Related info (about DIY energy projects, not ESP)
From Treehugger: DIY Vertical Axis Wind Turbine (Video)
From Cleantechnica: Man Creates Homemade Biodiesel from Algae
From Mother Earth News: Do-It-Yourself Solar Heat
From Treehugger again: Ingenuity + Wind + Text Book = Home Made Electricity
Students in the sunny southern California town of Irvine will soon attend schools powered by photovoltaic panels. In November, Irvine Unified School District’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to install solar at all of their 21 school sites. Partnering with the solar industry, this green energy renovation will not cost taxpayers a penny.
According to the title of an article published in The City of Lancaster’s Outlook (Fall 2009) magazine “The Future Looks Bright for Solar Power in Lancaster”.
My small town, all 475,000 of us, are at the forefront of solar energy! On August 5, 2009, eSolar unveiled the 5 MW (mega watt) demonstration plant known as Sierra SunTower. The solar power plant has 24,000 mirrors and two giant tower house boilers. The boilers create what’s known as “thermal solar” which is said to be more cost-effective than the standard photovoltaic approach used in solar cells. The process creates steam to drive the turbine generators. The project was completed in 14 month time frame and has already begun to distribute power to Southern California Edison.
eSolar’s site says “Sierra SunTower will supply 5 MW of clean, renewable energy to the grid. This full-scale power plant, the only one of its kind in the U.S., produces electricity for Southern California Edison (SCE) and will power up to 4,000 homes.”
Looking for an eco-friendly gift this holiday season? How about a renewable energy offset for the computer lovers in your life?
Start-up company Powered Green offers a Wind Energy Sponsorship helping to stop hundreds of pounds of greenhouse gases by sponsoring new wind turbines that make enough clean, green energy to power a computer for seven years.
For parents committed to green living and environmental concsiousness, the greatest gift we can bestow upon our children — and to the world in which we live — is the spirit, passion and commitment to keeping our planet flourishing.
We all want to ensure that our children are safe, happy and protected, and what better way to do that than by helping them preserve the earth, freeing the air from harmful contaminents and pollution, decreasing our dependence on — and wastefulness of — fuel and finding eco-friendly alternative energy sources.
Between in-home teaching and associations and resources committed to educating children about environmental protection and conservation, it’s easy get your kids out of diapers and off the grid!
Last week, I talked about the Green California Schools Summit happening this week in Pasedena. This week, I interviewed one of the panelists who’ll be speaking. Mike Hall is the Chief Marketing Officer at Borrego Solar, a California-based solar integrator that works extensively on solar installations in schools.
ECP: Tell us about Borrego Solar and their work with schools going solar.
MH: Borrego Solar is a solar integrator, so we’re the last part of the machine, and what we do is provide turnkey solar electric solutions for our customers. We have two groups, one is called the commercial project group and they’re the ones that service the education industry and work with schools on developing solar projects. They also do commercial and industrial and government work, and then we have a division that does single-family homes. We’re very much focusing on trying to provide not just solar solutions for schools, but better solar solutions for schools. When we looked at the schools, the education industry, and school construction, we’ve been reading some studies that show that the single biggest contributor to new building construction is the construction and retrofitting of schools. If you look at the overall energy issues and the various contributors to carbon emissions, there are really two big sources. One of course is cars and transportation, which our company is not really taking on head on, the second is buildings, which we’re trying to tackle, and if you look at buildings, if you look at new construction, schools are the biggest contributor. So that’s a big reason why we’re focused on schools.
Secondary reasons are to kind of change things, the opportunity to teach students that there are alternatives to the existing fossil fuel-based energy sources. So we’re trying to work with schools. One of the things we’ve seen with schools is that there have been a fair amount, a very tiny percentage, but a fair amount of schools that have gone solar. A large amount of those schools have really not themselves been properly educated about solar and have not had enough support from their integrator to take that next step and not just treat it like an appliance on their roof that is hopefully saving them some money, but that they’re teaching the kids about what it is and use it as a demonstration piece to show that you can power your buildings and power your life with renewable energy. So that’s kind of where we’re coming from, and this session that we’re leading at the Green Schools Summit is really about enabling schools to go solar and some of the things that have happened very recently in the financial products market and then also on the technology side that are really making it much easier for them to go solar.