Boston Housing Authority to invest $11m in energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrades for Public Housing

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Operations – Systems & Controls, Maintenance & Commissioning

The Malden Housing Authority will spend more than $11 million to make its public housing units more energy efficient, work officials believe will pay for itself.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The 250-unit complex has a central power plant with utilities distributed to each building through pipes installed in the 1950s. The pipes are in poor condition, Finn said, which results in uneven distribution of heat and water pressure. “Those pipes are a problem; they are aging in place,” he said.

The new system will feature one energy-efficient boiler for every two units in the 58 Housing Authority buildings on Newman Road, Finn said. The old pipes will remain and could be used by the authority or the city as underground electricity conduits, he said. The work on Newman Road is expected to cost $4.3 million.

The Housing Authority received the 20-year $11.27 million bond through MassDevelopment , an entity created by the Legislature in 1998 to act as a finance and development authority.

“We’re pleased to support the Malden Housing Authority with this low-cost financing to improve homes for low-income families, reduce the cost of utilities for the authority’s developments, and to support the Commonwealth’s goal of improving energy technologies and efficiencies, resulting in reduced cost,” MassDevelopment chief executive Marty Jones said in a prepared statement.

For the bond financing agreement, the authority will pay a fixed interest rate of 4.12 percent to East Boston Savings Bank, which is loaning the funds. But the bank was only able to do that by entering into an interest-rate swap agreement with another institution, PNC Bank.

The move allowed East Boston Savings Bank to offer a fixed-rate loan, which the Housing Authority needed in order to comply with federal housing standards, said Joseph Leary, vice president of East Boston Savings Bank.<

See on www.bostonglobe.com

Advertisements

California Building Code Title 24 Will Revolutionize Efficiency Financing for Buildings

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

If successful, Title 24 will open the door to increased amounts of energy efficiency financing, expanded sources of capital and lower financing costs.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>California’s Title 24

Title 24 is California’s body of state building codes. These codes have been revised to move the building industry toward comprehensive building solutions with a goal of achieving Zero Net Energy (ZNE) residential and commercial buildings. In a ZNE building, the annual building’s energy consumption is equal to the building’s onsite renewable energy generation. California has set a goal for all new residential construction to be ZNE by 2020 and for all new commercial construction to be ZNE by 2030. Additionally, the repurposing and remodeling of existing buildings that are of a size-threshold defined by Title 24 will also have to comply with Title 24 revised codes.

Financing a “smart” Zero Net Energy building

The challenge of financing any energy efficiency or renewable energy project is in providing assurances to the source of capital that the project will actually generate sufficient cost savings to cover financing costs plus repayment of invested capital. The number one challenge for winning energy efficiency investments is the uncertainty in documenting bill savings results. Too often, the cost savings generated by an investment in energy efficiency is lost in higher electric bills as new loads are added and utilities raise rates.

Information technologies that monitor, control and financially operate a building through links to real time prices of grid-supplied electricity are the foundation for enabling Title 24 project financing. Smart ZNE buildings will operate to optimize the economics between reducing building demand, reducing energy consumption, on-site generation, use of on-site energy storage and purchases of grid electricity.

What will further enable the financing of ZNE buildings is the ability of enabling information technologies to “look forward” in time to proactively shape a building’s operation and grid purchases to financially support the building’s project financing. The technologies that can achieve these results have already been invented. What California is pursuing through its Title 24 code revisions is a massive economies of scale push for these technologies to drive their costs down and increase their ability to be financed.

