Ithaca College solar farm now operational

The farm allows Ithaca College to receive 10 percent of its annual electricity from solar power. The solar farm at Ithaca College. (Photo: Provided photo) Ten months after unveiling an ambitious plan to build a solar farm to help power Ithaca College, the school and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority have announced the 2.9-megawatt solar array is now fully operational. The solar farm, which began operating on Nov. 28, now allows Ithaca College to receive 10 percent of its annual electricity from solar power. The array produces clean renewable power, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and helps New York achieve its Clean Energy Standard that 50 percent of its electrici

Solar is top source of new capacity on the US grid in 2016

No new coal, natural gas swamped by wind, solar, and nuclear. The US electric grid continued to transform in 2016. No new coal plants were added, and solar became the top new source of generating capacity. Combined with wind, a small bit of hydro, and the first nuclear plant added to the grid in decades, sources that generate power without carbon emissions accounted for two-thirds of the new capacity added in 2016. These numbers come from the US Energy Information Administration, which asked utilities about what sources they expected to have online at the end of the year. These numbers typically show a burst of activity in December, as projects are rac

The U.S. Has Been Overwhelmingly Hot This Year

In a politically divisive year, there’s been one tie that has bound most of the U.S. together. We all live in the United States of Warming (USW! USW! USW!). In all likelihood, the U.S. is going to have its second-hottest year on record, trailing only 2012. Every state is slated to have a top 10 warmest year and even at the city level, unrelenting warmth has been the main story in 2016. Weather stations in the U.S. that are having a warmer than normal, colder than normal and record hot year. Climate Central conducted an analysis of more than 1,730 weather stations across the Lower 48 that include daily temperature data up until Dec. 15. A paltry 2 percent are having a colder-than-normal year.

Climate Change News That Stuck With Us in 2016

By The New York Times As the year ends, The New York Times asked reporters who have focused on climate change, global warming and the environment to choose the news they reported on that was the most memorable. These are their selections, ranging from sea level rise to the phenomenon of “rolling coal” to local actions to confront a warming planet. Two other groups of reporters have also selected the articles they find most memorable: Visit this link for a roundup of science news, and this link for the year in medical and health news. From One Hottest Year Into the Next Clockwise from top left: flooding in Alexandria, Va., in June; a house raised on temporary supports in Norfolk, Va.; floodin

Plans for 'zero net energy' building in Lackawanna advance

Plans for an office and light manufacturing building on the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna that would be a model for sustainable energy keep moving forward. The Erie County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday agreed to hire Turner Construction to provide construction management services for the “zero net energy” building that the agency plans to build on the northern end of the former steel property. The idea is to show how highly energy efficient facilities work and to act as a catalyst for further development on the former steel mill site. The proposed building would use geothermal energy, solar panels, wind turbines and architectural features to meet goals of a healthy work env

Spiking Temperatures in the Arctic Startle Scientists

The cruise ship Crystal Serenity, anchored outside Nome, Alaska, in August, before its inaugural voyage through the Northwest Passage. The trip would not have been possible before climate change led to diminished sea ice coverage. Credit Mark Thiessen/Associated Press A spate of extreme warmth in the Arctic over the past two months has startled scientists, who warn that the high temperatures may lead to record-low ice coverage next summer and even more warming in a region that is already among the hardest hit by climate change. In mid-November, parts of the Arctic were more than 35 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than observed averages, scientists said, and at the pole itself, mean temperatures fo

The U.S. solar industry is booming — and it isn’t afraid of Trump

Solar installers from Baker Electric place solar panels on the roof of a residential home in Scripps Ranch, San Diego, Calif.. (Reuters/Mike Blake TPX) The U.S. solar industry experienced its biggest boom yet this year, with a record-breaking 4,143 megawatts (or million watts) of solar generating capacity added in the third quarter of 2016, according to a new report. And the fourth quarter is on track to surpass it, with continued growth expected through the rest of the decade. The optimistic new report, published by the Solar Energy Industries Association and market analysis firm GTM Research, comes at a time of mounting uncertainty for the future of renewable energy and environmental polic

Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Monthly Low for 7th Time in 2016

Average concentration of Arctic sea ice for November 2016. Opaque white areas indicate the greatest concentration, and dark blue areas are open water. The yellow line shows the median extent from 1981 to 2010, and gives an idea of how conditions this November strayed from the norm. Image via NASA Though this is when the Arctic is supposed to be refreezing, scientists say sea ice there hit record low levels for November. In the crucial Barents Sea, the amount of floating ice decreased when it would be expected to grow. Arctic sea ice extended for 3.5 million square miles (9.1 million square kilometers). That's 309,000 square miles (800,000 square kilometers) below the record set in 2006 — a d

Scientific breakthrough reveals unprecedented alternative to battery power storage

Ground-breaking research from the University of Surrey and Augmented Optics Ltd., in collaboration with the University of Bristol, has developed potentially transformational technology which could revolutionise the capabilities of appliances that have previously relied on battery power to work. This development by Augmented Optics Ltd., could translate into very high energy density super-capacitors making it possible to recharge your mobile phone, laptop or other mobile devices in just a few seconds. The technology could have a seismic impact across a number of industries, incuding transport, aerospace, energy regeneration and household applications such as mobile phones, flat screen electro

SolarCity begins its hunt for factory workers

SolarCity is beginning its search for entry-level production workers. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo) Nearly 2 1/2 years after plans were first announced for a solar panel factory in South Buffalo, SolarCity is starting to look for its first production workers. The company is holding a series of information sessions over the next two weeks to try to drum up interest in entry level positions at the massive solar panel factory on South Park Avenue. The positions include manufacturing specialists, shipping and receiving clerks and material handlers, said Kady Cooper, a SolarCity spokeswoman. The company isn't saying how much the positions will pay. It also isn't saying how many workers

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