Individuals, businesses and organizations in a record 188 countries and territories worldwide joined WWF's Earth Hour Saturday to spark unprecedented conversation and action on stopping the loss of nature, a day after 550 scientists warned of a "dangerous decline" in global biodiversity.
Close to 18,000 landmarks switched off their lights in solidarity as people across the globe generated more than 3.5 billion impressions of #EarthHour, #connect2earth and related hashtags to show their concern for the planet. The hashtags trended in 33 countries.
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Consisting of 26,000 individual solar panels, the roof of the the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas has become the nation's largest solar roof installation.
Photo credit: Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort
The solar panels cover 28 acres and produce approximately 25 percent of the energy usage of the convention center—the equivalent of powering 1,300 homes. A 350,000-square-feet expansion of the convention center allowed eight more acres of solar panels to be added to those that were originally installed in 2014.
Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort's new roof helps push Nevada toward its goal to generate 25 percent of its energy from clean power by 2025.
Photo credit: Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort
Falling solar panel costs, Fortune reported, has enabled large solar projects like this one to be installed for the same price or less than buying electricity from the city's power grid. Three of the largest casinos on the Las Vegas strip are building solar projects to lower energy costs.
Las Vegas isn't alone in showing solar's growth and prominence in Nevada. SolarReserve's Crescent Dunes project in Tonopah, Nevada, which went online in June, is the world's first 24/7 solar power plant, powering 75,000 homes.
Solar power has also been gaining momentum across the U.S. It is becoming cheaper and more accessible in major cities such as New York City, where residents can use a solar map to estimate the energy source's potential, cost savings and incentives available in the state. California broke solar records last week by providing enough energy to power 6 million homes. Meanwhile, in the Mid West, the first solar roadway in the nation is coming to Route 66 in Missouri.
A good backup generator can help you keep your home running smoothly, even in the event of a major power outage. And, when you choose a solar generator, you can power your home using clean, renewable energy from the sun. By contrast, gas and diesel generators burn fossil fuels, and are extremely loud and spew harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Here are the best solar power generators available today that can provide a cleaner alternative for home generators.
Goal Zero<p>The <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Portable-Inverter-Generator-Generators-Emergency/dp/B08MBDN4VK" target="_blank">Yeti 6000X</a> is actually a portable power station that can be used for off-grid camping or powering an RV. With 6,000 watt-hours and two 2000W AC charger ports, it will give you plenty of power for your home. With a home integration kit, it's easy to use the Goal Zero Yeti 6000X to power essential circuits.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Though it isn't exactly cheap, the Yeti 6000X power station is a great all-purpose backup generator, including a top-of-the-line charge controller and two robust AC outlets that make it easy for you to keep your household essentials up and running. It can even power a full-size refrigerator or microwave.</p>
Renogy<p>Renogy produces several different power stations and chargers, but we especially like the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Renogy-Powerbox-Portable-Outdoor-1075WH-Generator/dp/B01N6BCDZD" target="_blank">Lycan Powerbox</a>, a solar power solution that's only a little bit bigger than a suitcase. It comes with an easy-grip handle and heavy-duty wheels, making it one of the most portable solar generators around while still offering 1200W of output, which is enough power for most electronic devices and some appliances.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The Lycan Powerbox can provide 1075 watt-hours of continuous power without the noise or fumes associated with gas generators. It offers great portability and includes an LCD display and easy, intuitive controls that allow you to switch between DC power and AC power as needed, as well USB ports and 12 volt car charger ports.</p>
Jackery<p>The <a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083KBKJ8Q/?tag=best-solar-generator-20" target="_blank">Jackery Explorer 1000 portable power station</a> is one of the best all-around options, equally suited for outdoor activities and for emergency power readiness. Though it's rated for 1,000 watts, it can actually get closer to 2,000. The lithium battery pack offers a capacity of 1,200 watt-hours, and Jackery's professional MPPT technology makes it easy to get your unit fully charged in a relatively short span of time (usually just eight hours if you have two panels going).</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>Jackery is one of the leading names in outdoor equipment and in clean energy products. This portable power station is a great pick for campers and can also be a very effective home backup power solution for small appliances and electronics thanks to its pure sine wave inverter AC outlets.</p>
