting the proliferation of marine plastics through its Rise Above Plastics (R.A.P.) campaign. R.A.P. is aimed at increasing the rate of plastic recycling and reducing the release of waste into the oceans.

What if California Apartment Dwellers Could Save with Solar?

Empire State Building Saves Millions Going Green

Empire State Building united states 300x232 Empire State Building Saves Millions Going Green“First and foremost, making the Empire State Building energy efficient was a sound business decision that saved us millions of dollars in the first year,” said Anthony Malkin of the Empire State Building Company. “We have a proven model that shows building owners and operators how to cut costs and improve the value of their buildings by integrating energy efficiency into building upgrades.” One year after an innovative building retrofit project, the Empire State Building is ahead of plan and has exceeded its year one energy-efficiency guarantee by five percent, saving $2.4 million and establishing a commercial real estate model for reducing costs, maximizing return on investment, increasing real estate value, and protecting the environment.

Mr. Malkin and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program, an aligned partner of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, assembled a coalition of leading organizations focused on energy efficiency and sustainability.  The team was comprised of the Empire State Building Company, LLC; Johnson Controls, Inc.; Jones Lang LaSalle; and Rocky Mountain Institute.”Mr. Malkin had a vision of bringing innovation to his historical landmark. The results are just beginning to pay off while at the same time creating a new model for the world to follow,” said Dave Myers, president of Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency. “It is critical that we tackle the billions of square feet of inefficient office buildings around the world to meet our growing energy needs, save money, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

The core energy efficiency retrofit at the Empire State Building is complete, with the balance of the project to be finished as new tenants build out high-performance workspaces.  Not only is the Empire State Building more energy efficient, but it is also estimated to have saved 4,000 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of that offset by 750 acres of pine forests. Once all tenant spaces are upgraded, the building will save $4.4 million a year, a 38 percent reduction of energy use that will cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years. In the United States, 40 percent of energy is consumed by buildings, according to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. In dense urban settings like New York City, commercial buildings account for up to 75 percent of energy used. If every commercial building in New York City followed this blueprint, carbon emissions would be reduced by 4 million tons – the equivalent to that generated by a typical coal-fired power plant.

New Altadena farmers market takes an urban approach

Racing World Embracing Solar LED Technology

Graham Rahal Autoweek Editor At Speed 300x180 Racing World Embracing Solar LED TechnologySol, Inc., the leading provider of solar and LED outdoor lighting solutions, has  announce they have partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc to lead the way for increased energy conservation in the racing industry by upgrading the team’s outdoor lighting at both their Indianapolis and Concord, NC race shops to much more energy-efficient solar and LED lighting. The solar lights produce no pollution, cause no harmful environmental effects, and require no grid electricity to operate. The grid-connected lights use up to 75% less energy when replacing traditional lighting sources. “We are always looking for opportunities to push the envelope on environmental efforts and this partnership with Sol does just that,” said Steve Lauletta, President, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. “Being able to partner with Sol and utilize their expertise in solar lighting technology is something we feel very good about. We look forward to a long partnership with Sol.”

By replacing conventional sodium vapor and metal halide light sources with Sol’s high-performance 20/20 solar and grid-tie LED lights, the Chip Ganassi facilities have lights that are much brighter, will last longer, and are providing significant energy savings while improving visibility in the parking lots for visitors and staff.

First, I would like to congratulate Chip Ganassi and his teams for the big win this weekend in the Indianapolis 500.  We couldn’t be more proud to be partnering with their organization,” said Paul Wickberg, CEO and President, Sol, Inc. “Chip Ganassi Racing is demonstrating their commitment through the installation of solar technology at their shops and is leading the way in showing visitors and employees how sustainable technologies like Sol’s solar lights can make economic sense while providing equal or superior performance to traditional, energy-intensive lighting technologies. We are also very pleased with the strides the racing industry is making with a more concerted effort on promoting sustainable products. Both NASCAR and INDYCAR seem to be working hard on green initiatives – whether it’s NASCAR’s new relationship with the EPA or INDYCAR being a long-time advocate of Ethanol in their cars. Our hope is that the racing industry will see this as an example of technologies that can be used at tracks and other racing facilities around the world.”

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California Leading US Clean Energy Revolution

gg75 300x200 California Leading US Clean Energy RevolutionClean Edge’s third annual State Clean Energy Index, released today, provides the industry’s most comprehensive and objective analysis of how all 50 states, and the individuals, businesses, and organizations that operate there, compare across the clean-energy spectrum. According to Clean Edge’s assessment and ranking of more than 70 different indicators in technology, policy, and capital, the top 10 states in the nation this year are California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, Colorado, New York, Illinois, New Mexico, Vermont, and Minnesota.

Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick said,“Against the backdrop of partisan attacks and general inaction within Congress, the state-level scene shows a diversity that crosses political boundaries and regions. The next decade will determine which nations, states, and cities lead in clean tech, and our State Index provides critical insights on the dramatic shifts and best practices that are leading the way within the U.S.” Key market indicators tracked by Clean Edge via its State Clean Energy Index subscription service include total electricity produced by clean-energy sources, hybrid and electric vehicles on the road, clean-energy venture and patent activity, and policy regulations and incentives. The 2012 State Index paints an important and insightful picture of the U.S. clean-energy landscape. For example; California’s clean-energy venture capital dollars in 2011 exceeded the total of all the other 49 states combined. The number of registered hybrid cars in the U.S. grew to nearly 2 million while all-electric vehicles neared the 50,000 registered-vehicle milestone. Six states, twice as many as last year, now generate more than 10 percent of their utility-scale electricity from wind, solar, and/or geothermal.

An executive summary of this year’s State Index is available. The executive summary provides a glimpse at topline findings from the State Clean Energy Index report, the centerpiece of a larger advisory subscription service. Along with access to the full State Index report – containing detailed Index results, comprehensive data tables, and individual state report cards – subscribers receive custom presentations, clean-tech company database access, and advisory hours.

Solar Powered Electronics

Lights Camera Food… Farmers Going To LA

sunrise+acres+organic+farm 1 200x300 Lights Camera Food... Farmers Going To LAThe second Food Dialogues event, June 20-21, 2012.  Four separate discussions – held over twotruck 300x199 Lights Camera Food... Farmers Going To LA days – will bring together entertainment movers and shakers, chefs, academics, large restaurant operators, journalists, local leaders, farmers and ranchers for an in-depth conversation about food.  All panel discussions taking place at the event entitled, “Lights, Camera, Food: Perceptions and Realities of Farming and Ranching in America,” will be available online (either live streamed or taped) at

We are pleased to bring this type of conversation to the forefront in a pivotal location like Los Angeles,” said Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “We chose Los Angeles because of the influence the region and its opinion leaders have on popular culture and trends that affect the entire nation – including how we view our food. These in-depth discussions will not only move the conversation forward about how food is grown and raised, but it will also give those in the agricultural industry the opportunity to learn more from consumers and their needs and expectations for the food-growing industries.”

USFRA will announce the full list of panelists prior to The Food Dialogues events in Los Angeles. Two of the four panel discussions will stream live online on both Wednesday, June 20 and Thursday, June 21 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. PDT, providing opportunities for farmers, ranchers and the general public to register to watch and participate in the discussion online.

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