The sales pie just got bigger…a lot bigger

Beginning in 2014, Title 24 will blow the sales doors open for smart building technologies, energy efficiency technologies, onsite energy storage and renewable energy technologies. Title 24 will create a new competitive landscape for architects, general contractors, sub-contractors and vendors based upon their ability to offer price competitive services and products that comply with Title 24 codes. The construction industry’s sales path for energy efficiency projects will no longer be anchored by utility incentives that support targeted energy efficiency upgrades like re-lamping a building with more efficient lights. The new sales path will be based upon cost-effectively delivering code compliance to achieve financeable building performance. New competitive advantages will be won by contractors and architects that offer building performance assurances to building owners and financing sources.<

See on www.triplepundit.com

U.S. Tidal Energy Project requires Proximity Standard

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

A planned tidal energy project off the coast of Washington state in the US has come under fire over the lack of a standard defining how close such projects can be to existing underwater cables.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>There is currently no U.S. standard for the distance tidal energy projects need to be from other subsea installations. The Federal Communications Commission has stated that neither it nor FERC has the expert guidance necessary to make an informed decision about what a safe separation distance would be. The FCC has charged an advisory committee, the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), to work with the industry to develop guidance, delegating a special submarine cable working group to address the issue.

Distance guidelines do exist for offshore wind turbines in the U.S. The FCC and industry groups have suggested that these standards, which require 500 metres between offshore wind turbines and submarine cables, should be used in this case.

In its comment to the FERC, Pacific Crossing invoked a UK guideline, Subsea Cables UK Guideline number 6, which recommends proximity limits of 200-400 metres from an existing subsea structure for marine energy development. The North American Submarine Cable Association has urged U.S. regulatory agencies to apply the UK guidelines to all U.S. marine energy projects, including tidal energy projects.<

See on www.renewableenergyworld.com

Bloomberg predicts: Solar to add more megawatts than wind in 2013

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that for the first time more new solar power capacity — compared to wind — will be added to the world’s global energy infrastructure this year.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>In an BNEF’s analysts forecast 36.7GW of new photovoltaic capacity this year, compared to 33.8 GW of new onshore wind farms, and  1.7 GW of offshore wind.

In 2012, wind — onshore and offshore — added 46.6 GW, while PV added 30.5GW, record figures in both cases. But in 2013, a slowdown in the world’s two largest wind markets, China and the US, is opening the way for the rapidly growing PV market to overtake wind.

“The dramatic cost reductions in PV, combined with new incentive regimes in Japan and China, are making possible further, strong growth in volumes,” said Jenny Chase, head of solar analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Europe is a declining market, because many countries there are rapidly moving away from incentives, but it will continue to see new PV capacity added.”<

See on www.renewableenergymagazine.com

Robotic Technologies Applied to Solar Energy Market – Installation and Maintenance

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

Mountain View CA (SPX) Sep 20, 2013 – … robotic technologies deliver revolutionary installation and cleaning services at highly competitive prices … for building and maintenance of utility-scale solar plants..

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>The typical installation process for utility-scale projects is similar to that of a small-scale, 20-panel, residential installation. Despite incremental improvements to the process, a 200,000-panel installation has retained many of the characteristics of a 20-panel installation.

They are both labor-intensive, and require repetitive bolt-tightening and glass-hauling. While these are minor flaws in a 20-panel system, they create significant inefficiencies in 20,000- or 200,000-panel systems.

Alion Energy has plugged the shortcomings of the current installation methods by changing the materials and design used in the mounting structure as well as by automating the installation. By combining robotic installation technology with established construction practices, Alion Energy has built a system twice as fast and 75 percent more labor-efficient that lowers solar electricity’s levelized cost of energy (LCOE) to compete with traditional energy sources.<

See on www.solardaily.com

Detroit Completes One of Nation’s Largest LED Parking Garage Retrofits – WSJ.com

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering
Sixty-one Acres of LED Lighting will reduce garage energy-use by 80 percent; Entire property by 7 percent

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>LED technology is one of the highest performing, currently available methods of lighting. Energy savings of 50 to 80 percent are common when compared to the lamps that are typically used in garages. LED lamps also have much longer operating lives, resulting in fewer materials and transportation resources needed over time. The MGM Grand Detroit LED retrofit, will save enough electricity to power more than 350 average homes per year. […]

Earlier this year, the company initiated a program to install 1,600 induction technology lighting fixtures covering 160 acres of open lot parking area at its resorts in Las Vegas. These lamps are ideal for the hot Las Vegas climate and will have an operating life of up to 20 years. An estimated 2.7 million kWh will be saved annually following the project’s completion.

