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Sustainable Development Update
January 31, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

Governor Brown calls for 5 million electric vehicles by 2030, $2.5 billion for charging stations

The Mercury News - Jan 26 Governor Jerry Brown last Friday announced a sweeping new environmental initiative to cap his final year in office, signing an executive order that commits the state to a goal of 5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. The ambitious target dwarfs his previous goal of 1.5 million EVs by 2025, and includes a plan to spend $2.5 billion in new funding to encourage motorists to buy them. Brown’s order means that a huge state investment in charging stations, along with more tax credits, rebates, and other initiatives, will be needed in the next decade. Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gases in California, accounting for about 39 percent of the total, with most of that coming from passenger cars and SUVs.


Governor Cuomo proposes value capture plan for developments near new subway stops

Bisnow - Jan 29 Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed a new way to fund subway improvements in New York City by taxing landlords on increased property values. The proposal, which is short on details and still must pass through the state legislature, would create "transit improvement districts," within which building owners would pay additional taxes based on estimated growth in property value due to new or improved subway and Metro North stops, The New York Times reports. The strategy is called "value capture," and it is already in place in cities like Seattle, Los Angeles, London, and Hong Kong.

A quarter of Cal Poly’s power now comes from the sun

The Tribune - Jan 24 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo dedicated its new solar farm at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last Wednesday. The 18.5-acre facility near the California Men’s Colony will generate 11 million kilowatt-hours per year, enough to power more than 1,000 homes, the university said in a news release. It uses single-axis tracking technology to follow the sun across the sky, producing nearly a third more energy than a stationary system. That will cover about 25 percent of Cal Poly’s energy needs, and it is a big step toward the university’s goal of one day becoming a net-zero campus, the university said.

Sunlight Financial announces $400 million annual guarantee for solar loans

Greentech Media - Jan 29 The residential solar sector got a boost days after President Trump announced a 30 percent year-one tariff on imported solar modules. Last week, Sunlight Financial announced that San Francisco-based Technology Credit Union will offer $400 million more each year to fund about 15,000 solar loans. That adds to the credit union's already hefty commitment of $500 million to fund 20,000 rooftop installations. 

Solar helps power Vans headquarters to environmental honor

Proud Green Building - Jan 26 The new corporate headquarters of shoemaker Vans in Costa Mesa has received LEED platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, the highest standard for sustainable buildings in the world. The new headquarters comes with a 1-megawatt carport solar array and more than 4,000 solar panels, providing all of the building’s energy needs. The building is designed to be 48 percent more energy efficient than building code requirements in California by incorporating cutting-edge lighting, heating, and cooling technologies. State-of-the-art fixtures and equipment also make the new Vans headquarters 40 percent more water efficient than building code requirements, the company said.

Wynn Las Vegas considers solar a sure bet

Solar Industry Magazine - Jan 26 Wynn Las Vegas has announced the resort will power its planned multi-use development, Paradise Park, with 100 percent renewable energy sourced from a new 160-acre solar energy facility, making it one of the most environmentally conscious planned developments in Las Vegas. Under the terms of a power purchase agreement with developer Enel Green Power North America, Wynn Las Vegas will begin receiving power in the first half of 2018, which will be used to offset up to 75 percent of the resort’s current peak power requirements until the Paradise Park development opens. Wynn Las Vegas claims this is the largest percentage of renewable energy used by any resort in Las Vegas and an industry first for a gaming operator in Nevada.

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