architecture


Wisconsin Energy (abbreviated here as WE abbreviated on the SEC as WEC)  is buying Integrys Distribution Network which includes Chicago. So the 2 big questions this raises is 1) Will this have an effect on Chicago’s electric rates and  renewable goals. and 2) will the WE offer Chicago a new and improved natural gas deal? We shall see. Ameren must be wondering the same sort of things. Below are a short article link and then a longer treatment.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-energy-in-91-bln-deal-2014-06-23-7911444?siteid=bulletrss

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-wisconsin-energy-to-buy-integrys-in-91-billion-deal-20140623,0,3548279.story

Peoples Gas parent Integrys being bought for $5.7 billion

WEC Energy Group the merged company will be headquartered in Milwaukee, with “operating headquarters” in Chicago, Green Bay and Milwauke.

It was just before Christmas that Gale Klappa, chairman and CEO of Wisconsin Energy Corp., asked Charlie Schrock, his counterpart at Chicago-based Integrys Energy Group Inc., out to dinner.Sitting in a restaurant in Chicago, Klappa didn’t mince words with the head of the parent company for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.

“The first thing on my mind that I opened with in my discussion with Charlie is when you look at what the combined company would become in what is clearly a consolidating industry,” he recalled. “Size, scale and the ability to take advantage of the economies of scale is becoming more important.”

On Monday, six months after that dinner, the two CEOS were together again, announcing a $5.7 billion merger agreement that will create an energy company with more than 4.3 million metered electric and gas customers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I find this article troubling because what you are talking about here is the creation of a substance that only exists on the two gas giants in our solar system. That would be CO3 and that would be on Jupiter and Saturn. Now I have to admit that if the liquid were released from that pressure (in a total failure where it burst to the surface) it would probably convert to CO and CO2 those gases are lethal. And the resultant cloud would kill everything in its path.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2014/0527/Can-we-hide-carbon-dioxide-underground-Algeria-site-offers-note-of-caution

 

Can we hide carbon dioxide underground? Algeria site offers note of caution.

Scientists want to capture carbon dioxide underground to slow global warming. But a test in Algeria is showing that the sunk CO2 can do some surprising things.

By Staff writer / May 27, 2014

A facility in Algeria that captured carbon dioxide on an industrial scale – and locked it up deep underground – is yielding this lesson for researchers exploring ways to deal with global warming: Select a site with care, because the unexpected can happen.

A new study that aims to explain why sequestered CO2 was moving surprisingly quickly through rock formations beneath In Salah, a natural-gas extraction site in central Algeria. In Salah hosted the second-largest industrial-scale sequestration demonstration project after Norway’s Statoil, which has been conducting a sequestration demonstration at the Sleipner field in the North Sea since 1996.

The new study of In Salah’s effort identifies the injected CO2 itself as a key culprit. The facility was injecting the unwanted greenhouse gas at a rate that boosted the pressure of the CO2 stored in a sandstone formation more than 6,000 feet below the surface

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Go there and read. More next week.

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While they do not mention residential programs per se, I suppose a homeowner could always ask.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Lower Consumption, Lower Costs

Managing total energy cost over time requires an energy strategy focused on quantity as well as price. Energy conservation measures can go a long way toward lowering consumption and associated costs while achieving sustainability goals and meeting regulatory compliance, like LEED certification.

However, financing for these projects is often an obstacle.

Constellation connects power customers with conservation benefits through Efficiency Made Easy – a unique bundled commodity and energy efficiency solution. Businesses with sustainability goals or mandates can save money and reduce energy consumption by baking in the cost of efficiency projects into a power contract.

