Červenec 2013

Grumbling All Around After Solar Panel Deal

29. července 2013 v 8:08 solar power systems
China's victory over the weekend in its solar panel dispute with the European Commission has exposed glaring gaps in European unity on trade issues. And it casts a harsh light on the prospects for the United States and Europe to cooperate on trade policy.

The case underscores the difficulties of hammering out trade accords in an increasingly global marketplace, when even the parties on the same side of the bargaining table may have conflicting goals and agendas.

European makers of solar panels were furious at what they considered a capitulation to China and vowed to sue the European Commission to void the deal. The agreement sets a minimum price for Chinese panels of 0.56, or $0.74, per watt. That is actually 25 percent lower than what the products were selling for last year when the industry complained to the commission that the Chinese makers, heavily subsidized by state owned banks, were dumping them on the market at prices below their actual cost.

The European settlement also undermined Obama administration officials, who have taken a tough stance toward China on solar trade and have been trying for several months to persuade European leaders to side with them. Nearly a dozen U.S. makers of solar panels have gone bankrupt or closed factories, unable to compete with low cost Chinese imports.

The Obama administration issued a thinly veiled criticism late Saturday afternoon of Europe's decision to cut its own deal. "We believe there needs to be a global solution, consistent with our trade laws, that creates stability and certainty in the various components of the solar sector," Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, said in a statement.

The European Union's retreat on solar panel trade with China could make it much harder for the United States to negotiate a trans Atlantic trade agreement with Europe, for which talks began this month. The European Commission is supposed to negotiate on behalf of all member countries. But in the solar case, it was pressure from Germany that derailed Mr. De Gucht's tariff plans. That suggests that individual countries in Europe may also have the power to undo any concessions that Brussels might make in the complex bargaining needed for a broad U.S. Europe trade agreement.

Even among the dozens of companies in China that make solar panels, the deal will be divisive. It is likely to benefit only the few big players, like Trina, that can compete globally on the quality of their products and the warranties they can afford to offer, while making things even more difficult for the many more smaller, struggling companies with little to distinguish themselves other than low prices they will no longer be able to legally offer to European customers.

China has captured close to 80 percent of the European market for solar panels over the past several years, with exports reaching $27 billion in 2011, before the trade battle began. Industry executives expect China's market share to fall to between 60 and 70 percent as a result of the deal struck Saturday.

The politics of the solar trade case within Europe had been highly unusual from the start. In most European trade cases against an imported product, the main country in Europe that makes the same product will push for protection from subsidized imports. Other European countries, meanwhile, tend to like the low cost imports and are less enthusiastic about imposing tariffs.

For solar panels, many of the main European manufacturers are German. As China expanded its solar panel industry from almost nothing in 2007 to more than two thirds of world production by last year, financed by big low interest loans from state owned banks and other incentives from government agencies, Germany's solar industry crumbled.

WPA's Custom House gets upgrades

25. července 2013 v 5:40 street light
Contractors studded Philadelphia with art deco-flavored postal centers, courts, and government offices, in brick, concrete, and limestone, back in the 1930s, as the federal Works Progress Administration tried to spend the nation out of the Great Depression.

After the most recent financial crisis, Washington settled for the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act of 2009 - the "stimulus" supplied by President Obama - that gave the city, among other projects, a half-acre green roof; high, tight windows; and LED lights at the 17-story, WPA-built Custom House, the cross-shaped federal office building at Second and Chestnut Streets that houses hundreds of federal workers for the National Park Service, Food and Drug Administration, Homeland Security, passport office, and other federal outlets.

The windows were the big job - 1,200 in all. They are bomb-resistant, steel-framed panes on the lower levels, historically accurate wood frames higher up. New insulation, boilers , solar LED lighting, and revolving doors were also put to bid.

Enough job-starved builders offered to do the work at thin margins that the General Services Administration says it was able to bring it in at $2 million under the original $30.8 million budget, enabling the government to add optional projects like the 24,000-square-foot field of water-sucking sedum plants on the lower roof that surrounds the building's central tower.

"This is part of Obama's energy initiative," said GSA building manager Tom Rufo. The green roof, for example, "has a lot of benefits: It reduces storm-water runoff - it takes two days for rainwater to percolate through."

"And we get better insulation," said Bill Pollard, GSA operations manager. Unlike the old built-up rubber roofing, the sedum needs to be weeded every few months. Other local federal buildings are adding green roofs as they are updated, GSA project manager Brian Muller said.

For a bird's-eye view, Pollard, Muller, and Rufo walked me up three flights of steel stairs to the tower's top chamber, modeled on the ancient Greek lighthouse at Rhodes.

The narrow balcony outside gives terrific views of today's less stinking and more residential waterfront to the east, and west to the city's high rises.

If this were one of Philadelphia's aging civilian offices, a developer would have borrowed a few million to refit this perch as a penthouse by now. But this remains a working building, under tight security.

Maybe the most impressive part of the job - unlike an earlier handicapped-access and energy upgrade in the early 1990s, when agencies moved out - is that this time contractors worked with the building fully occupied, by armed federal agents and other specialists who weren't afraid to make detailed suggestions, Rufo said.

A truly fantastic tablet companion

22. července 2013 v 5:11 solar power systems
There is something special about being able to transform an object into something else without staining its original appeal.

Many case manufacturers have attempted to turn the iPad into a fully-fledged laptop, but few aside from Logitech have really put forth more than a modicum of effort to think how best it would work. We've already looked at the excellent Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad, but the FabricSkin Keyboard Folio falls into a category of its own. It's that good.

That's because the keyboard itself is built into the case, so there is nothing to attach and no separation between objects; the keyboard is the case and vice versa. The keys are soft and mushy, but feel extremely responsive. The care taken to ensure the iPad is lofted and aligned at just the right angle is reassuring. And the quality of all the materials - from the soft rubber extrusion along the iPad's perimeter which protects the screen from impact and dust, to the soft pleather exterior which feels great in the hands - is top-notch.

When closed, the keyboard cover resembles any other case, albeit one slightly thicker and heavier than the average. Logitech has taken care to ensure that the cover is a case first, and because the keyboard is thinner than average, the whole thing works out to be more compact than the average laptop.

One must decide whether the iPad, with its limited multitasking abilities, is really up to the task of being a laptop replacement. Certainly, iOS 7 promises some expansion of usability in this area, with background updates and an improved multitasking menu, but iOS was never designed to be a power user's palette.

Instead, the iPad is a fullscreen Mecca for writers, bloggers or mind mappers, those looking for an empty canvas on which to lay down some verse. So many apps, from iA Writer to Byword to OneNote, offer truly excellent feature sets that rival any desktop app in features, and surpass them all in design.

