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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Community Solar Gardens Bring Affordable Green Energy to the Masses

Community Solar Gardens Bring Affordable Green Energy to the Masses | green streets | Scoop.it

A new trend is springing up across the country that’s making affordable solar energy increasingly available to the masses.

Community solar gardens allow customers who aren’t able to establish their own solar power systems to buy into a solar array built elsewhere and get a credit on their electricity bill for the power produced by the panels. These arrangements that allow people to not only cut their power bills but also switch to more green energy first emerged in Colorado, but have since spread across the country – with laws allowing the projects to progress through legislatures in California, Minnesota and Washington D.C., and one on the books since 2008 in Massachusetts – where the trend is currently taking flight...

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World's Largest Solar Power Plant Helps the Golden State get Greener

World's Largest Solar Power Plant Helps the Golden State get Greener | green streets | Scoop.it

Earlier in February, the state of California got a whole lot greener with the opening of Ivanpah, the world's largest solar thermal energy plant

The Golden State will get even closer to its goal of sourcing a third of its power from renewable energy sources. Situated on 2,400 acres of desert land between Yuma and Phoenix, the world's largest fully-operational solar power plant has recently finished construction. With a maximum capacity of 290 megawatts, the Agua Caliente power plant will generate renewable energy for 230,000 homes back in California.

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Russell Roberts's curator insight, May 4, 1:08 AM

Ivanpah is the "world's largest solar thermal energy plant" with a capacity of 290 megawatts--enough energy to support the electrical needs of 230,000 homes.  If Californian, Arizona, and New Mexico can find a way to integrate solar energy into their shared grid, why can't Hawaii do the same?  The state Public Utilities Commission has begun the switch over to solar power with a ruling that mandates the state's electrical utilities to submit plans to fully integrate photovoltaic systems into  each Island's grid.  It's about time.  The longer we delay the full integration of all types of renewable energy, the more imported oil will cost us and the more vulnerable our economy becomes to variations in the crude oil market.  As Bob Dylan once intoned many moons ago, "You don't have to be a weaterman to see which way the wind blows."  Basically, get with the program.  Aloha, Russ.

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Solar-powered family car wins race across Australia

Solar-powered family car wins race across Australia | green streets | Scoop.it

A vehicle described as "the world's first solar-powered family car" has come first in a photovoltaic-powered race across Australia.


Stella, a four-seater car developed by Solar Team Eindhoven from the Netherlands, claimed victory in the Cruiser class at the World Solar Challenge 2013. The vehicle completed the 3,000 km journey at an average of 67 km/h and a top speed of 120 km/h.

The Cruiser class, a new category at the biannual World Solar Challenge, was inaugurated in order to encourage the development of commercially viable solar-powered vehicles. Whereas other categories focus on speed alone, the Cruiser class takes into account practicality for everyday use...

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The Solar Strand: A New Cultural Landscape

The Solar Strand: A New Cultural Landscape | green streets | Scoop.it

In the interview with Robert G. Shibley, Domus investigates the process behind The Solar Strand, an innovative project designed by Walter Hood for the University at Buffalo campus.

The Solar Strand is sited among an extensive meadow regeneration area on UB’s North Campus. The mowing regimen, envisioned by Walter Hood and further developed with UB’s campus mowing crew, establishes a rhythm that continues from the Solar Strand and extends across the campus. In addition to a more efficient and sustainable approach to maintaining the campus landscape, the regimen has turned UB’s mowers into artists, designing as they cut...
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Artificial Forest Converts Sunlight Into Oxygen

Artificial Forest Converts Sunlight Into Oxygen | green streets | Scoop.it

Carbon levels in the atmosphere are at the highest levels in 3 million years and while politicians debate what to do about it, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California are putting forth a potential fuel solution, harnessing a carbon-neutral source of energy: the sun.

Solar energy is not a new concept but the team at the Berkeley Lab have created an artificial forest that captures solar energy, converts it into oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be used to power fuel cells and produce renewable energy. The ‘forest’ is actually nanowire trees which absorbs sunlight and then mimics the natural process of photosynthesis that trees and plants usually perform.

Read more and find links at the article.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, June 8, 2013 1:01 PM

If this could really happen it could be transformational. 

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The World's Biggest Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi

The World's Biggest Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi | green streets | Scoop.it

The Shams 1, a 100-megawatt concentrated solar power plant, has just started soaking up the Arabian sun outside of Abu Dhabi. That's the biggest of its kind on the planet.


A joint venture between the French energy giant Total, the Spanish renewable energy wizards Abnegoa, and Masdar, Abu Dhabi's clean energy company, it will provide energy to some twenty thousand houses, and cut out of the atmosphere 75,000 tons of CO2 per year...

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Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy

Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy | green streets | Scoop.it

Energy Land(ing)-scape | Calderara di Reno Italy

This project seeks to find a effective balance between two principal necessities: to redevelop and revitalize the area, with a strong ecological impact on surrounding territories. The solution was to transform the area into a ZEA: Zero Emission Area.

A ZEA promotes the area and seeks for investments and a new economical initiatives to transform an area into a environmental zone. The project consists of a solar roof installed over the existing warehouse’s roofs and over the outdoor areas, including parking, producing clean energy, reduces emissions, collects water and gives a new image of the region to all people that are taking off or landing in the close Airport of Bologna.

The project seeks to give new life to this area from an economic point of view, as well as to demonstrate how development can have a positive ecological impact.

 

Visit the article link for more renderings, aerial imagery, site plans, and diagrams...

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US Highways Could Be Converted into Solar Farms

US Highways Could Be Converted into Solar Farms | green streets | Scoop.it

Given the predominant role of the automobile in American transportation for both passenger and freight purposes, as well as the sheer length and breadth of the continental United States, roads and highways cover a huge amount of the country.

