California ranks second in ACEEE's State Energy Efficiency Scorecard
U.S. News & World Report – October 1
Massachusetts is leading the nation's clean energy efforts for the ninth year in a row, according to the 13th annual State Energy Efficiency Scorecard released Tuesday by the nonprofit American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report ranks the states based on more than 30 metrics in these categories: utility and public benefits programs and policies, transportation policies, building energy efficiency policies, combined heat and power policies, state government-led initiatives around energy efficiency, and appliance and equipment standards. California claimed the No. 2 spot in the ranking, followed by Rhode Island, Vermont, and New York. California has led the way in a number of energy efficiency policies, including its tailpipe emissions standards, according to the report.
Affordable housing coming to state-owned lots, starting with this one in downtown Sacramento
The Sacramento Bee – October 2
An affordable housing complex will be built at a downtown Sacramento lot – one of the first projects to come to fruition from Governor Gavin Newsom’s January executive order to encourage affordable housing projects on state-owned land. The four-story building will be constructed just one block from Capitol Park, said Tom Kigar of the Capitol Area Development Authority (CADA), a group created by the city and state that is developing the apartment project. The state is leasing the property to CADA, possibly for as low as $1 a year, said Jason Kenney of the state’s Department of General Services, one of two departments Newsom tasked with finding state-owned parcels where affordable housing could be built.
City of Oakland sues Alameda County over sale of Coliseum to A's
KTVU - October 1
Plans to sell the Coliseum arena to the Oakland A's are at a standstill after the City of Oakland filed a lawsuit against Alameda County. The city filed the suit last week asking the court to enforce the Surplus Land Act, which says publicly owned land will first be available for affordable housing and other uses if sold. The law says the county has to negotiate for at least 90 days, which the complaint alleges the county has not done. The City of Oakland and Alameda County both own the Coliseum properties, and the A's are looking to buy the county's share.
Using solar to displace fossil fuels for process heat in industrial facilities
Greentech Media – September 27
The industrial sector accounts for one-third of U.S. primary energy demand, according to the Department of Energy. At many of these facilities, fossil fuels are used for process heating applications. Dallas-based startup Skyven Technologies recently completed the first installation of its Intelligent Mirror Array (IMA) at Copses Farms, a robotic dairy farm in Valley Falls, New York, using solar thermal collectors to raise the temperature of water used to sanitize the facility’s self-cleaning milking robots. The IMA systems will provide enough heat to produce 50,000 gallons of hot water each year, supplying heat previously provided by burning propane and wood, according to Skyven’s founder and CEO Arun Gupta. Up next for Skyven Technologies is the installation of IMA collectors at three food processing facilities in California’s Central Valley, with support from the California Energy Commission’s Food Production Investment Program.
San Francisco Muni tries to tackle environmental justice with new green bus zones
San Francisco Chronicle - October 2
As a Muni 47-Van Ness bus pulled into its stop at 11th and Harrison streets on a recent weekday morning, something almost imperceptible happened. The bus switched off its combustion engine and gone all-electric, temporarily eliminating its diesel emissions. The switch to battery power is automatic any time the bus crosses into a “green zone,” an area that stretches just under a mile from the 11th and Harrison stop. The new green zones — nine in total dotting each quadrant of the city — were picked with environmental justice in mind, Muni officials told The Chronicle. The goal is to reduce emissions in neighborhoods with high concentrations of low-income households and people of color, often suffering from higher levels of air pollution — largely from vehicle emissions — which can cause increased rates of respiratory illnesses.
UCLA’s new building proves that sustainability doesn’t have to be high-tech
Fast Company – September 27
In Culver City, a vintage 21,200-square-foot wallpaper factory has been updated to house UCLA’s Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios, a gallery and classroom space for art, architecture, and design students. The building’s unique approach to sustainability is aimed at achieving LEED Gold. The architects replaced the old building’s exterior structure with thick concrete walls, using “tilt up” construction commonly found on industrial projects. These concrete walls “eliminate the need for waterproofing and insulation, and minimize the construction footprint and waste,” the architects said in a statement. They enwrap a series of semi-indoor courtyards; these open-air workspaces and gardens exist outside, but within the protection of the structure. This passive approach to architecture and sustainability allows students and faculty members to use these hybrid indoor-outdoor spaces freely, without a concern for energy-borrowing air-conditioning or heating units.