Sustainable Development Update - October 2016 #3

by Allen Matkins

Sustainable Development Focus

San Francisco’s Treasure Island project wins top green rating

Commercial Property Executive - Oct 14 The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has awarded LEED-ND Platinum certification to the $6 billion mixed-use redevelopment of Treasure and Yerba Buena islands in San Francisco Bay. It’s the highest designation possible for a green, sustainable development, and USGBC officials said the Treasure Island development is one of the highest-scoring LEED-ND projects to date. The project is also the largest plan, in terms of acres, to receive the LEED-ND Platinum certification. The designation was granted for the developers’ plans for implementing measureable strategies and best practices to achieve sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, sea-level rise adaptation, and overall environmental quality. The multi-phase redevelopment is being planned by Treasure Island Community Development, a joint venture between Lennar Corp. and its Lennar Urban division, Stockbridge Capital Group, and Wilson Meany. “This is an iconic, history property and we are committed to ensuring that it sets a global standard for sustainable development in the 21st century,” Kofi Bonner, president of Five Point/Northern California, which is managing the development on behalf of Lennar.

The quest for home utility bills of…zero

MarketWatch - Oct 13 By 2020, the California Energy Commission plans to require every new residential building to meet a code called “zero net energy.” Under ZNE, over the course of a year a new house should consume no more energy than it generates from sources such as rooftop solar panels. The state is still writing the rules that will define exactly how builders are supposed to meet the goal, and some warn the plan is so ambitious that regulators will be forced to roll back deadlines. But the Energy Commission insists it is sticking to its timetable. By 2030, the mandate is set to expand to all new commercial buildings as well. The commission has been trying to nudge home builders and makers of everything from windows to thermostats toward these goals for years. When the standards do take effect, they will unleash a ripple effect across the construction industry, building-supply sector, even the providers of mortgages and home insurance.

California Energy Commission and U.S. Navy announce partnership on renewable energy projects

PV-Tech - Oct 14 The California Energy Commission and the Department of the Navy signed a Memorandum of Understanding last week that will see both parties collaborate on a number of renewable-energy initiatives. As a result of the new partnership, the Navy’s Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) has already signed agreements to develop PV energy and solar energy with battery-storage systems at three Navy installations in California. These REPO agreements include the development of the largest PV facility on Department of Defense land at Naval Air Station Lemoore; solar power and large-scale battery storage systems at Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach; and solar power with battery technology to supply energy to smaller critical loads indefinitely at Naval Base Ventura County. 

Building codes, utility mandates propel California, Massachusetts to top efficiency rankings

Utility Dive - Oct 12 Aggressive efficiency targets, vibrant state policy, and building energy codes rocketed California and Massachusetts to the top spot in the American Council For an Energy-Efficient Economy's most recent state rankings. The report calls it a "dramatic photo finish," with both states improving overall scores from last year. Massachusetts scored 19.5 out of 20 in utility policy, while perfect scores for appliance efficiency standards and transportation policy helped California close the gap. The report attributes California's rise in the rankings to a "notable increase in electricity savings," largely due to policies designed to ramp up energy efficiency programs. According to the report, the 2016 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, utilities in the U.S. invested approximately $7.7 billion in energy efficiency last year, up from about $7.3 billion in 2014.

Wal-Mart leads the nation in corporate solar deployments. What will it do with storage?

Greentech Media - Oct 14 Wal-Mart had 142 megawatts of installed photovoltaic capacity as of 2015, and it is chasing a 100 percent renewable power goal. Now the company is starting to lay out a strategy for energy storage. The company has deployed 17 energy storage projects, all in the state of California, including six 200-kilowatt/400-kilowatt-hour solar-tied batteries. These systems currently serve the company with time-of-use shifting and peak demand shaving, said Mark Vanderhelm, Wal-Mart's vice president of energy, speaking to a crowd at the Energy Storage North America conference in San Diego last week.

Solar-powered houses take starring role in Denver’s community of tomorrow

Renewable Energy World - Oct 6 In October, Solar Decathlon 2017 will kick off in Denver, challenging teams of college students to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are ultra-energy efficient and cost effective. The houses will join the landscape at Peña Station Next, a burgeoning “smart city” between downtown Denver and the airport that city planners began mapping out several years ago. The plan calls for adding 1.5 million square feet of corporate office space, 500,000 square feet of retail stores, 2,500 solar-powered residential units, and 1,500 hotel rooms to the space separating Denver from the nation’s largest airport in total land area. Panasonic's innovation arm, Panasonic Enterprises, is the corporate anchor at the Peña Station Next development. The company aims to take a similar approach as it did with the Sustainable Smart Town project in Fujisawa, Japan, which features solar energy on every rooftop, bike and foot paths, electric vehicle charging stations, wireless internet, and a three-day supply of battery-stored renewable power.

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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