August, 2020 – Volume 13, Issue 8
Renewable Natural Gas: Today’s Carbon-Negative Fuel
Sustainable Recovery: ESG Values and our Resilient Future
Don’t Get Left Behind: What is your Sustainability-EHS Fluency?
Innovative Technologies Part 1 – Battery Storage
Beyond Benchmarking: Setting Performance Goals in Portfolio Manager
ENERGY STAR 2020 Industrial Meeting
DataTrends: Commercial Buildings & Onsite Renewable Energy
ENERGY STAR – Portfolio Manager Webinars
BOC Level I Training – Kentucky Online Series
Eight week series begins October 13th
Building Operator Certification is a nationally recognized, award winning training program that offers facilities personnel the knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers.
KPPC and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) are partnering to bring another round of Building Operator Certification Level I training to Kentucky with an online series beginning October 13, 2020.
BOC delivers immediate results and long-term savings that benefit operators, owners and occupants.
– Capture proven energy savings through energy efficiency projects at your facility – an average 200,000 ft2 facility can save around $16,000 annually.
– Improve the comfort and safety of your building occupants through increased communication and implementation of practical no–cost and low-cost solutions.
– Enhance your job skills and competitiveness—over 50% of BOC graduates report increases both in job responsibilities and compensation.
BOC online training includes live, instructor-led lecture and project work (7.4 CEUs) in building systems operation and maintenance. Each course in the series is completed in consecutive two-day online training sessions. To graduate from the series, participants must pass a test at the end of each training session and complete five assigned projects, both of which are to be submitted online.
Tuition: $1,350. The registration fee covers all class materials, books, and a certificate upon completion of the training series.
Are you a veteran? If so, you qualify for a tuition discount.
This statewide BOC series will be offered online in consecutive two-day training sessions, with instructor-led lectures. Online sessions will be held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm EST.
Lexmark’s rainwater harvesting system project wins award
Lexmark has been named a winner of the Manufacturing Leadership Awards for the ninth straight year. Presented by the Manufacturing Leadership Council, the awards recognize companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing.
Lexmark won a 2020 award in the Sustainability Leadership category. According to the council, winners in this category “show a broad and deep commitment to sustainability through product design and end-of-life strategies, meaningful metrics, or policies that ensure sustainable practices internally and across their supply networks.”
Lexmark won for the company’s rainwater harvesting system project at Lexington, Kentucky, headquarters. Implemented in May 2018, the system recovers rainwater to be reused at the utility plant cooling towers that support cooling the Lexington site. Lexmark collaborated with a local engineering firm, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government and the University of Kentucky to develop and install the system, which benefits both Lexmark and the community. The goal of the project is to improve water quality, reduce stormwater runoff and flooding, provide stormwater quality education and reduce site municipal water consumption.
Since May 2018, more than 15.6 million gallons of harvested rainwater have been used in Lexmark’s cooling towers.
“By improving water quality and reducing our water consumption, this project is making a tremendous difference for Lexmark and the local community — further demonstrating our commitment to environmental sustainability,” said Tonya Jackson, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer. “We are proud to again be recognized with a Manufacturing Leadership Award.”
Lexmark will be recognized at the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala, which will take place virtually on Oct. 8. See the full list of 2020 award winners.
This is the second award for Lexmark’s rainwater harvesting system. Last year, the American Council of Engineering Companies of Kentucky awarded the project team with the Grand Conceptor Award, the organization’s top honor in the state, as part of its annual Engineering Excellence Awards program.
Celebrate National Pollution Prevention Week
Did you know that 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act? Help celebrate the 30th anniversary and P2 Week September 21-27, 2020 by promoting pollution prevention on social media using #30yearsofp2 and #p2week.
Pollution Prevention Week is recognized and celebrated as a time when businesses, environmental groups and citizens can join forces for a common cause.
By sharing information about pollution prevention (P2), businesses can become more competitive, businesses and government can realize cost savings, and environmental quality can be enhanced.
The sustainable and efficient use of energy, materials and resources is vital to the protection and enhancement of human health and the environment and the conservation of natural resources.
EPA calls for nominations for 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards. These prestigious awards recognize innovation by American businesses and researchers that redesign chemical products and processes to reduce or eliminate the use and manufacture of hazardous substances.
“As we mark the 30th anniversary of the Pollution Prevention Act, EPA is proud of the innovations EPA’s Green Chemistry Award Winners have made toward better protecting our planet,” said Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “EPA looks forward to seeing how our 2021 Green Challenge Award nominees can make our country’s businesses more competitive, turn waste into marketable commodities, open new markets for products and services and protect public health.”
