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Category Archives:

Sustainability

More Action Announced Toward Climate Goals in the Wake of Climate Week NYC

As Climate Week NYC came to a close two weeks ago, Governor Hochul announced some major developments in plans to advance New York State’s ambitious climate goals for the coming decades.

First, the Governor announced completion of a major $460 million modernization and life extension effort at the New York Power Authority’s Lewiston Pump Generating Plant and the digitization of the first of 13 hydropower turbines at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. The digitization is the first major milestone of Next Generation Niagara, a $1.1 billion, 15-year modernization and digitization program to significantly extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project. Together, these projects represent nearly $1.6 billion of clean energy infrastructure investments at the Niagara Power Project that will help advance New York State’s aggressive clean energy goal to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.

At the end of Climate Week, the Governor also announced the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program, which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. By taking meaningful steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, 11 local governments met the criteria to be recognized as leaders for the first time.

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From 4% to 45%: US Energy Dept Recommends Huge Solar Expansion

The Biden administration on Wednesday released a plan to produce almost half of the nation’s electricity from the sun by 2050 as part of its effort to combat climate change.

Solar energy provided less than 4 percent of the country’s electricity last year, and the administration’s target of 45 percent would represent a huge leap and will most likely take a fundamental reshaping of the energy industry. In a new report, the Energy Department said the country needed to double the amount of solar energy installed every year over the next four years compared with last year. And then it will need to double annual installations again by 2030.

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Mussels Could Help Solve Our Microplastics Problem

Instead of shelling out for a water filtration plant, mussels’ constant filter feeding is being tested as a potential wide-scale application for microplastic clean-up in our oceans.
Belying their humble evolutionary stature, the mussel can do something that humanity could only achieve by spending millions on equipment, and that is cleaning microplastics smaller than 5mm out of the ocean.

A voracious filter feeder, mussels absorb microplastics and than excrete them, while doing no harm to the organism.

Microplastics are devilish pollutants that can come from tire wear, fracture off long-floating plastic debris, or get pulled off artificial textiles and end up in the ocean via sewage. They’re so small that often the required fineness of a net in order to collect them ensures that any marine life, even tiny ones, will be collected as well.

A trial near the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in England is looking to see how many mussels it would take to make a meaningful impact on microplastic pollution.

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Latest IPCC Report: Time Is Running Out

Across the country and across the globe, the effects human industrial development has had on our planet have become impossible to ignore. Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires and floods have been wreaking havoc with a humanity that is still grappling with a global viral pandemic. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear: We’re running out of time to forestall not all but possibly the worst projected climate outcomes.

It’s difficult to impossible not to feel a sense of frustration, when considering that the IPCC has been trying to prod global action to protect the environment from the most dire effects of man-made climate change since 1988. That’s 33 years of “C’mon, people! Don’t you think we ought to consider, you know, doing something to address this?” directly to global leaders. And yet greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing, with China and the U.S. as the biggest offenders.

This way, for certain, lies madness. And now more than ever, Solar One is committed to strengthening our programming and carrying out our mission, as an integral part of the community that has been working for decades to address the climate catastrophe.

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New York State Hits Solar Milestone with 3 Gigawatts Installed

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced three gigawatts of solar have been installed across the state, enough to power more than half a million homes, underscoring New York’s leadership in growing one of the strongest solar markets in the nation. Since the launch of the NY-Sun initiative in 2011, solar has grown 2,100 percent statewide and declined in cost by 69 percent while fostering approximately 12,000 jobs across the state. When combined with the projects that are under development, achieving today’s milestone represents 95 percent of Governor Cuomo’s goal to install six gigawatts of solar by 2025, as mandated in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

“Solar energy is a key component in New York’s transition to a clean energy economy as we work to reduce harmful emissions across the board and address the dual challenges of fighting climate change and rebuilding stronger post-pandemic,” said the governor. “The success of NY-Sun demonstrates we are on track to meeting our nation-leading energy goals while stimulating green job growth and economic recovery in communities across the state as part of our comprehensive plan to reimagine New York following the pandemic.”

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Heat Domes & the Future of the Electric Grid

Last week, Lytton, a small town in British Columbia, Canada, broke its nation’s all-time temperature reading three days in a row as temperatures soared as high as 121 degrees. Days later, the village largely burned to the ground as extreme wildfires spewed smoke and ash 55,000 feet into the sky.

Now, southwest Canada and much of the western United States are bracing for another bout of exceptional heat amid a pattern that could once again place records in jeopardy. Death Valley, Calif., might spike to 130 degrees.

Temperatures up to 25 degrees above average could dominate most of the West this weekend into next week, with little relief in sight for quite some time. Odds favor anomalously hot and dry conditions to prevail into the fall.

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