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Cleveland's pursuit of wind; feds threaten to kill Solar SIDs; Cleveland Heights' bike commuters rank nationally

Marc Lefkowitz  |  07/12/10 @ 1:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy

  • Cleveland Public Power and the city of Cleveland set a high bar for their transition to renewable energy: Their goal is to provide 25% renewables by 2025 (which is well above the state's mandate of 12% advanced energy by 2025). How will this affect the proposed Lake Erie Wind Farm? For one, CPP could finally take control of its destiny (from AMP-Ohio, which pulled the plug on an pricey coal-fired power plant and is still searching for a new source for its customers. CPP is one of their biggest). Imagine the impetus for the wind farm if Cleveland took the bold step that Los Angeles is considering: Upping its renewable energy sources from 8 to 20 percent, with a goal of 60 percent by 2030. The Utne Reader reports in L.A. Mayor Quits Coal, "The plan is to capitalize on nearby sources including a wind farm, a plant that converts methane into energy, and a geothermal project."
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency clamps down on PACE loans for renewable energy special improvement districts. Unless Congress acts, it could kill new residential Solar SID programs such as Cleveland's just as it is ramping up.
  • Slate wonders if a city can be retrofitted with "bicycle highways" or bike lanes separated from the road by a curb to get more people feeling safe on a bike?
  • Perennially bike-friendly Portland gets props for coordinating its Green Streets and Bike Boulevard initiatives (by redirecting $20 million in sewer funds).
  • Did you know that Cleveland Heights ranks in the top 10 percent nationally for residents that commute to work by bike? Mary Dunbar discovered that when she secured a Bicycle Friendly Community 'honorable mention' designation for the city. Dunbar, Joy and Ann Henderson and Nicholas Matthew also formed the Cleveland Heights Bicycle Coalition (CHBC) to make it "a first-rate cycling city."
  • Volunteer architects, interior designers, graphic designers, and anyone interested in donating expired specification samples, ZeroLandfill Cleveland needs a hand at its summer 2010 events. Connect with them on Facebook.
  • Much has been written to document the foreclosure crisis in Northeast Ohio; now there's a single report that explains what happened in Cleveland and what the local response has been to date. "Facing the Foreclosure Crisis in Greater Cleveland: What Happened and How Communities Are Responding" is a joint effort among the Cleveland Fed, Case Western Reserve University, and Cleveland State University.
  • The Affordable Green Neighborhoods Grant Program will award grants to developers of affordable housing and related public agencies who pursue LEED for Neighborhood Development certification. (Cleveland has four LEED-ND projects in the works).
  • Metropolis hypes Brooklyn's small-scale, high-design urban manufacturing renaissance. It makes me wonder, why shouldn't Cleveland Institute of Art and The Fund for Our Economic Future team up to convert one of the city's many shuttered factories or studio spaces into an industrial design incubator? (We should be retaining some of the talent of CIA's vaunted Industrial Design department).

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