All the traditional iPad controls, such as volume and mute, are accessible using the FabricSkin, and it's easily charged with an included microUSB cord. The keyboard is liquid repellant (though not entirely waterproof) so minor spills shouldn't affect functionality.

The battery promises to last three months, though I haven't been able to test that theory - it's still going after two. There is a small LED light above the Delete key on the top right of the keyboard that denotes Bluetooth connectivity, charge status and any other messages the keyboard wishes to convey. One can change the volume, return to the home screen and move around the screen using the function keys on the top row of the keyboard, but users will still have to use the touchscreen for the majority of interaction.

It's truly about the small details here. There is a magnetic latch that, when extended, "locks" the iPad into place. The only issue with this is that there is no room for maneuvering the iPad to another angle, and the screen somewhat crowds the top row of keys.

But those keys are something else: all the requisite iPad controls are present, and that Logitech was able to create not just a working keyboard but a superlatively performing one from a design like this is astounding. More information about the program is available on the web site at soli-lite.

Department heads report

18. července 2013 v 5:46 street light
At the halfway point of its fiscal year, the city collected a little over $6 million of the $8,681,000 revenue budgeted for 2013, Acting City Administrator Steve Hahn said. Expenses are tallied at $4,370,000, or "a bit over 50 percent" of budget estimates, Hahn said.

"There is some overtime and areas where (spending is) a little bit higher than 50 percent ... but it still looks good," Hahn said.

Officials are evaluating options for refinancing two bond issues worth a combined $12.5 million and want to capitalize on lower interest rates, Hahn said.

Hahn also pointed to savings the city realized by retrofitting the lighting system at City Hall and said the city could realize about $36,000 next year through other electrical-related agreements. Officials also plan to launch a "centralized purchasing program" this year.

The Community Development office will continue searching for grants that will expand existing housing rehabilitation programs undertaken with a Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant for completely remodeling homes near Hazleton General Hospital and a HOME grant for additional housing renovations, Acting Community Development Director Fallon Fermin reported.

Hazleton Public Transit created new bus routes to Humboldt Industrial Park that run from 5:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.The unique elegance of modern floor lamps and High Quality indoor solar lighting could certainly transform your home into a place of beauty.m., transit Director Ralph Sharp said. The department will unveil a system that relays information to customers on monitors and smartphones. A route to Mountain Top and the casino in Plains Township has been successful and has been made available six days per week, he reported.

City streets department crews finished city-wide street sweeping in early May and began weekly street sweeping on June 1. Potholes are a "big concern" of the department and crews have been working to maintain playgrounds, Foreman Frank Vito reported. The city cut costs by $50,000 since taking over street light maintenance two years ago and crews paved four blocks along Franklin Street. Crews are also working to maintain trees that are within the city rights-of-way, Vito said.

Airport Manager Steve Simchak said the city has applied for grants and reported that "business is starting to pick up" since the city entered a lease agreement for a hangar.

Officials will continue improving the facility with the goal of making it "self-sufficient," Simchak said.

Hahn reported that airport revenue totals $177,Welcome to www.soli-lite.com Web. If you love it, please buy it!134 while expenses are tallied at about $196,553. The $9,000 deficit will be offset by revenue from lease and rental agreements that will become effective in August, Hahn said.

Dominic Yannuzzi, of Alfred Benesch - the city's engineering firm - said officials have been working to resolve funding issues with state officials over a robotic parking garage proposed for Laurel and Broad streets and for renovating the parking garage on South Wyoming Street.

Yannuzzi said his firm worked on the city's behalf to obtain equipment, remove trees and obstructions, manage the hangar and make improvements at the airport terminal.Finding China High Quality solar bulb for outdoor applications such as your patio, yard or porch can be a challenge. Benesch is also coordinating railroad crossing improvements along Mine Street, he said.

Hazleton firefighters responded to 455 incidents as of Tuesday, Chief Donald Leshko said. "Working house fires" accounted for about 20 calls, he said. Firefighters are working with Hazleton City Authority to flow test hydrants and crews are working to color code hydrants based on those results.

Is Germany the Hot Spot for Battery-Backed Solar?

18. července 2013 v 5:44 solar photovoltaic system
Storing solar power in batteries is an attractive concept to the homeowner who wants to achieve energy independence from the grid, or the commercial and utility-scale solar array owner that wants to hedge against high electricity prices. But right now,The unique elegance of modern floor lamps and High Quality indoor solar lighting could certainly transform your home into a place of beauty. the high cost of batteries and the complications involved in setting them up to power homes and businesses has made the solar battery concept uneconomical in all but the most extreme cases -- or, for the most wealthy of individuals.

But in some markets, factors including falling solar panel prices, increasing grid power prices and policies and incentives that boost solar installations are starting to shift that equation in favor of energy storage for solar. In particular, Germany -- the world's biggest distributed solar PV market -- may be primed for a wholesale shift to battery-backed solar on a large scale.

That's the view of German solar analysts, experts and entrepreneurs at last week's Intersolar conference in San Francisco, which dedicated a morning panel session to the convergence of solar power and energy storage. Despite the very real cost and integration challenges involved, "We think battery storage and photovoltaics are a perfect fit, especially if you look at residential and commercial applications," Intersolar CEO Markus Elsaesser said.

In fact, prior to Germany's feed-in tariff regime, almost all solar PV in the country was off-grid,Welcome to www.soli-lite.com Web. If you love it, please buy it! according to Dr. Matthias Vetter of the Fraunhofer Institute. That required pretty much every solar installation to have some storage to provide power when the sun wasn't shining, and those additional costs served as a bottleneck for the sizing and scope of off-grid deployments, he said.

With the emergence of feed-in tariffs in the early part of the previous decade, that situation reversed itself, as Germans were able to sell their solar power back to their utility at guaranteed high prices that exceeded the retail electricity prices they were paying by a significant margin, he said.

But as the country's feed-in tariffs have slowly gone down in value and the country's electricity prices have continued to climb, that situation has reversed itself yet again, making the storage option more attractive, he said. Once the price you're getting for solar via FIT is less than the price you're paying for electricity, it makes sense to use as much of it as possible at home -- or, if the price is right, to store it up for use later.

As Hoehner put it,Finding China High Quality solar bulb for outdoor applications such as your patio, yard or porch can be a challenge. while the solar industry in the era of high feed-in tariffs was "all about making money," the new era of falling feed-in tariffs and falling solar panel prices has shifted the emphasis -- "It's all about saving money," he said.

Greentech Media has been covering the growth of solar-storage combinations being marketed in Europe by such vendors as SolarWorld, Samsung, BYD, aleo solar, centrosolar, Bosch/voltwerk and Kyocera, to name a few. As we've noted, these vendors are hard-pressed to differentiate their products from the ultra-low-price competition from China, and storage can be one way to do that.