Westinghouse Outdoor Power<p>Westinghouse is another company that specializes in solar powered generators, most of which are more ideally suited for camping trips. Their <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Westinghouse-iGen600s-Portable-Generator-Lithium-ion/dp/B08SJ8JBBC/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&m=A2MDFVW08TGIW8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1614289724&s=merchant-items&sr=1-2" target="_blank">iGen600s</a> portable generator, however, offers a wattage of up to 1,200 peak watts, which can certainly function as a decent emergency backup for certain household appliances and small devices.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>For a portable yet still very versatile solar generator, Westinghouse is a company to keep on your list. The iGen600 power system can run a mini fridge for up to 42 hours or a CPAP machine for up to 46 hours thanks to its lithium-ion battery that offers 592 Watt-hours of energy and a long battery life.</p>
EcoFlow<p>The <a href="https://www.amazon.com/EF-ECOFLOW-Portable-Station-Generator/dp/B083FR3762" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">EcoFlow DELTA power station</a> is a wonderfully rugged, dependable backup generator that can help meet your power needs during a blackout. For one thing, the charging time is incredible; you can potentially go from zero to 80 percent in under an hour with a wall outlet. Should you ever find yourself facing a power outage, this is an emergency energy solution you'll be really thankful for.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> The DELTA station from EcoFlow offers a lot of value and usability; in particular, it has one of the fastest recharging times of any solar generator, which may be reason enough for you to choose it over the competitors. The DELTA unit offers 13 ports, meaning it's compatible with pretty much any device or appliance you could ever need to charge.</p>
Bluetti<p>For a heavy-duty emergency power solution, look no further than to MAXOAK, and particularly to a product called the <a href="https://www.amazon.com/BLUETTI-Portable-Station-Generator-Emergency/dp/B08MZJW9Y5" target="_blank">Bluetti AC200P</a>. With a 2000 Watt-hour capacity, this is one of the most robust solar generators you'll find anywhere.</p><p><strong>Why buy:</strong> MAXOAK's Bluetti AC200P is the one you're going to want for really heavy-duty home energy backup. With massive AC inverters that offer up to 4800W surge capacity, it can provide more than enough power to fuel all your most critical home appliances, even some HVAC units. Also note the two-year warranty, a generous consumer protection.</p>
Point Zero Energy<p><a href="https://www.pointzeroenergy.com/product/titan-solar-generator/" target="_blank">Point Zero Energy</a> is one of the foremost names in disaster preparedness, and when you take a look at their product specs, you'll see why. Their Titan model solar generator offers almost twice the storage of similarly priced units with a high-capacity 2,000-watt-hour battery capacity and 3,000 watt high-efficiency inverter.</p><p><strong>Why buy: </strong>On a purely technical level, this is the beefiest generator on our list, though of course, it's also one of the priciest. The unit is made with high-efficiency components, meaning it doesn't waste a lot of energy running the system; instead, it just supplies you with plenty of functional electricity when you need it the most.</p>
The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) submitted more than 21,200 comments from the public Nov. 29 to the Nevada state engineer opposing granting of water rights to the Southern Nevada Water Authority for its massive groundwater pipeline project. If approved, the project would siphon 57 million gallons of water a year away from rural Nevada and Utah to fuel unsustainable urban growth in southern Nevada, unleashing vast environmental, economic and social harm.
The CBD will also submit the comments to the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s board of directors Nov. 30, at their meeting.
“Aside from being a financial boondoggle, the Water Authority’s proposed pipeline would destroy Nevada’s priceless natural heritage and huge swaths of rural communities,” said Rob Mrowka, a Nevada-based ecologist with the CBD. “There are other, better options for addressing southern Nevada’s long-term water needs.”
A fiscal analysis produced by Las Vegas-based Hobbs, Ong & Associates conservatively pegged the cost of the water project at nearly $15.5 billion—which would saddle millions of ratepayers in Clark County with huge costs for water services for generations. The Water Authority has said publicly that the cost for the project, which would initially include more than 300 miles of pipelines and dozens of well sites in rural east-central Nevada, is $2 billion to $3.6 billion. Under the $15.5 billion estimate, average monthly water bills for residents would increase from $36 to more than $90.
