Green Building News

Residential Solar in Nevada Benefits All, Study Says

Posted on May 27, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A ruling last year in Nevada reducing reimbursement rates for owners of grid-tied photovoltaic(PV) Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow. (PVPhotovoltaics. Generation of electricity directly from sunlight. A photovoltaic (PV) cell has no moving parts; electrons are energized by sunlight and result in current flow.) systems gutted the state's solar industry, cutting the installation of new PV systems by 90% in the first quarter of the year.

In reaching their decision, utility regulators accepted arguments that net meteringArrangement through which a homeowner who produces electricity using photovoltaics or wind power can sell excess electricity back to the utility company, running the electric meter backwards. amounted to a subsidy for solar customers and a $160 million burden for non-solar customers. But according to two new studies, the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada was wrong — distributed solar offers a benefit to all ratepayers, whether they own solar systems or not.

Energy Modeling Has a Very Fast Payback

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Energy modeling for commercial and institutional buildings is expensive, but a study by an architectural and engineering firm finds the payback is "shockingly short" — in some cases just a month or two.

Fire Knocks Out Tower at Concentrated Solar Plant

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A fire last week damaged one of three towers at the huge Ivanpah solar thermal facility in the Mohave desert, but the real threat to the facility's long-term relevance appears to be economics.

The incident left metal pipes in steam-generating equipment near the top of the 459-foot tower scorched and melted, according to a report at Wired. The fire is one more PR headache for the world's largest solar facility.

New York City Will Require More Efficient Buildings

Posted on May 17, 2016 by Scott Gibson

New York City has embarked on an ambitious program to lower the amount of energy consumed by city-owned buildings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the year 2050.

Florida Development Will be Solar-Powered

Posted on May 13, 2016 by Scott Gibson

Work is underway on Babcock Ranch, a new Florida community that will eventually include 19,500 single-family and multifamily homes on nearly 18,000 acres. The developers tout the project as the world's "first solar-powered town," calling it the "most sustainable" community in the U.S.

Building a House of Hemp

Posted on May 4, 2016 by Scott Gibson

An upstate New York resident named Jim Savage has launched a web-based campaign to raise $60,000 and build a demonstration house with walls of hemp, lime, and water, advancing what Savage calls “the next step in green building.”

In a Kickstarter campaign that so far has attracted more than 90 donors, Savage lays out the case for choosing hemp over more conventional building materials, a technique he says has been used successfully in Europe for 25 years.

Texas Team Wins Net Zero Competition

Posted on May 2, 2016 by Scott Gibson

A group of architecture students from Prairie View A&M University has won top honors in this year's Department of Energy Race to Zero student competition with an affordable home designed for a Houston, Texas, neighborhood.

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