The privately funded German startup, founded in 2008, has built a software platform to integrate solar panels, lithium-ion batteries and home energy management systems into a working whole, successfully tested it in 2010, and has so far installed about 1,300 such systems in German homes, he said.

These systems range in price from about 10,000 euros ($13,000) for a 4.5-kilowatt-hour storage system to about 16,000 euros ($21,000) for a 10-kilowatt-hour system, he said. That sounds pretty expensive, but with an average reduction of about 75 percent in owners' utility bills, it's actually cost-effective, he said -- particularly when it's replacing grid power that can cost about 30 euro-cents (40 cents) per kilowatt-hour, he noted.

Renewable energy firm

18. července 2013 v 5:43 solar power systems
An international renewable energy firm hopes to break ground on a multimillion-dollar manufacturing plant by the end of the year in the Adams Industrial Park in order to keep up with a large number of orders, a company official said.

The 500,000-square-foot facility initially would create about 100 to 150 jobs during the first phase of construction and would include manufacturing, assembly,As well we have fabrics and textures available for our led products list, table lamps, pendant lighting and wall sconces. engineering, business development and sales positions, said Felicia Whiting, executive vice president of business development and projects for Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions.

"We have the initial facility going up this year,Creating a Nigeria solar power systems out of broken re-used solar cell pieces. because we have orders to fill," Whiting said. "Next year, we'll do Phase 1, which includes the office, the boutique hotel and the assembly facility. Then all going well, depending on orders, we can complete the facility in the third year."

About 75 people turned out Monday evening for an informational meeting at Adams City Hall to hear more about the company's plans for the facility that leaders say would include manufacturing space, offices for its North American headquarters and hotel space for out-of-town company leaders and visitors.

The plant will produce various renewable energy technologies, such as solar-wind streetlights, floating solar panels and special electrodes that have the ability to treat wastewater without chemicals, Whiting said.

"It's all sustainable technology, it's all nonpolluting, and it's all environmentally sound," she said.

For city leaders, the project comes as welcome news to an area that has been economically depressed for quite some time, Mayor JanAlyn Baumgartner said.

"It's not just a facility coming into the business park," Baumgartner said. "I think economically, it's just going to be huge to the area, because it's going to bring people into the area to see what we've done and to know that if we can do this, if we can make this happen in Adams - a very depressed part of the state - they can, too."

As part of $2.9 million in previously planned city upgrades to its wastewater treatment plant - a necessary project in order to comply with new state phosphorus discharge regulations - the company also will install special anodes that treat the water without chemicals, City Administrator Robert Ellisor said.

Of the $870,000 required for the first part of the project, the city will borrow $485,000 through financing with the Adams County Rural Industrial Development Commission and the Adams Columbia Electric Cooperative and $370,000 from the city's cash on hand until it can secure bonding through various local lenders, Ellisor said. The remaining $15,000 would come from available city funds.More information about the program is available on the web site at soli-lite.

The city also will spend roughly $95,000 to buy retrofitted solar-wind modules to power 50 street lights along Main Street, which will save the city energy costs and recoup the original investment in about three years, Ellisor said. Adams also would use the company's solar panels to power municipal buildings.

Meanwhile, company leaders continue to work with the Adams-Friendship Area School District to negotiate a contract to convert the district's buildings to renewable-energy power and to incorporate information about the technology into its curriculum, said Steve LaVallee, the district's newly retired district administrator, who attended Monday's meeting.

Solid phone

17. července 2013 v 8:36 street light
Simplicity seems to be the overriding design theme of the Q5. Granted, even the Z10 wasn't exactly flashy, but the Q5 is perhaps a tad too Plain Jane from a design perspective. It looks much better in red, though.Welcome to www.soli-lite.com Web. If you love it, please buy it! It's all-plastic, but thankfully, feels solid and is actually quite sturdy-a nasty accidental drop didn't leave even a nick.

Shape wise, the Q5 reminded me of the Sony Xperia Tipo, albeit a thinner version and with a QWERTY keyboard, which is not a nice comparison, considering the Tipo is Sony's cheapest offering.

Buttons that double up as volume control and camera buttons in camera mode are on the top right, with a mute button in between that also doubles up as a pause button and for initiating voice control, exactly like on its far more expensive sibling, the Q10.

On the top is the power/lock button (the only piece of chrome on the smartphone, if you leave the BlackBerry logo on the back) and a 3.5 mm audio out. On the left side, towards the top half is the microUSB port. The big deletion is the microHDMI port, for cost reasons I guess.

The back of the Q5 isn't removable, which is a first for BlackBerry as far as I can remember. This leaves a small flap under the microUSB port where you can insert a microSIM and microSD card. The flap may be the only weak link in what seems to be solid build quality.

If it accidentally opens and gets caught in a battle with something in your pocket or purse, it doesn't look like it can hold its own for too long. I would have much preferred the tray system that's available on other smartphones with non-removable batteries.

There's a 5 megapixel 1080p HD camera with an LED at the back and a 2 megapixel 720p HD front camera. An LED indicator is at the top of the front display next to the 2 megapixel camera.

There's no grip at the back thanks to the smooth plastic back with a slightly raised BlackBerry logo in chrome, but thanks to its shape it fit in well in my hand and I had no issues with the Q5 slipping out. It's light too, at 120 gms, and with dimensions pretty much like that of the Q10, 4.72-inches tall, 2.59-inches wide and 0.42-inches deep.

Clearly, the Q5 is aimed at those who want a keyboard and a cheaper option than the other BlackBerry keyboard warrior, the Q10. But just like the keyboards on the Bold series were far superior to those on the Curve series, the difference between the Q5 and Q10 keyboard is like chalk and cheese. While the Q10 is silent and gentler to the touch, the Q5 is audible and not-so-soft.

But make no mistake,As well we have fabrics and textures available for our led products list, table lamps, pendant lighting and wall sconces. it's still superior to the keyboards being dished out by the few other manufacturers who still make smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards. But like on the Q10, if you are a BlackBerry user, you'll notice the traditional BlackBerry touchpad and navigation keys are missing and the only navigation possible is through screen gestures, something you'll take a few hours if not days to get used to. But once you do, you'll realise why BlackBerry 10's gestures are far better than the older trackpad navigation.

A simple swipe upwards from the BlackBerry logo just above the keyboard gives you a 'Peek' from any application. Peek allows you to see why the front LED light is blinking without closing the application. If it's important enough (say, a work e-mail), then you swipe right into the Hub. You can define what goes into the BlackBerry Hub-easily the best iteration of a communications centre in any smartphone OS today.

Swipe right and you come to the live application grid where up to eight applications can be open at any time, though the apps open start closing automatically, with oldest app open closing first,Creating a Nigeria solar power systems out of broken re-used solar cell pieces. once you open newer apps.

