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New Facility Targets Tomorrow’s Electricians

October 1, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

The cost to install alternative energy technology like wind and solar has steadily dropped for the last several years. One consequence of this competitive pricing on renewables is that the next generation of electricians will need revolutionary training in order to install and maintain these revolutionary technologies.

That’s where the IBEW NECA Technical Institute (IN-TECH) comes in. A joint education facility between the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers #134 and the Electrical Contractors Association of Chicago, IN-TECH has graduated thousands of apprentice electricians and enhanced the skills of journeymen.

This September, they cut the ribbon on a renewable energy training field (RETF) at their Alsip campus. There, IN-TECH will prepare union electricians to use the latest sustainable technologies at the country’s largest outdoor training campus of its kind.
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Building in Harmony

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Image courtesy of Harmony House.

It’s the greenest animal shelter in Chicago and possibly the nation. Harmony House for Cats, which officially opened its new location this past July, was designed to be a net-zero energy facility with sights set on LEED-NC Platinum. Attaining Platinum appears to be manifest at this point. “It’s only a question of how high our score is going to be,” said Ann Dieter, the Board President of Harmony House.
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O’Hare Plans Massive Solar Panel Installation

July 24, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

By Matt Baker

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) recently announced that it is seeking a developer to design, construct and maintain a new solar power generation installation on the grounds of O’Hare International Airport. Development will occur over two phases with an expected completion by 2016.
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Local Wholesale Produce Distributor Aims to Reinvent LEED Standards

September 14, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Jon Sedey

Situated in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood in Chicago’s Stockyards Corridor sits what many hope to be the pioneer in the food service distribution sector. Testa Produce, Inc., an independent wholesale produce distributor, opened its doors to their new, 91,000 square foot, $23 million facility.

On track to become the nation’s first LEED Platinum food distribution facility, everything from the parking lot to the food refrigeration system is a result of President and owner Peter Testa’s vision. “Part of being in the agricultural business is to have a responsibility to take care of the earth a bit better,” said Testa.
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Solar Panels Return to the White House

October 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

“A generation from now, this solar heater can either be a curiosity, a museum piece, an example of a road not taken or it can be just a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.” So said President Jimmy Carter at the dedication ceremony for the 32 panels he had installed atop the White House in the summer of 1979. His comments proved prescient, as the panels ended up in the Carter Library, the Smithsonian and other places around the country that weren’t the roof of the presidential residence.
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Nation’s Largest Solar Plant Provides Ray of Hope for Alternative Power

September 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

It seems so simple. Coal and oil are dirty, finite resources while sunlight is clean and ubiquitous. So why haven’t we made the change? There are many reasons but the most looming is money. It still costs two to three times as much to produce one kilowatt hour of solar power compared to conventional means. The best way for alternative energy to achieve parity with fossil fuels is expanded production. Increase the scale and prices will decrease.
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