Sustainable Development Update - January 2018 #2

by Allen Matkins
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Sustainable Development Focus

New legislation proposes more housing near California transit stations

Los Angeles Times - Jan 4 A dramatic increase in new housing near transit stations could be on its way across California under new legislation proposed by a Bay Area legislator. Subject to some limitations, the measure would eliminate restrictions on the number of houses allowed to be built within a half-mile of train, light-rail, major bus routes, and other transit stations, and block cities from imposing parking requirements. Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), the bill’s author, said the state needs the housing to address affordability problems, maximize recent multi-billion-dollar transit investments, and help the state meet its climate change goals. A 2016 study by the McKinsey Global Institute, a private think tank, estimated that the state had the capacity to build as many as 3 million new homes within a half-mile of transit stops over the next two decades if local governments rezoned neighborhoods surrounding them, accelerated development approvals, and increased public investment in such projects.

State picks Golden 1 Center builder for $520 million Sacramento tower

Sacramento Bee - Dec 30 The company that built Golden 1 Center will get a crack at another project that could change the look of downtown Sacramento with a 20-story office tower expected to open in 2021. The Department of General Services has chosen Turner Construction to design and build a $520 million office tower intended to house about 3,500 state workers at 7th and O streets. The tower will house a daycare facility that can accommodate 120 children, making it the largest child care center in a state government building. It’s also expected to use water conservation and solar power features that will make it a so-called “zero-net energy” building.

NYC’s 10 Hudson Yards achieves LEED Platinum status

Commercial Property Executive - Jan 3 Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group’s 18 million-square-foot Hudson Yards project in Manhattan, the largest private real estate development in U.S. history, has received LEED Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Certification’s highest rating for sustainable buildings. The list of criteria for LEED Platinum certification is a long one, and 10 Hudson scored points with a host of features, including 1.2 megawatts of gas-fired micro turbines that generate power and hot and chilled water in a manner that is twice as efficient as traditional systems. The building also contains a storm water retention tank that harvests rainwater for irrigating the property’s terrace landscaping, and a 100 percent raised flooring, which allows for improved temperature control and cleaner air.

New Florida legislation could make solar-plus-storage the go-to for disaster relief and resiliency

Energy Storage News - Jan 4 Legislation proposed in Florida could see solar and energy storage become part of the go-to solution for providing energy resiliency against natural disasters and helping restore power in their aftermath. Holly Raschein, a Republican member of the House of Representatives, introduced HB 1133, which calls for the establishment of a pilot program within Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to investigate and correctly value the use of solar-plus-storage systems in preventing or coming back from energy supply and delivery problems stemming from natural disasters and other causes. Through the pilot, the benefits and costs of such solutions would be assessed and valued, with key facilities such as community centers, airports, public buildings, hospitals, and disaster and emergency assembly zones under particular consideration for deployment of systems.

Puerto Rico Energy Commission lays out rules for future microgrid landscape

Greentech Media - Jan 8 The Puerto Rico Energy Commission unveiled 29 pages of proposed regulations last week for future microgrid installations on the island. The regulations, which are now open for 30 days of public comment, synthesized pages of responses received after a November 10 call for recommendations. The goal was to sketch a clearer outline for a tricky-to-define concept -- the term "microgrid" can refer to many types of generation islanded from the central grid -- as more developers eye installations on the recovering island. All microgrids must be renewable (with at least 75 percent of power from clean energy), combined heat and power (CHP), or hybrid CHP-and-renewable systems.

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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