A draft environmental impact statement prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the pipeline project disclosed that major vegetation and ecosystem changes would occur on more than 200,000 acres, including wetlands that will dry up and wildlife shrubland habitat converted to dryland grasses and noxious weeds. More than 300 springs would also be damaged, along with more than 120 miles of streams. Species such as the Bonneville cutthroat trout, sage grouse, mule deer and elk would suffer major declines as their habitats disappear.
“It doesn’t make sense to rob Nevada’s wildlife and these rural areas of the water they need just to quench the thirst of unsustainable growth, whether it’s Las Vegas or Coyote Springs,” said Mrowka. “It’s time for our county and municipal leaders to start talking about creating sustainable communities in the face of dwindling water supplies and a hotter, drier climate. Clearly the old paradigm of a growth-driven economy has failed and will not lead to a promising future.”
Among the options not seriously studied by the Water Authority are aggressive conservation; investment in modern and efficient indoor and outdoor water appliances and devices; expanded development of ocean desalinization; reworking the sorely outdated laws governing the Colorado River’s water; and the Authority’s own general manager’s suggestion of diversion of the flood waters of the Mississippi. The Water Authority has never produced an analysis comparing the costs, benefits and risks of the various alternatives, but instead has single-mindedly pursued the groundwater-mining solution.
For more information, click here.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 320,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
The Great Basin ecosystem in Nevada and Utah is under attack by the Southern Nevada Water Authority, which is trying to export groundwater via a 300-mile pipeline to Las Vegas—a city hoping to expand in the driest desert in North America.
This is obviously a bad bet, and we need to say so right away.
The proposal would cut the lifeline of a wild area the size of Vermont. Species that are dependent on the Great Basin ecosystem, like the imperiled greater sage grouse, would be hurt, while some fish and springsnails that live nowhere else on Earth could die off completely.
More than 20,000 of the Center for Biological Diversity’s activists told the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to deny the right-of-way application for the pipeline. Now we need an even bigger push. Ask the Nevada state water engineer to deny the Southern Nevada Water Authority's applications.
There are better options for securing water for Las Vegas than laying waste to the heart of the Great Basin.
Click here to find out more and take action.
Subject: Deny the Southern Nevada Water Authority Water Rights Applications
To Mr. King,
I am writing to you because I care deeply about the Great Basin and all the plants and animals that live there, and am appalled at the Southern Nevada Water Authority's request to pump and export 57 billion gallons of water annually from our aquifers in central and eastern Nevada. Why would we pump our water to southern Nevada to support unsustainable growth when there are viable means of meeting the water needs through increased conservation, smart growth management and desalination options?
Nevada's "interbasin water transfer statute," NRS 533.370(6), currently requires the state engineer, you, to deny an application for an interbasin transfer of water if he finds that the proposed transfer would not be environmentally sound for the basin being diverted.
While the definition of environmentally sound is absent in the statute, it seems only reasonable to deem the water authority's request as such, given the catastrophic and irreversible impacts that would occur as a result of this groundwater extraction, as documented in the Bureau of Land Management's "draft environmental impact statement" for the pipeline proposal.
Water tables would drop by 200 feet; 192,000-plus acres of prime Great Basin shrubland habitats would be dried, destroyed and converted to dryland grasses and annuals, supporting invasive species like cheatgrass and Sahara mustard. Eight thousand acres of wetlands would be destroyed along with 310 springs and 125 miles of perennial streams.
The toll on species would also be staggering, and some species of desert fish and springsnails would go extinct. Widespread harm to other species would occur, including the imperiled greater sage grouse, southwestern willow flycatcher, Columbia spotted frog, pronghorn and elk.
These applications threaten the very natural heritage of the Great Basin in eastern Nevada and western Utah. Please deny the authority's water-right applications based on the severe, environmentally unsound impacts they would cause. In light of other options available to the authority for meeting reasonable water demands, they should be off the table.
Take action by November 28, 2011.
For more information, click here.