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/energy-efficiency.aspx#sthash.4Iqb8ya6.dpuf

Energy Efficiency

Develop Strategies to Save Energy & Improve Reliability

Industries We Serve

Commercial Real Estate

Develop comprehensive, energy efficient management strategies.
Learn More ›

Education

Customize an energy management strategy to meet fiscal and strategic priorities.
Learn More ›

Government

Reach financial and environmental goals and achieve internal effectiveness.
Learn More ›

Healthcare

Develop effective energy strategies that will allow you to focus on patient care.
Learn More ›

Hospitality

Pursue an integrated approach to energy cost management with comfort and ease.
Learn More ›

– See more at: http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx#sthash.mBWPVA8u.dpuf

Well this should be a short post. Excelon will not allow me to borrow any of their page to post here so you will just have to go there and see it. But here is the general page if you are interested in something more than Commercial Buildings.

http://www.constellation.com/business-energy/pages/industries-we-serve.aspx

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Go there and read. More next week.

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Just take a look at all the gaping holes the other extraction industry have left in Illinois. Their are parts of Illinois that look like the 10,000 lakes area in Minnesota that used to be valuable farmland. This will be no different.

Day 46  12/30/13

Topic:  Topsoil Replacement Requirements

Comment:

Sections 1-70(b)2 and 1-95(c) of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act state that stripped topsoil is to be replaced with similar soil and the site returned to its pre-drilling condition.

Section 1-95(c) of the Act specifically states: “The operator shall restore any lands used by the operator other than the well site and production facility to a condition as closely approximating the pre-drilling conditions that existed before the land was disturbed for any stage of site preparation activities, drilling, and high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing operations.”

When drilling is anticipated to be completed in less than a year, Section 245.410(d) of the Rules stipulates that the topsoil is to stockpiled and stabilized to prevent erosion.  However, “In the event it is anticipated that the final reclamation shall take place in excess of one year from drilling the well, the topsoil may be disposed of in any lawful manner provided the permittee reclaims the site with topsoil of similar characteristics of the topsoil removed.”

What is missing, and needed, in this section of the Rules is the stipulation that the replacement topsoil will be not only similar in characteristics of the topsoil removed, but also match the removed topsoil in VOLUME.   In fact, there is no place in the rules that requires measurement of the topsoil removed or measurement of the replacement topsoil.  Without such a requirement, it would be easy for an unscrupulous operator to replace the topsoil with smaller quantities than were originally removed.

Revisions Needed:  When final reclamation is anticipated to exceed one year and topsoil is removed from the site, Section 245.410(d) must require measuring the volume of the removed topsoil and stipulate that the replacement topsoil will match both the quality AND quantity of the removed topsoil.

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Go there and comment. More tomorrow.

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This was sent to me by the Destiny USA management. I agreed to run it because they seem to have done a good job. CES can not endorse comercial endeavors nor should this be considered a commercial advertisement as we have received no money to perform this task. When folks do good for the planet we reserve the right to talk about it.

http://www.destinyusa.com/green

History of Destiny USA

 

Carousel Center opened its doors on October 15, 1990 after several years of land redevelopment and renovation on the shores of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, NY. The super-regional shopping center was developed on a former Brownfield site; one so ravaged by environmental negligence that the New York Times[m1]   called it “a kind of monument to 20th century environmental arrogance, its future written off by government and business alike.”

Robert Congel and Pyramid Management Group welcomed the responsibility of this cleanup after drawing up plans to build a new shopping center in Syracuse. Originally, plans were created for a different location but Mr. Congel redirected his attention to “Oil City.” It was an opportunity to cleanup the lakefront disaster and make it the thriving economic engine that it is today.

Destiny USA is continuing to build upon Mr. Congel’s history of projects that improve Syracuse environmentally. This project is taking a path of leadership in the commercial retail industry by cooperating with the United States Green Building Council (USGBC, USGBC on Destiny USA)[m2]   to get its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) for Core and Shell certification. After meticulous work, the USGBC deemed the 1.3 million square foot Core & Shell expansion its LEED® Gold Certification on February 6, 20

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Go there and read. More next week.

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I mean really if they are going to drop their insistence on solar panel installations as part of a retrofit then why keep the name? Are they now a software company or are they now a software and then install whatever company? Good questions with no answers. It would be like Tide if it were to stop making soap and started making dishwashers. Would they keep the name and why?

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/a-peak-at-solarcitys-new-energy-efficiency-software?