Swipe even further right and you come to the application deck where icons are laid out in an easy-to-read grid, and on a screen this small, perhaps a bit too easy to read. I would have preferred smaller icons. A 'long press' option allows you to remove or move apps around with a 'drag on top' option to create folders. However, you have to arrange icons manually in case you want to place frequently used icons on the first grid screen.

Renault Megane

17. července 2013 v 8:35 solar photovoltaic system
A revised Renault Megane range has launched locally, headlined by the addition of a 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a sporty GT-Line grade, and a wagon bodystyle.

The $20,990 Megane Expression replaces the previous Dynamique as the entry point to the range. Although $2000 less expensive, gone from the equipment list are front fog lights and keyless auto entry, while 16-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers replace the previous alloys. Six airbags, stability control, cruise control and electrically-foldable door mirrors remain standard.

The carry-over 103kW 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder engine now mates exclusively with the $2000-optional automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), the standard six-speed manual version having been replaced by a new 1.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the Clio and Captur.

Full specifications for that engine are yet to be finalised - the entry-level manual is still a few weeks from going on sale - but in those other Renault models the engine produces 88kW at 4900rpm, and 190Nm at 2000rpm. As well we have fabrics and textures available for our led products list, table lamps, pendant lighting and wall sconces. Curiously, however, the engine is available only with a dual-clutch auto in Clio and Captur, yet for the time being is manual-exclusive in the Megane. Renault Australia says it expects to add a dual-clutch automatic to the range next year.

A new sports-style mid-range model, the Megane GT-Line, starts at $26,490 for the 2.0-litre automatic or $28,990 for the 81kW 1.5-litre diesel and six-speed dual-clutch auto. Renault says demand for manuals in mid-level models is low, according to its research, so opted for an auto-only line-up above the base grade.Creating a Nigeria solar power systems out of broken re-used solar cell pieces.

Extra standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, sports seats from the Megane RS, satellite navigation, keyless auto entry, leather steering wheel and gearknob, rear parking sensors, electric parking brake, LED daytime running lights and auto headlights and wipers.

In addition to sports styling tweaks and badging, the GT-Line also gets a sports chassis, a roll centre reduced by 30mm, and centre of gravity lowered by 112mm. Renault Sport retuned the springs and dampers, with calibration derived from the Megane RS 265 Sport chassis that isn't currently offered in Australia.

A $3500 Premium Pack is available on GT-Line, adding grey leather trim, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a rear armrest with cupholders, front parking sensors, rear camera, and 'Visio' - Renault's auto-dip headlight and lane departure warning system.

The carry-over Megane Privilege is also available for the same $29,990 (petrol) or $32,490 (diesel) as the GT-Line Premium. It gets the same equipment, but with black leather seats, an electrically adjustable driver's seat, rear-seat air vents, the standard chassis and luxury-oriented styling.

Renault has also introduced the Megane wagon line-up, starting at $26,490 for the entry level Dynamique 2.0-litre petrol auto. Compared with the entry hatchback,Welcome to www.soli-lite.com Web. If you love it, please buy it! the Expression, the wagon-backed Dynamique gets 16-inch alloys, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, auto headlights and wipers, and a leather steering wheel and gearknob.

The Megane wagon is also available in GT-Line, GT-Line Premium and Privilege specification, in petrol or diesel, for $1500 over the respective hatchback price.

Added as a limited edition flagship is the Renault Megane GT220 sport wagon for $36,990, or $41,990 for the Premium Pack. It includes a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, detuned from the Megane RS hot hatch to 162kW and 340Nm, in addition to 18-inch alloys, RS Monitor and RS-tuned Sport chassis.

Charred forest covers hillside

17. července 2013 v 8:33 solar power systems
BC's Wildfire Management Branch is calling Sunday's fire person-caused. On Tuesday, Fire Information Officer Kayla Pepper said the investigation into the wildfire at Ellison Provincial Park is continuing, but an exact cause is not yet known.

"There are 10 fire fighters heading out to patrol the site today to check for hot spots.The unique elegance of modern floor lamps and High Quality indoor solar lighting could certainly transform your home into a place of beauty. We haven't seen any increase in fire behaviour," said Pepper.

She credits the quick response of Vernon Fire Department, local wildfire crews, and air tanker support with getting the blaze under control so quickly.

"We started receiving reports just after 4:30 p.m. There was an initial attack crew onsite quickly, and the Vernon Fire Department was already there dealing with the evacuation," she said.

Tankers were able to safely action the fire as soon as campers were out of harm's way.

"We had two air tanker groups from Penticton and Kamloops as well as two heli-tankers. A 20-person unit crew also attended and worked the fire through the night." The final size of the wildfire is estimated at 2.2 hectares.

Vernon's wildfire Incident Commander, Steve Olson, expects to demobilize fire crews in the next day or so, depending on how Tuesday's mop-up progresses.

Investigators have already been onsite to collect evidence for fire cause analysis.

"We have members from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, the compliance and enforcement officers, who came in from the Vernon District Office to investigate yesterday," said Olson.

Olson says it will be several days, possibly weeks, before we hear the results of the investigation.

The Sustainable Environment Network Society (SENS), formerly known as the North Okanagan Waste Stewardship Society,Finding China High Quality solar bulb for outdoor applications such as your patio, yard or porch can be a challenge. addressed city council on Monday afternoon in hopes of convincing them to adopt some of the Greenest City Action Plan developed by the City of Vancouver.

SENS' Director Terry Dyck says the plan has the potential to create jobs and reduce greenhouse gases, resulting in cleaner air and healthier people. "There are 75 quick start ideas that can be used immediately," says Dyck.

The quick start ideas include such things as creation of a green economic development strategy, requiring green building retrofits, pilot projects for green jobs and green energy use, things like LED street lights, safer cycling and pedestrian transportation, city-wide composting, and various forms of waste reduction.

Dyck says that Vancouver's green economy is growing more than twice as fast as traditional sectors, with an 18 per cent increase in employment and 28,000 green jobs expected by 2020.

New jobs are being created in both the private and public sector, he says, including positions in alternative energy, green technology, construction resulting from building upgrades,Soli-lite Solar-LED lighting Co., Ltd is the professional manufacturer specializing in all kinds of solar powered LED lighting products. and training for companies who want to reduce costs by going zero waste.

"Vancouver has proven that a city can grow and prosper and still become a green capital. We would like to propose that the City of Vernon incorporate some of the same ideas," says Dyck.

Mayor Rob Sawatsky says he thinks it's an interesting idea but he's not sure how applicable it will be for Vernon.

"We'll discuss his presentation at the next meeting and decide where to go from there. We would need to have a lot more information for anything to move forward," said Sawatsky.

The best example of Vancouver's plan in action, Dyck says, is their use of low or zero emission vehicles as well as electric bicycles for municipal business.

