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Sustainable Development Update
May 23, 2018
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Sustainable Development Focus

Trump dials back Obama policy asking agencies to reduce emissions

THE HILL - May 18

President Trump last Thursday replaced an executive order signed by former President Obama that sought to reduce federal agencies’ energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Obama signed the original order in 2015, with a goal of reducing the federal government’s greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent in a decade. It asked agencies to reduce buildings’ energy use by 2.5 percent per year, use clean energy for 25 percent of their energy needs, and shrink water use by 36 percent. Trump’s new order, signed Thursday, only asks agencies to set their own goals, and to track their progress toward them, replacing the prescriptive targets in the Obama order.




Intel has installed 3 million square feet of solar arrays

SOLAR INDUSTRY MAGAZINE - May 17 In its annual corporate responsibility report, Intel states it has installed roughly 3 million square feet of solar arrays at company sites in nine nations. According to the technology giant, that’s enough to cover 52 regulation U.S. football fields. The solar projects harvest 33 million kilowatt hours of green power, equivalent to the annual energy use of 3,700 U.S. homes. At its campuses across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, Intel uses solar energy to heat and cool its buildings, provide lighting, and produce electricity for on-campus use. Today, 100 percent of the energy Intel uses in its chip manufacturing business in the U.S. and Europe comes from renewable sources: solar, hydro, and wind.

MGM Resorts bets on 100-MW solar array

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY EXECUTIVE - May 17 MGM Resorts International and renewable energy company Invenergy of Chicago, in a newly formed partnership, have planned to install a new solar photovoltaic array with a generating capacity of 100 megawatts. The MGM-Invenergy solar project is anticipated to be operational by the end of 2020 and all the energy it will generate will be acquired by MGM Resorts to help power its 13 properties on the Las Vegas Strip—the company claims the array will provide up to 90 percent of total daytime power needs of these venues. The solar system 25 miles north of Las Vegas will consist of about 336,000 panels on 640 acres within the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone.

Sunworks to add 1-MW solar project to California mobile home park

SOLAR POWER WORLD - May 22 Sunworks will install a 1-megawatt solar system for Meridian Terrace Mobile Home Park, a San Bernardino, California-based mobile home community of 268 homes. The Sunworks solar installation is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2018 and is expected to produce a majority of the property’s electricity needs within its first year of operation.

S.F. aims for fully electric bus fleet by 2035

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER - May 15 San Francisco’s transit authority passed a resolution last Tuesday to convert its hybrid buses to a fully electric fleet by 2035. The resolution calls for buses purchased after 2025 to be 100 percent battery powered and the entire San Francisco fleet to be completely electric by 2035. While advocates say that transition can’t come soon enough, city officials said it could cost San Francisco hundreds of millions of dollars.

S.F. mayor convenes summit to address high affordable-housing building costs

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - May 21 A mix of escalating construction costs and changes to the federal tax code is hampering San Francisco’s ability to finance and build affordable housing. And the situation may only get worse even as the housing crisis forces thousands of families to flee to less-expensive cities. That was the message from city housing officials Monday at a special “cost summit” convened by Mayor Mark Farrell. The group consisting of about 50 nonprofit developers, architects, labor leaders, and contractors was asked to spend the next two months coming up with solutions for tackling the city’s spiraling housing construction costs. Farrell asked the summit attendees to join one of three working groups that will explore how housing development could be more cost-effective. One committee will look at labor costs and workforce development; one will study how government-regulation reform could reduce the time and price of building; and a third will look at how design and materials could reduce the price of development.

San Diego City Council to vote on middle-income housing ‘bonus’

KPBS - May 22 San Diego City Council members Monday advanced a proposal that aims to boost the production of middle-income housing, as the city struggles to correct a longstanding shortage of homes. The proposed middle-income housing density bonus would allow developers to build more homes on a parcel of land if they agree to reserve a portion of them for middle-income earners. The bonus would apply only on land within a half-mile of major bus and trolley stops, so-called "transit priority areas" where the city hopes to focus its growth and development. The item is scheduled to go before the full City Council on June 26.

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