Has SolarCity Created the Amazon 1-Click for Energy Efficiency?

 

“We believe SolarCity has the best database of residential energy use of anyone in the world.”

 

Stephen Lacey: June 28, 2013

 

After SolarCity shifted its energy efficiency strategy and pulled back from doing residential retrofits in-house, the solar services behemoth is moving straight into intelligent efficiency.

 

GTM’s Eric Wesoff recently reported on SolarCity’s evolving business plan and the resulting changes that company executives say will scale residential efficiency in the same way solar services have scaled residential solar.

 

But solar is very different from efficiency. For the most part, solar is very standardized and installations are uniform from home to home. Efficiency retrofits encompass an extraordinarily broad category of activities and skills. Incentives are also quite different for efficiency, making it more complicated from a financial perspective. That’s why only a handful of U.S. solar contractors have offered efficiency as an in-house service.

 

SolarCity decided that doing the retrofit work itself was not the best way to scale. Instead, it has turned from manpower to the power of big data.

 

The secret sauce is a “simulation engine” that shows homeowners exactly how much they’re spending on energy everywhere in their house. The initial database was created using information from 16,000 home energy audits performed over the last five years. It relies on an algorithm developed at the Department of Energy that crunches 100 million calculations per home for each individual energy efficiency audit (which is still performed by SolarCity when installing solar).

 

“The simulation software looks at every component in a home in relation to one another,” said SolarCity COO Peter Rive. “Every ten minutes, it thinks about what one thing is doing and about its effect on the rest of the systems within the home.”

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The jackonapes in congress prattle on about how there is no Global Warming, and even if there is it ain’t man made. Those in the pocket of Big Coal want to find a way to make it cleaner. Like there is a way and America dithers on while China and India rush ahead. The song should go America the stupid with amber waves of insanity. Still at least the president has put something out there.

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/06/obamas-climate-change-speech-three-words-less-coal-finally/66565/

Obama’s Climate Change Speech in Just Three Words: Less Coal, Finally

 

Philip Bump 4,220 Views 9:20 AM ET

The process of climate change is complex and involves a vast array of contributors. But slowing climate change largely relies on one thing, cutting carbon dioxide emissions, and cutting carbon dioxide emissions heavily relies on reducing the use of coal. For all of the president’s intricate proposals during his speech on the topic of climate change today at Georgetown University, nothing is as important as his plan to reduce America’s use of coal.

It’s important to consider the president’s proposals within an economic context. As Senior Administration Officials™ noted during a call on the topic last night, the president made a pledge to reduce carbon (dioxide) emissions in 2009 that the United States has made great progress in achieving. This is largely due to three things out of Obama’s control, however: the slow economy, a drop in electricity demand (in part due to the slow economy), and the increased use of natural gas for electricity production. Electricity production comes down to money, after all; if you figured out a way to generate gigawatts of power by leveraging the power of bare skin, America would be a nudist camp before sunset. We don’t love coal, we love that coal is cheap and is, by now, well-integrated into our power infrastructure.

Obama’s push to reduce coal use has two parts.

Decrease domestic coal use by limiting carbon emissions at power plants. Again: This is the most important part of Obama’s speech, bar none. If he dropped everything else in his plan, this idea would still warrant a significant amount of attention, both here and abroad.

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Other things have not changed. I mean we are still burning coal to fuel electric generators, 30 years after we should have stopped. We still flirt with the idea of Nuclear Powered power plants. But here is part of the Georgia Code, a State not known for anything progressive.

http://www.southface.org/learning-center/library/res-code-faq#24

22.    What is the difference between a mass wall and a basement wall, and what are the insulation requirements for both?

A mass wall is a heavy wall that is more than half above grade wall and is constructed of a fairly massive material (e.g., concrete, block, insulated concrete forms, masonry cavity, non-veneered brick , adobe, compressed block, rammed earth, and solid logs). A basement wall is a wall that is more than half below grade and encloses conditioned space. Insulation requirements for basement walls and mass walls depend on the location of the insulation and the type of insulation (whether it is continuous or insulation installed in a cavity). Requirements also vary by climate zone. Below is a table detailing the insulation requirements in the energy code.

