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Renewable Energy Powers the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
Wednesday, February 10, 2016-- The National Hockey League (NHL) has offset the carbon dioxide emissions of the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic with the purchase of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The NHL, through its energy provider Constellation Energy, has previously used Green-e certified RECs to match all NHL games and premier events, and the league has purchased Green-e Climate certified carbon offsets to match the estimated amount of emissions resulting from some NHL activities. The NHL and Constellation have collaborated on several renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for NHL arenas and team facilities. In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership named the NHL the 20th largest user of green power in the U.S. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Houston to Increase Renewable Energy Purchases
Wednesday, February 10, 2016-- The City of Houston has signed an agreement with Reliant Energy to increase its purchase of renewable energy. Under the agreement, Reliant Energy, a subsidiary of Houston-based NRG Energy will continue to provide Green-e certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the city for another 12 months. This deal will help Houston meet 75 percent of its annual electricity demand with the city using more than 950,000 megawatt-hours of green power annually. The City of Houston recently entered the Top 30 Local Government list of the largest green power users in the Green Power Partnership. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

Switch's SUPERNAP Data Centers Go 100% Green
Wednesday, February 10, 2016-- Switch, a datacenter developer, continues to move forward in its commitment to run all of its data centers on renewable energy. Switch, together with Michigan's local utility Consumers Energy, will power the SUPERNAP Michigan data center near Grand Rapids with 100 percent green power. In a previous announcement, Switch stated it will be using 100 percent renewable energy to power all of its SUPERNAP Nevada data centers, including over 1,000 clients who are co-located at the facilities. The renewable energy will be produced from Switch's new 180-megawatts of solar projects in Nevada. Switch has partnered with local utility NV Energy to use renewable energy from existing facilities in the state. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

San Francisco PUC to Launch CleanPowerSF
Wednesday, February 10, 2016-- The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will launch CleanPowerSF in May. CleanPowerSF is a Community Choice Aggregation that was nearly a decade in the making and will increase the city's renewable energy use from the current 27 percent to between 33 to 55 percent by delivering power generated from solar and wind. Customers will also have the opportunity to use 100 percent renewable energy by enrolling in the SuperGreen program. Energy service will continue to be maintained and delivered by PG&E. As a Community Choice Aggregation program, San Francisco PUC customers are automatically enrolled in CleanPowerSF. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

EIA Report: Renewables to Increase by 9.5% in 2016
Tuesday, February 09, 2016-- The Energy Information Agency (EIA) recently estimated that renewables used in the U.S. electric power sector will increase by 9.5% in 2016. EIA also forecast that hydropower generation in the electric power sector will increase by 4.8% in 2016. EIA expects continued growth in utility-scale solar power generation, which is projected to average 129 gigawatt-hours per day in 2017, an increase of 45% from 2016. Utility-scale solar power could average 1.1% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2017, the agency estimated. EIA also expects utility-scale solar capacity will have increased by 126% (13 GW) between the end of 2014 and the end of 2016, with 4.9 GW of new capacity being built in California. Other states leading in utility-scale solar capacity additions include North Carolina and Nevada, which, combined with California, account for about two-thirds of the projected utility-scale capacity additions for 2015 and 2016. Wind capacity, which starts from a significantly larger installed capacity base than solar, grew by 13% in 2015, and forecast to increase by 14% in 2016 and by 3% in 2017. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Energy Department Announces $21 Million to Lower Solar Energy Deployment Barriers
Monday, February 08, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $21 million in new funding to lower solar energy deployment barriers and expand access to solar energy to all Americans. The Department is making $13 million available to help states take advantage of falling solar prices and maximize the benefits of solar electricity through energy and economic strategic planning. This new program will offer technical and analytical support in the development and implementation of solar energy deployment plans. An additional $8 million under this funding opportunity will support research on solar energy innovation and technology adoption patterns in order to increase understanding of solar deployment barriers and other "soft costs." -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

City and State Partners Announced in the Better Buildings SEED Platform Collaborative
Thursday, February 04, 2016-- As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the Energy Department recently featured 12 new partnerships with cities, counties, and states to unlock the power of building energy performance data for the purposes of informing decision making on energy efficiency opportunities in their local communities. Through the Standard Energy Efficiency Data (SEED) Platform Collaborative, these partners will improve the quality and consistency of building energy data and increase community-wide support to enhance management, promote transparency, and increase the value of building energy performance information. "The SEED Platform Collaborative assists cities and states with using building energy performance data as part of increasing energy efficiency and energy savings," said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, DOE. "Partners are fostering the building industry's transition to data driven decisions on energy efficiency." The increase of building energy data available in the marketplace has resulted in the need for development of standardized, interoperable tools that assist stakeholders in streamlining and analyzing data in order to inform their policy and business decisions. Each three-year partnership supports improved building energy performance data and identification of opportunities for efficiency improvements in their jurisdictions. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Call for Presentations at the 9th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference
Tuesday, February 02, 2016-- This is an invitation to submit your application for consideration as a presenter at the 9th Annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, scheduled to be held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa on October 4 & 5, 2016. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, March 15. Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa and Sustainable City Network, the conference is intended to teach leaders and staff how to create a balance between environmental, economic and social sustainability in five concurrent tracks of programming. -- (full text)
[GSC Conference]

Energy Department Investment Drives Clean Energy Innovation at Federal Facilities
Tuesday, February 02, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy announced $2.85 million in funding for four projects that will advance the development of renewable energy technologies at facilities across the federal government. As the nation's largest single user of energy, the federal government is leading by example and these projects will reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening America's economic, energy and environmental security. This award announcement follows on the heels of the President's State of the Union address where he discussed how clean energy technologies such as solar are providing real-world solutions. Not only do they reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but they are increasingly becoming more cost-competitive with existing technologies, even without accounting for the climate benefits. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

GE turns out the lights on CFLs
Tuesday, February 02, 2016-- Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that could fit into standard light sockets only hit the market in the 1980s, but the signs are their days may be numbered. GE has announced it will cease production of CFLs this year and instead switch its focus to producing LEDs. While LED lamps produce better light on a par with incandescent globes, last longer and are even more energy efficient than CFLs, when the first LED globes intended as direct replacements for incandescent globes appeared on the market they were prohibitively expensive. When GE unveiled its GE Energy Smart LED bulb in 2010 in readiness for the phasing out of incandescent globes from sale in the US from 2012, the price was to be in the US$40 to $50 range. Now LED bulbs are available for a few dollars each, which has led to them accounting for 15 percent of annual bulb sales in the US, with GE anticipating LEDs will be found in more the 50 percent of light sockets in the country by 2020. The US government introduced a new lighting specification in January that means many CFLs will no longer qualify for the Energy Star rating, so it's likely that other CFL manufacturers will follow in GE's footsteps. -- (full text)
[Gizmag]

USGBC Releases the 2015 Top 10 States for LEED Green Building Per Capita in the U.S.
Monday, February 01, 2016-- The U.S. Green Building Council announced its annual Top 10 States for LEED, the worlds most widely used and recognized green building rating system. The per capita list highlights states throughout the country that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. LEED-certified spaces use fewer energy and water resources; save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; create jobs; and establish a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. "Green construction is quickly outpacing conventional construction in the U.S.," said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of USGBC. "LEED has become an essential tool for the transformation of building design and construction. By recognizing these states excelling in the use of LEED, we are celebrating the green building professionals, architects, business, policy and community leaders who work tirelessly to design and develop innovative solutions toward a healthier, more sustainable future. LEED construction drives economic growth, creates jobs and makes communities greener." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Energy Department Partners with National Labs, Organizations to Apply Advanced Manufacturing Methods to Wind Turbine Blade Production
Monday, February 01, 2016-- The Energy Department's Wind Program and Advanced Manufacturing Office are partnering with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and other organizations to apply 3-D printing to the production of wind turbine blade molds. By applying this advanced manufacturing technology to blade molds, it is possible to reduce manufacturing costs and time, experiment with new capabilities, and improve design flexibility. Blades are some of the most importantyet costlycomponents of a wind turbine, so finding ways to reduce the cost of blade manufacturing will further reduce the costs of wind energy. -- (full text)
[DOE Wind Program]

