Residents will be able to track the City of Reno’s progress towards decreasing its carbon footprint with a new interactive website.
The Green Energy Dashboard, http://greenenergy.reno.gov, provides detailed information on 11 solar and wind turbine systems that have been installed on City facilities, with new sites to be added in the coming months. In several formats, the Dashboard displays the energy generated by the City’s solar and wind systems, allowing users to select custom date ranges as well as export the data. Residents will also be able to use the data to better predict what they could expect from installing similar systems at their homes or businesses.
In June and September of 2009, the Reno City Council approved a series of energy-efficient projects. The projects encompass solar photovoltaic systems, a wind turbine demonstration program, solar thermal heating systems, lighting retrofits, control systems, and a variety of HVAC upgrades. These projects make up the City of Reno’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Initiative, representing an investment of $19,067,678 in projects. The entire program is funded through a combination of Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, Clean and Renewable Energy Bonds, Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, Recovery Zone Economic Development Bonds, and RenewableGenerations rebates, offered by the local utility, NV Energy. Energy savings, projected at $996,903, will be used to pay off the bonds, making no impact on the City’s general fund.
When all the projects are on-line, the City will save 6,800,000 kilowatt hours and 225,000 therms per year and will lower its carbon footprint by 17,200,000 pounds of CO2 each and every year. The energy projects financed through all of the above mechanisms will be installed and commissioned through April 2012.
Check out the wind turbines on top of City Hall to see how much energy they are creating. The City launched its new web tool “Green Energy Dashboard” that gives current information on how much energy is generated from its solar and wind projects throughout Reno.
Reno’s Public Works Department secured grants to build a pervious concrete parking lot at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center. Q & D Construction completed the demonstration project, which is among the first in this area. The concrete allows stormwater to seep through to add to the City’s groundwater. The parking lot is the final phase of a project to help cut down on pollutants to the Truckee River. Last summer staff completed a rain garden and other LID or low impact development changes to the art and culture center.
Today, another phase of the McKinley Arts and Culture Center low impact development (LID) project was completed with the pouring of a pervious concrete parking lot.
Pervious concrete is a cutting-edge material used more commonly in other communities to reduce stormwater runoff by capturing and treating the water, allowing it to seep into the ground through the porous material. This demonstration project explores local design and installation tactics with Reno’s unique climate. The Sierra Nevada Concrete Association (SNCA) was instrumental in providing the mix design for the concrete and training in the community.
In January 2009, the Reno City Council accepted a grant in the amount of $115,500 from the Truckee River Fund for this LID project, and in April 2009, the Council approved a contract between the State of Nevada and the City of Reno for a Nevada Nonpoint Source Grant 319(h) in the amount of $128,500.
Q&D Construction, a construction company founded in the Truckee Meadows in 1964, was awarded the bid for the installation of the pervious concrete parking lot. Q&D hired master craftsman to assist in the installation and to help provide their workers gain expertise. Construction Materials Engineering, Inc., another local contractor, was hired to assist with geotechnical studies and designing the infiltration trench testing.
LID retrofits to McKinley have included all aspects of on-site stormwater treatment: rooftop snow slide clips and rain gutters to collect rainwater and snowmelt, impervious swales to transport rainwater away from the building and into the landscape depression or rain garden, retrofit of turf sprayers adjacent to the building to low water-using drip irrigation and xeric landscape, drip irrigation for the rain garden, and a new parking area made of pervious concrete.
LID is an innovative stormwater management approach which includes modeling nature and allowing the ground to hold, soak up, filter, and naturally treat rainwater. LID methods may also help alleviate local flooding problems by redirecting runoff from concrete and rooftops to landscape areas, allowing the natural softscape to store waters, rather than overburdening the gutters and storm drain system.
The retrofits to the McKinley Arts and Culture Center will treat storm water, allow for infiltration into the ground, and assist in watershed protection within the Truckee Meadows.
Here are photos from today’s pouring:
With the support of donations from residents, the beloved hanging flower baskets that beautify downtown Reno will return this spring, but the City has not yet received enough donations to fund the first 75 planned baskets.
The City is accepting donations through December 15th, the deadline for the Department to order the seeds and grow them in time to hang them in May of 2011.
The donations help fund the cost of building and maintaining the baskets which averages $180 each. Residents can support this program with as little as $25.
On October13, the Reno City Council approved a Solar Power Purchase Agreement with Nevada Solar Works. This will lead to the installtion of 1,424-1,624kW of solar PV. This will cost the City nothing out of pocket and provide about 17% of the energy used by the City for a fixed price. It starts at $0.075/kWh and goes up 2% per year.
The City of Reno accepted a $5000 grant from the Home Depot Foundation today. The funds are designated for supplies and materials to be used in future Adopt-A-Park clean-up efforts at Teglia’s Paradise Park in Northeast Reno. Teglia’s Paradise Park is the park that local Home Depot stores have adopted, and Home Depot employees have donated hundreds of hours in volunteer clean-up efforts over the past 18 months.
Fifteen of Reno’s 87 parks are currently adopted by community organizations. The rest remain available for residents and local organizations to help keep Reno’s parks clean, attractive and safe for everyone. More…
The Nevada State Office of Energy just received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to retrofit 50,000 Nevada residences with energy efficiency upgrades. The Nevada Retrofit Initiative is projected to have an impact of $220 million in Nevada.
Read their news release to learn more and how to participate.