Wall Type Insulation Location and Type Climate Zone 4 Climate Zone 3 Climate Zone 2
Basement Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-5 R-0
Basement Wall Interior – Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Interior-Cavity R-13 R-13 R-13
Mass Wall Exterior or Integral- Continuous R-5 R-5 R-4
Mass Wall Interior – Continuous R-10 R-8 R-6

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If you are a glutton for punishment, go there and read. More next week.

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I must start with the opening cautionary note. Traveling to Asia is expensive. Staying at hotels that claim to be “green” is expensive too. When you approach such things with a clear understanding that thinks can go wrong and and ask all the questions you can think of, things often turn out well. Finally I have never used any of these commercial enterprises so I nor CES can vouch for them.  As always check with the Better Business Bureau first.

http://www.wildasia.org/

My Opinion: Green Is Always The Way To Go

 

As a commercial contractor, I have had my fair share of opportunities to see the implementation of green building materials. This has led to the advent of LEED-certified constructions. However, what piques my interest the most are the individuals who have used these facilities in an eco-friendly manner, particularly the facilities where I actually work. Such individuals and I acknowledge that what’s going on shouldn’t be recognized solely from a standpoint concerning LEED certification.

 

In Asia, such efforts that contribute to saving the environment are applauded. Categories such as cultural preservation, community engagement and development and resource efficiency are among those recognized. An Asian based accommodation provider the “Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards”, hands out awards to various organizations.

 

Las Vegas is one of the major destination spots making strides in preserving the economy. This is evident by the fact that many hotels in Las Vegas have committed to using items that meet LEED-certified standards. Recently the Las Vegas Palazzo Resort was deemed the “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America”. It relies on a number of self-sustaining elements and reuses most of its own waste. Las Vegas hotels have clearly set an example that all hotels throughout America, and elsewhere, can follow. Most of the hotels in NYC have also gone the extra mile to reduce their carbon footprints and accommodate for waste recycling. The ink48 Hotel, in particular, has an amazing program called Earthcare. This allows members of the program to have a platform for discussing the ways in which they can contribute to the betterment of the planet.

 

Nonetheless, it’s a beautiful thing, in my opinion, to see people act in one accord, making their facilities more sustainable and eco-friendly. It’s 10 times sweeter when you’re directly involved in such work. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of hotel rooms, and Las Vegas alone managed to pull in more than 40,000,000 travelers last year. If others followed the Palazzo and ink48’s lead, we will all see an extremely positive impact.

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Go there and look around. More next week.

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It is true. Not in my backyard is a syndrome that can be defused but you have to start early and you have to speak often and sincerely. Utility Executives just do not have the right touch and even when they care they hire bright shiny faces that lack any sense of truthfulness.

http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2013/02/26/new-england-offshore-wind-planning-offers-lessons-for-great-lakes/

New England offshore wind planning offers lessons for Great Lakes

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When Scandia, a Norwegian wind company, announced its plans to install 200 turbines in Lake Michigan four miles from the tourist town of Ludington, Michigan, in 2009, they likely didn’t anticipate the controversy that would erupt.

After all, the project would be delivering domestically produced renewable energy to replace planet-warming fossil fuels. It would create local jobs installing and operating the turbines. A nearby pumped-hydro facility for storing backup energy sat in the nearby dunes, complete with substations and high-voltage lines they could use to move electricity from their offshore turbines to the grid.

“The developer thought, We’ll build wind farms out in Lake Michigan, hook up in Ludington, and everyone will be delighted,” recalled Arn Boezaart, director of the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center at Grand Valley State University.

Instead, “they were basically run out of town,” Boezaart recalled.

Residents of this picturesque town were outraged about the prospects of scores of wind turbines ruining their view. Nobody had consulted them. And Michigan, like every other Great Lakes state, lacks even a rudimentary procedure for regulating offshore wind farms, without which there would be little opportunity for public hearings.

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Go there and read. More later.

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