Middlebury College adds solar trackers to its energy mix

first_imgThis spring a solar energy system will join Middlebury College’s biomass plant and wind turbine on campus.College officials have signed an agreement with Williston-based AllEarth Renewables to create a small 143kW solar farm consisting of 34 solar trackers that will produce an average of 200,000 kilowatt-hours annually. The installation’s total kWh will produce enough electricity for a year for one of the college’s residence halls the size of Battell Hall, which houses about 238 students. The solar farm will be located on about 1.5 acres of college land on Route 125, west of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury’s science facility.AllEarth manufactures the innovative solar tracker systems, called AllSun Trackers, that feed electricity into nearby power lines. According to David Blittersdorf, CEO and founder of AllEarth Renewables, the solar trackers, which are mounted on poles, use GPS and wireless technology to actively follow the sun throughout the day, producing more than 40 percent more energy than fixed solar panels of the same size. The company constructs the equipment at its Williston facility, using many parts made in Vermont.AllEarth will subcontract the installation of the site to Weybridge-based Backspin Renewables, which will begin work in February and complete the project this spring.‘Middlebury College continues to walk the walk in energy leadership. A product of student research in the college’s environmental studies program, this solar farm will put front and center the benefits of advanced solar technology for one of the leading academic institutions in the country,’ said Blittersdorf. ‘We are pleased that Backspin Renewables, a local Addison County solar tracker installer, will build this project.’‘We’re excited to have this system to explore the potential for additional solar power in the future,’ said Jack Byrne, Middlebury College director of sustainability integration. ‘This is a demonstration project that offers an opportunity for student learning and research as well as one more option to explore as we pursue our goal to become carbon neutral by 2016. Staff will also have the chance to gain an understanding of the operational aspects of a solar energy system.’Byrne added, ‘It’s good to know that we are producing clean energy and putting some of it back into the grid as well.’Solar energy is not completely new to Middlebury ‘ solar panels were mounted on the Franklin Environmental Center in 2008 and on Farrell House in 2003 but the new project is significantly larger than the installations on these two college buildings. Byrne said the new system will produce about 15 times the power of the existing panels.According to Dean of Environmental Affairs Nan Jenks-Jay, students have expressed an interest in developing a solar energy system at Middlebury for several years in a number of academic courses. Most recently, four students in Professor of Economics Jon Isham’s fall semester ‘Environmental Economics’ class wrote a report, ‘The Cost-Benefit Analysis of a proposed Small Scale Solar Farm at Middlebury College,’ concluding that a project with AllEarth would have a positive economic and social impact. In 2010 students in an environmental studies seminar taught by Professor of Environmental and Biosphere Studies Steve Trombulak also recommended the college commission a solar project with AllEarth.Caleb Elder, an AllEarth Renewables employee and a 2004 Middlebury graduate, had heard about the student interest and approached administrators in 2011 about constructing a solar system. College officials referred back to the students’ work and realized the timing was right for such a project.Based on current and projected electric rates and at a predicted production of 200,000 kWh annually, the system is expected to save the college about $5,000-$10,000 a year. ‘From a financial standpoint, this is a low risk project with a positive impact,’ said Middlebury College Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Patrick Norton. ‘At current rates, we will earn money for every kWh produced and we will retain rights to the clean energy credits.’‘Once again, we are grateful to our students for their energy and commitment to sustainability,’ said Byrne. ‘As with the biomass plant, they provided the initial research and interest that helped make this project possible.’AllEarth Renewables specializes in the design and manufacture of affordable, turnkey grid-connected solar electric systems. AllSun Trackers vastly simplify system design, supply chain management and installation for systems large and small. AllEarth Renewables aims to lessen dependence on nuclear and fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while creating sustainable, well-paying jobs. AllEarth Renewables was named the fastest growing company in Vermont in 2010 and the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year in 2011. Its AllSun Tracker was selected as a ‘Top-10 Green Product of the Year’ by BuildingGreen, Inc and in June 2011, AllEarth Renewables’ CEO was named one of 25 of ‘America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs’ by Business WeekMIDDLEBURY, Vt- January 16, 2012last_img read more