"Vancouver uses 18 pure electric vehicles plus 37 hybrid electric vehicles and 13 electric bicycles. There are 17 new charging stations for electric vehicles," he said

Lighting lends shape and beauty

15. července 2013 v 4:54 solar power systems
The night can be dark and dull unless, of course, you've got some adorable dragonfly lights to string about.

Over the past few years, indoor decor has made its way outdoors with more people designing and furnishing their yards as they would a living room or bedroom. Because of this, lighting is becoming a key component in defining outdoor living spaces, says Pottery Barn spokesperson Kendra Stewart. "I think people are using outdoor lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere beyond just wanting to illuminate a space so you can see at night," she says.

Lori McLean, store manager for an Edmonton Canadian Tire store, says many different lighting products are flying off the shelves this season. Canadian Tire carries more than 25 different lighting options ranging from tiki torches and lanterns to solar lights and dragonfly string lights, all of which can be used to add a bit of sparkle to warm evenings spent sitting around the fire.

"They want their outdoors to look better than their inside," McLean says. "People are really looking for things that nobody else has."

McLean says customers are looking for lighting that does double duty as a decorative piece and a functional source of light.

Solar lamps are another option. They come in many styles, featuring either coloured or white LED light, and can be used along walkways or in gardens. Some are even designed to look like doggie lawn ornaments. Stewart says lanterns are a great lighting and decor item, too. Pottery Barn carries the Malta Lantern, a chic streamlined design for a modern space, as well as the Park Hill Lantern that echoes the worn look of European street lamps.

The continued apathy of local body members to KSEB's offer for setting up metered street lights has forced the board to keep extending the deadline.

The poor response is intriguing as local bodies themselves had been complaining that street lights within their jurisdiction were being billed without proper metering.

It was over a year ago in May 2012 that the board offered to bear 50 per cent of the cost for installing automatic switch on/off timer control mechanism if local bodies availed of the scheme within six months. The cost for automatic metering was pegged at Rs 10,600 per unit, half of which the board promised to bear.

There was virtually no response. Not to be discouraged, the board extended the deadline up to March 31 this year but interest did not pick up. Now it has set a new deadline of December 31.

Presently, though it is the councillor who approves the installation of a street light, it is the corporation or panchayat that has to foot the bill. "Metering has been recommended to check indiscriminate installation of street lights," a top corporation official said.

Under the new metered system, the cost for installing a street light will be deducted from the development fund of the councillor who recommends the installation. "This will take away a councillor's unbridled right to set up street lights. This could also be why there is no interest among councillors," a top KSEB source said.

A light unto students in Africa

12. července 2013 v 7:45 street light
When Ben Hirschfeld first heard that students in developing African countries lacked electricity and must endure noxious fumes from smoky kerosene lamps while reading and doing their schoolwork, the teenager from Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., knew he had to find a way to help.

Over the last four years - with guidance from his neighbor and fellow Woodlands Community Temple member Pam Allyn, who also heads the New York-based literacy organization LitWorld - Hirschfeld, 19, has raised enough money to replace the dangerous kerosene lamps with cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar lanterns for more than 11,300 Kenyan students and their families.

A recent recipient of a Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Award, Hirschfeld, a rising sophomore at Columbia University, says he plans to use his $36,000 prize to expand his "Lit! Solar Lantern Project" and provide solar lanterns to more than 15,000 additional students and their families in Kenya as well as Guinea and Nigeria.

With the funds

, Hirschfeld says, his goal is "trying to be as high impact as possible."

JTA recently caught up with him to talk about his service project, the importance of tikkun olam and his future plans.

Who or what are the biggest influences in your life?
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I would say my community and my family. From them I've learned what to be proud of and what to strive for.

What have been some of the most meaningful Jewish experiences in your life?

I grew up in a very Jewish environment. There was always an emphasis on tikkun olam at my temple and at home. I studied at the Technion [in Israel] and I was part of Hazamir, a Jewish choral group.

How has your Jewish identity had an impact on your service project?

After the first distribution of lanterns, I remember waking up that morning and seeing the feedback and I said right there, "Now I really feel like a bar mitzvah. " I really connected then to the Jewish value of tikkun olam and feeling like a responsible man.

If you could have lunch with anyone and tell him or her about your service project, who would it be?

Bill Clinton. I'm really interested and inspired by the work of the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative, specifically their work on HIV and finding market-based solutions to combat the disease.

What do you think you want to be doing when "you grow up" or think you'd like to be doing professionally in perhaps five or 10 years?

I'd love to be doing something that allows me to still be helping people and making a difference. Whether it's through a for-profit or a non-profit or a combination of the two, working in developing economies is an area that is exciting for me to explore and a place where you can make the most difference, especially in health and literacy.

What kind of things do you like to do for fun?

I love spending time with my friends outdoors - barbecuing, building fires, hiking. I also play guitar and I'm in an a cappella group at college.

Big Cadmium Telluride Solar Modules From RSI

11. července 2013 v 7:55 solar charger
RSI is building a VC-funded thin-film solar module manufacturing company in a different way. It's a "virtual turnkey" solar factory, according to the startup's CEO, Ed Grady.

Certainly, the "invest in a hyped 500-megawatt solar module factory before the manufacturing process has been proven out and scrubbed of cost" method has not worked very well in the past.

Instead, the twenty-employee RSI is going after a licensing, franchising, and equipment sales model.

Today, when it comes to volume shipments of CdTe thin-film solar modules, there's First Solar, and then, well, there's not really anyone else. First Solar gives a 2013 revenue guidance of $3.8 billion to $4.0 billion on shipments between 1.6 gigawatts and 1.8 gigawatts. Its "lead line" was producing modules with 13.1 percent efficiency during the fourth quarter at a cost of less than $0.70 per watt.

RSI employs an electroplating process that works at a lower temperature than First Solar's and allows the use of larger glass sizes.

Grady looks to reach parity with First Solar efficiency numbers "with the extra lever that we can go very large in manufacturing." He equated the gains in larger glass sizes with the gains in larger wafer sizes in semiconductors -- moving from 4-inch to 6-inch to 8-inch wafers lowers capex, improves scaling, and better utilizes materials.

RSI contends that a higher-temperature process (like say, for example, First Solar's) does not allow for larger glass sizes because of glass warpage and its impact on processing and yield.

Larger sizes, in the CEO's viewpoint, drive down installed costs

. RSI just announced its 1.5-square-meter CdTe panel, which is much larger than conventional 0.72-square-meter panels.

RSI targets $0.40 per watt for its modules. The company has a 12 percent efficiency goal for this year and targets 13 percent to 14 percent for its large module in 2014.

