Article on Saint Petersburg Catholic High School Published in Momentum Magazine

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WWEC’s Saint Petersburg Catholic High School Project Published in Momentum Magazine.

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Enormous Solar Array Set to Call Florida Home

National Solar Power, an energy company based out of Melbourne, Florida was formed in 2010. Though relatively young as a company, their ambitions are inspired. They are set to built 20 solar panel fields (over 200 acres apiece) within the next five years. Their plan calls for the first field to be online and operational by the end of 2012. This 400 mega-watt farm should be able to power over 30,000 homes and is set to become the largest solar panel operation in the southeast.

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NASA Focusing on Events Closer to Home

With their shuttle program now a thing of the past, NASA is working on new ways to look forward. By using some of the same technology that made the United States the world’s leader in space exploration, NASA is hoping to generate some much needed efficient energy solutions for homes in crisis. The development of a new type of solar generator which hopes to capitalize on the clear weather that typically follows the devastation caused by large hurricanes. These generators are strong enough to power small homes as long as the sun shines, and store even more energy in battery backups for after the sun sets. This project is still a work in progress, but NASA has turned some of their attention for the moment to issues occurring on this planet.

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Avatar Sequels to Begin Practicing What They Preach

The underlying message of the 2009 Hollywood blockbuster film Avatar was that environmental preservation should take priority over all and any endeavors that humanity may undertake. Director James Cameron is taking a refreshing and welcome approach towards the production of  the sequels to his Sci-fi valentine to all things nature. By settling on the MBS Media Campus as the home for his Lightstorm Entertainment production company, Cameron intends to make the films’ production carbon neutral.

Read on after the jump to see the impressive measures Cameron is taking to ensure this:

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WWEC Present at Region IV, Southeast Network Energy Conference

Wind, Water and Energy Conservation President, Gene Overmyer and Business Development Manager Alicia Buchanan will be speaking at the Region IV Southeast Network Energy Conference this week in Orange Beach, Alabama about Energy Performance Contracting possibilities for small Public Housing Authorities. The presentation will be on Thursday, May 26th from 10 am until 11:30 am. The conversation will center on the options present for smaller Housing Authorities in the fields of conservation and sustainability.

For more information about the conference, please read on after the jump:

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St. Petersburg Catholic High School Posts Incredible Energy Savings for the First Quarter of 2011

The first annual quarter of St. Petersburg Catholic High School (SPCHS), Inc.’s energy efficiency program (EEP) is complete and the results have been exemplary thus far. Installation of energy conservation measures (ECMs) was completed in December of 2010 at both the school and the nearby Salesian Residence. Featuring solar hot water heaters and efficient lighting fixtures, these renovations have already begun paying dividends. Through April of 2011, SPCHS has seen a 27% decrease in water usage and a nearly 20% decrease in electricity consumption, outperforming their preliminary savings estimates.

The Energy Efficiency Program included the replacement of nineteen inefficient air conditioners and furnaces with energy efficient 15 SEER heat pumps, installation of two solar domestic hot water systems for the school cafeteria and the priests’/brothers’ residence, installation of insulation above the classrooms in two buildings and at the priests’/brothers’ residence, replacement of lighting fixtures with energy efficient lighting, low-flow toilet installation, and controls for other domestic hot water heaters that limit their energy consumption when not in use.

At this rate, these improvements will not only pay for themselves over the course of the 10-year energy efficiency program, but they will also make possible approximately $10,000 in savings in operations and maintenance costs annually, which emphasizes the fact that projects such as these make sense from a fiscal standpoint as much an environmentally conscious one.

Financing for the project has been provided by the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.

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University of South Florida Achieves “Gold” Sustainability Ranking

The University of South Florida’s efforts to build an environmentally friendly campus, as well as its desire to advance energy sustainability both on, and off campus have paid off in a rather exclusive manner. USF has become one of a very small number of universities nationwide to achieve a “Gold” rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

This association is one of the United State’s leaders in advocacy for the on-campus green movement. They have also submitted a 236 page account of USF’s initiatives and efforts involving sustainability at their campus in Tampa, as well as the University’s clean energy and environmental research conducted to the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). Designed as a self-reporting system for colleges and universities in the US and Canada, STARS intends to gauge each school’s relative progress toward sustainability.

According to E. Christian Wells, the director of USF’s Office of Sustainability, “The STARS system helps us track our sustainability efforts and allows us to find our weak spots. While the Office of Sustainability is only 500 days old, we’ve managed to address most of the easy targets, like increasing recycling and changing the light bulbs. Now we need to focus on the bigger picture, what a sustainable campus should look like over the longer term.”

“The gold STARS rating USF received proves that we are truly ‘green’ and gold,” he added.

The University also scored exceptionally high in sustainability innovation and activities, as well as its coordination and future plans for a more sustainable campus. USF has also received solid marks  for their continued commitment to academic research on a variety range of issues involving sustainability. There are 54 academic departments at the school, 38 have faculty and staff members actively engaged in sustainability research.

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