ReCharge NY Program Supports More Than 400,000 Jobs With Low Cost Power
Monday, February 01, 2016-- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the ReCharge NY program, which utilizes low-cost power from the New York Power Authority to spur economic development, has supported 400,000 jobs since its inception five years ago. "Through ReCharge NY, we're making it cheaper for businesses to compete, grow and ultimately thrive in New York State," said Governor Cuomo. "Electricity can be a major expense for any company, but by providing low-cost power to employers were making local communities more affordable, helping create jobs and ultimately strengthening the economy. ReCharge NY is having a profound impact throughout the entire state, and I look forward to seeing the results continue to grow for years to come." As of December 1, 2015, the Power Authority has awarded ReCharge NY power to 741 business operations, including 71 not-for-profit enterprises. Those allocations support 400,948 jobs and $33.2 billion in commitments for new capital investment. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Energy Commission Adopts Lighting Standards to Save Californians in Electricity Costs
Sunday, January 31, 2016-- The California Energy Commission adopted first-in-the-nation energy standards for the next generation of light bulbs. The standards cover small-diameter directional lamps, often used in track lighting, and general purpose LEDs used to replace typical existing home lighting. With these new standards, consumers will save more than $4 billion in aggregate over the first 13 years and conserve enough electricity to power all of the households in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Bulbs that meet the new standards are already available to consumers. The adopted standards will save consumers money in both electricity and bulb replacement costs. For a $4 investment in the more efficient small-diameter directional lamps, the Energy Commission estimates consumers will save nearly $250 in reduced energy and bulb replacement costs when averaged over 11 years. The lifetime savings for general purpose LEDs range from $4.50 to $12 and will likely grow as purchase prices continue to decline. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Funds Allocated for Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects in California
Sunday, January 31, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld announced more than $182 million in funding to California for investment in statewide improvements in local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution. Blumenfeld was joined by the city of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall for the announcement at an event highlighting the $37 million in funding that is being used to expand the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility and nearly double its capacity to generate water for non-potable uses like irrigation and industrial uses. The city of Carlsbad is using approximately $30 million through a one percent interest State Revolving Fund loan and an additional $7 million in other funding to expand its current water recycling facility capacity from 4,100 acre-feet per year to 7,235 acre-feet per year. The project will construct 18 miles of pipe as well as a new storage tank, and install 156 new recycled water meters. Once completed, Carlsbad will recycle and use all of its wastewater during summer months, meeting nearly 33 percent of its Water Districts annual water needs. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

White House Announces Energy Data Accelerator Partner Results and New Partnerships
Friday, January 29, 2016-- The White House with the Energy Department released a fact sheet profiling how the actions of its Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator partners led to a historic expansion of whole-building energy data access to building owners by 2017  significantly increasing opportunities for building energy benchmarking. Also announced are new partnerships with cities, states, and companies, aimed at finding new ways to utilize energy data and put it to work to create a cleaner, healthier, and more energy efficient America. -- (full text)
[Better Buildings]

EPA Releases Scientific Report Showing U.S. Coastal Waters a Mix of Good and Fair Health
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the 2010 National Coastal Condition Assessment showing that more than half of the nation's coastal and Great Lakes nearshore waters are rated good for biological and sediment quality, while about one-third are rated good for water quality. In almost all coastal waters, however, contaminants in fish tissue pose a threat to sensitive predator fish, birds, and wildlife. The National Coastal Condition Assessment is part of a series of National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) designed to advance the science of coastal monitoring and answer critical questions about the condition of waters in the United States. Since more than half the nations population lives near coastal waters, and that number is increasing every year, it is important for us to understand the condition of these highly productive and fragile habitats so we can properly manage and protect them, said Joel Beauvais, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. The latest science confirms we must keep paying close attention to our coastal waters, reduce the pollutants that are harming water quality, and protect those areas still in good condition. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Assisting City of Lawrence with Financial Planning for Water Infrastructure
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency will help the City of Lawrence, MA with of financial and technical guidance about making future investments in its drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. EPAs new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program will assist in developing robust and resilient finance strategies for water infrastructure that meets long-term needs. The City of Lawrence was one of ten communities nationally to be selected as a WaterCARE recipient. Lawrence was selected because of its dedication to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements. Through WaterCARE, EPA can help communities to conduct financial evaluations including alternatives analyses, rate and revenue studies, water efficiency studies, and resiliency assessments. Services though the program may also include developing asset management programs, identifying financing options and partnership opportunities, and providing public engagement outreach and decision-maker training. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Registration Now Open for 2016 Hydrogen Student Design Contest
Thursday, January 28, 2016-- Registration for the 2016 Student Design Contest is now open. The contest, run by the Hydrogen Education Foundation (HEF), is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and others. This effort is aligned with FCTOs activities to work with the public, academia, and energy associations to ensure that students and the workforce are equipped with the skills and training needed to lead the clean energy economy. The deadline to register is February 10, 2016. The theme of the 2016 Hydrogen Student Design Contest is Development of a Hydrogen Powered Micro-Grid to provide grid support during peak hours and full back-up power. The Contest will challenge undergraduate and graduate students to design a renewable hydrogen powered micro-grid capable of solely supporting a town or military base for approximately 2 days, and be able to handle at least 10% of peak demand while the macro-grid is active. The system should utilize local resources to produce and store hydrogen as well as provide hydrogen dispensing capabilities to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCEVs). The system should be optimized for as little environmental and economic impact as possible. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Energy Department Investment Drives Clean Energy Innovation at Federal Facilities
Wednesday, January 27, 2016-- On January 27, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $2.85 million in funding for four projects that will advance the development of renewable energy technologies at facilities across the federal government. As the nation's largest single user of energy, the federal government is leading by example and these projects will reduce carbon emissions, while strengthening America's economic, energy, and environmental security. This award announcement follows on the heels of the President's State of the Union address where he discussed how clean energy technologies such as solar are providing real-world solutions. Not only do they reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change, but they are increasingly becoming more cost-competitive with existing technologies, even without accounting for the climate benefits. Renewable energy at federal facilities also represents a large clean energy resource for the United States. Currently, federal agencies are working toward a goal of achieving 30% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. The DOE's Federal Energy Management Program's (FEMP) is leading the way to bring clean energy projects to federal facilities, and today's Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) selections are aimed at increasing photovoltaic (PV) and biomass generation. Cost shared with industry, the total investment is nearly $75 million. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

U.S. EPA to Announce Millions to Improve Local Water Infrastructure, Water Quality Statewide in California
Tuesday, January 26, 2016-- This week, U.S. EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld will be joined by City of Carlsbad, CA Mayor Matt Hall to announce millions of dollars in funding to the state that will improve local water infrastructure and control water pollution statewide resulting in significant public health benefits. The funding announced will be used for a wide variety of water quality projects, including pollution reduction, municipal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, make projects more sustainable by increasing water and energy efficiency, and provide technical assistance to communities. In addition, EPA will take a tour of and highlight $37 million in past funding that is being used to expand the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility and nearly double its capacity. -- (full text)
[EPA]

