May 3, 2016 - Sustainable Pittsburgh
Energy Innovation (EI) is a biweekly newsletter of the
Energy for the Power of 32 initiative
EI Energy Innovation
news and events accelerating sustainable development for the power of 32
Upcoming Events

May 9th - May 11th, 2016 (*times TBD*)
The Washington Hilton
1919 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Presented by: US Department of Energy

The Better Buildings Summit is a national meeting where leading organizations across key sectors showcase solutions to cut energy intensity in their buildings portfolio-wide by 20% over the next ten years. This Summit is designed for partners and stakeholders to exchange best practices and highlight demonstrated market solutions with an equal emphasis on discussing future opportunities for greater energy efficiency in America’s homes and buildings.

May 12th, 2016 (3:00 pm - 6:00 pm)
East Liberty Presbyterian Church
116 S. Highland Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Presented by: Green Building Alliance

A practitioner hoping to build skills in applying passive strategies to commercial buildings? A building owner looking for resources to greatly increase energy efficiency? A property partner in the Pittsburgh 2030 District, hoping to meet and exceed the 2030 goals? Come join this event! Hosted at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, a variety of perspectives will be discussed on the importance of exploring passive energy options, along with their benefits and applications to commercial properties. Following this event will be three additional topics in the same format, in order to help owners and practitioners explore various aspects of reaching net-zero (or near net-zero) energy usage.

May 12th, 2016 (4:30 pm)
Lecture Hall
Jeong H Kim Engineering Bldg, College Park, MD 20740
Presented by: University of Maryland

In 2009 when the Obama–Biden ticket was inaugurated into office, they set out to accomplish the following aspirational goals:
  • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 83% of 2005 levels by 2050;
  • Save more oil than we import from the Middle East and Venezuela by 2019;
  • Ensure 10% of electricity comes from renewables in 2012 and 25% by 2025;
  • Put one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015; and
  • Create five million jobs by investing $150 billion over 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean-energy future.
And in the 2011 State of the Union address, the President put forth a goal to reach 80% clean electricity by 2035. The Office of the Under Secretary for Energy at the US Department of Energy put together a plan to realize these goals, along with the cost of attaining 80% clean electricity by 2035. This talk will summarize this "Strategic Technology Energy Plan (STEP)" and progress made on achieving this plan to date, and highlight the unique role of run-of-river hydroelectric power generation in carrying out STEP.

May 12th, 2016 (2:00 pm)
Presented by: SunModo Corp

Aggregate C&I rooftop capacity potential in the U.S., as estimated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), may exceed 100 gigawatts by 2030. Unlocking this economic opportunity hinges largely upon the solar industry adopting best practices and evaluating the opportunity with all of the complexities of a commercial solar installation in mind.

Attend this webinar to learn:
  • Best Practices for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Low Slope Roofs
  • Considerations for Preliminary Design Engineering Decisions
  • Elevated Racking Solution for Roofs with Obstructions to Maximize System Size

May 13th, 2016 (11:45 am - 1:00 pm)
DeWALT Conference Room
2162 Martin Hall University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742
Presented by: University of Maryland

Guest speaker Dr. Andrew Persily - Chief of Energy and Environment Division at the Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, first published in 2009, is the only national consensus standard that addresses the multiple building performance issues that define sustainable buildings. The standard contains design requirements that cover the wide range of building sustainability issues including site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, as well as construction and plans for operation.

This presentation will provide an overview of the standard, including its organization and basic requirements. It will also take a deeper look at the indoor environmental quality requirements in the context of the perceived tension between energy efficiency and improved indoor environments.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved a wide-ranging update to the state’s oil and gas drilling rules on Thursday, voting 3-2 that the changes proposed by the state Department of Environmental Protection are in the public interest.

The divided vote capped a seven-hour-long meeting that demonstrated the deep split between oil and gas industry representatives, who believe the new regulations impose unjustified and costly new burdens, and members of environmental and citizens groups, who support the changes even as they push for greater protections.


One of the more vexing challenges for those in the energy efficiency program sector is ensuring that savings resulting from the implementation of an efficiency measure persist over time. Fortunately, a solution exists: intelligent efficiency can prevent the degradation of energy savings, and in some instances increase savings over time.

Many of us have signed up with energy companies that offer 100% renewable electricity, so why not switch to a gas tariff that also promises to be carbon neutral? Energy firm Good Energy is hoping to tempt green households to do exactly that. This week the Chippenham-based firm started offering a domestic gas tariff that will allow customers to claim their gas usage produces no overall net carbon.

At this week’s Washington legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Union, NABTU President Sean McGarvey listed energy infrastructure among the union’s top priorities in 2016 and noted the importance of forming partnerships to advance shared goals, such as infrastructure...

...Nowhere is this dynamic more timely and important than in the effort to build new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, where constricted capacity historically has contributed to higher energy costs during peak winter months...

...This can be helped with additional infrastructure – new pipelines, pipeline expansions, storage and other facilities.


ALBANY, N.Y. — New York environmental regulators have rejected a critical permit needed for a major natural gas pipeline project, saying the project fails to meet standards that protect hundreds of streams, wetlands and other water resources in its path.

The Department of Environmental Conservation said Friday it won’t issue a water quality permit for the 124-mile Constitution Pipeline from Pennsylvania’s shale gas fields to eastern New York. The agency said the project’s construction would affect 251 streams and 500 acres of valuable forest as well as extensive wetlands.


In a world where solar and wind power becomes cheaper by the month, fuel cells are still generating plenty of revenue. Annual sales through 2023 could reach $57.8 billion, according to projections last year by Navigant Research.

So why are fuel cells still a compelling option? Financial incentives, apparently, are still a powerful deal closer. "Fuel cells should be an economic decision first," suggested Vince Digneo, sustainability strategist for corporate responsibility at Adobe Systems. The company maintains 1.6 megawatts of fuel cell capacity at offices in San Francisco and San Jose, California. . . Another big ongoing perceived benefit of fuel cells is predictability, especially if other sources of power aren’t available. "The cell will produce all the time," Legrand’s Luchon said, underscoring his company’s decision to select fuel cells instead of solar for its Connecticut site.


Remember flaming faucets? A resident igniting the water coming out of his tap in Josh Fox’s “Gasland” has been the enduring image for those fighting fracking for years. That seems quaint now after natural gas from one of the nation’s most important pipelines leaked and exploded into a fireball hundreds of feet in the air. Residents of the area said they could feel shocks from the blast as far as six miles away. Friday’s conflagration, in a rural area near Pittsburgh, injured a man and caused Spectra Energy to shut the 36-inch Texas Eastern pipeline, which brings gas from western Pennsylvania to the Northeast.
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