This is big news for the green building revolution, because a solar farm like this could power roughly 190k homes in California. Referred to as the Topaz Solar Farm, this $1 billion, 550-megawatt plant would cover roughly 9.5 square miles, and if constructed, would be the world’s largest photovoltaic solar farm. Hayward-based OptiSolar is developing plans for the project as we speak. According to their current time line, OptiSolar will apply for a conditional use permit in May 2008 and begin construction in 2010. Topaz Solar Farm would then be completed over three years.
You've probably already heard of BedZED, but have you seen it? Feel free to watch a short little video about the cutting-edge community.
BedZED is a 100-home, sustainable community in Beddington (UK) that's designed to be a Zero Energy Development. Hence the Bed and the ZED.
The colorful wind-driven ventilation system gives it a quirky, kind of playful look — but don't be fooled: This joint is all business. Most of all, residents appear to enjoy the sense of community and quality of life.
Swift Wind Turbine is a quiet, rooftop mounted wind turbine. Unlike some designs you’ve seen previously, this one has an outer ring and five blades. The outer ring acts as a diffuser — the wind travels down the blades and is dispersed along the ring, therefore eliminating noise and keeping the turbine quiet. The company estimates a noise of less than 35 decibels for all wind speeds. The 7 foot diameter ring needs a roof line clearance of a couple feet and in good winds, can generate up to 2000 kWh of power (1.5 kW @ 14 m/s).
There was a fantastic article in the NY Times on a positive energy home dubbed Solar Harvest. Solar Harvest generated more electricity in 2006 than what it took from the grid, so Xcel Energy sent the owner a check for $8.45. Nice! Solar Harvest was built by Eric Doub and his company, EcoFutures, in Boulder, Colorado for $1.38 million, including land.