U.S. EPA Resource Helps Schools Reduce Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution
Tuesday, January 26, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a document to give schools and parents ideas on how to reduce childrens exposure to traffic-related air pollution. When schools are located close to busy roads, students can be exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. The new document, Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools, offers strategies for limiting exposure, including ventilation and filtration, school siting and layout decisions, anti-idling policies, bus fleet upgrades, sound walls, vegetative barriers, and other actions staff can take. Our children are especially vulnerable to air pollution, which can damage their growing lungs, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. This new report gives school officials and parents multiple ways to limit their students exposures to the pollutants from traffic. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Buchanan County, VA, To Receive EPA Planning Assistance For Water Infrastructure
Tuesday, January 26, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that Buchanan County, Virginia, and nine other local governments around the nation will receive a total of $500,000 in financial and technical guidance to invest in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. EPAs new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program will assist the communities in developing strategies for water infrastructure that meet long-term needs. The communities selected are dedicated to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements. Buchanan County, located in rural southwestern Virginia, will use its funds to plan for long-term operation, maintenance and updates to a system which serves all communities within its boundaries. The county has relied on state and federal financing and coal severance funds to build out its system to bring safe drinking water to isolated areas in the county. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Obama Administration Partnering with Dallas,TX, and Other Communities to Boost Local Foods, Neighborhood Revitalization; Local Foods, Local Places encourages creative economic development in rural and urban communities in 22 states
Tuesday, January 26, 2016-- Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined together to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP), a federal initiative helping people create walkable, healthy, economically vibrant neighborhoods through local food enterprise. Under Local Foods, Local Places, a team of experts will help community members set goals and plan projects like farmers markets, local food cooperatives, community gardens, and other food-related business that can boost local economies and drive neighborhood revitalization. Dallas, TX, is among the communities chosen from more than 300 applicants. Technical assistance from the LFLP initiative will help form a local-food branding campaign and an alliance of garden and farm enthusiasts to build public awareness, community cohesion, and relationships between growers and local businesses and help community gardens share expertise and increase the size and variety of their yields. Developed as a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, this initiative is part of the White House Rural Councils Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Resource Helps Schools Reduce Exposure to Traffic-Related Air Pollution
Tuesday, January 26, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a document to give schools and parents ideas on how to reduce childrens exposure to traffic-related air pollution. When schools are located close to busy roads, students can be exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution. The new document, Best Practices for Reducing Near-Road Pollution Exposure at Schools, offers strategies for limiting exposure, including ventilation and filtration, school siting and layout decisions, anti-idling policies, bus fleet upgrades, sound walls, vegetative barriers and other actions staff can take. "Our children are especially vulnerable to air pollution, which can damage their growing lungs," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "This new report gives school officials and parents multiple ways to limit their students exposures to the pollutants from traffic." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Mayor Launches New Initiative That Uses Data to Track Delivery of City Services
Monday, January 25, 2016-- Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the launch of CityScore, a new initiative that compiles key performance metrics from city departments every day to provide an at-a-glance view of the citys overall performance. "The city of Boston is using data in a way that no city has ever done before," said Mayor Walsh. "I am proud to launch this data platform that recommits us to our pledge of transparency and delivery of excellent city services. This overview of city metrics allows us to take immediate action within our departments to improve city services to make our city safer and smarter." CityScore is designed to provide a transparent platform that allows people to see a nearly real-time indication of the citys performance. Using metrics that are critical to the overall health of the city, the data is rolled up into a single score that is easy to comprehend. The underlying metrics are also displayed to quickly identify drivers of the score. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

HUD Awards $1 Billion Through National Disaster Resilience Competition
Monday, January 25, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro and the Rockefeller Foundation announced the winners of the $1 billion National Disaster Resilience Competition. Secretary Castro traveled to Norfolk, Va., where he joined Governor Terry McAuliffe in announcing the winners of the competition. Through NDRC, HUD will provide funding for resilient housing and infrastructure projects to states and communities that were impacted by major disasters between 2011 and 2013. "Climate change is real and we must think more seriously about how to plan for it," said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. The grants we award today, and the other sources of capital these grants will leverage, will make communities stronger, more resilient and better prepared for future natural disasters such as floods and wildfires. The National Disaster Resilience Competition exemplifies how government can work hand-in-hand with the philanthropic and private sectors to create lasting partnerships that will allow us to together face the challenges of tomorrow." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Ozark County Homegrown Food Project in Gainesville, Mo., to Receive Federal Technical Assistance
Monday, January 25, 2016-- Ozark County Homegrown Food Project in Gainesville, Mo., has been selected as one of 27 rural community projects across the country to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food. Ozark County Homegrown Food Project plans to start a community garden in a city park and open a community kitchen and food shop to make purchasing fresh foods more convenient. A commercial kitchen will allow small producers to create value-added goods for local sale. The food shop will be cooperatively run by farmers and artisans. A community garden will empower people to grow food and get outdoors. The garden will also serve as a venue for hands-on workshops. The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants. Each Local Foods, Local Places (LFLP) partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and then identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Walterboro, SC receives Technical Assistance to Boost Local Foods, Neighborhood Revitalization
Monday, January 25, 2016-- Walterboro, SC has been selected as one of 27 rural community projects across the country to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food. The Colleton Museum and Farmers Market in Walterboro, South Carolina, will receive technical assistance to build partnerships, explore funding opportunities, and grow markets for local food. The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants. Together, they will receive technical assistance valued at $850,000. The White House Rural Council and six federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority, joined together to announce the selection of the communities. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Announces 2014 Toxics Release Inventory Report
Thursday, January 21, 2016-- In 2014, 84% of the 25 billion pounds of toxic chemical waste managed at the nation's industrial facilities was not released into the environment due to the use of preferred waste management practices like recycling, energy recovery and treatment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) annual Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) report. The remaining 16% was released to the air, water or placed in some type of land disposal. Most of these releases are subject to a variety of regulatory requirements designed to limit human and environmental harm. The 2014 TRI data show a 6 percent decrease in total disposal or other releases to the environment from 2013 to 2014. Notably, air releases from industrial facilities decreased by 4 percent during this period, mainly due to decreases from chemical manufacturing facilities and electric utilities. Air releases have decreased 55% since 2003. "2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Toxics Release Inventory, a program that has given people unprecedented access to information about what toxic chemicals are being used and released in their neighborhoods, and what companies are doing to prevent pollution, said Ann Dunkin, EPAs Chief Information Officer. TRI data continue to be an essential part of informed decision-making by citizens, communities, industries, and local governments. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Energy Department Announces $58 Million to Advance Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Technologies
Thursday, January 21, 2016-- U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced more than $58 million in funding for vehicle technology advancements and released a report highlighting the successes of DOEs Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program while touring the newest vehicle technologies at the Washington Auto Show. Continuing the Obama Administrations commitment to supporting the domestic automobile industry, Secretary Moniz announced a $55 million funding opportunity that will solicit projects across vehicle technologies like energy storage, electric drive systems, materials, fuels and lubricants and advanced combustion. Secretary Moniz also announced that two innovative projects at CALSTART and the National Association of Regional Councils will receive $3 million to develop systems that help companies combine their purchasing of advanced vehicles, components, and infrastructure to reduce incremental cost and achieve economies of scale. These technologies will help save American consumers money and decrease carbon emissions by increasing the fuel efficiency of conventional cars and trucks, while also supporting DOEs EV Everywhere Grand Challenge to make plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) as affordable to own and operate as todays gasoline-powered vehicles by 2022. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

New York State Launches $5 Billion Clean Energy Fund
Thursday, January 21, 2016-- The State of New York announced the New York State Public Service Commission's approval of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund to accelerate the growth of New York's clean energy economy and address climate change. It is designed to advance solar energy, wind energy, energy efficiency, and other clean tech industries. The Clean Energy Fund, to be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, is projected to result in more than $39 billion in customer bill savings over the next 10 years through innovative projects and private-public partnerships focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, making energy more affordable through energy efficiency and renewable energy, and mobilizing private-sector capital. As part of the Clean Energy Fund action, $150 million is allocated for the development of new large-scale renewable power projects in 2016. -- (full text)
[EERE]

