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What About the Solar Corridor, Mr. Pickens?

It’s clear our country is reaching what future generations will see as a watershed moment as it relates to our current energy situation and how we handle it.  In the U.S. alone, buildings account for roughly 70% of electricity use and 39% of energy use, so any discussion of our energy future naturally implicates the built environment.  The current state of discussions on our energy future has brought together some incredible minds and one of those is the great T. Boone Pickens, an expert in recognizing scarce resources and future energy trends.  Just today, he announced his efforts relating to the PickensPlan — a plan he explains himself in the above video.

Now, I think Mr. Pickens is definitely probing one of the better ways to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil, but I also think he’s skipping over an important aspect of this discussion on our country’s energy mix. 

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Stunning Eco Home To Be First Andalusian Zero Carbon Footprint House!

Eco Architecture

The team at Diseño Earle was kind enough to pass along some info and images of their stunning design of The Eco Home — a knockout that’s aiming to be the first ‘zero carbon’ footprint home in Andalucia, or even Southern Spain for that matter!  D Earle designed the home with two objectives in mind: (1) zero carbon footprint, and (2) reduce operating costs to almost a self-sufficiency level.  The 6995 sf home, which is absolutely enormous, will be built with 75% less waste than a traditional design and operate 80% more efficiently than a similar sized home.  And although the home design was constrained by the narrow, non-flat site, you can tell there was no restraint in creating the ultimate, luxury, green pad. 

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Nation's Largest Single-Building Solar Energy Project Planned for Atlantic City

Atlantic City Convention Center

Atlantic City Convention Center has just signed a 20-year agreement with Pepco Energy Services to have a 2.36 megawatt solar roof installed on the building.  When completed by the end of this year, the project is projected to be the largest single-building solar energy project in the United States.  That’s 13,321 photovoltaic panels covering roughly two-thirds of the building AND a savings of roughly $4.4 million in electricity costs over the 20-year deal. 

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Super Efficient SolarDuct Co-Generates Electricity and Heat Energy!

SolarDuct PV/T

Conserval Engineering just announced the release of their newest product, SolarDuct PV/T, which is a rooftop solar PV system that goes beyond generating renewable energy from on-site solar power.  With the SolarDuct PV/T system, solar panels are mounted on metal collector panels that channel excess heat from the solar array into the building’s HVAC system.  As a result, this system, which is part photovoltaic and part thermal, can generate electricity and put heat to use when heat is needed in the building.

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[Video] Peel and Stick Solar For Commercial Buildings

Power-ply 380

Lumeta has developed what’s said to be the world’s first commercial-scale, "peel and stick" solar modules called Lumeta Power-Ply 380.  The Power-Ply solar modules use adhesives to attach to the roof, making the system a cinch to install.  The short video below shows two guys installing six modules on a roof in roughly 34 minutes — it seems so simple anyone could do it!  Of note, the 4′ x 8′ modules don’t require roof penetrations or mounting systems, as opposed to most solar power systems.  You may also note that the flat roof style installation sacrifices the optimal solar angle (and loses about 5% of the power production), but Lumeta is confident that the benefits to the peel and stick solar product outweigh the slight losses in production.

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Green Building Aspects of Toyota's Plug-in Hybrid News

Plug-in Prius

You might be thinking, "Why is this green building blog talking about a car company?"  But don’t, because the relationship between home, work, transportation, and all that is quite complex.  Yesterday, news on Toyota’s plug-in hybrid technology spread across the internet at a fairly quick clip — it’s important news that will affect us in more ways than the price paid at the pump.  According to Autoblog Green, Toyota announced it would produce a plug-in hybrid with lithium-ion batteries starting in 2010, with large scale production into 2011-2012.  This is good news, but here’s why plug-in electric vehicles matter for the future of green buildings:

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