The 2021 Green Chemistry Challenge Awards nomination package is now available and nominations are due by December 4, 2020. EPA anticipates giving awards to outstanding green chemistry technologies in five categories in June 2021.
EPA also will host a webinar on September 23, 2020, for those interested in applying. The webinar will provide an overview of the requirements, criteria and tips for submitting a nomination package. Register for the webinar.
Since the inception of the program, EPA and the American Chemical Society, which co-sponsor the awards, have received more than 1,600 nominations and presented awards to more than 120 technologies. By leveraging these technologies, the use or generation of hundreds of millions of pounds of hazardous chemicals have been avoided, and billions of gallons of water and trillions of BTUs in energy have been saved annually.
An independent panel of technical experts convened by the American Chemical Society Green Chemistry Institute will formally judge the 2021 submissions and make recommendations to EPA for the winners.
For more information on submitting nominations for the 2021 awards and to learn more about past award winners, visit: https://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry
Microsoft turns to hydrogen fuel cells for datacenter power
Microsoft has announced it was able to run 10 server racks for 48 hours solely using electricity produced by hydrogen fuel cells.
The system used in the experiment could produce 250kW, enough to power 10 racks, but not enough for a datacenter, with Microsoft now looking to build a more advanced 3mW fuel cell system that could power the a fully-fledged datacenter for 48 hours.
In a bid to guarantee availability of its Azure datacenters for 99.999% of time, Microsoft uses diesel generators that kick off during power grid outages as well as batteries that power servers for about 30 seconds before the generators fire up. Backup generators produce carbon dioxide (CO2) and Microsoft, just like its industry peers, is trying to cut CO2 generation these days. One of the ways to do so is to use hydrogen fuel cells instead of diesel generator.
Hydrogen fuel cells
Microsoft used a system based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells for its test. PEM fuel cells generate electricity and vapor using redox reactions between hydrogen and oxygen, so they emit no CO2. There is a caveat though.
Hydrogen needs to be produced and stored somewhere. Microsoft says that it uses electrolyzer that converts water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, but that electrolyzer uses electricity, which has to be generated (or generated and stored) somehow.
Considering mission-critical and business-critical nature of today’s datacenters, CO2-generating natural gas or diesel generation have to be used. Furthermore, hydrogen storage takes space and given that hydrogen can explode, large cities and populated districts are unlikely to welcome large hydrogen tanks in the neighborhood.
Power Innovations built a 250-kilowatt fuel cell system to help Microsoft explore the potential of using hydrogen fuel cells for backup power generation at datacenters. In a proof of concept, the system powered a row of datacenter servers for 48 consecutive hours.
Microsoft’s 250kW fuel cell system was sufficient to power 10 racks for 48 hours this June. Most of blackouts last for less than 48 hours, so Microsoft (and other operators of large datacenters) need to be able to autonomously power their servers for about two days. Since datacenters today house far more than 10 racks (and as cooling technologies as well as computing and storage density improve, so does power consumption of servers and racks), so Microsoft’s next step is to procure and test a 3mW fuel cell system.
Microsoft admits that the hydrogen fuel cells cannot replace diesel generators in its datacenters just now for many reasons, but it hopes that the situation will change by 2030 when its plans to become carbon negative.
GreenBiz – Sustainability news and resources
GreenBiz advances the opportunities at the intersection of business, technology and sustainability. Through its websites, events, peer-to-peer network and research, GreenBiz promotes the potential to drive transformation and accelerate progress — within companies, industries and in the very nature of business. Since 1991, GreenBiz has chronicled and been a catalyst for thought leadership in aligning environmental responsibility with profitable business practices.
Currently on the GreenBiz website by Mike Mareen:
Electric truck fleets will need a lot of power, but utilities aren’t planning for it
As more electric buses and trucks enter the market, future fleets will require a lot of electricity for charging. While some utilities in California and elsewhere are planning for an increase in power demand, many have yet to do so and need to get started.
This issue is critical, because freight trucks emit more than one-quarter of all vehicle emissions. Recent product developments offer growing opportunities to electrify trucks and buses and slash their emissions (see our recent white paper). And just last week, a group of 15 states plus D.C. announced plans to fully electrify truck sales by 2050. Utilities will need to be ready to power electric fleets.
Electric truck fleets need substantial power
Power for trucks and buses is generally more of an issue than for cars because trucks typically have larger batteries and because trucks and buses are often parts of fleets with many vehicles that charge at the same location. For example, a Tesla Model 3 battery stores 54-75 kWh; a Proterra transit bus battery stores 220-660 kWh. In Amsterdam, a 100-bus transit fleet is powered by a set of slow and fast chargers that together have a peak load of 13 MW (megawatts). This is equivalent to the power used by a typical large factory. And they are thinking of expanding the fleet to 250 buses.
