U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Moves into New Energy Efficient Office

Posted on November 27th, 2012 by

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Moves into New Energy Efficient Office

The Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers has moved into its new headquarters at Federal Center South Building 1202. The 209,000 square foot building transforms an industrial brownfield warehouse into a state-of-the-art workplace and sets a new standard for the marketplace. The $72 million project is part of the US government’s program to promote sustainability and advance a clean -energy economy. The 1202 building is anticipated to be the region’s most energy-efficient air conditioned building. It has an Energy Star score of 100 and uses only a fifth of the energy used for a standard office building. Other features are: can store and re-use 25,000 gallons of rainwater, 90% of the building is naturally lit and also has an under-floor ventilation system.

Landfills Become Energy Sites for Solar Arrays

About 10,000 landfills in the Unites States have already reached capacity and are taking up space across the country, and often in areas close to dense population. Constructing solar arrays on the surface of these landfills are now done to utilize these essentially useless areas. Grid proximity is paramount for solar projects and landfills are useful because they are close to populated areas. Though, there are still high costs associated with installing the solar panels, the expenses can be regained as the generated energy can be sold to a local utility.

Funneling Solar Energy: A New Way to Harness the Sun’s Energy

The quest to harness a broader spectrum of sunlight’s energy to produce electricity has taken a new and radical turn with proposal of a “solar energy funnel”. Ju Li, an MIT professor, proposed the use of Molybdenum Disulfide. This thin material is stretched and is poked down at its center by a microscopic needle to produce a curved, funnel-like shape. Compared to silicon, which is now used in most solar cells, Molybdenum Disulfide has a crucial characteristic known as bandgap. Placing the material under the “solar energy funnel” configuration causes its bandgap to vary across the surface so that different parts of it respond to different colors of light enabling the material to efficiently gather broader wavelengths of light – including invisible light spectrum, which accounts for much of sunlight’s energy.

Next Generation of Nuclear Operators Training at Georgia Power’s Vogtle Plant

Over the next year and a half, more than 100 operators will be trained in Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle. The trainees will be using the most modern nuclear plant simulators that are designed to replicate the Vogtle unit 3 and 4 control rooms. The training is delivered in two phases. The first phase is systems training for 3 months. The second phase is simulator training for another 3 months. The construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is the largest job-producing project in Georgia, employing 5,000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Once completed, the new facility will produce enough electricity to power 500,000 homes.

Wind Installations in India due to Plummet

Wind turbine installations in India will plummet this year as lenders shun projects due to a policy vacuum. India is currently the third-biggest market for the turbines. The decline was compared to “falling off a cliff” as investors and lenders no longer believe that the industry will be viable without additional support from the government through a subsidy program or higher power rates. Wind financing in India declined 39% compared to the same period last year.

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