Smart City Projects Up 38 Percent Since 2013
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- A new report from Navigant Research examines the current state of global smart city development, covering the related aspects of the smart energy, smart water, smart transportation, smart buildings, and smart governments sectors, segmented by region. As the benefits of smart cities become clearer, the number of projects and partnerships supporting the cause is rapidly increasing. In the last few years, city leaders, central government ministries, and technology and service suppliers have announced a range of new smart city initiatives, incentives, and product and service offerings, while more cities are moving from one specific technology interest to a broader range of solutions that have multiple applications. According to a new report from Navigant Research, the total number of identified smart city projects has grown from 170 in the third quarter of 2013 to 235 today. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Energy Department Announces 16 Collegiate Teams to Compete in Solar Decathlon 2017
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- On January 20, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the 16 collegiate teams selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. The teams, from colleges and universities across the United States and around the world, will now begin the nearly two-year process of building solar-powered houses that are affordable, innovative and highly energy-efficient. "President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy aims to create a safer and more sustainable planet, while ensuring American students and workers have the skills they need for the challenging jobs of today and tomorrow," said DOE's Solar Decathlon Director, Richard King. "The Solar Decathlon competition supports the department's commitment to improving the nation's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education efforts, and to building a more knowledge-intensive workforce." -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

2015 Earth's Warmest Year by Widest Margin on Record
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. During the final month, the December combined global land and ocean average surface temperature was the highest on record for any month in the 136-year record. So reported the National Centers for Environmental Information at NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in its annual report released this week. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for 92nd Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reminding those interested in attending this year's Agricultural Outlook Forum, "Transforming Agriculture," that early registration is available through Jan. 29, 2016. The Agricultural Outlook Forum, now in its 92nd year, is the USDA's largest annual meeting, attracting 1,600 attendees. Along with the plenary panel discussion "Providing Leadership for Present and Future Generations in the Transformation of Agriculture," attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 80 speakers and a host of agriculture related exhibits. The Forum is a platform facilitating conversation on key issues and topics within the agricultural community, including producers, processors, policy makers, government officials and NGOs, both foreign and domestic. -- (full text)
[USDA]

Secretaries of the Navy, Agriculture Launch Deployment of Great Green Fleet
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack kicked off the Great Green Fleet with the deployment of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCS CSG) during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island. On January 20, the Great Green Fleet is a Department of the Navy initiative highlighting how the Navy and Marine Corps are using energy efficiency and alternative energy to increase combat capability and operational flexibility. At the close of the ceremony, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale (DDG 106) left the pier to begin its deployment, becoming the first U.S. Navy ship running on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations. "When it comes to power, my focus has been about one thing and one thing only: better warfighting," said Mabus. "The Great Green Fleet shows how we are transforming our energy use to make us better warfighters, to go farther, stay longer, and deliver more firepower. In short, to enable us to provide the global presence that is our mission." -- (full text)
[USDA]

Johnston, Iowa, to Receive WaterCARE Assistance from EPA to Invest in Drinking Water, Wastewater Infrastructure Planning
Wednesday, January 20, 2016-- he city of Johnston, Iowa, has been selected as one of 10 communities across the country to receive financial and technical guidance for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure planning from EPAs new Water Community Assistance for Resiliency and Excellence (WaterCARE) program. A total of $500,000 will support efforts in the 10 selected communities to develop robust and resilient finance strategies for water infrastructure that meets long-term needs. The communities selected by EPA for WaterCARE assistance are dedicated to increasing community sustainability by financing water infrastructure improvements. Through WaterCARE, EPA can help communities to conduct financial evaluations including alternatives analyses, rate and revenue studies, water efficiency studies, and resiliency assessments. Services through the program may also include developing asset management programs, identifying financing options and partnership opportunities, and providing public engagement outreach and decision-maker training. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Energy Department Announces $18 Million to Develop Solar Energy Storage Solutions, Boost Grid Resiliency
Tuesday, January 19, 2016-- As part of the Energy Departments Grid Modernization Initiative announced by Secretary Ernest Moniz last week to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nations electrical power grid, DOE today announced $18 million in funding for six new projects across the United States. These projects will enable the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective solar technologies that incorporate energy storage to power American homes after the sun sets or when clouds are overhead. Solutions for modernizing the grid and enhancing storage will be developed as part of the Department's Grid Modernization Initiative under the SunShot Initiative. These efforts will dramatically increase solar-generated electricity that can be dispatched at any time - day or night - to meet consumer electricity needs while ensuring the reliability of the nation's electricity grid. The projects announced today will aim to create an affordable pathway toward the efficient and sustainable integration of solar energy on the nations electrical grid in much larger amounts than currently possible. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

EPA, Southern Co. and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Recognize Five Star and Urban Waters Projects in the Southeast
Tuesday, January 19, 2016-- On January 19, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Southern Company met with 2014 Five Star and Urban Waters Program awardees to recognize and highlight their work to restore streams and watersheds. EPAs Five Star Restoration Grant Program promotes the revitalization and protection of our watersheds, lakes and streams, said EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney. Funds provided for these community-based projects improve environmental awareness and sustainability where residents work and play. Southern Companys support of the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program reflects our longstanding commitment to protecting and preserving our natural resources, said Southern Company subsidiary Georgia Power Central Region Vice President Ron Shipman. We are proud to join our partners and recognize the progress made in these ecosystems for the benefit of local wildlife and the communities we serve. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Energy Department Announces $18 Million to Develop Solar Energy Storage Solutions, Boost Grid Resiliency
Tuesday, January 19, 2016-- As part of the Energy Departments Grid Modernization Initiative announced by Secretary Ernest Moniz last week to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nations electrical power grid, DOE today announced $18 million in funding for six new projects across the United States. These projects will enable the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective solar technologies that incorporate energy storage to power American homes after the sun sets or when clouds are overhead. Solutions for modernizing the grid and enhancing storage will be developed as part of the Department's Grid Modernization Initiative under the SunShot Initiative. These efforts will dramatically increase solar-generated electricity that can be dispatched at any time - day or night - to meet consumer electricity needs while ensuring the reliability of the nation's electricity grid. The projects announced today will aim to create an affordable pathway toward the efficient and sustainable integration of solar energy on the nations electrical grid in much larger amounts than currently possible. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

Governor Announces State Grants and Loans For Water Infrastructure Projects
Monday, January 18, 2016-- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $26.3 million in grants and interest-free loans to support seven vital environmental improvement projects across the state. "Today we are continuing to revitalize local infrastructure and improve communities across the state," said Governor Cuomo. "This program helps to advance important infrastructure projects in order to support local governments statewide, and I look forward to seeing the work get underway." The funding consists of $6.5 million in grants, part of $75 million recently awarded by Governor Cuomo for 45 statewide drinking water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, and $19.8 million in no-interest loans, which were approved by the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporations Board of Directors. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Funds Help Tribes Protect Communities' Health, Water, Air and Natural Resources
Monday, January 18, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $32 million in funding for the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program capacity building grants to tribes and tribal consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The funding helps tribes develop environmental protection programs and make informed decisions about issues that impact the health of their people and the quality of their environment. Since its inception, the EPAs GAP program has played a critical role in achieving environmental progress and facilitating government-to-government relationships between tribes and the EPA. "The Indian Environmental General Assistance Program empowers tribes to build the capacity to support successful environmental programs that protect public health and their lands," said David Allnutt, Director of the EPA Region 10 Office of Ecosystems, Tribal and Public Affairs. "The GAP program is vitally important in this region because about half of the federally recognized tribes in the nation are in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

GBCI and India Smart Grid Forum Collaborate on Sustainable Power Systems
Monday, January 18, 2016-- GBCI and India Smart Grid Forum announced a collaboration on sustainable power systems in India and Southeast Asia designed to accelerate market transformation of smart grid technologies and sustainable power systems in the region through GBCIs PEER program. PEER is designed to measure and improve sustainable power system performance. Through PEER certification, power grids have an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating their performance, documenting the value produced and demonstrating meaningful outcomes to accelerate transformation of the electricity sector in the marketplace. "It is critical that we address the reliability and efficiency of our energy systems so that we can continue to grow in a way that is sustainable and resilient," said Mahesh Ramanujam, COO, USGBC and president, GBCI. "The partnership with ISGF helps us do just that, by building on ISGFs mission to deploy smart grid technologies in an efficient, cost-effective, innovative and scalable manner in the Indian power sector and GBCIs speed to market transformation in the energy sector through PEER." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