Additionally, MGM Resorts recently announced the planned installation of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center. The 6.2-megawatt installation will be MGM Resorts’ first commercial solar project in the United States and will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.<

See on online.wsj.com

Construction Materials Scarcities in India spurs alleged Mafia-Political corruption

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

In several areas, Indian rules and regulations make honest business impossible. The only choice is illegal business or no business.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Sand is essential for construction. Sand, gravel and cement are mixed to produce concrete. But an acute sand shortage has been created by licensing and environmental bottlenecks. So, mafia groups are mining river beds illegally across India. It’s easy: one mechanical excavator can extract several truckloads of sand every night.

Sand helps retain monsoon water in river beds, releasing the water gradually in the dry season. Excessive mining endangers this. Central and state governments have detailed environmental rules for extraction, made even tougher by court interventions. Ideally, we should have environmentally safe mining that meets rising construction demand.

Instead we have grossly insufficient legal mining, huge illegal mining, sand scarcity for construction, and big illegal profits split between the mafia and politicians.

A former cabinet minister recently declared that political parties are now funded mainly by the mafia, not by big business. This again is part of the untold Durga Sakthi story.

Politicians used to demand bribes for mining licences. Now, they deliberately hold back leases to make sand scarcer, and more profitable. […]<

See on www.cato.org

Creating Value: Energy Retrofits for Buildings

See on Scoop.itGreen & Sustainable News

Buildings in the U.S. consume[…] 42 percent of the nation’s primary energy and 72 percent of its electricity. Much of that energy is needlessly wasted through inefficient design and operation.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>Rather than examine energy costs in isolation, our approach assesses how energy and sustainability improvements add value to all parts of a property or company. This approach is not revolutionary, but rather more comprehensive, applying industry-accepted valuation methods to the full set of retrofit value contributions, including saved energy costs, health and productivity benefits, reputation and leadership, and risk reduction.

Energy investment (and resultant property outcomes) should be treated as one of many factors that influence value, including location, tenant mix, quality of design, and more. Evaluating retrofits within the broader context of property/company value enables a logical, defensible calculation and assessment of a deep retrofit’s relative contribution to value. Previous attempts to value energy retrofits have ignored retrofits’ value contributions and overlooked standard approaches to valuing properties and companies.<

See on www.rmi.org

Cambridge Plans Massive Energy Efficiency Retrofit

See on Scoop.itGreen Building Design – Architecture & Engineering

This medieval English city is investing $1.5 billion for energy upgrades for the entire city.

Duane Tilden‘s insight:

>It’s one thing to build super-energy-efficient new homes and offices – it’s another matter entirely to bring ancient buildings up to par. But the medieval university city of Cambridge, England, plans to do just that with a $1.5 billion retrofit program.

The newly launched Cambridge Retrofit Project aims to reduce carbon emissions from buildings 30% before 2050 through a massive, city-wide retrofit scheme.  […]

While the primary goal is reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions, the program also aims to build up local businesses, create warmer homes and increase the value of properties.

Energy savings alone are expected to be worth $2.3 billion and the city’s carbon footprint, currently 830,000 tons a year, is expected to fall 1% a year, eventually reaching 500,000 tons a year as a result of the retrofit program.<

See on www.sustainablebusiness.com

Sustainable Heating and Cooling of Buildings | Leonardo ENERGY

See on Scoop.itGreen Energy Technologies & Development

In many non-residential buildings across Europe, the energy consumed for heating and cooling is more than half the total energy consumption of the building. This is not inevitable. The introduction of simple design concepts and currently available technologies can lead to significant reductions in the energy consumption, operating costs, and carbon emissions of both new and existing buildings.

See on www.leonardo-energy.org