Month: January 2022

Clean Energy, Bright Futures Project

Education and industry partners prepare next generation to lead the clean energy economy

Clean Energy, Bright Futures works with schools and educators to build a clean energy future by encouraging students from all backgrounds to participate in Career Technical Education (CTE) and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) clubs, internships, or apprenticeship programs. 

Its mission is to transform education for the next decade through local engagement led by educators serving as Clean Energy Fellows in their communities. Sponsors fund the program and collaborate with local STEM/CTE leaders to build curriculum, educator capacity, resources, and connections to real-world projects. The program is funded by corporations, regional utilities, and philanthropic organizations. To date, over 250,000 students have benefitted from the hands-on clean energy learning activities offered by Clean Energy, Bright Futures. Instructors have access to science kits, like a solar panel or wind turbine module set, for example. A number of participating schools installed solar panels, which provide additional renewable energy education opportunities. The mission of the program is to build an informed citizenry, made up of educated energy consumers, problem solvers, and leaders in the clean energy economy.

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Tackling climate change will require a diverse energy workforce of tech-savvy problem solvers. Clean Energy, Bright Futures engages young adults in the clean energy industry. To succeed in an equitable and clean energy transition, all students — regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status and geography — need to be set up for success.

Economic

+ The panels installed at Clean Energy, Bright Futures locations nationwide deliver clean power to participating schools. Those wanting to support the program can purchase renewable energy credits generated from the school’s solar array.

Social

+ Clean Energy, Bright Futures offers a sustained impact in traditionally excluded communities by giving access to family wage, wealth-building careers in energy. 

 


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Wildmind Science Center Rooftop Solar Project

Non-profit better serves its mission with significant cost savings from solar energy

Since 1993, Wildmind Science Center, a wildlife conservation, animal welfare, and environmental non-profit organization has endeavored to make its operations as environmentally friendly as possible.

Located on the Northern California coast, the Wildmind Science Center provides over 500 hands-on science education programs to children throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The sanctuary offers unique habitats for over 50 non-releasable wild animals, and provides students with a meaningful lesson about the importance of environmental protection. With the installation of a 27kW solar project, the Center is able to cut their energy cost by 90% each year.

 

Images Courtesy of Wildmind Science Center

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Co-benefits

Environmental

+ By utilizing solar energy, the Wildmind Science Center ensures a greener environment and avoids emissions of pollutants to the air, soil, and water.

Economic

+ With the incorporation of clean energy, the non-profit has saved $9,000 on annual electric costs, thus allowing donor funds to be used for additional wildlife conservation.

Social

+ From the electricity savings, Wildmind Science Center can serve an additional 5,000 students in its educational programs. 

 


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Chad Community Streetlights P-REC Project

Mini grids will issue first-ever EACs, P-RECs in the climate vulnerable country of Chad

The regions of the world most affected by crises tend to be those most vulnerable to climate change, and are largely excluded from climate finance flows and related investment. In addition, conflict-affected communities tend to experience high levels of energy poverty, and face issues like hunger, malnutrition and lack of basic human necessities. Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECS) have the potential to expand the renewable energy revolution to vulnerable regions, improve quality of life, and create economic opportunities. A P-REC is an International Renewable Energy Credit (I-REC) with an additional certification by Energy Peace Partners (EPP) of the social and economic co-benefits associated with the project. 

Developers like ZIZ Energie are extending the benefits of solar energy to countries in Africa, where REC markets have yet to be fully developed. Currently, ZIZ Energie owns and operates five diesel powered minigrids in Chad, which it plans to convert to solar-plus-storage hybrid systems starting in the city of Mongo, the 70,000-inhabitant capital region of Guéra province. ZIZ Energie is installing a 2.5 MWp solar PV power plant in Mongo with an energy storage system and back-up generators. 

Starting in 2022, approximately 3,300 P-RECs are projected to be issued each year, although energy production estimates will be confirmed upon final system build and ramp-up. These would be the first EACs and P-RECs to be issued and sold from Chad. P-REC purchases from the Mongo solar plant will fund the phased implementation of a community solar streetlight project that delivers a significant positive impact on quality of life and safety for Mongo residents.

Co-benefits

Environmental

+ The solar minigrids reduce the need for carbon intensive forms of energy that are typical in Chad. This has a direct climate mitigation impact by reducing local air pollution and decreasing carbon emissions. 

+ The project decreases reliance on fossil fuels and fuel supply chains while promoting energy independence thanks to streetlighting that is 100% solar-powered and independent of the solar minigrid. 

Economic

+ ZIZ’s solar sites will provide power to rural households in Chad, a nation that has had a lack of development for decades, and currently has an electrification rate of about 6%. Projects like this will help Chad increase its electrification by 500% overall and directly impact 250,000 inhabitants.

Health/Social

+ The P-REC-funded community streetlights will increase safety and security, and allow local businesses to stay open longer. The electricity connections enabled by the solar mini grids will increase overall quality of life for rural Chadian households. 

 


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Old Settler Wind Project

Old Settler Wind Project

Year after year, Texas ranks as one of the nation’s leading generators of wind capacity, and this trend is expected to continue as power producers take advantage of the state’s abundant wind resources. Owned by NorthLeaf Capital and operated by Apex Clean Energy, Old Settler is a 151.2 MW wind farm located in Northern Texas. The wind energy harvested by the 63 General Electric turbines is enough to power about 51,000 homes. The Old Settler Wind project has received acclaim for its inventive financing arrangement, a model for future deals in the wind industry. The clean energy portfolio between NorthLeaf Capital and Apex Clean Energy uses a proxy revenue swap that enables third-party financing and tax equity commitments for the project. This structure allows companies to hedge against risks associated with changing prices in the energy market and fluctuations in power generation.

All Photos courtesy of Apex Clean Energy

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Co-benefits

Environmental

+ Where oil wells once stood, wind turbines now dominate the landscape. This region of the United States is expanding offshore wind installations, drastically reducing carbon emissions.

Economic

+ The expansion of renewable energy in Texas has enhanced rural economies by offering green job opportunities in the construction and maintenance of wind farms.

+ Investments in renewable energy promote resilient infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.

 

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