Dr. Kurt Weiner, co-founder and CTO of RSI, said that the company chose CdTe because of its proven manufacturability. He contended that efforts to improve record cell efficiency in CdTe had been minimal until recent work by First Solar and GE, which have pushed the value to 18.7 percent, an increase of 2 percent in the past year.

Weiner noted that CIGS is not repairable, while there is a gap-fill process in CdTe. This is another reason why CdTe might scale better than other thin films. Electroplating's low temperature allows the use of a wider selection of transparent conductive oxides and other materials, according to the company's CTO.

"The roadmap for CdTe is to go thin," said the co-founder. "You need smooth, uniform films. Electroplating gets us to thinner thin films -- and the grain structure is smaller than with high-temperature deposition films." Smoother interfaces make for better device performance, he added.

But the business plan is based on the core IP and the design of the tools. RSI will license the technology, retain a royalty on every module sold, and sell the CdS and CdTe deposition equipment. The other tools (e.g., furnaces, laser scribes, laminators, etc.) are off-the-shelf. That's the "virtual turnkey" solar system factory.

Grady said that the company is in active negotiations with licensees in various global regions. RSI sees its customers in diverse regions where there is not a lot of technology. He said, "You need operational expertise and a market -- not cadmium telluride expertise."

Grady and Paul Fox, VP of Corporate Development, envisioned the licensee as a vertically integrated developer that wanted to take on First Solar head-on with manufacturing and solar farm EPC.

Victoria's energy savings test

10. července 2013 v 5:21 street light
There is a strong suggestion that the underlying agenda is to justify the scrapping of what otherwise has been a successful scheme. The questions posed in the issues paper are clearly canvassing the options of abolition or a phase out of the scheme.

However, legislation was recently passed to expand the ESI scheme to include street lighting upgrades. This was to compensate local government for the broken promise to provide $20 million through the Green Light Plan to accelerate the replacement of old, inefficient street lights with more efficient bulbs.

The Green Light Plan was scrapped in the 2012 Victorian budget despite a very positive review conducted only months earlier. If the ESI scheme is now itself ditched, the Green Light Plan will have the unusual distinction of having been scrapped twice.

Previous modelling undertaken by government in 2011 suggested that there would be downward pressure on overall energy prices due to cost reductions and energy savings achieved through the ESI, such as reduced energy generation costs.

Data provided by the ESC suggests that most of the certificate creation has been in relation to standby power controllers, lighting and water heating with small contributions from low flow shower rose installations and space heating improvements.

The principal criticism of the ESI has been the large role played by standby energy controllers and, in particular, the use of door-to-door distributors dispensing these free to householders. Relying on backpackers and poorly trained staff raises concern that the estimated benefits in reducing standby power will not be achieved if householders don't use the devices properly.

Limited surveys suggest this is an issue, although the majority of standby controllers are being used as intended. The reliance on door-to-door distributors and the further distribution of stand by devices could reasonably be wound back as part of the review. These problems should not be used as a pretext for abolition.

Coalition state governments have systematically scrapped or downgraded climate change and energy efficiency programs they have inherited - frequently using the excuse that these "complementary measures" are now duplicating the impact of the carbon price.

However, carbon pricing cannot succeed if it is the sole strategy to save energy and reduce greenhouse emissions. The benefit of targeted complementary programs is they provide market mechanisms to redistribute benefits to give incentives to those in a position to take effective action.

These cutbacks by Coalition states highlight a contradiction with the federal Coalition Direct Action policy which is dependent on achieving its goal of a 5 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by targeted programs to reduce energy use. Most of the targeted programs are in areas of state responsibility.

The strong climate sceptic faction within the Coalition perceives all forms of government intervention on energy efficiency as wasteful and unnecessary and a driving force for price increases.

This ignores the undoubted relationship between economic efficiency and energy efficiency for business and more directly for householders, the potential for energy savings to reduce cost of living pressures.

Domestic consumers and small business get only an indirect incentive from the carbon price. The impact of the current modest level of carbon pricing is dwarfed by the price rises in recent years due to other cost pressures on electricity retailers and distributors.Read the full story at www.solaronlamp.com web.

A Model for Public-Private Renewables Partnerships?

9. července 2013 v 7:40 solar photovoltaic system
Connecticut's Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) -- the state's Green Bank, and the first of its kind in the country -- has established a new solar financing system in a bid to expand capacity in the state. CT Solar Lease II seeks to avoid some of the most frequently cited criticisms of renewable energy finance, in that it uses less and recovers more taxpayers' funds, as well as fosters market competition.

CT Solar Lease II is a public-private leasing option for the installation of solar thermal and photovoltaic capacity at residences and businesses. CEFIA, along with US Bancorp and a group of local and regional banks will invest around $60 million in aggregate in solar PV and solar thermal hot water systems. The state expects the program to support 1,500 residential solar PV systems, 400 residential solar thermal hot water systems, and 40 commercial solar systems over two years, ultimately deploying an additional 14 megawatts of solar PV and 4,600 million Btu of solar hot water systems.

Under the arrangement, the state will invest $9.5 million in solar deployment, with private investment totaling $50 million. Program participants include a syndicate of debt providers, a renewable tax equity partner, and insurance and service companies. AFC First will service and manage the program, and insurance firm Assurant will provide property, casualty and liability insurance for solar PV.

"Assurant is going to provide one-call issue resolution for the residential solar PV systems," said Bert Hunter, CEFIA Chief Investment Officer. "The Assurant package has never been done before," he continued, adding, "It will provide homeowners with a worry-free solution for solar."

Solar thermal systems will be handled by a company called Alternate Energy Technologies, which will provide equipment and fifteen-year parts and labor warranties, essentially offering the same level of care to those systems that Assurant offers for solar PV, Hunter said.

CEFIA is touting several additional aspects of its new leasing option that offer improvements over traditional solar financing options, such as lower costs to taxpayers and customers and a system that fosters competition among installers, rather than giving some an advantage over others.

CT Solar Lease II eliminates upfront solar PV leasing costs, and will reduce energy bills from the outset, with customers' energy bill savings outweighing lease payments, according to CEFIA. And it avoids "picking winners" or "subsidizing favored technologies or companies through traditional grants," in that both residential and commercial customers will have the option to choose from a wider range of installers than just those that manage to raise capital and tax equity, said CEFIA in a statement.

This system will also enable CEFIA to recover most, if not all, of state subsidies paid out to support solar leases.

"With any leasing company, […] they get a performance-based incentive on the residential systems paid over six years," Hunter said. "Since this is a twenty-year-horizon leasing product, the cash flows over the twenty years actually pay back to the ratepayer the funds that have been invested, as well as the performance-based incentive."

"Everyone is making a lease payment, those lease payments are collected by the leasing company, and that goes to pay off the banks' funds and required returns," Hunter said. "The balance then goes to the CEFIA special-purpose vehicle that is in partnership with the leasing company, so CEFIA derives financial returns, as well." More information about the program is available on the web site at www.solaronlamp.com.

