Solar and Wind Are Up; Gas, Coal and Nuclear Are Down

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While fewer new electricity generation projects came online in 2014 than in 2013, there’s been a major shift in which new projects are actually coming to fruition. Solar, wind and geothermal outpaced coal and natural gas by so much, you can hardly consider it a contest. And this is not just pr boasting or anecdotal- it’s been confirmed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
 
As you can see from the chart, new natural gas capacity declined by two thirds compared to 2013, and coal declined by 100%- no new coal generating plants came online in 2014. Nuclear stayed flat at 0%. And while solar and wind didn’t increase as much as last year, new solar capacity only declined by 5%, and new wind capacity by 27%. And geothermal was the only technology to add new capacity in 2014, with four new plants coming online in 2014.
 
Thanks to Phil Radford for posting this on the Clean EC LinkedIn discussion page, which you can join here. You can read his analysis here.
 
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Last Chance to Kayak in Stuy Cove in 2014

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After two highly successful rounds of public kayaking events in Stuyvesant Cove this summer, this event series is drawing to a close on Sunday August 10. This event is completely free, and you can sign up on Eventbrite for your 20 minute slot here.
 
You will need to be 18 or older, or else accompanied by a parent or guardian, know how to swim (although life jackets will be provided) and sign insurance waivers. If you can print them out and sign them before you arrive, you’ll be able to get on the water that much faster (links to download the waivers can be found on the Eventbrite ticket page).
 
Boats and gear are being provided by the Long Island City Community Boathouse (LICCB), and the event is a joint project of LICCB, the New York City Water Trail Association, and UrbanSwim, in conjunction with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club and with the support of Solar 1, and NYCEDC.
 
Kayaking is great exercise, sustainable transportation and a chance to get a brand new perspective on our city. See you on Sunday, the forecast looks gorgeous!
 

 

Come Volunteer in Stuyvesant Cove Park This Saturday

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How did it get to be August already? It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating Memorial Day and dreaming about sweet corn. Now the sweet corn is ripe (and really delicious this year, so go get some at the Greenmarket) and the late summer flowers are blooming in the Park. Before we know it, fall will kick in and the Park will enter its sleepy wintertime phase. So now is the perfect time to come out and enjoy the Park, while helping to ensure its continued health and beauty!
 
Park volunteers meet at Solar One at 9am and work on tasks like weeding, mulching, clearing paths, putting up signage and making sure fences and barriers are in place to keep dogs and humans out of the plant beds. A pizza lunch will be served, courtesy of the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association. The workday ends at 1pm.
 
If you’re interested, please RSVP to Park manager Daisy Hoyt at daisy[at]solar1[dot]org to be part of the fun!
 

Solar One In the News: NYSERDA EDGE Edition

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What do you do with a 350+ unit, 52 year old condominium on one of the most valuable corners in Manhattan, when you realize it needs a top-to-bottom modernization and energy efficiency upgrade?
 
You call the NYSERDA EDGE Team! In this great piece by Amy Zimmer for DNAInfo.com, you can learn how Carnegie House got help from NYSERDA to pay for their upgrades, which helped cut energy bills by 15%, enabling the building to pay for their upgrades in only six years.
 
While there are a host of incentive programs out there for all kinds of buildings and businesses, applying for one kind of incentive can make a building ineligible for others. That’s why it’s important to talk to a specialist, like Solar One’s own Matthew Rolnick, quoted in the article. Matthew is one of the Regional Outreach Contractors (ROCs) who help guide building owners through the NYSERDA programs and figure out which incentives are the best fit for their individual situation. Depending on where you live in the “downstate” region (New York City, Westchester and Long Island), there’s a ROC available to help you make your building more efficient and reduce your operating costs.
 

Public Kayaking Returns to Solar One on Sunday July 27

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The second round of public kayaking events is happening in Stuyvesant Cove on Sunday July 27. This event is completely free, and you can sign up on Eventbrite for your 20 minute slot here.
 
You will need to be 18 or older, or else accompanied by a parent or guardian, know how to swim (although life jackets will be provided) and sign insurance waivers.
 
Boats and gear are being provided by the Long Island City Community Boathouse (LICCB), and the event is a joint project of LICCB, the New York City Water Trail Association, and UrbanSwim, in conjunction with the Lower East Side Ecology Center and the Gowanus Dredgers Canoe Club and with the support of Solar 1, and NYCEDC.
 
