Green Energy

(Left) An Image of the original Orange County Training School, Circa 1916. (Right) The new Northside Elementary School
Rootsweb.ancestry.com, Chapel Hill, Carborro Schools

The site of an early 1900s training school for African Americans is now one of the most technologically advanced, energy efficient buildings in the state.

Northside Elementary School, in Chapel Hill, has been awarded Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council. It's one of only 40 schools in the country to achieve such status.

A picture of a man charging an electric car.
David Dodge / Green Energy Futures via Creative Commons

As more alternative fuel vehicles take to the roadways, North Carolina is working to prepare first responders how to react when they're part of an emergency.

The NC Solar Center has worked with the State Fire Marshall's office to develop a workshop for emergency services personnel in the Triangle. Soon, responders in other parts of the state will be able to complete the training online. They'll learn to identify gas, biofuel and battery-operated vehicles.

The EPA campus in Research Triangle Park
Environmental Protection Agency / epa.gov

Employees who work for government contractors are among those who are not working during the shutdown. 

Federal agencies contract out duties from on-site cafeterias to janitorial services.  Tony Marshall is president and CEO of a company in Raleigh called Innovative Systems Group, which had an $852,437 contract with the Environmental Protection Agency to run a green shuttle service at its campus in Durham. 

He says he had to send home four hourly drivers and a project manager this week.

Swine Waste
Asma Khalid

Back in 2007, North Carolina passed the first renewable energy mandate in the Southeast. The new rules say that by the end of this year at least three percent of all electricity needs to come from green sources. The power companies say they'll easily meet that, but they're going to come up short on two fronts. The law includes a provision for electricity from poultry waste and hog manure. The utilities say they can't meet either one of those terms.

Duke Study: Burning Trees Not Carbon Neutral

Jun 4, 2012

In recent years, wood burning has gained popularity as a carbon neutral alternative to fossil fuels. But new research from Duke University suggests it's not as green as it seems.

Asma Khalid: We all know trees absorb carbon dioxide. So, the thought is that when you burn wood, you're transferring already-existing carbon from trees into the air. And that carbon is ingested by new trees. True. But, that takes a really long time. Plus, burning wood releases less energy, so you need to burn more of it.
Steve Mitchell is the lead scientist on the study.

Apple Incorporated has the go-ahead to provide power for its new data center in western North Carolina.

NC Voices: Greener Hospitals

Oct 11, 2007

This week we’re examining the health care system and asking whether it actually promotes good health. Today, we look at health care facilities themselves. From toxic chemicals and medical waste, to round-the-clock energy and water use, the way hospitals are built and maintained can have serious effects on the patients inside and on the environment beyond. So as the population ages and hospital construction booms, the health care industry is examining the central creed of medicine "to do no harm" and applying it the environment too.