GBCI to Administer Green Garage Certification Program
Monday, January 18, 2016-- GBCI, the certification body for U.S. Green Building Councils global LEED green building rating system, announced it will now administer the Green Garage Certification Program through its acquisition of the Green Parking Council. "Parking and sustainability are not mutually exclusive concepts. Every story about a green building is a story about people, and every story about parking is a story about connections between people and their community," said Mahesh Ramanujam, COO of USGBC and president of GBCI. "Through collaborative, integrated and innovative green parking practices, we can advance sustainable mobility. This will enable our parking structures to achieve increased energy efficiency, reduced environmental impact, improved parking space management, integrated mobility solutions and technologies, enhanced performance and stronger community relationships." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Navajo Tribal Utility Authority Moves Forward with First Utility-Scale Solar Plant
Sunday, January 17, 2016-- The Navajo Tribal Utility Authority is preparing to break ground on its first utility-scale solar plant, a 27.5 MW project on 300 acres in a Navajo community south of Monument Valley, Ariz. NTUA announced an agreement to develop the utility-scale project with the Salt River Project, a community-based nonprofit utility serving the Phoenix area. The approximately $64 million Kayenta Solar Facility is funded, in part, by tax credits and federal loans. Expected to be completed in 2016, the plant will provide electricity to an estimated 7,700 households. Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the tribes first-ever large-scale renewable energy project will benefit the Navajo Nation and its people. The tribe views the project as an opportunity for economic development and job creation, including an estimated 100 local construction jobs and subcontracting opportunities. "As the primary utility on Navajo, it was important NTUA take the lead on establishing a large-scale renewable project on the Navajo Nation," said NTUA General Manager Walter Hasse. "It is an important next step in the development of a green economy for the Navajo Nation." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Approves Californias New Trash Control Policy
Sunday, January 17, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the State Water Resources Control Boards new water quality standards for trash in Californias waters. The standards are part of the states new Trash Control Policy, designed to keep trash out of streams, lakes, bays, estuaries, coastal and ocean waters in California to protect people and the environment. Trash seriously degrades habitats for many aquatic species, and can lead to fatal ingestion or entanglements. The presence of trash in waters also jeopardizes human health and safety, and impedes recreational, navigational and commercial activities. As much as 80 percent of the trash that ends up as marine debris is generated on land. With these new requirements, California is not only protecting its own waterways, it will be shrinking the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the massive vortex of marine debris in the Pacific Ocean. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

DOE Announces $11 Million for Seven New Projects to Test New Options for Optimal Efficiency of the U.S. Electric Grid
Friday, January 15, 2016-- The Energy Departments (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced $11 million in funding for seven transformational projects that will develop realistic, open-access models and data repositories to aid in improving the U.S. electric grid. ARPA-Es new program, Generating Realistic Information for the Development of Distribution and Transmission Algorithms (GRID DATA), follows the release of DOEs comprehensive new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan announced yesterday by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Miami, FL, which is part of an ongoing effort that reflects the Obama Administrations commitment to improving the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nations electricity delivery system. With recent advances in computing technology and optimization software, researchers have developed new algorithms, the computations that serve as the basis to develop software, to solve how power can be most efficiently transmitted and distributed on the electric grid. However, existing models that test these algorithms are dated, inaccurate or incomplete; meanwhile, models that use real data from the electric grid cannot be shared publicly due to security and privacy challenges. The GRID DATA program seeks to overcome these limitations by creating new models and data repositories that can be used by members of the research community to develop accurate tests and evaluations for emerging optimization technologies to plan for the future of the electric grid. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

$32 Million in EPA funds help Northwest and Alaska tribes protect communities' health, water, air and natural resources
Thursday, January 14, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $32 million in funding for the Indian Environmental General Assistance Program (GAP) capacity building grants to tribes and tribal consortia in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The funding helps tribes develop environmental protection programs and make informed decisions about issues that impact the health of their people and the quality of their environment. Since its inception, the EPAs GAP program has played a critical role in achieving environmental progress and facilitating government-to-government relationships between tribes and the EPA. -- (full text)
[EPA]

DOE Announces $220 Million in Grid Modernization Funding
Thursday, January 14, 2016-- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today built on its Grid Modernization Initiativean ongoing effort that reflects the Obama Administrations commitment to improving the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nations electricity delivery system. During his visit to a utility control center in Miami, Florida, today, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced the release of DOEs comprehensive new Grid Modernization Multi-Year Program Plan, a blueprint for modernizing the grid. The Secretary also announced the award of up to $220 million over three years, subject to congressional appropriations, to DOEs National Labs and partners to support critical research and development in advanced storage systems, clean energy integration, standards and test procedures, and a number of other key grid modernization areas. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Appalachian Power RFP
Wednesday, January 13, 2016-- Appalachian Power RFP seeking up to 150 megawatts of wind power. Proposals should allow Appalachian Power to own one or more wind projects or purchase the output from wind projects under one or more 20-year renewable energy power purchase agreements. Qualified projects must be located within Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio or Pennsylvania, be interconnected to the PJM Regional Transmission Operator, and have a minimum nameplate rating of 40 MW. Appalachian Power has issued pre-qualification documents and the forms must be returned by Jan. 29, 2016. Submission deadline: April 1, 2016 -- (full text)
[The Green Power Network]

EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nations Wastewater Infrastructure
Wednesday, January 13, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nations wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff. The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost. The only way to have clean and reliable water is to have infrastructure that is up to the task, said Joel Beauvais, EPAs Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water. Our nation has made tremendous progress in modernizing our treatment plants and pipes in recent decades, but this survey tells us that a great deal of work remains. -- (full text)
[EPA]

State RPS Yielded $7.4 Billion in Benefits in 2013
Wednesday, January 13, 2016-- A new study estimates the United States realized $2.2 billion in benefits from reduced greenhouse gas emissions, as well as $5.2 billion from reductions in other air pollution, resulting from state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies that were in effect in many states in 2013. State renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies generated an estimated $2.2 billion in benefits by lowering greenhouse gas emissions and an additional $5.2 billion by reducing other air pollution in 2013, according to a new study. The report was conducted by researchers from the Energy Departments Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT) 2016
Wednesday, January 13, 2016-- The Building Technologies Office (BTO) has made significant updates to Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0001383, Building Energy Efficiency Frontiers & Innovations Technologies (BENEFIT)  2016, including an increase in available funding from $8 million to $20 million. Please note the following modifications: -Total available Federal funding has increased from $8 million to $20 million. -The number of anticipated awards has increased to approximately 17-25. -The new deadline for Concept Papers is February 5, 2016. -The second webinar has been rescheduled to March 17, 2016. -Additional detail regarding buildings to grid interaction has been added for Topic Areas 1, 2 and 4. -The new deadline for full applications is April 19, 2016. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

USDA Awards $46 Million to Boost Energy Efficiency in Vermont
Friday, January 08, 2016-- On January 8, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today awarded $46 million in assistance to the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC) to support energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in rural areas across the state. USDA awarded VEIC $46 million in assistance to help its customers save money, and live more comfortably by installing renewable energy systems and making energy efficiency upgrades, such as switching to cleaner and more efficient fuel sources and installing energy efficient building upgrades. This is the largest Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP) project in terms of both financing and scale that the USDA's Rural Utilities Service has made since the program's launch in December 2013. -- (full text)
[USDA]