Light poles on Ann Arbor's iconic Main Street rusting

8. července 2013 v 7:45 solar power systems
Ann Arbor officials say replacing the decorative streetlights on Main Street isn't about aesthetics or another downtown beautification project - it's an urgent need.

The light poles are rotting from the inside out, and internal rusting already caused two them to topple from storm winds last year. Two others were deemed in immediate risk of falling and were replaced.

Now the city is preparing to spend roughly half a million dollars to replace all of the Main Street light poles from William to Huron streets - 81 of them, to be exact.

"Replacing the poles is urgent," said Mayor John Hieftje. "From what staff has told me, if we were to have a good wind storm, we could see several of the poles come down."

Hieftje said his biggest fear is one of the light poles could fall and injure someone, and that's not something anyone wants to see happen.

"Main Street is kind of an iconic spot in our town," Hieftje said. "And to have the light poles falling over in one of the areas of our city that people identify with, that sounds like a disaster to me."

The estimated $516,000 cost to replace the streetlights on Main Street includes new decorative poles with banner brackets and LED light fixtures - including two poles that will be taller to accommodate banners being strung across Main Street for special events.
solar led light
The Downtown Development Authority's governing board voted last week to appropriate $300,000, leaving another $216,000 for the Council Council to approve.

DDA officials said the decorative streetlights - including some with multiple LED globes - have become an important symbol of the Main Street commercial area.

DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay said she believes they were installed sometime in the early 1980s, one of the first installations of pedestrian-scale lighting in the DDA's history.

"It's hard to see it on the outside, but on the inside they are deteriorating - rusting. Water has gotten in," Pollay explained. "And so city staff have been trying to figure out a way to get them replaced as part of the city budget process. It was resolved the DDA was to assign $300,000 to this project."

The $300,000 from the DDA is coming from property taxes paid by downtown property owners that go to the DDA. The DDA nets about 17 percent of property taxes from downtown properties.

The project will include replacing the globe fixtures with new LED lights. Craig Hupy, the city's public services administrator, said though the LED lights on Main Street are newer, it makes sense to replace them at the same time as the light pole replacement.

"The LEDs that are there are nearly first generation with a life expectancy of about 8-10 years," Hupy said. "Current technology is for LEDs that last up to 20 years."

Hupy said there is a major expense in taking out the LED "guts" and putting them back in a new globe, only to repeat the process in about five years. That's why he believes it makes sense to put the new LEDs in now and not worry about revisiting them for potentially 20 years.

City staff discovered the poles were corroding under the decorative bases last year after two of them fell. Hupy said most of the others still standing are in a deteriorated state.

Pollay said the replacement of the rusted-out streetlights is expected to start in September and finish by the end of the year. The effort is being coordinated with the Main Street Area Association, taking into consideration holiday lighting plug-ins and banners that hang from the poles. More information about the program is available on the web site at www.solaronlamp.com.

Red light for solar power along Elegant Corridor

5. července 2013 v 5:59 street light
"The discussion has been between LED lights and solar. We put it to the technical persons, the (National) Works Agency, and the persons at the technical level. I personally prefer the concept of solar street lighting, but … given all the considerations, this was the recommendation that they made," McNeill said.

The minister, who was responding to a question posed on the issue during yesterday's Jamaica House briefing, said, "It was something that went through a great technical discussion."

McNeill announced on Tuesday that $400 million was being taken out of the Tourism Enhancement Fund for the project, which involves 27 kilometres of roadway along the north coast highway, which extends from the roundabout at the Sangster International Airport going east to Lilliput.

"The project's design is completed and ready to go to tender. LED lighting, powered directly from the national electric grid, will be used," McNeill said.

The Gleaner understands that the lighting on the Elegant Corridor utilises a similar configuration to that used on the Bogue Road in St James and the Washington Boulevard in St Andrew.

Studies have suggested that the use of LED bulbs results in approximately 50 per cent savings when compared with high-pressure sodium lights.

A government source said Mr Albanese would announce the $5.1 million Lighting the Regions project, which will upgrade 23,000 lights over half of regional Victoria to more energy-efficient technologies.
street light
The government predicts this will reduce energy consumption by six gigawatt hours per year and save regional communities $40 million over 20 years in energy costs.

"Australians are accustomed to replacing lights in their homes with energy efficient bulbs to save money and help the environment but in their local streets and parks, they see thousands of old and inefficient street lights switched on," the source said.

"Lighting the Regions is about local governments tackling this challenge head on and combining resources to cut energy costs."

Mr Albanese, elected to the role of deputy prime minister last week, will take over the role of prime minister while Kevin Rudd is in China.

The minister for regional development and local government, and infrastructure and transport, will present trophies at the Bendigo Tennis Association before holding a round table discussion with Bendigo NBN rollout support group.

He will then talk at a Labor fund-raiser at Bendigo TAFE's Restaurant 18Eightyseven about Labor's vision for regional Australia and local government Constitutional recognition.

In its 2011 election manifesto, the People's National Party (PNP), of which McNeill is a senior member, said it would be replacing the country's street lights with solar-powered lamps.

The party said that as part of a move toward energy efficiency on the island, it would lead a national public-education campaign in relation to the reduction of the use of electrical energy.

According to the PNP, two principal measures in achieving this outcome would be "the switching over of its 90,000 street lamps to solar photovoltaic lights with the immediate effect of lowering its electricity bill" and "mandating the increased use of renewable sources of energy and the increased use of energy-efficient equipment and processes in government agencies and departments".

Welsh shed with boat for a roof wins the award

4. července 2013 v 7:51 solar charger
An eye-catching wooden retreat with a rowing boat for a roof has won the coveted the Shed of the Year title.

At 750ft above sea level in the Cambrian Mountains, near Machynlleth, the shed is made entirely from recycled materials, but it's not easy to get to! The owner of the shed, Alex Holland, had to enlist the help of three local farmers to help him drag the boat, used as a roof, up the mountain to complete his dream retreat.

Crammed full of unexpected luxuries and unique features the rustic shack beat 1,900 rivals across the UK, and is the second ever Welsh winner of the prize. But oddly enough, both Welsh sheds to win the award have had English owners.

"It's one of the nicest locations for a shed ever, with panoramic views of the mountains. [Alex] sits in there with the door open drinking a large G&T and looks at the mountains and the clouds. What a perfect life."

Wilcox, who lives near Pontypridd and is nicknamed 'Uncle Wilco' in the shed world, says it's great to have a Welsh winner.

"It might be an English owner, but it's a Welsh shed, and it's good to have a Welsh shed as a winner. When I first saw the boat shed I thought it was great, and yesterday I was driving through the mountains nearly in the clouds just to get to the shed."

