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Whether replacing light bulbs or unplugging your unused cellphone charger, small changes can make a big impact on your electricity bill this summer and beyond.


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Sainsbury's yesterday announced it has installed its 100,000th solar panel, taking its total installed capacity to 22MW and providing clean energy to 210 stores across the country.

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Sooner or later, when talking about artificial lights and darkness, you come to questions of safety and security. Usually, it’s sooner. In fact, the first question at any presentation about light pollution is bound to be something like, “Yes, so it’s great to see the night sky and everything, but we need lights for safety.” This isn’t actually a question, I realize, and usually the speaker isn’t really asking but rather stating what we have all been taught is fact. But often that statement has a subtext, too, something like what I found on a Colorado website: “less street lighting means more rapes, more assaults, more robberies, and more murders. It is wonderful to be able to see the details of the Crab Nebula from your back yard. It is also wonderful to be able to walk down the street without being attacked by a violent predator.”

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The Niagara Street project is designed to calm traffic, encourage bicycle and pedestrian use, increase economic development, and refocus the transportation pattern in a manner more consistent with the evolving nature of the neighborhood. 

Several parts of the project are in development in the total corridor upgrade of about 4.5 miles in length. Currently, two pieces of the project are designed and approved: 

Niagara Street Gateway Project – This phase stretches from South Elmwood Avenue to Porter Avenue. The project includes minor pavement widening, milling/asphalt overlay, street lighting, traffic signal replacements, as well as improving pedestrian and bicycle access. The current cost estimate is $4.7M. Construction will begin in Spring 2014. 

NFTA Bus Livability Project – The NFTA received $3.6M from the Federal Department of Transportation to support the Niagara Street Corridor project.LED solar lights for project list and power. This encompasses traffic signal prioritization, design and construction of a neighborhood transit center, 25 space park-and-ride lot, bicycle parking,Soli-lite Solar-LED lighting Co., Ltd is the professional manufacturer specializing in all kinds of solar powered LED lighting products. and a pedestrian pathway to the existing Seaway Trail System. Funds will also be used to purchase hybrid buses equipped with traffic signal technology, construction of several new solar-powered bus shelters, and “next bus” notification technology for installation in existing bus shelters. 

The Niagara Street Gateway project and the NFTA Bus Livability projects are crucial components to the success of the corridor. Work is also progressing on additional portions of the corridor; $1.2 million of statewide federal funds have recently been approved to initiate design work on Niagara Street between Porter Ave. and Ontario St. Construction funding will be sought from future federal legislation and other sources. This section will help [re]establish Niagara Street and the West Side as a crucial ingredient to Buffalo’s bright future. 

Niagara Street is a main artery for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians to the center business district of Buffalo. Let us not forget our Neighbors to the North, Canada, who come to the City of Buffalo on a daily basis to shop, eat, and visit. Niagara Street’s location and emerging economic might is an aspect that designers keep in mind. Bringing safety and increased foot traffic to Niagara Street will increase business presence tremendously. As in many locations in urban areas, the traffic carrying function of Niagara Street has changed over time, where the parallel interstate serves more traffic and longer trips, and the remaining arterial has a more community service focus. Therefore, the Niagara Street Corridor project will resolve and enhance the economic, safety, and transit environment within the surrounding neighborhoods. 

Between Ontario Street and Porter Avenue,The efforts to use Solar street light in Lagos is far from yielding the desired result, as many installations don't function. Niagara Street is a four-lane road typically without center turning lanes. The proposed project that will increase safety, encourage foot traffic, and increase business presence is as follows: Mill, repave and restripe Niagara Street from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street. Restriping of this section will convert it to a “complete street” configured three-lane roadway with designated bike lanes in both directions. The scope of work also includes needed streetscape and safety enhancements such as crosswalks and ramps, countdown timers, landscaping, lighting, and new sidewalks.


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The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is getting ready to bring another 100 megawatts of residential and commercial solar energy online with its Clean Solar Initiative-II (CSI-II) program. The 100MW that will be generated on the island will be enough to power around 13,000 homes. 

Building off the success of the first Clean Solar Initiative feed-in tariff, the second program will feature enhancements that allow the growth of solar energy on Long Island. For example, CSI-II will now require viable proof of site control from those who apply to build solar panels on their property. Projects will also be limited to 2MW each. LIPA will allow time for public entities to obtain service and file applications, and applications will no longer be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Not having these regulations in place during CSI-I caused a flood to the application process and prevented LIPA from considering larger, more complicated projects before the smaller, more simple ones. 

