September 14, 2009

Wixom Assembly Plant To Become Renewable Energy Park


Good news for Michiganders. Ford has teamed with Austin, Texas' Xtreme Power to turn the now empty Wixom Assembly Plant into a renewable energy manufacturing park. About $725 million will be spent on the 320 acre site and 4.7 million square feet of building. The companies will use half of the space to create solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and turnkey systems and lease the rest of the space. Best of all, more than 4,000 jobs will be created as well as support for suppliers. The makeover will begin early next year and should be completed late in 2011.

Via Ford

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September 8, 2009

China First in Producing Low Carbon Tech


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair claims in a report by the Climate Group that China is in the forefront of developing and commercializing low carbon technology by producing electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels and energy efficient appliances. The Report from The Climate Group says that the country supplies 40% of the planet's solar PV technology.

Via The Climate Group

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August 13, 2009

NASA to Build Sustainability Base


Later this month, NASA will begin work a Sustainability Base (named as an homage to the original Tranquility Base,) at Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, CA. Goals include zero net energy consumption, a reduction of water consumption by more than 90% in comparable buildings of that size and lower maintenance costs. The $20.6 million building will be the greenest government edifice to date and will utilize water recycling systems, fuel cells and solar panels.


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August 10, 2009

Panasonic to Provide Batteries for MIT SEVT


Panasonic is going to support the MIT SEVT (Solar Electric Vehicle Team) in the Global Green Challenge that will be held this October in Australia. The company will be providing high-capacity (2.9 Ah), Lithium-ion batteries to run their solar vehicle named Eleanor in exchange for its logo on the body. Panasonic will also be providing the same power to Japan's Tokai University's vehicle.

By the way, if you would like to help the MIT team out, you can adopt a solar cell. For $30.00, you will receive a certificate signed by the members and feel a part of the event.

Via Panasonic Press

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August 6, 2009

India To Be Solarized by 2050


Last month we reported that India is working towards a greener country and they have released specifics on the subject. They are planning on scaling up their centralized solar thermal power generation by 2020 and a full infrastructure by 2050. Considering that they only have a capacity of 3 megawatts at this point, that seems a challenging task. The Indian newspaper Hindu reports that their "solar mission" will include small-scale photovoltaic panels, solar lighting systems, and commercial-scale solar plants in both rural and urban areas for both residents and businesses.

Via Hindu

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August 5, 2009

Blue Crystal Hotel in Dubai?


Temporary ice hotels exist in northern locations such as Canada and Russia that melt when spring arrives. Designers Frank and Sven Sauer claim that they are building the Blue Crystal Lodge in Dubai that will stay up year round. The hotel complex will consist of 5 floors with several restaurants, a ballroom and underwater lounge. While we are not sure this will become more than a prototype, the German duo says that it will run on solar cells and an energy recycling system. We think the design is nifty and maybe others will be spurred on to create their own energy-saving domiciles.

Via Blue Crystal

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July 31, 2009

T'Sou-ke First Nation Goes Green in Vancouver Island


The T'Sou-ke First Nation, located in the southern end of Vancouver Island, plans to go solar. They have erected a 75 kW solar energy plant on their Reserve to power 30 buildings. The group recently met in a solar gatherering to teach others what they feel is important. Chief Gordon Planes says it best,

"It's good to be a part of using the gifts that the creator gave us in helping us to take care of Mother Earth. It is now appropriate that First Nations take the lead in demonstrating how to live without fossil fuels once again."

Via T'sou-ke Nation

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July 27, 2009

Tuvalu Tries to Save Itself With Solar Power


The Pacific Island nation of Tuvalu has declared that they will try to run on 100% clean power by 2020. They have started by building a solar power system that now supplies the capital of Funafute with 5% of its energy. The 40kW system was built on the roof of one of their football stadiums and has already replaced about 4,500 gallons of diesel fuel and reduced their carbon footprint by 50 tons. All told the project will cost about $20 million to reach their goal.

Their efforts are even more admirable when you consider that Tuvalu is one of the places most affected by global warming. Its 10,000 inhabitants fear the sea level rise in coral atolls may put an end to their very existence on the tiny islands.

Via Tree Hugger

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July 23, 2009

Greensburg Builds Eco-Homes From Tornado Ruins


When a tornado hit Greensburg, Kansas, in 2007, it destroyed almost the entire town. Thinking green, they decided to rebuild with the environment in mind. The nonprofit GreenTown is going to erect 12 eco-homes that they feel will be a "living laboratory." Each showcases different techniques when being built and the first is the Silo Eco-Home. Used for their office, the 2,000 sq. ft. home will have a 2kW solar electric system, passive ventilation and water saving technology that includes a rainwater harvesting cistern. The walls and roof will be constructed with recycled crushed concrete from the storm itself. Check out their progress via the link and if you are in the area, witness it personally.

Via Greensburg GreenTown

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July 21, 2009

Santa Monica Restricts Solar Panel Installation


Santa Monica seems to be ashamed of those who decide to go green and want their townsfolk to erect panels that will be minimally visible from the front of the street. Their city council voted to restrict the installation of solar panels to "specific height limits, limitations on installation in the required side and rear yard setbacks, and restrictions on visibility." An exception is made if the energy production would be decreased by more than 10% or if the cost would be too high.

We think that placing them on roofs doesn't quite have the same effect psychologically. Driving by a house/building where the panels are visible indicates that its inhabitants are proud that they are helping to save the planet.

Via City of Santa Monica

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