Interior light in the shed comes courtesy of a 20-watt solar panel which powers the LED lighting, but Alex, who played a DJ set at Glastonbury this year, has plans to source a second-hand wind turbine so that he can generate enough power to host parties.

Other luxuries include a wood burner, 12v sound system, a gas cooker and even a fridge to chill drinks.

Jubilant sheddie Alex Holland, from Machynlleth, spoke today of his delight at winning the annual competition sponsored by Cuprinol.

He already has plans to boost the electricity powering his shed by buying a wind turbine with his 1,000 prize money. "I am absolutely delighted to have won the 2013 Shed of the Year competition," he said.

"The standard and creativity shown by the other entrants has been incredible so I am genuinely surprised to have reached the top spot.

"With the 1,000 prize from the sponsors Cuprinol I intend to buy a second hand 400w 12v wind turbine to augment the solar panel to give me enough electricity to make ice in the fridge for gin and tonics, and to ensure the cider and beers are always chilled.

"I'll then be able to have a proper party to celebrate with those who have supported me in getting so far."

The winner was picked by a panel of high-profile judges which included Channel 4 property presenter Sarah Beeny, British designer, writer and television presenter Kevin McCloud, Shed of the Year founder Uncle Wilco and last year's winner John Plumridge.

Entries included a wild flower rooftop, an industrial Nissen-style hut with a vintage interior and one with a smiley face optical illusion.

Low-energy usage makes new 'blue lights' special

3. července 2013 v 7:36 solar photovoltaic system
On this campus boasting of red, you'll see a slew of new blue lights that green the environment.

To further promote energy conservation, Cornell has been switching all of its approximately 120 campus-safety "blue lights" this summer from energy-hogging incandescent to a light-emitting diode (LED) technology, which sips power at one-tenth the rate.

With incandescent technology - as ancient as inventor Thomas Edison - the metal halide bulbs enjoyed a typical lifespan of two years at best, and the bulb usually dimmed significantly the second year. LED technology is brighter and can be seen in daylight. In addition the new lights are easier to maintain and have a 100,000-hour lifespan.

"The new fixtures are expected to last over 10 years before needing maintenance, and the light level will be nearly 'new' the whole time," said Lanny Joyce, director of energy management in Facilities Services. "Being that these light fixtures provide a beacon to safety phones directly connected to Cornell Police for any campus emergency, the added visibility and reliability the LED provides - along with the huge reduction in electricity usage - are quite amazing.

Mark Howe, senior energy engineer, says the payback in energy costs is less than three years. The old 150-watt bulbs used 1,300 kilowatt hours each annually, at a cost of $100 per bulb per year. Systemwide, it cost the university about $12,500 in electricity. The new 15-watt LEDs have reduced energy usage by 90 percent, and now the energy cost will be $1,200 a year. Beyond energy savings, these blue lights get green in other ways, since they are mercury- and ultraviolet-free, and Restriction of Hazardous Substances compliant.

Campus blue lights indicate a special telephone directly connected to the Cornell Police. Find a blue light, and you'll find a phone. If you are lost, having car problems, want to report a suspicious incident or a medical emergency, or for any other kind of assistance, lift the receiver or push the button.

The team working on the project includes: electric shop superintendent Jim O'Brien; assistant superintendent Heather Mulks; foreperson Nate Deeley; electricians Dave Pawelczyk and Jon Ryan; project engineer Brian Watson; Howe and Joyce.

A new project is beginning in Bristol this month which will allow people to converse with objects throughout the city via text message, reports The Guardian. The project encourages visitors and visitors to communicate with objects such as lamp posts by using repair numbers found on the objects as SMS codes.

Once they wake up the object, it will then ask a series of questions via text messaging and then the next person to sign in with the object will learn about previous replies, creating a conversation.

The project has refuelled the idea of an intelligent home, in which separate objects fitted with the relevant sensors can be formed into useful information networks. This could mean that switching on a bedside lamp in the morning would trigger something else to start such as a coffee machine or kettle.

Technology is already becoming increasingly prevalent in the lighting industry, with new intelligent LED light bulbs being linked to smartphones to create optimum lighting via applications or turning on a set times. Click on their website www.solaronlamp.com for more information.

Sustainable Energy Commission Meets

1. července 2013 v 5:08 solar power systems
Chair Kathy Quinn reported there are 116 homes in Newtown that have taken advantage of the Home Energy Savings program, in which homeowners can learn how to save energy and money.

The commission is also looking forward to the ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 11, to celebrate the new street lamp on the Newtown Middle School roof.

The system will generate enough electricity to power 21 homes annually, thereby effectively reducing Newtown's carbon footprint.

In other business, the commission voted to submit an application for Phase Three of the Solarize Connecticut program through the state before the deadline of July 12.

This is a pilot program designed to encourage the adoption of residential solar photovoltaic systems, using a tiered pricing structure that provides increased savings to those who use PV systems.

"We would need to set up a committee… to make a final selection [of an installer]." Ms. Quinn said, based on her experience, the average savings is $7,000 on a basic installation because of bulk purchase.

The more people who participate in the program, including homeowners, the more savings are available to everyone. Ms. Quinn asked commissioners to ask local churches and organizations to help disseminate the information.

The commission will have several opportunities to promote this and other projects at upcoming summer fairs and events.

Ms. Quinn said the Legislative Council heard her presentation on the Energy Service Company project, which will identify potential savings by making energy upgrades in town buildings. Savings would pay for any capital improvements, such as new systems and windows.

The town and district will work with a financing institution, an oversight engineer, and a company to do the audit and installation.

According to Ms. Quinn, the council's reaction was positive and encouraging and she plans to make the same presentation to the Board of Education soon.

She mentioned the support of First Selectman Pat Llodra, noting how Ms. Llodra has heard the presentation three times while sitting as an ex officio member of the council and finance board, in addition to hearing it as a member of the Board of Selectman.

The chair also shared copies of the Municipal Energy Management Plan, asking the other members to generate implementation ideas.

"When we get the other stuff squared away, we'll put one of these together."

She added the commission is already working on some of these tasks mentioned in the plan, but needs to meet all requirements to maintain its status as a Clean Energy Community and eligible for benefits. She said Newtown would also want to measure results.

Before adjourning, Dan Holmes said he must step back from his participation with commission, although he would still like to help on an ad hoc basis.

"I will miss working with you. It seems to me the town is embracing things in the right manner." He encouraged the members to keep pushing the message.

Ms. Quinn credited him with many accomplishments, including the creation of the commission, and said she would keep him in the loop. "You're a source of information. Thank you for your, literally, years of service."

She noted that there are currently two open positions on the Sustainable Energy Commission and anyone interested in participating can contact the first selectman's office for more information.