"With CSI-I, we were overwhelmed, frankly," Michael Deering, LIPA's vice president for environmental affairs told Solar Industry Magazine. "As soon as it opened up at eight o'clock in the morning, we were swamped with online applications." 

The initial CSI program kicked off in 2012, and its success encouraged LIPA to pursue a second project. Both CSI and CSI-II are a part of the power authority's Solar Pioneer and Entrepreneur programs, which have helped Long Island create and sustain the solar industry in the area. The program is responsible for providing rebates for the installation of over 6,500 residential and commercial photovoltaic systems. 

CSI also resulted in the construction of a 32MW solar farm at Brookhaven National Lab as well as solar carports on Suffolk County parking lots. The program was organized into three categories, sorted by the size of the projects. About a quarter of the smallest category that included systems between 50 and 150 kilowatt hours are still available from CSI-I, according to Solar Industry Magazine, though Deering expects those to be used before CSI-II kicks off. 

This time,Our High Quality Solar charger and solar phone chargers are uniquely designed, high-quality and low-cost. CSI-II will target the South Fork on the East End to ease the load on more constrained areas. This will be encouraged by offering any projects located in this area a premium of $0.07 per kW over the agreed rate. However, this premium will only go into effect if at least 40MW of the 100MW project are signed in the designated area. 

"Load growth, particularly at peak times, is a serious issue on the South Fork," Deering told Solar Industry Magazine. "The added value of solar is that we can defer transmission and distribution costs." 

Applications for CSI-II will be accepted starting at the end of September. Each application for a solar project must be at least 100kW in order to meet the requirements of LIPA.Our high-performance Why Solar LED are great for new projects or retrofits. The rate of the solar energy will be set through a bidding process, with each applicant bidding a price per kW for the energy that will be delivered from their prospective projects. LIPA will consider the bid as well as the technical aspects of the proposals in order to make its decision. The price for the winning bidders will then be fixed for 20 years. 

"This is yet another major milestone in Long Island's solar energy history," said Gordian Raacke, executive director of the not-for-profit organization Renewable Energy Long Island. "When completed, Long Island will have a distributed solar power plant which will generate reliable and clean electricity for decades to come, using our abundant sunshine instead of fossil fuels. Solar electric systems are a proven technology not only for individual rooftop installations but also for larger, utility-scale applications."


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If all goes according to plan, by the end of the year 75,000 homes in Sub-Saharan will be lighting their rooms and powering their cell phones with solar panels that are managed with mobile phone tech, and provided by British startup Azuri Technologies. While there are a few startups selling similar technology, (Simpa Networks and Mera Gao Power both in rural India) Azuri seems to have figured out how to scale this type of business better than most. 

“A hundred homes is easy. A hundred thousand homes is a lot harder.Our high-performance Why Solar LED are great for new projects or retrofits. And it’s even harder still to do this for a hundred million homes,” Azuri Technologies CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth tells me in an interview in central London this week. By 2014, Azuri — which has 15 employees and is based in Cambridge, U.K. — says it will have a quarter-million homes using electricity from its solar systems across nine countries in Africa. 

So why do so many people earning around $3 a day want to pay for Azuri’s product, called Indigo? There’s several reasons. Azuri provides pay-as-you-go solar systems, which doesn’t require a high upfront fee and costs about $1.50 per week. For that buck and a half every seven days,Our High Quality Solar charger and solar phone chargers are uniquely designed, high-quality and low-cost. the customer gets solar panels installed that are attached to two fixed lights and a mobile phone charger. Bransfield-Garth tells me that the tech is one of the most low-cost of its kind on the market today. 

The lighting system can replace the expensive, dangerous and dirty kerosene lamps that light up many homes in rural Africa, and the cell phone charger supplies reliable power to what is likely the family’s main communication and computing system. The pay-as-you-go solar systems are not just low-cost lighting systems, they’re also technology that can enable families to read at night, kids to do their homework after the sun goes down, entrepreneurs to conduct businesses using text and the mobile web from their homes, and children to even participate in e-education. 

Picture what computing has done for the developed world across various aspects of society — that’s what cell phones are now doing for the developing world. But of course cell phones only function when they have a reliable source of power, and there’s 1.6 billion people across Africa, India and East Asia that don’t have reliable access to grid power. 

The Indigo system — and others of its kind — also uses cell phone networks to operate. The Indigo box uses scratch cards that are validated via text message — the customer enters the scratch card numbers in the system and it unlocks about a week’s worth of electricity from the solar panels. I’m using the same type of scratch number system for a pay-as-you-go U.K. cell phone here in London. If the customer doesn’t pay for Indigo, the power doesn’t flow. 