Robertson family home sprawling and modern

first_imgThe home at 45 Parnassus St, RobertsonMore from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020The master bedroom has a big walk-in wardrobe with built-in cabinetry, an ensuite with spa and patio access.There is a study that could be used as a sixth bedroom. The media room is set up for home movie nights while the laundry has built-in cupboards and there are two storerooms off the double lockup garage. Outside, the entertainment area has a built-in outdoor kitchen, and a second garage with a toilet has been converted into a gym. The home at 45 Parnassus St, Robertson is going under the hammer.THIS grand family home is going under the hammer in a private pocket of Robertson. The property, at 45 Parnassus St, is spread across two levels and has high ceilings, multiple living areas and luxurious extras including a cinema room, gym and an outdoor kitchen.Marketing agent Tom Zhang, of Yong Real Estate Sunnybank Hills, said the executive home was on an 1165sq m block in a cul-de-sac. On the ground level there is an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area with high ceilings, modern lighting and sliding doors that open to outdoor spaces. The kitchen has a massive island bench, stone countertops, stainless steel appliances, a butler’s pantry and sleek white cabinetry. The kitchen at 45 Parnassus St, RobertsonUpstairs, bedroom two has a walk-in robe and ensuite with bath and separate shower while bedroom three has a walk-in robe and an ensuite with shower. The fourth bedroom has a walk-in robe and bedroom five has a built-in robe. The family bathroom has a walk-in shower. Mr Zhang said the home was in walking distance of public transport and Robertson State School, and close to shops. “Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to secure this exceptional family home,” he said. “The owners are relocating and this property must be sold at auction, if not before.” The property will be auctioned on May 27 at 4pm.last_img read more

USC will have more fun under Coach Orgeron

first_img“Any Given Saturday” runs on Thursdays, ironically. To explain to Nick how this makes no sense, or comment on this column, email him at burtonn@usc.edu or visit dailytrojan.com. The best movie ever is Remember the Titans. This is an indisputable fact and I will not waste another millimeter of column space discussing it. There is a great scene in the movie where coach Herman Boone (played by the one and only Denzel Washington) is meeting his team for the first time. Coach Boone asks his running back why he is smiling. The player responds, “Because football is fun.” Boone then intimidates the player to the point that he changes his mind, and says football is “Zero fun, sir.”That’s sort of how I’ve felt about the USC football team, especially the last two years. Now, I don’t think former coach Lane Kiffin (that’s still strange to say) intimidated his players — quite the opposite, in fact. But I do believe he created a culture where football was indeed “zero fun.” Or at least close to it.When Athletic Director Pat Haden introduced Ed Orgeron as the interim head coach on Sunday, the two men used the word “fun” at least six times (by my count) in their 20-or-so minutes at the podium. I doubt I would need two hands to count how many times I heard Kiffin say “fun” in almost four years here.“This is a game of fun and joy,” Haden said Sunday. “And one of the things we’re looking for is for Ed [Orgeron] to bring that fun and joy back into the game of college football.”Haden’s choice of Orgeron as interim head coach was calculated, obviously, but calculated in part specifically for this purpose. He is, in many ways, the polar opposite of Kiffin.Orgeron is dynamic and engaging with the media. Kiffin was reserved and often appeared bored. Orgeron yells, and yells a lot. When his players mess up, they get quite the earful. Kiffin was rarely animated with anyone besides referees. Someone joked that Orgeron wouldn’t even need to re-open practices to the media because we would be able to hear him from outside of the fence well enough. The media often had to ask Kiffin to speak up, because you still couldn’t hear him even when the microphone was inches from his face.“I’m gonna have some energy and excitement,” Orgeron said when asked about his sideline demeanor. “High-fiving guys, having fun. All the things I love to do.”This is, of course, in stark contrast to Kiffin, who generally stood 20 yards upfield from the action, head buried in his laminated playsheet. Of course, as the offensive playcaller this is only natural: it’s a better view of the game. But Kiffin was the head coach too, and you just never got that feeling during games. It was like sometimes he forgot that there was an actual competition taking place right in front of him because he was too engrossed in his playbook to notice.Much fun has been made about Kiffin’s official USC bio, which claims that he was “known for his high football IQ, as well as for being a master playcaller,” given USC’s recent offensive ineptitude. But I don’t actually think that claim is false. Kiffin does have a tremendous coaching mind, and I believe he would still make a fairly good offensive coordinator. But the fact is, some people just aren’t cut out to be head coaches.When you have a moment, look up “Pete Carroll USC practice,” or something like that, on YouTube. What do you see? Will Ferrell, April Fools jokes, singing — hell, he’s literally playing the piano in one of them. If you really want to see something, check out “USC Trojans Slip’N Slide at practice” on YouTube. That’s an offensive and a defensive assistant coach having a Slip’N Slide competition to settle that day’s winner of practice.I understand that Uncle Pete was an anomaly, and I’m not saying that Kiffin should have learned to play the piano. But I think the most excited I’ve ever seen a USC player at a Lane Kiffin practice was former offensive lineman Matt Kalil running around after a practice and shouting about the “ice cream and cookies” the offense had just earned in the hotel that night. And that was one time. USC football practices under Kiffin were indescribably lifeless.And that translated to the games. Think of the Trojan sideline as things began to unravel in the third quarter at Arizona State last Saturday. There was no sense of fight or drive — just a sort of resignation. And I don’t think I even need to talk about the Sun Bowl.It’s safe to say that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will have a fresh feeling to it in a week when USC hosts Arizona. That goes for both fans and players.“I want our guys to believe and have a little fun,” Orgeron said in his introductory press conference. “Have some fun for these next eight games and let the chips fall where they may.”For those in the Coliseum, it just might be fun to be at a USC football game again. And I’m not only talking about the fans.last_img read more