Washington coal plant to be converted into solar farm

June 14, 2018 by  
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Situated next to what was once the largest coal pit in Washington state , the TransAlta coal plant near the city of Centralia is turning into a source of clean energy. While TransAlta’s 2011 agreement to shut down the coal plant by 2025 will go a long way towards Washington’s goal of reducing carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 – the emissions produced by the Centralia plant represent 10 percent of the state’s total emissions – TransAlta is going even further, converting 1,000 acres of the former mine area into a solar farm. The farm will compensate for the loss of 1,340 megawatts from the shutting of the coal plant and will be called Tono Solar, after the long-gone pioneer town of Tono that once existed at the site. TransAlta’s deal with Washington State to convert the former polluting plant into a clean-energy production site is a win-win for both parties involved. “This is a good-news story about moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewables,” NRDC senior attorney Noah Long told Ecowatch . The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires coal companies to clean up a former coal plant or mine after it is shut down. “By putting solar on the land, it maintains an industrial use. This good use of a brownfield brings the costs of reclamation down quite a bit.” Related: Trump’s nuclear bailout could cost consumers up to $17 billion each year The existing infrastructure at the site also eases the conversion process. “The location is good because it’s close to transmission lines,” TransAlta lead developer Ryan Schmidt said in a March 2018 presentation . “We know exactly what’s in the ground, because we put it there when we reclaimed the site.” While Tono Solar will produce only about 15 percent of the power once generated at the TransAlta coal plant, it is one of many renewable energy projects in the region that will serve Washington’s goals of reducing emissions and encouraging economic growth. The Centralia model of renewal could serve other communities around the United States as they attempt to rebuild after decades of industrial job decline. “There are lots of places in the Rust Belt of our country, not just coal mines,” Long said. Via Ecowatch Images via Robert Ashworth/Wikimedia

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Australian minister says coal power can help reduce CO2 emissions

January 17, 2017 by  
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Don’t throw out your climate science books just yet, folks. Australian resources minister Matt Canavan recently said burning a certain kind of coal could help the country slash its overall carbon emissions . He commissioned a study conducted by the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science that reportedly claimed the country could reduce emissions by 27 percent if they replaced current coal power stations with “ultra-supercritical” coal technology . But experts slammed the findings, saying such technology wouldn’t reduce emissions nearly as much as was claimed. Australia’s goal is to reduce emissions by 28 percent beneath 2005 levels by 2030, so a reduction of 27 percent with the help of new coal technology seemed almost too good to be true. But that’s the figure The Australian reported this week, although now it appears those statistics were inaccurate or misreported. The coal technology would actually only reduce emissions by around 12 percent, according to The Guardian, which also reported electricity sector emissions would need to be cut down to near zero to meet the 2030 target. Related: Sydney plans to divest $500 million from fossil fuels Canavan said in a statement that the coal “has an important role to play as Australia, and the rest of the world, reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” He also attacked “people who oppose the coal industry for ideological reasons,” and some of those people quickly fired back. Australia Institute economist Rod Campbell said if Australia were to replace old coal stations with ones boasting the new technology, electricity prices would go up, even higher than if renewable energy replaced coal. Member of Parliament Mark Butler said, “The latest intervention by Minister Canavan trumpeting coal isn’t about securing a reliable and affordable energy future; at its core it is just the latest ideological attack on renewables by a government desperate to draw attention away from the fact it has no plan on energy and climate.” Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons and Senator Matthew Canavan Facebook

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Australian minister says coal power can help reduce CO2 emissions

The world’s largest private coal mining company declares bankruptcy

April 14, 2016 by  
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King Coal has seen better days. Mines are being closed, miners are facing widespread layoffs and the market price of coal has crashed over the past several years. The War on Coal just claimed one of its most dramatic casualties, Peabody Energy. The largest private coal mining company, Peabody has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy for most of its American divisions. Although the company will carry on in a reorganized form, this development represents the major shift away from coal that is happening across the globe. Read the rest of The world’s largest private coal mining company declares bankruptcy

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Daniel Libeskind’s ambitious design for The Kurdistan Museum in Iraq

April 14, 2016 by  
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Coal Electricity Production Drops To Its Lowest Point in 30 Years

August 10, 2011 by  
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Clean energy policies may be under attack by the right wing in the US, but it looks like there is still good energy news to be had: apparently,  coal electricity production in the United States has dropped to its lowest amount in more than 30 years. The Energy Information Administration has found that this year, coal accounted for only 46 percent of our power, a 6 percent drop from 2008. This positive news comes just a few weeks after New York City Mayor Bloomberg pledged $50 million to help the Sierra Club shut down coal plants. But, like most news, there are plenty of counterpoints to burst our happy anti-coal bubble. Read the rest of Coal Electricity Production Drops To Its Lowest Point in 30 Years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: clean air task force , coal , coal electricity , coal electricity production drops , coal energy , coal energy production drops , dirty energy , Energy Information Administration , fossil fuels , Michael Bloomberg , renewable energy , Sierra Club

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INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Chats with Recycled Wood Designers Scrapile

August 10, 2011 by  
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I have been enamored with environmentally conscious furniture company Scrapile ever since I came across their line of recycled wood furniture during New York Design week years ago. Brooklyn-based designers Carlos Salgado and Bart Bettencourt have created a beautiful, cutting-edge line of furniture by collecting wood scraps from various lumber mills and recycling those scraps (which would otherwise be headed for landfill) into their stunning minimalist pieces. At this point, the Scrapile line includes tables, benches, stool, shelving, crates and lamps, all made out of their signature striated material. I had a chance to sit down with the up-and-coming design duo at their shop in Williamsburg to learn how it all began. Read the rest of INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Chats with Recycled Wood Designers Scrapile Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “green furniture” , bart bettencourt , Carlos Salgado , eco design , eco furniture , green design , new york design week , Recycled Materials , Recycled wood furniture , scrap pile , Scrapile

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INTERVIEW: Inhabitat Chats with Recycled Wood Designers Scrapile

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