Sustainable Development Update - April 2017 #3

by Allen Matkins
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Sustainable Development Focus

Ice Energy, NRG installing new energy storage solutions for SoCal Edison

Utility Dive - Apr 13 Ice Energy and NRG Energy are partnering to roll out up to 1,800 Ice Bear 30 storage solutions to commercial and industrial buildings in Orange County. The initiative is a part of Southern California Edison's 250-megawatt storage procurement efforts. The devices will provide a total of up to 25.6 megawatts of peak storage capacity to SCE under 20-year power purchase agreements. By freezing water when power prices are lower, the Ice Bear batteries are then used to cool buildings during peak hours without conventional air conditioning compressors. According to the company, AC units equipped with Ice Bear devices consume up to 95% less electricity during peak hours.

A new standard for net-zero leases in Boulder

GreenBiz - Apr 11 Just two miles from downtown Boulder, Colorado, a new net-zero energy (NZE) development is under construction: Boulder Commons. The project consists of two commercial buildings totaling roughly 100,000 square feet of professional office space and boasting a restaurant, coffee shop, and community gathering flex space — all accessible by Boulder’s vast rail and public transportation network. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Boulder-based employees soon will call 14,000 square feet of the development home after completion this fall. But perhaps more exciting than the forthcoming move is a major milestone that recently occurred with building owner Morgan Creek Ventures: the signing of the first net-zero lease in Colorado; and the first net-zero lease for any multi-tenant development of this size.

Chicago to power city-owned buildings with 100% renewable energy

Construction Dive - Apr 12 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced over the weekend that more than 900 city-owned buildings will shift to all renewable energy by 2025, making it the largest municipality in the country to make such a commitment. The goal is a heavy lift — the city's buildings, colleges, public schools, and others, used almost 1.8 billion kilowatt-hours of energy last year, or about 8% of the city's total use. The city will acquire renewable energy credits to purchase renewable power from utilities and increase on-site generation to offset the building demand. The green energy trend for municipalities has been growing: Aspen, CO, Burlington, VT, Georgetown, TX, San Diego, and San Francisco have all set similar goals.

NYC condo project wins first-ever WELL certification

Multi-Housing News - Apr 10 21W20, a new condominium development in the Flatiron District of Manhattan, has become the world’s first residential project to be certified under the WELL Building Standard (WELL), which focuses on enhancing occupants’ health and well-being through the built environment. To be awarded WELL Certification by the International WELL Building Institute, 21W20 underwent testing by Green Business Certification Inc., the third-party certification body for both WELL and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard. The building achieved Silver level under WELL Multifamily Residential Certification, based on seven categories of building performance: air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort, and mind.

Apple said to near road tests of self-driving car software

Bloomberg - Apr 14 Apple Inc. will soon take its self-driving car software platform to public streets for the first time, a major step that gets the world’s largest technology company into a crowded race to reshape transportation. The California Department of Motor Vehicles granted clearance for trials of the autonomous driving technology on public roads, according to a notice on the DMV’s website on Friday. This is the first time Apple has received approval for such testing. The tests are the clearest, public sign yet that Apple is serious about a nascent field that could, in time, transform mobility and upend the auto industry. A quarter of all miles driven in the U.S. may be traveled in shared, self-driving electric cars by the end of the next decade, Boston Consulting Group said this month.

Vegas goes green

Curbed - Apr 12 While Las Vegas’ desert climate, one of the driest in the country, has presented incredible challenges, by embracing its location, the city has also tapped into great potential. The region’s world-class water reclamation program cut per capita water usage 37% in the last decade, and the city, which saves roughly $5 million annually powering all government buildings with solar power, boasts some of the nation’s largest solar arrays and its biggest stock of LEED-certified buildings. The city’s iconic welcome sign is now powered by solar energy, a step symbolic of the concrete ways that city leaders and casino magnates are embracing sustainability. And behind the scenes, casinos have enacted dozens of programs that have made those evenings gambling more sustainable than they appear.

 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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