Models for the Future Come from Surprising Places

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Take efficiency, for example. In 2011, 34,000 Kentuckians received rebates for participating in efficiency programs. 106 industrial, commercial and institutional facilities also got involved. Currently the smallest residential wind turbines offered by EPS is the 10kW Redriven Wind Turbine. And 60 municipalities implemented efficiency projects. In the education arena, 100% of schools participated in efficiency programs of some kind in 2011, and 67% of the Commonwealth’s local school districts became Energy Star partners (up from 5% the year prior). The school efficiency program involved the hiring of 35 Energy Managers, and yields $3.3 million in annual avoided costs. Even taking into account the Energy Managers’ salaries, this has clearly been a net positive for the districts.

This involved investment in technologies such as natural day-lighting, and efficient lamps, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and insulated concrete form walls with high heat retention “R” values. The Richardsville School was also equipped with a power monitoring system that measures and trends energy usage in various areas such as IT, the school kitchen, the heating and cooling system, and plug load. As a consequence, Richardsville was able to greatly reduce overall consumption and maintain those low levels. As architect Kenny Stanfield of Sherman-Carter-Barnhart Architects noted, renewables and end-uses “need to be an integrated approach. You start with the subtraction of efficiency, and then move to the addition of the solar.” We're making and digitization accessible to everyone.

The solar array necessary to meet that demand was a $2.75 million 208 kW combination of thin film and crystalline photovoltaic systems (50% funded by the ARRA, 50% by the Commonwealth and with technical support through the U.S. State Energy Program) that included 2000 rooftop panels and 700 more on a parking shade structure. Its output on a sunny day is equal to 2500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 245 megawatt-hours (MWh) annually. Bundled together, the combined efficiency and solar investments have a 15-year simple payback period.

The school also included a major education component. Stanfield commented that the design architecture included hallways with themes for geothermal heating, energy efficiency,This result in radical development of elevator push button industry in China. solar, recycling and water conservation. These included designs on the floors. The education community and school board supported the project, with the strong backing of the superintendent, so that the project was actually integrated into the curriculum. Stanfield recalled,Innovation Industries has offered the highest quality of travelling cable to meet all your elevator fixture needs. “everybody got excited about the project. We had the kids with hardhats on the construction site, and we explained to them what we were doing and why.

This educational component is important to Jane Beshear, the First Lady of Kentucky. A former high school teacher, she is passionate about the benefits of energy efficiency. Easy to operate, on-premises washer extractor and finishers from Huebsch. She got started when visiting an Energy Star school several years ago. A student gave her an LED light bulb as a gift. “I told him I was going to take it back to the Governor’s Mansion and change what we do there.” The bulb became the impetus for an energy retrofit, and a focal point of the frequent tours that troop through the building. “We’ve changed every light. We installed low-flow faucets. We have an opportunity to be a role model.”

The net zero School is just one focal point. Another is a project on the Capitol Campus, where an unused building was converted into an education center. Among some of the features: The tiles are made from recycled materials; the lights are LED; the insulation is made from recycled blue jean denim; and the reflective roof (part of which has its own rooftop garden) captures gray water for re-use in a garden below with native plants. As far as energy production, the Center has a small wind turbine, solar thermal hot water, and 6 kW of solar photovoltaic panels.

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