Once the system has been paid for (with the weekly fee), the customer can upgrade the system to access more energy and also add on power for more electronics, like a TV, radio, more lights or a sewing machine. Bransfield-Garth tells me that it commonly takes about 18 months to pay off the systems and then the customer owns it.


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The council voted 7-0 to approve the plans at its meeting Monday night in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The Next Generation Corn Palace Committee presented the plan, which has been split into two phases, to the council at the July 1 council meeting. 

By approving the plans, the council authorized the committee to have architectural designs created for both phases by Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, a Minneapolis-based design firm involved in the project, with the understanding that the budget for the first phase is $4.2 million. 

“Frankly, we think it needs to be exciting,” said Doug Dailey, chairman of the Next Generation Corn Palace Committee, addressing the council. “We think the lights and the domes give us that excitement.” 

The new plan calls for changes to the outside of the Corn Palace, including new light-up domes, which will have LED lights with the ability to change color, plus larger murals with improved lighting and large windows that open to a walk-out balcony above the marquee, and numerous other changes. 

Phase one is aimed at improving the current Corn Palace and will cost an estimated $4,093,394. Phase two involves renovating the existing City Hall building, which is attached to the Corn Palace’s north side and will be vacated when a planned new city hall is built in southern downtown Mitchell. Phase two will convert part of the existing City Hall to tourism-themed exhibit space and will cost an estimated $3,081,946. That means the total cost of the project is expected to be $7,175,340. 

In December and January, the city sold $13.9 million in bonds, of which $6.5 million was earmarked for the Corn Palace project. The remainder of the money has been set aside for other ongoing projects in the city, including a new city hall, an addition to the indoor ice arena and an expansion and renovation of the public library. 

In phase two of the Corn Palace plan, changes to the City Hall building include a renovated entryway with a new cover, as well as space for exhibits and a theater inside. New bathrooms, better elevator access and an improved auxiliary gym on the second floor are also in phase two of the plan. 

The council voted unanimously to approve the new concept for the Corn Palace. Councilman Randy Doescher was out of town and did not attend the meeting. 

Councilman Mel Olson questioned, at first, whether the council should approve plans for the second phase of the project. The council’s membership could change drastically in the time it takes to vacate the current City Hall building and begin phase two of the project, Olson said. 

“You’re gambling that a new council is going to accept those plans,LED solar lights for project list and power.” Olson said, addressing Dailey. 

By approving the plans for phase two, Dailey said,A China Solar Led Lights is an obvious application given the growing interest in “green” systems. the committee will have designs ready to present to the council once that part of the project is ready to move forward. 

“I think you have to have a plan for the whole place,” he said. “Without it, we’re back to ‘what do we want to do?’” 

Council President Jeff Smith said he has heard a one-sided reaction to the new plans from members of the public.The efforts to use Solar street light in Lagos is far from yielding the desired result, as many installations don't function. 

“I’ve heard nothing but positive,” he said. 

Councilman Steve Rice expressed concern that the Corn Palace will cost more to maintain once the renovation and expansion is complete. Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling responded, and said until the architectural designs are completed, it will be difficult to estimate any change in maintenance costs.


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Officials with a California-based lighting company that had been close to striking a deal to manufacture energy-efficient bulbs here said the deal is dead for now. 

Mike Fonda, who works at Titan LED's Austintown location and who was involved closely in talks with then-safety-service director and current Mayor Doug Franklin, said the company initially had been excited about the prospect of coming to Warren, but said talks fell silent largely after the potential for startup grants fell short of the company's needs. 

A local economic development official said, however, the company failed to provide needed documentation for possible funding assistance. 

Company officials had toured several building sites in May 2011 along with representatives of the Regional Chamber and the mayor's office. At the time, company officials had said their goal was to locate to a 30,The efforts to use Solar street light in Lagos is far from yielding the desired result, as many installations don't function.A China Solar Led Lights is an obvious application given the growing interest in “green” systems.000-square-foot facility to manufacture and distribute the company's LED lighting products on the East Coast. Plans included the establishment of a training facility and showroom, representatives had said. They said they anticipated the new site would generate jobs, but officials never gave specific numbers. 

At the time, the company even had called a news conference to share plans and excitement about a potential Warren site. 

Since then, however, the company has moved on to alternate plans, deciding to manufacture 4-foot tubes it had planned to make locally instead in California. 