Kayaking is great exercise, sustainable transportation and a chance to get a brand new perspective on our city. See you next Sunday!
 

Summer Is a Great Time to Visit Stuyvesant Cove Park

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One of the best parts of summer is the explosion of color and form that summer plants and flowers bring. Stuyvesant Cove Park is currently teeming with flowers and fruits, as well as birds, butterflies and bees taking full advantage of our beautiful native plant park.
 
Some of the species that are currently at peak bloom include scarlet beebalm (monarda didyma)black cohosh (actea racemosa)butterfly milkweed (asclepias tuberosa)swamp milkweed (asclepias incarnata)bottlebrush grass (elymus hystrix)sweet Joe-Pye weed (eutrochium purpureum)lovegrass (eragrostis spectabilis)purple coneflower (echinacea purpurea) and garden phlox (phlox paniculata).
 
There have also been plenty of wildlife sightings, including catbirds, cormorants, Mallards, and monarch and other butterflies- a lot more than last year!
 
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Stuyvesant Cove Park Association Music Series Continues Through July

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Every summer, the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association presents a month-long free outdoor music program at Solar One, with performers ranging from local singer-songwriters to Jazzmobile. This week’s concert, featuring David Webb-Hershey (pictured above) is being rescheduled due to the weather forecast, but the rest of the schedule is listed below:
 
July 21- Paul Sachs, Amy Allison and Dave Murphy
Singer-songwriters bring their individual styles for an evening of original music. Rain date July 22.
 
NEW DATE! July 24- Rutkowski Trio & Family & Friends
The Rutkowskis return for their tenth? eleventh? year in a row with an extensive repertoire of traditional jazz favorites. With Lisa Gary: vocals, Daniel Rutkowski: trumpet, Ben Rutkowski: trombone, Joe Rutkowski: keyboard, Matt Trinkwald: bass and Jerry Neuhoff, drums. Rain date July 24.
 
July 28- Sean Mahoney and the Rubber Band
An evening of Broadway show tunes, ballads and swing. Rain date July 29.
 
To find out when you can see David Webb-Hershey, please check our calendar here or sign up to receive our weekly newsletter here. All concerts start at 6:30pm with the exception of the Rutkowski Trio at 7pm.
 

Germany Wins World Cup 2014

 
germanywins2014On Sunday, soccer fans gathered at Solar One to view the final game of the 2014 World Cup at an open air screening presented by East Village Bavarian restaurant Zum Schneider. This was the 6th game screened at Solar One, and the crowd was enormous, with well over a thousand people in attendance to cheer Die Mannschaft (the men’s team, in German) to glory.
 
There’s a beautiful gallery of photos on the Zum Schneider Facebook page (including the image above, all shot by the excellent Jonathan McPhail) and another great shot from yesterday’s NY Daily News here.
 

World Cup Final: Germany v Argentina This Sunday

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Even though the US’s hopes were dashed early this month when they were eliminated from the World Cup, the games go on, and Germany will be playing Argentina for the final this Sunday. Our dear friends at local Bavarian restaurant Zum Schneider have gone all out to recreate the open air screenings that are popular in town squares all over Europe. Online tickets for Sunday’s game are sold out but if you come to Solar One early, you may be able to score a ticket at the door (tickets are $10 or you can buy 8 and get 2 free). Food and drink are extra, no outside food or beverages please. You can also expect live entertainment, with details at the Zum Schneider website

 

Happy 158th Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

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When most Americans think of the early days of electricity, the first name that comes to mind is Thomas Edison. But the contributions of Nikola Tesla, the great Serbian-American inventor and scientist, who was younger than Edison and is not nearly as well-known, have done as much or more to shape the way we use electricity today. He developed and patented the AC induction motor and transformer and was an early proponent of wireless transmission technology, and a major player in the “war of currents” waged between Edison and George Westinghouse over which current, alternating or direct, would become the electric transmission standard. Using Tesla’s theories and patents, Westinghouse won, and we’re still using alternating current all over the US today.

The development of the electric grid and the battle between direct and alternating current marked the energy revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today a new energy revolution is gaining momentum, and you can learn more about that at the Clean EC website here.