Category Archives: Solar

Brazil Hopes to Make the 2014 FIFA World Cup the Most Sustainable Yet

Considering my love for soccer and interest in renewable energy, this story about the 2014 World Cup caught my eye (and reinforced my decision to make the trip in two years). Using solar technology as the lynchpin, Brazil has set a goal of meeting minimum LEED sustainability standards in all 12 of their venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Professional athletics and renewable energy appear to be on a collision course for the greater good. Large solar and renewable energy companies are beginning to invest large amounts of money into athletic team sponsorships and advertising. On the other side, professional athletic clubs have seen the public relations benefits and money saving potential in adopting renewable energy and sustainable building.

This seemingly match made in heaven will benefit us all. Millions of people each year attend sporting events and watch on TV (people watch the Super Bowl just to see the ads). What better way to spread renewable energy technologies and sustainable living practices than through professional sports teams and large sporting venues.

The Mané Garrincha stadium in Brasília (Source: Castro Mello Arq. Esportiva via Renewableenergyworld.com)

Brazil will be taking sustainable building and renewable energy to a whole new level in 2014. The World Cup is already the largest sporting event in the world – according to FIFA.com over 3.2 billion people watched at least one minute of the 2010 World Cup – and now they aim to make it the most sustainable event yet. Of the twelve stadiums that plan to meet minimum LEED sustainable standards, 7 plan to integrate solar into the design. The highlight will be the Mane Garrincha (pictured above) in Brasilia – this venue will hopefully be the first football(soccer) stadium in the world to achieve LEED Platinum status, the highest level available. A 2.5 MW solar array installed on the tensioned canvas roof will help get it there. This system will cover more than 50% of the electricity needed during peak tournament times and will produce more than enough during normal operation, allowing the stadium to feed the excess into the grid.

Other highlights of stadium construction in Brazil include: the Maracanã in Rio, the host of the final, which will feature a ring of solar panels in the roof, the Mineirão in Belo Horizonte will have around 1.5 MWp of solar installed on its roof, and the Pernambuco Arena in Recife will install solar heating to supply the hot water in changing rooms, restrooms, and restaurants.

One of the largest drivers of renewable energy at the World Cup and sport in general  is Yingli Solar. “In 2010, Yingli Solar became the first renewable energy company to sponsor the FIFA World Cup.” (FIFA.com) As a result of this partnership, Yingli agreed to install PV Solar technology at 20 Football for Hope centers developed in Africa during the 2010 World Cup. Yingli has also partnered with some other very prominent sporting organizations in order to spread “green” awareness and build their brand. They are currently the official sponsors of the 2014 World Cup, the United States Men’s, Women’s, and Youth Soccer Teams, FC Bayern Munich Soccer,  and the New York Jets. Yingli provided the Jets with more than 3000 solar panels for an installation on their practice facility. The 690 kWp system is the largest installation at an NFL team headquarters.

Huge solar installation at the Jets team headquarters. The largest PV install at an NFL team headquarters.

These are just a few examples of professional athletics “going green” and the trend seems to be catching on around the country (and world). However, considering that nearly half of the Earth’s population will see some of the World Cup, the fact that Brazil has committed to renewable energy will have a great impact on how the people of the world view sustainability. Read more here about Brazil’s efforts to adopt PV solar technology by 2014.

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Filed under Conservation, Environment, Green Building, Green Technology, Renewable Energy, Solar

Noteworthy News – February 24th

  1. Spanish solar panel manufacturing company, Isofoton, plans to open a solar panel manufacturing facility in Toledo, OH in July.  The Northeast Ohio manufacturing plant that will create 330 jobs, landed a $15 million state loan to go along with about $4 million in private funding. The company also plans on sourcing materials locally. Read more at Columbus Business First.

    Pvilion

  2. Now, this is our kind of solar! Pvilion is taking the traditional view on solar and stretching it to make it work their way. They specialize in flexible PV material that makes for good looking, power producing structures.
  3. Apple’s new data center will install a 20 mW solar array and fuel cell with a capacity of 5 mW. This will be the largest end user owned solar array in the country. Check our more at treehugger.com.
  4. And finally, a nice video that shows you how you can slightly alter your daily routine and save nearly 1,213 gallons of water per day. That’s a lot of water!

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Filed under Buy Local, Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar

In Case You Missed It: Vol. 9

We have taken a few weeks off so for this edition of ICYMI we are bringing you important news from what has been taking up all of our time.
Anywhere Solar Technologies is bringing you the most versatile and innovative solar modules to hit the market. The official release party took place last week at the International Builders Show in Orlando, FL on February 8th.

SS-3205 – It’s Time To Get Smart About Solar

The SS-3205 is the perfect combination of performance, style and innovation. It’s compact size, coupled with the ability to be arranged virtually anywhere the sun shines will create a whole new view on the collection of solar energy. No longer are we tied to expensive, distracting roof-top arrays. Today, believe that solar power where you want it is the future and the SS-3205 is the perfect vehicle to move the world beyond conventional solar power!

With Anywhere Solar’s highest powered solar module there are truly no limits to where you can produce free clean energy!

Check out this unique installation we just completed. By attaching SS-3205’s around the entire roof railing we have been producing on average 723 watt hours per day for the past week.

Before

Simple attachment to the roof

After the Install - Can you spot the solar?

Contact bennet@anywheresolartech.com for more information about Anywhere Solar Technologies and the SS-3205.