New Study: Renewable Energy for State Renewable Portfolio Standards Yield Sizable Benefits
Thursday, January 07, 2016-- A new report from the Department of Energys (DOEs) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) finds that state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies reduced greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, while also reducing water use, creating renewable energy jobs and suppressing wholesale electricity and natural gas prices. The greenhouse gas and air pollution benefits alone saved the United States society $7.4 billion in 2013. Although not directly comparable, a previous report by the same lab team found average annual costs of RPS policies of only $1 billion: in other words, the benefits of these policies have vastly outweighed their costs. RPS policies, which require utilities or other electricity providers to meet a minimum portion of their load with eligible forms of renewable electricity and currently are in place in 29 states and Washington, DC, have been a key driver for the renewable energy boom weve seen in the U.S. over the last several years. Roughly 60% of new U.S. renewable generation and capacity additions since 2000 were driven by these policies. So its no exaggeration to say that our incredible burst in renewable energy deployment has been made possible by these policies, along with technology cost reductions and federal tax incentives for renewable energy investment and production. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

City of San Diego Signs 20-year PPA with SunEdison
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- SunEdison and the City of San Diego have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). Under the agreement, SunEdison will install 6.6 megawatts of solar systems across 25 city-owned sites in San Diego. The solar systems are expected to supply more than 70 percent of the electricity used by these buildings, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 100 million pounds annually and saving the city $22 million over the 20-year contract period. SunEdison will start construction during the second quarter of 2016, with completion by the end of 2016. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

EPA Releases the First of Four Preliminary Risk Assessments for Insecticides Potentially Harmful to Bees
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for the neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, which shows a threat to some pollinators. EPAs assessment, prepared in collaboration with Californias Department of Pesticide Regulation, indicates that imidacloprid potentially poses risk to hives when the pesticide comes in contact with certain crops that attract pollinators. Delivering on the Presidents National Pollinator Strategy means EPA is committed not only to protecting bees and reversing bee loss, but for the first time assessing the health of the colony for the neonicotinoid pesticides, said Jim Jones Assistant Administrator of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. Using science as our guide, this preliminary assessment reflects our collaboration with the State of California and Canada to assess the results of the most recent testing required by EPA. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Nominations Open for EPAs Annual Environmental Merit Awards in New England - Due by Feb. 12
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- EPA is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Environmental Merit Awards, which will recognize environmental achievements during the past year. Award categories are available for individuals, businesses, governmental entities, and other organizations. Awards are also given under a lifetime achievement category. These regional awards have been given out annually since EPA was created in 1970. Past recipients have included scientists, community activists, business representatives, public officials and other individuals committed to preserving the environment. An independent EPA panel will select the winners based on the following criteria: long-term effects on the environment; ability to address an environmental problem or need; collaboration with others; ability of the program or accomplishments to be widely shared; clarity and effectiveness of the presentation; and promotion of innovative ideas or techniques. Awards are traditionally given in four categories: individual; business, industry, trade, and professional organization; local, state or federal government; and environmental, community or non-profit organization. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Taking Solar Training for Veterans to a New Level in 2016
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- To kick off 2016, the SunShot Initiative will add a new location to the Solar Ready Vets program. Earlier this week, the Deputy Secretary of Energy and the Governor of New York announced that a Solar Ready Vets cohort will start later this month at Fort Drum. This is the first cohort in New York, one of the top ten states for solar installations according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Fort Drum is not alone. Next month, the first Solar Ready Vets cohort will begin at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, bringing the total number of locations to five. Over the course of the next few months, another five locations will be added, expanding the program to ten military installations. Read the blog post from Deputy Secretary Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall about the Solar Ready Vets expansion. The Solar Ready Vets program has already trained more than 150 American service members to enter the solar workforce as they transition from active duty to veteran status, giving them the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a rapidly growing industry. We look forward to giving even more vets the opportunity to begin rewarding careers in solar energy. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

UC Davis and SunPower Completed 16.3-Megawatt Solar Plant
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- University of California, Davis (UC Davis), together with San Jose-based SunPower, has constructed a 16.3-megawatt (AC) solar power plant on a 62-acre site south of Interstate 80. SunPower will own and operate the project and sell the generated power to UC Davis. The solar array will use tracking and robotic panel-cleaning technology that improves the efficiency of the power generating process. The solar project is estimated to supply 14 percent of electricity demand at UC Davis and reduces the campus's carbon footprint by 9 percent or approximately 14,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. The project is part of UC Davis's goal to obtain 60 percent of its power needs from renewable and carbon-free sources by 2017. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

Detroit Zoo Goes 100% Renewable Energy
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- The Detroit Zoo has moved to 100 percent renewable electricity to power its Royal Oak campus operations. Detroit Zoo has bought renewable energy certificates (RECs) through ITC Holdings Corp. ITC will supply the RECs from electricity generated by wind farms through 2018. The RECs are Green-e Energy certified. -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

Hilton Worldwide is First Hospitality Company Certified under Superior Energy Performance Designation
Wednesday, January 06, 2016-- The Energy Department's Superior Energy Performance (SEP) is a global certification, that builds on ISO 50001. The facilities in SEP have met ISO 50001 (the global standard for energy management based on continual improvement) and have improved their energy performance by up to 30% over three years. Until now, SEP had only been available to manufacturers as an energy savings tactic, but is now available to all commercial sector companies that are leading the way in energy management and productivity improvement. Hilton Worldwide becomes the first hospitality company to achieve certification with three hotels located in Washington D.C., Waikiki, Hawaii, and San Francisco, CA: -Washington Hilton (site of the 2016 Better Buildings Summit): SEP Platinum Certified (15.85 percent verified reduction from 2011 baseline); -Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort: SEP Silver Certified (8.4 percent verified reduction from 2011 baseline); and -Hilton Union Square San Francisco: SEP Silver Certified (6.3 percent verified reduction from 2011 baseline). -- (full text)
[Better Buildings]

Providence Participates in Program to Improve Community Health
Tuesday, January 05, 2016-- A group that includes Ascension's Providence in Washington, D.C., is part of a new pilot project designed to improve community health. The group, the District of Columbia Healthy Communities Collaborative, or DCHCC, consists of four hospitals and four community health centers, including founding member Providence. The pilot is the Learning Collaborative for Community Health Improvement, a program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Through this project, Providence will have access to new resources including the CDC CHI Navigator, a website that offers community stakeholders expert-vetted tools and resources for depicting visually the who, what, where, and how of improving community health; making the case for collaborative approaches to community health improvement; establishing and maintaining effective collaborations; and finding interventions that work for the greatest impact on health and well-being for all. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Panasonic to Provide Smart City Tech in Denver
Tuesday, January 05, 2016-- Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is creating an operations hub for its Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company division at the Pena Station NEXT development, announced that it will partner with Denver and a number of local private entities to make living in Denver easier and better for residents and visitors. By leveraging Panasonic's technologies and expertise, this partnership will ultimately make Denver a more sustainable, smart city by enhancing access to and development of community engagement, energy efficiency, water conservation, public safety, healthcare and other public services. Panasonic's CityNOW approach, which is based on the company's experience in smart city planning and integration around the world, will be the linchpin of the company's initiatives in the Denver metro area. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Spencer Award Recipients Produce Organic Crops and Livestock
Tuesday, January 05, 2016-- well-known farming couple from northeast Iowa has been chosen to receive the 2015 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture. Tom and Irene Frantzen of New Hampton have devoted their life to ensuring their farm operation is both productive and sustainable. The Spencer Award is one of the largest and longest running awards of its kind in Iowa. Administered by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, the award recognizes farmers, teachers and researchers who have made significant contributions to the environmental and economic stability of the Iowa farming community. The Frantzens have operated their family farm since 1976 and transitioned to organic in the late 1990s. They were certified organic in 2001. Their philosophy hasnt changed since day one: to be good stewards, to respect and care for the land and its people. The couple is actively involved in "establishing and nurturing niche markets and alternative productions," and is happy to share their knowledge and experience of organically farming corn and soybeans and raising hogs. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

