Solar for Aviation is Taking Off!

January 30, 2016 by

Solar Array for AirportsAs one of the largest public users of energy in the country, airports are facing extremely high operating costs due, in large part, to energy. Energy is often an airport’s second largest operating expense!

At the same time, the Federal Aviation Administration is increasing its emphasis on sustainability with initiatives such as the Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program. VALE is a national program designed to reduce all sources of airport ground emissions. Through VALE, airports are reducing ozone emissions by approximately 478 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing over 26,000 cars and trucks off the road annually.

Solar is an ideal solution for the aviation industry because of its ability to reduce airport energy use, stabilize electricity costs, and improve the bottom line, all while demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.

Take the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport for example. According to an article in Think Progress, they have a $25 million solar project in the works that is expected to produce 3 megawatts of power and generate close to 20 percent of the airport’s total electricity. Airport solar projects like this one are on the rise, helping airports across the country reduce operating costs and air pollution — and generate thousands of aviation industry jobs.

Solar can also help generate non-aeronautical revenue — a solar array can potentially produce more than $100K in annual income for your airport. And a solar car port is an amenity that provides covered parking for airport visitors — enhancing traveler satisfaction — as well as drives extra income to the airport at the same time.

Is Solar For You?

With the cost of solar installations declining, it has become a viable financial solution for airports. Want to know more about the solar energy trend and if it can help your airport? Talk to a solar solutions provider who has experience with development, financing, EPC, asset management, and operations and maintenance. They can help you:

  • Determine if solar is a good fit for your airport and what types of solar programs are available
  • Check and see if you have under-valued assets — such as rooftops and open land — that can use solar to generate revenue
  • Find out if solar energy can reduce and stabilize your electricity costs — with little to no upfront investment

Want to Cut Healthcare Energy Costs Without Sacrificing Patient Care?

January 23, 2016 by

Did you know that healthcare systems spend more than $10 billion a year on energy costs? That’s enough to cover the average salary of more than 100,000 registered nurses.

With rising energy costs straining tight budgets, healthcare facilities are seeking ways to cut costs without compromising quality of patient care.

Check out this infographic to learn more about how healthcare facilities can potentially save money.

Cut Healthcare Energy Costs


Future of Solar Shines Bright in 2016

January 16, 2016 by

Solar Growth in 2016According to a recent article in Forbes, despite Congress extending the 30% solar investment tax credit (ITC), 2016 will still be a stellar year for solar projects in the U.S.

Although the tax credit extension is expected to push about 2 gigawatts (GWs) of solar installations to 2017, 9 to 11 GW in projects are still scheduled to be implemented in 2016. This is an impressive increase from 6 GW in 2014 and almost 7.5 GW in 2015.

And it is only looking up from there! The tax credit extension will actually help fuel the next phase of solar, driving growth into the 2020s.

“In short, the ITC extension is a game-changer and accelerates the timeline for the next stage of solar. We’ll hit nearly 100 gigawatts of cumulative solar by the end of the decade — after starting the decade with less than 2 gigawatts,” said MJ Shiao, GTM Research’s director of Solar Research, in a roundtable discussion following the tax-credit extension.

The Forbes article speculates the increase in solar installations will continue to be driven by the falling price of solar electricity, which GTM predicts will drop below $.04 per kilowatt hour over the next two years — cheaper than gas or coal.

Also, inexpensive utility-scale battery storage and the first plans for new carbon markets, which came out of the Clean Power Plan and Paris Agreement, will also help support solar and wind growth.

Check out the complete Forbes article for more details.

Energy Manager Today Announces Project and Product of the Year Award Winners

December 22, 2015 by

Energy Manager Today AwardsEnergy Manager Today recently announced the winners of its first annual Energy Manager Today Awards for top energy management products and projects. The program recognizes excellence in products and services that provide companies with significant energy management benefits, or in projects implemented by companies that improved energy management and increased the bottom line.

With rapid advancements and a continuous rate of change in the field, energy professionals have a notoriously difficult time knowing what products to choose to help their companies increase energy savings and improve energy performance. The Energy Manager Today Awards give companies a solid base of products, vetted by experts, from which to choose, as well as a variety of projects to illustrate how successful initiatives in energy management are helping companies improve.

Among the Project of the Year Award winners are:

  • ABM — Wright State University, Bundled Energy Solution
  • ABM Government Services — GSA LA ESPC GS-09P-12-KS-C-0023
  • Caterpillar — Thinking Outside AND Inside the Box to Reduce CO2 Emissions
  • Daintree Networks — Universal Music Group, Energy Efficiency Project
  • Saint-Gobain Corporation — Vancouver Impact Mill, Heat Recovery

Product of the Year Awards include:

  • Adobe — Stem Energy Storage
  • Green Charge Networks — Energy Storage Platform
  • GridPoint — GridPoint Energy Manager
  • JLL — IntelliCommand Smart, Building Solutions
  • Lennox International — Energence Ultra Rooftop Units

“The program excited us with the level of variety and innovation we saw in its first year,” says Paul Nastu, publisher of Energy Manager Today parent company Business Sector Media. “Our judges were impressed by both the number of submissions and the caliber of the entries, and they enjoyed seeing the broad spectrum of how energy reductions and savings are being achieved.”

For more about the awards, read the complete Energy Manager Today article. You can also see all the winning projects and products in detail by downloading the Energy Manager Today’s special report.

Irwin County, GA Schools Learn to Reduce Energy Consumption by Almost 35%

December 14, 2015 by

And they’ll save more than $5.7M in energy and operating costs while they’re doing it!

In the past, Irwin County’s three schools have struggled with rising energy costs. Aenergy efficient classrooms big part of this was caused by aging building systems, which included manual thermostats that still used mercury!

“Our power rates had jumped significantly over the last few years, and I knew we had to improve our energy management,” said Dr. Thad Clayton, superintendent of schools for Irwin County’s Board of Education.

The school system decided to make extensive energy and facility improvements to its aging HVAC, lighting, and controls systems through ABM’s Bundled Energy Solutions (BES) program. This financial solution drives cost out of their operating budget, allowing savings to be reallocated to fund mission critical facility needs. Through the program, Irwin County School System was able to upgrade its building systems without the need for cutting programs or increasing taxpayer burden to county residents. The project will generate more than $380,000 in general fund relief annually without any upfront costs.

The improvements are projected to create annual energy savings of 1.98 million kWh, reduce annual propane usage by almost 1,300 gallons, and cut annual potable water usage by over 600,000 gallons. The installation of all LED lighting across the school system alone will save in excess of 500,000 kWh of electricity annually.

This project also enables the school district to provide an HVAC system for the physical education facility of the Irwin County Middle and High School.

For more details, read the press release.