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Ashland, OR, installs solar arrays on public buildings

by Rena Ragimova Aug 31, 2008

The Achievement

Ashland, OR, has worked with the Bonneville Environment Foundation to install numerous solar arrays in such places as the Southern Oregon University Library, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Administration Building, Ashland City Council Chambers and Ashland Police Station.  The output from the solar arrays is sold locally by Ashland's municipal utility to local subscribers, delivered to the grid as generic power, and used for resale as green power.

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Lexington-Fayette Greens its Government Purchasing

by Rena Ragimova Aug 11, 2008

The Achievements

Using less, reusing items and buying recycled content products are all part of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s (LFUCG) environmentally preferable purchasing strategy.

  • The LFUCG has implemented a formal policy requiring purchase of ENERGY STAR rated equipment when available. The LFUCG now routinely purchases many energy-efficient items including EPA ENERGY STAR-rated computers and office equipment, as well LED exit signs, LED scoreboards, LED traffic signal modules, electronic fluorescent light ballasts, programmable thermostats., and low-mercury-content (green tip) fluorescent bulbs.
  • In 2007, the LFUCG began an initiative to buy 30 percent post-consumer recycled content paper as our “default” paper for printers and copiers. The LFUCG uses approximately 3,000 cartons (15 million sheets) a year of copy paper, and switching to recycled content paper reduced the amount of wood required to produce this paper by 83 tons, the amount of energy required by 398 million BTU, the amount of greenhouse gases generated by 50,000 pounds, the amount of wastewater generated by 208,000 gallons, and the amount of waste by 27,000 pounds annually.
  • LFUCG is required to purchase furnaces with a 90% or higher efficiency rating and 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) air conditioners.
  • LFUCG purchases recycled content paper towels and tissue, non-treated lumber, and water-based traffic marking paint.
  • The LFUCG reuses many items including using empty traffic marking paint barrels for asbestos and lead abatement, metal street signs as blanks for new street signs, and crushed glass from the Recycling Center for landfill closure activities.
  • The LFUCG also took steps to reduce the number of printers in the Government Center, Police Headquarters, the Phoenix Building and the Switow Building from 527 to 127 (a 75 percent reduction), which saves resources.


[Source: Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government website]

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Houston, TX powers a quarter of its operations with wind energy

by Rena Ragimova Aug 07, 2008

The Achievement

The City of Houston now powers 25% of its operations with wind energy from Texas wind farms. The city purchases more than 350 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, making it the No. 1 ranked municipal purchaser of green power in the nation, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (as of July 2008).

The city expects to use as much as 1.7 billion kilowatt-hours of renewable energy (solar and wind) in the next five years. This is equivalent to the amount of kilowatt-hours needed to power 28,000 homes each year.

The Key Step

The city negotiated a five-year wind energy contract at a fixed price of 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, insulating itself from rising energy prices and saving taxpayer dollars. The city’s plan is to continue to purchase wind power in 10-megawatt increments for five-year terms at competitive wholesale prices.

The Benefits

Besides the sizeable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the city will save millions. In 2004, the City of Houston’s spent approximately $150 million on electricity ($30 million over budget) at a rate of roughly 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour.

 

[Source: City of Houston website] Read more »

Kansas City, MO, Continues to Expand Recycling Efforts

by Rena Ragimova Aug 07, 2008

The Achievements

In 2006, Kansas City’s residential curbside recycling program collected 19,000 tons of materials, an 18 percent increase from 2005. The city also added recycling bins in several business districts. It recently initiated a program to recycle food waste at the City Market. The waste is now used to create premium market-ready compost.

The Household Hazardous Waste Center, which was built in 1996, takes up to one million pounds of materials annually. It also runs a swap shop where good paints and other products are offered to the public for free.

In 2005, the city began recycling at Kansas City International Airport. During the first year, it kept 9 tons of waste from entering landfills. In 2007, the total grew to 191 tons.

[Source: Lawrence Journal-World] Read more »

Denver International Airport Installs Massive Two-Megawatt Solar System

by Rena Ragimova Aug 04, 2008

The Achievement

In August 2008, Denver International Airport (DIA) became home to a significant new renewable energy project – one of the nation’s most visible solar photovoltaic systems. Spanning seven and a half acres at the entrance of the main terminal, DIA’s two megawatt solar power system will generate over three million kilowatt hours of clean electricity annually.

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San Francisco, Calif., installing 7.8 megawatts of solar power on City facilities

by Rena Ragimova Jul 31, 2008

The Achievement

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has now installed solar photovoltaic systems on the following City facilities:

  • Moscone Convention Center
  • Pier 96
  • Wastewater treatment Plants (Southeast, Northpoint)
  • San Francisco International Airport


The City is also planning solar projects at the following sites:

  • Sunset Reservoir
  • Muni facilities
  • Libraries
  • City Hall

 

The Benefits

  • These completed solar systems now produce 2 megawatts, 2,620 megawatt-hours per year, and save 867 tons of C02 per year.
  • The planned solar systems will produce 5.8 megawatts, 7,297 megawatt-hours per year, and save 2,415 tons of C02 per year.
  • Totals: 7.8 megawatts, 9,918 megawatt-hours per year, and 3,282 tons CO2 per year saved

 

[Source: August 5, 2008 Summary Report: San Francisco Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions] Read more »

San Francisco, Calif.’s energy efficiency measures save approximately 60,000 tons of C02

by Rena Ragimova Jul 31, 2008

The Achievements

The City of San Francisco has implemented sweeping and innovative energy efficiency measures for both government operations and the San Francisco community.

  • The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has completed energy efficiency projects in City facilities, including lighting and HVAC retrofit projects at San Francisco General Hospital, public health clinics, Moscone West Convention Center, City-wide LED traffic signals, Library Administration Building, and Southeast Wastewater treatment plant. Projects completed between 2003-2008 projects are reducing energy consumption by 26,699 megawatt-hours per year of electricity, 10,303 therms per year of natural gas, and 8,897 tons of CO2 per year.
  • At the San Francisco International Airport, SFPUC has identified lighting and HVAC savings of 37,000 megawatt-hours per year, 900,000 therms per year — equivalent to 17,525 tons CO2 per year reduction.
  • To reduce community-wide energy use, the City implemented the following successful commercial and multi-family residential energy efficiency programs: Power Savers, SFPEP, and SF Energy Watch. These programs have helped to reduce electricity use in San Francisco by 18 megawatts – enough to power more than 20,000 residencies. Combined programs are on target to save businesses and residents $21 million annually. Programs completed between 2002-2008 are saving 32,945 tons CO2 per year.
  • San Francisco led the way in 1999 when it adopted mandatory green building standards for municipal construction in the Resource Efficient Building Ordinance. The ordinance was amended in 2004 to require all new municipal construction to meet the standard of LEED Silver.
  • The City recently established a Green Building Task Force to improve environmental performance of new construction projects in the City, and introduced an ordinance codifying Task Force recommendations — the strongest in the nation.
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