California utilities are finding that grid capacity is often adequate in the short term, but that upgrade needs likely will grow in the medium term.
Many other fleets also will need a lot of “juice.” For example, a rough estimate of the power needed to serve a fleet of 200 delivery vans at an Amazon fulfillment center is about 4 MW. And for electric 18-wheelers, chargers may need up to 2 MW of power each; a recent proposal calls for charging stations every 100 miles along the U.S. West Coast’s I-5 corridor, each with a peak load of 23.5 MW.
Utilities need distribution planning
These examples show the need for more power at a given site than most utilities can provide without planning and investment. Meeting these needs often will require changes to primary and secondary power distribution systems (feeders that deliver power to distribution transformers and to end customers) and substation upgrades. For large loads, a new substation may be needed. A paper recently released by the California Electric Transportation Coalition estimates that for loads over 5 MW, distribution system and substation upgrades will be needed most of the time. According to the paper, typical utility costs are $1 million to $9 million for substation upgrades, $150,000 to $6 million for primary distribution upgrades, and $5,000 to $100,000 for secondary distribution upgrades. Similarly, Black and Veatch, in a paper on Electric Fleets, also provides some general guidance, shown in the table below, while recognizing that each site is unique.
|Amount of New Load||Upgrade Typically Needed|
|10||New transformer bank|
|2||Customer needs to take higher voltage service|
|1||Upsizing wire or cable to the site or reconductoring|
Now is the time to begin understanding where such upgrades will be needed and start planning for them.
Find the latest articles, videos and resources on the GreenBiz website.
Upcoming Webinar Training and Events
- Renewable Natural Gas: Today’s Carbon-Negative Fuel
Renewable natural gas presents the opportunity to harness emissions from organic waste, while at the same time providing the opportunity for zero carbon transportation across all sectors. By turning waste into fuel, renewable natural gas delivers negative-carbon fuel to fleets today by creating a sustainable, circular economy.
September 8, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this online session.
- Sustainable Recovery: ESG Values and our Resilient Future
In a world facing multiple crises, businesses, cities and organizations that have placed ESG values at the core of their work are proving to be more resilient, adapting more rapidly to change while charting a sustainable course to benefit future generations. Today’s pandemic has made the business case for sustainability stronger and the timelines shorter.
September 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this GreenBiz webcast.
- Don’t Get Left Behind: What is your Sustainability-EHS Fluency?
This webinar is designed to help develop your sustainability fluency and begin to connect the dots on sustainability and EHS management. EHS management through a sustainability lens systematically helps companies identify, assess, manage, and continually improve ESG risks and opportunities, developing KPIs and creating value for the company and its stakeholders.
September 30, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Register for this sustainability perspective webinar.
EPA ENERGY STAR webinars:
- Innovative Technologies Part 1 – Battery Storage
On-site battery storage systems are becoming a viable option to help commercial buildings manage demand for grid supplied electricity. Join us to hear how two ENERGY STAR partners have implemented battery storage projects at their buildings.
September 10, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT
- Beyond Benchmarking: Setting Performance Goals in Portfolio Manager
While benchmarking is an important step towards reaching your energy efficiency and sustainability goals, it’s just the beginning! This webinar will show you how EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool can be used to establish and track energy reduction goals across the buildings in your portfolio.
September 15, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
- ENERGY STAR 2020 Industrial Meeting
Join energy managers from manufacturing companies across America at the 2020 ENERGY STAR Industrial Meeting online! Our theme for this year is 2020 Vision – Seeing the Present & Future Clearly, and we’ve organized sessions that offer great insights into how you work today and plan for tomorrow. There is no registration fee to attend.
September 21-25, 2020
- DataTrends: Commercial Buildings & Onsite Renewable Energy
This paper looks at the buildings that report onsite generation of renewable energy, including their type, location, and ENERGY STAR scores – as well as how they have changed over the past decade. We also explain current trends in energy metering and the challenges of properly tracking onsite renewable energy use to understand the energy efficiency of buildings.
September 24, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EDT
Portfolio Manager Series
- 101 – September 9, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT – Attendees will learn how to: navigate the Portfolio Manager; add a property and enter details about it; enter energy and water consumption data; share properties; generate performance reports to assess progress; and respond to data requests.
- 201 – September 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT – Learn more advanced functionalities such as: managing and tracking changes to your property uses over time; using spreadsheet templates to update property data; setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties; generating and using custom reports; and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.
- 301 – September 29, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EDT – Learn about some advanced features, including: using spreadsheet upload templates to update property data; setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties; creating custom reports; and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist.
To view these and other sustainability-related events, please visit the KPPC Events Calendar.