NYSERDA Allocates $6 Million to Extend Current Solar Incentives Under NY-Sun Program
Monday, January 04, 2016-- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced the reallocation of more than $6 million in unused funds to extend incentives available for solar projects in certain NY-Sun Solar Megawatt Block programs. NY-Sun is Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The progress of residential and small commercial MW Blocks is approximately six to seven months ahead of schedule, reflecting the high demand for solar in New York State. "I'm thrilled New Yorkers are overwhelmingly responding to the clean energy and affordability benefits, choice and opportunities from the NY-Sun initiative," said Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State. "Under Governor Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, New Yorkers are adding solar at a rate that exceeded 300 percent from 2011 to 2014, twice the rate of the U.S. overall, and we expect even more growth in the coming years." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

NYSERDA Allocates $6 Million to Extend Solar Incentives Under NY-Sun
Monday, January 04, 2016-- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced the reallocation of more than $6 million in unused funds to extend incentives available for solar projects in certain NY-Sun Solar Megawatt Block programs. NY-Sun is Governor Andrew Cuomo's $1 billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. The progress of residential and small commercial MW Blocks is approximately six to seven months ahead of schedule, reflecting the high demand for solar in New York State. Under the MW Block program, residential, small commercial and large commercial solar projects are eligible for incentives that lower total project costs and support greater use of clean, sustainable solar power. The total amount of incentives available is based on a pre-established amount of energy designated for a specific region, which provides certainty and transparency for customers and installers. The level of incentives declines over time as the amount of megawatts allocated hits specific targets. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

New Osage Nation Facilities Deliver High Energy Performance
Sunday, January 03, 2016-- The Osage Nation celebrated the opening of two state-of-the-art tribal government buildings designed with energy efficiency, comfort and cost savings in mind. The buildings incorporate daylighting, energy-efficient windows, geothermal heat pumps, fans, and other environmentally friendly design features that optimize the use of natural light, moderate heating and cooling, and reduce electricity consumption and costs. In addition to providing a healthier, more comfortable work space for occupants and an inviting atmosphere for visitors, the two new buildings boast greater combined energy performance than some individual tribal buildings of older design, according to the Tribal Development and Land Acquisition Department. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Administration Awards $14.3 Million in Grants to Support Local Recycling Efforts
Sunday, January 03, 2016-- New Jerseys municipal governments will receive more than $14.3 million in state recycling grants to help implement and enhance local recycling efforts, the Christie Administration announced. The funds, based on 2013 recycling performance, are being awarded through the states Recycling Enhancement Act. "Recycling is a truly hands-on way for residents, businesses and schools to make a difference in protecting our environment," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. "Recycling not only conserves resources, it conserves energy, saves money for our local governments, and creates jobs and economic development. I am proud to see the commitment to recycling demonstrated in New Jersey, which has long been the national leader in recycling efforts." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

EPA Announces West Lake Landfill Isolation Barrier Decision
Thursday, December 31, 2015-- EPA Region 7 has announced its decision to proceed with the installation of a physical isolation barrier for the West Lake Landfill Superfund Site in Bridgeton, Mo. The decision also calls for the installation of additional engineering controls, such as cooling loops, to prevent potential impacts that could result if a subsurface smoldering event were to come into contact with the radioactive materials contained in the West Lake Landfill. Finding a solution to mitigate the potential impacts of a subsurface smoldering event is a top priority for the community, and a top priority for EPA, said EPA Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague. Todays announcement is the first step in moving forward with the installation of a physical barrier and other engineering controls to address this issue. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Success of Community Choice Aggregation Leads to Expansion
Wednesday, December 30, 2015-- In the last three years, successful implementation of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in the San Francisco Bay Area has led to tremendous growth and interest throughout the state of California, an advocate of CCA told Sustainable City Network. Through Community Choice Aggregation, also known as community choice energy, public agencies are able to purchase electricity in bulk on behalf of customers. It allows residential, commercial and industrial utility customers to have a say in their energy rates. This option is available in seven states (California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island). -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Mayor de Blasio & DEP Announce $115 Water Bill Credit for Nearly 52,000 Low-Income Homeowners
Tuesday, December 29, 2015-- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Emily Lloyd announced that nearly 52,000 low-income, senior or disabled homeowners across the city will receive an automatic credit of $115.89 on their next water bill, saving most participants approximately 25 percent on their annual bill. "The holidays can be expensive, and this credit will provide some much-needed relief to low-income, senior, and disabled homeowners," said Mayor de Blasio. "Our Home Water Assistance Program is just one way in which weve focused on providing relief to New York Citys water customers, from the lowest water rate increase in over a decade, to freezing the minimum charge." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Wichita Receives 3-Star Rating from STAR Communities
Tuesday, December 29, 2015-- Wichita, Kan., has received national recognition for leading a collaborative effort to build a more sustainable and resilient community, Mayor Jeff Longwell announced recently. Wichita is the first city in Kansas and 41st in the nation to receive a 3-STAR Community Rating for sustainability leadership from STAR Communities, a national organization that evaluates the livability and sustainability of communities. STAR uses a robust sustainability rating system to track progress across seven sustainability objectives: built environment; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts and community; equity and empowerment; health and safety; and natural systems. STARs framework includes seven community goals, 44 objectives and 500+ outcome and action measures. -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Governor Cuomo Announces Phase One of NY Responds is Now Complete
Tuesday, December 29, 2015-- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Office of Emergency Management has completed the Phase One rollout of NY Responds, the state's new approach to disaster response and recovery. With the completion of Phase One, county emergency management agencies can now connect with the New York State Emergency Operations Center in Albany to improve coordination and cooperation during a disaster or emergency. "NY Responds is transforming and strengthening the way this state responds to disasters and other emergency situations," said Governor Cuomo said. "This new approach is key in executing a coordinated response which helps communities stay better informed when an emergency situation occurs and recover more quickly." -- (full text)
[Sustainable City Network]

Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA) 2016 Call for Applications
Tuesday, December 29, 2015-- The American Architectural Foundation (AAF) announces the Sustainable Cities Design Academy (SCDA) 2016 Call for Applications and encourages public-private partnership project teams to apply. Successful applicants will join AAF for a design workshop in Washington, DC, August 3-5, 2016. SCDA connects project teams with conceptually designed projects and multi-disciplinary sustainable design experts through highly interactive design workshops that help the teams analyze and advance their green infrastructure and community development goals. To support a diverse portfolio of SCDA projects, United Technologies Corporation generously underwrites participants attendance costs. -- (full text)
[American Architectural Foundation]

One Stop Shop for 2016-2017 CIRD Request for Proposals
Monday, December 28, 2015-- We are weeks away from the 2016-2017 CIRD workshop program deadline. We look forward to receiving your proposals, and in the interim would like to offer our assistance as you gather your materials for submission. The CIRD program offers an opportunity for your community to address a design challenge head-on. With in-kind design expertise provided by CIRD staff, along with a $10,000 stipend, your community will plan a two-and-a half day technical workshop. Participants will be given the tools they need to build capacity to solve their respective design challenges. -- (full text)
[Citizens' Institute on Rural Design]

Energy Department Awards $10.5 Million for Next-Generation Marine Energy Systems
Monday, December 28, 2015-- The Energy Department recently announced six organizations selected to receive up to $10.5 million to support the design and operation of innovative marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) systems through survivability and reliability-related improvements. As part of its MHK technology research and development efforts, the Energy Department is working to harness the largely untapped renewable energy in waves, tidal, ocean, and river currents that could provide clean, affordable energy to homes and businesses across the country's coastal regions. The improvements supported by this funding will help these devices last longer, cost less to maintain and capture even more sustainable energy from the enormous potential of the nation's oceans and rivers. Projects funded under these awards will improve the survivability characteristics and reduce uncertainty regarding installation, operations, and maintenance of MHK systems operating in potentially harsh marine conditions, thus extending their lifespans and ultimately leading to a reduction in the cost of MHK-derived energy. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

