Green Tech Regional Report 11-2-11

This week’s roundup of cleantech stories from around the country takes a look at green college buildings and clean energy installations around the country. Read on to see what’s happening in the world of green tech in your neck of the woods.

The University of Kentucky’s Davis Marksbury building, which opened in February 2011, has been certified LEED Gold, and is the university’s first building to receive an LEED award. The building features a PV array on the roof, and has a system that collects the excess heat from computer labs and distributes it around the rest of building in colder months. Its ventilation system is designed to filter the air to optimum quality.

Image via University of Kentucky

Efforts to determine whether Lake Ontario is a good site for offshore wind power have so far yielded nothing conclusive, says the Toronto Sun. Currently, a device that measures the speed and direction of wind, called an anemometer, is in the lake, and will remain there until next fall. Officials are not expecting to find any data that suggests the lake is a good place for wind turbines. This is good news for some residents, very few of whom were enthusiastic about the idea of turbines.

In Indiana, six biomass companies are receiving over $4 million in funding from the USDA’s Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels. This funding will provide support for the continued production of biofuel, specifically renewable biofuels other than corn kernel starch, such as cellulose, landfill and sewage waste treatment gas, animal fat and vegetable oil.

In Illinois, the Irving School in Oak Park received an $8,000 grant to install a solar panel on their roof. The grant comes from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, and the district has agreed to cover a $2,000 structural assessment to ensure that the installation will be safe.

To combat the droughts in the Southwestern US, the city of Tuscon will be providing cash rebates to residents who partake in their rainwater harvesting program. The program is scheduled to go into effect next July. While rainwater is to be used on the properties, residents can also collect gray-water, which is waste water from sinks, dishwashers and bathtubs, to go towards irrigation. The rebates will help people who are concerned about the price of a rainwater collecting system collect the much-needed water.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.