Scott and Julie Brusaw, the husband and wife team behind renewable energy start-up Solar Roadways, are looking to exploit the potential embodied by this vast road network by develop a technology to convert their surfaces into solar PV facilities which are capable of both bearing vehicles as well as generating power via exposure to sunlight.


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Huge Solar Farms On California’s Public Lands Could Power 170,000 Homes

Huge Solar Farms On California’s Public Lands Could Power 170,000 Homes | green streets | Scoop.it

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced that it has given final approval to two sizable solar projects on public lands near the Nevada-California border, which when operational are expected to provide a combined 550 megawatts of renewable energy, or enough to power about 170,000 homes and create 700 jobs.

The announcement represents a milestone for President Obama’s renewable energy efforts. With the approval of both projects, there now are currently 50 utility-scale renewable energy projects either currently generating energy or slated to be generating energy on public lands...

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Monica S Mcfeeters's curator insight, February 25, 7:18 PM

What do you think would you rather have a pipe line on these lands?

CJ Brasiel's curator insight, March 9, 8:54 PM

More Jobs! "The first project approved, the 1,685-acre Stateline Solar Farm in San Bernardino County, CA, is expected to generate up to 300 megawatts of power, create 400 construction jobs and 12 permanent operation jobs."

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Affordable Solar-Powered Floating Village Planned for Edinburgh

Affordable Solar-Powered Floating Village Planned for Edinburgh | green streets | Scoop.it

While floating homes have been the norm in the Netherlands for many years, they're just starting to gain in popularity in the UK.


Houseboats are increasingly dotting the Thames in London, and waterborne developments are currently in the works for post-industrial areas of Glasgow and Liverpool. Now one company—SRT EcoBuild—is looking to establish a village of floating homes in the waterways of Leith, Edinburgh.

The proposed homes are to be powered largely by powered by solar, with heat provided by air-source heat pumps and will also utilize rainwater harvesting to help bring them close to self-sufficiency. To minimize impact on and disruption to the local environment, they will be constructed offsite.

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Seattle's New Streetlights Are 40-Foot-Tall Singing Flowers

Seattle's New Streetlights Are 40-Foot-Tall Singing Flowers | green streets | Scoop.it
The immense plants live under the Space Needle and blast anybody passing underneath with a harmony of voices.


Under the Space Needle, 40-foot-tall flowers acting both as lamps and troubadours that croon when people get near. The Pacific Science Center commissioned this trippy artwork for its novel design and use of solar electricity – the petals of each "flower" are studded with photovoltaic cells that allow them to shimmer in vibrant hues.

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Laura Brown's comment, August 27, 2013 8:22 PM
They'll look like an alien invasion in winter.
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The ‘unstoppable’ renewable grid

The ‘unstoppable’ renewable grid | green streets | Scoop.it

U.S. natural gas prices are rising, while wind and solar are growing rapidly. The global transition to mostly renewable grid power may now be unstoppable...


'The energy transition juggernaut I previewed last May is rolling on unabated, despite U.S. natural gas prices falling to 10-year lows last year. According to a new Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans would like to see more emphasis on solar, wind and natural gas, while less than half of them support more emphasis on nuclear, oil and coal.

In addition to popular sentiment, installations of renewable generation are proceeding apace.According to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [PDF], the United States installed more power generation capacity from wind than for any other power source in 2012: 10,700 megawatts (MW), 23 percent more than natural gas (8,700 MW) and more than double the new coal capacity (4,500 MW). New solar capacity grew by 1,500 MW, a 31 percent increase over 2011.

It seems that the widespread belief that cheap natural gas would kill the growth of renewables — which I always viewed skeptically and never found convincing data to support — didn’t have much substance after all...'

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Lance LeTellier's curator insight, April 8, 2013 9:20 AM

I think we just export more as prices go up.

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Steven Holl Completes “Micro-City” Complex In Chengdu, China

Steven Holl Completes “Micro-City” Complex In Chengdu, China | green streets | Scoop.it

Steven Holl has completed his latest, and some might say, most significant project in China. The Sliced Porosity Block, or “CapitaLand Raffles City Chengdu” was recently opened, ushering in a new type of architecture for one of China’s fastest growing cities.


Located in the heart of Chengdu, the dense three million square-foot complex creates a completely novel public space that’s hemmed in by five residential/office towers. The scheme, which flips the generic tower-and-podium typology on its head, differentiates itself from other nearby urban projects by privileging public space over exuberant form and material-wasting showmanship...

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ParadigmGallery's curator insight, January 18, 2013 3:56 PM

Steven Holl is an architect who's work we greatly admire. We appreciate our friend Lauren Moss for bringing this project to our attention.

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Riding Sunlight: Solar Power for Public Transportation

Riding Sunlight: Solar Power for Public Transportation | green streets | Scoop.it
For those concerned about the environmental impact of their daily commute, taking public transportation may be a way to be nicer to the planet. According to statistics highlighted by the Sustainable Cities Collective, taking public transportation over driving can save 340 million gallons of fuel from being used, preventing the release of 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Now, public transportation is becoming even better for the environment thanks to the benefits of solar power. From California to Massachusetts, public transportation agencies are increasingly turning to photovoltaic energy to keep their operations running smoothly.

While trains are not (yet) propelled by photovoltaic energy, some public transportation agencies do use solar panels to help power their rail fleets. For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority announced in September that it would be putting up solar modules on an 18-acre rail yard and on a garage. The installations, paid for through a power purchase agreement, are expected to save the MBTA close to $49,000 a year by providing an estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, Boston.com reported.

On the other side of the country, L.A. Metro has announced its intentions to install a combined 2 megawatts of PV energy capacity on all of its bus and rail facilities in Los Angeles County, according to Clean Fleet Report...

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