EPA Approves Oklahoma Drinking Water Rule
Tuesday, December 22, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the state of Oklahomas revised rule for regulating total coliform in drinking water. With this approval, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) has authority to regulate this contaminant in the states drinking water systems. Safe drinking water is one of our most valuable public health assets, said Regional Administrator Ron Curry. Oklahoma has shown its drinking water program will continue to protect peoples health under the revised rule. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Request for Information (RFI) Assistance In Target Setting And Strategic Planning For Renewable Energy Deployment At The State And Regional Level
Tuesday, December 22, 2015-- The Department of Energy has announced a Request for Information (RFI) to assess the level of interest among state and regional-level entitiesincluding governmental, industrial, and academic organizationsin including renewable energy deployment into their energy strategies and in identifying specific challenge areas to address. For purposes of this RFI, renewable energy includes solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal technologies. Renewable energy targets and strategic plans have been set at the state level for many years, sometimes including technology-specific plans and programs. As Renewable Portfolio Standards sunset in many states and as compliance requirements are launched for greenhouse gas reduction, states may wish either to establish or re-evaluate targets for renewable electricity deployment and/or consider the most beneficial paths for achieving those goals. This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). TSubmission deadline: January 13, 2016. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

EPA Announces $19 Million for Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Projects in Nevada
Tuesday, December 22, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $19 million in funding to Nevada for investments in statewide improvement in local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution. Nevadas Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) provides financing for municipal wastewater treatment projects, while the states Drinking Water SRF provides financial assistance for drinking water infrastructure improvements. This substantial investment at the federal level helps communities develop the infrastructure needed for clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. EPA is committed to protecting the water resources so important to public health and Nevadas economy. -- (full text)
[EPA]

EPA Announces $25 Million to Improve Water Quality, Infrastructure in Arizona
Tuesday, December 22, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $25 million in funding to Arizona for investment in statewide improvements in local drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and the reduction of water pollution. The funds are directed to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA), which will use them to provide low-cost loans for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects and to provide funding for innovative water quality improvement projects. This substantial investment at the federal level helps communities develop the infrastructure needed for clean, safe drinking water and proper wastewater treatment, said Jared Blumenfeld, EPAs Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. EPA is committed to protecting the water resources so important to public health and Arizonas economy. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Geothermal Design Challenge 2016
Wednesday, December 16, 2015-- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Geothermal Technologies Office, in partnership with the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) and Idaho National Lab (INL) is recruiting students in graphic design, communications, science and/or engineering to bolster their portfolio, resume or college applications by entering the 2016 Geothermal Design Challenge. We are looking for smart and creative student teams to design an infographic that will illustrate how geothermal energy is clean, safe, reliable and sustainable. Winners will share a prize purse of $7500 and present their infographic at a geothermal energy conference in California. Register today to form teams and submit a draft infographic by March 1, 2016. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

U.S. EPA Reaches Agreement with SIGECO to Reduce Air Pollution from Southern Indiana Power Plants
Wednesday, December 16, 2015-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced an agreement with the Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company that will reduce air pollution from the companys F.B. Culley and A.B. Brown coal-fired electric generating plants in southern Indiana, near Evansville. The pollution control equipment that SIGECO will install as a result of this agreement will improve air quality and protect the health of southern Indiana residents, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman said. -- (full text)
[EPA]

Department of Energy Announces 12 New Projects to Accelerate Technologies that Improve the Efficiency and Reliability of the U.S. Electric Grid
Friday, December 11, 2015-- The Energy Departments Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) recently announced $33 million in funding for 12 innovative projects as part of ARPA-Es Network Optimized Distributed Energy Systems (NODES) program. NODES project teams will develop technologies that coordinate load and generation on the electric grid to create a virtual energy storage system. The teams will develop innovative hardware and software solutions to integrate and coordinate generation, transmission, and end-use energy systems at various points on the electric grid. These control systems will enable real-time coordination between distributed generation, such as rooftop and community solar assets and bulk power generation, while proactively shaping electric load. This will alleviate periods of costly peak demand, reduce wasted energy, and increase renewables penetration on the grid. The NODES program aims to create a new approach to management of the two-way flow of power to and from homes and businesses that consume and deliver electricity back to the grid. The resulting virtual energy storage will manage the intermittency of renewable energy, the lack of electricity production when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing. The expected benefits of these technologies include improving grid efficiency, reducing CO2 emissions in power generation, and significant savings of system costs. -- (full text)
[Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy]

Wimmer Architects/Engineers RFP
Thursday, December 10, 2015-- Wimmer Architects/Engineers RFP seeking proposals for the complete development, construction, and startup of 100-200 MW of renewable energy and environmental attributes to be built in New York via power purchase agreement. Contact: Alfred Wimmer (vvimmerarchitect@aim.com) -- (full text)
[DOE Green Power Network]

Notice Of Intent: Building America Industry Partnerships For High Performance Housing Innovation
Thursday, November 12, 2015-- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) intends to issue, on behalf of the Building Technologies Office, a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) entitled, Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation, DE-FOA-0001117. Selected teams will conduct applied Research and Development (R&D) in real world houses to demonstrate market-relevant strategies that will lead to 40% energy savings in existing homes (pre-post retrofit) by 2030 and 50% savings in new homes (over International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2009) by 2025. Through this FOA, EERE will fund high impact projects that develop and demonstrate integrated solutions to any or all of these core technical challenges, primarily focused on solutions for U.S. climate zones with the greatest need  i.e., Hot/humid, Mixed Humid, and Cold climates. The purpose of this Notice is to provide potential applicants advance notice that the Building Technologies Office, on behalf of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), intends to issue a FOA titled, Building America Industry Partnerships for High Performance Housing Innovation. NO APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED THROUGH THIS NOTICE. Please do not submit questions or respond to this Notice of Intent. Prospective applicants to the FOA should begin developing partnerships, formulating ideas, and gathering data in anticipation of the issuance of this FOA. It is anticipated that this FOA will be posted to EERE Exchange late calendar year 2014. Full Application Submission Deadline: TBD -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

Seeking Lighting and Indoor Air Quality Sensing Technologies from Small Businesses
Thursday, November 12, 2015-- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science plans to announce a funding opportunity on November 30, 2015, for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. Under this grant opportunity, DOE will seek applications for funding directed toward FY16 Phase I, Release 2 projects. Topics include "Energy Efficient Solid-State Lighting Luminaires, Products, and Systems" (topic 11a) and "Technologies for Sensing and Managing Indoor Air Quality in Buildings" (topic 11b), and can be found on pg. 42-46 of the PDF. An informational webinar to review the topics is scheduled on November 13. Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 12/4/2015 5:00 PM ET Full Application Submission Deadline: 2/1/2016 5:00 PM ET -- (full text)
[energy.gov]

USDA Forest Service Request for Applications
Monday, October 26, 2015-- The USDA Forest Service is seeking applications for the Community Forest program. The Community Forest Program provides financial assistance grants to local governments, non-profit organizations, and federally recognized tribes to establish community forest that provide defined public benefits. Application deadline: applications are due to State Foresters and Tribal officials on January 15, 2016. -- (full text)
[Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition]

Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms, and Modeling for Manufacturing
Wednesday, September 30, 2015-- The Department of Energy announced up to $70 million in funding for the next Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which will be focused on smart manufacturing. With this investment, the Department aims to support research and development advancements that can reduce the cost of deployment for technologies such as advanced sensors, controls, platforms, and modeling for manufacturing by as much as 50 percent. As part of President Obamas National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) institutes, the institute will also demonstrate these technologies in manufacturing processes with a goal to increase energy efficiency by at least 15 percent and improve energy productivity by at least 50 percent. With increased deployment and reduced costs, these SMART technologies can transform American manufacturing, enabling businesses to manufacture more while using less energy and spending less. -- (full text)
[energy.gov]