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Environment, Green Building, Green Technology, Renewable Energy, Solar, Uncategorized

In Case You Missed It: Volume 7

    1. Perhaps the biggest news of the week came from the office of the President. The Obama administration rejected the current proposal for the Keystone XL Pipeline which would carry over 500,000 barrels of oil a day across key aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water to much of the Great Plains. The pipeline is not gone forever as TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, can submit another proposal suggesting a different route. Read more about the fight.
    2. The second biggest story came from our office. We are successfully packed and ready to take on the International Builders Show in 3 weeks. The trade show booth crate was packed in record time with minimal hang-ups. Anywhere Solar will be showing off our newest solar module!
    3. In other news, the Department of Energy released a report“showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation’s coasts could contribute significantly to the United States’ total annual electricity production, further diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and provide clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities.” Go Ocean!

      A map that shows mean current speeds of tidal streams. Source - Georgia Institue of Technology

    4. Finally, we leave you with this cool video about a windmill farmer.

The Windmill Farmer from Joaquin Baldwin on Vimeo.

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Filed under Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency, Environment, NAHB, Renewable Energy, Solar

Volume 6!

  1. Chicago is set to build the biggest urban park in the country. “This park is said to be bigger than Central Park (843 acres) and 10 times bigger than Manhattan itself.”

    The new park will be built on 140,000 acres on the southern rim of the city.

  2. To keep you hip to the technology innovations in the industry I bring you paint-on solar cells. That’s right, the next coat of paint you put on your house could produce electricity. Researchers at Notre Dame University are working on a spreadable compound using power producing nanoparticles. Right now they are only seeing an energy conversion efficiency of 1% compared to the 15% seen in traditional cells so it may be some time before we start painting our walls with solar cells.
  3. The Summer Olympic Games are taking place this summer in London and the host city is leading by example as they become the first host to focus on sustainability throughout the planning process. Education seems to be an important part of this plan as they are involving the community and emphasizing the importance of living within the World’s resources. You can read more about the sustainably built Velodrome here.

    The London 2012 Velodrome

  4.  And finally I leave you with this alarming, very well done video recapping the Gulf oil spill in 2010. Puts into perspective just how much oil we consume in the United States (spoiler alert: we use too much).

Oil’d from Chris Harmon on Vimeo.

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Filed under Carbon Footprint, Conservation, Cycling, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Renewable Energy, Solar, Water conservation

In Case You Missed It: Vol. 4

To start off I would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season…

Now to the list!

  1. Educational Institutions Leading the Way – Big news was released this week in New York City where Cornell University won a high-profile competition to build a new applied-science campus on Roosevelt Island. The renewable energy sources on campus will have the potential to reduce energy consumption at the school by 75%. In other  educational news, the U.S. Green Building Council released its inaugural “Best of Green Schools 2011” list.
  2. We discovered another amazing technology we are keeping an eye on in the near future. Researchers at MIT have made it possible to produce photo voltaic cells on paper or fabric, much like printing a document from your computer.
  3. A Sticky Situation – Chinese solar module manufacturers have been accused of dumping solar panels into the U.S. market. This has sparked a tough debate on the international trade of solar energy. On one side of the fence are U.S. solar module manufacturers. When Chinese solar companies “dump,” or sell their modules in the U.S. below cost, it drives other international manufacturers out of business and eliminates competition (U.S. manufacturers). On the other hand, solar prices have been cut dramatically due to this “dumping” of panels by Chinese companies. So for the end consumer and the solar energy market in general it is now more cost effective than ever to adopt solar energy. To sum it all up, U.S. manufacturing jobs are being threatened by foreign solar subsidies while U.S. solar installers and distributors are seeing their business increase. More information available here.
  4. Because 2011 is coming to an end and we love giving you the best news out there we will include another list in the middle of our list. Here are the “Top 10 Green Business Stories of 2011.”
  5. President Obama announces historic new mercury pollution standards on December 21, 2011. These new standards will better protect our people and environments from dangerous mercury and other pollution from coal fired power plants. Send a personal thank you to the president by following this link.

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Filed under Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sustainable Businiess, USGBC

Best of Green Schools 2011 and Other Feel Good Stories

The Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council, with the goal of making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation, released its “Best of Green Schools 2011 List.” This list focuses on all levels of school (K-12 to higher education) and recognizes the leaders that create sustainable learning environments for their students. Here are a few notable highlights from that list:

  • The State of Ohio leads the way with more green school projects in the works than any other state. There are a total of 319 LEED registered and certified projects.
  • Lake Mills Middle School in Lake Mills, Wisconsin became the first public school in the country to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The school is now “45% more efficient than a conventional school, yielding a total annual energy savings of $85,000.” (www.miron-contstuction.com)
  • Policy makers on the Washington D.C. City Council passed the Healthy School Act 2010 which builds upon the requirement and encouragement for all schools to achieve LEED Gold Certification.

For more on “Best of Green Schools 2011,” click here.

Now I will present another type of leader in green education that we have had the privilege of experiencing firsthand. Last October at the Greenbuild Conference in San Francisco we met a group of students from the Developing Virtue Schools that were exploring the show for new and exciting technologies that they could incorporate into a year-long sustainability project. They became very interested in our PV Solar Shutter and immediately wanted to get one for their school. After the show, they remained in touch, sending us news of their campaign to get solar in their school. They raised renewable energy awareness and enough money from fellow classmates and teachers to actually get one shutter installed in a classroom, one of the more inspirational things I have witnessed.

Alisha posing with their new Solar Shutter!

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Filed under Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Green Building, Innovation, Renewable Energy, Solar, Uncategorized