Since opening the new location in California, the company has continued to thrive. One of its highest profile projects includes the recent relighting of NBC "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno's 100,000-square-foot garage. There, Titan LED replaced conventional 40-watt fluorescent tubes with the kind of 15-watt 4-foot LED tubes it would have been manufacturing in Warren, if the deal had been finalized. 

Titan LED senior national sales director Dave McGeary, who also was involved in the May 2011 news conference, last week expressed his frustration that the deal never came to fruition. 

"We have a lot of Mahoning Valley customers, and it's a shame that we are not manufacturing the products here. It's very frustrating," said McGeary, who works out of the company's regional office on Raccoon Road in Austintown. "We are all about putting Americans to work. Our business has taken off. We have been doing a lot of projects." 

Sarah Boyarko, Regional Chamber vice president of economic development,LED solar lights for project list and power. business retention and expansion, recalled visiting various Warren sites with company officials and having phone conferences with them about relocating to the area. 

"We were at the point of waiting for additional details from them, and they never provided any of the appropriate documents," Boyarko recalled. 

Franklin and Fonda confirmed they remain in contact periodically, but there are no more immediate plans for a new location. 

"If they want to come back, we are here with open arms and with all the packages that we laid out the first time," Franklin said. "The buildings that we showed them are still available." 

McGeary said, however, it's unlikely the plans could be revisited now. 

"Anything could happen, but at this point, from what I have seen, it's a dead issue right now," McGeary said. 

Still, Fonda predicts that by 2014, the growing LED lighting industry will reach $200 billion. 

"What's happening right now is not even scratching the surface of where this business is going," he said. 

That leaves local officials with lingering hope, if not for Titan LED, perhaps for another LED manufacturer. 

"I meet monthly with the Regional Chamber and they are very aggressive and somewhat encouraged about some overseas contacts regarding the LED market," Franklin said.


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Staroba Plastics Inc. which has earned a reputation for its eco-friendly products, is getting greener as they replace all their metal halide lighting in their manufacturing and warehouse areas with LED lights.Our High Quality Solar charger and solar phone chargers are uniquely designed, high-quality and low-cost. 

Staroba, located in Holland in southern Erie County, manufactures and sells imitation slate roofing tiles. It creates its own polymer used from a combination or rubber and scrap that normally would be sent to a landfill from the diaper manufacturing process. 

General manager Rob Helenbrook said the new lights are being installed at the company’s warehouse, compounding and molding areas,Our high-performance Why Solar LED are great for new projects or retrofits. and that the project would be completed by the end of August. All the lights run cool enough that they can be held in the palm of one’s hand without being burned. For further efficiency, the warehouse lights are on sensors, and turn on only when someone enters an area or aisle. 

“We’re replacing our 400-watt fixtures with 130-watt fixtures, and we’re doing 320 of them,” said Helenbrook, who would not disclose the total project costs. 

Helenbrook said Lackawanna-based CIR Electrical Construction Corp. is installing the lights, which were manufactured by Lancaster-based S3J Electronics LLC. He added that Staroba learned after receiving a project bid that they were eligible to have a percentage of the project paid for through New York State Electric and Gas. 

“We will be reimbursed for a significant portion of the project,” said Helenbrook, who estimated that Staroba would save around 75 percent on its lighting bill, and that the project would pay for itself in about 15 months. 

Help Cole Park glow for a good cause at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Glow ‘N Go 5K Run/Walk. 

The unique evening event will provide racers with glow necklaces and bracelets that will light up Cole Park. The glow in the dark run will benefit local Christina Rodriguez, who has cancer. 

Race Director Shammah Rodriguez said she and her husband felt helpless since they couldn’t help Christina Rodriguez physically, so they decided to help her financially. 

Shammah Rodriguez said there are a lot of runs/walks in Corpus Christi, but not a lot of them take place at night. 

“This is a way we can help out a friend and do it in a fun way for the whole city to enjoy,” Shammah Rodriguez said. 

Come light up the Bayfront’s night sky by wearing LED lights, Christmas lights or all things that blink, shine or glow for the best illuminated costume that will take place at 8:45 p.m. 

Shammah Rodriguez said a week before the race about 330 runners signed up, and organizers are expecting about 500 to participate. 

Participants can sign up and pick up race packets between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday at Smoothie King, 5017 Saratoga Blvd. Race day registration will start at 7:30 p.m. at the South of Oleander Point in Cole Park across the street from First Baptist Church. 

Glow ‘N Go runners can also purchase raffle tickets to win door prizes such as guided fishing tours, hotel packages or spa gift certificates. 

Additional glow gear such as glasses, glow sticks to even LED flashing light teeth will be for sale, so don’t forget to bring cash.


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