Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Look, Ma — Actual Green Jobs!

After hearing so much about all the jobs that sustainable energy development is supposed to create, 'tis indeed a welcome sight to see a building opening in the region this month with at least 600 of them.

General Electric's new Renewable Energy Global Headquarters and Remote Operation Center in nearby Schenectady, New York, an existing GE building with a $45 mil green refurbishing, is now monitoring over 6,000 wind turbines all over North America. The building itself features efficient boilers, air conditioning and windows, water-pinching faucets, and its best parking spots are reserved for hybrid cars.

"Local leaders say this is huge victory from a company that once pulled jobs out of the area," writes Albany ABC affiliate News10's Demetra Ganias, and WNYT's (NBC) Abigail Bleck adds, "especially at GE Schenectady, where the once enormous staff has been routinely let go or transferred over the years."

GE used the occasion to announce that they've now installed 13,500 wind turbines globally, with revenues from their wind energy industries of over $6 billion, from $200 million when they began in 2002.

"GE renewable energy HQ brings 600 jobs to Schenectady"
News10, Albany (ABC), 2/1/10

"Renewable energy renews GE in Schenectady"
WNYT-TV, Albany (NBC)

"GE opens new renewables HQ; marks wind turbine milestone"
Recharge (Oslo), by Benjamin Romano

Related, here:
Stimulus $'s Start Flowing Into Weatherization (2/4/10)

(Actually unrelated, but I can't resist:)

Since GE is selling NBC, this counts among their last chances to be mentioned alongside the rebirth of intelligent comedy on network television, which they inadvertently backed in 30 Rock.

(The link's to the show's page on Hulu, where you can watch the last five episodes, in herky-jerky Web TV style.)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

New Points on Local Sustainability Map, 2010

News about Hudson Valley companies and other players in the business of Sustainability, rendered as more points on our ironically titled "Sustainability 'Heat' Map" of activity.

Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh
(Jan. 2010) Rep. Hinchey announces $4 million to build a solar farm at Stewart Air National Guard Base. "This project demonstrates how solar energy can be used right now to make our military installations more secure, cost-effective, energy efficient, and environmentally sound," Hinchey said. The Solar Energy Consortium (TSEC) will serve as the program manager to build the solar farm.

SunWize Technologies, Kingston
(Dec. '09) SunWize Commercial Power Systems Awarded $7.8 Million in Federal Contracts Totalling 1.1 MW of Solar Energy. The diverse set of rooftop and carport systems vary in size from under 50 kW to more than 400 kW... Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2010.

[ MORE on these stories ]

Related, here:
About the Sustainability 'Heat' Map, Hudson Valley, NY, (the why's and wherefore's)

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Stimulus $'s Start Flowing Into Weatherization

The mighty spigot of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the fabled Stimulus, is now opening wide enough that more of the general populace is finally getting a drink, in this case by sponsoring energy-saving retrofits for homes.

Here's a program that certainly looks like not merely a win-win, but a veritable triple play: as in the earlier post here on "Cash For Caulkers," it promises to save people money, help the climate by reducing energy use, and create some useful work for under-employed people. Low-income residents can receive energy audits of their homes, sealing and insulation, and replacements of old equipment with energy-saving versions, for free.

The New York State, "with its long, cold winters and large stock of drafty homes," in the words of John Sullivan on Recordonline, received $395 million in stimulus money for weatherization programs, from the national act's 5 billion total. The Hudson Valley's Ulster and Sullivan Counties each received from $1-3 million; including Orange County to the south makes that a total five million for the region.

The state's complementary Green Jobs/Green New York program for "the missing middle" — somewhat higher-than-low-income owners, you might say — extends the benefits for those better off, but not so much that they could afford to get this work done themselves. Between the two programs, the plan is to retrofit at least a million homes over the next five years.

New York's Weatherization Assistance Program is being managed through the state's Regional Economic Community Action Programs (RECAP), for Ulster, Sullivan and Orange Counties. (Those links go to their respective contact information.)

"Cash flows in for home weatherization — NY garners $395M, most of any state"
By John Sullivan, Times Herald-Record, 2/1/10

"Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)" — NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal
Related, here:
"Cash For Caulkers" (12/10/09)
Posts tagged "Green Tech"